Welcome to The Anti-Fundamentalist column and newsletter created by author and survivor, Tia Levings

Who is Tia Levings?

That’s a quest as much as it’s been a question and it’s much easier to tell you what I do than to sum myself up in a tidy little bio on an About page. I often call myself a “writer, artist, hiker, mother, friend.” I’m a Gen X middle-aged, free spirit who loves life. I’m passionate about trauma recovery and reclamation. I nurture through food, time, and attention. An E-INFJ and an Enneagram 4. I’m a lot and without apology. And the biggest lesson I carry in my heart is to love people over ideas.

Where have I seen Tia before?

Probably online. My story could have easily ended in 2007 in obscurity or yet another tragic headline. It didn’t because I escaped both high-control religion and violent, high-control marriage. I call it church-sanctioned domestic abuse because what happened to me was sanctioned by our fundamentalist evangelical churches.

I share that part of my story in my memoir, A Well-Trained Wife (St. Martin’s Press, August 2024), in Shiny Happy People on Amazon Prime, on social media, and in a smattering of podcasts and conversations. I write The Anti-Fundamentalist here on Substack and nurture engaging thought leadership on Instagram, Facebook, and Tiktok as a subject matter expert on Christian Patriarchy and fundamentalism.

Why did you start this column?

I believe the way the Christian Patriarchy runs their homes is how they want to run our country. So I’ve made it my mission to share with you what it’s really like to live behind closed doors in Christian Fundamentalism. While TV shows like the Duggar family’s “19 Kids and Counting” offered a shined-up vision of traditional values, the truth is not so attractive. The survivors of high-control Christian Fundamentalism watch what’s happening in our laws and news headlines in horror as conservatives radicalize into the Christian Nationalism we know all too well. That’s why I feel it’s imperative to shine a light on that worldview—as well as what it’s like to deconstruct and heal in recovery.

Why subscribe?

I subscribe to Substacks because I love how the content comes right to me. I like the added value of paid stacks as well as knowing I’m helping support publications I enjoy. I bet you’re the same.

So, here’s how it works:

When I share a topic, the high-level overview post is free.

But you’ll get the most immersion, understanding, and value if you sign up for a paid subscription. You’ll gain full access to the deeper dives that come after the overview column, where I get more granular into the fiber and detail of each subject. You can comment on posts and see my Substacks Threads content. You’ll also get the roundup posts where I share what I’m pondering and reading each week. When I record an audible version of the post (I don’t do this when I’m traveling), you’ll get that too.

These are the flowers I received after signing my book deal. It was the happiest, most redemptive Diamond Day ever. If you’re looking for more, I also host The Working Writer podcast and co-host The Wize Jezebels with Dr. Laura E. Anderson (coming fall, 2023). And check out my website for a video directory and other resources for healing from religious trauma.

My column topics also show up on my Instagram feed, where you’ll find fresh takes and in-depth engagement.

Tia on Instagram

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Insights to help you consciously protect yourself against fundamentalist thinking, Christian Nationalism, and the cult that lives next door.


Tia Levings

I'm an author exploring anti-fundamentalism after church-sanctioned domestic abuse. I appeared in Shiny Happy People on Amazon Prime, and my memoir, A Well-Trained Wife, releases in August of 2024 with St. Martin's Press.