In the polarized United States, where clashing religious and ideological views unfold daily on social media and television and radio talk shows, the Twitter hashtag #ExposeChristianSchools ignited a firestorm. Its creator, Chris Stroop, a former evangelical Christian, urged those who had attended Christian schools to use it and “tell how traumatizing those bastions of bigotry are,” calling out Vice President Mike Pence, whose wife decided two weeks ago to return to teaching at a private Christian school that does not allow gay, bisexual or transgender students, parents or employees.
The hashtag generated thousands of responses — first in the immediate aftermath of the news that Karen Pence would return to Immanuel Christian School in Northern Virginia, and then more after a video of a confrontation between a group of Catholic high school students and a Native American man at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington went viral.
[Watch: Videos Show a Collision of 3 Groups That Spawned a Fiery Political Moment]
While many wrote about their struggles in Christian schools, voicing tales of bullying and homophobia, others joined the Twitter conversation to defend their beliefs, condemning the criticism and sharing heartfelt testimonials of how their teachers fostered human compassion and an unimpeachable moral foundation.
In the face of a national conversation about religion, race, gender and sexuality, many Christians fear that their way of life is being threatened, said Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, a professor of politics and religion at Northwestern University. “There’s a real profound sense among a large part of the Christian population that the rug is being ripped out from under them,” she said. “They feel their moral certitudes and sense of community are being ridiculed.”
On Monday, President Trump championed proposed legislation in six states that would require or encourage public schools to offer elective classes on the Bible’s literary and historical significance, writing on Twitter, “Starting to make a turn back? Great!” The tweet generated more than 54,000 responses, with the usual split of praise and criticism.
We asked people on Twitter to share their experiences of Christian schools. We received hundreds of responses from people of all ages and Christian backgrounds, from Evangelical to Catholic. Many expressed gratitude for the faith-based education they received, while others described trauma and rejection. Many others expressed a combination of both. All were eager to explain how their schooling shaped their lives and worldviews.
Here are some of their responses, which have been edited for length and clarity. We invite you to share your experiences in the comments.
“Growing up, I was bullied a lot at my private Christian school. It had a lot to do with my inability to fit into the masculine stereotype. Being gay, I was scared of college and somehow found myself at Liberty University. My experience there was positive, not at all like my formative years. I didn’t trust my prayer leader at first, but he grew on me. He was a true friend and I was able to open up to him. Despite my past and my fears, he cared for me, encouraged me, and loved me. He taught me that not all men were out to get me and that the message of the Gospel was about love, not hate.”
— Cody Hill, 25, Raleigh, N.C.
“My freshman year at a Catholic college, I became suicidally depressed and I can say with complete confidence that if I didn’t go to that school, I would be dead. I felt like I mattered there. When you struggle with your mental health like I do, it can be hard to connect with a faith community. We’re just supposed to ‘pray harder’ and ‘sin less,’ according to religious people who clearly don’t know Jesus. The community at my college, however, never held that viewpoint and I was always welcome to be completely honest and transparent. I was never judged for my pain. My experiences helped my faith flourish.”
— Mae L’Heureux, 26, Augusta, Me.
“I was elected class chaplain nearly every year and when I wasn’t working with the theater department, I was actively involved in prayer meetings and Bible studies. However, there was a part of my life I felt I had to bury to survive. After finding out I was gay, my parents sent me to a school-endorsed spiritual retreat called ‘The Encounter.’ The final session was a mass exorcism that lasted for two and a half hours. Other students and I were forced to sit down while a man read his list of spirits and demons, which included homosexuality. If I didn’t find a way to be rid of it, I couldn’t live at home. Back at school, my facade said, ‘cured’ but there were teachers who saw my depths and loved me for it. They’re how I survived.”
— Sebastian Summers, 22, Chicago
“Sex as a theme was very pervasive there. I took a vow of purity when I was 11. I was sexually abused starting at age 4, so by the time I put on that promise ring, in my mind I was already lying because I was already corrupted. My biology teacher taught us that sex creates an unbreakable soul bond through the exchange of blood and fluids. The idea is, if I slept with someone and then married someone else I wouldn’t be coming into that marriage as a whole person. Coming from a home where there was sexual abuse, learning that was heartbreaking and it took me years to undo that damage.”
— Melissa Stewart, 28, Pioneer Valley, Mass.
“My Christian school had ‘Slave Day.’ One day a year, each member of the junior class was auctioned off to other students to be owned for a day. The auctioneer — a teacher — sometimes held a whip. Students stood on a box while being auctioned. It was a fund-raiser for our prom — real money was exchanged. Sometimes, the auction took place in the sanctuary. In 2001, it was changed — in name only — to Servant Day. I do not recall any conversations about race and white supremacy.”
— Laura Hagen, 31, South Saint Paul, Minn.
“My education was filled with Christian alternative facts. Things like dinosaurs walked with man, men and women have a different number of ribs (due to the biblical creation story), and Noah’s son, Ham, who was cursed, was the ancestor of African nations. We were taught we would likely never get to grow up, because the rapture would happen so soon. I struggle to this day with anxiety that I will not get to live the life experiences I very much want, such as having a real career, and being stable enough to give back in a meaningful way, because the world could end at any moment.”
— Ashlyn Cancellieri, 26, Philadelphia
“Teaching from a Gospel perspective is not so much about shielding kids from reality, but rather about teaching kids to see God at work in their day-to-day lives and in their studies. In many of my classes, we had many different points of views presented to us — each with good arguments, and we were left to come to our own conclusions. Christians are called bigots, racist, idiots, backward, and the one I hear the most, ‘on the wrong side of history.’ We feel attacked and misunderstood. Yes, we have beliefs that in this day and age are countercultural, and we will stick to them, make no mistake about that. However, we are also called to love others, showing them the kindness of Christ.”
— Allyson Payne, 21, Birmingham, Ala.
“At my school, the students were always encouraged to pursue a relationship with Christ and further our faith but it was never a prerequisite for attending the school. They taught that no one is ever too far gone. That everyone has our mistakes and we need to be accepting of all. Racism and homophobia were not present in my school and if there were incidents, they were dealt with by the administration. Everyone was taught to be accepting and to be a friend to the friendless.”
— Kearney Moss, 24, Midland, Tex.
“I am an alumnus of the Diocese of Covington school system in Kentucky. One time at Bishop Brossart High School, I said some things that were derogatory toward the L.G.B.T.Q. community. I really didn’t mean what I said, yet I was wrong and paid the price. I ended up getting detention and was scolded for the way I acted. I learned a valuable lesson for the first time that your words hold meaning no matter if you meant them or not. Bishop Brossart taught me how to respect others and how to be open to seeing different viewpoints. While we are not all perfect human beings, with the right guidance and discipline, we can be transformed into good people.”
— Andrew Graus, 22, Lawrenceville, Ga.B:
快3开奖结果福建快3开奖结果**【蛟】【折】【腾】【了】【大】【半】【夜】，【倦】【意】【袭】【来】，【赶】【紧】【大】【步】【流】【星】【地】【走】【向】【了】【自】【家】【宅】【院】，【明】【天】【还】【要】【上】【早】【朝】【呢】。 【幸】【好】【曹】【家】【与】【祖】【家】【不】【过】【是】【一】【墙】【之】【隔】，**【蛟】【很】【快】【就】【来】【到】【了】【自】【家】【的】【府】【邸】，【看】【门】【几】【个】【老】【兵】【顿】【时】【警】【惕】【性】【大】【涨】，【等】【他】【们】【看】【清】【楚】【来】【人】【之】【后】，【齐】【刷】【刷】【的】【拜】【下】。 “【大】【人】，【您】【怎】【么】【回】【来】【了】，【赶】【紧】【屋】【里】【面】【前】，【小】【虎】，【你】【去】【通】【知】【一】【下】【后】【院】，【二】【爷】
【报】【讯】(【安】【徽】【商】【报】【融】【媒】【体】【记】【者】【胡】【霈】【霖】 【王】【志】【强】【文】 【卓】【也】【摄】)“【双】【十】【一】”【即】【将】【来】【临】，【合】【肥】【快】【递】【业】【准】【备】【好】【了】【吗】？11【月】8【日】，【记】【者】【从】【合】【肥】【市】【邮】【政】【管】【理】【局】【了】【解】【到】，【今】【年】【前】【九】【个】【月】，【合】【肥】【市】【民】【已】【经】【人】【均】【收】【发】【快】【件】104【件】，【预】【计】【今】【年】“【双】【十】【一】”8【天】，【快】【递】【业】【务】【量】【将】【达】【到】3000【万】【件】，【实】【现】【商】【品】【实】【物】【网】【上】【销】【售】【逾】45【亿】【元】，【业】【务】【量】【达】【到】【日】【常】【的】2.5-3【倍】。
【金】【瓶】【儿】【面】【上】【尴】【尬】【之】【色】【一】【闪】【即】【逝】，【旋】【即】【又】【露】【出】【妩】【媚】【的】【笑】【颜】，【十】【分】【光】【棍】【的】【说】【道】“【道】【爷】【还】【真】【是】【慧】【眼】，【这】【都】【被】【你】【看】【穿】【了】~” “【瓶】【儿】【跟】【鬼】【厉】【可】【是】【竞】【争】【关】【系】，【这】【么】【做】【也】【无】【可】【厚】【非】。【难】【不】【成】【让】【我】【一】【个】【弱】【女】【子】【去】【跟】【他】【硬】【拼】【硬】【抢】【吗】？” 【陈】【晨】【闻】【言】【不】【以】【为】【然】，【心】【中】【腹】【诽】【道】“【你】【若】【是】【弱】【女】【子】，【这】【天】【下】【的】【男】【子】【还】【不】【得】【羞】【愧】【至】【死】…” 【金】【瓶】
【这】【两】【个】【孩】【子】【一】【本】【正】【经】、【神】【圣】【庄】【严】【的】【样】【子】，【令】【卡】【彭】【特】·【霍】【恩】【堡】【吓】【得】【魂】【不】【守】【舍】，【瞪】【大】【双】【眼】【死】【死】【盯】【着】【那】【名】【森】【林】【女】【巫】。 【老】【女】【巫】【与】【他】【对】【视】【一】【眼】，【眸】【子】【里】【全】【是】【无】【奈】，“【这】【两】【个】【孩】【子】【被】【治】【好】【之】【后】，【对】【于】【我】【们】【的】【生】【活】【方】【式】【非】【常】【感】【兴】【趣】，【我】【就】【随】【意】【解】【释】【了】【一】【两】【句】。 【没】【想】【到】【他】【们】【对】【于】【生】【态】【保】【护】【有】【着】【独】【到】【的】【见】【解】，【甚】【至】【可】【以】【说】【是】【振】【聋】【发】【聩】快3开奖结果福建快3开奖结果“【不】【用】【去】。”【林】【祈】【年】【笑】【着】【轻】【轻】【一】【挥】【手】:“【看】【来】【魏】【铸】【星】【是】【把】【这】【个】【手】【雷】【给】【搞】【成】【了】。” “【走】，【独】【眼】，【我】【们】【看】【看】【去】。”【林】【祈】【年】【说】【完】【便】【大】【踏】【步】【地】【往】【前】【走】【去】，【赵】【独】【先】【是】【愣】【了】【一】【下】，【接】【着】【连】【忙】【追】【了】【上】【去】，【右】【臂】【的】【空】【袖】【管】【在】【奔】【跑】【中】【甩】【来】【甩】【去】。 “【主】【公】，【等】【等】【我】。” 【林】【祈】【年】【跨】【过】【了】【木】【拱】【桥】，【联】【排】【的】【工】【匠】【作】【坊】【人】【去】【屋】【空】，【只】【剩】【下】【成】
【今】【天】【网】【友】【晒】【出】【了】【与】【周】【杰】【伦】【在】【长】【沙】【龙】【虾】【馆】【的】【合】【照】，【照】【片】【中】【的】【周】【杰】【伦】【看】【着】【瘦】【了】【哦】!【是】【最】【近】【太】【累】【了】【吗】?【心】【疼】 【好】【羡】【慕】【他】【们】【随】【随】【便】【便】【就】【能】【偶】【遇】【周】【杰】【伦】 【还】【能】【合】【影】