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‘I knew absolutely nothing about my own religion. Everything I knew was basically hearsay’

'I got so many heartfelt messages, messages where people said "this is so helpful for me."'

Mya Jo is entering her senior year of high school in the fall. There aren’t any religion courses on her roster for this school year, but that hasn’t stopped the 17-year-old from embarking on an independent study. She began her deconstruction journey when an argument in the comments section of Instagram showed her she didn’t know what she didn’t know.

“I was very passionate about my faith, but I knew absolutely nothing about my own religion. Everything I knew was basically hearsay,” said Mya Jo.

About three years ago, she began questioning her faith more. Mya Jo was already on TikTok and gaining a steady following. But last year, the first video she made about why she was no longer Christian caught the eye of the deconstruction community. 

“It was supposed to be a one-time thing. But I got so many heartfelt messages, messages where people said ‘this is so helpful for me,’” said Mya Jo. 

The positive comments, she said, outweighed the judgmental comments — although there were plenty of those as well. And so she’s kept studying and kept making videos using inspiration from her daily life: her grandmother.

Mya Jo’s deconstruction skits feature her talking to her “super religious grandmother.” Mya Jo chats with her grandmother — a costume of a leopard-print shower cap, suede fur-lined coat and a filter that distorts her face — about hell, about the number of the beast or about fear tactics in evangelization.

In the skits, her grandmother usually has the last word. Which, Mya Jo admits with a laugh, usually happens in real life, too.

“Those conversations are horrible in the moment. But when I think back to them, they’re just hilarious. So I just share them with the world.”

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