Episode #88: How Christianity Is A Cult, Religious Mind Bending & The “Karen-ness” Of Christians, With John Verner, Author Of The Cult Of Christianity & Podcast Host



I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Exposition, with an interdisciplinary in Literature, from Moody Bible Institute. I was one of two recipients of the MBI Homiletical Jury Award for outstanding preaching in 2016. I have experience as a youth pastor, pastoral intern, academic journal editor, and guest speaker. I used to be a part of the largest cult in the United States. In 2019, I published my first book, The Cult of Christianity, as a first step in addressing the subtle issues of this complex system. In 2021, I continued my work with this podcast! 



INCLUDED IN THIS EPISODE (But not limited to):


·      How Christianity Is A Cult

·      A Look Into TCOC Book’s Cover Art

·      How The Church Exploits Vulnerabilities 

·      Civil Rights Movement Implications

·      Explained: Control – Contain – Convert

·      Refusing Cake To The Gays! – But Why Though?

·      The “Karen-ness” Of Christians 

·      Fake Oppression

·      Getting Over Self-Condemnation For Falling For The Church

·      The Honor In Self-Deprecation 




Website, Social Media & Books: https://linktr.ee/thecultofchristianity





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·      Pray Away Documentary (NETFLIX)


TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk_CqGVfxEs


·      OverviewBible (Jeffrey Kranz)




·      Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed (Documentary)



·      Leaving Hillsong Podcast With Tanya Levin




·      Upwork: https://www.upwork.com

·      FreeUp: https://freeup.net




·      Disabled American Veterans (DAV): https://www.dav.org

·      American Legion: https://www.legion.org


·      What The World Needs Now (Dionne Warwick): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfHAs9cdTqg





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John Verner 


You’re listening to the sex drugs and Jesus podcast, where we discuss whatever the fuck we want to! And yes, we can put sex and drugs and Jesus all in the same bed and still be all right at the end of the day. My name is De’Vannon and I’ll be interviewing guests from every corner of this world as we dig into topics that are too risqué for the morning show, as we strive to help you understand what’s really going on in your life.

There is nothing off the table and we’ve got a lot to talk about. So let’s dive right into this episode.

De’Vannon: John m is back with us again to go harder into his very provocative book, the Cult of Christianity. Join us today as we discuss the ways in which the church mind fucks us, violates us, and exploits people’s vulnerabilities. Also, I hope that through this episode you begin to find a sense of healing in knowing that if you or your loved one has been devastated by the.[00:01:00]

You are not alone, honey. We are in this together. John and I are with you,

and we will walk with you every step of the way.

Hello everyone and welcome back to the Sex Drugs in Jesus podcast. I’m your hostess with the mostest, Devon Huber. And I have with me the lovely, the handsome, the talented, the smart, intelligent, brave, bold, and in touch with his emotions. John er, he is the 

John: host, John 

De’Vannon: er mm-hmm. , John er. He is the host of The Cult of Christianity podcast.

And the author of the book titled the same. He was on my show before to talk about, well, the book, but then we got so deep into his history in the podcast. We didn’t get a chance to talk about the [00:02:00] book, so I had to have the motherfucker back on so we can dive into this shit. How the fuck is you? 

John: I is fine.

20, 20, 23 feels like a little bit of a reset. And so I’m, I’m kind of living in that head space of like, all right, what’s next? Since we last spoke, I went, I can’t, I don’t think I had started back working on my master’s in journalism. And so that’s been taking up a lot of time. I’m, I’m, it’s all online, but I’m studying at N Y U mm-hmm.

And that’s been awesome. I’ve been, been doing some religious reporting stuff, which is, is fun. I’m excited to kinda move towards that, doing religious reporting. It’s pretty fun. 

De’Vannon: Well, congratulations. Congratulations. And all of it was a good thing. . So you’re religious reporting like say for, for like, for like the university’s press 

John: or like where Yeah.

For right [00:03:00] now. Yeah. And then yeah, I’m already, I’m hopefully gonna sell my first, I’m actually right after we record this, I’m gonna have a meeting to hopefully sell my first story of a church investigation I did. Cuz that’s what I wanna do. I want to, not just Christian churches, but I want to go into churches and colts and investigate them and figure out what’s really going on 

De’Vannon: as someone should.

Have you heard of the Trinity Foundation in Texas? 

John: Yeah. You mentioned that last time we talked. I didn’t, I didn’t look too far into them, but I know there’s, there’s several. This is a relatively new thing that’s popping up that’s actually really, really important work. 

De’Vannon: So what you’re telling me is there’s organizations who investigate churches more than that one.

This is becoming like a trend. Well, 

John: religious reporting has been around for, for decades, but it’s been done in a very kind of general way. And I think there’s being a small push to be like, let’s actually look at individual, like if someone is whistle blowing on their [00:04:00] church or is like giving us leads about a specific church, that it should be fair game and we should investigate them like we would any other business.

De’Vannon: Right. Well, I wish you success with that as you get going and keep going, be sure to let me know if there’s anything that I can do for you because, you know, I don’t give a fuck about churches, but I give all the fucks. I give all the fucks about Christ as I always say. Mm-hmm. , but the church. Yay Jesus. And that’s the way that, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Now, before we get too much into this, I want you to tell me about that coffee mug in your hand. Can you hold it up the camera so that we can see Yeah. What it says. Apostate coffee roasters. You mind giving us a little bit of history on what the fuck apostate means and where you got that from? Yeah.

John: Apostates just a derogatory term that different cults and religions have thrown at people who, typically it’s someone who, like me, who used to be a part of the faith and is no longer [00:05:00] but it’s, it’s more broadly a pro. A similar word would be something like heretic. But the, yeah, so prostate coffee roasters, they’re this coffee company that is run by ex Mormons and Mormons are not allowed to drink coffee.

So it’s a very like, empowering thing for them to roast their own coffee and make it so they’re awesome. Love ’em to death. They’re great. Make good coffee. So their 

De’Vannon: whole show is one big clap back. Not the whole show. Their whole fucking concept is one big clap back. Mm-hmm. . So do you have any idea why Mormons think coffee is Satan?

Why do they think coffee is of the devil? 

John: Yeah. I don’t know personally too much. You know, I didn’t grow up Mormon or anything. I do know that just in my studies of Colts , what they do is one move to do is to control what people eat and drink. You know, in Southern Baptist culture that looks like alcohol [00:06:00] you know, in, in certain pockets of Christianity, historically there was only certain kinds of bread you could use for communion.

Anytime you’re trying to regulate what people are eat, eating, you’re regulating what they’re putting into their body. That’s just a, that’s just a very like kind of you’ve mentioned stuff like hypnosis. It’s, it’s a very like, Kind of mind numbing way to control a person is to control what they eat and drink.

The other big one I talk about a lot is controlling what you wear. That’s like a, that’s a big thing that pops up in different cults. You’ll see usually a distinction between how clergy dress and the followers and how people dress on Sunday versus the rest of the days is common in Christian circles.

So basically if you can control what someone expresses and you can control what someone intakes, it’s very easy to control their mind cuz you’re already controlling their body. . [00:07:00] Mm. So that would be my, my, my spin on it. I don’t know the theo, I don’t know what theological reason they made up for coffee.

Like I, I’m sure there’s some, I’m sure somebody said it was you know, too addicting at some point is probably the modern version, I would assume. 

De’Vannon: Well, if that was the case, at least those bastards were even across the board, you know, unlike say the Pentecostals who were like, that was show not drinketh of the vine, but they’re gross in a fucking gallon of coffee in the back every Sunday and like that.

But that’s all good, right? . 

John: Yeah. Well that’s also, yeah, especially, especially if they go the grape juice route too, because even grape juice is from a vine. So that’s kind of. , 

De’Vannon: it’s all silly. The marijuana, the L s D mm-hmm , the shrooms, the coffee beans, the grapes, and any of their derivatives is something that is of the Lord.

And it is not for humans to tell us what the fuck. We can’t do really with [00:08:00] anything, but it’s certainly not anything that grew up out the fucking dirt. Hmm. So, speaking of artistic expressions, cuz you’re also fucking artistic. I mentioned the, the cover for your podcast the last time, but I wanted to talk about that again because I feel like it’s just so enigmatic and so polarized and you have this big, huge fucker standing on like a pedestal and his little minions bowing before them for him sucking his dick or whatever the case may be, paying HOK in some way.

And the interesting thing is you can’t tell whether or not that’s supposed to be a preacher, a rabbi, a pope, a pastor that’s supposed to be God, you know, or Jesus or some like sort of deity. , and I know you said it before, but I’d like you to just tell us again why you went with this cover art, because I think it’s so true.

John: Well, this is a, every so humans like categories we like [00:09:00] to find a group. We like to label things as good and bad. And there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that. That’s just kind of how our brains work. And the problem is we’ve got kind of this weird concept of good guys and bad guys, and the church is pretending to be the good guys while they’re being the bad guys.

But you end up having to label specific things that are wrong because there’s so many goodhearted people in. . And so a lot of times when I critique Christianity, people wanna spend the conversation of, well, you’re not critiquing Christianity. You’re critiquing this version of Christianity, which isn’t necessarily wrong, I am way more focused on White American evangelicalism than the rest of it.

But White American evangelicalism was not a term when there were slavery in the us. There it existed, but we hadn’t [00:10:00] labeled it that yet. The Crusades, the was not only white people, was not American people and was certainly not evangelicals, but the Crusades were bad . And it stemmed from their beliefs their Christian beliefs.

So I can’t say everything all at once. , but what I hope the art communicates is the, the problem that I’ve spotted, the category that I think everything else falls from is the idea of leaders and followers of other people submitting to someone else. I don’t really, I, I think it’s worth bringing up white supremacy.

I think it’s worth bringing up patriarchy. I think all those things are very much worth talking about, but I don’t think it’s the only thing going on. I think we have a we’re, we’re sometimes scared, and I think we’ve been made to be scared of pointing out that what’s really going on in churches is that cult structure of one man with [00:11:00] other people having the knee bow to him either literally or metaphorically.

So again, the art is, is purposely vague because I think unless there’s some fundamental changes 40 years from now when evangelicalism won’t exist, it will be gone. We won’t be calling anyone an evangelical anymore. The same problems, the same structure, the same issues will still be present unless there’s foundational changes.

Chow, I’m 

De’Vannon: getting Game of Thrones flashbacks. Okay. Like, how many season is it gonna take to get you to bend the knee? John Snow, get on down there. Boy. and motherfucking service. Yo, queen God damnit. And so . 

John: Yeah. Well seasons is an interesting way of thinking about it. Both television and, and you know, weather or whatever.

But it’s true. Like there’s seasons of Christianity that that kind of come and go. But what seems to remain is that structure of one person being in charge of others or [00:12:00] multiple people being in charge of multiple others. But there’s always that hierarchy. So again, I, I have tried to update the art before, but I think it, I think it’s just the, it, it’s, it’s about what I’m talking about most specifically.

You know, that my art. on that is in line with the problem I’m trying to point to. There’s many other people who are doing great work to dismantle white Evangelicalism and I support all those people. But to me, that’s not my niche. That’s not what I’m trying to talk about. Hmm. Then 

De’Vannon: tell us like it, you know, and make it official here.

What, what are you trying to talk about? What is your mission in this world? Hmm. 

John: I’m not just against Christianity, I’m against cults. I just know how much of a cult Christianity is. Hmm. And the reason I’m against cults is it’s an erase. It erases people’s identity. It makes their vulnerabilities their whole personhood.

It [00:13:00] it, it limits them to a very narrow way of. , and I think there’s cult speak outside of, you know, there’s a lot of cult speak in the business world. There’s a lot of cult speaking, just American culture when it comes to politics. So I’m against all of it across the board, the one I’m just super familiar with, and can get very detailed and very like you know, just kind of a prime example.

And unfortunately a very big example in the US is Christianity. And one of the ways, it’s the biggest example is it’s absurd that the largest cult is the most protected class of people in the country. Like, that’s concerning to me. We have an organiza a loosely organized group of people that are protected by constitutional rights and legal rights more than anyone.

and they’re not oppressed, but they’re that protected and that’s a very dangerous, as we’ve seen, very dangerous combination. So they’re worth talking about the most, and it’s the one I can [00:14:00] talk about the most, but I’m against cults across the board. I’m not just bitter about my church hurt, I’m not just upset because of this, that, and the other.

This is a real problem that really needs to be talked about in real ways and real solutions need to happen. 

De’Vannon: That’s interesting you say like the, these ultimate people’s vulnerabilities, their whole personality. I’ve never heard it stated like that before. So from from the people who’ve reached out to you in response to your book or your show or the work that you’re doing, do you have any sort of, I don’t know if we would call it a testimony, any kind of bullshit somebody shared with you that a, a church or a cult put them through that was particularly scary or moving to you that you can recall?

John: Yes. To me. So I, I have two thi things that I think of with that question. One is, nothing surprises [00:15:00] me anymore. Nothing . It, it can still hurt. It can still shock me. It never surprises me. It only makes me feel like, yeah, that makes sense. And frankly, I only feel like I was five clicks away from being the victim or perpetrator of whatever bad thing happened, because that’s what the system breeds.

It, it breeds perpetrators and victims . I mean, that’s just what it does. There’s, there’s many horrifying stories. Sometimes I avoid telling them because, When you tell like a really I guess salacious, for lack of a better word story, like someone who, like, you know, I have an episode of my podcast where I interview a guy who was kidnapped by Christians, right?

About as extreme as it can get. What people do is go, well, those Christians were crazy. Those were the crazy ones. [00:16:00] Or like, if someone talks about, you know, this is unfortunately becoming, we’re all becoming aware how common this is. When someone was sexually harassed or abused by someone in the church they, they go, well, that, that guy needs to leave.

Like he’s, you know, he’s bad. And, and the church would, that church was bad, but you should come to my church. You should do this, you should do that. It, it just gets a little exhausting for me to kind of engage and. Let me tell you this horrible story because frankly, the horrible story doesn’t change anyone’s mind because the cult won’t let it change your mind because your empathy has been pressure washed out of you.

You, you don’t, you don’t ha the story doesn’t tug at you because the thing that tugs at you more is you’ve been told how ashamed you are and how shameful your existence is. And the only hope for reming that shame is believing in Jesus Christ. And so that belief that’s so firmly held is actually gonna [00:17:00] trump your ability to be empathetic towards someone’s story.

So yeah, I could sit here and I could, off the top of my head at least tell you three stories that would make a lot of people who are unfamiliar with churches that would make their jaw drop, but it wouldn’t change anything. And it’s very sad because we want to believe that people’s horrifying stories change stuff.

And I think it does and to, and I think it can. . But I think a lot of the times it actually ends up being counterproductive because the cults, the cult leaders are anticipating that they’ve already done a lot of work to build a firewall against that particular human thing of storytelling to promote change.

You know, I no better example than like Martin Luther King Jr. Right. You know, told amazing stories, was a great orator. Not the per, not a perfect person, but someone who told a lot of great stories and who was, showed the impact. And we like to [00:18:00] pretend that that changed the church and up more positive direction.

But did it, I mean, I, I mean, what, what tangible, measurable things can we point to that were changed within church culture? I’m not talking about American culture in general. There was great things that came outta the Civil Rights Movement. What did the church really change? Not a lot. It just changed their verbiage, which they always changed their verbiage.

But, but systemically what really changed. So if you want horrible stories, I can give them, but that’s why I’m hesitant to a lot of the time is cuz I’m not sure it’s actually that helpful. 

De’Vannon: What you said is, look, you said what you said . Okay. Did I accept that when I think of Martin Luther King or any of the civil rights, I never, ever think about the church, you know, except for the fact that the church stood silently by why people were murdered in the streets and stuff like that, you know?

You know. [00:19:00] How’s it say that? Well, 

John: and, and I mean, I mean, even Evangelicals hated Martin Luther King Jr. They called him a thug. They. There, there’s a letter from the guy who wrote the Left Behind books. There’s a letter from him to Wheaton College because they had a memorial service after King was shot.

And he said, how could you celebrate the life of this man? They didn’t just passively like, not like m l K, they hated him. Jerry Falwell hated Martin Luther King Jr. Because he was for segregation. So like, and again, like I, I, you know, I know this is an intense topic to go to right off the bat, , but, but I just think, I think we, I think sometimes those of us who have left the church think if we just tell enough stories of how bad we’ve been hurt, Christians will change.

They don’t give a shit. They don’t, and it’s, and some of it’s not even their fault. A lot of the followers have been brainwashed to not give a shit. And [00:20:00] so the, the best hope is we can, with our stories, what we can do is help people who have already left know that they’re not alone. Which is huge and that’s really important work and people who are looking for a way out might find the way out.

But if you’re talking about systemically changing what cult leaders are gonna do it, it ain’t gonna do shit. 

De’Vannon: Right. I concur. So, you know, that’s why like in my ministry, man, I am preaching not to church people, but the people who have already been hurt or people who, who know people and love people who have been hurt because people don’t go to church for the betterment of humanity.

People go to church for entirely selfish reasons, to keep themselves outta hell, to work out their own self, soul, salvation, whatever it is. They’re going there to get their blessing, their miracle. They’re come up, they’re not going there cuz they give a fuck about you. And then so yeah, I concur. There is no talking to them hardheaded people.

Like if they’re setting up there every god damn Sunday or whatever, they’re not gonna be able to hear us [00:21:00] because they’re constantly being re indoctrinated and re hypnotized by the big man up on stage or we god damn week. or the woman or the who of the fuck ever twirling about. So yeah, they’re a lost cause shot of a miracle.

John: Yeah. I, or also just explaining systemically what happens, you know, if you, if you’re able to generalize it more than just a specific person, like one person’s story and you can show them the patterns. You know, I used to be a cult leader, you know, I studied to be a pastor. I got out, I was hardheaded then.

But the reason I got out was not because I heard a story that was finally, you know, enough, it was cuz I kept seeing the same thing over and over again. And I was like, this is just how a cult operates. And I was in denial about it. So I think cult leaders, the way you do reach them is say, don’t you know what you’re doing?

Like, you know? Right. And if you actually focus the conversation on that and not just the extreme cases of bad things that happen, but actually point [00:22:00] to like the pattern. Like, okay, so do you have control over your congregation? . Like, that’s a great question to ask a pastor because they’ll, they’ll struggle.

They cannot give a yes or no que answer to it. But just be like, do you have control over your congregation? And you’ll it then watch how they react. Cuz you’ll see some interesting things. . You 

De’Vannon: can also ask ’em to apologize for something and get that same reaction cuz those bastards won’t say they’re sorry.

And so, so now that you’re speaking about control, I wanted to talk about, so y’all, his book, the called of Christianity is broken down into three succulent sections. The first one is called control. The section one is the sexual, the sec, second one is called Contained. Clearly I need to gimme some dick.

Where the fuck did that come from? And the third one is called Convert. And you’ll always, whenever you hear John’s talk, he’ll always say, control, contain, convert, control, contain, convert. And so, and that’s how his book is broken down. And if I may, I’m gonna [00:23:00] read a little sniff it. That kind of echoes what you were just saying.

And Howard, I had already taken down in my notes. Now, this is John speaking y’all, and he’s saying, I don’t recant anything in this letter. I said, holding back tears. I was feeling tired, dressed down, confused and hurt, yet unwilling to go again. So what I knew to be true, the truth was I had spent three hours in a boardroom that reminded me of the one I had seen in The Apprentice.

I want you to tell us what the hell was going on here and why were you crying. . 

John: So yeah, so this is the first chapter of the book, and this is kind of, I, I, you know, my, my rose bud, my whatever, my my or villain or hero origin story, depending on how you look at it. So I was 16 years old going to a pretty stuffy church Presbyterian church, p c a for whoever that means [00:24:00]something to suit and tie church.

And I was, I was angsty, you know, at the same time I was also in a punk band. I had grown out my hair. I was still very Christian, like, very conservative Christian, in fact. But I, you know, was around people who, you know, I, I, I was ex, I was becoming an adult, right? Like in as much as a teenager does.

And the church was just ridiculous. And so, like, I, I had this whole rigamarole of, of beef with the, the leadership of the church. So I sent a letter. to email. I emailed the pastor and said, here are my problems with this church. And I had broken it into four sections of just like, they don’t respect the youth of this church.

They have a bad view of music. That was important to me cuz they were like, they had this whole, like, contemporary music is evil. They were like one of those. And [00:25:00] then they there were a couple other things. Oh, they, the way they hated Catholics actually really bothered me. The way they talked about Catholics was very not okay in my opinion.

And then basically I’d told them I would never invite a friend to church here. Like I would never, like, do y’all want to actually save people? Because I would never invite. Yeah. So I wrote this whole long letter, sent it to the pastor. He forwarded it to the elders. I told my dad afterwards about it and my dad and dad was like, can I read it?

And I was like, sure. I signed it to him. He is like, all right, proud of you. This is good stuff. . And so I told my parents that I wanted to face the elders alone. So we would go to their session room, which was a long wooden table, had like chairs on all around it. And then on the wall it had pictures of Martin Luther.

It had Swingley and it had John Calvin. And then it had like these bookshelves that [00:26:00] were just like full of like reformation propaganda. And so it’s me and the three elders I knew the most. And then for, for three hours they talked to me about how my long hair was sinful, which was the first time like, I thought, only crazy churches believe that, right?

And they were like, no, you’re trying to look like the world with your hair. And I was like, what? And then they talked about my best friend who dressed in all black, like how, you know, they’re dressing in all black. Same friend was in the band with me and was just like, said, they look like the world.

Talk to me about how I was the one who was disrespecting them. They weren’t disrespectful of you, of youth. I was disrespectful to them and that yeah, that basically I, and, and I didn’t confront them correctly. I shouldn’t have written a letter. When you have a problem with someone, you go and confront them, and then if they don’t listen, you bring another, you [00:27:00] know, the whole Matthew 18 dumb ass shit.

And so I just, I, I was a wreck and so I cried. Eventually my dad came in, and that’s the cool part of the story. My dad comes in and he goes, what happened? And, well, no, my dad comes in and actually the first things outta his mouth was who was yelling at my son. And it was a, it was a good moment for me and my dad.

Our, our relationship only got stronger after that moment. then they started talking about the hair and stuff. Then my dad goes, look behind you. And there’s like, you know, his wingy with his long beard and stuff, and he is like, and my dad goes, the person who sh what? I can’t even remember the terminology anymore.

The person who led me to the Lord, that’s how they talk. The person who led me to the Lord had long hair. Like, what are you talking about? You know? and so it kind of got tense and then yeah, at the end I say I don’t recant, which was a paraphrase of what [00:28:00] Martin Luther said when he was brought before, Catholics and, and excommunicated.

cuz I thought that would be an extra sting of, since they idolize this man so much. that was the first time I switched from being a blind follower. I stayed a Christian for many years after that, but I stopped blindly following what church leaders say that day. 

De’Vannon: I like that whole recant thing.

Like I was saying earlier that you said what? You said , I’m might, I might hit a bitch with that one day I recant, not it. 

John: Lost the fuck out. Yeah. It, it’s a little dramatic. Well, because they, well, one of the elders said like, do you, do you have like, I want to give you the last word. Is there anything you wanna say?

Because I could tell by the look on their face, they felt like they did something good. They felt like they did a good job of putting me back on the right path. [00:29:00] And I was like, guys, y’all just proved everything I said. Like, I, why would I recant anything? and they were, they were mad frankly. They were mad.

De’Vannon: They always are. They, they were that way with Lakewood, you know, you know, when they, when the ki when the, when the kids choir director and the adult choir director were firing me from all aspects of volunteering for not being straight. Despite the, despite, aside from the fact they would call me in the office and question who I’m dating and stuff like that, trying to get all into who I’m fucking and whatnot.

Well, I mean, we can’t even fuck even doing all that. Just, you know, or hold hands or shit, I guess, whatever their rules were, you know? Mm-hmm. , when they offered me their conversion therapy package in order to stay and to be demoted, quote unquote, to an usher from being on, you know, camera and television and stuff in the more public ministries, and I got up to walk the fuck out, they were so confused, you know, that I didn’t accept their conversion [00:30:00] therapy package.

And they, when they were talking to me, they felt like they, they, they, they felt like I had hurt them and offended them. You know? Like, how could you, how could you hang out with gay people when you’re not here, ? 

John: Yeah. I mean, when you, when you think, when you, you, when you think you’re divinely appointed by God people aren’t supposed to argue with you.

And if they do, they’re spo. If someone argues with you, they’re arguing with the Lord. I mean, there’s some who would never say, no, no, no, no, no. Like it’s, it’s, I don’t, I don’t have that kind of authority, blah, blah, blah. But I’m like, but in practice, like, I mean, this is what we keep agreeing to by showing up to church is that you’re divinely appointed by God to do whatever the hell you wanna do, frankly And so, I, I don’t know. I mean, it’s, it’s, but it’s so sad, right? It’s so sad that it happens to not only, you know, [00:31:00] adults or like people who’ve put a lot of work into the church. it happens to very vulnerable people. It happens like in my case, to a child. I mean, I was 16 years old and I had grown ass men ripping me a new one because I just challenged their bad behavior.

I mean, this is what we were working with. Imagine if I was like a woman when I did that, or like, You know, or, or like, you know, not, not white, you know? yeah, like, I, I, I mean, it’s just horrifying, right? It’s, it’s all about once you deviate from, the, the program, I mean, you’re gonna, you’re gonna experience some, some shaming at minimum.

De’Vannon: Hmm. Some shaming in some shade. Yeah. Especially white men, they don’t like to be told what to do and, and that they’re wrong. They’re accustomed to stepping on all the little brown people and stuff like that. But for the record, my brother, I think you got plenty of soul. You are always invited for the motherfucking cookout.

any damn [00:32:00] day about to be crawfish season down here. Come stay with me. I got room in my house. I’ll get you some soul food and fattening you up a little bit. , 

John: man, I miss soul food. You know, there’s obviously a lot of great stuff here in Atlanta, but now I’m vegan, so like, so much of it is like off the table for me now.

It’s very sad. 

De’Vannon: So that means no crawfishes for you. Well, vegan is not. Yeah. There’s no dairy in that, right? There’s no dairy in, yeah, 

video1579991175: but 

John: it’s a, it, it’s an animal though. 

De’Vannon: You can’t eat any animals either. 

John: Okay. I’m gonna have no animal, no dairy, some vegan 

De’Vannon: seafood shit for you. 

John: So some collards though. I can have some collards, which is good.

You know, I 

De’Vannon: grow mustard greens. I got them in the backyard right now. Ooh. Okay. I cut you a pot. 

John: Let’s go

De’Vannon: So the section called contain mm-hmm. march. Stuck out to me. In, in, in here. So I have long loathed Christian people for this fake oppression and things like that. Like what you mentioned earlier. We’re gonna talk about [00:33:00] the myth of Chris and Daria. Mm-hmm. , after we talk about this whole people not wanting to make cake for the gaze.

Bullshit. I like the way you said it. I’m gonna read a little ex sweeped as bugs bunnies, , sometimes racist ass would. Say he can’t help how Disney dressed him. Sometimes he was in drag, sometimes he was talking to people in blackface. But there’s a whole thing out there on YouTube about, you know, Disney and the different cartoons, racism.

Go look it up cuz unfortunately Bugsy was in there too. So Romans 12 versus 20 through 21. This is from the book, says to the contrary, if your enemy is hangry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink For Baso doing, he will heap pointing cold on his head. So do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.

John goes on to say, perceiving gay folks as enemies is [00:34:00] problematic in and of itself, but even if you do, I fail to see how refusing to give people some cake. Cake, cake, cake, cake scores you any brownie points for the God.

John: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it, it is wild, right? Like that’s, it’s, it’s, it’s just, and it shows the contrary, like there’s an evangelical message of we need to serve all people. And then there’s another message that they’re saying at the same time is like, but not if, I’m like, well, if there’s a but not if, then the first thing doesn’t make any sense.

De’Vannon: And Jesus is saying, it is your most basic bitch Christian level. You gotta feed a bitch. You know, two people can be in a relationship and on the verge of divorce. I mean, if a pot of food is cooking, you, you can at least share that. I mean, yeah. Nevertheless, you’ve been commanded to do so. You’re not supposed to leave people starving and without clothing.

No matter how much you [00:35:00] disdain them, you’re supposed to piss on them if they’re on fire. It’s stuff like that, no matter how much you don’t want to mm-hmm. . So you conservative assholes out there when you don’t wanna make me a cake because I walked in with eyeshadow on, just know. You’re written of in the scriptures.

You hateful ho. Yeah. Now then this myth of oppression, like you talked about earlier. Christians are a bunch of big fucking Karens running around something like. The God the world is against them. The moment they can’t stop. I don’t know, a trans athlete from participating in sports, then, oh my God, I’m being silenced.

My rights are not being heard. I’m being so persecuted. Bitch, no one’s coming after you. You just got told no for trying to come after somebody else. No one actually attacked you. . Mm-hmm. . I can’t say anything more about this. So tell us who the hell, Chris. Chris and Aria . 

John: If, if memory serves me, I was telling you before we started recording, I, I wrote this [00:36:00]book a while ago, so I’m like, I don’t actually remember all, everything, but the, that’s the, the couple that supposedly got saved early on and, and really it was all about Chastity.

Like they were like this couple that was, you know, like, oh, chastity is so great. and then because they’re seeking to convert others. I think according to the story, it’s Rome supposedly who throws a, i I think one gets fed to a lion, the other gets fed, burned at the stake, whatever. It’s a pretty classic version of just early church persecution.

There’s a million different stories like this of just like different Christian heroes who were early Christians who, you know got converted and, and then they, you know like start, started bolstering the movement and Rome doesn’t like it, so they killed them. 90% of those stories aren’t true. They never happened.

They were made up. It was just, it was just made [00:37:00] up. I mean, I really don’t know what else to say about it. It’s just, it’s unverified. There were a few that happened and there was also some early Jewish persecution in that same time. That was absolutely happening. , but Jewish Christians, which was what they were at first did that kind of lumped their Jewish Christ Christendom beliefs with other sex of Judaism that were actually being persecuted.

And so it just became this kind of whole glob of like of myth of saying that like, oh, if the people find out you’re Christian, they’ll wanna kill you for it. And that bread, like this whole martyrdom complex which is very similar obviously to a Messiah complex. And so yeah, it’s just, it just, there’s a lot of stories like that that, you know, you, you’re free to fact check.

Never happened. But they’re told from the pulpit they’re, you know, they’re told the old, you’ll hear a mirror million [00:38:00] different versions of basically like they were singing songs while they were being burned alive. They were reciting scripture while they were being burned alive. Didn’t happen.

It just wasn’t very common. Occasionally there was some mob violence that was killing Christians, but it just wasn’t a common thing. 

De’Vannon: I can’t believe that the band was really playing as the Titanic ship went down either . But if that’s what might not have, well, if that’s what Rose wanna say, then we’ll have to believe Rose or what the fuck ever.

I want that diamond bitch, you know? . Okay, . So basically the Christian Church is a bunch of drama queens and stuff like that. And I, I, I don’t know, you know what I want you to talk about, like, people who leave the [00:39:00] church and like blame themselves or haven’t been duped by them because I went through that for like a really long time. , you know, it’s like I was mad at myself, as they say, for buying this bullshit. True. I, looking back on it now, with a healthy mind, I was vulnerable.

They took advantage of me, but I did not think that way for a many, many years. It’s like, why was I so stupid? Why did I let them do that? You know, there’s a grieving that happened in some, some self-loathing that came in there on me.

John: Well, let me tell you a story. Yesterday I was driving to the grocery store and I saw someone on the side of the road that had a sign that said, Jesus saves. And I got outta my car and I went and talked to them. After about 30 minutes, I realized this was the most beautiful person I ever met. And guess what?

The story I just told you is not. [00:40:00] So no . Not that I’ve just made that up. I didn’t go to the grocery store yesterday. Oh. So the thing got me yo , I got, I got everybody. And that’s why you shouldn’t feel duped. We trust, that’s what we do as humans. When someone’s put, when something’s put in a story form, we’re compelled by what they’re saying.

That doesn’t make anyone stupid. That makes us have empathy. That makes us like beautiful people. We don’t need to blame ourselves. We need to blame people who take advantage of that. Now, I was able to just tell you I was lying and no harm is really done right. , we gotta now, but there might be a listener who goes, oh, I can’t trust this guy.

If he’s able to lie that good, you know, fine. Don’t. But the thing is, churches have built an entire system that took the storytelling, the beautiful storytelling of Judaism and just wrecked it for their own purposes. and added, took away, changed, edited [00:41:00] the story. You are not stupid for wanting to believe in a story that, that, that, that’s just the thing you have to know.

There’s no, there’s no stupidity. It’s all on them . It’s all on them to bear the responsibility of, of having power, of having and kind of a monopoly on redemption narratives. I mean, they’ve kind of created this universe literally where the, they, they have a redemptive narrative that is attributed to them.

They should wield that power carefully, and they don’t. So no. Anyone who gets caught up in believing it, don’t blame yourself for that. That’s, you’re a human being. Don’t blame yourself for very normal human things to do. And don’t blame other people who are still believing it. understand where they’re coming from.

It does take work. It’s not easy. I don’t have a [00:42:00] magic bullet solution, but I just think being aware of why you fell for it is important. Cuz most people didn’t fall for it for evil reasons. They usually fell for it for really, really good, important reasons. Mm-hmm. . 

De’Vannon: So a another quote that you say from your book, it’s concerning these foolish people.

You say, John says, y’all the claim that they are in a relationship with Christ, that their churches are their families and that they love sinners, but hate sin and that divine beauty is interwoven through all of it. John says, cool story bro. Doesn’t mean you’re on a cult. . 

John: Yeah. Well, and it’s true. It’s just like there’s, there’s a, there’s an element of family that, that they pretend to provide.

and that’s fine. And sometimes it, it’s not all pretend. Sometimes they do some really important things for each other. I don’t see why that’s intention with the idea that they’re a [00:43:00] cult though. I, I, I think, I think you can do good things while being in a cult. I just think cults are bad things. 

De’Vannon: Just don’t drink the Kool-Aid bitches.

I’m just saying. Pour it upon the ground and run the fuck away. So then the final run, run, run, run for is run. So the final section called Convert. Hmm. I thought this was such a confident statement for you, for you to write, and I just, I’m just like reading it cause we wanna talk about hell and whether or not you believe it’s real, because one of his chapters is I believe it’s called a, a yeah, it’s called a made up thing called Hell.

Y’all. John is the most titillating, tantalizing, thought provoking. This makes you wanna dive into them like some good pussy or some good pussy. Chapter titles. I mean, the, the, the, the, the, I’m gonna read some of ’em. Slave Segregation, sorry. Faux wait. Merit faux [00:44:00] Meritocracy with a side of the Theocratic Tyranny.

Selective History, the Myth of Oppression. Made of thing. Call held superficial and super fiscal. You know, the, the, the, just the Fuckings chapter Titles are art. You know what it’s gonna be about. And, you know, shit’s gonna be edgy and fresh and everything that, that, you know, that we need right now. And so, whew, chapter ta fucking chapter titles gave me life.

So, so from, from, yeah. The 

John: chapter titles are better than the book. So , 

De’Vannon: that right there is exactly what I’m gonna read now. You exude so much fucking confidence because of the way you’re able to slay yourself and kind of make fun of yourself, but then not really, you know, you have to have like the biggest pp or just not even care because you, you just, you’re just so like authentically you and you’re so like, relaxed about it.

Y’all, this is what John says about himself growing up. He says, I doubt [00:45:00] I am the only one to have grown up dabbling in mature discussion topic. It is way too. Wait, what the fuck? Wait, wait. Lemme say that again. I doubt I’m the only one that have grown up dabbling, mature discussion topics way too young to remember being younger than 10 and debating with my cousins over suspicion about who goes to hell.

Young is honestly, I’m sure of any philosophers, theologians, our professional commentators, communicators have been around or had been around for this adolescent think tank vomit, would escape from their mouths quicker than corrections even. So good for us for trying to figure out life’s deepest questions.

And I thought, how, how? Just confident, you know, just to, just to be able to look back on yourself and laugh without being negatively critical. You know, like, I can’t believe I thought or did that way. Ha ha ha, ha ha. But here I [00:46:00] am today, so. Can you speak to us about that sort of self-confidence? Where did you get that from?

How are you able to look back and say, my God, you know, I was a mess, but not attack yourself. You know, just appreciate where you were then while taking in where you are now. Make jokes about it and just go on swinging your big dick through life, . 

John: So how do you Well, I was gonna say, I was gonna say the large penis is most of it

But I, no, I think it’s so here’s the thing. Truth be told, most of my friends would not describe me as confident. Writing provides a, allows me to be the best version of myself. And so what comes across in my writing as confidence is probably what I want to be. It’s not always what I am. [00:47:00] The other answer I’ll give is therapy.

I, I punish and it used to be worse. So I’ve come a long way, but I punish myself for some of who I was. But I had a therapist. Tell me once how many years is enough to punish you for what you did? On very different things, you know? I mean, I have a, I have a lot of shame about all sorts of things I wish I had done differently in life.

But what’s, but what’s my sentence, right? Like, what, what, what, how long do I have to negatively talk about who I was before? It’s enough, before enough time has passed, before I’ve given myself enough lashes, so to speak. Like, what’s the number? Put a number to it. And when she said that to me, it kind of, just reshaped how I thought about things.

I’m like, there really isn’t anything [00:48:00] stopping me from being the person who I want to be. So that’s a little deeper answer than that little anecdote about me talking to my cousins about hell . It was. But I think I, I appreciate you seeing that that that is something actively working on as we speak, and something I want to get better at is, and it’s not so much self-confidence, although I, I, I, I, I know I’m witty and I, you know, I, there’s just certain personality traits I know about myself.

But I wanna love myself and I haven’t figured it out yet, but I used to not even want to. And that’s the, the biggest change that happened in my life is when I, not, not when I woke up one day and started loving myself, but when I woke up one day and said, loving myself should be a goal. because for a long time it wasn’t even a goal, and I was indoctrinated to believe that it would actually steer me away from heaven or my loved ones, or [00:49:00] love in general.

If I tried to love myself, I would become selfish. I would become sinful. I would become self-serving because the only way, proper way to love yourself would be to love God. I don’t agree with that anymore. I, I think that I th first off, there’s a trope going around that’s been going around for a while, that you have to love yourself before you can love other people.

Bullshit. I’m calling bullshit on it. You can love people so deeply while you hate yourself. You can, you can have all sorts of love. The, the, the, the truth behind that trope is it will not be sustained. You can’t sustain love for other people if you’re not actively practicing love with yourself.

Because love is a practice. It’s not just like a thing, you can’t help. It takes work, it takes choices. It does take feelings, but it takes controlled [00:50:00] feelings. It takes managed feelings. And for most people it takes some therapy. And therapy can look different for different people. It doesn’t have to be sitting on a couch.

You know, I, I used to do activity therapy with my therapist going on walks. You know there’s all sorts of things you can do for you, and no one’s gonna know what you need more than you. But yeah, I, when I look back at my past self, I do feel a lot of shame. But the fact that my goal is to not makes all the difference in the.

De’Vannon: Well, I hope you overcome all of that. And I just, there no, remember Jesus being on the cross where I think he had a murder on one hand and a thief on the other? And you know, the Lord says the only sin he won’t forgive you for is if you blaspheme the Holy Ghost, which is not something really easy to do.

I don’t think most people even know what the fuck that means. And so that doesn’t mean that as a human we don’t have to work through, you know, shame and [00:51:00] guilt. But, you know, I just always like to remind people, you know, and you of that, you know, all things are forgiven no matter what, you know, you know, according to the word of, of Jesus and his work on the cross.

So this means a murdering people, oh God, fuck y’all. I’m not saying go out and slice people down, just thinking, go run to the church and ask for forgiveness. That’s not what I’m saying. But I’m saying like, if you’re sitting in jail somewhere and you done done it and it’s been 20 years and you killed whatever person, Okay, that’s over.

Now, you know, you have a path forward, but Jesus does require us to tell the truth about everything, you know, to make whatever amends we can to people realistically, you know, and safely, you know, if the person’s around, he wants us to as, as, as he says, leave our gift at the altar and go get right with the person.

And not to let the sun go down on our anger. But there is always redemption. There is always grace, is grace is sufficient for us. No matter what you have done, you just don’t blast being the Holy Ghost. Everything else. It’s fine. I regret having sold so many god damn narcotics to people who I [00:52:00]could tell were too, were so weak-willed that I could bend them, you know, to, to my, to my desire.

You know, sometimes I think about that, but you know what? It’s over. I don’t sell drugs anymore. I hate the fact that I prayed on them in their vulnerabilities. You know, to make myself feel good. That’s 

John: such a big one. Can, can I focus on two things real quick? Whatever the hell you want. Okay. Okay. Because pr preying on vulnerabilities is a big part of my shame too.

Hmm. And it’s really hard because I grew up in a cult that taught me how to pray on people’s vulnerabilities. Subtly, not like explicitly, but just being in that environment and all of that. So that’s a hard, hard thing. So good on ya. For, for, you’re correct. I mean, it’s something you can’t change.

It’s not, you know, the damage is done. And you do have to accept that that was a u that [00:53:00]doesn’t exist anymore or even more accurately. That’s a u that you’ve done work to and make sure that you’re not prey on vulnerable people anymore. And whatever small bit of you that was either naturally good at it or indoctrinated to be good at preying on other people, if you’re able to change that about yourself, you are so much better off than so many people who are in the cult who cannot turn that off and have no mechanism to turn that off.

The second thing is I don’t think you need Jesus for that forgiveness and grace personally. I don’t wanna take it away from anyone . That’s not, that’s not my personality. I’m like, if that, if that, but I just, I would, I would be amiss and offbrand if I didn’t if I didn’t say you do not need Jesus to have grace.

You need yourself to give grace to yourself. Forgiveness is something you can offer yourself to. And [00:54:00] so I, I just, I, I have to get that in there of like, Jesus is a cool archetype, is a cool story, is a cool whatever for it, but you don’t need it. And if it’s too triggering for you, walk the fuck away.

Get the fuck out of there. You don’t need it. 

De’Vannon: I say both because even with Jesus offering all, even when Jesus offering all the forgiveness in the world, if a person cannot accept it or cannot conceptualize that as a reality, then it, it’ll never, even though they have it, it won’t be in their reality. So to them it won’t exist.

And so I, I hear you on the self-work part of it. I throw Jesus in there. John doesn’t, why, why don’t you, why don’t you feel like, so do you think, do you, do you think Jesus is more of like a story if he was like a cool guy, do you not believe that he is the son of God? Oh, he is not 

John: Well, and I’ll say why he is not First off, Jesus is only as much God as you and I are.

In my [00:55:00] opinion is how I would spin that if I wanted to. Son of God was coined by Paul. Jesus never said he was a son of God. He does make that like illusion where in, in John where he says like I am the father or whatever. Son of God is specifically a Greek term that Paul was using because that was a more familiar Greek idea.

Judaism did not have the idea of a son of God. The Jewish understanding of Messiah was not supposed to be a God. It was supposed to be an enlightened human being. So those are just things that developed later. So I just, that terminology doesn’t resonate in my worldview. Again, I’m not here to necessarily dog on people’s personal beliefs, at least of all yours.

But, but I, I more just want to make that clear distinction that it’s like what I like about Jesus. Is what’s reported about him through a very biased lens, , and through like a very [00:56:00] like developed and evolved narrative, the redemption narrative that we’ve landed on with Jesus is incredibly powerful, and I think a beautiful story that is probably more beautiful than any other story in literature I can think of.

And there might be some sort of value that you can attach to it. I just don’t think you need to worship Jesus to get anything 

De’Vannon: interesting. Oh, I don’t take any of this personal, I’m always one thing about Christianity in the, in the, in the, the pursuit of spirituality. In my humility, I guess it might not be too humble for me to call myself humble, but you know, like , that my fucking humility, my fucking god damn humility, I, I understand that not everything is known about the approach to God, the approach to the trinity.

You know, I don’t believe that I have all the answers and I have enough sense to know anything that I think could be wrong, except for in the case that I’ve had, like [00:57:00] something miraculous happen, like a dream, a vision, an angelic appearance, you know, a touch by the Holy Ghost, you know, or something like that, you know?

Mm-hmm. , my personal experiences, you know, you know, are non-negotiable to me, but my understanding of word of, of what’s written absolutely negoti because you know, as I’ve gotten more into it in trying to learn the original Bible languages and the way they were written in the cultural influence and stuff like that, I’ve had something like, wow moments.

Like, what the fuck? Now, when I was over in the Middle East last year, you know, I was shocked to learn that, you know, where was I at? I was in the United Arab Emirates. You had an Egyptian tour guide and stuff like that, and he was all like taking us all these moss and stuff. He was like, , we don’t believe that Messiah has come, you know?

Mm-hmm. at all. They’re, they’re like, Jesus was cool, and they’re all about worshiping God. They believe Allah and God are like the same to them, but they’re like, N Jesus just one of the other enlightened ones, but they’re very dedicated to their, to [00:58:00] God and everything like that. I feel like more dedicated than Christians are, and they’re more real about it and shit like that.

You know, if I, you know, I could, I could easily fit into, into, you know, the Arabic culture over there. So I’m not surprised to hear you say that you don’t necessarily think Jesus is the son of God, because those people don’t either. I, I choose to believe that they’re massive prosperity comes from their devotion to who they believe in and the way that they treat each other.

Mm-hmm. so, so So, so what you’re saying is based on what you read and researched Son of God, and Jesus always called himself the son of man according to what I read. You know, but, but I’ve never, I’ve never what considered what you’ve said before, that someone else called him Son of God, you know, he never called himself a Christian.

You know, anything like that. Or as you put it, John, you say, every man before Jesus came up with rules, Jesus got rid of him. And then every man after [00:59:00] him added more rules. Mm-hmm. . So people, yeah, people tend to like to add shit. I quote you on that from time to time on my show, I’ll be like, John Vanier said this, and so

John: Yeah. Well, and to be very clear, I, I, I admire and even dare say I’m am inspired by Jesus. But I just, I just, the only, the only thing when it comes to the practical side of things is just anytime my, like my alarm bells go off, when there’s a direct tie between, you need Jesus. . That’s just like a big red flag to me.

Not because some people might need Jesus actually, like personally in their own personal life, it might enrich it, it might give them a spirituality. I like to think of it as a template. It gives them like a template for their spirituality. That’s great. But the second it’s pe all people need Jesus.

Then I’m like, fuck no. I’m like, , get, get that, get that outta my face. Because that is, [01:00:00] in my opinion, going back to the artwork. That’s what can create that like hierarchy is just creating that need for Jesus. 

De’Vannon: Yeah, and that’s another thing. I have enough goddamn fucking humility to, to realize that not everybody’s going to be a follower of.

I know that, you know, as I, as I say, from time to time, I’ll hang out with somebody who, who sucks Satan’s dick, as long as they’re not trying to personally hurt me, because not everybody’s gonna be a Christian. Mm-hmm. or be a follower. I hate, I hate the word Christian. So do you feel the same way about like God and the Holy Spirit?

Like in terms of non deifying them? 

John: Woo. Man, once you open up the Trinity, that’s a whole freaking new, that’s a universe. I’ll know if you, if you read that after, after the prologue of, of my book. But I, I believe it’s cut off into three sections. Jesus was awesome. God might be [01:01:00] great, and the Holy Spirit haunts me.

And the, the God might be great is kind of a, a nod to Christopher Hitchens, who’s one of my favorite authors who wrote God is Not Great. Because my, my answer to him is, well, he might be. , but probably not. You know, it’s kind of like, yeah, the, I, I, I know what you’re saying, but you know, I also understand that most people, for most of history, I think it’s a very arrogant stance to to act like the idea of God is silly.

I think that’s a pretty arrogant stance to have. So it’s not one I take when I say the Holy Spirit haunts me. There are spiritual experiences, like you said, for you, they’re non-negotiable, right? Like you have these experiences that define your life. I’ve had those myself. Here’s the thing, they are negotiable for me.

And I would love to just say this was all in my head. I [01:02:00] can’t, I can’t know that , but I would love to be able to say that. So for me, I, it’s a little different because Jesus, the character of Jesus is the one that’s especially in evangelicalism, but in Christianity as a whole, is the one who’s dare I say, name has been taken in vain.

The most you know, as far as like using him as a character, using him in a very manipulative way. When you get to the Holy Spirit, like you can get really culty really quick when you start talking about like Pentecostals and like, you know, just some of the hooping and the hollering and God told me this, so it must be true that that stuff is yikes.

But the concept of God is kind of, has no meaning because the word God means so many different things to so many, to the, to each individual we imagine him that that’s like in the, in the proper sense, we imagine him. So maybe less dangerous than, [01:03:00] than. You know, saying you need God is probably less dangerous than saying you need Jesus, but I’d prefer you to say neither, you know and you need the Holy Spirit might be even more dangerous, but it’s just probably rarer, you know?

But yeah, I don’t know if those are just initial thoughts. Again, because, because I’m not an atheist. I don’t, I don’t claim to be, but I think atheists get a lot of shit because people think they’re crazy. And I’m like, well, they’re certainly not crazy. I mean, they’re the most rational of all of us.

They, they’re just, you know, I, I just, I just don’t identify with it. But I, all of that to say I just love all people and I don’t want people to feel like they have to go through a very narrow lens in order to receive love, forgiveness, whatever they want to receive in life. They don’t need Jesus for that.

They don’t need God for that. They don’t need the Holy Spirit for. 

De’Vannon: why.you say you feel like you’re, like, what I would call a, like an indisputable encounter with God that I [01:04:00] had. I find it non-negotiable. You said you would like yours to be negotiable. Mm-hmm. , why do you say you would like to be, or you like still fighting against your, the church or your experience?

So if God approached you personally, what you’re, what I’m hearing you say is that, you know, it’s really not negotiable, but you would like it to be. 

John: Why? I know it’s not negotiable for you and I know it’s not negotiable for most people. It is negotiable for me. How do you the, the, the thing? Yeah. Well, I don’t, most of the time cuz I, I got other shit I gotta do

Think about it. But no, I, I, you know, I, I had, I had a, I have a conversion story. I, I felt the presence of God or Jesus or whatever I, I assume as much as anyone. I mean, right? Like I went and studied to be a pastor, like clearly it meant something. I don’t think I was just a full on narcissist who was like, oh, I’m gonna be the voice of God, like, da da da da da.

Like, I don’t, I really don’t think, I think it was motivated. [01:05:00] Pretty hol wholesomely and like . I thought it was a, I prayed a lot. I prayed more than anybody I knew, you know? Like, I’m like, surely this was all real, right? I don’t know. I was 11. What the fuck do you know, at 11? Like, I’m, I’m like, there, there’s, and what do you know when you’ve been indoctrinated for over a decade?

That when you feel certain things, it’s definitely this. Oh, like, I’m like, you know, there’s like, there’s placebos, there’s, there’s all sorts of things we know about what we can do with our own brain. Then I’m like, I’m not gonna say it was definitely this, or definitely that. I don’t know, and I probably never will know, but I’m not gonna live my life based on those experiences because that is that’s cheating myself out of a very full life.

De’Vannon: Okay, I see what you’re saying. What you’re saying is due to, you haven’t been such a young Impressional age when you went through everything, you don’t know if that’s like some sort of P t s D, some sort 

John: of, or, [01:06:00] or even in adult life, you know, like there, I had spiritual moments, if you wanna call ’em that, like an adult life, you know, I was a worship leader.

I, I remember very vividly sometimes I was leading worship and like, would be struck with something that felt otherworldly. The whole g the whole gauntlet, whatever a Christian can tell you about their experiences with Jesus, I’ll see you one and I’ll raise you one, you know, but but I just, I’m just like, but I’m not gonna pretend that because I felt like it was something and I was told to feel like it was something that, it definitely was that thing.

I, I just, I wanna, I wanna have a little more humility than that and have a little more understanding of alternative worldviews. 

De’Vannon: I think churches should start paying all of us reparation checks, s for all this motherfucking mental health shit that we have. So yeah, the checks need to start. The money needs to start flowing the other fucking way away from these churches and into our hands.

God damnit, let’s do a class action lawsuit against these bitches that’s strip them of their [01:07:00]protection. And if you 

John: and if you agree, go to the cult of christianity.com. Hit subscribe. $5 a month. . 

De’Vannon: Yes. The call to Christianity. Just kidding. Of course. And that link in his link tree site to all of his social media, cuz John’s on every fucking thing.

You know, it’s gonna be in the show note. So the last two questions are gonna be that made up thing called hell. Whether or not you believe Jesus was a big old queen, honey. And so , tell us about whether or not you think hell is real and then we’ll talk about Jesus. No. Okay, , 

John: the first question’s easy. No hell doesn’t exist.

It’s a crazy. the, it’s not in the Bible. You know, even if you wanna talk about the lake of fire, great. That’s for Satan. What does I have to do with hell? The hell is a made up thing. Hell is also different from Hades in Revelation, which is also fucking weird. But wait, wait, wait. With that 

De’Vannon: return, like referring to how, like when the pale horse is coming and this is [01:08:00]like death was on the pill horse and hell followed, and I know in that part of deep breath, I don’t 

John: No, go ahead.

I You remember Revelation better than I do, probably. Oh, it’s like my 

De’Vannon: favorite book. I don’t know if that sounds sadistic to somebody, but I do love the book of Revelation a lot. And so, but it’s saying like, death was on the pale horse and like hell followed, but hell in that sense meant patties. And I found it curious there that there is a distinct.

You know, too. Yeah. 

John: So, well, there’s, there’s actually, I feel like, hold on. I can, I’ll, I’ll, in the spirit of being accurate while 

De’Vannon: he’s researching that, what I’m going to say is I don’t really give a shit whether hell is real with a bunch of little EMS running around in there trying to pull people apart and torture them like the Satan from fucking South Park or whatever the hell, but mm-hmm.

what, what I don’t like about it, this doesn’t appear like there’s gonna be any presence of God there. And so I, I think the most hellish thing is the lack of God [01:09:00] because you can literally go through hell with God, but if he’s not with you, then you really can’t do anything that’s coming from somebody who’s like, very, very dependent on God and stuff like that.

And so for whatever I think hell is, I just don’t like it, cuz I know God won’t be there. Go John. 

John: Yeah. It’s death in Hades that are the two different things that I was thinking about. But yeah, I mean, I mean, just most of it comes later. You know, it’s just like one of those things where it’s been reinterpreted and reimagined in Christian’s minds so many times.

Jewish folk don’t have a version of hell. People like to say Sheel was their version. That’s not accurate. That’s not true. Sheels very different. John Wesley, way later thought hell and Hades were two different things. You know, Catholics, abductions of purgatory. I’m like, it’s all just made up.

It’s just making shit up. It’s not, you know, we’re, we’re imagining things that are, are [01:10:00]improvable, you know, that are, are un unable to be proved. So I just, I don’t know. It’s just made up and it’s crazy to me because it’s so essential to Evangelicals messaging that, Hey, you better believe in Jesus, or you’re going to hell, big, scary place.

Don’t go to hell. I’m like, well boy, why? Where is that written? , it’s one of the first questions I asked in my deconstruction journey. I’m like, wait, so where is hell? You even when Jesus supposedly talks about it, if you look at the word, he’s cl very clearly talking about like a, a dump nearby, like an actual physical place.

It’s not even called hell. It just got translated later to hell. So yeah, just doesn’t exist. But, but, and, and frankly, you don’t have to be the most analytical person to think, Hmm, if this religion is so great, why does it need an eternal torture chamber? Like, like, like if, if, if it’s good on its [01:11:00] own without the eternal torture chamber, why is the eternal torture chamber or torture place there?

The, it doesn’t make any sense. Also, what the hell was Jesus doing? What was that death? If it didn’t conquer hell, that seems kind of pointless. Then it saved a few people, but not all. Hell is just a very big linchpin, and once you stop believing in hell, , you realize you really don’t need Christianity.

De’Vannon: Okay? Food for thoughts of y’all. I encourage everybody to research everything on your own, like you shouldn’t. Mm-hmm. , you should not walk through life. Believe in whatever you believe. Because I said it, because John said it, because the preacher on TV said it. You know? So many times I asked people, okay, well, why do you believe what you believe?

They can’t fucking answer me. You know? Mm-hmm. , you know, like, so on my website, I intentionally only have very few like courses on there about, you know, how to read the Bible or Jesus stuff, because I don’t want people to, to become [01:12:00] dependent on me for their education. I’m just giving you like, you don’t wanna be 

John: a cult leader.

De’Vannon: No, they don’t age well. That 

John: means well 

De’Vannon: true. They do not age well. Then they start get getting that the ones on TV get that tele evangelically look where they start looking like mannequins and shit. Then they don’t look even look fucking human after a while , 

John: they all get man buns and beards. It’s awful hair.

Just kidding. Just being hypocritical. 

De’Vannon: Bigger and bigger? No the man buns. Okay. The hot pastors, like the man bond pastors are the ones that had me in the seats. Like, oh Jesus, is it me? Is it me? Is this the spirit or what is it? The hot pastors I’m with the hot pastor craze, at least for the looks.

They’re still narcissistic assholes, but at least I can see some, some, some jerk material up there. And so then speaking of jerking off the hot and pastors on stage, tell us if or not you think Jesus [01:13:00]was a big old queen. 

John: He, he was, I mean, again, it’s like with everything, when I talk about Jesus based on what’s reported about him the, he was probably asexual or at least like non-straight especially in such a, like patriarchal setting.

The way he, the way they, that the writers about him at least emphasize his relationship with women is very unique and not, not of the time. It, it’s, and you know, feminist for lack of better word. So he was, he was definitely on a spectrum, so to speak. Now there’s also, you can get really in the weeds and talk about whether Jesus was married or not, and it’s just not report.

Maybe people make the same argument with Paul. Paul was either definitely married and then [01:14:00] divorced, or never married or had several wives. You know, it’s just like, it’s who you read says what. Personally, I don’t really care about all that, but if we’re talking about the messaging of Jesus by, by evangelical standards and we don’t get it super analytical about the text and all the rest of it, if you just wanna follow their story, you’re like, wait, so this man lived 33 years and never married and was celibate?

Pretty sure that’s called asexual. You know, and maybe, maybe he wanted to the whole time, probably not, right? Because wouldn’t that be sinful according to your rules? So to me, it’s just kind of a weird thing for them to not, but I mean, some Christians do think asexuality is, is not necessarily sin if it’s done a certain way, I guess.

But I just say like, it’s worth pointing out that I’m like, why do you value straight marriage so much when you’re God didn’t. . And so that, that’s kind of what I mean when I say he was queer. I don’t, I don’t, you know, it, it’s a little bit tongue in cheek and it’s a little bit you [01:15:00] know, kind of like more to piss people off than to be accurate to me, Frank.

But, but it’s not inaccurate in my opinion. I, I think there’s nothing wrong with saying Jesus was queer. Look, I’m here 

De’Vannon: for some tongue and cheekiness. I wanna know if Jesus jerked off. I’m, 

John: I’m not happy according to Evangelicals. Or if he did, he did the evangelical thing where he jerked off but didn’t have sexual thoughts.

The impossible thing that they talk about, I was my favorite one. They, they’ll, they’ll be like, well, it’s not, it’s not the, it’s not the act that’s sinful. It’s the sexual thoughts that accompanied me yet. I’m like, oh. So if I just like, I don’t know, take like a bull tranquilizer and then , like, try not to think while I jerk off.

It’s okay. I don’t know, man. They’re weird. They’re in a cult.

De’Vannon: Totally. In a cult, you know. My thing about the Bible is it’s not stated then that doesn’t mean it did happen or didn’t happen, and especially if it’s not researchable. So like whether the apostles were married, maybe they were married, they weren’t like it, sometimes it’s not stated.

Did Joseph just have that [01:16:00] one wife? It maybe didn’t have more, you know, marriage between one man and one woman is bullshit. The Old Testament is full of polyamorous relationships and concubines, and I’m hoping to do a show with somebody soon about pros, the intersectionality or the contradictions between like why prostitution was wrong, but 50,000 concubines and 40,000 wives.

You fucking were, were a school and I know they patriarchy. Yeah, I know they were in there having some goddamn orgies. They know fucking way. He just went in there and called one bitch 

John: at well, but yeah, that’s based on, that’s based on property. I mean that’s just like the women word property. So yeah, if you, if you own them, it was fine.

De’Vannon: Right. And so fast forward to the day. This whole anti polyamory, anti this, I’m like, but they just doing what the Bible said. So I don’t understand. But I wanna know if Jesus jerked off. I know who he was fucking, I wanna know what happened for them first 30 years because he had to pop a boner, you know?

And then the Bible says he had like passions and you know, he went [01:17:00] through everything we went through. Well that means his dick got hard and he wanted to fuck something. So then what did he do? You know, it’s not stated, you know, for some reason it’s all like a whole three decade space. And so I say feel it, but God, do I really wanna say that?

Like pray about it. I’m just 

John: say that you were so close to saying something that I would say, but , 

De’Vannon: yeah, you’re rubbing off on me too much now. I gotta let you go. Let you go. All right. Those are all my questions. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Whatever your last word is is go ahead and spit out and give your advice to the world.

Again, this has been John er of the Cult of Christianity podcast. His website is the cult of christianity.com. His link tree will go in the showy notes, as it always does. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, motherfucking ticky talkie. You, you, you can get his [01:18:00] god damn book on Amazon and shit and all of that.

And so look for his reporting coming to you as he spills all the delicious, juicy tea on these basic bitch ass preachers running these huge churches with their motherfucking mindless sheep ass followers who we pray get pulled outta the fucking matrix one day. Take it away, John. 

John: Wow. I mean, no need for me to promote anything.

You got it. Yeah. No, this is awesome. I always love talking to you. I love that. You know, I know we don’t agree on everything, but I love how we talk about it, and I love I love your receptiveness to, to the, my me and like my, my angst and my direct critiques and those kinds of things. You are very gracious host and I’m looking forward to talking to you again soon.

De’Vannon: All right. That’s the tea. You all have a lovely day.

[01:19:00] Thank you all so much for taking time to listen to the Sex Drugs and Jesus podcast. It really means everything to me. Look, if you love the show, you can find more information and resources at SexDrugsAndJesus.com or wherever you listen to your podcast. Feel free to reach out to me directly at DeVannon@SexDrugsAndJesus.com and on Twitter and Facebook as well.

My name is De’Vannon, and it’s been wonderful being your host today. And just remember that everything is gonna be all right.


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