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#emptythepews

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1. I and many ex-Evangelicals share @DJSugi’s frustration. 2017 taught us some things about how to be heard.

“I’ve spent much of my adulthood terrified that Christian extremists would take over America, and... many of my peers seemed oblivious to my concerns.”
#EmptyThePews
2. Before laying out my thoughts on this, a couple of caveats. Firstly, it's not the fault of survivors of extremist Christianity that mainstream America has proven largely unwilling to listen.
3. An (untenable, circular) impulse to consider "real" religion benign is baked into American national DNA, although it functions disproportionately in favor of Christianity. Christian privilege is very real.
Read 43 tweets
You say you are “soul searching,” @jjz1600, but you need to be looking at WHO actually voted in Jones.

(Hint: It wasn’t the WWW.)
I appreciate your responding, and ITA about both/and.

Let me ask you something: How do you understand the turnout by Black Alabamians last night? What is your view on what prompted that level of engagement by Black voters?

(Since you don't know me and don't have context for reading my tone: this is a sincere query. And I am choosing to ask it publicly via quote tweet because this is an important dialogue for many of us on the left, NOT to put you on the spot.)
Read 26 tweets
1. #YouDontKnowEvangelicals if you don’t see the Christian Right’s fingerprints all over Trump’s move to consider Jerusalem the capital of Israel.
2. But why does it matter to them? It really is all about end times prophecy associated with what’s called premillennial dispensationalist eschatology. #EmptyThePews
3. If you’re hung up on the terminology, it’s the popular version involving a “rapture” of believers at Christ’s return and before the “tribulation.”
Read 11 tweets
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1. Despite the "science" of the "pro-life" movement being, well, not, I found opposition to abortion to be one of the hardest aspects of my Christian Right upbringing and indoctrination to shake. My experience in the #Exvangelical community suggests I'm far from alone in this.
2. And since having an exchange with @summerbrennan yesterday about the possible efficacy (or not) of efforts to educate anti-abortion voters on the actual facts, I've been wondering why opposition to abortion is so hard to shake even when you abandon Evangelical politics.
3. Assuming that it is a general pattern, as my anecdotal experience strongly suggests. A lot of former Evangelicals turned progressive Christians, including prominent voices like @rachelheldevans, remain "pro-life," but refuse a narrow definition and reject single issue voting.
Read 17 tweets
1. Some thoughts on @DavidAstinWalsh's self-described difficulty getting this on a visceral level. How is this driven by original sin?
2. It is precisely the extremely dark view of human nature present in the harshest interpretations of Christianity that drives this dynamic.
3. I'll get to the key reasons for this. First, let's note that paranoia and authoritarianism correlate with this dark view of human nature.
Read 28 tweets
1. Many ex-Evangelicals leave when our understanding of Jesus comes to clash w/ right-wing culture wars and our criticism is deflected. BUT
2. It simply isn’t true that “anyone who has actually read the Gospels” will opt for social justice Christianity or bust. Not how this works
3. There was a time when I insisted the “real” Jesus of the gospels was nothing like Evangelicals, who are like the Pharisees he attacked.
Read 23 tweets
1. @splinter_news and @sarahposner get it. To understand and combat Christian Right Trump support, talk to us ex-Evangelicals. #EmptyThePews
2. I'm going to be blunt here. Americans don't need 573 think pieces in the vein of "Hypocritical Evangelicals, y u vote Trump?"
3. What we need is to allow the ex-Evangelical community and movement to have the kind of visibility and voice that shapes the public sphere
Read 38 tweets
1. Trumpism is made-in-America ugliness that Kremlin interference helped to empower. To defeat it we must address U.S. white supremacism.
2. Facing their flaws and accepting legitimate criticism is something that authoritarian/narcissistic personalities and groups refuse to do.
3. To the authoritarian, feeling safe, in control, and protected from ego threats takes precedence over empathy and redress of grievances.
Read 32 tweets
1. This @washingtonpost piece on Kaepernick's vs. Tebow's Christianity unfortunately decolves into false equivalence washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/a…
2. Meaning that WaPo, once again, ends up coddling toxic Evangelicalism, b/c that is what WaPo does. What's with the "come together" appeal?
3. Michael Frost's analysis starts to go south when he suggests that the social justice Christianity of Kaepernick lacks personal piety.
Read 21 tweets
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