Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #emptythepews

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Because he tells them it’s okay to be those things.
I keep thinking about what my nephew said at Thanksgiving shortly after the 2016election. He worked with a bunch of “blue collar” Maga types & to him their narrative seemed to be:
“Ah, at long last, I can finally stop pretending to be a halfway decent person.”
Read 13 tweets
I’ve shared a lot of my own #EmptyThePews story in various posts on my blog, Not Your Mission Field. I grew up in “respectable” but still anti-LGBTQ and anti-intellectual evangelicalism. The cognitive dissonance was... a lot.…

Of course, repressed queerness, belatedly recognized, is part of my #EmptyThePews story too. As a kid I wasn’t sure why I felt different and uncomfortable in my own skin.…
When I was in high school and initially in college, every time queerness came up I felt intense anxiety. I felt internalized pressure to insist that it’s “sinful” but felt bad about that.

Evangelicalism had taught me to doubt my doubts and not to trust my feelings

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I’m seeing a number of people, notably @kurteichenwald, saying they’re done with church as white evangelicals remain all-in for Trump.

Can we get #EmptyThePews trending again like it did in August 2017?

Tweet your story of leaving toxic Christianity:…
Here’s where #EmptyThePews started. The message is simple. Put authoritarian Christians on notice that they are losing many of us over their bigotry and intolerance.

And the message of #EmptyThePews is not anti-religious. Emptying the pews for better religion or no religion is a matter of individual conscience.
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I'm excited to be a part of this! NYC, November 16.

What @AmishFoundation is doing to fight for the right of U.S. children to a decent education, uninhibited by the ideological biases of radical religious parents, is so important.

#WednesdayThoughts #EmptyThePews
@AmishFoundation Except for kindergarten and half of sixth grade, I was subjected to a far-right, indoctrinating Christian school elementary and secondary education. Young earth creationism. Right-wing politics being the only way to be Christian. Yet I got the elite version, so could get out.
@AmishFoundation That is, I had the intellectual skills necessary to test well, to excel in college at Ball State, and, with my high GPA and record of awards and achievements there, to go on to graduate school at Stanford. Yet I'm still unpacking the trauma from my #ChristianAltFacts education.
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Tfw a Christian Right leader slips up for a minute and admits they’re The Horde

#EpicChristianFails #EmptyThePews
It’s like that time @timkellernyc seemed to openly admire Darth Vader.
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1.7 million Title X dollars for pushing abstinence and the "rhythm method." American theocracy is rising fast, and yet most major news outlets still treat right-wing evangelicals and Catholics with kid gloves--when they're not publishing outright puff pieces.

"In Orange County, among the wide boulevards and gleaming office towers where Obria maintains its headquarters, sexually transmitted diseases are an unrelenting force: From 2013 to 2017, gonorrhea cases rose by 129%, chlamydia by 65% and syphilis by 99%."


"Over the next three years, Obria could receive $5.1 million in federal family planning funds for its California clinics. But [Obria CEO] Bravo, who operates 38 clinics in six states, has grander visions: She wants Obria to become a nationwide alternative to Planned Parenthood."
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Ha, I forgot that the Heritage Christian School yearbook is literally called The Patriot (or at least was). I did yearbook all four years of high school and was editor-in-chief my junior and senior years.

#ExposeChristianSchools #EmptyThePews
Also yeah I am still unpacking things. It’s only been like two and a half months 🤷‍♀️
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1. It's the end of the month, so I'm gonna do a little monthly recap of what I've been up to this month and make a little pitch for supporting me via @Patreon if you find my work valuable and can afford to:

#MondayMotivation #EmptyThePews #crowdfunding
@Patreon 2. If I had to summarize what I've been up to this month, I'd say my work has primarily focused on pushing back against attempts to whitewash Christian nationalism and the dangerous anti-democratic views of the Christian Right. I did so in @jdforward here…
@Patreon @jdforward 3. And I followed up further on what's wrong with attempts to represent white evangelicals' Christian Zionism as benign in this piece for @RDispatches:…

#exvangelical #EmptyThePews #Resist
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“Global evangelical community”—a construct Kidd conjures only to distract us from U.S. Christian nationalism.

The gaslighting of “respectable” evangelicals will kill us all if the American mainstream buys it.…

#MondayThoughts #EmptyThePews
To the extent that there is a “global evangelical community,” we’d have to look mainly at Pentecostals and charismatics in the global South, and they’re just as authoritarian as white American evangelicals. They’re Bolsonaro’s base in Brazil for god’s sake.

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1/ Robert Jeffress declared on Fox News that the move to impeach POTUS had angered Evangelical Christians and that if the effort was successful, would lead to "a Civil War-like fracture in this nation from which our country will never heal." This shouldn't be suprising
2/ Jeffress is a Southern Baptist. The Southern Baptist convention exists as a reaction to abolition in the South. They were strongly opposed to the end of slavery and represented a powerful religious force for the South during the Civil War.…
3/ Southern Baptists history shows that, as a denomination, they were founded due to conflict and used to being on the defensive side of actual war as well as wars of words. When they have an authoritarian grip on the U.S. They are loathe to give it up.
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Want to witness a #Survivor take her power back? Read on and retweet.

I wrote a letter to my former pastors who ignored the abuse I reported to them eighteen years ago, and I posted it on the review section of the churches that employ them.


#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
Click the following links and search for the review under Angie Jay. You will find the letters and the names of their intended recipients.…

All day yesterday, I felt badly for @Northroadchurch because I thought...

they were being pulled into something that happened so long ago.
This church just happens to be within walking distance of my house, and they just happened to hire the youth pastor from my former church who ignored my abuse and let my abuser continue to work with students.
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What kind of relationship should an organization representing religion journalism have with religious institutions and leaders? However we answer that question, RNA is past the point of being ethically compromised:…

#SundayThoughts #RNA2019 #EmptyThePews
To be fair, RNA is far from alone in having crossed what I believe should be bright lines. For example, @nytimes and @washingtonpost largely let evangelicals cover themselves, without including critical perspectives, which is wildly irresponsible.

#SundayMorning #EmptyThePews
And the U.S. flagship organization for the academic study of religion, the American Academy of Religion, like @ReligionReport accepts sponsorship from religious organizations, incl. highly problematic ones, and falls to draw a clear line between theology and secular scholarship.
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Evangelicals, whether they know the term or not, generally follow an authoritarian way of thinking called "presuppositionalism." They divide the world into competing "worldviews" grounded in different presuppositions. They reject neutrality…

They reject neutrality because they see their "Christian worldview" as the only true one. Even though other "worldviews" are consistent with their presuppositions, which leads them to shift from epistemological to moral consequentialist arguments. It's relativism on steroids.
But if you ever wondered how evangelicals can make the ridiculous claim that every other "worldview" is also "a religion," basically, leading them to conclude things like "public schools indoctrinate children into the religion of secular humanism," this is how that works.
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Apropos of the question of where religion journalism slides into advocacy for religion, even in its toxic forms, I will be skipping today’s lunch at #RNA2019, sponsored by Trinity Broadcasting Network and featuring a panel with prominent Christofascist Eric Metaxas, on principle.
There are valid reasons to bring journalists and potential sources together at conferences, but the line between religion journalism and religious propaganda should not be held. In this era of rising fascism, journalists also have a duty not to normalize extremism.

I will not accept hospitality from the likes of TBN. And I wish to express my opposition to the platforming of Eric Metaxas. See this blog post for more on why:…

#SaturdayThoughts #RNA2019 #EmptyThePews #Resist
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Edgar Sandoval, Jr. literally just described the relationship of child sponsorship through @WorldVisionUSA, sponsor of tonight’s dinner at #RNA2019, as one of “equality” between child and sponsor. This is astoundingly tone-deaf.

#FridayThoughts #EmptyThePews
Not to mention just plain inaccurate. There are few starker cases of obviously unequal power relationships.
*Sr., not Jr
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Earlier this year @RNS published a deplorable column about #ExposeChristianSchools with zero empathy for the queer kids harmed by them and the hashtag misrepresented as driven by “media elites” rather than survivors. That’s where ignoring leavers leads.…
If you see your job as celebrating the subject you analyze, you are not doing journalism or even commentary. You’re doing advocacy. Too often religion writing blurs this line; that column crossed it while pretending to objectivity and failing at due diligence.

Here’s the background on the #ExposeChristianSchools hashtag and how it was trolled and often misrepresented in the media. That happened largely because religion journalists exhibited bias toward even authoritarian religion and failed to do their jobs.…
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Responding here to @jarvis_best on how to approach evangelical Christian Zionism. I want to add that this “cultural appropriation on steroids,” to use his own term, cannot be rightly described as “love.” Love does not erase people’s autonomy.

#WednesdayThoughts #EmptyThePews
We’re not faced with a binary of “Christians love Jews” OR “Christians harbor a conscious desire to kill Jews.” That’s a false dichotomy. But when it comes to working toward healthy pluralism, claiming to have replaced someone else’s religion seriously undermines the task.
Pragmatic strategic coalitions between members of differing groups ate one thing (I find the right-wing Christian embrace of Netanyahu and the Israeli Right pernicious). Fundamental dishonesty is another.
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“Americans have retained their illusions of freedom.”

Among liberal to progressive folks it’s ofc often those with the most wealth and power, who will be last to feel real consequences from U.S. authoritarianism, who cling most tightly to the illusion.

#MondayMorning #Resist
This is what we’re up against when it comes to trying to get major press outlets like @nytimes and @washingtonpost, to say nothing of cable news, to stop normalizing extremism. And a related barrier is that we’re not used to viewing any large group of Christians critically.
White evangelicals are Trump’s key base. 80% of them 45 and older rate Trump favorably. 60% aged 18-44 do as well, and a good chuck of the other 40% in that age demographic will vote for him in 2020 anyway. Mark my words.…

#exvangelical #EmptyThePews
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This is the theology of The Family, as we discussed with @JeffSharlet in episodes 3 and 4 of @crossroads_pod. King David was a horrible person but chosen by God. The chosen are chosen, and the “proof” of chosenness is power.…

#SundayThoughts #EmptyThePews
“In a podcast with the theologian R.C. Sproul Jr., Tchividjian compared his aptitude for the job to how Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are run by former alcoholics.”

Sproul was caught up in the Ashley Madison scandal. He was also arrested for drunk driving w/ kids in the car.
“Several states consider sexual contact between clergy and parishioners seeking counseling to be a crime. Florida doesn’t have such a law on the books.”

But hey, in Florida you *can* legally shoot anyone coming to confront you on it under Stand Your Ground, so there’s that. 🙃
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“At the time of this writing, researchers in the field have been unable to determine whether the respectable evangelical places greater importance on the personhood of Jesus or of fetuses.”…

#EpicChristianFails #ThursdayThoughts #EmptyThePews
“If female personhood is to be recognized, it may be recognized only so long as it is subordinated to the personhood of men, corporations, Jesus, gun owners, Republican politicians, possibly the family dog, and, of course, any and all fetuses...
... except the ones Republican politicians and respectable evangelicals–who are sometimes the same people: see Moore, Roy-secretly force their wives, mistresses, daughters, and underage rape victims to abort. Come to think of it, those categories can overlap too.”
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1. When it comes to getting your head around the theocratic threat to democracy and human rights in the U.S. and globally today, terminology can be a hangup. That's why I made this beginner's guide to Christian dominionism. Post, share, and distribute away!

#EmptyThePews #Resist
2. This content is free to all, but if you find it valuable and can afford to, please throw a few dollars a month or more my way via @Patreon:

For more on Christian dominionism, follow @profagagne, @FredClarkson, @petemont, @brucewilson @julieingersoll
@Patreon @profagagne @FredClarkson @petemont @brucewilson @julieingersoll 3. This infographic is the "first fruits," as it were, of the discussion in this thread about constructing a lexicon of terms needed to understand evangelicalism. A comprehensive infographic of that nature would be impossible, so I went with a theme:

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The evangelical MO is negging. Evangelicals worship a predatory “pickup artist” in the sky. Read @gloriousbeth’s post on liking yourself after evangelicalism, and if you’ve been affected by any fundamentalism, check out my six anti-proselytizing principles that affirm autonomy.
I feel this post by @gloriousbeth. The Christianity I grew up with made me hate myself. It took over a decade of deconstruction for me to understand that not only is it okay, but even necessary, for us to love ourselves.

#TuesdayMotivation #EmptyThePews
If you’ve never been there, it’s hard to explain, but the idea that loving ourselves was necessary to truly love anyone else simply did not compute. I thought loving myself would be a sin. “All our good deeds are as filthy rags.” “He must become greater; I must become less.”
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1. Per @ThePlumLineGS, "Trump has crossed over into a form of autocratic disinformation that is designed to render fact-based deliberation and argument impossible."

He's right. This is a deliberate authoritarian strategy.…

@ThePlumLineGS 2. Cultivating distrust of institutions might seem like a bad idea for someone who wants to govern, but it's quite effective if your goal is personal rule based on personal loyalty. The U.S. Right has tellingly sown distrust in the very possibility of good governance for decades.
@ThePlumLineGS 3. Disinformation combined with manipulative and corrupt means of gaining the personal loyalty of a population is an insidiously effective means of controlling people. I've laid out detailed thoughts on why alternative facts work for authoritarians here:

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Michael Gerson: Many evangelicals are fearful that courts and government regulators will increasingly treat their moral and religious convictions as varieties of bigotry.

Narrator: That's because they are bigotry.……

Michael Gerson: Such a cramped view of pluralism amounts to the establishment of secularism.

Narrator: Here we see the respectable evangelical in his natural habitat, arguing a radical presuppositionalist point, but doing so in language that seems imminently reasonable.
Michael Gerson: [This] would undermine the long-standing cooperation of government and religious institutions in tasks such... placing children in adoptive homes, caring for the sick and educating the young.

Narrator. This would allow women and LGBTQ folks not to be abused.
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