Just when @nytimes was starting to do better on their reporting about evangelical Christians, we get another classic, terribly-framed, schmaltzy and overly sympathetic piece about white Christians in middle America.

Every single excuse they bring up in this article is political
Conservative Christians like white evangelicals love to claim they’re being “apolitical” when they transparently are not. The rhetorical move is an eminently political power grab—using the appeal of being “above politics” and “not being divisive” to gain moral authority
I wrote a bit about that dynamic here

Also, how out of touch with middle America do you have to be up write a sentence like “Drug busts for heroin and methamphetamine sustain a humming cottage industry of lawyers and bail bonds services”? 🤦‍♀️

A lot of unscientific bunk is also left unchallenged in this article
In short, this is a terrible model for journalism, @nytimes, and it is high time to retire it. Instead of having your reporters parachute into these places, you could, you know, have the relevant issues covered by people who know the regions and subcultures in question 🤷‍♀️
But even more important than that, @nytimes, you’ve got to stop taking people’s stated motives for things like resisting the COVID vaccine at face value.

And doing that well requires applying a more sophisticated understanding of concepts like politics
It’s true that the people you cover in this article aren’t refusing the vaccine because they’re Republicans. It’s more the other way around—they’re Republicans because they’re the kind of unsympathetic (yeah, I said it) white people who won’t do their part for public health
But I don’t think anyone who read that statement would take it to mean “vaccine ‘skepticism’ isn’t about politics.” Refusing to understand things like herd immunity and to do right by your fellow humans in matters of public health IS OBVIOUSLY ABOUT POLITICS
I guess that’s all I’ve got for the moment. Thanks for coming to my TED talk

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More from @C_Stroop

2 May
This thread lays out the reasons that the kind of interfaith work I prefer to engage in as a non-religious person is issues and advocacy focused. I can bring my experience of growing up with extreme anti-choice ideology to a panel discussion with the @RCRChoice, for example
Or I can bring my understanding of how white Christianity operates to @aejohnsonphd’s classroom for discussion with African-American theology students. I am always honored to get these kinds of invitations and hope I have done the work necessary to add something of value
Transcending the traditional WASPy Protestant-inflected interfaith approach requires creativity. But if religious nones and atheists want to gain influence and representation, we need to not just embrace pluralism in theory, but to show up in practice where there is common ground Image
Read 14 tweets
28 Apr
Closely related to the evangelical taboo on “gossip” is the intense pressure evangelical authorities put on subordinates—incl. parents on children—to be “positive.”

It’s common even among those who don’t embrace the prosperity gospel.

It’s about the church’s “witness,” you see
And this is absolutely part of what was going on at Ramsey Solutions, where even an employee’s spouse mildly questioning a company policy on social media—without even naming the company—was grounds for firing the employee, as @kateshellnutt highlights:

Of course, as many pointed out on Twitter and as I argue in the article linked below, Shellnutt’s framing of her article in terms of “gossip” will only hamper evangelical efforts to prevent abuses of all kinds


#wednesdaythought #EmptyThePews
Read 39 tweets
27 Apr
“That [Santorum’s] bigotry was rooted in religion perhaps gave him a pass, and your network chose to pay this man to pontificate to millions.” -⁦@AndrewLSeidel

#ChristianSupremacyIs@CNN⁩ shamefully platforming a racist Christian nationalist religiondispatches.org/claiming-that-…
On the Pilgrims in Holland - “But freedom meant that others, including members of the flock, were free too, including to leave the sect. Some did. The Pilgrims didn’t want religious freedom, they wanted a government that would enforce their stringent brand of Christianity.”
“So they fled religious freedom so they could establish theocratic enclaves in the wilderness. The same can be said of the Puritans, who regularly banished and even executed people over theological disagreements. This is not freedom, but religious tyranny.”
Read 4 tweets
26 Apr
One thing I'm proud of that I very much never anticipated doing is writing a couple of series of secular reflections for @crystalcheatham's @OurBibleApp--and now I'm speaking at the virtual launch party for the book that's come out of the app! Join us!

When I talk about practicing pluralism, by the way, this is what I mean. Crystal is a queer Christian and one of the coolest and most impressive people I know. I think it's great that she created a digital devotional of sorts that wasn't by and for white conservative Christians
When she invited me to contribute, wanting to include some straight up non-believing secular representation in there, at first I put her off, thinking I would be terrible at writing inspirational literature and just not seeing it. But over a year later, she asked me again
Read 5 tweets
22 Apr
Not gonna lie, two years later, it still hurts to recall how people I liked were willing to just lies and ghost me at the drop of a hat.

And Twitter gets awkward, seeing people I still consider friends have friendly interactions with the ringleaders, or getting tagged w/ them
Not that I expect everyone to know or remember everything about that whole ugly episode. Obviously, that would be an unrealistic and unfair expectation. But the repercussions of the whole thing still suck
*to believe lies
Read 4 tweets
19 Apr
This is day 19 since the original sex-outside-straight-Christian-marriage-is-"dehumanizing" tweet

If someone feels this compelled to keep repeating that something is "stable" and "non-excluding," I think you can be pretty sure it isn't.

The obsessive repetition says more about the people doing the repeating than it does about the world outside them or the people they target
To me, the paradigmatic Protestant example is always good ol' Martin Luther himself. Now there was an obsessive, neurotic, paranoid personality. Read his very testy and adamant "On the Bondage of the Will," a polemic against Renaissance Humanist Erasmus. It is wild
Read 5 tweets

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