What 4 Years on the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast Has Meant to Me

What 4 Years on the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast Has Meant to Me October 8, 2021

I’ve been a part of the Heretic Happy Hour podcast for 4 years now. As of writing this blog entry, we’ve release 113 episodes, and have over 397,000 downloads. Our Facebook group, Heresy After Hours, has over 2,300 members. In addition to all this success, we’ve interviewed some of the world’s greatest theologians, from Rob Bell, Carlton Pearson, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Rachel Held Evans (RIP), and David Bentley Hart, to musicians like Dustin Kensrue of Thrice and Kevin Max of dc Talk, to radio personalities like John Fugelsang. All in all, it’s been a wild ride.

But none of this success means as much to me as the friendships that have blossomed. The cohosts – Keith Giles, Derrick Day, Katy Valentine (and former host Jamal Jivanjee) – have all become personal friends, family even. Our producer, Rafael Polendo, along with his wife and kids, have become family friends with my wife, daughter, and I. For this, I am grateful.

The reason we all have become so close is not because we see eye to eye on everything. In fact, we disagree quite a bit. If you’ve listened to the show over the years, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. In spite of this, however, we still respect one another. We still want to see each other thrive and live happy lives. That’s been the glue that has held this thing together.

Hopefully, this shines through on the show. What we hope the takeaway is for listeners is that you can disagree and still remain respectful. In this day and age, our approach seems like a lost art.

In the Christianity many of us came from, disagreeing on major theological points is a no-go zone. Not that denominations didn’t allow for some quibbling, but on the major issues, you had to toe the line. Not on the Heretic Happy Hour!

Case in point:

Keith is probably the most “orthodox” among us. If I had to guess, he would theologically be among the patristics of the early church.

Katy definitely identifies as a Christian, but leaves a lot of room for non-orthodox ideas (like reincarnation and other “woo-woo” ideas).

Derrick basically wants nothing to do with theology. Burn it all to the ground is his motto.

And as for me, it all depends on the day. Some days I want to burn it all, and some days I’m more or less okay with the term “Christian.”

But again, none of these major differences matter as much as the love we have for one another. And it is for that reason that I look forward to spending another 4 years with these fine folks.

So, cheers! Here’s to Keith, Katy, Derrick, and Rafael. Love y’all.


If you wanna get to know me better, please follow me on social media. I’m pretty active on all platforms:

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Also, if you’ve been digging my work on here, and want to see me be able to continue writing as close to full-time as humanly possible, please take a look at my Patreon page at www.patreon.com/mjdistefano. Even $1 a month helps bigly!!!

About Matthew J. Distefano
Matthew J. Distefano is the author of multiple books, a podcaster, social worker, and hip-hop artist. He lives in Northern California with his wife and daughter. You can read more about the author here.
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