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1. While there hasn’t been much recent media attention to the #ExposeChristianSchools hashtag that went viral in January, the discussion continues, along with #ExposeChristianHomeschooling and threads on primary sources. I want to share some highlights and ideas in this thread.
2. Why do Christian schools need exposing? Short answer: the Christian Right has radicalized the GOP and is in power. It is the single greatest threat to democracy and human rights in America today. And private schools and homeschooling are part of its long-term plan.
3. To understand how Christian Reconstructioists/Dominionists played and play an active role in creating evangelical school and homeschooling curricula as a means of radicalizing children and mobilizing them to impose theocracy, read @julieingersoll's book Building God's Kingdom.
3-a. Other people whose published work (including journalism, commentary, memoirs, and blogging) in this area will be helpful: @rklein90 (huffingtonpost.com/entry/school-v…), @mxdarkwater (autostraddle.com/i-was-trained-…), @KEBrightbill, @kathsstewart, @samanthapfield, @jonjones. #FF
4. The American public has a hard time seeing the danger to pluralism and democracy that Christian--particularly evangelical/fundamentalist--schools represent for a variety of reasons. Christian privilege pervades U.S. society. We give undue deference to any large Christian group
5. Evangelical leaders know how to exploit this situation, pressing their advantage to cultivate close ties to journalists. For the last few decades they have mostly been able to control their own image in the press, but this is starting to change.

6. One reason it's starting to change is that massive and enduring Trump support has caused many pundits to realize they did not understand them. This occurred as the #Exvangelical community and movement was gaining visibility, and now we sometimes get our views represented.
6-a. By the way, if you have doubts that white evangelicals are America's most racist, Trumpist, and generally illiberal demographic, see the receipts in this thread:

#Exvangelical #ExposeChristianSchools #ExposeChristianHomeschooling #FridayMotivation
7. Another reason that it has now become possible to change the national conversation on evangelicals is that their own pervasive abuses, similar to those of the Catholic Church, are finally starting to come to light:


#Exvangelical #ChurchToo #Resist
8. But former evangelicals have been telling our stories for decades and yet going largely unheard, or being dismissed as isolated anecdotes. There are memoirs, blogs--but until around the 2016 election, there was no united community and movement. Now there is.
9. Only collectively can the voices of ex-evangelicals/exvies who were often traumatized in what is an inherently abusive, authoritarian religious system break through into the U.S. mainstream. Social media has helped to make that happen.


10. And hashtag campaigns like #EmptyThePews, #ChurchToo, #RaptureAnxiety, #ExposeChristianSchools, and #ExposeChristianHomeschooling have been a key method for us to gain visibility. Here's the story behind #ExposeChristianSchools:


11. That too much of the supposedly "liberal" media continues to treat evangelicals and the broader Christian Right with kid gloves remains a problem, though. The Right reacted to #ExposeChristianSchools in a rabid frenzy and effectively derailed the conversation for a while.
12. Right-wing propaganda continues to misrepresent #ExposeChristianSchools as something created by "media elites" rather than by survivors who want to speak out against the racism, queerphobia, misogyny, and #ChristianAltFacts that were part of our childhood indoctrination.
13. But #Exvangelical folx have continued to create content revealing the white supremacist patriarchal and anti-science nature of "educational" materials and other artifacts of evangelical subculture and simply to tell our stories. And we continue to get some press as well.
14. If you want to take on the Christian Right's power, one of the most productive things you can do is amplify #Exvangelical voices and perspectives. Help other people who have no clue what evangelicalism is like to understand why it's important to raise awareness.
16. I also want to highlight people producing threads using primary sources from evangelical subculture in order to expose the extremism--you need to see this stuff to believe it. #FF

@JTReese89 @Prester_Jane @QuiverfullTwee1 @profagagne @KEBrightbill @RLStollar @Antichristofa
16-a. People (and organizations) who aren't #exvangelical themselves but do great research, journalism, and threads, that I haven't yet mentioned: @brucewilson @PaulHRosenberg @FredClarkson @PRAEyesRight @petemont @kathrynajoyce @sarahposner @RightWingWatch #FF #Resist
17. When it comes to primary sources, I’ve been thinking of doing more with them myself. Inspired by @XianJaneway, the other day I ouckrd up a bunch of mostly 90s evangelical lit at my local Goodwill. This way they’re out of circulation and can be used to document extremism.
18. I may start a series of analyses of these old books on #NotYourMissionField (my blog, found at cstroop.com). Check out the thorough Twitter threads on evangelical books by @sparkle_heretic, by the way; they've been covering James Dobson and Elisabeth Elliot. #FF
19. I have some threads planned around certain materials I've got at home, including materials directly from the Christian schools I attended in Indianapolis and Colorado Springs. Think I will also do one on Dinosaurs: Those Terrible Lizards by "creation scientist" Duane T. Gish.
20. The new iteration of @RDispatches at @Rewire_News is also doing great work exposing the Christian Right as a threat to democracy, including with respect to #ExposeChristianSchools and #ExposeChristianHomeschooling. See this piece by @tmamone (#FF):

21. See also this piece on #ExposeChristianHomeschooling by @hannahbrashers (#FF), and make sure to read @RDispatches to keep abreast of what the Christian Right is up to:


#ExposeChristianSchools #Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #Resistance #Resist
22. The struggle for LGBTQ inclusion at evangelical colleges and universities, and administrative crackdowns and purges also need to be part of the #ExposeChristianSchools and #ExposeChristianHomeschooling discussion. I've been doing journalism and commentary on this for years.
23. Want to follow LGBTQ students/activists/alumni of evangelical schools and bost their efforts? This will get your started: @__runningerins @mvsebastian @laurensotolongo (leaders at @BraveCommons); @eve_ettinger @jasonadauer @Kate_Joyce_ @thatmaddiem @ChristyLamberts #FF
24. Evangelicals live to varying degrees in a parallel America of their own making, where #ChristianAltFacts go unchallenged and white supremacist patriarchal authority is not to be questioned:


#ExposeChristianSchools #Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #Resist
25. You might think this parallel authoritarian evangelical America has nothing to do with you, and evangelicals themselves would love for you to go on thinking that--because then we won't change anything in terms of public discussion and policies that might curtail their agenda.
26. But in fact the parallel evangelical America is currently at the very heart of power. Being anti-democratic and anti-pluralist, white evangelical leaders have no scruples about imposing their beliefs on the rest of us through the coercive force of law

27. And remember, white evangelicals are Trump's base. They are actively helping him dismantle what's left of American democracy. They will gladly impose minority authoritarian rule for as long as they can. Want to stop them? Then raise awareness. Amplify #Exvangelical voices.
28. I'll end this thread here. If you value the content I produce and can afford to, I would greatly appreciate you pledging a few dollars a month via @Patreon to make my work as a writer, speaker, commentator, and activist/advocate sustainable. Thanks!

Addendum: You can also catch me tonight discussing the connections between right-wing Christianity, white supremacism, and terrorist violence like we just saw in New Zealand on @RickSmithShow tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern.

#Exvangelical #FridayThoughts #Resist
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