Chrissy Stroop Profile picture
Aug 28, 2018 25 tweets 17 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
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.…

4. One thing we can take away from the remarks Trump made while "honoring" radical evangelicals last night is that he still speaks their language very poorly, but their support for him has never been about him being one of them. It's about power, control, advancing their agenda.
4-a. From a religious studies perspective, this absolutely does not make them "fake Christians," and that framing is an unhelpful, usually defensive, deflection that detracts from formulating effective responses to Christofascism.…

#Exvangelical #Resist
5. Here is the transcript of the remarks Trump made last night. He names a number of the guests, all hardline evangelicals (including token minorities like Ben Carson) who have shilled for him. This is part of a pattern.…

#TuesdayThoughts #EmptyThePews
6. While previous presidential administrations have made efforts (to varying degrees) to reach out to religious leaders inclusively, Trump gives conservative, mostly white evangelicals an unprecedented degree of access that is exclusive. As his base, to him, they are the nation.
7. Here's an example of this pattern. Remember Trump's Middle East trip? Guess what "news" organization got exclusive access to him to cover it? Why, none other than the Christian Broadcasting Network of Pat Robertson infamy!…

#EmptyThePews #Resist
8. Thus, when Trump speaks of "religious liberty," he is speaking of giving evangelicals free rein, including to discriminate against others. That's also their definition of "religious freedom." Others don't count. This is Christofascism, and it is in power.

8-a. Conservative Catholics are also on board with this agenda, of course. They pursue the same politics, but Trump has been especially cozy with evangelicals.
9. You can call conservative evangelicals out as hypocritical, if you want. But that accomplishes little more than preaching to the choir, so to speak. Hypocrisy, such as we've seen in Catholic abuse coverups, is integral to authoritarian systems.…
10. Christofascists are not going to be won over. I thus see the most effective means of opposing them as follows. The end goal must be to get them out of power. The means to that end, apart from the ballot box, is to delegitimize them in the eyes of the wider American public.
11. This means working to reframe our national conversation on religion, particularly about evangelicalism. We must get the press to at least quote ex-evangelicals, scholars, researchers who argue that today's evangelicalism (and any fundamentalism) is incompatible with democracy
12. This is a hard sell in a country whose chattering classes exhibit a knee-jerk impulse to be deferential to any large (and well-heeled) Christian group. Researchers like @brucewilson and @FredClarkson who have been warning us about dominionism for years have faced ridicule.
13. We have, however, made some progress in changing public discourse on religion. A good part of that progress comes from the few evangelicals of conscience, and particularly from ex-evangelicals (or exvangelicals, or exvies), who have begun to be heard:…
14. Journalists like @PaulHRosenberg, @ninaburleigh, @sarahposner, @SarahBurris, @NotoriousTIB, and others have begun to consider the #Exvangelical community to be stakeholders in discussions of evangelicalism. And that is critical to effectively opposing Christofascism.
15. #Exvangelical hashtag campaigns, like #ChurchToo (started by @hannahpaasch and @emilyjoypoetry) and #EmptyThePews (which I started) have gotten news coverage. That's a good sign. We need more of it.…
16. The #Exvangelical community is also working to hold more offline events, such as an upcoming roundtable and public discussion in Tampa, FL. Join us there on September 8 if you can make it! National media will covere the event. Exvie novelist @JosiahMHesse will be present.
16-a. We needed crowdfunding to pull off the Tampa roundtable, The Exvangelical Community: Paths, Projects, Prospects, and you all came through. Thank you for that!…
17. If you want to help us change the national conversation around evangelicalism and toxic Christianity in ways that will help to delegitimize the Christian Right, one of the best things everyone can do is simply to listen to and promote #Exvangelical voices.
19. To get back to the WH dinner honoring evangelicals for their contributions to American society, a response that came from the #Exvangelical community was precisely highlight #EvangelicalContributions... in a way that is highly unflattering to evangelicals. Read the hashtag.
19-a. I did a writeup on the hashtag #EvangelicalContributions, featuring some of my favorite tweets, that you can read here:…

#Exvangelical #EmptyThePews #TuesdayThoughts #Resist
20. I depend on Patreon support in order to devote a lot of time to #Exvangelical community building and activism, along with related blogging, freelance writing, and speaking. If you like my content and can afford to, please consider pledging $5 or more:
Addendum: You can listen to my discussion with @RickSmithShow about the evangelical dinner here:…

#EvangelicalContributions #Exvangelical #EmptyThePews

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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 27, 2018
1. This excellent report on the Russian Orthodox Church’s attempt to keep control over Ukraine’s Orthodox Christians, involving hacking by Fancy Bear, shows why religion matters for our understanding of political science, international relations, and geopolitics. Some thoughts.
2. I single out poli sci and IR b/c they have remained more aloof than other fields to the "religious turn" in the humanities and social sciences associated with reevaluating the social significance of religion and the history and contemporary realities of religion and secularism
3. With my academic hat on, I have been, and remain, involved in these conversations about religion and secularism, for example in my affiliation as a senior research associate with the Postsecular Conflicts project, which focuses on Russia:…
Read 25 tweets

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