Browsed by
Tag: politics and morality

#NotAll Commentary: Unpacking Tangential Responses

#NotAll Commentary: Unpacking Tangential Responses

This week on the AS FB page I’ve been accused of attacking a wide variety of groups as per usual, simply by posting memes that critique unhealthy systems and behaviors. This happens fairly regularly here at the Assertive Spirituality page, mind you—but this week was special as I can’t remember the last time I remember having been accused of attacking so many groups in a few days. At any rate, I’ve been wanting to do a general post for awhile…

Read More Read More

When Mothers Are Aging Faster than Presidents

When Mothers Are Aging Faster than Presidents

So I always teach a unit of my university courses on stress, because it has such an impact on communication. And I tend to show this video in class that talks about how mothers of disabled children are too often aging 6 years for every year of caregiving of a sick or disabled child. When I get to that point, I’ve taken to stopping the video lately to explain that presidents, for all the stress of their jobs, actually age…

Read More Read More

When Facts (and Ethics) Get Seen as Partisan

When Facts (and Ethics) Get Seen as Partisan

I’m going to be real, here. Watching the rhetorical situation change over the last few years has been absolutely WILD from the perspective of teaching communication concepts in a university classroom as well as working through these things within this project. It’s been both fascinating and disturbing to see what it takes to teach students the basic principles of communication in a world where fascistic rhetoric is attempting to portray facts, ethics, and empathy as partisan, as well as to…

Read More Read More

When Unhealthy Christian Nationalism Has the Loudest Voice

When Unhealthy Christian Nationalism Has the Loudest Voice

Okay, so it’s been quite awhile now since fascistic Christian nationalism has been working hard to get an increasingly loud voice in US politics, and I’ve been noticing some increasingly complex dynamics at play because of this. Since a huge part of why I founded this project is to convince people to raise their voices against the unhealthy dynamics in this specific abuse of the fusion of religion and politics (alongside other unhealthy dynamics), I wanted to take some time…

Read More Read More

When Anti-Trans Legislation Just Keeps Coming

When Anti-Trans Legislation Just Keeps Coming

I’ll confess that I was rather casually looking around for another aspect of anti-trans rhetoric to analyze for this week’s blog post. Like most of us, I knew on an intellectual level that it was absolutely a huge thing that was still happening, and I was considering writing about bathroom bills, but I’d been hearing them for so long. Were they still a thing? When I found a great source that tracks anti-trans legislation (keep reading for a link!), I…

Read More Read More

When Conservative Male Politicians Cry Witch Hunt (Repeatedly)

When Conservative Male Politicians Cry Witch Hunt (Repeatedly)

Okay, so if you’ve been paying attention to the right-wing political rhetoric lately, you’ll be noticing that a lot of the rhetoric from (mostly male) proponents of The Big Lie about the 2020 Election “being stolen” have once again contained the phrase “witch hunt.” This phrase has been used many times in the past by the same people, and honestly I’m a little tired of it, but as so often happens with rhetorical analysis, new layers of meaning were popping…

Read More Read More

When Ordinary Conservatives Defend Billionaires: A Rhetorical Analysis

When Ordinary Conservatives Defend Billionaires: A Rhetorical Analysis

This past week, on the AS Facebook page, I posted a meme comparing Smaug, the greedy dragon villain in Tolkien’s The Hobbit, to billionaires. As usual, the responses from the conservative trolls were extremely illuminating, saying the quiet parts out loud. Thanks to these responses, this week’s article looks at the ways ordinary conservatives find themselves defending dragons…I mean, oligarchical billionaires that are trying to keep their loyalty through shady rhetoric. Where I’m Coming From Here As always, I’m coming…

Read More Read More

Book Banning, “Age Appropriateness,” and LGBTQ+ Content

Book Banning, “Age Appropriateness,” and LGBTQ+ Content

In recent weeks, I’ve posted several memes at Assertive Spirituality’s Facebook page that have, for whatever reason, gone what I like to call “troll viral.” One thread of rhetoric that has popped up a lot in this recently has had to do, interestingly to me as a scholar, with gaslighting the idea that there’s a “book banning” trend at all. No, these folks say, books are just being removed pending “finding a way to make them more age appropriate.” While…

Read More Read More

When Affirming Becomes a Devil Term

When Affirming Becomes a Devil Term

With so many states creating laws demonizing LGBTQ+ identities and conservative Christians supporting so many of them with their votes, I’ve been thinking a lot about a dimension of the ways “Christian Nice” subtly theologically demonizes LGBTQ+ people lately. And when I saw a picture of a church sign that flat out said “we are welcoming but not affirming” I knew I had to take on the topic of the way that a church becoming (LGBTQ+) affirming is seen as…

Read More Read More

Right-Leaning Folks and the Viking or Victim Mindset

Right-Leaning Folks and the Viking or Victim Mindset

In the last week I’ve had the dubious privilege of dealing with hundreds of alt-right trolls on a few selected posts on the FB AS page. This has obviously not been my favorite thing—not sure where they all came from, honestly. But since they came along, it was actually pretty helpful (if disturbing) to see the quiet parts the more covertly right-wing folks I came up with said out loud. In thinking about it, one of the things these (now…

Read More Read More

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…

Read More Read More

The Nashville Shooting and The Danger of a Single Story

The Nashville Shooting and The Danger of a Single Story

As I write this, we just passed Transgender Day of Visibility AND there was yet another school shooting this week. But this time it was at a Christian school in Nashville, and by a person who used they/them pronouns (find out more in this NPR story). So yeah, let’s be clear: this is the type of LGBTQ+ visibility that is likely to make the LGBTQ+ community rightfully terrified. After all, this is the kind of edge case situation that unhealthy…

Read More Read More

When Drag Gets Demonized: A Call to Action

When Drag Gets Demonized: A Call to Action

Just this past week, Tennessee became the first American state to outlaw drag shows (here’s a piece from PBS that gives some historical context on this). But if you’ve been paying attention, you already know that other red states are working on similar measures. This post will come at this issue from a rhetorical perspective, analyzing how the recent right-wing attempts to ban and demonize drag use strategic ambiguity in really unhealthy ways to target the LGBTQ+ community. Where I’m…

Read More Read More

That TGC Piece & Fascistic Sex Cult Theology

That TGC Piece & Fascistic Sex Cult Theology

Okay, so there have, for excellent reasons, been really really strong negative reactions from so so many quarters to an extremely disturbing article about the theology of sex published this past week on the white Evangelical organization The Gospel Coalition’s (TGC) website. Intriguingly, the blowback came not only from progressives but also enough of TGC’s audience members that they actually removed the article really quickly while doubling down by linking to a book chapter from a forthcoming book the article…

Read More Read More

When Pronouns Become the…Enemy? Analyzing Anti-Transgender Rhetoric

When Pronouns Become the…Enemy? Analyzing Anti-Transgender Rhetoric

Okay, so it’s been quite a few years now since the far-right started demonizing trans people. It’s only been recently, however, as of this writing, since right-wing pundits in the US started ridiculing the use of pronouns—as though one could demonize an entire part of speech, one asks? Of course it’s not the use of a part of speech that everyone uses that is the target of course—it’s transgender people themselves, and more broadly anyone who affirms and supports nonbinary,…

Read More Read More