I am going to say uncomfortable things. Christians you will probably be activated. Your nervous system is going to tell you it’s dangerous and you have to defend your faith. Take a min, google the Backfire effect and be mindful of that.

On psychological abuse:
Psychological abuse comes from constant and calculated use of words and non-physical behavior to manipulate, coerce, shame, guilt or frighten a person. It results in influencing thoughts and behavior, distorts people’s reality and affects their sense of self and wellbeing.

Indoctrinating children into a religion, and teaching them implicitly or explicitly that their belonging to their family and/or God hinges on their compliance and agreement to this religion; is psychological abuse.

Using ppl’s circumstances to convince them their issues come from not having a “relationship w/God,” and seeking to convert them; is psychological abuse.

Telling ppl their feelings or judgements aren’t real but the consequence of bitterness or sin; is psychological abuse.

Making people distrust themselves by convincing them the voice of leaders/pastors/parents is the same as the voice of God; is psychological abuse.

Convincing people their heart/emotions/intuition is wicked and can’t be trusted; is psychological abuse.

Making people believe there is a perfect will of God that they may miss if they don’t submit to someone else’s will, or if they leave a church or set boundaries with family; is psychological abuse.

Denying someone reality and convincing them they are not spiritual enough and need to read more, pray more, submit more; instead of admitting they are being abused and are rightfully distressed; is psychological abuse.

Trivializing someone’s experiences and calling the victim too emotional, too sensitive, or too “spiritually immature” when they point out problematic behavior; is psychological abuse.

Blaming people who are speaking about abusive behavior, or harmful practices; for problems in a church/home/organization; is psychological abuse (the organization/family isn’t doing well because people being abused are “sowing division,” is victim blaming).

Lying about a people’s character and actions when they speak of abuse; calling them sinners, jealous, people working for the devil, demon possessed... etc; is psychological abuse.

Victim’s of psychological abuse don’t know what’s real and what’s not, they gaslight themselves and deny their own reality because they have been conditioned to trust their abuser’s words more than their lived experiences.

They have difficulty making decisions because they don’t know how to trust their choices. That is used against them to prove they can’t trust themselves creating a cycle of abuse. Their emotional state is fragile because they are perpetually in fight/flight mode.

They feel anxious all the time, and are often depressed but don’t know it. They apologize when they haven’t made a mistake. They have a hard time relaxing and enjoying life because they can’t trust positive or negative emotions they experience.

They have been convinced, and convince themselves this is the norm, the way life is for everyone; especially if it is the norm in their homes and then also their churches.

It is not normal to not trust yourself, to second guess even trivial decisions, to have an inability to relax. There is life outside of this toxicity and we don’t have to remain in spaces where we have to deny reality to avoid conflict.

If this is something you have experienced or are currently experiencing I am so sorry. I have a list of resources on healing from trauma in the link on my bio. If it is safe for you and you can, it’s ok to leave. If it’s isn’t, I hope you can find pockets of safety,
people online and/or offline who are safe for you and validate you. You are not alone, you aren’t the only person who is going through or has gone through this. I am cheering on you.

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More from @JoLuehmann

20 Feb
We live in a society that misunderstands boundaries and consent. Most people think the former is about just saying no, and the latter is about sex. And while that’s a part of it, they are about agency, autonomy, respect and interpersonal relationships.

Unsolicited advice without consent is crossing a person’s boundaries. Even if the advice is good advice, even if the person giving the advice is a pastor or a parent, even if the advice is important. Most people aren’t talking about their life so that we may solve it.

It is an honor to be trusted with someone’s life story*, with their thoughts and their challenges, with their struggles and their musings. But it is not an open invitation to try and solve their problems, control their behavior, tell them what to do.

Read 13 tweets
18 Feb
Me - The Bible isn’t the word of God.

Christians - The Bible is true.

Me - literature being true ≠ literature being the word of God.

Me - Churches please stop abusing people.

Christians - You’ll never find a perfect church.

Me - Churches not abusing ≠ churches being perfect.

Me - Christianity has been used to harm too many people.

Christians - So has Islam!

Me - Christianity being used to abuse ≠ Christianity is the only thing used to abuse.

Read 7 tweets
17 Feb
“we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.”

Rush Limbaugh
“You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray. We miss you, James. Godspeed.”

“They’re 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?”

Rush Limbaugh
“Holocaust 90 million Indians? Only four million left? They all have casinos, what's to complain about?"

“‘No’ means ‘yes’ if you know how to spot it.”

"Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society."

Rush Limbaugh
Read 8 tweets
17 Feb
Spirituality and faith having been meaningful tools of liberation for BIPOC and other marginalized people. Our ancestors resisted white supremacist/empire theology with their brilliance and relationship with the divine within and around them. We follow in their steps.

Our words, our theology, and our spiritual beliefs scare white supremacy and demand it back off. Our spiritual practices provide liberation. We have been silenced because our spirituality leads to the dismantling of oppression and that doesn’t serve empire theology.

Nobody has to reclaim Christianity, or theology at all; and nobody gets to ask marginalized folks not to reclaim that which saved us. Christianity isn’t just the weapon of white supremacy used against all of us. It has always been a tool for the marginalized too. Both.

Read 5 tweets
16 Feb
I am going to say something very uncomfortable. Read before you react please.

Purity culture encourages pedophilia, a thread:
Purity culture encourages pedophilia.

Some of the standards of purity culture are innocence (pretty much ignorance about sex), submission (for women), virginity as the ultimate standard, and “modesty” (for women that is wearing clothes that don’t reveal their adult curves)*
Purity culture makes the desirable standard a child. It makes child likeness desirable in regards to sexuality. It makes virginity, and innocence, and submission; what the male brain should want most in a partner. And your brain doesn’t rewire just because you get married.
Read 12 tweets
15 Feb
Hell as a place of eternal torment garnered power centuries after Jesus died; partly to appease the conscience of Christian leaders and justify punitive justice as a viable and appropriate response of an abusive state against its citizens. If God does it why can’t the state?

Christianity wasn’t resisting the abuses of the empire now, even after having been subjects of it for centuries. Instead Christianity was finding justifiable answers in their theology in regards to why the abuses of the empire were not only appropriate, but also godly.

Christian theologians that were seeing power and privilege after so many years of oppression, chose to protect themselves and hoard privilege, over fighting for equity and heaven for all. In doing so they offered the empire a powerful weapon: god sanctioned abuse.

Read 5 tweets

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