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Author: DS Leiter

The Human Cost of Unhealthy Politics

The Human Cost of Unhealthy Politics

I don’t know about you, but I grew up with a lot of political talk that cast both debating and politics as the types of activities that were presumed to have no cost EXCEPT to the home team. The home team (in this case, conservatives) were clearly the victimized ones. But no one else was likely to be hurt by any of these activities. The kind of “snowflake” rhetoric that’s emerged since then has come out of this attitude I…

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When Despising Democrats Becomes a Cover for Right-Wing Bigotry

When Despising Democrats Becomes a Cover for Right-Wing Bigotry

So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how a lot of the right-leaning people I grew up with would swear to the ends of the earth that they’re not bigots. (I mean, “bigot” is clearly the worst bad word, right? Cue many eyeroll emojis.) But at the same time, they saw Democrats as one of the biggest threats in their world. In this week’s blog post I plan to unwrap the complexities of how these fears of Democrats (created…

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Coping with Ambiguous Loss in an Age of Fascism

Coping with Ambiguous Loss in an Age of Fascism

I’ve been thinking a lot about ambiguous loss lately. And on the heels of a few recent blog posts here looking back at fascistic rhetoric and policies and their negative effects (see here, here, and here), I’ve been thinking about ambiguous loss in those contexts. Hang with me and I’ll try to unwrap what ambiguous loss means, how it can apply to life in an era where fascism is attempting to rise, and how we can all pour our stress…

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Unpacking “Christian Nation” as a Fascistic God Term

Unpacking “Christian Nation” as a Fascistic God Term

Okay, so the last couple of weeks’ blog posts about LGBTQ+ inclusivity and abortion bans as fascistic (see here and here respectively if you want to catch up). That coming in the midst of the crucially important January 6 hearings in Congress and the upcoming 4th of July holiday has been a thing.  Not to mention the recent Supreme Court decision allowing to door to open to the Religious Right’s Holy Grail of “(Christian nationalist) prayer in schools.” All of…

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Fascistic Rhetoric, Purity Culture, and the Roe V. Wade Overturn

Fascistic Rhetoric, Purity Culture, and the Roe V. Wade Overturn

Like so many of us, I’ve had sooooo many thoughts and feelings since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade yesterday. Especially coming on the tail end of a week in which I was rereading an excellent and excellently accessible book on fascistic rhetoric (How Fascism Works by Jason Stanley), refreshing my mind about how fascistic politicians tend to hearken back to a mythical idealized patriarchal past in order to gain and regain power, it’s been a whole thing to…

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When LGBTQ+ Identity Becomes a WEC Battleground

When LGBTQ+ Identity Becomes a WEC Battleground

So yeah, in recent months and years, it’s been increasingly clear that the litmus test for whether you were a “real” white Evangelical Christian has surrounded the question of where you stand on the Culture Wars, and has been stunningly similar to the question of what made a “true conservative” in the US. And let’s be clear—the issue this has consolidated around in recent years and decades, beyond the question of whether you support abortion being illegal, is the question…

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Getting Past Cynicism: Why We Need to Organize Like It’s 2017

Getting Past Cynicism: Why We Need to Organize Like It’s 2017

Here in the US, there’s been yet another school shooting. Not long after yet another grocery store shooting (that one caused by a white supremacist). And I have heard sooooo much cynicism this week. This blog post is designed to empathize with those who are cynical but also to call those who are cynical (and others who may be overwhelmed and frozen) toward fighting for change moving forward, however you’re able. See, we need you and your efforts. They matter….

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White Supremacist Rhetoric and the Abortion Debate

White Supremacist Rhetoric and the Abortion Debate

Not shockingly, I’ve been thinking a lot about abortion laws and the Supreme Court this week, what with me writing this after a document was leaked suggesting strongly that the Supreme Court is on the edge of overturning Roe v. Wade. All week I’ve been both hearing and feeling deep concern about this, including concern from black women as those who demographically often suffer most from this if Roe v. Wade really gets overturned. In this blog post I plan…

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Book Banning and the Rhetoric of Bible Reading

Book Banning and the Rhetoric of Bible Reading

Okay, so I’ve been thinking a lot about the Bible this week: and specifically the idea of how conservative Christians tend to idealize reading the Bible and assume it will somehow keep you conservative (spoiler alert: that did not happen for me). This comes in the wake of two disparate bits of news: (1) according to the 2022 State of the Bible report from the American Bible Society, Bible reading took a huge dive from early 2021-2022; and (2) that…

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When Therapy Becomes a Devil Term, Especially in Church

When Therapy Becomes a Devil Term, Especially in Church

So I know so many people who grew up Evangelical who grew up with the overt message that therapy is terrible. I grew up with a more covert stigma about it in my right-leaning moderate neck of the woods, but it was effective all the same with me for a long time. As I’ll explain a bit later, I even see symptoms of this lingering in some progressive Christian spaces. In this piece I’ll unwrap some of this and how…

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The Toxic Side of “All Lives Matter” Rhetoric

The Toxic Side of “All Lives Matter” Rhetoric

Okay, so we all KNOW a bunch of us get annoyed with the phrase “all lives matter”–for good reason– when it’s abused. A lot of us even know a lot of the reasons it bothers us. But com theory and related research can really help us see why it bothers us in a new light, and since that’s what I study and teach, I hope to explore what happens when seemingly good concepts like all lives matter “go bad,” and…

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Putin and the Culture Wars: An Analysis

Putin and the Culture Wars: An Analysis

Okay, so right now as I write this Russia, and specifically its leader Putin, are still invading the Ukraine, who is fighting back. As historian Heather Cox Richardson (along with others) have been pointing out, most American politicians, even those in the GOP, have been rolling back their support for Putin over the course of his invasion of Ukraine, but there are still some key politicians who are supporting Putin. As others have pointed out over at MSN.com, even the…

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Millstones and Such: The Gospel of Mark as Anti-Abuse

Millstones and Such: The Gospel of Mark as Anti-Abuse

Editor’s Note: This guest blog piece by Matthijs Kronemeijer was written before the recent horrific anti-trans legislation was passed in Texas. This legislation accuses healthy loving parents and caregivers of trans children of child abuse for affirming trans children’s identities and trying to protect them from the disturbingly high suicide rates among trans folx. I hate the fact that I even have to write a note about how much it is NOT ABUSE to affirm children who don’t fit pre-existing…

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Why Christian Nice Gets All Complicit with Bullies

Why Christian Nice Gets All Complicit with Bullies

So as I write this it’s Black History Month. Which has me thinking again about Christian White Person Nice and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s words in “Letter from Birmingham Jail” about how “white moderates” are almost a bigger threat to equity and justice than the extremists are. (I previously talked about this here and here.) In this week’s blog post I’d like to parse some more of this out in terms of communication and conflict theory. So I’ll…

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Beyond Thoughts and Prayers: A Spirituality of Equitable Tangible Support

Beyond Thoughts and Prayers: A Spirituality of Equitable Tangible Support

Okay, so probably many, if not most, of the people reading this blog KNOW they get super frustrated when they hear the words “thoughts and prayers.” If you are in this group, you may have even developed an allergy to the phrase. You probably even know that it bothers you because of a combo platter of hypocrisy and a lack of action. But you may not understand why you have such a visceral reaction to it, or why and how…

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