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Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #emptythepews

Most recents (22):
1. FOX "News" is playing at white Christian persecution complex, so let's give #GoodChristian™ Douglas MacKinnon a little of the "persecution" he so craves. Because, believe me, calling out someone's #ChristianAltFacts is obvs equivalent to them being murdered for their faith.
2. Guess what? Your friend is either delusional, stupid, or dishonest. Unless you made up said "friend" like many of the "facts" in this article. Hey, I'm just asking questions. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

#EmptyThePews #Exvangelical #HowToEvangelical #HowToCatholic #SaturdayMorning
3. Granted, Christians are persecuted in some parts of the wold, although your adjectives are not exactly quantifiable. But more to the point, you know where that's definitely not happening? In America. Hard to believe, I know.
Read 20 tweets
1. I don't know how many people who teach in Christian schools or Evangelical colleges have spent time on the Russian mission field, but I do know those groups overlap. Whatever the numbers, the broader context around international collaboration in the culture wars is important.
2. @Beachbumjules, I'm not sure if you were worried about Russian influence on American schoolchildren, or American culture warriors' influence on Russians, but both countries have hardline right-wing populist/conservative utopian traditions of their own to draw on.
3. While to varying degrees at varying times Russian Orthodox Christians and American Evangelicals can be at odds with one another, in recent years they have often collaborated at a high level toward the pursuit of "culture wars" goals internationally. There's a long backstory.
Read 45 tweets
These Evangelical PAC’s, universities, church orgs and ‘churches’ sure like to bilk the poor.

These ‘pastors’ are organized & propaganda wizards of fear.

Meanwhile raking in millions and shove far-right views into our politics while dodging taxes

Here is the co-authors’ investigation into Liberty University from NYT.

Read 14 tweets
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Gather around, because I have some *things* to say about being raised in white evangelicalism.

Radicalizing individuals to violently “take back America” isn’t a bug of evangelical fundamentalism, it’s the whole point.

#EmptyThePews #YouDontKnowEvangelicals #Exvangelical
My parent’s pastor, in the early 80’s, preached, “If we're going to turn this [country] around we need to be having lots of kids.” My parents chose to have more kids than they could handle because of those teachings.
Side note: we weren’t even in a quiverfull church. Most families had 4-5 kids. We dressed normal. This wasn’t an “extreme” fundamentalist church. My point, you probably know people who are in evangelical churches like this, that seem totally normal and harmless from the outside.
Read 19 tweets
So I'd like to share some of the more horrific aspects of being homeschooled and what I was taught *by a licensed program* for my entire education.
There is a narrative that is pushed by far right Christians that the government is evil.
2/15 Not misguided, not that some politicians are corrupt, no--the US Government is *evil* and irrevocably broken. We are pointed to stories like Red Rock, and, to be quite frank, the Holocaust. That's right, there's a belief that because the Holocaust will not only happen again
3/15 but that it will happen this time to "the true martyrs," ie white Christians. Saint Maximilian Colby was HUGE in my circles, as he was a Catholic priest who "became a martyr" in the camps. The Columbine Christianity myth did incredible work for this narrative,
Read 15 tweets
I've finally (like 20+ years after first being exposed to #purityculture) figured out how to articulate yet another way that Evangelical culture left me emotionally scarred. It never seems to end. #exvangelical #emptythepews Here I go yet again:
Whenever I've read about how purity culture messes up people's lives, it's usually how it's affected ideas/perceptions of sex, how these things can lead to bad relationships, abuse, etc. For me, yeah, same as many others: it meant I didn't know how to even talk to a guy,
and every Christian guy I met was a potential spouse. We were encouraged to pray for our future spouses who we'd never met before. The usual purity culture junk.
Read 8 tweets
Listen to how they qualify the Civil Rights movement.

Starting at around 3:10, they define the protests of the Civil Rights Movement as refusing to obey a law, but don't believe it functioned to challenge the legitimacy of a regime.
They define an "idolatrous" regime as being "against or for (respectively) the things the church cannot do."

How, then, would the Jim Crow era government of lynching, segregation, and violent white racism at all levels of government not be defined as an "idolatrous regime."
You can literally hear Tim Keller localizing agreement as the systemic violent White Supremacy of the United States during the Jim Crow era is glossed over almost entirely.

They are literally separating the laws being disobeyed from those who enforce them.
Read 43 tweets
Okay, I feel like another twitter thread. So here goes. I am still thinking about the article in the @nytimes on Black people leaving white churches as I prepare for a keynote address at the conference on Communication ethics.…
While the story centers on Black people trying to find a home in largely white congregations and eventually leaving, @JLWeisenfeld noted that this is also a story about racial reconciliation.
Anybody who has read any of my work or followed me on Twitter know that I am HIGHLY skeptical of the term "racial reconciliation." here me though; I have no problem with reconciliation. I do believe people can be reconciled.
Read 11 tweets
There is much buzz going on on social media about this story published by @nytimes:…. The better title may have been "Black Folks get Woke on #WhiteEvangelical churches and Leave.
So I will take time out of my writing schedule for today to comment on this story. First, much love to the people who shared their stories. In talking with people who found themselves in similar situations, I know it wasn't easy.
But let's be clear: #WhiteEvangelicalism is probably the number one reason people are leaving the church. It's so toxic that even Black people are not immune! It's soul crushing and damaging so much so that you don't want to attend any church.
Read 11 tweets
#RevThread # 68
Fancy Specks,Part 2: The Margin Man

1/ Everything we love is at risk? Trump and the Mob? Really? A reminder: if you haven't already, a good place to start is with and/or @LincolnsBible. Also, the writings of Luke Harding.
2/ Trump has operated for decades on the margin between organized crime and business. In the early phase, the mob was a part of his business expense, as a considerable portion of his construction costs, especially for concrete, went into mob pockets.
3/ Then, when Trump’s business skills led to his several bankruptcies, he became the recipient of mob money, both in his casinos and in his condominiums --
Read 28 tweets
I don’t want to give more publicity to this bad faith argument, and Jen doesn’t need me to defend her, but I do have some thoughts. This kind of logic is very commonly employed in conservative circles, and I think a little pushback is completely justified. 😆
We jump off with TWO classic “arguments”:
1) conceding that perhaps a small problem exists somewhere but it’s not widespread.
2) my argument is Real Logic™️ so despite neither of us having data to backup our assertions and experiences, I’m more right than you.
Here’s where Mike makes his bad faith and hyper defensiveness abundantly clear: he frames Jen’s theological shift as rejecting all traditionalists as “backwater bucolic yokels.”

I haven’t listened to this interview yet but this framing is so out of character for JH is comical
Read 11 tweets
Much of white America, especially white male America (disclosure: I'm a white man), is suffering from delusion. Too many in my demographic have debased themselves through thoughtless xenophobia, callous sexism, knee-jerk bigotry & angry cynicism. (THREAD) #SOTU 1/
62% of white men & 52% of white women knowingly cast their vote in 2016 for a racist demagogue who admitted to being a sexual predator, publicly attacked POWs & gold star families, mocked the disabled, made fun of overweight women, & embraced white supremacy. #SOTU 2/
White America, especially white "Christian" America, jumped the shark when we cast our lots for an admitted sexual predator, coarse bully, & willful ignoramus. We've embraced white nationalist tribalism over timeless American values of life, liberty & equality for all. #SOTU 3/
Read 12 tweets
1. Evangelicals love to twist the meanings of words and phrases, appropriating human rights rhetoric for an ideology that rejects universal human rights.
2. There's a disingenuousness in the way Evangelicals and other fundamentalists will change their framing and packaging for different audiences. It's cult-like.
3. Let me explain what I mean by "cult-like." Fundamentalists and cultists of all kinds operate with ends-justify-the-means tactics when it comes to drawing people in for conversions.
Read 22 tweets
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.”
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
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…
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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