Sacred Tension: Bit Tyrants, feat. Rob Larson

In this episode of Sacred Tension I’m joined by socialist economist, professor, and author Rob Larson to discuss the horrors of big tech, and what we can do about it. While we are all social distancing and more reliant on technology than ever, now is the best time to think deeply about how we can socialize the tech and digital worlds. 

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Lucien Greaves on How Satanism Can Build Empathy Between Religions

I recently had the pleasure of talking to Satanic Temple co-founder and spokesperson Lucien Greaves, and while the whole conversation was great, one thing in particular he said stood out to me.

Due to the phenomenon of ignorant familiarity, many non-Satanists who have never thought deeply about Satanism are all too eager to lecture me on what Satanism is all about. One of the claims of the ignorant non-Satanist is that we are nothing more than militant atheists appropriating religious symbolism as a troll — that we are fundamentally anti-religion.

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Sacred Tension: Why Nontheistic Religion is Essential, feat. Lucien Greaves

In this episode of Sacred Tension I’m joined by Lucien Greaves, co-founder and spokesperson for the Satanic Temple. We discuss the challenge of maintaining a religious community during the COVID-19 pandemic, common misunderstandings about the Satanic Temple, and why nontheistic religion is essential. 

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Sacred Tension: Being An Essential Worker During COVID-19

Welcome to the new, stripped down, unedited Sacred Tension. Due to the incredible stress I’ve been under in recent weeks, I’m now releasing chill, unedited conversations for your listening pleasure. In this episode, I’m joined by longtime friend and occasional Sacred Tension co-host Danielle, who interviews me about what it’s like being an essential grocery store worker during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a word, it’s terrifying. 

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Self Care During COVID-19

I’ve been quiet on my blog and podcast for the past few weeks, and that’s because I’ve been coping with being an essential worker during the COVID-19 pandemic. I co-manage a small family-owned grocery store in Appalachia, and the past few weeks have simply been harrowing.

When the panic first hit, it felt like the worst hurricane in history was coming for North Carolina. Our sales more than doubled, and I felt destroyed just trying to keep up, while also keeping staff and customers safe from invisible death dots that could strike anyone without notice. Eventually, as the craziness at the store settled down into a manageable level, my fatigue turned to crippling anxiety. I was crying myself to sleep, and having horrible panic as I drove to work.

It felt like all my structures and support systems were just swept away by the flood. I’ve spent the past few weeks picking up the pieces, and now here I am, well enough to get back to creating.

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Atheism, Kindness, and Hospitality

Teacup

Several weeks ago, I interviewed pastor and astrophysicist Paul Wallace. On my website, there was one lone comment in response to our conversation, and it managed to encapsulate everything I struggle with in the atheist community:

Unsurprisingly, Wallace can’t let go of his fantasy about how important he is and that an omnipotent being agrees with him. It doesn’t take much, just making up his god and his religion in his own image and ignoring the inconvenient parts.

Alright atheists, let’s talk. It’s time for a huddle. If the following rant doesn’t apply to you, then congrats. But if this rant does apply to you, then I hope it inspires some reflection.

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Sacred Tension: Basic Glitches, Pt. 3: Put a Fist Through a Rich Kid’s Mouth

Matt Langston and I continue our conversation about his latest album Basic Glitches, which explores themes of religious trauma, deconversion, the digitization of our world, and much more. In this episode, we get to the silly half of the album.

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Satanism and Ignorant Familiarity

I’m currently working my way through Joseph Laycock’s new book Speak of the Devil. It is one of the best books I’ve ever read on Satanism, and I recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about the Satanic religious movement and The Satanic Temple. Joseph Laycock is a scholar of new religious movements, and (full disclosure) he is the most-interviewed guest on my podcast Sacred Tension.

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