Chrissy Stroop Profile picture
Jan 23, 2018 22 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1. Evangelicals love to twist the meanings of words and phrases, appropriating human rights rhetoric for an ideology that rejects universal human rights.
2. There's a disingenuousness in the way Evangelicals and other fundamentalists will change their framing and packaging for different audiences. It's cult-like.
3. Let me explain what I mean by "cult-like." Fundamentalists and cultists of all kinds operate with ends-justify-the-means tactics when it comes to drawing people in for conversions.
4. They actually do hash out these tactics and practices, strategize and theorize in creepy ways, in which potential converts are thoroughly objectified.
5. Common practices include "love bombing," which can be found in even "mainstream" Evangelical churches, even if they don't call it that.
6. Why do you think they have those free coffee and donuts available after church? Pastors are often not subtle about this - they want you to bring friends and/or talk to visitors so that they'll come back!
7. Maybe that seems normal enough, but it can start to seem less so when you realize it's not done simply in a spirit of neighborly good will, but with conversion to a very specific ideology as the goal.
8. And as non-denominational megachurches and churches inspired by them have adopted more corporate language and practices in their churches, conservative Evangelicals have gotten ever more savvy about rebranding and marketing.
9. Here's some commentary and a collection of tweets I wrote about growing up in that non-denominational-ish megachurch-inspired "hip," "relevant," yet still reactionary and abusive at its core Christianity:…

10. @JosiahMHesse's new piece for @guardian details a new phase in "hip" conservative Christianity - slick videos for kids with the gaslighting message that if you just accept Jesus, you automatically won't be gay:…

#EmptyThePews #SpiritualAbuse
11. The conservative, mostly white Evangelicals behind such campaigns do not care about the real human cost of preaching these messages, or how it's amplified when they use phrases like "love is love" and pretend to reject conversion therapy to draw people in.
12. But indeed, those obsessed with conversion - and ultimately with their own egos and insecurities and their ability to impose control, above any lived human experience - have been appropriating language for weaponized use on the mission field for a long time.
13. And I mean a very long time. Paul, the original obnoxious Christian missionary, was not above appealing to the altar to the unknown god in an attempt to convert Athenians.
14. Indeed, Paul wrote to the Corinthians about his manipulative strategies, the same way Evangelical leaders discuss what amounts to means of manipulation for achieving conversions today.…
15. And in these contexts, it's not uncommon to hear Paul's statement, "I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some," invoked.
16. But this isn't about any genuine embrace of pluralism or coexistence. In today's terms, it's about marketing and branding. It's about "form over function," to use language I heard ad nauseam growing up in megachurch-inspired "hip" Evangelicalism.
17. Here are some key points to remember. Anyone who wants to convert you is objectifying you. Sometimes this is quite overt, as in the practice of "friendship Evangelism" I was taught about growing up.
18. In their desire to convert you in order that they themselves can feel validated and in control - a deep need for paranoid personalities - they will try to redefine words and values that appeal to you. #Resist that. it's gaslighting.
19. And, again, this is not new. As @kaclk will attest, the same thing happens in Catholic natural law theology. In fact, it's one of the best examples of manipulative redefinition of words like "love" and "dignity" that I can think of.
20. Reeling vulnerable people in with a show of generosity and subtly, insidiously twisting the meanings of important words and concepts are the hallmarks of conversion efforts of toxic Christians and cultists.
21. These practices are abusive. When "love" is made to mean "do exactly what I say or be tortured forever," we're simply not talking about love anymore. What we have is textbook abuse. End thread.…

#SpiritualAbuse #EmptyThePews #YouDontKnowEvangelicals
*function over form, that is. We could mess with the form a lot in order to reach people. It was called being “seeker sensitive.” A simpler word fly it is: “manipulation.” #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 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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