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Posted inPsychology

When the elephant in the room sits on your chest: Guilt after suicide

Reading Time: 5 minutes This entire column, not just this entry, contains a content warning. I will be writing about suicide, depression, post-traumatic stress, and other serious topics. If you are having suicidal thoughts, please reach out to someone you trust, establish care with a therapist, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255), or go to your nearest emergency […]

Posted inUncategorized

The Worst Parent Ever

Reading Time: 4 minutes Are you a parent? If you are, then I’d like you to try a thought experiment. Imagine that your 4-year-old child struts up to you and proudly hands you a colorful drawing of, well…you’re not entirely sure WHAT it is. Then she tells you that it’s a drawing of her and you, neither of whom […]

Posted inEthics and Morality, Politics, Psychology

Shame vs Guilt: The Rise of Shaming in Western Cultures

Reading Time: 5 minutes Guilt is often something associated with the Catholic Church. However, according to many, it goes deeper and larger than that. Guilt can be seen as very much a western, cultural characteristic that is used to great effect in more individualistic cultures. Shame, on the other hand, can be seen as more of a collectivist cultural […]

Posted inCulture, Religion, Sex & Gender

Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

Reading Time: 5 minutes Writing about sex is hard. Heh. And it’s not just because the innuendos keep coming again and again whether you want them to or not. What makes it so…um…difficult…is that people cannot stop telling you what you should do, how you should think, and how you should talk about your own sexuality. It’s not just […]

Posted inUncategorized

Why Christianity Works So Well (On Some of Us)

Reading Time: 8 minutes When talking about my past relationship with Christianity, I talk a lot about shame. When I think back over the thirty-odd years I lived as a Christian, as far back into my childhood as I can remember, what stands out most to me is the guilt and shame I carried for all my sins, past, […]

Posted inReligion, Sex & Gender

Bearing False Witness…Against Yourself

Reading Time: 3 minutes If you grew up in the Christian church, you probably have heard people speak of “testifying about” what God has done in their lives. Other times they speak of “sharing their testimony” or “sharing their story” of how Jesus changed or healed them. Most of us are probably at least somewhat familiar with the general template for […]

Posted inSex & Gender

Escaping A Culture of Repentance

Reading Time: 6 minutes I was fourteen years old when an older boy showed up on my street. I often walked my dog in the evenings, and he would drive up and down the street, slowing down to offer me every sex act he knew about (and a few I’m sure he knew nothing about at all). He tried to get me into […]

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