Haley Hill—who started her music career rapping for Jesus—brings the beats to today's episode of Heathen. She wasn't raised in a super-conservative evangelical family like so many of my guests have been, but conservative evangelicalism found her anyway. She has a story about finding and then losing a God that ultimately wasn't able to weather the hardest of life's storms. She also happens to be my housemate, bandmate, and one of my best friends, so I'm really happy to introduce you to one of the best people I know.Read More
James G.—who aspires to live a life worthy of retelling through flannelgraph—gives some of the most thoughtful ruminations on apostasy I've heard so far. A Ph.D. student and music professor, James had done a lot of focused, intentional work in his journey away from evangelicalism prior to when I met him, which was half-drunk at a Beer & Hymns Christmas carol sing-along event in December of 2017.Read More
Alana Kalinowski—who will at least acknowledge when she's staring at you—has a story for you. Did you see the movie Captain Fantastic, with the off-the-grid family growing up in the woods? Cast them as ultra-conservative evangelical rapture preppers and you get just a little bit close to Alana's upbringing. Honestly, it's a trip, and all I can do is let you listen to it. Unedited. All 2+ hours of it. Enjoy this truly astonishing conversation with an amazing person. Thanks for sharing your story with us, Alana.Read More
Jeremy Fackenthal—who is a widely self-proclaimed expert adventurer, and an IPA drinker with a theology problem—teaches us some German on today's episode. Vergangenheitsbewältigung is hard to say and also hard to do, as it means "coming to terms with difficult things that happened in the past." Jeremy shares his ideas on theology of remembrance, being an American Baptist, process theology, and why he still finds Jesus compelling.
Before this most excellent conversation begins though, I open up with a story about the time I stumped the best preacher I knew with a question in church youth group.Read More
Karyn Thurston—who is a contact cryer convinced that hyperbole is her spiritual gift—rounds out a two part conversation that had me feeling things, y'all. Between a tale about an atheist soap opera star and a dynamic discussion of feminism lies a story of breaking down the God she was given and discovering a different sort of deity, one more akin to a dance than a person. There's some talk about that fella Jesus, and we also—to no one's surprise—had a great talk about Amy Grant and other 90s CCM artists (Jennifer Knapp, Nichole Nordeman, Derek Webb) who we get to listen to in a new light today knowing they've been on journeys similar to our own. I love this conversation—enjoy!Read More
Karyn Thurston—who is a contact cryer convinced that hyperbole is her spiritual gift—kicks off a new year of spiritual conversations for the godless. We had so much to talk about that I decided to make this a two-part episode. Today, we get into the process of deconstruction and how lonely and final it can feel to lose a faith that meant everything to you. When you can't tell the difference between love and harm, how do you begin to detach?Read More
Micah Turner—who was raised by a mime and a puppeteer—brings a little Christmas spirit to Heathen in this special holiday episode. We geeked out about being theatre kids, talked about hippie churches, sorted through some of the difficult aftermath of being in missions and evangelizing our peers, and wrap it up with some talk about feminism and tarot cards.Read More
Damian Ludwig—who has visited more churches than the Pope and who's smile rivals Joel Osteen's—is here to tell tales about separatist Anabaptist movements, churches that didn't know what to do with him, and being a resource to Christians figuring out their position on queerness.Read More
Matt Haeck—who is equally uncomfortable at church with the family on Christmas and at the bar with the cool kids on Tuesdays—stops by Heathen to sing some songs and talk with me about where we hid our porn growing up, who's really deciding who goes to hell, and how lucky we are to show up in the universe with a set of eyes to take it all in.
Get Matt's music at matthaeck.com.Read More
Jami Bamat—who remembers dog names before people names, and thinks prairie dogs might be ACTUAL dogs because of how cute they are—gets into some heathen conversation about deciding at age 12 she wouldn't be a Lutheran when she grew up, finding spiritual fulfillment in social work, and how bad sex ed was in Christian schools.Read More
Becky Branch—who loves breakfast burritos but is allergic to eggs—sits down on Heathen to talk about the stories in our bones, putting on personas, and how crazymaking it can be trying to fit in with Christians when you're brand new to the faith.Read More
Joshua Romero—who smiles every time he sees a grey squirrel (ground squirrels are gross)—visits from Oregon to talk about whether pets go to heaven, getting college credit for holy living, and why it's so hard to believe we are loved.Read More
Jaz Persing—who is almost positive she was supposed to come of age in the '60s but is making the most of these modern times anyway—sat down to talk about baking black holes, leaving the church you've grown up in, and how she learned to stop being afraid of screwing it up.Read More
PILOT EPISODE. LeAnn Wiley Burton—who wishes pizza made you thin—is the first guest on HEATHEN. We had a great time talking about Fern Gully, Amy Grant-ing, and the difficult journey that brought her to a new understanding of who she believes God to be.Read More