Sacred Tension: Intersectional Demonology with S. Jonathon O’Donnell

In this episode I speak with religious scholar and intersectional demonologist S. Jonathon O’Donnell. We discuss their new book Passing Orders: Demonology and Sovereignty in American Spiritual Warfare, which is an examination of how American Evangelical beliefs about spiritual warfare intersect with transphobia, racism, and homophobia. Buy the book here.

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Guest Post: Reinforcing Evangelical Fear

This is a guest post by Warden Sif. Warden Sif has been interested in religion his whole life, and obtained a degree in history and theology. He has identified as a Christian, Deist, Agnostic, Atheist, Apistevist and, at this point, a Satanist. He began following TST’s efforts in 2015 and officially joined a few years later. His Twitter can be found here. He can also be found on BaphoNet Antisocial Network, its associated Discord server and the Sacred Tension Discord server.

After reading Mr. Morehead’s guest post titled “Why Are Evangelicals So Afraid of Halloween?” I was inspired to write further on something he touched on at the end of his article. I’ve tried in the past to emphasize his final point, but I consistently get push back from a fair number of other Satanists:

But understanding the psychological underpinnings of Evangelical prejudices and stances in popular culture toward others is helpful in formulating appropriate responses. Responding in-kind with fear, prejudice and alienation will only exacerbate our tensions in an extremely polarized environment. If you’re angry with Evangelicals over any number of things, including their stereotypes of Satanists, I get it. But I think we need to try to understand their fears rather than reinforce them.

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Satan Has Always Been My Home

I understand how, to many onlookers, my conversion to Satanism could seem like an extraordinary escalation. For years I was a committed Christian, dedicated to the church and to following Christ. My mission in life as a Christian was simply to be normal, included, at home: I wanted a place in the church as a gay person. As such, I was generally a very well-behaved gay, and my faith was everything to me even when I wished it wasn’t.

How, then, did I find myself as a Satanist? When looked through the lens of my previous religious life, nothing can seem more scandalous and overly dramatic than my Satanism.

The truth is that my leap from Christianity to Satanism was not a large one at all. It was simple, obvious, and intuitive.

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Sacred Tension: Losing Faith With Jon Steingard

In this episode I speak with Jon Steingard, former frontman of the Christian band Hawk Nelson. Jon made waves in 2020 by announcing his departure from Christian faith, and I invited him onto the  show to talk about his journey. Along the way we discussed philosophy, growing up Christian, the Christian music industry, Satanism, how we relate to Christians as non-believers, and much more. You can find Jon Steingard here.

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Sacred Tension: Overcoming the Faith Cartel with David Dark

In this episode of Sacred Tension I speak with Christian author, professor, and theologian David Dark. We discuss Satanism, our interactions with the Bible, how we engage with the cultural religious lore we are given, and David’s never ending fight against Christian theocracy. Find David Dark on twitter here.

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Guest Post: Why Are Evangelicals So Afraid of Halloween?

This is a guest post by John W. Morehead. John W. Morehead is the Director of Multi-faith Matters. He is the co-editor and contributing author for A Charitable Orthopathy: Christian Perspectives on Emotions in Multifaith Engagement, and Encountering New Religious Movements: A Holistic Evangelical Approach, and the editor of Beyond the Burning Times: A Pagan and Christian in Dialogue. He has been involved for many years in multi-faith relationships and conversations in the contexts of Islam, Mormonism, Paganism, and Atheism. His ongoing research in multi-faith engagement and religious conflict involves bringing social psychology and social neuroscience into conversation with a theology of love of our religious neighbors. Particular areas of interest are “us vs. them” intergroup conflict, evangelical concerns for purity in relation to syncretism, and Christian Nationalism.

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Sacred Tension AMA: From Christianity to Satanism

This is the first ever solo Ask Me Anything episode of Sacred Tension. In this episode I take questions from my audience about my personal journey from Christianity to Satanism, how to handle an aversion to Christians, my take on protests and riots, my favorite pop culture representations of Satan,  my thoughts on Satanists using Tarot, and much more.

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Breaking Down God

I live in a strange, interstitial space between atheism and theism. While I no longer consider myself a Christian, I refuse to cut ties with the Christian world and my progressive Christian community. At the same time, I feel a great deal of kinship with the pagan and witchcraft communities, as well as the atheist and skeptical communities. My own religious home is The Satanic Temple, and I consider myself a practicing Satanist. I call myself a nontheist and reject unverified claims of the supernatural.

To many people, the question of God’s existence is simple: either there is a magical sky daddy or there isn’t. For me, however, this question is getting increasingly complicated. God is about more than just existence or nonexistence: it is also about definitions, worldview, and culture.

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Sacred Tension: Love and Quasars, feat. Paul Wallace

In this episode of Sacred Tension, I speak with pastor, author, and astrophysicist Paul Wallace about his journey as an astrophysicist who can’t shake his faith in God. We discuss Galileo, quantum physics, the interactions between faith and science, why I personally don’t believe in God, and much more.

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