Christian Alternative Facts

ChristianAltFactsThe term “alternative facts” is one of the most popular phrases of 2017. On Friday evening I found that it was being applied to Christianity on Twitter with the hashtag #ChristianAltFacts.

I was quickly drawn in by a few remarks by academics and lingered to appreciate the wisdom of a wide range of tweeters.

  • “Jesus thinks your gun is awesome. #ChristianAltFacts” —@evandeneykel (Eric Vanden Eykel, Assistant Professor of Religion, Ferrum College)
  • “Nothing important happened after Constantine and before Luther. #ChristianAltFacts” (evangelical church history version)” —@dianabutlerbass (Diana Butler Bass, author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture)
  • “Gen. 1 & 2 are the same creation story. #ChristianAltFacts” –@BibleandJustice (Matthew Coomber, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies, St. Ambrose University)
  • “I was taught so long as you attend church it’s cool to beat your wife & children regularly cause #ChristianAltFacts say it’s cool like that.” —@hopefuloptimist (Debi, Love is the most powerful force on earth.)
  • “Anyone who doesn’t worship god the way we do is wrong. We can’t ever be wrong because gods with us. #ChristianAltFacts” —OCherokee (Namless Account, UBI graduate/Bicycle Mechanic, cycling instructor, & commuter, #BLM supporter, and Pro-Choice Feminist.)

I contributed several tweets to the conversation.  My three highest rated (to date) are

  • “No one NEEDS healthcare – Jesus is enough #ChristianAltFacts” —@SoWhatFaith
  • “Blessed are those who live in their conservative Christian bubble #ChristianAltFacts” —@SoWhatFaith
  • “On the 10th day of creation God said let there be walls – bigly walls #ChristianAltFacts” —@SoWhatFaith

So What?

Clearly #ChristianAltFacts intrigued many people.  The#ChristianAltFacts tweets I made for a couple of hours on Friday evening received more impressions than the roughly 100 tweets I made for the three weeks prior.

With more than 2 billion living adherents and more then 30,000 unique denominations or traditions, Christianity is the world’s largest and most diverse religion.  It is important that those who follow the Way of Jesus speak up and label alternative facts as something less than truthful whenever and wherever they encounter them.

My final tweet on Friday offers a call to action:

#ChristianAltFacts will remain a common narrative unless and until we better educate those around us. #WorkLeftToDo #Persist

I invite you to take a few minutes to reflect on your own awareness of the #ChristianAltFacts as well as general alternative facts that you encounter while living out your life.

  • What are you doing to name these remarks as alternative facts and to educate others about actual facts?
  • How is your local community of faith helping you do what you are now doing or plan to do?  What else is that congregation doing that may help counter alternative facts (whether or not you are personally involved in it or benefiting from those efforts)?

Update: In the spirit of continuing the conversation, since publishing this post I have learned that #ChristianAltFacts was coined by @C_Stroop aka Christopher Stroop.  Thanks, Christopher for initiating this dialog.

Second Update: For more from Christopher Stroop check out his latest blog post: #ChristianAltFacts Makes an Impact.

 

Correction: The post incorrectly attributed the tweet , “I was taught so long as you attend church it’s cool to beat your wife & children regularly cause #ChristianAltFacts say it’s cool like that” to @smellincoffee (Nameless Account, Dad, Chicago sports fan, eclectic musical taste, lover of coffee!).  @smelllincoffee replied to the post, which was made by @hopefuloptimist.

Comments

  1. Please address IMMIGRATION. Only somebody who does not read the Bible could miss the resounding calls to take care of the ‘stranger’ and the underclass.

    The US is fried. Toast. It can’t go on like this much longer. The Lord must be so ashamed the US considers itself a “Christian” nation!

  2. Christopher, I appreciate your emphasis on welcoming immigrants. It is an ethical imperative for Christians, and a national necessity for America.

  3. I love this! I, too, contributed to the hashtag #ChristianAltFacts.

    “How is your local community of faith helping you do what you are now doing or plan to do? What else is that congregation doing that may help counter alternative facts (whether or not you are personally involved in it or benefiting from those efforts)?”

    Well, it was the church I was raised in that basically taught me the alt facts I tweeted, or people the church endorsed. I haven’t turned in my resignation yet, though I haven’t attended services there all month. (I am still looking for a church.)

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