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Chris Stroop @C_Stroop
, 57 tweets, 37 min read Read on Twitter
1. Okay, I'm finally sitting down to do my own #2018InReview thread. A lot has happened in my life this year. I've made concrete progress as a writer, speaker, activist, and #Exvangelical advocate.. I'm in a transitional space but feeling somewhat more hopeful about the future.
2. I think I'll go essentially chronologically. Back in January, I was teaching what would become my last semester at the University of South Florida in Tampa. I had hoped that maybe another temporary but full-time with benefits position there would come along, but it did not.
3. I was left with the choice of eking out a living as an adjunct instructor with no benefits, or moving back in with my parents in Indiana for a while to try and see if I could keep the momentum up with the popular engagement through writing, podcasts, radio, etc. I'd been doing
4. I chose to move back home and see if I could work toward making the writer/speaker/activist thing sustainable. Here's a thread with some more details about the thinking and process:



#WithAPhD #RealAcademicBios #YearInReview2018 #YearInReview
5. But anyway, I sort of jumped ahead, chronologically. So let's go back to January. While teaching at USF that month, I managed to publish one of my most widely read--and, I think, widely hated, lol--blog posts, on why we shouldn't call illiberal Christians #FakeChristians.
5-a. You'll find that here. It's worth mentioning, as it remains one of the most widely read substantive essays on my blog, #NotYourMissionField:

chrisstroop.com/2017/05/03/abo…

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
6. I also conducted an interview with the brilliant @cindy_w_brandt for my blog's Ex-Evangelical Conversations Series, and was a guest on @RickSmithShow and on the @thelifeafterorg and @howtoheretic podcasts, all of which are programs I really like.

chrisstroop.com/2018/01/30/ex-…
7. When things that I hear all the time annoy me enough--like the #FakeChristians thing--I have a tendency to write blog posts about them so I don't have to keep repeating myself when I engage with the same talking points and arguments over and over again on Twitter.
7-a. I also did a thread on why I object to the #FakeChristians/#CINO framing in August of this year, which I guess I'll just throw in here:

8. In February 2018, I got annoyed enough with the toxicity of many in the atheist community that I wrote a blog post about that:

chrisstroop.com/2018/02/11/why…

Far too many atheist spaces are white male dominated, and damn has the patriarchy and racism been showing in recent years.
9. A number of important things happened in February 2018. The Parkland school shooting on Valentine's Day really shook me up as someone teaching in Florida. One of my students was also from the area and knew people affected. I'm amazed with what the survivors have built.
10. Billy Graham died a week later, Feb. 21. He lay in state at the U.S. capitol, problematic symbolism for those of us who care about separation of church and state. On that note, "America's pastor" was more theocratic than many will admit.
#EmptyThePews
11. Billy Graham's death was the occasion for my second contribution to Playboy dot com, and I always like to think that if you write for a new outlet a second time, it's no longer a fluke that you got into that outlet. I've since contributed regularly.
12. While most commentators, including and especially those who should know better, wrote glowing hagiographies about Billy Graham, I argued that we're living in Billy's Graham's America (which is not a good thing):

playboy.com/read/in-billy-…

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #Resist
13. The only other person I'm aware of who commented on Billy Graham's death along similar lines is @AntheaButler (everybody with even a slight interest in religion should be following her):

religiondispatches.org/billy-graham-a…

#EmptyThePews #Resist
14. Wrt the year's discussion of evangelicals and the #Exvangelical community, in March, Michael Gerson published an article in @TheAtlantic that presented an overly rosy and revisionist picture of American evangelicalism's history, "The Last Temptation"

theatlantic.com/magazine/archi…
15. I was annoyed enough with the article, and with the flurry of enthusiastic reactions to it from people who should know better, to write a response on my blog, #NotYourMissionField, "The Last Temptation of American Journalism, or, Michael Gerson is not a Hero."
16. You'll find that blog post here:

chrisstroop.com/2018/03/14/the…

I take Gerson to task not only for whitewashing evangelicalism's history to a certain extent, but also his own. He worked closely with Karl Rove in the George W. Bush administration. He is culpable in where we are now
17. I also joined @RickSmithShow again twice that month, March 2 and March 22, to discuss the Christian Right relative to the news cycle. You'll find all my Rick Smith appearances here:

thericksmithshow.podbean.com/?s=Stroop
18. April 2018 was a good month for #Exvangelical visibility. Both @Salon and @Newsweek drew attention to our growing community and movement. I was quoted in the respective pieces. Here's the one from Newsweek:

newsweek.com/trump-evangeli…
19. Here's the piece in Salon:

salon.com/2018/04/29/onw…

My thanks to @ninaburleigh and @PaulHRosenberg for consindering exvies stakeholders in discussions of evangelicalism. This should be a given, but it isn't (yet). We made progress in that direction this year. #2018inReview
20. May 2018 was also a good month for #Exvangelical visibility. @emilyjoypoetry and the #ChurchToo movement were profiled in @MotherJones:

motherjones.com/crime-justice/…
21. Evangelical abuse and sexual assault scandals were breaking left and right, and I was able to write about this issue for @Playboy, focusing on the scandals around the leaders of the conservative takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention:

playboy.com/read/the-spect…
22. In May I also wrote an explainer on authoritarian Christianity, using a text from Franklin Graham and its focus on the "biblical worldview" as an illustration to unpack:

chrisstroop.com/2018/05/30/aut…

This is a good primer for grasping Christian Right anti-democratic ideology.
23. In June, I was preoccupied with getting read to move back from Tampa, FL, to the suburbs of Indianapolis, IN. I was also working on an in-depth piece on the border crisis and adoption for @damemagazine that would come out a few months later.
24. In the meantime, I announced to the world that I would be trying to make doing the whole writer/speaker/advocate/activist thing into a sustainable career rather than adjuncting. Many pledged support via @Patreon. Thank you!

patreon.com/cstroop
25. In June 2018 I also wrote one of my most widely read pieces, a #longreads blog post called "Escape from Jesus Land: On Recognizing Evangelical Abuse and Finding the Strength to Reject the Faith of Our Fathers."

chrisstroop.com/2018/06/14/esc…

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #Resist
25. In June, I also commented for @Playboy on Jeff Sessions' and Sarah Huckabee Sanders' use of the Bible, specifically Romans 13, to "justify" Trump's horrendous "zero tolerance" policy of family separation at the border:

playboy.com/read/the-book-…

#TheocracyAlert #EmptyThePews
26. In July, I finally got moved back to Indiana. My came down to Florida, and we drove up in separate vehicles:

27. Prior to the move, my July was mostly taken up with prep, including emotional. I get alone with my parents better than most exvies, I'm sure, but I still didn't really want to move home. It's been fine, but I won't stay here forever. I'm saving money to move out in summer.
28. I did publish a blog post on my tortured relationship with patriotism as a way of marking July 4 under the fascist Trump regime:

chrisstroop.com/2018/07/04/hap…
29. I also published a new peer-reviewed scholarly journal article that explores my interest in unpacking the historical relationship between anti-Communism and modern American Christianity:

cambridge.org/core/journals/…
30. In late July and in August, I did some threads about important things happening in Russia, Ukraine, and the Orthodox Christian world and their broader geopolitical implications. Here's one from late July:

31. And here's a thread from August. As a result of this thread, I was contacted by editors from both @MoscowTimes and @ForeignPolicy and ended up contributing to both, thus breaking into new outlets:

32. In August, I featured #Exvangelical author and journalist @JosiahMHesse in Ex-Evangelical Conversations, and wrote a few blog posts. I was also preparing for upcoming speaking engagements. I was supposed to speak at @CHShumanists in September, but...

chrisstroop.com/2018/08/10/ex-…
33. Because of Hurricane Florence, we ended up having to put my speaking engagement for @CHShumanists off until November. Meanwhile, in September, those pieces I got asked to write in August for @ForeignPolicy and @MoscowTimes came out.

foreignpolicy.com/2018/09/10/put…
34. And here's that first op-ed I did for @MoscowTimes:

themoscowtimes.com/articles/the-r…
Thread continues here, on what should have been labeled tweet 26 rather than 25:

35. When it comes to evangelicals and exvangelials, in September 2018, I continued to work on my standing interest in authoritarian abuses at evangelical colleges, publishing this in @Playboy:

playboy.com/read/want-to-k…
36. I continue to work on a more in-depth piece looking at the struggle for LGBTQ inclusion against administrative pressure and crackdowns at Christian colleges in a piece that will be forthcoming hopefully in January 2019.
37. September was also the month in which we launched our first offline #Exvangelical event (other than informal meetings), a roundtable discussion featuring me, @brchastain, @Lily_Warrior, @KEBrightbill, @WheelerWorkshop, and @julieingersoll in Clearwater, FL.
38. In October, another offline #Exvangelical event took place, now in Chicago. It involved @JosiahMHesse and @greenworldblogs, and was part of a book tour launching Josiah's second novel. Both events were recorded as special episodes of @exvangelicalpod.

citylitbooks.com/event/exvangel…
39. While we were in Chicago for Josiah's event, @lizkineke and her @CBSReligion crew were also filming the happenings (they did this in Florida as well) for her upcoming documentary "Deconstructing My Religion." She interviewed me @brchastain , and @emilyjoypoetry in Chicago.
40. In October, I also went to @almacollege in Michigan to do several classroom visits and a public lecture. It was a fantastic experience!

41. In November, I was finally able to visit Charleston, South Carolina to give my talk on connections between Russia and American conservative Christians for @CHShumanists. @CHSpolitico was an extremely hospitable host; had a fantastic time!

charlestoncitypaper.com/TheBattery/arc…
42. Got distracted and forgot to post that the article on evangelicals, the border crisis, and America's disturbing history of predatory adoption I wrote for @damemagazine I mentioned earlier came out in October:

damemagazine.com/2018/10/01/are…
43. In October, I also sounded the alarm again on not writing off the theocratic aspects of Trumpism as "distractions." Trump continues to pursue Christian Right goals, including anti-transgender discrimination:

playboy.com/read/stop-call…
44. In late October, I was back in @ForeignPolicy, writing about how white evangelicals have become far and away America's most racist and nativist demographic:

foreignpolicy.com/2018/10/29/whi…

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #Resist
45. In November, I returned to contributing to @RDispatches, now under @Rewire_News, after a hiatus from having been a pretty regular contributor to RD's previous iteration. I pushed back on evangelical PR and spin doctoring:

rewire.news/religion-dispa…

#2018InReview #EmptyThePews
46. I also wrote for @Playboy about the colonialist, right-wing Christian "martyrdom" script that radical missionary John Chau was following when he got himself killed on North Sentinel Island:

playboy.com/read/on-the-de…
47. The John Chau affair was a blow to evangelicalism's already damaged image, so naturally Ed Stetzer of Wheaton and Christianity Today tried to salvage that image--par for the course for him; he always places reputation over people. I pushed back:

chrisstroop.com/2018/11/29/eva…
48. The year ended in some very exciting ways. Another article in @Newsweek, the release of @lizkineke's documentary, and the counter-action organized by @emilyjoypoetry and others that kept evangelicals from appropriating and taming the #ChurchToo movement's criticism.
49. You can read about these December events in more detail in my latest piece for @RDispatches, currently the number one trending article on @Rewire_News.

rewire.news/religion-dispa…

#Exvangelical #ChurchToo #EmptyThePews #MondayMotivation #YearInReview #Goodbye2018
50. The #Exvangelical community has clearly emerged in 2018 with a visible presence in the public sphere. Our perspectives are included in the press more than ever. I believe we will make even greater strides in 2019. I believe I personally will do so as a writer and speaker too.
51. Thank you for reading, and Happy New Year! If you appreciate the content I produce and can afford to, pledging $5 or more a month via @Patreon to support my work goes a long way toward making it sustainable. Thanks! End thread.

patreon.com/cstroop

#Goodbye2018
Addendum 2: Check out this thread for more details on the data we have showing how white evangelicals are absolutely America's most racist, nativist, Trumpist demographic:



#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #HappyNewYear #HappyNewYear2019
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