, 28 tweets, 12 min read Read on Twitter
Okay #BachelorNation. My name is Emily Joy, I'm a lesbian with an unhealthy obsession with this show, I have a degree in philosophical theology & apologetics from Moody Bible Institute, and if you're wondering what the fuck is going on I'm here to break it down. #TheBachelorette
In last night's episode @AlabamaHannah referenced the biblical story of the woman caught in adultery & the words of Jesus when he said, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone." The story she's referring to can be found here in the gospel of John: biblegateway.com/passage/?searc…
Now a couple interesting things to note: 1) unlike a lot of other Jesus stories, this one is found *only* in the gospel of John & not the others, and 2) there is good scholarly consensus that this bit of John was added later and was not a part of the original text of the gospel.
Nevertheless the average reader doesn't know this and most translations don't note it. So to most Christians it usually takes on whatever authority and gravity they give the other words of Jesus. Read it yourself, but usually in an Evangelical context, it's interpreted as such:
The woman is the main sinner in the story. Jesus forgives her and rightly points out to those gathered that if we're playing Sin Olympics everyone loses, but also tells her to "go and sin no more," which is interpreted to mean that she still needs to stop being so slutty.
There's just about 1,000 problems with this regardless of what you think the story's non-originality means for the weight it should be given. Not the least of which is that the laws of Moses cited by the gathered crowd specify that both parties in adultery be stoned but I digress
Anyway, this story is super duper not about the woman's sexual practices, but it's made to be about that in many churches/sermons/tweets because that's more convenient than dealing with the fact that it is actually about power and resisting the oppression of marginalized bodies.
Also, women had very few rights in this context and frankly it's difficult to say whether or not everything that happened to her was consensual. According to the same laws cited by the crowd men could divorce their wives for small infractions. Check out Deuteronomy 24 on that
But the thing is, @luke_parker777 doesn't care and maybe doesn't even know about any of this. You see Luke is operating out of a mindset that we In The Business™️ call "purity culture": the religious corollary of rape culture. And boy does it show.
People often ask me what my definition of #purityculture is. This is my elevator pitch: "Purity culture is total sexual abstinence until legal monogamous heterosexual marriage… or else." There's always an "or else," but what that is will vary based on your denomination/community
#PurityCulture is a historically recent invention born out of a multitude of social, cultural and political factors, and it's only very loosely "biblical" in the strict sense of the word. But it's a litmus test Christians like @luke_parker777 use to determine who's "in."
Earlier today Twitter user @MatthewBoedy pointed me to this article written by a relative of Luke's who is a part of Luke's community and according to the article whose home Luke even lived in for a time. It's um a lot but it's here if you wanna read it: buckykennedyministries.org/the-bible-and-…
It's nothing special, it parrots the same-old same-old tenants of #purityculture as if they are in any way remotely valid or healthy, but it just goes to show that this isn't just @luke_parker777. Luke's on TV, but millions of Christians believe and teach this.
You can see it in the way @luke_parker777 felt a sense of ownership and entitlement to @AlabamaHannah's body. Similarly to the gathered crowd before Jesus, Luke believed he was there to police the vulnerable body of the accused woman, and that this was within his right.
Even in the way @luke_parker777 weaponizes "sin" in the Twitter exchanges that started this thread. "Sinners who laugh at their sin" "I'm weeping at mine [sin] & you're laughing at yours" To even engage in dialogue is to concede that consensual non-married sex is inherently sin.
And if you read the responses to the tweets it's astounding how many Evangelical tweeters are quoting Jesus from John and saying "yeah but you missed the part where Jesus said to go and sin no more!!!!!" like that has anything to do with consensual non-marital sex in 2019
Now I'll show my cards here for a moment & say that I was raised Evangelical but I'm a very nominal Episcopalian now & I don't think it's a good idea to try to use the Bible to justify every sex act you ever engage in & person(s) you engage in it with using a chapter and a verse.
BUT, even if you're more committed to the authority of the Bible as the cannon of books exists in the year 2019, it is extremely dishonest to use this story as a morality tale to teach abstinence until state-sanctioned marriage between a cishet man and a cishet woman. Like. Wut.
Borrow a fucking lexicon. Read a commentary. Read any of the popular-level books about Christian spirituality & sexual ethics that have been written in the last few years. There's a bunch of good ones & I guarantee you life is so much bigger & better than #purityculture teaches.
Anyway I guess all I'm saying is that @luke_parker777 has terrible hermeneutics, and I really feel for @AlabamaHannah as a woman who is trying to navigate the baggage #purityculture tries to saddle you with and on national television to boot.
Also I would like to say that I got made fun of a lot in my dorm at Moody Bible Institute for watching #TheBachelor franchise but I knew it would all come in handy one day. Hope you read this @AlabamaHannah as @nayyirahwaheed says there is more extraordinary love out there.
If you're wondering what the fuck is happening with all this talk of sin and stones and marriage beds and women caught in adultery, this is the thread for you.

#TheBachelorette #BachelorNation @BacheloretteABC @BachelorABC @RealitySteve @chrisbharrison #purityculture
This is an old tweet that I have zero regrets about
ADDENDUM: I’ve been getting a lot of DMs with this thread and I want to pose a question that I posed at my workshop at @WildGooseFest last weekend and it’s this: Why are people so fucking terrified of changing their minds on their theology of sexuality?
People have reached out to share with me that they have no idea where to go from here and they’re scared, and some have asked for resources but told me they’re probably not going to change their mind, almost as if they’re assuring themselves more than they’re assuring me.
I think in large part it’s because in the post-I Kissed Dating Goodbye era one’s theology of sexuality has become as I mentioned above a litmus test for “true Christianity.” If you were a true Christian obviously you’d be convicted about your sin but you’re not so you’re not real
Saying you don’t think sex before marriage is a sin can get you kicked out of some jobs, churches, families, communities. Now double that if you’re gay or even just trying to be an ally. Orgs have made whole-ass creeds (google “The Nashville Statement” if your stomach is strong)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a thousand more times: it’s impossible to do good moral reasoning with a gun to your head. The threat of disownment, ostracization, loss, and even death will always yield ethics characterized by shame, fear, and abuse of power.
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