There’s a direct line between Christian #purityculture and the racist Atlanta shooter. Purity culture is not conducive to a healthy sexual ethic. Men raised in it are taught to view women with suspicion, as objects whose purpose is to draw them into sin.
#EmptyThePews #churchtoo
You’re also taught that your sexual urges are completely uncomfortable, that it’s only a matter of time until you hurt someone. In my Sunday school, they taught us that having sexual thoughts was akin to “raping a woman in your mind.”
#EmptyThePews #churchtoo
Combine all of that with an intense “warrior for God” philosophy, a desensitization to violence as well as emotion, and the racism baked into American Christianity, then physically violent action is sure to follow.
#EmptyThePews #churchtoo
Let me break it down this way:

In Ken Burns Vietnam documentary, one vet described how he only killed one person in the field. The rest he killed were “commies,” “targets” and all the racial slurs they used over there.
#churchtoo #EmptyThePews
He called this “Racism 101.” Reduce the people you hate to abstractions.

This is how men are taught to view women. They’re either “jezebels/temptations” or “prizes for a virtuous man of God.” Women are not viewed as people in American Christianity.
#churchtoo #EmptyThePews
Last week there was a ridiculous debate on Twitter where a lot of Christian pastors argued that empathy is a sin. And I can tell you from personal experience that just leads to you reducing everyone to inhuman objects/abstracts.
#EmptyThePews #churchtoo
How many women have had Christian men try to pick the up by saying, “I believe God wants us to be together.”? The woman’s thoughts on the matter don’t factor into the equation.
#churchtoo #EmptyThePews
How many Christian marriage books are there telling wives they should have sex with their husbands whenever they want it, cause the husband is entitled to having his urges satisfied? That he’ll go somewhere else if you don’t give it to him?
#churchtoo #EmptyThePews
Christianity primes men to believe they are inherently aggressive in every aspect of their lives, but especially in regards to sex, and millions of boys are raised with this horseshit until we believe it.
#EmptyThePews #churchtoo
But we’re also taught to believe this aggression is virtuous when used to combat sin. So for many Christian men, in the quiet spaces where they’d never say it out loud, they’re going to be nodding along with what the Atlanta shooter did.
#EmptyThePews #churchtoo
Cause they’re all sitting there thinking, “That could be me but for the grace of God.,” and not, “I have developed violent anti-social attitudes towards people and/or an extremely harmful sexual ethic?”
#churchtoo #EmptyThePews
I know we’re going to seen dozens of articles in Christian spaces talking about how #purityculture could have stopped this. It won’t. It was part of why it happened. And it’s why it will happen again.
#EmptyThePews #churchtoo
To end this, I’ll remind everyone not to kid themselves, #purityculture was only a part of the Atlanta shooter’s motivation. It was a racist hate crime. He literally shouted, “You’ll pay for COVID!” before he killed people.
Violent misogyny, racism, and Christianity are all intertwined in American Christianity, and it cannot be ignored how it created the Atlanta shooter.

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More from @Ford_Ebling

15 Mar
CW /// Sexual Assault
There's something I want to clarify about this person, in regards to the abuse I went through. He was not a pastor. He was not a volunteer in the youth group. We were both 14 to 16 when he abused me.
#churchtoo #sbctoo #EmptyThePews
Abuse is encouraged in the #SBC, in many different ways. Here's a good thread from @ErikMKort about it. But the way I'm most familiar with is interpersonal male violence, which is both encouraged and indeed taught in the SBC.
#churchtoo #EmptyThePews

The violence in my @livinghopebg youth group was emotional, physical, and sexual. We would be berated in front of the entire group if any of the leadership found out we had done something they considered sinful.
#churchtoo #EmptyThePews
Read 24 tweets
31 Jan
CW — sexual assault
#churchtoo #EmptyThePews

Last December was a year since I came forward about being sexually assaulted at @livinghopebg.
I didn’t mark it in any way.
One reason is because I don’t feel like anything has happened since.
But there was another reason:
#churchtoo #EmptyThePews
Awhile back I decided to find out what it looked like to report SA to a larger #SBC org, to see what their process was, to see if they were really “Caring Well,” as @jdgreear and the rest of the #SBC resolved to do.
#churchtoo #EmptyThePews
So I contacted @IMB_SBC via their instant messaging service on their website (using a fake name), and asked where I could report sexual assault. They directed me to this woman, Somer Nowak.
Read 24 tweets
26 Feb 20
I say this fully knowing who I am and what background I come from, but if there’s anything that can be salvaged from Christianity, if it can be saved at all, it will not be done by white men.
And probably not by white people in general.
For me, saying, “I used to be a Christian” is the same as me saying, “I used to be a skinhead.” Cause I came from a particularly nationalistic, military-worshipping, dominionist, White-centric brand of Christianity.
And despite what every condescending “Not All Christians” bastard might say, there differences between a lot of the big denoms are not all that different. They have a lot of inconsequential theological differences, but the things they want are the same.
Read 14 tweets

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