“You don’t want to live in a country that builds their policy around the rapture.”

Source: The Trump Brand of Death – Gaslit Nation @16:09

If you’re used to regularly rejecting facts — the idea that anyone but your specific group of people knows what’s best for the whole population, _for instance — blindly accepting the idea of “fake news” is a logical next step. Evangelicals already willfully ignore so much for the sake of their convictions – climate change, evolution, biblical inconsistencies. They are used to pushing away incontrovertible evidence. I know, because I’ve been there. It is _not at all surprising to me or any other ex-evangelical.  _As an evangelical, I lied to myself constantly. The church lied to me, too. And if I were to let go of those lies, it would mean letting go of who I was as a person. Trump regularly lying is not only acceptable to evangelicals, it is already _the status quo.  

Source: when everything’s made up and the facts don’t matter – Obstinate, headstrong girl!

As I reported for Salon in May, research shows that the real trend is not in young white evangelicals who choose to stay in their churches but leave the Republican Party. Instead, the trend is young white evangelicals leaving the church altogether, and often leaving the GOP at the same time. Research shows a “backlash effect,” in which the more the religious right gets involved in politics, the more younger congregants are likely to throw in the towel and leave both the church and conservative politics behind.

Source: White evangelicals will never dump Trump — but those who leave the churches will | Salon.com

#EmptyThePews

Having first sickened the White House and then Congress, the virus of Trumpism is about to spread to the Supreme Court itself.

He refused to allow Barack Obama to fill a vacancy for almost a year, holding the seat open to draw evangelical voters to the polls and elect a Republican president.

That was a clever gambit, though it had the downside of risking the credibility of the American legal system. The bet has now paid off, and the risk has been realized.

Source: Opinion | The High Court Brought Low – The New York Times

It is because of an evangelical culture awash in this kind of teaching that Kavanaugh’s series of assaults can be excused as youthful indiscretions. Men are expected to slip up and violate their purity, and it’s all okay as long as their penis didn’t actually enter a vagina. It is his future wife’s duty to forgive, and no one else should pass judgment on sins that are in the past.

The language of consent is not a language that evangelicals or their heroes speak.

It is the evangelical MO to ignore the testimony of women.

Source: This Is Why Evangelicals Don’t Believe in Sexual Assault

The impetus to protect oneself fell on the girl. The impetus to say no fell on the girl. The work, the labor, of purity: it was all girls’.

And if she failed in this — if she sparked a boy’s lust (let alone a girl’s — the compulsory heterosexuality of this message deserves an entire post in and of itself) — the failure was hers. And she had not only failed herself, and her “Christian brother,” but God. It was a sin, but a particularly grievous sort of one. For even though the actual bible teaches that all sins may be forgiven, or that all sins are equal before the eyes of God, under evangelism, there is no sin more horrifying than sexual impurity. (I truly believe this — spousal abuse, pedophilia, even murder, all of it pales to the way the church talks about the wages of sexual sin).

Source: the shame is ours

it’s no wonder that Christian communities that insist on “biblical inerrancy,” a hallmark of evangelicalism, exhibit abusive dynamics. If you want to understand the Christian extremism that represents the single greatest threat to democracy and human rights in America today, it’s important to understand how authoritarian Christians read the Bible.

True believers become so emotionally invested in their need to be feel justified that they often cannot face the ego threat of admitting that in fact they have not been radically transformed. Adults who join cults or cult-like religious groups such as conservative evangelical churches usually do so in an attempt to address some serious source of trauma in their lives. The children raised in these toxic faith communities then experience generational trauma. Indeed, psychologically, fundamentalism may be described as a misdirected response to trauma perpetuated communally and generationally. All of this is highly conducive to the proliferation of hypocrisy and abuse.

Evangelicals espouse a very dark view of human nature associated with their approach original sin, and sometimes with the Calvinist doctrine of total depravity. The belief that, without being “saved” by God, we are entirely corrupt, teaches us to doubt our own doubts. Ultimately, authoritarian Christianity leads to us learning to gaslight ourselves, and that is difficult to unlearn.

If you were raised in Jesus Land, even if you were not physically or sexually abused, you were spiritually abused, gaslighted, manipulated, and controlled, though you may find it hard to own this truth. When abuse was your “normal,” it can be difficult to start seeing it. It can also be emotionally fraught to start recognizing your friends’ and family’s behaviors as abusive. Learning to do so is painful but ultimately empowering. Another reason it is never easy to extricate oneself from Jesus Land is that the social and psychological costs of leaving an authoritarian faith community are high. Still. once you begin to see that the abusive ethos of Jesus Land itself is the problem, the source of your inner turmoil, you can begin to relieve the cognitive dissonance and to counter the negative self-talk and harmful old thought patterns with new patterns.

Remember this: you are your own person, you are morally autonomous, and you own your story. The more we talk back about why we reject the fear-based faith of our fathers, finding the voices in which to tell our stories and refusing to allow authoritarian Christians to frame them, the easier it will become not only for us to realize ourselves authentically, but also for others to escape from Jesus Land. If you are struggling with this, be gentle and patient with yourself. Authentic transformation, after all, does not happen overnight. Eventually you will find your way forward, whether in affirming and progressive faith or outside of organized religion and/or spirituality altogether.

Source: Escape from Jesus Land: On Recognizing Evangelical Abuse and Finding the Strength to Reject the Faith of Our Fathers – Not Your Mission Field

I updated “Racist, Misogynist, Eugenicist, Ableist, Bigot, Traitor, Gaslighter, Liar: A Letter to My Representatives on Their Christofascist Bigotry” with selections from “Escape from Jesus Land: On Recognizing Evangelical Abuse and Finding the Strength to Reject the Faith of Our Fathers – Not Your Mission Field” and “Journalists Should Stop Scratching their Heads about Evangelical Trumpism, Admit White Evangelicals are Illiberal Christians – Not Your Mission Field”.

I think it’s important for liberal Americans who do not come from a patriarchal religious background to hear our stories and to sit with that shock. Why? Because I remain convinced that if American civil society and the American press fail to come to grips with just how radically theocratic the Christian Right is, any kind of post-Trump soft landing scenario in which American democracy recovers a healthy degree of functionality is highly unlikely.

To put it another way, you may not come from Jesus Land, USA, but Jesus Land is coming for you. We will all be subjected to theocratic dystopia, to “one kleptocracy under God,” if we don’t stop the Christian Right. The Christian Right has been able to acquire massively disproportionate power in part because the press has allowed evangelicals’ slick, code switching PR spin doctors-such as the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell “journalists never ask me about my view that feminism is a heresy” Moore-to frame the national discussion of evangelicalism. The result is that the readers of major news outlets are presented with an unrealistically benign picture of a darkly authoritarian, cult-like branch of Protestantism. That’s one reason I’m writing this essay.

Source: Escape from Jesus Land: On Recognizing Evangelical Abuse and Finding the Strength to Reject the Faith of Our Fathers – Not Your Mission Field

The elephant in the room is that the vast majority of (mostly white) conservative Evangelicals hold to a fundamentalist, authoritarian version of Christianity that is incompatible with pluralism, but for that no less “really” Christian, as “real” Christianity comes in both reactionary and progressive versions. Combined with political power, conservative Evangelicalism threatens democracy and human rights, and to continue to treat conservative Evangelicals as if they are operating in good faith within the acceptable boundaries of American democratic norms will serve only to normalize extremism, allowing Evangelicals to further erode our democracy. And pretending that “real” religion is incapable of being abusive and anti-democratic only serves to deflect from the rot within American Christianity that we as a society need to face.

Source: Journalists Should Stop Scratching their Heads about Evangelical Trumpism, Admit White Evangelicals are Illiberal Christians – Not Your Mission Field