#51: Holy Disunity and Trump as Messiah

This month we talk to Presbyterian minister Layton Williams about her new book Holy Disunity and her thesis that authenticity is more important than unity. Then the two of us settle in to chat about the “quasi-messianic” language that’s come out of the White House recently. (Note: we knew when we recorded this episode that the events we discussed in our B-segment would have been overtaken by other scandals many times over by the time it came out, but we had no way of knowing there would be an actual impeachment inquiry underway. So enjoy this window into the more innocent time that was the middle of last month.)

Some of the things we talked about in this episode:

Here is the tweet and the video that made our second segment possible, and here is the article that inspired us to talk about it.

Dan mentioned this moment as possible evidence of Trump’s cognitive decline.

Tim’s OLT was about the New York Times1619 Project.

And Dan’s OLT was about the audio versions of Robert Caro’s biographies of Lyndon Johnson.


0:00-1:44: Introduction

1:48-22:33: Williams interview

22:38-45:44: “Trump as messiah” conversation

45:49-48:09: Tim’s OLT

48:10-51:22: Dan’s OLT

51:23-52:21: Credits

#50: Teaching the Teachers and What We’ve Learned

It’s our 50th episode! This month we talk to Christopher Murray, a DC-area high school teacher who started a program to teach his colleagues about the religious diversity they might find among their students. And then we spend a few minutes chatting about what we’ve learned in our first 50 episodes. Finally, in One Last Thing, Dan is going on vicarious coffee dates and Tim is revising the history of early 90s TV.

Some of the things we discussed in this episode:

Here is the article that inspired our talk with Chris Murray.

Tim referenced this famous experiment.

Dan’s OLT was about Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Tim’s OLT was about Zack Morris is Trash. (He especially loves this episode.)

0:00-1:18: Introduction

1:22-14:43: Murray interview

14:47-28:47: 50th episode chat

28:52-31:56: Dan’s OLT

31:57-35:09: Tim’s OLT

35:10-36:10: Credits

#49: Supreme Court Wrap-Up 2019

This month we return to our August tradition of discussing the 2018-19 Supreme Court term with friend-of-the-show Ann Duncan. And in One Last Thing, both Dan and Tim have been watching TV of a supernatural variety.


We burned through a lot of Supreme Court cases in this episode. If you want to read the decisions for yourself, the cases are American Legion v. American Humanist Association (Establishment clause), Box v. Planned Parenthood (abortion), Bucklew v. Precythe (death penalty), Madison v. Alabama (also death penalty), Gamble v. US (abortion again, kind of), and Commerce v. New York (the census).

Ann referenced this tweetstorm by the President of the United States of America and recommended the latest season of NPR’s Embedded.

Dan’s OLT was about the third season of Netflix’s Stranger Things.

Tim’s OLT was about the Amazon Prime miniseries Good Omens.

0:00-1:24: Introduction

1:28-40:36: Supreme Court discussion with Dr. Ann Duncan

40:41-43:06: Dan’s OLT

43:06-45:36: Tim’s OLT

45:36-46:40: Credits

Episode #48: Toddie Peters on Reproductive Justice

This month: with abortion restrictions making headlines across the South and Midwest, it’s a good time to talk to Rebecca Todd Peters about her new book Trust Women: A Progressive Christian Argument for Reproductive Justice. And in One Last Thing, both Dan and Tim have been watching movies about unsavory characters, but those movies were…not the same.

UC Berkeley Law School published this primer on reproductive justice. And this Vox article discusses the data Dr. Peters referenced about declining abortion rates.

Dan’s OLT was about Pink Flamingos.

Tim’s OLT was about the documentaries FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened and FYRE FRAUD.

0:00-1:26: Introduction

1:31-31:52: Peters interview

31:57-35:06: Dan’s OLT

35:07-38:37: Tim’s OLT

38:38-39:39: Credits

39:45-40:01: Outtake

#47: Israeli Democratic Erosion and the Museum of the Bible

To start off the summer, we talk this month about the erosion of democracy in Israel and Dan’s recent trip to the Museum of the Bible. NOTE: we recorded this show prior to last week’s announcement that Benjamin Netanyahu is calling for new elections in Israel.

Some of the things we discussed in this episode:

There are lots of good resources on the question of whether Israel is in a democratic backslide, including this Brookings Institute briefing paper and this Vox article.

If you don’t know The Princess Bride, here is the reference Dan was making. But then, if you’ve never seen The Princess Bride, you should really be doing that rather than listening to this show.

Material Dan read about the Museum of the Bible included both Bible Nation by Candida Moss and Joel Baden and Steven Young’s chapter in Christian Tourist Attractions, Mythmaking, and Identity Formation.

And you can read some of Dan’s thoughts about the museum, and see some of his pictures, in the newest area of our web site.

Dan’s One Last Thing was about the AMC/Netflix show The Killing.

Tim’s One Last Thing was about The Good Place: The Podcast and the Cube Rule of Food.


0:00-1:35: Introduction

1:40-23:33: Israeli democratic erosion

23:37-44:51: Museum of the Bible

44:56-48:25: Dan’s OLT

48:25-51:49: Tim’s OLT

51:49-53:01: Credits

53:03-53:28: Outtake

#46: Crisis in the UMC

On this month’s Impolite Conversation, we talk to a scholar and a bishop about the continuing crisis regarding the status of LGBTQ people in the United Methodist Church. First, Iliff School of Theology president Thomas Wolfe shares his thoughts with us. Then Karen Oliveto, the first LGBT bishop in UMC history, spares some moments to consider what the situation means for her and her flock. And in One Last Thing, Dan has been watching TV (again) and Tim has been reading News of the Gross (again).

Some of the things we talked about in this episode:

Here is the statement Dr. Wolfe released to the Iliff community.

And here is Bishop Oliveto’s memoir.

Dan’s OLT was about the Amazon show Hanna.

And Tim’s OLT was about this poor woman.

0:00-1:57: Introductions

2:01-27:41: Wolfe interview

27:46-41:17: Oliveto interview

41:21-43:45: Dan’s OLT

43:46-46:10: Tim’s OLT

46:11-47:13: Credits

47:17-47:22: Outtake

#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