Chrissy Stroop Profile picture
May 25, 2018 20 tweets 13 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1. I'd like to return to @ryanjbell's question of what it means to be #Exvangelical. I suspect that the vast majority of us identifying with the term would agree that there's much more to #BeingExvangelical than dropping a label. But what else do we share? Some thoughts.
2. First off, let me say that no one can speak for all ex-evangelicals, or exvies, as we have come to be known. We do have many overlapping experiences (that are alien and confusing to most Americans) deriving from what @brchastain calls our shared toxic sociocultural heritage.
3. That being said, while some great memoirs and other projects have been out there for years exposing the rot at the core of conservative/white evangelicalism, theocracy rising in the form of Trumpism has galvanized us into forming a more self-conscious and cohesive community.
4. What the #Exvangelical community and movement is seems to confuse many people. Some are thrown off by the notion that we neither have nor seek a shared theology. Some of us reject metaphysics altogether. Others are confused by us not being strictly a group of militant atheists
5. Indeed, on the whole we believe in building bridges between ex-evangelicals who land in healthier religion and those who land in no religion at all, precisely because we have a lot in common. Exploring what we have in common helps us heal and helps expose evangelical extremism
6. As we are beginning to gain media attention, to be treated as stakeholders in public discussions of evangelicalism, it is important to me that #Exvangelical folks not be conflated with evangelicals simply wanting to escape a deservedly tainted label:…
7. But what are the things that hold us together? While @brchastain tends to focus on an "apophatic," or negative, definition of #Exvangelical, I'd argue that on the whole #BeingExvangelical means a number of shared values and commitments.

8. If you want to get a handle on who exvies are, you need to consider why we're #Exvangelical in the first place. Many, maybe most, of us have religious trauma, probably (as a rule) because there is something about who we inherently are that is incompatible with evangelicalism.
9. This is why you'll find a disproportionate number of women and members of the LGBTQ community in the self-conscious #Exvangelical movement, along with abuse survivors and those who cannot tolerate anti-intellectualism:…

#BeingExvangelical #ChurchToo
10. The far and away most prominent strain in today's white evangelicalism is authoritarian; this results naturally from commitments to biblicism, inerrancy, and proselytizing. It is grounded in white supremacism. #Exvangelical folks reject this.…
11. In rejecting the white supremacist authoritarianism of American evangelicalism, most of us in the #Exvangelical community embrace commitments to feminism, intersectionality, LGBTQ affirmation, and anti-racism. We value moral autonomy, consent, and boundaries.
12. Those of us in the #Exvangelical community who are white--and we are majority white, in part because we come out of a majority white tradition--can always learn to do better as allies to POC, certainly myself included. But as a rule we strive to work for social justice.
13. This makes us "satanic" according to many Southern Baptists and other toxic evangelicals, and as a largely millennial community fluent in internet culture, we push back creatively. Would you please join us and #VoteSatan in this poll?

14. And as we are a multi-generational if heavily millennial community committed to social justice, we tend to have little patience for respectability politics. This doesn't mean we reject pluralism. We aim our criticism at those who do and their enablers

15. We also generally have a strong sense, backed up by plenty of documented facts about the Christian Right, that white evangelicalism is a serious threat to democracy and human rights. In doing what we do online, one of our key goals is to warn Americans about rising theocracy.
16. We're committed to telling hard truths, like those associated with #ChurchToo, which @hannahpaasch and @emilyjoypoetry coined, partly inspired by both #MeToo and #EmptyThePews. My take on Billy Graham's death is far from the hagiographic norm:…
17. These are my observations about the #Exvangelical community. I would love to hear others' thoughts. There is little data about us yet, but we are being studied by scholars including @realDrRuth, @JoshuaGrubbsPhD, and @JosieMcskimming, so there will be more data eventually.
18. If you'd like to see others' takes on what identifying as #Exvangelical means to them, follow the hashtag #BeingExvangelical. And if you are an exvie with something to add, or you object to something I've stated in this thread, please reply. Let's have a discussion.
19. The #Exvangelical community has made powerful use of social media, and will continue to. Here's a post from my blog, #NotYourMissionField, highlighting some recent exvie achievements in this regard:…

#EmptyThePews #BeingExvangelical #ChurchToo
20. If you appreciate this thread and my work, I'd be sincerely thankful if you would support it via Patreon:

I've finished my third academic year in temporary positions at USF and no longer have a full-time job with benefits; your contributions help.

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More from @C_Stroop

Oct 1, 2018
1. I just sent out this month's newsletter for all @Patreon patrons who support me with a $5 or higher monthly pledge. If you find my work valuable and would like the inside Stroop scoop, please consider joining them!

#Exvangelical #SundayThoughts
2. At the end of the last academic year, I faced a choice--move back in with my parents in Indiana to pursue the freelance writing and speaking opportunities I was getting more of, or adjunct at the University of South Florida for low pay and no benefits. Or find something new.
3. Here's a thread with some of my life story up to the present. The travel to Austria next spring to do a semester of research mentioned in it fell through despite me having been promised it for years.

Read 15 tweets
Sep 29, 2018
Another reversal of an improvement for LGBTQ acceptance in an evangelical institution (World Vision is the other one I have in mind). Evangelicalism doesn’t change its patriarchal ways. It just casts out the people who would make it better.

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #Resist
Of course Wheaton might be the more direct parallel.…

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews
For more on the authoritarian enforcement of hardline conservative orthodoxy at evangelical colleges, see my latest for @Playboy:…

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #SaturdayThoughts
Read 4 tweets
Sep 19, 2018
I also RT requests for financial help fairly often. Unfortunately, many in the #Exvangelical community have needs and are hampered by lack of education, meaningless degrees, or lack of professional experience outside evangelical institutions. The social costs of leaving are high.
I don’t want or expect anyone who can’t afford it to give, and I don’t want anyone to feel obligated; even just RTing those requests is immensely helpful. It is my hope that someday we’ll have some kind of foundation to fund #Exvangelical projects and meet needs. #EmptyThePews
Sometimes crowdfunding is all that stands between an #Exvangelical and homelessness, or being forced to return to a toxic, abusive living situation. That’s the uncomfortable reality. I do make small donations myself to almost every fundraising request I amplify.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 13, 2018
“We have to put citizens at the heart of our response to disinformation.” - Nina Jankowicz (@wiczipedia) at the Indiana Council on World Affairs.
One thing social media sites should be doing is providing a simplified approach to their terms of service so that users can provide informed consent.

Enforcement of terms of service also needs to be consistent, and cannot he left to algorithms alone.
Social media platforms should step up to pay for human processes re: terms of service violations and appeals. Democracy is at stake.

They can also embrace more of an educational role with respect to information literacy.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 7, 2018
September is a big month! I’m at the airport on my way Florida for The #Exvangelical Community: Paths, Projects, Prospects. In the last two days I’ve filed two pieces with editors, and this week I did podcasts w/ @NiceMangos and @kitchencultpod (@haettinger and @mxdarkwater). #FF
Next weekend I’ll be in Charleston, South Carolina to give a talk for @CHShumanists, and am very much looking forward to that! October is also pretty full!

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #FridayFeeIing #FF
And next week I’ll also be doing a second podcast episode with @TwistedSisterds! It’ll be my second time on, and I sure had fun last time!

#Exvangelical #FF
Read 4 tweets
Aug 28, 2018
1. A few thoughts on Trump's dinner in honor of evangelicals, which I'll be discussing with @RickSmithShow later. Key context to consider is that fascism is concerned with defining who belongs to "the nation" or "the people," and who doesn't. Internal enemies (Others) are needed.
2. This dovetails neatly with the way in which fundamentalist believers police who does and does not count as a member of their religious confession. This is critical to understanding the Christian Right's politics of "religious freedom":

3. Indeed, as I have written elsewhere, "Fundamentalism is authoritarianism in microcosm, or on the margins. Fascism is essentially fundamentalism in power." The vast majority of white evangelicals are authoritarian and fundamentalist.…

Read 25 tweets

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