by Martie Sirois

How one word became ammunition for selective moral outrage under the guise of Christianity

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“Street Preacher” by zacharymcgee, CC PDM 1.0

Such were the sentiments bellowed by the Christian street preacher before his crowd — a thin crowd, but a hungry one. The unanimous cheering in return echoed against the few city buildings, reverberating proof that Rev. Jim was preaching to the choir.

Growing up in the ‘80s, it wasn’t unusual to hear feverish pulpiters posturing like this. Condemning whatever they saw as “abominations” seemed to be the specialty of Christian preachers and their televangelist cohorts alike. …


A few things I’ve learned about racial discrimination, privilege, and intersectionality — while advocating for my white, trans teen

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It is officially Black History Month, and it seems I always find myself here. Debating whether or not to write (or publish) what I’ve learned over the past five years on racism in the United States. It’s not because I think racism is too ‘polarizing’ a topic, or because I want to avoid the backlash of condemnation that will surely follow in the comments section — albeit, mainly from one primary group: cishet (cisgender & heterosexual) white men who seem to be unreasonably angry.

My fear is of taking up space in the racial justice movement when that space could’ve…


If the sound of Donald Trump’s voice provokes an inexplicable rage response that seems to come from the depth of your soul, you might be suffering from misophonia.

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

mis·​o·​pho·​nia | \ ˌmi-sō-ˈfō-nē-ə \ (noun): a condition in which certain sounds cause a strong negative reaction, or an atypical emotional response (such as disgust, distress, panic, or rage) in the affected person hearing the sound.

The stranger beside me crunching ice from her 7-Eleven “Big Gulp” nearly sent me over the edge. But I couldn’t move; I was held hostage. I’d just had knee surgery 2 days prior, and with the nice fall weather, my husband decided to get our cabin-fevered family of 5 outside, to the park. The plan of action was for him to get me settled on a nearby bench — comfy, with everything I needed. Then he’d take the kids to play and I could enjoy my book in the quiet.

Once established on the bench in a warm sunbeam’s path…


Or, that time I blundered through talking to a depressed friend

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Photo by Raul Popadineți on Unsplash

It was a late fall day, and the sky was overcast. The coolness and shade was a welcome respite from the nearly year-round glaring of the Florida sun. I parked my car on a grassy spot near the first hole of the local park's disc golf course and hopped out. I waved to my friend, Mike, who was already there waiting.

"Hey, man, how's it going?" I asked out of habit.

"Good," he lied.

I knew it was a lie. He knew I knew. I knew before I asked. It's the whole reason we were hanging out. I stepped up…


This Is Not Normal

Helpless victims swept up in a vortex of propaganda and paranoia, or intentional, active participants? And what (if anything) can we do about it?

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Image: Edgar MT, Mixkit

“Fox Orphans” is what freelance writer/journalist Luke O’Neil calls them — the people who’ve lost parents (or loved ones) to Fox News. Many of you know this feeling well: somewhere around the early Obama years, or maybe as recently as 2016, you suddenly found yourself treading on thin ice, at odds on seemingly everything with an otherwise intelligent, kind-hearted and generous, loving, decent family member.

You felt baffled, maybe even betrayed. You’d always gotten along fine until this point; you’d enjoyed many deep conversations on all manner of topics, and you even saw eye-to-eye on most everything.

But then suddenly…


You don’t realize the irony of what you’re saying

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Image by Lauren Bending, mixkit.co

A reader commented with a variation of a question I hear all the time: “Am I supposed to go out of my way to learn someone’s obscure pronoun just to accommodate them and make them happy?” This smacked of odd familiarity, like the gut feeling I get when I hear people say, “I don’t have a problem with gay people, but I do have a problem with them shoving it in my face.”

The “am I supposed to…” pronoun question was one of many thoughts expressed by a guy who was also arguing that the word ‘cisgender’ should fall out…


This Is Not Normal

Don’t just take my word for it; there’s plenty of evidence. Here’s some of it.

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When we were facing the last Presidential election, I often felt floored by the folks who not only defended, but also sang the praises of then-candidate Donald Trump. “Maybe it’s time that a non-politician ran this country,” they’d offer. “Look what he’s accomplished as a successful business man! Don’t you think our country would flourish if we were run the same way?”

In short, no. I didn’t think so.

I never thought so.

In my mind, musings like these were a gateway drug for the alternative facts Twilight Zone we now find ourselves occupying — a continuum of time and…


If you say, “I don’t have a problem with gay people; I have a problem with them shoving it in my face,” you might be obsessed

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Photo by Taufiq Helios on Reshot

The only “gay agenda” I’ve ever known is the one frequently invoked by people who tend to be of the ultra-conservative persuasion. I think — I could be wrong, but I think — it refers to what they seem to be utterly preoccupied with, or, in other words, what I call “gay folks’ privacy.” I can’t imagine any reason (other than subconscious jealousy, intimidation, or fear) as to why these gay-agenda-obsessed people presume that another person’s sexual orientation is any of their business in the first place.

Likewise, these same people also tend to be heavily invested in policing everyone…

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