Sacred Tension

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April 23, 2018  

Gender Apocalypse: The Danvers Statement, Pt. 1

In this episode of Sacred Tension, Danielle, Donald, and I discuss the Danvers Statement. The Danvers Statement is a statement from the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood on gender roles in the church, home, and culture. Danielle leads the charge with a complete breakdown on why the statement falls apart at the seams.

While the Danvers Statement seems dusty, arcane, and out of touch, it is still important. It still shapes the way many people understand family, gender, and culture. Underlying the Danvers Statement is an infallible reading of scripture which, like a house of cards, collapses under its own weight. Scripture is far too huge, ancient, and complex to be held to the standards that the CBMW try to hold it to.

The result is an impoverished and potentially abusive view of scripture, culture, and, ultimately, women.

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April 16, 2018  

Marxism and Jordan Peterson, feat. Douglas Lain

If you’ve spent any amount of time on the Internet lately, you’ve probably heard of Jordan Peterson: a charismatic professor of psychology turned guru dad to the discontented young men of the western world. His meteoric rise has been swift, prompted by his refusal to use non binary pronouns, and he is now a figurehead of the anti-pc, anti-social-justice-warrior movement. The New York Times has described him as the most influential public intellectual of the western world.

Peterson is a complicated figure, and I’m not interested in reducing him to heroic, or villainous caricatures. His most recent book, 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos (which is also the most read book on Amazon right now) is, in places, genuinely helpful. 2 or 3 pieces of the advice he offers have been truly helpful to me, and I think his self authoring course has merits. Go an inch beneath his often obvious advice, though, and you run into some problems.

I normally don’t have an entire show dedicated to the critique of a public figure, but I think Jordan Peterson and his wild success need to be understood. I’ve been searching for some cogent criticism of Peterson, and Douglas Lain has offered some of the best critiques I’ve found on the web. In this episode of Sacred Tension Douglas and I discuss his offer to debate Peterson, Peterson’s flaws as a public intellectual, why Douglas describes himself as a “wannabe Marxist,” and much more.

Douglas Lain is the publisher of, a novelist, a podcaster, and most recently a youtuber.
His most recent novel, entitled BASH BASH Revolution (, received a starred review in Booklist, and his previous novel After the Saucers Landed was nominated for the Philip K Dick Award.
Douglas Lain is also the host of the Zero Books podcast. His first podcast, entitled Diet Soap, ran for over five years.

If you want to learn more about Douglas Lain, listen to his podcast, or watch his youtube channel, go to

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


April 2, 2018  

Gay, Christian, HIV Positive

In this episode of Sacred Tension, I talk to gay Christian activist and blogger Donald Scherschligt about his recent HIV diagnosis, and how he is integrating his HIV positive status into his life and faith. Donald speaks vulnerably and beautifully about the first moment he found out he is positive, the politics of HIV, the cognitive shift that takes place when one receives a positive diagnosis, and much, much more. 

You can find Donald at, and on twitter @donnysurelegit. He is also the editor in chief of SKEW, a Level Ground magazine, which you can find at

Do you or someone you know need help or resources on HIV? Donald has provided me with resources for anyone who might need care or want to learn more:

Everything you could ever want to know and more about HIV:

To find an HIV testing center in your local area:

To find PrEP providers, I recommend a couple places: First,

Second, If you live in a "healthcare desert" (a location where access to PrEP is unavailable due to legal or geographical limitations), learn about Nurx and get their app. They're an amazing telemedicine start-up that is making access to this pill incredibly easy:

If you need help affording PrEP:

To learn more about the history of the AIDS crisis: "How To Survive A Plague" is an infuriating, moving, powerful, amazing film and a must-watch for anyone who wants to learn about ACT UP and AIDS. It's totally worth the $3 for a rental on YouTube:

March 26, 2018  

Surviving a Shooting

This episode of Sacred Tension is a bit different, in that it isn't actually a Sacred Tension episode. Matt Langston has graciously agreed to let me share the audio from an interview I did for his show Eleventylife on what it was like to survive a shooting when I was 19 years old.

Because this is a story I rarely tell publicly, and becuase I don't see myself sharing it again anytime soon, I wanted to offer my listeners the opportunity to hear it. In the process, Matt, Davey and I discuss mental health, social media, religious child abuse, and Matt recalls that one time when demons were cast out of him.

And please take the time to subscribe to Matt's show. You can find Eleventyseven's music and podcast here

March 19, 2018  

Is Christianity a Cult?

In this episode of Sacred Tension, Matt and I follow up our Axioms of Faith series by "answering" some questions from listerners on social media. We discuss whether or not Christianity passes the cult test, whether the serpent in the garden was a benevolent figure, why people of faith do bad things, and much, much more. 

Do you get value out of this show? Please take a moment to write a kind review on Apple podcasts, or wherever you listen. 

Find Jonathan Merritt's article on Elevation Church here

Find Matt's new album here

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


March 5, 2018  

Living With Doubt, Pt. 1: In the Ruins of Christianity

In this episode of Sacred Tension, Matt Langston of Eleventyseven and I sit down to discuss our on-going struggles with doubt and faith. We discuss Science Mike's axioms of faith, and why we are still, against all odds, in the Christian community. 

Love my work and want to support it? Take a moment to write a kind review of Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. 

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. 

Love my work and want to support my show? Please take a moment to write a kind review on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen.

February 12, 2018  

Complementarianism, Pt. 2: Trickle Down Gospel

Donald, Danielle, and I continue our conversation about gender complementarianism and the mission statement of the Council For Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. In the process we discuss power structures, the importance of doubt, and how organizations like the Council For Biblical Manhood and Womanhood might exist to maintain certainty and control.