We Need to Talk About America’s Real “Groomer” Problem

Evangelical Christians regularly push their beliefs and lifestyle on others. It’s not OK, and we shouldn’t be afraid to say so

Tim Wise


Image: Timothy Krause, Flickr, Creative Commons license, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Yes, America has a groomer problem — millions of fanatically dedicated persons looking to recruit others, even young children, to their beliefs and lifestyle.

If a child’s parents raise them to think or live differently from the groomers, the groomers will aggressively seek to turn the child away from the values with which they were raised.

They will try and get the child to transition from what they were before to what the groomer wants them to be.

They have no shame.

I am speaking, of course, of evangelical Christians.

These are people who think it’s acceptable — indeed, necessary — to proselytize everywhere and to everyone, no matter how young.

They think it’s OK to drag their own kids to church long before they can understand the concept of God and teach them that anyone who doesn’t believe as the parents do is going to hell.

They are mentally, emotionally, and spiritually grooming their own children and have no compunction about doing the same to yours.

Understood properly, and not merely as a sexual thing, Franklin Graham is a groomer. So was his daddy, who groomed him.

And Pat Robertson is a groomer so committed to his craft that even though he’s roughly 137 years old and looks like he died a decade ago, he’d rather stay on Earth grooming than go and actually meet Jesus.

That’s commitment.

These guys are definitely groomers (again, in the spiritual sense). Oh, and creepy as hell.

Image: gredelkhan, Flickr, Creative Commons license, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Those folks in that recent viral video who thought it was cool to sing about Jesus to a captive audience on a commercial flight at 30,000 feet?




Tim Wise

Anti-racism educator and author of 9 books, including White Like Me and, most recently, Dispatches from the Race War (City Lights, December 2020)