#24: Being Gay and Mormon

Dan is in China this month, so our student Ashley Van Fleet is in his chair giving the show a dose of youthful energy. We talk to Ryan Cragun about his work examining how the LDS church has changed the way it talks about LGBTQ folks in the past 40 years, and then William Bradshaw chats with us about his work on the factors that help explain which GBTQ men are more or less likely to have trouble reconciling their sexual and religious identities. And in One Last Thing, Ashley has been watching slam poetry and Tim is getting ready to watch a celestial show.

Some of the things we talked about this month:

Tim mentioned The Angel and the Beehive by Armond Mauss, and Dr. Cragun referenced the work of John Dehlin.

Ashley mentioned the new Wonder Woman film, and also poetry by Haley Moseley, Victoria Morgan, Kayla Q, Olivia Gatwood, and Sarah Kay.

And finally, Tim is, ironically, over the moon about the upcoming solar eclipse.


0:00-1:40: Opening

1:40-27:36: Cragun interview

27:41-38:23: Bradshaw interview

38:27-41:18: Van Fleet OLT

41:19-43:45: Hill OLT

43:45-45:02: Closing


#23: Counterjihad in the White House

In this episode, Todd Green of Luther College is back to discuss the “counterjihad” movement and its ties to the Trump Administration. And in One Last Thing, Tim is disturbed by the president’s commission to investigate “voter fraud,” and Dan is elated by the latest offering from Marvel Studios.

Some of the things we talked about this month:

This Vox article by Zack Beauchamp is a deep dive into this month’s subject matter.

If you want more Todd Green, read his book. It’s great!

Kris Kobach, the chair of the voter fraud commission, is profiled here. (And in this editorial, the Kansas City Star calls him “the Javert of voter fraud,” which Tim will never not love).

Finally, if you’ve missed all the hype surrounding it because you’ve been in a medically-induced coma for the last six months, you can see the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2 here.

#22: The Middle East, and What Sarah Glidden Found There

This month we talk with Sarah Glidden, the author of Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, about her trip to the Middle East in 2010, comics journalism as a nonfiction form of storytelling, and what it was like to be in the region in the moment just before the Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War. And on One Last Thing, Dan has been having some conference-related frustrations, and Tim has been watching documentaries about delusional figures.

Some of the things we talked about this month:

For more of Sarah Glidden’s work, start with her website.

Dan’s OLT isn’t really link-able, but Tim is excited about Audience of One and The Lovers and the Despot.

#21: Race, Religion, and the Ultimate Punishment

In this month’s episode, we talk to Melynda Price about her book At the Cross: Race, Religion, and Citizenship in the Politics of the Death Penalty. She tells us what she learned while examining both the law and the public opinion surrounding this fraught issue. And in One Last Thing, Dan has been to the movies a lot and Tim has a special request of the audience.

Some of the things we talked about this month:

Tim and Dr. Price geeked out a little bit over the excellent podcast More Perfect, and especially the episode called “Object Anyway.”

Dan gave Marcus Theatres some love (and asked for swag).

Dan was also excited about the films Logan and The Lego Batman Movie.

Tim talked about the theory in Asymmetric Politics. And here’s that survey that shows Democrats are more interested in compromise than Republicans, at least in theory.

#20: The Politics and Theologies of “the Boss”

On this month’s Impolite Conversation, we take a break from the news of the world and get back to what’s really important: Bruce Springsteen. First, we discuss how Springsteen’s music informs his politics (and vice versa), and then we dive deep into the theologies (plural) that exist in the Boss’s lyrics. If you’re not familiar with Springsteen’s music, here’s a place to start. And in One Last Thing, Tim discussed the novel Underground Airlines, and Dan recommends the latest Star Wars story.

#19: Religion and Politics in Contemporary China

On this month’s Impolite Conversation, our friend Courtney Bruntz stops by the studio to talk us through which forms of religion are legal in contemporary China, which ones are banned, and which ones fall in between the two. And in a special year-end One Last Thing, we look back at OLTs past and find the ones that best sum up the year gone by.

Some of things we talked about in this episode:

Dr. Bruntz told the story of Chairman Mao and the mangoes.

Dan referenced this scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

Dr. Bruntz also told us about Xian’er, the robot monk, and his claymation adventures.

Dan’s One Last Thing to sum up 2016 was about the many releases from Marvel Studios.

Tim’s OLT returned to ESPN’s documentary Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?

Original air date: 1/3/17.

#18: Waging War on Christmas and Hanukkah

On this episode of Impolite Conversation, Tim and Dan get into the holiday spirit by talking about the alleged war on Christmas with historian Jarret Ruminski, who is skeptical that the war amounts to much, and then chat about what it’s like to be in a Christmas-obsessed culture and not be Christian. And in One Last Thing, Dan’s been re-reading a classic novel, and Tim recommends a heavenly TV show.

Some of the stuff we talked about this time: Dr. Ruminski mentioned John Gibson’s The War on Christmas, Stephen Nissenbaum’s The Battle for Christmas, and Corey Robin’s The Reactionary Mind. He also talked about the Coke web site that discusses the origins of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

In our conversation about Hanukkah and related issues, Dan brought up the Friends episode entitled “The One With the Holiday Armadillo” and the South Park song “A Lonely Jew on Christmas,” and brought up the fact that Barbra Streisand has a Christmas album. (She actually has three.)

In One Last Thing, Dan recommended A Confederacy of Dunces and Tim discussed this article about getting involved post-election, then recommended the NBC sitcom The Good Place.

Original air date: 12/6/16.

IC Supplemental: Election Results 2016

Will there be a difference between Trump the candidate and Trump the president? In this Impolite Conversation Supplemental, Dan and Tim talk (and vent, and curse a little) about the outcome of the presidential election and what it might mean for American Muslims and white evangelicals.

Original air date: 11/13/16.

#17: The “God Gap” and Final 2016 Campaign Thoughts

This month on Impolite Conversation, we talk with a scholar who wants to challenge the conventional wisdom on the “God gap,” and then look back on the 2016 campaign, as well as forward to the next four years. And in One Last Thing, Dan has a thing for bulletproof guys in hoodies and Tim ruminates on a little-discussed aspect of the polling process.

Some of the things we discussed on the show:

Original air date: 11/1/16.

#16: Reading the Bible With Latinx Eyes

On this episode of Impolite Conversation, Miguel de la Torre joins us to talk about how the marginalization of Latinx culture creates new space for Biblical interpretation. And in One Last Thing, Dan has been re-re-re-watching Captain America: Civil War and Tim has found A Few Reasonable Words to keep the pain away.

To read more about one of the biggest movies of the year, this is a good place to start.

The website for A Few Reasonable Words is here.

And you can find Harry Frankfurt’s great essay On Bullsh*t here (and lots of other places).

Original air date: 10/4/16.