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Abstract

Many individuals daily navigate among seemingly contradicting aspects of self, creating a sense of both inclusion and “othering” simultaneously (Johnson-Bailey, 2012). The purpose of this paper is to tease out the complexities I experienced in the past, when I was both a religious educator in an exclusively Latter-day Saint (LDS) work environment, and a social justice-oriented graduate student. Next, I discuss why binary thinking is often harmful for students. Lastly, I recount a biblical metaphor to describe how “right” vs. “wrong” binary thinking often results in teacher saviorism and call on educators to embrace social pluralism. Throughout this paper, I dissect this intersectionality drawing from autobiographical narratives (Crenshaw, 2009), and situate my beliefs within West’s (1994) “prophetic” framework and Laible’s (2000) “loving epistemology,” wherein I am both Christian and an ally to the marginalized.

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