, 35 tweets, 19 min read Read on Twitter
1. Florida State Senator Dennis Baxley is an elder at The Vine Community Church, a Southern Baptist Convention affiliate in Ocala, Fl. His consistent advocacy for this type of legislation shows how nakedly dishonest evangelicals are—and we let them get away with it. #Exvangelical
2. What do I mean by referring to the naked dishonesty of (the vast majority of white/conservative) evangelicals in this context? Note Baxley's demand that public schools teach "different worldviews" on topics such as climate change and evolution. It's clearly disingenuous.
3. And we know it's disingenuous not just because there is a long established pattern of evangelical behavior in this regard, although there is, and actions speak louder than words. We also know it from what evangelicals have said and written, and that term "worldview" is key.
4. First. to the pattern. In situations where evangelicals are not able to establish full control of the narrative, as in public schools, their modus operandi is to demand representation for #ChristianAltFacts like creationism and no anthropogenic climate change because God.
5. In situations where evangelicals do have control, the masks come off. It shouldn't take much time reading #ExposeChristianSchools and #ExposeChristianHomeschooling tweets to learn that when "alternative" view points are taught in evangelical spaces, it's only to condemn them.
6. Even in "respectable" interdenominational evangelical schools like Heritage in Indianapolis, which I graduated from, this is the case. Our AP biology teacher--you read that right--refused to teach us the evolution chapters in our standard college text. #ExposeChristianSchools
7. He showed us creationist and "flood geology" propaganda videos even as we did labs on recombinant DNA with bacteria, and told us to read the evolution chapters on our own and regurgitate them for the AP exam. We were lying for Jesus, like Dennis Baxley. #ExposeChristianSchools
8. Public schools should not grant "equal time" or any representation to demonstrably false things--no kids should be forced to be indoctrinated with demonstrably false "alternative facts," Christian or not, in any context. #ExposeChristianSchools #ExposeChristianHomeschooling
9. But don't think for a second that Dennis Baxley and his evangelical ilk are really after mere equal time. They're after full power and control, which should also be clear from their support for legislation of all kinds that harms public schools, like voucher programs.
10. If you actually care about quality of education, and that's your motivation for supporting vouchers, then you would only support vouchers that will not fund the teaching of disinformation like creationism, right? But what do they actually fund?

11. This is the same pattern by which the whole right-wing coalition has tried to discredit government with self-fulfilling prophecies in order to amass wealth and power over the last half century. Kleptocracy and theocracy make comfortable bedfellows:

12. What do I mean by self-fulfilling prophecies? In this context, the more that right-wingers--who deliberately starve public schools of funds--can claim that religious, charter, and secular private schools outperform public schools, the more they can further undermine them.
13. And that's exactly what we see in the incredibly loud pushback against the #ExposeChristianSchools and #ExposeChristianHomeschooling hashtags. "Homeschoolers are smarter!" "Private schools have higher SAT scores and college placement rates!" These claims are lies.
14. Even apart from the issues with self-selection and wealth disparities, we simply don't have data on homeschooling and private religious schooling that is comparable to the data we have on public schools. That's because they are largely unregulated and unaccountable.
15. And that is exactly how the Right wants things--no accountability for Christian schools or for homeschooling families See the work of @samanthapfield, @KEBrightbill, @rachel_elisse, and @ResponsibleHS on this. And read #ExposeChristianSchools and #ExposeChristianHomeschooling
16. But now let's get back to the ideology. Those of us who were raised this way and are speaking out should be listened to. Tens of thousands of us are telling you all that white evangelicals are systemically anti-pluralist, Christian supremacist, etc.

17. But you don't have to take our word for it. Remember how I mentioned above that the term "worldivew" as used by Dennis Baxley is a tell, that is, it's coded evangelical language? About that:


#ExposeChristianSchools #ExposeChristianHomeschooling
18. But wait, there's more. Gary North, one of the founding fathers of Christian Reconstructionism *AND* evangelical schooling and homeschooling in the U.S., explicitly called for Christians to use religious liberty to their advantage until they could take over and eliminate it.
18-a. Source for the screenshot in the tweet above.

19. On he relationship I noted between theocracy and kleptocracy, that is between Christian extremism and libertarianism, above, here are some fun facts. Gary North was an economic adviser to Ron Paul. Under his influence, Paul championed homeschooling with Christian curriculum.
20. Now, you might be thinking, "But surely Gary North is just an extremist, right? Isn't he just fringe?" Not so fast. See this interview @PaulHRosenberg did with @julieingersoll on how key Christian Reconstructionist ideas have been mainstreamed.

21. Advocates of "the Biblical worldview," terminology that originated in Christian Reconstructionism, do not accept that there is any such thing as a neutral institution. This is why they can't leave public schools alone. They try to get as many kids out of them as possible.
22. But, as long as public schools exist, they will also try to inject as much conservative Christianity into them as possible, in order to undermine pluralism and separation of church and state. Currently through Project Blitz (it's really called that):

23. I want to return to a point in the first tweet in this thread, where I asserted that we let evangelicals (and other radical right-wingers) get away with dishonesty. Despite everything I just laid out above, we treat them as if they're participating in democracy in good faith.
24. They demonstrably aren't--the vast majority of white/conservative evangelicals are anti-pluralist and therefore anti-democratic? Don't believe me re: "vast majority"? Have some relevant data:

#ExposeChristianSchools #ExposeChristianHomeschooling
25. The issue of handling intolerance in a democracy is a tricky one, but I'm confident of one thing. Theorists of democracy like Karl Popper and John Rawls, were they alive today, would tell us we've let things to way too far when an "intolerant sect" is at the center of power.
26. So, why is this so hard for so many Americans to see? Two words: Christian privilege. We center Christianity in this country so much that any systemic social criticism of any large Christian group receives immediate and powerful defensive pushback. We need to stop caring.
27. We need to stop caring about this bullying pushback, to start ignoring it and carry on exposing right-wing Christian extremism, because if we don't... "You may not come from Jesus Land, USA, but Jesus Land is coming for you."


28. When you say something like "I can't believe a follower of Jesus would say something so terrible," you center Christianity and enable the Christian Right. Please stop. Christians can be good people or bad people. Like everyone else.

29. Most major media outlets are utterly failing us here. Take this example. As responsible news outlets mostly remain silent on #ExposeChristianSchools, a 4chan-fueled right-wing disinformation campaign has dominated Google search results for the hashtag

30. @TheAtlantic @washingtonpost @Newsweek @maddow @MSNBC @CNN @JoyAnnReid @latimes @sfchronicle, you should be covering #ExposeChristianSchools, #ExposeChristianHomeschooling. Know who's covered it? Breitbart, Matt Walsh, CBN, FOX. By your silence you've thrown us to the wolves.
31. End thread. If you benefit from the content I produce and can afford to, I'd greatly appreciate you pledging a few dollars a month to support my work via @Patreon to help me make it sustainable. patreon.com/cstroop

#TuesdayThoughts #Exvangelical #ExposeChristianSchools
Addendum: If you liked this thread, you might also like this one debunking the talking points of a pastor criticizing #ExposeChristianSchools, and exposing that pastor's evident authoritarianism:

#ExposeChristianHomeschooling #Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
*go way too far
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