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I used to tell people asking why I studied Russia that my interest sprang from volunteering with "an international program" in a Russian summer camp.

The "program" was an evangelical short-term youth mission trip. 20 years out I'm spilling the beans in my essay in this anthology
In the tweets below, I'll give you a little taste of my essay, "Now Defunct: Confessions of a Former Short-Term American Youth Missionary to Russia." Meanwhile, click on the link here to sign up to get a free excerpt from the anthology and pre-order info:…
And now your promised teaser from "Now Defunct":

"I picked up the handset of the old-fashioned telephone and said, as we did in the days before smartphones, 'Hello?'

“'Khello,' I heard back, in heavily accented English. 'I am beautiful gir-rel. You want massage? Sex massage?'”
Read 14 tweets
In past decades, (white) Evangelical Christians have embraced the political right, both in& out of church. This has alienated congregants of all stripes, but the problems run deeper than you might think. My new piece follows in thread form. Read it here:…
1. It's well-known that white evangelical Christians lean heavily to the right. Their embrace of Trump has caused this fact to go mainstream. But the interesting bits are (a) how we got here and (b) the consequences moving forward.
2. Evangelical leaders abandoned discussions of morality & Biblical honesty in the 80s and embraced the politics of individual rights — to life, to speech, etc. In the past decade, those leaders have combined with conservative legal networks, forming a new Christian legal Right.
Read 10 tweets

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