, 34 tweets, 13 min read Read on Twitter
1. I amplify a lot of fundraising requests. I know this may annoy some of my followers, but I want to take a moment to talk about why I do this. I considered snarking the screenshot posted below with a "Men On the Internet" tweet, but I think I should do this in a serious way.
2. I'm an advocate for the #Exvangelical community, which consists of people who have escaped fundamentalist/evangelical Christianity, an authoritarian and damaging form of Protestantism that upholds white supremacist patriarchy:

chrisstroop.com/2018/06/14/esc…

#EmptyThePews
3. We exvies were mostly indoctrinated as children, and many of us are still relatively young and not yet economically established. Or at least the latter. If you haven't lived abusive, authoritarian religion, you don't know how hard it is to leave:

chrisstroop.com/2017/06/07/whe…
4. Leaving an authoritarian religious community means at the very least complicating, and often breaking, your oldest and previously firmest relationships. It exacts a high social and psychological cost. People lose social support and need to start building it again.
5. And there can be further complicating factors. Exvies were often homeschooled or sent to Christian schools where we were taught #ChristianAltFacts. Evangelicals network with each other; many businesses that aren't even expressly Christian are de facto evangelical businesses.
6. So many exvies find themselves on the outs from the one community in which they could most easily find the kind of work that pays enough to live. And they might have a degree from a Bible college that turns out to be worthless in "the world" outside the fundagelical bubble.
7. Some people are tone-deaf enough to suggest that they should have gone to other colleges (for those who go at all). Here's the thing. Many evangelical parents force their kids into Christian colleges. If your parents otherwise won't even fill out your FAFSA, you're screwed.
8. Some also go because they haven't yet deconstructed their authoritarian faith, or haven't done so fully, and are afraid to rock the boat, or are desperately trying to hold onto their faith. And this is not their fault. #Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #FridayFeeling
9. If you were not socialized in this kind of hardline, abusive religion, you simply cannot know, on a visceral level, what it's like. So please listen to those of us who do know it from the inside:

patheos.com/blogs/unfundam…

#SpiritualAbuse #Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
10. So, you take those specific #Exvangelical factors into consideration, and then you look at this absolutely brutal economy we're stuck with, and maybe you can see why part of our community building involves trying to help each other get needed financial support. #EmptyThePews
11. As a cohesive and visible community and movement, we are pretty new on the scene. We don't have institutions. We have podcasts, social media blogs, memoirs, and, as of last December, this documentary from @CBSReligion:

cbsnews.com/video/deconstr…

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
12. Coming out of an overwhelmingly white faith tradition, most of us are white, and those of us who are certainly have privilege in that regard. But many of us are queer, women, disabled, and/or struggling with mental health issues. And there are POC in the community as well.
13. Given the social and psychological costs of leaving hardline religion in order to follow our own consciences, many of us are struggling financially. I had it better than most and got a Ph.D. But then I still couldn't get a tenure-track job in my field, because of this economy
14. So I've been trying to find my way forward, doing more writing and speaking for popular audiences, along with #Exvangelical community building, advocacy, and activism. And I'm hoping to make this into a sustainable career.
15. This is much more satisfying, and really no more precarious, than the adjuncting I could be doing in the university system, the only thing realistically left to me there. Ph.D.s on food stamps is a whole other can of worms, but know it's a fact of modern American life.
16. As for the #Exvangelical community and movement, @brchastain noted today the work we do takes two broad directions, helping exvies know we're not alone, on the one hand, and exposing evangelical extremis, on the other.



#EmptyThePews #FF
17. I'd add a third: giving each other concrete assistance where necessary and possible. #Exvangelical is a leaderless movement. We have managed to start changing this country's national conversation on evangelicals because we have acted collectively, using social media.
17-a. Here's some information on how we've done that:

rewire.news/religion-dispa…
18. Achieving what we have in the #Exvangelical community and movement--reclaiming our own stories and curtailing the ability of evangelical spin doctors to control the narrative--has only been possible because we have acted collectively. No individual could do it.
19. For that reason, our various individual projects deserve support. If you believe in what we're doing, amplifying our voices is an immense help. If you can afford to make Patreon pledges supporting certain exvangelical initiatives, that's also wonderful.
20. Currently, I am really only getting by thanks to patrons who support me via Patreon. And I am immensely grateful for you all:

patreon.com/cstroop
20-a. Here's a thread on how I ended up taking the path I'm currently taking:

21. So this brings me to a discussion of my own role in the #Exvangelical community. While we can only achieve what we have in community, collectively, some people are much more visible than others. And I am one of the most visible. I take that as a serious responsibility.
22. I do my best to listen to criticism offered in good faith, and when I screw up I want to be held accountable. In addition, I would be doing it wrong if I were to use my social media visibility only to promote my own voice and work. I do self-promotion, of course.
23. But self-promotion alone is not how one helps to build and support a community and movement. I strive to lift up a diverse array of #Exvangelical voices and projects, and I create and participate in hashtag campaigns that raise the community's collective visibility.
24. So I retweet and quote tweet a lot, at least according to some people's standards for what's "normal" for a Twitter account with as many followers as I have. I don't only do this with #Exvangelical Twitter; I do it with #TheResistance and academic Twitter as well.
25. My Twitter account serves both personal and professional purposes, but much of it is dedicated to #Exvangelical work, and the other work I do is related. My Ph.D. in modern Russian history focused on religious ideology. The people I studied influenced Western anti-Communism.
26. But a key aspect of the #Exvangelical work I do involves amplifying fundraising requests from other members of the exvie community. I understand this may annoy some of my followers, and you can of course just scroll on by those posts. But I think it's my duty to post them.
27. I don't want anyone to donate any money that they can't afford to donate. Please take care of yourselves first, you all. And some will not take me at my word that the projects and people I'm amplifying are not grifters. That's your right; please do due diligence. I strive to.
28. But for all the reasons laid out above, you will see fundraising requests boosted from my account fairly often. I don't appreciate being shamed over this, and I'm not going to stop doing it. Members of the #Exvangelical community have many needs. I donate myself, when I can.
29. I hope that in the future we in the #Exvangelical community might be able to create some foundations and scholarship funds and institutions to help our own. Right now, that infrastructure for us is almost non-existent.
30. So, when you see a fundraising request, it'd be great if you'd consider giving if you can't. But if you can't, or won't on principle, that's fine, just scroll on by. But please refrain from shaming me or the rest of us just for putting them out there. Thanks.

#Exvangelical
*extremism
*if you can
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