Senior correspondent for @RDispatches, columnist for @openDemocracy, speaker and writer for hire. Coeditor of Empty the Pews: Stories of Leaving the Church
4 added to My Authors
Oct 1, 2018 • 15 tweets • 13 min read
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#SundayThoughts2. 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.
Sep 29, 2018 • 4 tweets • 3 min read
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.
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
Sep 13, 2018 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
“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.
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":
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
Aug 26, 2018 • 11 tweets • 6 min read
This article about the profound influence of Virginia economist James McGill Buchanan (an intellectual descendant of John C. Calhoun) on ascendant American oligarchy is chilling. We’re already quite far down this destructive path.
Buchanan’s extremely, self-servingly dark view of human nature, which “justified” his rejection of any search for the public good through politics, is a hallmark of authoritarianism. This is why Christian nationalism and oligarchy dovetail so comfortably.
The poster attached to the above tweet is available in higher resolution if you'd like to pass it around digitally or hang it at your local coffee shop. Just shoot me a DM with an e-mail address to send it to. Thanks to @anxiousoracle for the design!
Aug 22, 2018 • 8 tweets • 7 min read
I'm excited to release the official poster for our September 8 roundtable, The #Exvangelical Community: Paths, Projects, Prospects. If you are in or near Tampa or St. Petersburg, Florida, please join us if you can, and help spread the word!
If you're interested in putting up some physical copies of the poster or distributing it via e-mail, please feel free to DM me with an e-mail address where I can send a higher resolution version. I'd like to thank @anxiousoracle for designing this! She did a fantastic job!
Aug 17, 2018 • 21 tweets • 10 min read
1. Not gonna lie; I'm surprised that World Magazine, an evangelical publication, would release such a withering expose of Liberty University's authoritarian crackdown on the college newspaper. But this is a must read:
#Exvangelical#EmptyThePews#Resist2. Heavy-handed control over college newspapers--essentially rendering them propaganda outlets--is one common tactic used when evangelical colleges crack down to impose orthodoxy, a frequent pattern. Here's an investigative piece I did on these crackdowns
Unsolicited advice: if you wake up at 4 a.m. don’t grab your phone and check your e-mail; you might get bad news and be unable to go back to sleep. #TrueStory
It’s not catastrophic news, but I may not be able to spend time in residence in Innsbruck with Postsecular Conflicts.
This had been promised all along as part of my role as Senior Researcher on this grant-funded, international, interdisciplinary research project. Apparently university administrators demanded a shift in the budget that put my paid time in residence on the chopping block.
Aug 16, 2018 • 19 tweets • 6 min read
1. “Fake Christians” do exist—I’d put Trump in that category—but they are people who fake piety, not people who regularly attend churches with bigoted theology and whose bigoted piety is very real. Not, in other words, most of Trump’s base.
2. Is there such a thing as progressive/liberationist Christianity? Of course. But when we speak of a cultural system as vast as a major world religion, we have to realize that we are speaking of a wide array of concrete, communally and historically mediated instantiations.
gofundme.com/exvangelical-c…2. If you are in the Tampa Bay Area, please join us on September 8, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. for a discussion of diverse experiences within evangelicalism and what we can do to build community and advocate our interests going ahead, offline as well as on. Here's more about the event:
Aug 4, 2018 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
1. Apropos of not much, really, I used to eat Papa John’s now and again while living in Moscow. I’d dine in or pick up pizza from the location at the Frunzenskaya Metro station, a three-minute walk from my apartment. It was a taste of home, but with a Russian twist. It had a bar.
2. The English translations on the drink menu were hilariously bad. Here are a couple I can remember.
Фирменный папин коктейль = “Corporate Papin Cocktail,” should have been “Papa’s Signature Cocktail”
Кричащий оргазм = “Flashy Orgasm,” obvs should have been “Screaming Orgasm”
Jul 28, 2018 • 31 tweets • 7 min read
1. Putin calls the conversion of Rus’ “the starting point for the formation and development of Russian statehood, the true spiritual birth of our ancestors, the determination of their identity. Identity, the flowering of national culture and education."
2. Like many official pronouncements of the Russian president (and general secretaries of the Communist Party of the USSR before him), this one is for both domestic and international consumption.
But it might not be for international consumption primarily in the way you think.
Jul 17, 2018 • 13 tweets • 8 min read
1. From the 1990s this same affinity for Russia that @HeerJeet tracks among overt racists ramped up among the Christian Right in conjunction with a shared “traditional values” agenda. That strain of Christian admiration for Russian conservatives can also be traced back further.
2. Pat Buchanan is aware of this and, as a traditionalist Catholic, in fact straddles that overt white supremacist/Christian traditional values line when it comes to reasons espoused for admiring Putin. For more on this, see my essay “Bad Ecumenism”:
1. If you’ve just followed me or hit upon this thread about evangelicals’ appropriation of anti-Nazi rhetoric around abortion for their Christofascist politics, you’ll find plenty on my blog, #NotYourMissionField, if you want to dive deeper into evangelical ideology.
2. We absolutely know that some such people exist, as many have commented #OnHere and e.g. in the Facebook support group Exvangelical that Trump was the final straw for them. We also know that despite its resiliency in raw proportions, people leave evangelicalism all the time.
3. People leave all religions for all kinds of reasons, and people also convert to others rather than become nones, but it's wrong to suggest that the decline of Christianity in the United States has nothing to do with radical evangelicalism.
Jul 11, 2018 • 4 tweets • 4 min read
"The notion that there are large numbers of white evangelicals... who are not particularly religious is false."
1. Ever heard evangelicals call evolution "philosophy" or a "worldview"? Denounce environmentalism as a "religion"? Decry the nefarious "religion of secular humanism" supposedly thrust on kids in public school? What you're observing is "presuppositionalism." #ChristianAltFacts
2. Presuppositionalism is a key tenet of Christian Reconstructionism, but it has become pervasive in the essentially dominionist ideology of conservative/white evangelicalism, even among those who don't use the term and who aren't thoroughgoing Christian Reconstructionists.