#70: What Six Years of Imp Convo Has Meant

On this our final episode, we talk to a few of the people that made this venture possible, and then we chat with each other  about what the experience has meant to us. And in One Last Thing (a segment whose name has never been so apt), we reach for bits of culture that help us come to terms with what we’re losing.

Some of the things we discussed in this episode:

In our conversation with our repeat guests, we referenced Newdow v. US and Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.

In our conversation with our editors, we alluded to the great freeware Audacity and the Lincoln, Nebraska institution that is Stauffer’s Café and Pie Shoppe.

Dan’s One Last Thing was Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Tim’s One Last Thing was the Ancillary Justice trilogy.

0:00-4:53: Introduction

4:57-31:35: Conversations with friends

31:40-43:25: Reflections

43:30-46:59: Dan’s OLT

47:00-49:26: Tim’s OLT

49:27-50:53: Credits

50:37-51:44: Extended Outtake (from episode 13)


Thank you for listening these past six years! This show has been a labor of love, and it has been a pleasure and privilege for us to produce it each month. We hope you have gotten half as much out of listening to it as we have out of producing it. –Tim and Dan

#69: Religio-Political Prophecy

This month, we start the show with a special announcement. Then we talk with James Beverley, author of God’s Man in the White House, about the world of religio-political prophecy. And in One Last Thing, Dan is taking advantage of his free trial of HBO Max and Tim is taking advantage of the public library.


Some of the things we talked about on this show:

Dr. Beverley mentioned the Vineyard Movement and the Kansas City Prophets, as well as the prophecy ministries of a number of individuals, including Jeremiah Johnson, Lance Wallnau, and Kat Kerr. Many of these ministries align with the New Apostolic Reformation.

Dr. Beverley also mentioned the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University.

Here is the Catholic News Service article that quotes Dan alongside an advisor to the Pope.

Dan’s One Last Thing was the HBO Max series Harley Quinn.

Tim’s One Last Thing was the Hank Green novel An Absolutely Remarkable Thing.


0:00-2:43: Introduction and announcement

2:47-27:53: Berkeley interview

27:58-31:53: Dan’s OLT

31:53-34:27: Tim’s OLT

34:28-35:26: Credits

#68: The “Love Jihad”

This month, we talk to Laura Dudley Jenkins, author of Religious Freedom and Mass Conversion in India, about the Indian conspiracy theory known as the “love jihad.” And in One Last Thing, Dan splits theological hairs in discussing an animated Star Wars series, while Tim is feeling (ahem) somewhat more expansive.

Some of the things we discussed in this episode:

Dan mentioned the Deepa Mehta film Fire and the resulting riots.

Dr. Jenkins mentioned this story of a boy whose clock was mistaken for a bomb and the research that suggests it’s easier to inoculate people against conspiracy theories than debunk them after the fact.

She also talked about how farfetched theories provide good signals of group unity. And this story from last summer is a good example of QAnon craziness interfering with genuine efforts to stop sex trafficking.

Tim mentioned the Satanic Panic, which in some ways is still going on.

Dan’s One Last Thing was Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Tim’s One Last Thing was The Expanse.

0:00-1:12: Introduction

1:16-39:07: Jenkins interview

39:12-44:24: Dan’s OLT

44:25-47:42: Tim’s OLT

47:43-48:51: Credits

#67: Rural Conservatism and Dan’s New Book!

This month we talk to Ross Benes, a native son of Brainerd, Nebraska who has written a book about his hometown and his journey away from it and its conservative values. And then Dan tells us all about his new book, The Oxford Handbook of the Bible and American Popular Culture. And in One Last Thing, Dan has been visiting Northern Ireland and Tim has been visiting eastern Tennessee.

Some of the things we talked about on this show:

Mr. Benes mentioned What’s the Matter with Kansas? and Dinesh D’Souza’s What’s So Great About Christianity.

That film trilogy Dan mentioned is The Qatsi Trilogy by Godfrey Reggio.

Dan’s One Last Thing was Derry Girls.

Tim’s One Last Thing was The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young. (But also: go watch In and Of Itself.)

0:00-2:04: Introduction

2:08-20:44: Benes interview

20:49-33:22: Clanton interview

33:26-35:52: Dan’s OLT

35:52-38:55: Tim’s OLT

38:55-39:55: Credits

39:58-40:12: Outtake

#66: Religious Clothing Norms and the Biden Inauguration

This month, we talk to a researcher at the Pew Research Center about her work on the harassment women face around the globe when their clothing is deemed either too secular or too religious. And then we have a chat about the Trump years just ended and our expectations for the newly-installed Biden Administration. And in One Last Thing, Dan is engaging his “lizard brain,” while Tim is worrying about those who spread rumors of lizard people.

Some of the things we talked about in this episode:

We can’t talk about Christian nationalism without mentioning the work of Katherine Stewart, Bradley Onishi, and Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry.

In the early days of the Trump Administration, there was much talk of Trump playing the role of King Cyrus.

Dan mentioned this book by Lynn Davidman, and Tim referenced this article about the backlash to one particular Biden executive order.

Donald Trump has a lot of respect for the sacrament of communion.

Dan’s One Last Thing was the NBC sitcom Superstore.

Tim’s One Last Thing was the book A Lot of People Are Saying.

0:00-1:10: Introduction

1:15-7:18: Majumdar interview

7:23-38:57: Inauguration conversation

39:02-41:46: Dan’s OLT

41:47-44:56: Tim’s OLT

44:57-46:02: Credits

46:06-46:18: Outtake

#65: What Is Religion, Anyway? What Is Politics?

After five-plus years of talking about the intersection of religion and politics, this month we step back and actually try to define our terms, with the help of our old friend Courtney Bruntz. And in our year-ending One Last Thing, Dan reaches for a hopeful note and Tim gives up on humanity.

Some of the things we talked about this month:

Dan and Courtney discussed definitions of religion by Schliermacher, Durkheim, Freud, Ninian Smart, and Stephen Prothero.

Dan mentioned this article by Kathryn Loughton.

Courtney discussed this new book by Richard Jaffee.

Tim’s six-word definition of religion comes from this book by Harold Lasswell.

Dan’s year-ending One Last Thing was the podcast Office Ladies.

Tim’s year-ending One Last Thing was the film God’s Not Dead.


Happy New Year! Thanks for listening in 2020.


0:00-1:33: Introduction

1:37-43:00: Conversation with Dr. Bruntz

43:04-47:16: Dan’s OLT

47:17-49:57: Tim’s OLT

49:58-51:03: Credits

51:07-51:19: Outtake

#64 1/2: The Orange Wave, Episode 0

We’re taking a month off to lick our psychic wounds, so this month friend of the show Bradley Onishi has graciously agreed to allow us to share Episode 0 of his Orange Wave project, which we discussed on our last episode. If you like what you hear, you can find all ten episodes at their web site, along with transcripts and suggested readings. Happy listening!

#64: The Orange Wave

This month we talk to friend-of-the-show Bradley Onishi from the podcast Straight White American Jesus about his extraordinary podcast miniseries The Orange Wave. And in One Last Thing, Dan goes highbrow and Tim does…not.

Some of the things we talked about in this episode:

Brad mentioned several books: The End of Empathy by John Compton, The Shadow Network by Anne Nelson, Unholy by Sara Posner, and The Power Worshippers by Katherine Stewart. (And here’s last month’s show, featuring Ms. Stewart!)

Brad also mentioned President Trump’s declaration that “I don’t think science knows” and Senator Mike Lee’s recent tweets about democracy, which drew a lot of attention.

Tim discussed the empirical literature on conspiracy theories, including the finding that there are about as many truther Democrats as birther Republicans.

Dan’s One Last Thing was the podcast Erroll Garner Uncovered.

Tim’s One Last Thing included this Channel 4 report, but was mostly about the trailer for Fatman. (Note: In the episode, Tim wrongly identified Channel 4 as part of the BBC. It is a for-profit, commercial station. He regrets the error.)

0:00-2:04: Introductions and an announcement

2:08-35:54: Onishi interview

35:59-38:30: Dan’s OLT

38:31-40:41: Tim’s OLT

40:41-41:48: Credits

#63: The Power Worshippers

In this episode, we talk to Katherine Stewart, author of The Power Worshippers, about her deep dive into the world of Christian nationalism. And in One Last Thing, we’re both seeking solace and a sense of normalcy in the midst of these weird and turbulent times.

NOTE: This interview was conducted before Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away.


Some of the things we talked about on this show:

Ms. Stewart mentioned the work of Kristen Kobes Du Mez, author of, among other things, Jesus and John Wayne.

She also referenced the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Americans United for Life (AUL).

Dan’s One Last Thing was Street Food: Asia.

Tim’s One Last Thing was Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame.


0:00-1:32: Introduction

1:36-38:46: Stewart interview

38:50-41:25: Dan’s OLT

41:26-43:31: Tim’s OLT

43:32-44:39: Credits