By Institute of Religion Politics and Culture, Amanda Henderson, Iliff School of Theology

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For too long we have avoided talking about religion and politics. But the truth is, religion and politics are about daily life. When we avoid the hard topics connected to religion and politics, we become stuck in the status quo. On Complexified we dive into the places where religion and politics collide with real-life, so we can get unstuck- so we can make real change. We dive into our most entrenched problems to better understand the hidden histories and experiences of real people on the front lines. We look at the ways religion has shaped our systems - and the ways we see ourselves and others– from there, we work together to imagine new paths forward.

Episode Date
Leading with a Broken Heart

State Representative Sam Park is a native Georgian born and raised by a single mother who instilled in him the importance of faith, family and hard work. Sam's grandparents were refugees from the Korean War who moved to the US in the early 1980's in pursuit of the “American Dream.” After receiving a Fellowship in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law from American University Washington College of Law, Sam earned his Masters in Law in 2014 with a specialization in law, politics and legislation. In December 2014, Sam’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Through her fight against cancer, Sam learned firsthand the importance of having access to healthcare. On a platform of expanding Medicaid to ensure access to healthcare for all Georgians, Sam ran for office as a first-time candidate in 2016 and unseated a three-term Republican chairwoman with a grassroots campaign to become the first Asian American Democrat and first openly gay man elected to the Georgia State Legislature.

Aug 18, 2022
Who's Afraid of Trans Youth?

Rev. Brandan Robertson is a noted author, pastor, activist, and public theologian working at the intersection of spirituality, sexuality, and social renewal. He is the author of seven books on spirituality, justice, and theology.  Robertson has multiple publications such as TIME Magazine, San Diego Union Tribune, and The New York Times. Named by the Human Rights Campaign as one of the top faith leaders leading the fight for LGBTQ+ equality, Robertson has worked with political leaders and activists worldwide to end conversion therapy and promote the human rights of sexual and gender minorities.







Aug 11, 2022
Complexified Trailer!

It’s been a ROUGH few years. If you’re like me, you feel overwhelmed.

Worrying about what we’re living through, what scary headline we might see next 

and what we can DO about it. 

Why can’t we keep our kids safe from guns? Why are voting rights under attack? Why can’t we even talk about abortion, gender, sexuality, or racism? 

How we got here is not a mystery. And we’ll talk about that. 

(Rob Schenck) "I was there in the middle to late 90s at the tables with Republican Party operatives. When they offered us a deal, and they said, Look, we're with you on abortion, we know you want the reversal of Roe v Wade, we're going to give you that, we're going to deliver that for you. But in exchange, and some of them would be quite crude, they would say, at a time, I can see this, I was seated seated seated at an oak table inside the US Capitol, there were a number of national evangelical leaders at the table, I was there. we're going to take down Roe, we're going to make abortion illegal in this country. But you're gonna have to give us your full support, because there's nowhere else for you to go. Do you understand? And there were literal handshakes across the table, we understand."

 I’m Amanda Henderson, and this is my new podcast, Complexified. 

On Complexified,  we dig into the places where religion and politics collide with real-life, - so we can make real change.   

(Robyn Henderson-Espinoza) “The activist theology project was born out of my desire to help people get their hands dirty with the wounds of the world.” 

(Rep. Sam Park) "When, when it came to running for office, I was asked the question by my pastor at the time, um, you know, what breaks your heart, know what breaks your heart and do something about it, the question mm-hmm because, because, you know, just as faith is dead without deeds love is also meaningless if it's not demonstrated without action."

I’ll talk with activists and thinkers about the issues tearing our lives up today… the end of Roe v. Wade, climate change, Christian Nationalism,  attacks on trans kids, homelessness, and so much more. 

As a progressive pastor and the former head of an interfaith advocacy organization, I’ve preached at pulpits – and protests! I’ve testified at city council meetings and state capitols. I’ve shared ideas and activism and questions with people from all walks of life. 

And I am here to say: Life is not black and white. 

It’s complicated. 

For too long we have avoided talking about religion and politics. But when we avoid these hard topics, we stay stuck.

On Complexifed, we’ll navigate the messiness…  With compassion, curiosity, and community. 

Complexified launches August 11.  Join me.   Follow the show wherever you listen to podcasts. And become a part of this movement to embrace the complexity of real life – and to move forward, together.

This podcast is a project of the Institute of Religion Politics & Culture at Iliff School of Theology.

Aug 02, 2022