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All four heathens are in the house and we're talking about gender, how to destroy it, and the art of drag. Everyone grows up under the massive pressures of the binary gender, and religious folks usually have a few extra layers weighing us down. Drag is one way to expand, fuck with, and blur the boundaries of the binary and help us find a little big…
 
Welcome to the show a couple of our favorite fellow podcast hosts, Pelayo Alvarez and Melissa Weisz. These incredible spacemakers and good friends are building spirituality from scratch after coming out of a Hasidic Jewish upbringing in Brooklyn (Melissa) and a Catholic upbringing in Northern Spain. Now, they explore what it means to be queer and s…
 
We doubt we’re the first to introduce you to the phenom behind the very popular, very powerful platform God Is Grey, but if this does happen to be your first time encountering Brenda Marie Davies, we’re excited for you. Brenda is, in her own words, a sex-positive, LGBT+ affirming, science-believing, intellectual Christian. She’s also an author and …
 
We've been massive fans of Suandria Hall since we first started following her on Instagram @mychoicemypowercounseling. Based in Denver, CO, Suandria is a life transitions and religious trauma coach—dolls, meet our absolute favorite certified Heathen counselor! Anissa and Karyn sat down with Suandria to talk about deconstructing as cis het females, …
 
Westerlight is an Indie-Americana duo made up of Oklahoma singer-songwriters Rachel and Jonny Hupp. We talk with them about their shift from being worship leaders, how they quit church on accident, and what it’s been like to make music during a pandemic. You’ll love this deconstruction conversation with Westerlight (and your two newest co-hosts, An…
 
Erin Burnett is an absolute delight of a human—her perspective, her incredible 21-year-old wisdom, and the ease of her laugh. Before reaching legal US drinking age, she’d taken a deep dive into fundamentalist Calvinism, published an Evangelical young adult novel, tumbled into a deconstruction arc she tried to curb by enrolling in seminary, started …
 
Welcome to the first episode of our new series we're wink-nudge calling Raising Hell!* Anissa and Karyn are taking on the complicated work of parenting through and beyond religious deconstruction. In Raising Hell episodes, we'll connect with experts, good books, and each other about what's working (and what isn't) for raising our little ones outsid…
 
You've probably seen her Instagram or TikTok accounts. Meet Blair, the internet phenom who is shaming purity culture and helping us all have the sex life we want. She's using social media to skillfully expose the damage purity culture does, dismantling it one deluded, destructive lie at a time. Follow Talk Purity to Me on Instagram and TikTok. Here…
 
Welcome back, heathens! There are four of us now. Meet your two new hosts, Anissa Nishira and Ben Grace, as they join Karyn and Flamy (formerly Matthew!) for a rousing round of catch up, sneak peek, and reflections on where we are a few years into this journey of deconstruction. Support Heathen: Patreon.com/HeathenPodcast Instagram • Facebook • Twi…
 
Look, here's the thing: maybe Jesus was an alien. Lots of folks say he was God incarnate and the savior of the world. But maybe he was an alien. It's worth a conversation, and if Heathen isn't the place for that conversation, we don't know what is. Tess Meissner, hypnotherapist and Heathen fan favorite guest from season 2, is back in this long-lost…
 
Three members of the band The Many—Leslie Michele, Darren Calhoun, and Lenora Rand—are here with a declaration: love is greater than fear. Drawing on indie pop and gospel influences, The Many is a liturgically-grounded new kind of worship band, an intentionally diverse collective making music for people to sing together to bring more hope, love and…
 
For those of us who grew up in some form of purity culture, the landscape of shame and its scars is deeply familiar terrain. Author, Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate, and host of the incomparable Queerology podcast Matthias Roberts’ commitment to the long work of learning to trust our bodies, embrace our sexuality, and live fully into our…
 
We're quarantined with Colby Martin, AND he has a brand new book out, so—perfect time to record a podcast, right? Be sure to pick up your copy of "The Shift: Surviving and Thriving After Moving from Conservative to Progressive Christianity" today, and watch the incredible livestream book release (which features yours truly) here! https://www.colbym…
 
Merry Christmas and happy holidays, heathens! We're back with our final episode of 2019 and it's just family: Karyn and Matthew sit down to celebrate 50 episodes of Heathen and talk about why we feel old... and why we feel that's a good thing. Categories are: elderhood and mentoring, the freedom found in failure, and why it's better to experience s…
 
He was always queer, even when he was hosting a highly-rated Christian TV show for the TBN network. Azariah Southworth met up with us in a library in Oceanside, CA, to talk about growing up Pentecostal, working in the Christian entertainment business, and the hard-won freedom he now embraces as a queer, Jesus-loving activist who is here to expose a…
 
Nashville singer/songwriter Dustin Ransom is stepping it up. He's a talented multi-instrumentalist who has played with and written for dozens of musicians, from Derek Webb to Jars of Clay to Chely Wright, but with the release of his new album Frontiers, the spotlight is on him. Which is fine, because he has plenty to share, both through his music a…
 
Don’t confuse him with Jacob from the Bible. Jake Wesley Rogers is a Nashville-based musician, songwriter, and performer whose music has been making us weep/fist-pump/belt out loud lately, and we’re so excited he agreed to have a conversation about spirituality with us. He just released a new EP called Spiritual (and we highly recommend you check o…
 
Amber Cantorna spent her childhood, among other things, as a voice actor on the popular evangelical children's radio program "Adventures in Odyssey." Her own adventures, though, took her on a path out of evangelicalism as she came out, got married, and began working as an author and activist to help other queer folks from conservative religious com…
 
Hi, heathens! Even though we're in-between seasons right now, we wanted to send you some quick love at Thanksgiving. We know that with Thanksgiving often comes family, and with family—when you're a heathen—often comes a lot of discomfort, awkwardness, and downright difficult situations. So this is just a "we love you" voicemail to remind you that y…
 
Season 2 finale. We can't believe it's been a year since Heathen started. In today's closer to season 2, we're reflecting on how we've changed and the things we learned along the way. There will be beauty, and there will be pain. Knowing and accepting this is part of our journey, and makes it possible to navigate through impossible circumstances. T…
 
It's time to slide down another slippery slope here at Heathen. Meet Tess Meissner, certified clinical hypnotherapist and shamanic practitioner. Settle in for an enlightening conversation about how Tess helps people heal through ancient shamanic practices, breaking trances, and reconnecting with our own bodies and souls.In this super-sized episode,…
 
Sexy selfies and provocative pictures: not something our conservative religious upbringings looked too kindly upon. But there is some magic we've missed out on in being closed-off to sensual self-admiration, as Karyn discovered when she decided to book a boudoir photography session with today's guest, Debra Alison. Together, they rip through more p…
 
Say hi to the heathenest pastors you'll find: ours. Kate Christensen-Martin and Colby Martin are co-founders of Sojourn Grace Collective, a podcast called The Kate and Colby Show, and four fantastic boys, among other things. They are also some of our dearest friends—dearer still after this powerful, poignant, playful conversation about their chasm-…
 
By the time she was 25, Jennifer Knapp had gone about as high as you could go in the 1990s Christian music industry. Three records and nearly a million album sales in, she walked away. When she came back seven years later, she was ready to tell more of her story. We're so excited to bring you this conversation with Jennifer Knapp.…
 
This week, meet Amy Canton and Clark Williams, my (Matthew's) sister and brother. I couldn't be prouder of them, or more excited for you to hear about our shared history and their own personal journeys out of religious trauma. The conversation took some very unexpected turns: parts of our own stories were rewritten in real time as we shared and lea…
 
In our ongoing commitment to explore *all* the territory religious fundamentalism won't, it's time for a new Sexisode! Welcome James Johansen, a sex therapist with a special interest in polyamory and non-monogamy. This conversation is about understanding eroticism vs. intimacy, agency over our own bodies, and the ethical way to have sex, no matter …
 
Sometimes you can't find the thing you need, so you have to make it yourself. After years of deconstruction and reshaping of her faith, Crystal Cheatham found herself wanting a place to find inclusive, queer-affirming, non-gendered writings—and Bibles—that she could use in her own spiritual practice. But the resources out there weren't willing hear…
 
"Success is making a good thing in a vile time." This thought from Myles E. Johnson was part of the inspiration for this week's episode, which is a collection of good things. Words we love, music and poetry to give perspective, comedy specials on Netflix that help us bear the unbearable. After what's been one of the harder weeks in a long season of…
 
Undoubtedly, sex is one of the most fraught aspects of life for folks coming out of oppressive, conservative, restrictive religion. That's why we're doing Sexisodes: episodes about sex that are here to untangle, unburden, and enlighten us about our bodies, our relationships, and more. In today's (very NSFW) conversation, we welcome fellow heathen B…
 
Hi, heathens. It's been a week. We want you to know there is love for you. ♥ If you are well, take care of the family and friends you have. If you are numb or in pain, if you are struggling, if it feels too heavy: know that these podcasting nerds over here at Heathen headquarters love you. If you're able to ask for help—and there is NEVER any shame…
 
Anissa Nishira Cornelius joins co-host Karyn Thurston for a conversation from the She Is Called conference in Denver. Join these theatre geeks on a journey from Anissa's Baptist upbringing in San Diego to her role as a birth worker in Oklahoma. Anissa shares her experience growing up black in predominately white evangelical circles and challenges u…
 
(This conversation centers on sexual assault.) It's our first literally-on-the-road episode. We drove to Hollywood on a whim to be in the audience for the taping of comic/writer/actor/podcast host extraordinaire Cameron Esposito's new special called "Rape Jokes." It was a provocative, hilarious, beautiful evening that inspired a conversation we rec…
 
Wendy Holland is a minister in the Disciples of Christ tradition and came to Heathen to share why she's still ministering after a lifetime of frustration over the direction of the church in America. Her journey has led her to belief in an inclusive gospel, and she's wrestled with—and answered for herself—why faith and Christian spiritual practice s…
 
First things first: a trigger warning. We recognize the seriousness of alcohol and its effects in so many of our lives. Today's discussion centers around the cultural stigmas and attitudes towards alcohol in the evangelical systems we were brought up in and includes conversation and stories about our changing behavior and beliefs when it comes to d…
 
Eva Cruz Pena is exploring the boundaries of irreverence. In Heathen’s first all-woman episode, we’re following the winding path of her journey from Puerto Rico, where she grew up leading worship and being reminded her voice and questions were a bit “too much” for a good Christian girl, to her tenure as the only woman of color in a sea of bearded s…
 
Today, we're reading through some stories and feedback sent to us by listeners to Heathen, and damn—y'all are amazing. Thank you for sharing your stories, we love hearing them. We started off defining what we mean by "bad Christianity." It's a phrase we use around here that strikes some as aggressive, and to others might just be shorthand for descr…
 
Today: a real treat. We're delighted to welcome Derek Webb to Heathen. Derek has been a professional musical artist for nearly 25 years, as a founding member of the folk band Caedmon's Call and then as a solo artist. He's held a unique place in the Christian music world, often speaking to the injustices he saw in the church while also caring deeply…
 
Slippery Slopes is a new series we are bringing to Heathen! Remember all the things from your religious upbringing that were taboo? PG-13 or R-rated films, dancing, anything "spiritual" that wasn't directly tied to Jesus? And of course, as we grew, so did the list: anything sexual, all drugs, how much of your body is displayed, types of events you …
 
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