Goodbye, My Tribe: An Evangelical Exodus

Vic Sizemore. Univ. of Alabama, $29.95 (184p) ISBN 978-0-8173-2057-7
In this cutting, earnest collection of essays, short story writer Sizemore (I Love You, I’m Leaving) reveals his growing disaffection with Christianity. Through a series of anecdotes about growing up as the son of a preacher and professor at a West Virginia Bible College, Sizemore explains his “tribe” of white conservative evangelicals of the Jerry Fallwell tradition, which he depicts as mostly “warp and woof with southern bigotry.” Lyrically capturing his angst as a well-heeled but emotionally traumatized son of an inveterate minister of “Premillennial Dispensationalism,” the author frequently quotes, among others, Dostoyevsky, Malcolm X, and Nietzsche, to thoughtfully rebuke what he sees as spurious Christian mythologizing of the beneficial, superior nature of evangelicalism. A former marine, Sizemore also shares advice on confronting bullies great and small, as well as reflections on war. With other essays delving into his thoughts on how Christians have failed to show humanity to communists, those who support abortion, and secular humanists, as well as society’s failure to address concerns of the LGBTQ community and his disappointment in the role conservative evangelicals played in electing Donald Trump, the collection showcases a wide range of Sizemore’s thinking on hot-button issues. Readers who enjoy the essays of Jonathan Merritt will find much food for thought here. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 12/12/2019
Release date: 04/01/2020
Genre: Religion
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