Melissa Baker Profile picture
Mar 23, 2018 19 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Gather around, because I have some *things* to say about being raised in white evangelicalism.

Radicalizing individuals to violently “take back America” isn’t a bug of evangelical fundamentalism, it’s the whole point.

#EmptyThePews #YouDontKnowEvangelicals #Exvangelical
My parent’s pastor, in the early 80’s, preached, “If we're going to turn this [country] around we need to be having lots of kids.” My parents chose to have more kids than they could handle because of those teachings.
Side note: we weren’t even in a quiverfull church. Most families had 4-5 kids. We dressed normal. This wasn’t an “extreme” fundamentalist church. My point, you probably know people who are in evangelical churches like this, that seem totally normal and harmless from the outside.
My parent’s ENTIRE FRAMEWORK for raising kids was breaking our will, training us to submit to them (as direct stand-ins for god) and raising us to be “cultural reformers”.
“Training” began in infancy. THEY REGULARLY SPANK INFANTS. As a toddler my mom took me to stores for the EXPRESS PURPOSE of finding something I wanted, telling me no, then whisking me home for a beating if I wasn’t immediately docile and compliant with her no.
As a preschooler, I have memories of my mother holding me over her lap, beating me repeatedly on my bear butt. She was convinced I had lied about something (I only remember that I hadn’t and she wouldn’t believe me) and told me she’d spank me 100 times if that’s what it took.
Later, as a parent myself, my mom told me that she would go through her days LOOKING for issues she needed to focus on. And that there were days she felt like all she did is spank in order to “break us” of certain issues. She was encouraging me to do this with my children.
My parents controlled every aspect of our life. We were homeschooled or church schooled. Had no non-Christian friends. The only access to books or media was what my parents allowed and carefully prescreened. We listened to *hours* of conservative talk radio a day.
When were at public libraries, mom brought a reference book, w/ evangelical approved titles/authors. We didn’t stray from the list. Nothing we were exposed to contradicted my parents/church’s narrative. Until my teens. By then I was fully indoctrinated & terrified of “the world”
I was taught that “liberals” were re-writing history and I could trust anything they said. All while the adults in my systematically re-wrote history and the world around them to their advantage. I had no way to fact check them.
Our church was militantly involved in trying to change the culture and laws to be more “biblical”. I participated in anti-abortion protests starting before I could read.
The mission statement of our church school, where I attended junior high and high school, “Raising up cultural reformers and taking back the land.”
They told us repeatedly that we needed to be the best in our field. Scale the 7 Mountains of Culture and “take over” no matter the field. But lawyer or law maker were the best because you could inflict the laws.
We were taught, repeatedly that the civil war was about “states rights”. Because slavery and genocide of indigenous peoples is *fine*. The real concern is the federal government telling states what to do.
I was told that black people were enslaved because of the “Curse of Ham” and that was essentially god sanctioning their slavery. I was told children of interracial marriages were more likely to commit suicide because they wouldn’t fit in “either culture”.
I was never taught about Nelson Mandela, MLK or Jim Crow. But I was told it was easier for black people to get into college or a job because of affirmative action.
Sexual abuse took place in my home for years. When church elders found out, they silenced the victim & denied help. They did not report the incident. Because they believe they are ABOVE THE LAW. & they can handle any issue better w/ “gods law” even if it contradicts current laws.
My parents emotionally and verbally abused us with impunity. They were doing “gods work” breaking our sinful wills so that we could submit to god and take back the land. The methods they used did not seem to matter as long as they got the right outcome.
I cannot stress this enough: EVANGELICAL FUNDAMENTALISM ISN’T INTERESTED IN DEMOCRACY where all are equal under law. They will not rest until we live in a theocracy where they have total control to punish those not living their interpretation of “biblical law”.

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