FreedHearts

FreedHearts

"Deconstructing religious baggage with laughter and love! Changing the conversation on love and inclusion." Susan Cottrell is the Mom of two LGBTQ children; the founder of FreedHearts; an international speaker with a viral TEDx talk; a pastor and theologian; an acclaimed author; and a fierce advocate and ally. In her unique tender, relatable style, Susan is a prominent voice of unconditional love and lavish inclusion. Powerful, authentic, and relevant in today’s society, Susan has a lot to say. The Advocate calls her their “Favorite Affirming Matriarch.” OutSmart magazine calls her "The Mother of all MamaBears!" Reverend Ashley Harness from Auburn Seminary says, “Susan has this fierce, loving, don’t mess with me, Mom vibe.” If you have been excluded, or if someone close to you has been excluded because of who they are or who they love - or maybe you have been the one doing the excluding - the FreedHearts podcast is for you. Join Susan, along with her husband Rob, on the journey. You are not alone. Welcome home!

Episodes

May 22, 2024 40 mins

Today we deconstruct one of the most insane ideas in Christianity: The alleged fall of humanity, when one person ate forbidden fruit, and now, there is not one shred of goodness in us, not a spark, unless we have asked Jesus to be our Savior.

That’s the story.

The actual theory and false teaching is that because Eve and Adam sinned, the rest of us are born utterly depraved, beyond redemption.

Wow.

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Rules, laws, shoulds, shouldn’ts... the Bible is full of them. And the church has even added more to that list!

The religious leaders approached Jesus and asked, “Hey Jesus, Uh, lot’s of rules here, lots of laws, what are the ones that are the most important?”

And Jesus deconstructed ALL the law, ALL of those rules, ALL of the rules the church adds to it and answered… “Love. Love God, love others – and those two a...

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We’ve been wanting to talk for a while about how the conservative evangelical church traps people. It is deliberate.

They draw you in, telling you: God loves you just as you are — yes you’re a sinner, we’re all sinners, duh. But God loves you — just some minor tweaking here and there, and you’ll be good as new.

They dismantle you, making you an enemy of your own heart, mind, body, and spirit - making you doubt you...

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Today, we talk about how the church teaches us to have contempt for our own free will. 

And, in particular, how we have contempt for, interact with, and treat our children.

This may sound harsh, but, based on their teachings and beliefs, it’s the truth: The religious, rules-based, behavior-focused, conservative church hates its children!

One of the biggest brainwashing con jobs from the church is that ou...

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April 17, 2024 33 mins

We have started to ask the question: Who is God?

It’s certainly NOT the old white man in the sky, with all the feminine aspects ripped out.

Something has been stolen from us. Our sacred interior has been ransacked and we have lost the understanding of God who loves us, delights in us.

This is vital because when we know God feels this way about us — we are free to feel this way about ourselves — and we we...

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April 10, 2024 21 mins

Today, we talk all about an example of how gender plays out in real life. How masculinity and femininity are perceived and received, and the impact it has.

When you reduce the feminine, you reduce all the feminine traits: of caring, healing, listening, loving—which are indispensable as a balance to the masculine.

What happens when you do that is toxic masculinity—when masculinity is not balanced by the feminine, ...

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April 3, 2024 25 mins

What is masculine and what is feminine? What is our understanding of what they mean? Why does it matter? And why is the culture, and especially the church, holding so hard to traditional definitions?

Gender has been turned into a false binary that has assigned roles based on gender with very little tolerance for crossover—even though all of us have masculine and feminine in us, and both are necessary for balance.

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Here we go! We begin our deep-dive into deconstruction by talking about the core of the false teachings coming from the ultra-religious, non-affirming, conditional-love church. It is the root of our racism, queerphobia, xenophobia, misogyny—so much of our problems and issues today.

What is it? It is the Teaching of Contempt. Us versus them.

So, what is contempt? Contempt means to view someone, a particular group,...

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It’s important to deconstruct – especially when your faith has been rattled by religious abuse. You likely know exactly what I am talking about.

If we do not deconstruct, we can be left with a lot of baggage. It’s vital to separate the God of Religion from the truth of God. 

Today we have some fun – and we pose a pretty big question.

Beloved, gather round for Bible Story Time! We share with you the stor...

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Sometimes, when people attack deconstruction, they talk about it like it’s an attack on Christianity. Actually, it’s just the opposite. Deconstruction is tearing down false religious teaching that goes against the message and life of Jesus. That message has been perverted by much of the Christian religion.

Beloved, there is one thing that scares this non-affirming, fundamentalist, legalistic, rules-based, conditional love...

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Have you been called a Prodigal, and told that if you just repent all will be forgiven?

Perhaps you’ve been told that, “Sure, you’re saying you’re gay or transgender—or that you are affirming your LGBTQ+ child--or whatever it is—but one day you’ll repent and then we will “graciously” let you back in the fold!”

Uh yeah, no thank you. 

Few stories are as misused and misunderstood as the Prodigal.

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The story of the prodigal has been misunderstood and abused to harm and shame people.

In this very special, powerful episode, we give you a profound, eye-opening retelling of this classic Biblical story about the prodigal – but this time as a transgender woman

And she is certainly not the one who repents.

This will forever change how you view this story!

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February 14, 2024 31 mins

When you begin to deconstruct everything you have believed, you begin to wonder who you are.
 
You’re left wondering: how do I view the world now?
 
It’s like someone healing from ongoing abuse, and they don’t really know who they are without it—if they’re not an abuse-survivor, who are they?
 
If you’re not a “Christian,” who are you?
 
It’s a big question for so many. 

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We hear from Christian parents every single day

Many give reasons why they just will not support, accept, affirm their LGBTQ+ child. Usually because of their interpretation of the Bible and what their pastors have told them to do.

Today we share an email and our answer to a Mom about why parents absolutely MUST support, accept and affirm their LGBTQ+ child.
 
It is indeed the Christian thing to do. 

...

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January 31, 2024 26 mins

We have an amazing capacity to normalize things that can be unbearably painful.
 
It’s a great survival skill. It really does help us survive unimaginable circumstances. But it’s NOT a great thriving skill. Once you’re past the danger, once you survive, you need a new pattern to thrive.
 
And you need to know that trauma, those unbearable, dysfunctional family issues – especially those surrounding you living your a...

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We are not huge fans of New Year’s resolutions.  Kind of feels like setting yourself up to fail. I understand the power of motivation and commitment, setting a goal, pushing yourself – but somehow this feels different.
 
So, instead of New Year’s resolutions – we are doing New Year’s revolutions! 
 
We give you 7 things to stop and 7 things to start that can be life-changing, revolutionary for your life.

Support th...

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The anti-gay church has done a lot of damage as it is a system that was built on exclusion.

So, if we find ourselves excluded for whatever reason, we take a lot of baggage with us – false teachings, shame, guilt, cult-like programming.

One huge piece of baggage is doubt – wondering if we really are right about all of this. About LGBTQ+. About deconstruction.

This is an important episode for our hearts, ...

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I have tiny babies in my life now – my grandchildren. I love them – as they are, for who they are. Unconditionally. They don’t have to do anything to earn that.  And they never, ever will.

As we grow up, sometimes parents do and say hurtful things and withhold the love and acceptance you deserve. You don’t, and never did deserve that.

So, today I want to give you a gift, just from me, and talk to that tiny child...

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After you have deconstructed, Christmas becomes an interesting season doesn’t it? Our view of God has expanded, our faith has expanded.

In this beautiful, very special holiday episode, we share three stories - one from Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple; one from Sandra Cisneros; and a unique retelling of the Biblical story for us outliers, the rest of us.

I hope these unwrap the way we see and celebrate th...

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Have you been uninvited to a holiday or family gathering?  Yeah, us too.

And honestly, is that kind of event the last place you would want to be because of things that are said or just because of how you are made to feel? 

We are right in the middle of the holiday season, and all the family issues and triggers that can bring.

So, let’s talk about how to navigate difficult family situations, and also ab...

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