, 17 tweets, 13 min read Read on Twitter
0. Redoing earlier thread as after discussion with @AngryBlackLady, @memnosoncos, and others I’ve agreed that while the original hashtag speaks to earlier self-definition, it’s better to use #ExForcedBirth as a clear rejection of the false “pro-life” framing.

1. When you grow up evangelical, you have the message that “abortion is murder” and “a literal holocaust” pounded into your head from early childhood. For many in the #Exvangelical community, men and women, these extremist lies can be very hard to shake.

#ExForcedBirth #Resist
2. Even the brilliant @rachelheldevans, who recently died far too young, could only bring herself to argue against single-issue voting on abortion and that it was hardly pro-life to support so many inhumane policies while being anti-choice


3. Thus I think it could be particularly powerful for those of us in the #Exvangelical, #ExCatholic, #LeftTheFold community to tell our stories of changing our minds on abortion despite being inundated with decades of highly emotional #ChristianAltFacts propaganda. #ExForcedBirth
4. Despite having qualms at least as far back as high school, it took me a very long time to be able to stop believing "abortion is murder" and to really shake that emotional baggage. Indoctrination is a helluva drug

#ExForcedBirth #EmptyThePews #Resist

5. The first presidential election I was able to vote in, at age 20, was in 2000. I'm an early 80s kids, which, since I grew up evangelical, means I'm part of what I call #GenerationCultureWars. And guess what? I voted for George W. Bush. Why? "Because abortion." #ExForcedBirth
6. By then, I had a lot of qualms about W. and the GOP. My values were increasingly not their values. But I simply could not get away from the haunting thought that "Democrats murder babies." From as early as five or so our church lionized deceptive "crisis pregnancy centers."
7. I was able to move away from being a single-issue voter over abortion well before I was really able to call myself pro-choice or an advocate of reproductive justice. Voted Kerry in 2004. Have been voting straight Dem ever since. But guilt over abortion lingered. #ExForcedBirth
8. I cannot tell you exactly when I really became pro-choice. In grad school, as I became increasingly vocal about my support for LGBTQ rights, I also became opposed to any criminalization of abortion, but I still wasn't sure abortion wasn't murder. #Exvangelical #ExForcedBirth
9. I suppose it was in my mid-30s that I really became confident abortion is very much *NOT* murder, about the same time I became comfortable criticizing evangelicalism in a very public way. That in turn was associated with delayed recognition of my own queerness. #ExForcedBirth
10. Around the same time, I stopped being viscerally afraid of hell, even though I had stopped intellectually believing in hell over a decade prior. As with #PurityCulture generally, these effects of indoctrination don't just disappear. #ExForcedBirth

11. Evangelicals and similar authoritarian ideologues are hard to reach. High-cost, cult-like religious communities saddle their members with all kinds of internalized disciplinary mechanisms to keep them in the fold.


#ExForcedBirth #Exvangelical #Resist
12. Sometimes change does prove possible. It's just really, really hard to stand for your new convictions when a) doing so makes you feel like a traitor to your family and may get you treated as one, and b) you're fighting self-talk that goes back to early childhood socialization
13. For myself, this essay by @lovejoyfeminism exposing the brazen hypocrisy and fake #ChristianAltFacts "science" of the "pro-life" movement helped me immensely in terms of becoming comfortable with a robustly pro-choice stance:


#ExForcedBirth #Resist
14. I didn't have one moment of "conversion" away from the anti-choice propaganda I'd had hammered into my head all my life. As with deconstruction and deconversion in general, this was a protracted process. Now I'm horrified at the Christian Right's power grab. #ExForcedBirth
15. So, that's some of my #ExForcedBirth story. What's yours?

End thread.

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Addendum: Here's another thread that will help you understand my #ExForcedBirth journey and thinking as an #Exvangelical. There is always so much propaganda to unpack:

#ThursdayMotivation #AlabamaAbortionBan #GileadIsComing #EmptyThePews #TheResistance
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