Beth Demme Blog

Steph and I both grew up hearing about “Stranger Danger.” The idea of a stranger is amorphous and unclear, and it only alerts children to potential external danger. But most child abuse happens at the hands of someone the child knows—that was the case for Steph. She was abused by someone her family trusted. This is an honest conversation about …


God Shows No Partiality

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Have you ever been rejected? Like, really rejected? Have you ever shown up at a party, a meeting, or (worst of all!) a church, and everyone seemed to be sending you not-so-subtle cues that you were not welcome there? Rejection is difficult and yet, it’s an almost universal experience. In fact, if we haven’t experienced rejection, maybe we aren’t trying …


Beth Demme Blog

In this episode, I try to call Steph out for failing to say “Bless You” when someone sneezes. Steph asks why we say “excuse me” or “bless you” in response to normal bodily functions. Why do we have a problem with our bodies doing what they need to do, when they need to do it? This is an honest conversation …



Beth Demme Blog

Experts say that hate against AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) communities has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode, Steph and I are joined by my friend, Dr. Su Wang. Su and I grew up together in Pensacola, Florida. Su says that during those days, she tried to assimilate into the White community and sometimes felt embarrassed by her family’s …


Beth Demme Blog

Some people are talking about weight gain during the pandemic as their “COVID-19,” a nod to the “Freshman 15” (the idea that people often gain fifteen pounds during their first year of college). This prompted Steph and me to have a conversation I have actually been avoiding—a conversation about weight, body size, and health. I have been overweight my entire …


Beth Demme Blog

After a year of living under the weight of a pandemic, we have a new hope; we have vaccines! Steph and I chose to get vaccinated for COVID-19, but we also recognize there are reasons why some folks are hesitant. This is an honest conversation about COVID, vaccines, and how we can make space for disagreement in the midst of …



Beth Demme Blog

Dese’Rae Stage, creator of Live Through This, joins Steph and me for an honest conversation about suicide. Dese’Rae is a suicidologist and a suicide attempt survivor. She created Live Through This to reduce the stigma and shame around suicide by giving suicide attempt survivors a chance to tell their stories. Too often, suicidality is described using impersonal statistics and anonymous …



Beth Demme Blog

Steph and I have an honest conversation about what sin is, what it isn’t, and who decides. We delve into the ethics of sin by asking questions like: If murder is sin, then is the executioner who carries out the death penalty committing a sin? And in what ways is sin individual and in what ways is it communal? Are …



Beth Demme Blog

What does your name say about who you are? In this episode, Steph and I have an honest conversation about the connection between name and identity. I talk about my ill-fated middle-school attempt to go by my actual name (Elizabeth). I also talk about the decision to change my children’s names when they were adopted. While their Russian names were …


A Cross to Bear?

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At one point, not too long before the crucifixion, Jesus started explaining to his disciples that things weren’t going to go the way they expected. Peter had already identified Jesus as the Messiah—someone who would bring triumph. But Jesus then told the disciples that triumph would come only after he was rejected by organized religion and executed by the government …