May 13, 2016

In this Homebrewed CultureCast Minisode, I interview Rodrigo Garcia about his latest film, “Last Days in the Desert.” Starring Ewan MacGregor as both Jesus and “the Adversary” that Jesus encounters while on a desert trek, and is shot by Emmanuel Lubezki. Lubeski, known most recently for filming “Birdman” and “The Revenant,” is the first cinematographer ever in history to win three consecutive Academy Awards for their work. His masterful hand with the camera shines through, telling much of the story… Read more

April 22, 2016

I got to chat with the producer of National Geographic Channel’s “Story of God with Morgan Freeman,” James Younger about his new interfaith series about religion, faith and who/what we understand God to be. Having worked on various science TV series and worked with such “Hard News” outlets as the Associated Press, “Story of God with Morgan Freeman” seemed like a bit of a philosophical departure; he explains why it’s not really, though. We also process the then-hours-old news that… Read more

April 8, 2016

Tripp Fuller, the “Podfather” of the Homebrewed podcast network, is a busy little bee. When he’s not curating a ten-book series or hosting one of five or so regular podcasts, he works with this kind of revolutionary new theological education program out on Redondo Beach called The Hatchery? What is this communal think-tank-cum-seminary a few feet from the sand, you ask? Listen to this episode of the CultureCast and all will be revealed. Tripp also chats up his new show, “The… Read more

April 4, 2016

(First version of this episode was corrupt. Please download and listen to this one instead.) WARNING: The second half of this show, though sophomoric and childish, has quite a bit of potentially kind-unfriendly language. When a child is captivated by TV evangelists but you’re not exactly a religious family, what do you do? In Elizabeth Mount’s case, you go to a local Unitarian-Universalist church and explore there as a family, rather than let the pomade-slicked media hucksters do the teaching. Elizabeth, now… Read more

March 25, 2016

Happy Good Friday! Umm, I mean…. Of course the day marking Jesus’ crucifixion ain’t exactly as fun as flowers, Easter hams and egg hunts, but it’s a necessary path to it. After all, there’s no resurrection – however you understand that – without it. In that light, we’re sharing an interview we first did last Easter with Haaz Sleiman, star of the “KILLING JESUS” miniseries that came out last year. In addition to being time and interesting in itself, he talks… Read more

March 24, 2016

A foreign-born radical of questionable parentage and part of the religious tribe living under occupied rule is agitating his people. When he comes into the city his followers speak of government overthrow. He’s challenged the authority of religious and political leaders. The powers that be are restless. There have been others like him, speaking of dissent and of a new world out from under the boot-heel of the present so-called tyranny. Never mind that their lives are better since we’ve… Read more

March 22, 2016

I drove by a church last week, a few days before Palm Sunday, and read their sign: CHRIST HAS RISEN! Um, no. No he hasn’t. In the Christian calendar he hasn’t even died yet. But this is an all-too-common phenomenon in Christian Churches. Why? It’s especially surprising that so many conservative evangelicals avoid it, particularly when the blood and suffering of Jesus seem to be so central to their theology. After all, how to we get to substitutionary blood atonement (the… Read more

March 16, 2016

It’s the age-old “security-versus-freedom” debate that we’ve had i the U.S. since Jefferson, but everything changes when we introduce technology. Is it fair for the government to apply a 225-plus-year-old law to information on an iPhone? Do search warrants apply not only to getting access to the phone, but requiring the manufacturer break into it? Is Apple making a big deal out of one stinking’ phone, or is there precedent in the making that will reverberate for decades to come? That’s what… Read more

March 1, 2016

It’s a nice sentiment to think that voting matters and that our systems of government are of, by and for the people. But it’s not, and here are some examples of how. Delegates/Electoral College: In both parties, both for the party nomination process and in the general election, there are intermediary steps that prevent direct representative democracy (popular vote wins, period) from determining winners. In addition to concentrating power among a handful of party officials, some of these delegates’ votes… Read more

February 23, 2016

I’ve wanted to interview Hanna Rosin, host of NPR’s Invisibilia Podcast, contributor to/former editor of The Atlantic, writer for Slate and author of “The End of Men,” for a couple of years and I’m geeked out to get to share this conversation we had about and power. She, much like Malcolm Gladwell (another of my favorite writers and thinkers), discerns connections and patterns in our daily lives that most of us miss. Some of Hanna’s common topics revolve around sex, gender, sexuality… Read more

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