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
Another example: I’m really proud to provide some secular representation in @crystalcheatham’s @OurBibleApp, a devotional app *not* made by and for white conservative Christians. I wrote two series of secular meditations that will also be in the forthcoming book
That book is The Deconstructionists’ Playbook, and you can join us for the launch party, where I’ll be among the speakers!

ourbibleapp.com/launchparty
As atheists, we can silo ourselves off in a land of “pure” antitheism and pat ourselves on the back for being so “smart” (while ignoring misogyny and racism among atheists, or we can realize that antitheism is counterproductive and actually make an impact by practicing pluralism
In so doing, we don’t just gain relevance—we also demand to be treated with equal respect to religious adherents of any kind, and, because we are bringing something to joint efforts with religious people, they have good reason to accept our demand for equality. It goes both ways
In my view, the future of atheist and secular organizing and advocacy lies along this path of embracing and practicing pluralism as we work against the injustices so often perpetuated and supported by conservative Christians
The national atheist organization currently doing the best job on this is @AmericanAtheist. @FFRF also works with interfaith organizations in coalition to oppose Christian nationalism. And what @SarahMLevin is doing for atheist representation in the Democratic Party is amazing
Note that @SarahMLevin is doing this work as Co-Chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Interfaith Council. That’s the channel through which she advocates effectively for recognition and representation of secular Americans. It’s a brilliant example of practicing pluralism
For more details on Levin’s role and what progress has been made with respect to secular representation in the Democratic Party, see:

religiondispatches.org/in-convention-…
If you’re thinking, I’m not the kind of person who can play a key role in a national organization, don’t despair. Local and state-level church-state separation battles are crucial. You can get involved. And don’t be afraid of working with religious folks who are on the right side
Also, recognize that a robust understanding of church-state separation involves issues that affect more people than just straight white men. If secular organizers, advocates, and activists aren’t fighting the current state-level onslaught against trans kids, we’re doing it wrong
And that’s just one example. But now that I’ve listed what I see as some productive ways for secular Americans to practice pluralism in this thread, I’m curious.

What does #PracticingPluralism look like to you? Maybe we can make this hashtag a thing? Tweet your thoughts!

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More from @C_Stroop

4 May
But honestly have they tried just not being evangelical. I mean, no one is born evangelical. It’s a destructive lifestyle choice they recruit children into
Also, evangelicals should not be allowed in bathrooms or locker rooms with girls. Or boys. I propose we require religion checks before letting anyone who looks evangelical into these spaces
COVID-19 is clearly a punishment on evangelicals for their morally reprehensible and thoroughly disgusting lifestyle. Could we maybe just send all those maskless, anti-vax freaks off to an island somewhere?
Read 8 tweets
1 May
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

religiondispatches.org/christian-righ…
Read 9 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:

christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/may-ju…
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

religiondispatches.org/whats-wrong-wi…

#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!

ourbibleapp.com/launchparty
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

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