God Help Us – Gender Equity


Gender Equity

“It’s allowing people who have a different kind of take on the universe into positions where their personality affects the culture of the tribe. And that’s a very good thing.”

A couple weeks ago, the US Supreme Court lifted injunctions on Trump’s ban on transgender people openly serving in the military, making it possible for the ban to go into effect as it’s challenged in lower courts. I wanted to hear Dr. Paula Stone Williams’s views on this issue, so on today’s episode, she shares a sociological perspective on creating enemies where none exist and the idea that egalitarian leadership models will save our species and our planet.

Paula recommends some resources for further learning – Queen of America by Luis Alberto Urrea, The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt, and a PBS documentary on Edward O. Wilson. For more content from Paula, watch her 2019 TED Talk, her 2017 TEDx Mile High talk, and check out her blog at paulastonewilliams.com.

Like God Help Us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play. You can also stream episodes here. Have a request for future guests or topics? Send me an email!

Thanks for listening! Until next time, God help us.

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God Help Us – Our Harmful Beliefs


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“These things that people do seem nonsensical, and we may never understand it on an individual level, but they’re doing it for a reason that makes sense to them – even if it causes them physical, emotional, spiritual pain. Otherwise, they wouldn’t do it.”

In this episode of God Help Us, I talk with clinical psychologist Ryan Mather about why we believe things that are not in our own best interest – Christianities that are patriarchal or homophobic, or voting in ways that don’t seem to benefit us at all. Ryan talks about attachment theory and psychological defenses as tools for understanding ourselves and others – and invites curiosity and compassion.

Ryan recommends two books by Dan Seigel: Parenting from the Inside Out and Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence as well as Nancy McWilliams’s work.

Like God Help Us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play. You can also stream episodes here. Have a request for future guests or topics? Send me an email!

Thanks for listening! Until next time, God help us.

God Help Us – Women with Authority


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Throughout the history of Christianity, people have used the Bible to try to ban women from leading. In this episode of God Help Us, I talk with Pastor Kari Olson about what the Bible says about women having authority in the church and over men and what those implications might be for our social and political lives as well, in a country steeped in Christian heritage.

Originally from Seattle, Kari has her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, is the pastor of East Falls Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, PA, and serves on the board of Young Clergy Women International. In this episode, she mentions the books Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again by Rachel Held Evans and Junia: First Woman Apostle by Eldon Jay Epp. For further reading, she recommends Young Clergy Women International’s online magazine and the Women’s Bible Commentary.

You can find more content from Kari and reach out to her via fallspres.org and by following East Falls Presbyterian Church on Facebook.

Two sites I mention in this episode are The Junia Project, a progressive site about egalitarian leadership – and Desiring God, a site by John Piper that promotes hierarchical gender roles.

Like God Help Us on Facebook and Instagram and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play. You can also stream episodes here. Have a request for future guests or topics? Send me an email!

Thanks for listening! Until next time, God help us.

God Help Us – Decolonization


Gabes Torres On God Help Us

In this episode on decolonization, I speak with Gabes Torres – researcher, artist, theologian, speaker, and therapist-in-training about her experience growing up in the Philippines and moving to the United States and her work as a theologian and artist who creates space for more generous and equitable hospitality.

Find more from Gabes at gabestorres.com or on Twitter @gabestorres. Find her music at soundcloud.com/gabestorres and support her work at patreon.com/gabestorres.

In this episode, Gabes recommends listening to the Failed Missionary podcast by Corey Pigg and reading Just Hospitality by Letty M. Russell.

Like God Help Us on Facebook and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play. You can also stream episodes here. Have a request for future guests or topics? Send me an email!

Thanks for listening! Until next time, God help us.

God Help Us – Church


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“When you’ve got people who don’t have what other people have – because of power, because of greed, winning, corruption – we need to be right in the middle of that. We need to be right in the middle of calling truth to power, as well as providing for the needs of people who are suffering.”

In this episode of God Help Us, join me and pastor Jen Jepsen as we talk about church and its inherently political nature.

For more from Jen, check out her sermons at Left Hand Church, particularly their series called “We are Family.” You can also follow Left Hand on Facebook and find Jen’s blog at jenniferjepsen.org. Great resources for finding affirming, egalitarian churches in your area are The W/ Collective and Church Clarity.

Like God Help Us on Facebook and subscribe via iTunes or Google Play. You can also stream episodes here. Have a request for future guests or topics? Send me an email!

Thanks for listening! Until next time, God help us.

God Help Us – Practicing Presence


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This is the third and final installation in a miniseries focused on how we relate to each other and how we might choose to relate across political and religious differences.

I talk with pastor Dave Rohrer about practicing presence and to do that, we actually dive into our own relationship with each other and the larger context of the church community we used to be a part of. Our conversation is a lot of thinking out loud together about what happened and some of the social factors that were at play for us during a very difficult season.

I invite you to reflect on and be curious about your relationships and what it means to be together with care and consideration for both ourselves and the other.

Want to hear more from Dave? You can find sermons and blog posts by him at epcbothell.org.

Subscribe to God Help Us via iTunes or Google Play or stream episodes here. Have a request for future episodes? Send me an email!

Thanks for listening, and until next time, God help us.

God Help Us – Together


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On today’s episode of God Help Us, I talk with Derek McNeil about systems theory, the idea that from our families to our workplaces to our global communities, we are shaped and influenced by the systems in which we live and work and play.

This is part two of three in a series of episodes focused less on particular theologies and more on being conscious of our relationships and relational dynamics. As you’ll hear, Derek is an advocate for thoughtful engagement in gritty work that is deeply meaningful. He has his Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary and a PhD in counseling psychology from Northwestern University. I know him personally as a professor and mentor and in his role as the senior vice president of academics at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology.

In this episode, I recommend the book Immunity to Change by Lahey and Kegan and Derek recommends everything by Meg Wheatley. You can find more content from Derek on The Seattle School’s podcast, Text.Soul.Culture.

Subscribe to God Help Us via iTunes or Google Play or stream episodes here. Have a request for future episodes? Send me an email! Thanks for listening, and until next time, God help us.

God Help Us – Shame


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As you may know, the intention behind God Help Us is to better understand the ways that our country’s Christian heritage informs our present-day politics. But I’ve also been carrying another intention with me as I’ve worked on this podcast, and that’s to not only inform the political conversation in this country, but to change the nature of the conversation itself.

My hope is that no matter what our beliefs or politics, that we could become a country of people who value understanding over being right and working together for the greater good than having our preferred party in power. Hopefully each episode supports this ideal, but I really want to emphasize that intention in today’s episode as well as the next two that are coming up.

Really, this whole podcast is very experimental, but this little miniseries is even more so – three guests and I will take a look at some themes that are less about specific theological issues and more about things to be aware of in ourselves and the world we live in if we want to change our political culture.

To start off this little series, writer, podcaster, theologian, and therapist Matthias Roberts is here to talk about shame – what it is, how it functions interpersonally, and how we might work with our own shame to seek resilience and healing in order to stop putting it on other people.

The next two episodes in the series will be on systems theory and practicing presence in the midst of disappointment, so there’s lots to look forward to. Thanks for being along for the ride!

In this episode, Matthias recommends Brene Brown’s audio course, The Power of VulnerabilityYou can find more content from Matthias at matthiasroberts.com, everywhere on social media @matthiasroberts, and on his podcast, Queerology.

Subscribe to God Help Us via iTunes or Google Play or stream episodes here. To let me know what you think and suggest future episode topics, send me an email. Thanks for listening, and until next time, God help us.

God Help Us – The White Savior


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Today I’m talking with Aileen, a public defender in the juvenile court system, about troubling beliefs that pervade our country’s criminal justice system. A particular point of interest is how the white savior complex comes into play and fortunately, the current season of the Serial podcast has a great example of this.

In season 3 episode 2, they profile Judge Gaul and his court, and Aileen and I discuss him quite a bit in this episode, so you may want to hop over to Serial and give that episode a listen too.

In this episode, Aileen recommends following the Washington Defender Association and the National Association for Public Defense on Facebook. She also recommends reading Let’s Get Free by Paul Butler, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.

Subscribe to God Help Us via iTunes or Google Play or stream episodes here. To let me know what you think and suggest future episode topics, send me an email. Thanks for listening, and until next time, God help us.

God Help Us – Badly Behaved Women


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In this episode of God Help Us, I talk with Jennie Spohr, a preacher and author who is currently writing a historical novel about Jezebel – our favorite scapegoat, life ruiner of men through the ages.

And of course, this topic lends itself well to the current events of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process. We recorded a few days before his and Ford’s hearings and so can only address what was going on in the story up until that point. As of the episode release date, the hearings are behind us and the FBI investigation is underway.

This episode is dedicated to Dr. Blasey Ford and the thousands of women who have come forward in the past year of #MeToo to bravely tell their stories privately and publicly. Thank you for your courage. No matter what happens in the coming days, in the telling of your story, you have made room for women to tap into their strength, find their voice, and change our collective narrative.

We believe you and we stand with you.

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In this episode, Jennie recommends womenandthechurch.org as a resource for finding feminist theologians to read. She also recommends reading The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks, and anything by Octavia Butler and Alice Walker. You can follow Jennie (and find out when her book comes out!) on Facebook, Twitter, and at jennielspohr.com.

Subscribe to God Help Us via iTunes or Google Play or stream episodes here. To let me know what you think and suggest future episode topics, send me an email. Thanks for listening, and until next time, God help us.

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