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Tag: assertiveness

Man vs. Bear and the Privileges of Safety

Man vs. Bear and the Privileges of Safety

I’ve been thinking a lot about the privileges of safety since this whole social media question started making the rounds on social media. You know, the one about whether you’d rather meet a man or a bear or whatever other variation in the woods (if you haven’t heard, many women when offered this question have been enthusiastically choosing the bear, and explaining their experiences and reasons for this). It makes sense that I’d been thinking about this, because the very…

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When Women Get Seen as People Pleasers (Especially in Complmentarianism)

When Women Get Seen as People Pleasers (Especially in Complmentarianism)

So this week a TikTok got posted in one of the groups I’m in on Facebook about the oddness of the term “people pleaser.” That TikTok (here it is if you want to see it!) called out how the term gets applied in often strange ways—pointing out that people pleasing implies that someone’s being pleased, for instance, which often isn’t the case. That led my brain down the rabbit hole of all the concepts I teach in my university classes…

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Why Religious Differences Become So Fraught

Why Religious Differences Become So Fraught

So this week I had several interactions with members of the AS audience that reminded me just how many stress responses get caught up in discussing religious differences. And since I literally teach theories in my university communication classes that explain why this is, I thought it may be helpful to delve deeper into this in today’s blog posts. At a time when polarization is high and there’s a lot of trauma around religious differences, I hope this can help…

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Nick Offerman, Martin Bonham, and the Narratives of Possibility

Nick Offerman, Martin Bonham, and the Narratives of Possibility

A while back, I blogged here about the film Women Talking and how its dialogues tended to break down dichotomies and help its viewers’ minds break through to narratives of possibility about grieving out abuses and moving forward. In this week’s blog post I plan to look at two recently released books–one by Nick Offerman and the other by Robert Hudson–and discuss the ways they present differing but similar visions of what Assertive Spirituality could look like. Both of these…

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Women Talking and the Narrative of Possibility

Women Talking and the Narrative of Possibility

This week I finally saw the Oscar-winning film Women Talking, which masterfully depicts women problem-solving how to respond a gigantic situation of systemic sexual abuse and assault by men in an isolated religious community. Today I want to take some of the tools of my trade—communication theory and narrative theory—to explain why I saw the film as an excellent expression of #AssertiveSpirituality on so many levels. Thanks for giving me a few minutes to see how I saw so much…

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On a Long-a**ed Resurrection from Unhealthy Religio-Political Beliefs

On a Long-a**ed Resurrection from Unhealthy Religio-Political Beliefs

As I write this, it is Holy Saturday, and as I reflect on this time that’s traditionally one of gestation and waiting moving toward resurrection, in the midst of spring, a season that celebrates new growth after the dormancy of winter, it’s profoundly helpful to look back on what has gone before. And to grieve the mini-deaths that have been necessary within me as I’ve been traveling away from unhealthy religio-political beliefs, and hopefully toward healthier ones. I can’t believe…

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How to Respond When the Bullies (Seem to) Win

How to Respond When the Bullies (Seem to) Win

I don’t know about you, but there are times in weeks like this past one when it just feels so much like however much progress we make, like the systems in place are just too flawed, and allow the bad guys—you know, the bullies and abusers—to win much much too often. In today’s piece I want to unwrap some of the dynamics of these issues and how to understand and healthily respond when things seem like this. (This is going…

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An Open Letter to My Former Less Assertive Self

An Open Letter to My Former Less Assertive Self

This week, in honor of opening a new year, I wanted to use this space to write an open letter to my former more conservative self that was trained on some level to believe that assertiveness was immoral. (If you’re just joining us, or forgot, I’m a former pastor’s kid from a right-leaning denomination who went on to get a PhD in Communication. There are lots of places on this blog you can learn about where I came from and…

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When the GOP Fails to Denounce Nazis—A Call to Action

When the GOP Fails to Denounce Nazis—A Call to Action

I have to confess—I’ve been choking back an awful lot of “I told you so’s” this past week or so as people marveled at the fact that the former president of the US (you know, the one who still thinks he didn’t lose a legitimate election in 2020 and has been shown to have fomented an insurrection to maintain power) hosted alt-right extremist Nick Fuentes for dinner at his home, and so so few GOP leaders decried the choice. In…

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Talking About Assertive Spirituality with the What in God’s Name Podcast

Talking About Assertive Spirituality with the What in God’s Name Podcast

I had the privilege recently of talking with the lovely folks over at the What in God’s Name podcast about the ideas and background behind this Assertive Spirituality project, and if you’re reading this before Wednesday, September 28, 2022 there still may be an opportunity for you to join in a Zoom talk back session with all of us at 7 p.m. Eastern. Here’s what you need to know: The podcast is in a 3-part series, with an intro, the…

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When “Open Borders” Becomes a Right-Wing Devil Term Yet Again

When “Open Borders” Becomes a Right-Wing Devil Term Yet Again

Okay, so I’ll confess I had to go back and read up on Heather Cox Richardson’s latest update when I started seeing memes and posts about GOP immigration nonsense in my feed again. At any rate, it doesn’t actually feel all that new at all. That’s because this rhetoric is old as the fascistic hills. So today I wanted to unwrap a bit more of what happens in general with unhealthy rhetoric that frames “open borders” as a devil term—and…

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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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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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Assertiveness in an Age of Herod(s)

Assertiveness in an Age of Herod(s)

So as I write this, it’s Advent, a time when traditionally people have focused on the time of waiting in the midst of deep and dark tension for good things to arrive. But speaking of darkness, bits of the Christmas story itself are remarkably dark and horrific, as the story of when Joseph and Mary have to flee the country because Herod saw a potential baby born to be the Messiah as a huge threat to his power. This week’s…

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When Conservative Christians Demonize Deconstruction

When Conservative Christians Demonize Deconstruction

This past week an intense Twitter war has been raging between conservative Christians (mostly white Evangelicals) and their critics over the nature and value of those who are “deconstructing.” In this blog piece, I plan to unwrap some of the messaging these white Evangelicals—mostly men—have been using to demonize those who claim the term deconstruction by those who have been leaving white Evangelicalism, especially since the 2016 election in the United States. Specifically, I’ll be looking at the rhetoric of…

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