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Tag: religio-political conflicts

White Evangelicals, the Culture Wars, and the Rainbow as a Battleground

White Evangelicals, the Culture Wars, and the Rainbow as a Battleground

Shortly before Pride Month started, I was driving across the wide open in the Midwest, watching the stormy skies in one quadrant of the view carefully, only to find what I was hoping for—a complete double rainbow. As I came to a stop to soak it in and take pictures, I had to laugh a bit when I noticed the bow stretched over—you guessed it—one of those “seeker-friendly” white Evangelical churches. This got me thinking a lot, naturally, about the…

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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 Conservative Christians Downplay Christian Nationalism

When Conservative Christians Downplay Christian Nationalism

This week I saw a Facebook post from an educated right-leaning man that completely downplayed the dangers of Christian nationalism, so I’ve decided to unwrap and respond to that post in this blog post. Hopefully by the end we can all get closer to agreeing on why it’s so important to continue to stand up against the very real dangers of Christian nationalism that has already been resulting in the trauma and deaths of actual human beings. Before diving in…

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#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…

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How to Make Conversations about Forgiveness Less Contentious

How to Make Conversations about Forgiveness Less Contentious

I started this project to make space for people of all stripes that are AGAINST unhealthy stuff in the religio-political sphere and FOR a healthier world for us all. The thing is, we don’t all (naturally) agree on all topics. As a result, the AS FB page can become contentious at times, even among long-established followers. This never seems to happen quite as strongly as when the topic of forgiveness comes up. It happened again this week when I posted…

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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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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…

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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…

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When Salvation Is Used as a Culture Wars Weapon

When Salvation Is Used as a Culture Wars Weapon

Well, if you haven’t heard, another forecasted “rapture” came and went on Friday, September 22, 2023. While I didn’t grow up in a tradition that overtly used the end times as a weapon for terrorizing people within the denomination (at least not regularly that I’m aware of!), I’ve come to realize that some of those I grew up with in my right-leaning moderate denomination did—and very much still do—either wittingly or unwittingly use salvation as a weapon. In today’s blog…

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When Conservative Pastors Rail Against Consent

When Conservative Pastors Rail Against Consent

So apparently there’s yet another conservative Christian article out about the theology of sex from a patriarchal perspective. (Apparently that narrative is super important to defend—all the eyeroll emojis.) Anyway, I couldn’t bring myself to look that particular article up after the trainwreck that was the last one I wrote about, but hearing about it got me thinking this week about a sermon I heard a few years back from a nuanced but right-leaning pastor in which the idea of…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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