To celebrate Halloween this year, I shall burn a witch on my blog. Some people think it’s is a dying holiday but me, I’m expecting Halloween to go 24-7 in the near future. If you eat beef while reading this then you can watch her burn at the steak!
BRING FORTH THE SACRIFICE!!! *forklift makes beeping noises*
Sunday ‘Noire: Meet The Unfit Christian, A Digital Pastor Teaching People How To ‘Decolonize’ Faith One Step At A Time
By Shannon Dawson, 24 October 2021
Religion and faith can often be a touchy and polarizing subject for people to discuss, especially in today’s world where cancel culture has made it problematic for folks to express a difference of opinion. Mix that in with religion’s strict and often outdated views on secular culture and you have a recipe for disaster.
Let’s face it, the church hasn’t always been the most comfortable place for everyone to practice their form of faith freely and without judgment, but there are a select few who are looking to provide a space for people who may not necessarily proclaim or even subscribe to the century-old biblical text that has been born out of European Christianity.
What… fresh Hell… is THIS?!
Enter the Unfit Christian.
Yes, that is definitely an unfit Christian. Squished into Fat Elvis’ old leisure suit, no less.
She’s the pastor or “passuh,” as her digital congregation affectionately refers to her. She is providing a space for people to express, question and practice their views on religion however they see fit. It’s a place where you are welcomed to “decolonize your faith…”
In case you’ve ever been mistaken for the New World by a boatload of Puritans.
…and hear different opinions that may challenge your traditional views on the church, gender, class or even sexuality and race.
Or geometry, or gravity, or whoever thought this ovoid astronomical blackbody would be the best choice to show us Euro-Christians the error of our Euro-ways. She just singlehandedly proved our ancestors right about everything from Church leadership to portion size!
“Biblical loopholes and life hacks”? But hey, we’re all LGBT now. Let’s Go Brandon… Together!
The Unfit Christian’s digital chapel has grown to an astounding 20,000 followers on Instagram and nearly 16,000 on Facebook. It’s an achievement the platform’s founder D. Danyelle Thomas never expected when she decided to launch the blog back in 2016, following the sudden passing of her father, who was also a preacher.
That makes her less popular than the Napoleon Dynamite Fan Club, which explains why Central Media is trying to convince the children of God that an 800lb drama queen of sass is a legitimate spiritual authority. She needs all the help she can get to stand on her own!
“When I started, my whole thing was I wanted everybody to know that there was room at the cross for all of us, no matter how different our approach to God is,” Thomas told MADAMENOIRE. “So I’ve always kind of gone with this whole thing that I don’t care if you’re Christian. It’s not the goal. I’m the Unfit Christian because that’s my particular upbringing. But you can be the Unfit Muslim. You can be the Unfit Hindu person or Agnostic.”
Move over, Crossfit… here comes Unfit!
Thomas initially launched the Unfit Christian as a way to reframe and make sense of her own ever-changing ideas on faith and Christianity.
I must give points for honesty. “Am I fit to be a Christian? No. Then, I shall become…”
Lookit that, a hashtag that didn’t trend. Unlike her waistline. It must be like having a superpower, being able to fill up Hell with just yourself, except your action figures keep getting bagged with the potatoes.
After setting off for college, Thomas explained that she experienced a crisis with her own faith as she was learning all sorts of information that fell outside of the margins of religious theology she grew up believing. The blog served as a way for her to unravel and document her spiritual rebuilding as well as her views on intersectionality.
Best summarized as ‘banana splits’.
However, over time, Thomas’s sparse blog quickly blossomed into a thriving digital community of progressive church members across the globe. She was shocked to realize there were all kinds of people looking to deconstruct…
…their traditional views on religious ideology, but Thomas says her goal isn’t to proselytize people or convert them. She hopes to give people the tools to contextualize their own beliefs on topics like homophobia, classism and sexism while simultaneously teaching donut-centered faith ethics.
Oops, that should have been ‘justice-centered faith ethics’. With feminism and frosting!
“I want people to really see themselves and have an experience of God that feels like I don’t just have to take parts [of] me,” Thomas shared of her mission. “I can take the gay part, I can take the trans part, I can take the Black part … all of those marginalized identities that sometimes we feel like we can’t show up with…
It’s the fat identity that keeps you from showing up in Church, Dam Yell. How many double doors do you think we have?!
…I always want to make space and say naw that ain’t true. That’s just someone benefiting from your oppression, so how do we reframe that in a way where your faith and your practice really does see you as a whole.”
As a whole lot of ‘Unfit Christian’! Dam Yell is so fat, she needs two Saviors: Jesus and Peloton!
At first glance, you might be quick to call D. Danyelle Thomas a Christian Influencer on social media, but it’s a term she deeply despises.
Ever since that crack about Planet Earth influencing her Moon….
“For me prosperity gospel by any other name is still prosperity gospel, so even if I called myself a Christian influencer, that means at some point I’m using my faith, even if I’m presenting it in a progressive way to influence you to buy a thing or believe in a brand or whatever. It just feels like it still ties us to this system of un-nuanced and un-critiqued capitalism. So many folks, myself included, have poor money relationships with church because we’re told that if we were obedient and paying our tides or if we were giving more in church that we would get the things that we desire. When we present it in a way that money is tied to your blessing, I think we really do a disservice to people.”
Move over, theologians! Dam Yell… excuse me, Danyelle… proved that prosperity gospel is bad because it’s capitalist. No need to quote Scripture at all!
What we need is the Gospel of Universal Basic Income! Because it buys a lot of ice cream. God does not exist but comfort food does!
So what does a digital congregation even look like?
I’ll guess Methodists. Their churches are always empty.
The Unfit Chrisitan offers a number of services to her devout followers via her website or Patreon where folks can gain access to her hefty database of devotionals, “shade-throwing” and thought-provoking articles, along with her monthly pre-recorded Q&A lectures based on faith, race, gender and sexuality.
The platform also offers digital church-goers special services like tarot card readings where Thomas provides people with one on one spiritual guidance and counseling.
“A lot of my clients say It’s like we’re having a private pastoral session,” the Unfit Christian explained. “For me, it’s really about how do I get you into enlightenment with your highest self? How do I get you into a space where your mind, your heart, your emotions, and your spirit feel well?”
With comfort food? Or is that the way to get you into enlightenment with your widest self?
“Everybody is not going to agree with me, and that’s okay… I have to focus on the positive and focus on what my ultimate goal is, which is to challenge people’s experiences with God, and sometimes that’s going to make you uncomfortable.”
And at other times, it will amuse the Muses out of us!
Yo mama’s so fat, when she fell I didn’t laugh, but the sidewalk cracked up.
As the Unfit Christian grows…
…Thomas says her role as a digital pastor is something she does not take lightly.
“I had such a negative association with the word pastor which is why I rejected it so much because I had gone through Church hurt. I had gone through a lot of pastors who just did not care for and Shepard me the way that they should and the thing is I knew that was the kind of audience I was serving to,” she said. “I knew I was serving an audience of people who had experienced their own disappointment and hurt, and sometimes like downright egregious abuse–all in Jesus’ name. I never wanted to take that title on, but it challenged me when I sat down with it one day and I finally realized that people were calling me that because I was a reassociation of good touch for them. They saw me as a good pastor. They saw me as a good leader and somebody they could trust.”
We know that women don’t behave like men. A unbelieving man is sometimes reasoned into seeing God but never an unbelieving woman. They tend to, so far as I can tell, see how an ideal woman behaves and tell herself “I want what she’s having.” In normal times, that means having well-behaved kids, a husband who’d die for her and a cozy home where she entertains entire generations of family. In DanYelle’s case, however, it means having seconds at the diner while picking whichever religion will shame her the least for that unbound appetite.
She’s a witch who reads the tarot… but don’t accuse her of spelling.