I’m still relatively new to Pajiba. So for those of you who don’t know me from when I was a celebrity butthole merchant — with a heart of gold — over at The Superficial, I grew up in an extremely evangelical family. And while I’ve gratuitously weaved that information into jokes and/or seemingly hilarious-in-hindsight anecdotes about my own mother accusing me of literally being possessed by The Devil, that kind of shit really isn’t funny when you start poking at it. Being raised in a household where unchecked mental illness is recklessly mixed with a deadly serious belief in supernatural forces doesn’t exactly produce well-adjusted people. (See: Writing words like “celebrity butthole merchant” on the internet.) Not to mention this was during a time when there was already societal carte blanche on inflicting physical violence on children, and in the Christian world, you also had Biblical orders to beat them into nothing short of total obedience. So that was fun, and spoiler alert, it didn’t work. But not without lack of trying. We’ll leave it at that.
So with that information in mind, I’ve been absolutely riveted by Chrissy Stroop, who’s been doing yeoman’s work documenting the endless mental and familial carnage of having a similar evangelical upbringing. Recently, Stroop launched the still-going #ChristianAltFacts, which is full of the “teachings” that people experienced during their time in the church, and in a word, goddammit.
The whole hashtag is worth your click, but in the meantime, I’ve pulled some examples that I’ve seen in action. As you peruse them, you’ll start to notice a vast ocean of misogyny and a steady fear of demonic forces. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it until I’m dead in the ground, The Witch is one of the most poignant political movies of our time because large swaths of Christian Americans wholeheartedly believe that the events in that film are a real and dire threat in the year 2018.
Now, the reductive view is that these examples are nothing more than “Christian bashing.” I like to think of them as a pressing reminder that this country is never more than a small pendulum swing away from burning people at the stake again.
A woman disagreeing with the pastor & wanting to be in any leadership role ‘lacks a quiet & gentle spirit’ and should be ‘disciplined at home by her husband’. #ChristianAltFacts— Dr Josie McSkimming 🍃🐦🌳🌈🌿🕸🦋 (@JosieMcskimming) November 14, 2018
At a church I used to go to, the pastor was big on name it and claim it and one Sunday he told an older woman dying from cancer that if she had faith, she would be healed. She didn’t need any meds or anything. She died less than a month later.#christianaltfacts— Israel Sanchez (@MasEspanglish) November 14, 2018
#ChristianAltFacts when I broke my wrists in Jr. high I was told God is like a shepherd that breaks his bad sheep’s legs. the shepherd wears the sheep on his shoulders until it heals and learns to become fully dependent on its shepherd and won’t run away again. 🥴— ian (@MyNameIsIan) November 13, 2018
"God didn't intend to create woman. Because Adam wanted her, she was made last, and as a result is the lowest of God's creation and capable of viler acts than anything else on earth." #ChristianAltFacts (Branham-inspired church. Look him up. Ick.)— Rebecca Diamond (@r_diamond) November 13, 2018
Or, one of my favourites. "Your husband will never be fully able to give himself to you and trust you if you're not pure for him on your wedding night. This will make your marriage difficult." #ChristianAltFacts— Tabitha is done with playing nice (@Tabitha_Writes) November 13, 2018
#ChristianAltFacts— Ray Rupertus Jr (@rupejonner2) November 13, 2018
Playing with a Ouija board can open the gates of hell and allows evil demons inside you
Women ought not pray out loud in a room that included males over the age of 7, because this counted as leadership and women cannot lead #ChristianAltFacts— Kate Vazansky (@vazankat) November 13, 2018
as a preteen at Jesus Camp, my younger sister was [email protected] and the teen camp counselors told me she was gravely ill and had needed to pray and accept Jesus as our lord and savior; we were all crying hysterically worried about her - she had diarrhea #christianaltfacts— jenncognito (@jenncognito) November 13, 2018
Even though my uterus tore (after multiple pregnancies), I was obligated to continue producing Christian Soldiers and that if I died because of it I would receive a crown in Heaven for my obedience. #ChristianAltFacts— Workingonit (@armijo_jay) November 13, 2018
All music with an identifiable beat is satanic. Syncopation is evil. Seeing people groove to rhythm is proof that the music controls them. #ChristianAltFacts— ((( Connie Winch ))) (@tigerlily7a) November 13, 2018
Oh, here's one: I used to go to basketball nights at an Assemblies of God church across the street summer before 8th grade. Talking to the youth pastor who ran it one eve, mentioned I was Catholic. Told me Catholics worshipped Satan. Never went back. #ChristianAltFacts— Derek Jamaladeen Denton (@addeenofy34) November 13, 2018
#ChristianAltFacts a missionary claimed she converted a Muslim girl to Jesus and her father beat her every night for it. But it was ok because she had been saved.— BlueLantern (@obsid00972856) November 13, 2018
#ChristianAltFacts— Lisa O'Neal Miller. 🌈❄️👨👩👧🌊 (@lisaomiller) November 13, 2018
Every early miscarriage is a baby, brother or sister, and is caused by female sins that God is now punishing.
As if God isn’t big enough to know biology and a blob of cells with missing chromosomes could never hold life.
Rap music is evil because it originated from African sex rituals and actually stands for "Rage Against Parents" #christianaltfacts— Shawn Cohen (@shawnccohen) November 13, 2018
If you’re wondering why I just made you read all of that, it’s not because I hate your brain and want it to die. It’s because the people who actually believe that horrible shit with a zealous fervor vote in lockstep with the Republican Party and see absolutely nothing wrong with making this asshole our president. They’re why things are the way they are, so if you’ve got a solution, I’d f**king love to hear it even if it’s binge drinking.
Actually, especially if it’s binge drinking. Have I mentioned my childhood?