Sacred Tension

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March 12, 2019  

Dismantling Supremacy Culture

In this episode of Sacred Tension, I talk to Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, PhD about the process of dismantling toxic power within our culture. We talk about my gradual journey of understanding what, exactly, racism and sexism are, and the process of overcoming them. Robyn ultimately advocates for radical courage and imagination, and I found this conversation deeply moving.

Knowing intimately that the borderlands are a place of learning and growth, Dr. Robyn draws on their identity and heritage as a queer Latinx in everything that they do. From doubt to divine and everywhere in between, their call as an activist-theologian demands the vision to disrupt hegemony and colonialist structures of multi-layered oppression.

As an anti-oppression, anti-racist, non-binary Trans*gressive Latinx, Robyn takes seriously their call as an activist theologian and ethicist to bridge together theories and practices that result in communities responding to pressing social concerns. Robyn sees this work as a life-orienting vocation, deeply committed to translating theory to practice, and embedded in re-imagining our moral horizon to one which privileges a politics of radical difference.

February 18, 2019  

The Theology of Heaven’s Gate

In March of 1997, Heaven’s Gate committed ritual suicide to the astonishment and horror of the world. Over 20 years later, we are still piecing together the mystery of this fringe UFO religion: who were they, what did they believe, and why did they end so horribly? Joining me for today’s Sacred Tension podcast is Benjamin Zeller, widely considered the leading authority on Heaven’s Gate.

Zeller walks us through why he calls Heaven’s Gate a religion and not a cult, the theology of Heaven’s Gate and how it is, at its most basic level, Christian, whether we will ever have society without religion, and much more. I found this an incredibly thought provoking conversation, and I hope you do too.

Benjamin Zeller is a researcher and teacher of religion in America. He focuses on religious currents that are new or alternative, including new religions, the religious engagement with science, and the quasi-religious relationship people have with food. Dr. Zeller holds a doctorate from the University of North Carolina, an M.T.S. from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester.

Other Rock Candy Podcasts: Eleventylife

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February 12, 2019  

A Theist and a Nontheist Have a Conversation

Our culture is rife with unproductive conversations about God and religion. Donald and I attempt to rectify this by sitting down and talking about our belief and unbelief in God. 

February 1, 2019  

On Not Believing in God but Experiencing Him Anyway

May 21, 2018  

Exploring Satanism, Pt. 1: Satan the Outsider

In this episode of Sacred Tension, I talk to Greg Stevens, a leader and spokesman of the Satanic Temple. In part one of this interview we discuss nontheistic religion, worship, atheism, the 7th tenent of the Satanic Temple, and much more. 

You can find Greg at You can find the Satanic Temple at

April 30, 2018  

Gender Apocalypse: The Danvers Statement, Pt. 2

Donald, Danielle and I continue our breakdown of the Danvers Statement. In the process we discuss women in leadership, privilege, the American Evangelical persecution complex, and much more.

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April 9, 2018  

Satanic Ritual Abuse, feat. Grey Faction

Content warning: this episode features some discussions of physical, medical, psychological and sexual abuse that some listeners may find difficult.

Grey Faction is a campaign of the Satanic Temple dedicated to overcoming the causes and consequences of the Satanic Panic which swept through the United States in the 80’s and 90’s. While the Satanic Panic is no longer mainstream, it lives on in the mental health field and corners of the Evangelical movement. 

In this episode of Sacred Tension, I talk to two badass Satanic ladies from Grey Faction about the work they do to expose the quack science in the mental health field that continues to perpetuate abuse and Satanic Panic delusion. They explain how this is a human rights and feminist issue. 

If you want to learn more about Grey Faction, go to


March 12, 2018  

Living With Doubt, Pt. 2: The Nontheistic Option

In part two of our series on doubt, Matt Langston and I continue our discussion of Science Mike's Axioms. In the process, we talk about hell, salvation from a scientific perspective, how we relate to the Bible, and how nontheism might be the way of the future. 

Find Matt's new album here


February 26, 2018  

Telling Better Stories

After growing up in Northern Ireland, storyteller Gareth Higgins understands better than most how stories shape society, conflict, and change. In this episode of Sacred Tension, Gareth shares his wisdom with my listeners about how to tell better stories in a world that seems overrun with fundamentalism, violence, and totalitarianism. 

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February 5, 2018  

Complementarianism, Pt. 1: Genital Kicking Contest

In this episode of Sacred Tension, Danielle, Donald, and I discuss the mission and vision statements of the Council For Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. We rant about Biblical interpretation, the social consequences of complementarianism, and more.