Category Archives: Uncategorized

#45: Immigration and Christian Theology



On this month’s Imp Convo, Oxford Pastorate associate pastor Robert Heimburger joins us via Skype to talk about his new book God and the Illegal Alien: United States Immigration Law and a Theology of Politics. And in One Last Thing, Dan has been watching TV again and Tim is taking music advice from an old friend.

Warning: there is a brief moment of explicit language in this episode.

No links from the main show this month, but Dan’s OLT is The Umbrella Academy, and Tim’s is The Dip Delivers.

0:00-1:22: Introduction

1:26-27:38: Heimburger interview

27:43-31:47: Dan’s OLT

31:47-33:34: Tim’s OLT

33:35-34:35: Credits


#44: The Trump Prophecy



This month, Impolite Conversation goes to the movies to discuss the Liberty University-produced film The Trump Prophecy and what it tells us about evangelical culture and the connection between the religious right and Donald Trump. And then Dan and Tim chat some more about the film and What It All Means. (Spoiler: we didn’t like it.) And in One Last Thing, Dan is tracking a serial killer, and Tim is watching a woman be killed serially.

Some of the things we discussed in this episode:

The Trump Prophecy is available to rent, but we wouldn’t recommend it.

Dr. Willenbrink provided the greatest summary of The Day After Tomorrow we’ve ever heard.

The talking heads in The Trump Prophecy included Jerry Boykin and Michele Bachmann.

Here are the supplements sold by the real Dr. Colbert.

Dr. Willenbrink also introduced us to the term SAGE Cons, but not this kind.

Tim brought up the short-lived, much-mourned TV show Firefly, and how the spaceship was a character on the show.

One Last Thing should be like the music of “Karma Chameleon,” not the lyrics of “Karma Chameleon.”

Dan’s One Last Thing was the BBC series The ABC Murders (also available on Amazon Prime).

Tim’s One Last Thing was the Netflix series Russian Doll. (Trailer NSFW.)

0:00-1:53: Introduction

1:57-39:09: Willenbrink interview

39:14-48:15: Trump Prophecy conversation

48:20-51:20: Dan’s OLT

51:21-54:26: Tim’s OLT

54:26-55:29: Credits


#43: The Faith Profile of the 116th Congress



There’s a new Congress in Washington, DC, so we’re spending this month talking about the growing diversity of the faiths it represents, the ongoing “theistic bias” in representation, and the consequences for American governance.

Some of the things we talked about in this episode:

Here is the Pew report we based our conversation on.

Dan referenced videos reducing the world’s population to 100 representative people. Here’s one.

Tim referenced this graph of the nations of the world by GDP and religiosity.

Dan’s One Last Thing was the BBC America series Killing Eve.

Tim’s One Last Thing was the Amazon Prime series Homecoming.

0:00-1:14: Introductions

1:15-32:38: Congress conversation

32:43-35:43: Dan’s OLT

35:43-38:23: Tim’s OLT

38:23-39:33: Credits

39:38-39:52: Outtake


#42: Don’t Ask Muslims to Condemn Terrorism



On this the first Imp Convo of 2019, friend of the show Todd Green talks to us about his new book Presumed Guilty: Why We Shouldn’t Ask Muslims to Condemn Terrorism. And in a 2018 retrospective edition of One Last Thing, Dan gets meta about the year gone by and Tim muses on scandals past and present.

Some of the things we discussed on this episode:

Todd referenced this Google Doc which documents thousands of instances of Muslims condemning terrorism.

Tim really, really likes the podcast Slow Burn.

0:00-1:14: Introduction

1:18-42:34: Green interview

42:39-45:24: Dan’s OLT

45:25-47:52: Tim’s OLT

47:52-48:56: Credits


#41: “God’s Politics” and The Hollywood Connection



This month on Impolite Conversation we chat with the Very Reverend (and longtime Dan-friend) Barkley Thompson about trying to approach the political realm as a Christian rather than a partisan. His new book is In the Midst of the City: The Gospel and God’s Politics. And then we break format to shamelessly promote Tim’s new book with Heather Yates of the University of Central Arkansas, The Hollywood Connection: The Influence of Fictional Media and Celebrity Politics on American Public Opinion. (Makes a great stocking stuffer!) And in One Last Thing, Dan mourns the passing of Stan Lee and Tim dances on the grave of the Florida felon disenfranchisement law.

Some of the things we talked about in this episode:

Reverend Thompson mentioned his love for Wendell Berry and Flannery O’Connor, especially the short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.”

Reverend Thompson also alluded to Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone and Paul Tillich’s discussion of “ultimate concern.”

Tim mentioned Bernard Cohen’s famous assertion that “the press may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about.” Here is a short literature review on the phenomenon of agenda-setting.

And here is the episode of Imp Convo co-hosted by the great and good Ashley Van Fleet.

Dan’s One Last Thing was about the passing of Stan Lee.

Tim’s One Last Thing was about Florida voters repealing that state’s felon disenfranchisement law. Dan mentioned John Oliver’s (NSFW) take on that topic.

0:00-1:03: Introduction

1:07-37:47: Thompson interview

37:51-56:26: Hill interview

56:30-59:29: Dan’s OLT

59:29-63:03: Tim’s OLT

63:03-64:07: Credits

64:11-64:27: Outtakes


#40: Politics’ Impact on Religion



This month on Impolite Conversation: we reconsider the causal arrow between religious attendance and political beliefs as we welcome Michele Margolis to talk to us about her book From Politics to the Pews: How Partisanship and the Political Environment Shape Religious Identity. And in One Last Thing, Dan wants to talk about Fear, while Tim wants to talk about inspiration.

Some of the things we talked about this month:

Dan mentioned Tradition in a Rootless World, by Lynn Davidman.

Dan’s OLT was about Bob Woodward’s new book Fear: Trump in the White House. And that got us chatting about Dan Drezner’s #ToddlerinChief thread and NBC’s count of the days the president has spent at self-owned properties.

Tim’s OLT was about the astounding world record set by Eliud Kipchoge.

0:00-1:03: Introductions

1:08-37:11: Margolis interview

37:15-41:20: Dan’s OLT

41:20-44:55: Tim’s OLT

44:55-45:54: Credits

45:59-46:18: Outtakes


#39: Christian Nationalism and Gun Control



On this month’s episode, Andrew Whitehead talks to us about his recent article which links Christian nationalism with opposition to gun control. He explains what scholars mean by “Christian nationalism” and how a religion founded long before the invention of either guns or America is used to justify an absolutist reading of the Second Amendment. And in One Last Thing, Tim has been prepping for Halloween and Jack Ryan has been disappointing Dan.

Some of the links for this episode:

Dr. Whitehead’s article, “Gun Control in the Crosshairs,” is available ungated.

Tim’s OLT was about The Adventures of Superhero Girl.

Dan’s OLT was about the Amazon reboot Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.

0:00-1:32: Introduction

1:36-25:51: Whitehead interview

25:55-29:52: Tim OLT

29:53-34:52: Dan OLT

34:53-36:01: Credits


#38: Religious Freedom, the Sessions DOJ, and “Satanists” in Arkansas



This month on Impolite Conversation, we dive into the recent headlines to talk about religious freedom and what Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice really means when it uses that term. Then we turn our attention to Arkansas, where Satanists–or really, “Satanists”–erected a goat-headed idol on the statehouse grounds in Little Rock. And in One Last Thing, Dan has been reading a book-length history of Batman and Tim has been reading stories so short, they fit into a single tweet.

Some of the things we discussed in this episode:

The executive orders that frame the first topic are cataloged at the White House web site. You can read more about the Religious Liberty Summit here.

Two books worth reading on church and state issues: Founding Faith by Steven Waldman and The Culture of Disbelief by Stephen Carter.

Three court cases integral to this conversation: Reynolds v. US, Sherbert v. Verner, and Employment Division v. Smith.

There were many articles about the protest in Little Rock, but this may be the best one. Oh, and here’s the petition to name a piece of a septic system after an Arkansas state legislator.

Dan’s OLT was The Caped Crusade by Glen Weldon. He recommends the audiobook.

Tim’s OLT was the Micro Flash Fiction account on Twitter.

0:00-1:34: Introductions

1:35-27:24: Religious Liberty Task Force

27:28-44:47: Protest in Little Rock

44:52-48:32: Dan’s OLT

48:33-51:23: Tim’s OLT

51:24-52:31: Credits

52:35-53:00: Outtakes


Episode #37: Supreme Court Wrap-Up 2018



This month, we welcome back friend-of-the-show Ann Duncan to talk about the 2017-18 Supreme Court season, including Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, NIFLA v. Becerra, and Trump v. Hawaii. She helps us understand why this was such a good year for conservatives in terms of the Court’s religion cases, and scopes out what soon-to-be Justice Kavanaugh portends for the terms to come. And in One Last Thing, Dan has been spending his summer at the movie house, while Tim has been catching up on Chinese science fiction.

Some of the things we discuss in this episode:

Ann mentioned Moral Combat by Marie Griffith and this article by Winnifred Sullivan.

Here’s a case summary of Korematsu v. US, which many (including the dissenting justices) compared to the ruling in Trump v. Hawaii.

Dan’s OLT was about Deadpool 2 (trailer NSFW) and The Incredibles 2.

And Tim’s OLT was about The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin.

0:00-1:05 Introduction

1:05-50:40: Duncan interview

50:45-53:02: Dan’s OLT

53:03-55:33: Tim’s OLT

55:33-56:38: Credits


#36: Sex in the Roman Empire and the Bible as a Political Weapon



In this month’s Impolite Conversation, we talk to David Wheeler-Reed about his new book, Regulating Sex in the Roman Empire: Ideology, the Bible, and the Early Christians. And then Dan and Tim chat about what it means when politicians quote Scripture to make a political point. And in One Last Thing, Dan has been doing some reading of his own about the ancient world, but Tim just wants to strut his summer away.

Some of the things we talked about on this episode:

This was an unusually Bible-heavy episode: we discussed I Corinthians 7, I Corinthians 13, Romans 13, and this passage from Exodus.

Dan’s OLT was Alberto Manguel’s book Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey: A Biography.

Tim’s OLT was a little bit Slow Burn but mostly The Stunning’s new album Twice Around the World.

0:00-1:58: Introduction

2:02-29:38: Wheeler-Reed interview

29:42-45:00: Bible in politics discussion

45:04-47:43: Dan’s OLT

47:44-50:55: Tim’s OLT

50:56-52:15: Credits

52:18-52:33: Outtake