A little thread on #deconstruction. The past few wks, my phil of religion students have read essays on the religious exp of ppl in marginalized communities, challenging students to think abt how religion intersects w/ slavery, segregation, ableism, trauma, colonialism & sexism.
Their papers have been pretty 😳, both in how they admit they're largely ignorant of such perspectives & yet the stories resonate w/ them. They have lots to say abt how they feel religious institutions have failed them & give detailed reasons for why the find religion untenable.
There's a whole industry right now of conservatives [usually white guys w/ power] glibly explaining away #deconstruction , #exvangelical & #deconversion stories, often gaslighting victims & blaming them for their own questioning or loss of faith. They simply aren't listening.
When I was 7 yrs old, I went to a church day camp w/ a neighbor. Long story short, my counselor found out I was deaf in one ear so in chapel they had a healing service where all the leaders laid hands on me, & prayed over me in loud voices that I would be miraculously healed.
My counselor then asked, "Can you hear?"

And of course I said, "Yes."

What 7 year-old would want to disappoint all their friends?

What 7 year-old would want to disappoint the mighty power of God?
There are other stories I could tell. I'm incredibly privileged & my stories pale in comparison to the significant forms of abuse & trauma other ppl have exp. in religious spaces. But its still my story. & perhaps it reveals just how pervasive toxic &/or abusive theology exists
On one level, it reveals how churches often view disability. Disabled ppl are pbms to be fixed, deviations from the norm, tests to determine the quality of one's faith. Whether it's because they're in "sin" or because it's just to "show God's glory," it's a pretty damaging view
On another level it reveals the pervasiveness of emotional manipulation. I was often taught not to trust my emotions & yet this setting was highly emotionally-charged, & used against me. It wasn't just abt 'healing' me but getting me to testify my allegiance to the system.
What are the effects of such emotional manipulation on children? I often tell my students that they can reject their upbringing or disagree w/ their parent's religious beliefs...but they can't erase that past. It shapes the very way they comport themselves in the world.
I don't presume to think that my exp allows me to comprehend other forms of marginalization. I also don't think deconversion is the only response to the failures of religion. I share it simply asking that you bear witness to it & make room for listening to others' stories.
Thinking of @MichellePanchuk @scott_m_coley @brchastain @C_Stroop @StephTaitWrites @theKevinGarcia_ @ShannonDingle as I was writing this, all whom have influenced me on these issues

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Brock Bahler (he/him)

Brock Bahler (he/him) Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!