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Chris "Bah Humbug" Stroop @C_Stroop
, 19 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
I’m finally reading Pure by @LindaKayKlein, and I’ve decided to tweet a thread of quotes and observations over however long it takes me to finish. I’ve just started, and I’m already impressed by the prose and the insights.

#Exvangelical #PurityCulture #EmptyThePews #ChurchToo
On page 3, Klein brilliantly links Freud’s concept of the taboo to the evangelical understanding of a stumbling block. Freud: “A person may become permanently or temporarily taboo” if this person incites “forbidden desires of others” and awakens “the ambivalent conflict in them.”

“After all, my sexual energy, sometimes off-color humor, and the ‘50s pinup va-va-voom of the hips I’d recently acquired were already worrying some in my community.”

“I was taboo—guarded and guarded against—long before I had ever done anything ‘wrong.’”

She was sixteen.
Klein says she already noticed and chafed at the objectification of women inherent in the evangelical understanding of the term “stumbling block” in junior high. Notes boys got to take shirts off for a carwash, but “it was me who got reprimanded for having my shirt sprayed.”
“By the time I was in high school, I had been ‘talked to’ about how I dressed and acted so many times that my annoyance was beginning to turn to anxiety. It began to feel like it didn’t matter what I did or wore; it was me that was bad.” @LindaKayKlein, Pure, page 4.
Page 7: She’s rejected evangelicalism, in her 20s, but “Thr closer I got to losing my virginity, the more likely it was that the word slut would run through my mind on ticker tape. Eventually, I’d find myself in a tearful heap in the corner of my boyfriend’s dorm room bed.”
This is applicable to so many aspects of the cruel indoctrination children are subjected to in evangelicalism. For example, it took me well over a decade after I stopped believing in hell to (mostly) stop being afraid of it. On that indoctrination see:…
Klein: “Eventually, I’d walk to the local drugstore and buy a pregnancy test. I was still a virgin, but taking the test was the only way I could steady my breathing.

“Until the next time.”
Klein describes talking to old friends, finding them similarly traumatized, and how she set out to study the phenomenon. Lists off many horrible metaphors used in abstinence only #FakeSexEd, noting how many of them portray women’s sexuality as food for someone else’s consumption.
Klein: “Though the shaming language is embedded into sexuality for both boys and girls, it is especially intense and embodied when delivered to girls. In fact, the only one of the... metaphors that I have personally heard applied to both males and females is the tape metaphor.”
The idea here is that things meant for bonding get less sticky if you stick them and unstick them to things over and over again. I got a variation of this in sixth grade in a program that is still around in Indiana, and that infiltrates public schools:

Pages 16-17 discuss incidents of shaming as a type of small trauma that adds up over time, being kept in bodies and triggering PTSD like symptoms.

There’s a mention of how some people get triggered just by entering churches.
I feel very uncomfortable in evangelical churches myself, and have a history of being triggered to varying degrees by aspects of church services, like familiar hymns or worship choruses. I generally cry at Christmas Eve services (and not for good reasons, whether those may be).
18-20, ways of defining evangelicalism. It’s a subculture with powerful institutions. Klein: “People’s beliefs about your salvation sometimes depends on institutional leaders’ assessments on things that many would argue have nothing to do with religion, like who you vote for.”
Also Klein, page 20: “Within all of this diversity, the sexual purity message is one of the most consistent elements of the evangelical subculture.”

I’m pretty sure that the “diversity” in question is mostly superficial for at least about 75-80% of evangelicals.
Page 22. Federal funding for abstinence only #FakeSexEd started under Reagan. Bill Clinton ramped it up. George W. Bush ramped it up some more.
Obama cut funding but Trump has increased. Klein says evangelical leaders are not as enthusiastic about it as they used to be, but adon’t know what to replace it with. Is she right? I can’t help suspecting even if she is, there will only be “rebranding,” not substantive change.
There is no such thing as kinder, gentler culture wars or kinder, gentler purity culture. There is no conceivable abstinence only #FakeSexEd program that could ever transcend shame and #ChristianAltFacts. They are its only underpinnings. Science and humaneness are not on its side
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