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Unholier Than Thou

We’re living in an unprecedented time, with many people looking for help and guidance in places they might not have looked to before. Journalist Phillip Picardi is one of them, with his journey coming as he re-evaluates his relationship with faith, spirituality and God. Picardi will take listeners on his quest to better understand his relationship with spirituality by learning how faith plays a role in other people’s lives, and with the help of the spiritual, religious, and agnostic, Picardi will guide listeners through the ethereal and worldly problems of the day, informed by his own on-and-off relationship with God. Through lenses both saintly and secular, Picardi will take a look at everything from sex to climate change, and how religion informs those discussions. New episodes every Friday.

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We’re living in an unprecedented time, with many people looking for help and guidance in places they might not have looked to before. Journalist Phillip Picardi is one of them, with his journey coming as he re-evaluates his relationship with faith, spirituality and God. Picardi will take listeners on his quest to better understand his relationship with spirituality by learning how faith plays a role in other people’s lives, and with the help of the spiritual, religious, and agnostic, Picardi will guide listeners through the ethereal and worldly problems of the day, informed by his own on-and-off relationship with God. Through lenses both saintly and secular, Picardi will take a look at everything from sex to climate change, and how religion informs those discussions. New episodes every Friday.

Mother Mary, a Virgin who can't drive

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Remember that time Joe Jonas had a Purity Ring and then…didn’t? That’s the Virgin Mary’s fault. Sort of. The most famous woman in all of Christianity is a virgin — or is she? Phill is joined by feminist theologian Meggan Watterson for a chat on Biblical revisionism and the real miracle of the immaculate conception. 

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Dec 25 2020

29mins

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Jesus Christ, Social Justice Star!

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As appealing as hunky blondes can be, Phill isn’t interested in worshipping one (well, at least not as the son of God). There's a whole lot of myths about Jesus—and then there's who the Bible ACTUALLY says he was. And turns out, he's kind of a great guy! To help him dissect the activist Jesus was in his own life, Brittany Packnett Cunningham joins to play a fun Bible game. (The grand prize is kind of a bummer, though.)


Listen to Brittany's podcast, Undistracted

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Dec 18 2020

30mins

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The magic of Judaism

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It's Hanukkah, listeners, and you're going to plotz when you see this week's guests. First, Phill shmoozes with author, icon, and national treasure Alice Hoffman about the role of Jewish folklore in her work, the resilience of women, and the power of the word (and Practical Magic). Then, Crooked Media founder and all-around mensch Jon Lovett confronts his sins for a (very personal) Am I Going To Hell For This?.

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Dec 11 2020

38mins

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The military is watching you pray

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The Pope wants you to stay home, but Amy Coney Barrett wants to see your ass in church. We check in with Dan Mach, director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, on what the most recent SCOTUS hearing really means about "religious freedom." Then, after an explosive report detailing how the US military is buying the location data of millions of Muslim people, Phill welcomes Joseph Cox, the journalist who broke the story. Then, Ani Zonneveld, founder of Muslims for Progressive Values, breaks down the real life implications of citizen surveillance for practitioners of Islam.


Show notes:

Attend MPV's Celebration of Life

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Dec 04 2020

41mins

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God and...CHANEL?

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Now that you're stuffed with stuffing, it’s time to go shopping. Psychology professor Matt Rossano joins to argue that consumerism is filling the hole left vacant by religious rituals. Do you buy it? (What if it's 50% off?) Then, comedian Bryan Safi offers his sinful expertise for a holiday edition of Am I Going To Hell for This.

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Nov 27 2020

37mins

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Thanks, but no thanks

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Our national revisionist-history holiday is upon us, so Phill has a special guest at his Thanksgiving table. Kaitlin Curtice is a citizen of the Potawatomi Nation and also (wait for it) a Christian. She and Phill talk about balancing conflicting identities, decolonizing her faith, and rethinking, reimagining, and relearning our history.

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Nov 20 2020

36mins

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Giving Grace and Buying Guns

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Now that the facism is ebbing, should the apologies be flowing? That's what Phill is hoping to glean from Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg. She walks us through the process of repentance and if you're required to forgive the MAGA hat wearers in your life. Next, Pastor Mike McBride joins to dissuade Phill from buying a gun to defend himself in the event of a rocky transition of power. Turns out firearms lead to violence, not safety! Who knew? 


Go to Vote Save America for volunteer/donation opportunities in Georgia!

Stay up to date with Rabbi Danya here

To support Pastor Mike's violence prevention work, check out Live Free USA

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Nov 13 2020

47mins

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Screw you, Mercury

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This week, Phill is putting his phone down and looking up to the stars. First, he welcomes ABC News anchor and Ten Percent Happier founder Dan Harris to talk about how to develop mindfulness outside of an oppressive news cycle. After an on-air panic attack, he’s the expert. Next, Chani Nicholas joins to check back in on that finicky Mercury, explain why this week was such a clusterfuck, and if we have anything to look forward to in 2021 (we do). 


Show notes:

Check out the Ten Percent Happier podcast and app

Learn more about Chani's work

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Nov 06 2020

37mins

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The Pope's Big Gay Surprise

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This week we’re looking at the church, and more specifically, who’s welcome inside. First, Phill chats with Gerald Posner, a journalist and Vatican expert, about Pope Francis' widely praised but incredibly vague comments surrounding civil unions for gay couples. Then, author and researcher Robert P. Jones joins to talk about Southern Baptists' unholy history with segregationists, and the slow and unsteady march of white Christians towards racial justice.

Follow Gerald Posner's work here

Learn more about Robert P. Jones and the Public Religion Research Institute here

His book is White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity

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Oct 30 2020

39mins

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The REAL Hocus Pocus

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This week, we’re turning off the news and picking up our brooms. Witches are all around us, and always have been, so Phil decides to debunk some of the black magic around them. First, he speaks to Sabina Magliocco, an expert in witchcraft and folklore to dive into history. Next, he talks with Amanda Yeats-Garcia, a witch who gained prominence trying to put a binding spell on our president (Did it work? Find out next week!). And finally, he welcomes La Loba Loca, a queer educator and herbalist who speak on the power of ancestry, the horror of persecutions, and why you should take shrooms instead of ayahuasca.

Show notes:

Learn more about Amanda Yates Garcia, listen to her podcast, and buy her book

Learn more about La Loba Loca

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Oct 23 2020

47mins

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Amy Coney Barrett: A Catholic Bigot

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In this week’s episode, Phill chats with two religious experts about the perversion of Christianity on display during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. First, progressive faith leader Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons explains how the majority of the Christian electorate is *actually* voting come November 3rd, and how Barrett’s positions betray many of the teachings of Christianity. Then, the author and journalist Olga Marina Segura joins to explain how Barrett’s allegiance to the Catholic Church institution makes her a “secret weapon” of their agenda—one that is steeped in a history and legacy of white supremacy.

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Oct 16 2020

41mins

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So, is this Karma?

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This week, Phill takes a deep dive into what’s been on all of our minds: Is Donald Trump finally experiencing the karmic retribution he deserves? Former Buddhist monk, author, and meditation teacher Jason Siff explains a little bit about the philosophy of Karma—and what we in the West tend to get wrong about it. Then, the ACLU’s Chase Strangio joins Phill for a follow-up discussion about the Supreme Court, and how “religious freedom” disputes could potentially push the justices to overturn marriage equality in the future.

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Oct 09 2020

43mins

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Is it a sin to hate Trump?

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This week, Phill has a question on his mind -- is it okay to hate Trump? In a week in which Trump nominated a conservative judge to the Supreme Court, defended paying only $750 in taxes and gave orders to white supremacists during the Presidential debate, Phill asks Reverend Broderick Greer and Abby Stein, an ordained rabbi, how they process their feelings towards Trump. They talk through their philosophies of forgiveness and the responsibility of standing up against Trump.

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Oct 02 2020

47mins

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The religious radicalization of the Supreme Court

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In light of the tragic passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Phill invites Jenny Pizer of Lambda Legal to speak to the power RBG held on the Supreme Court and to discuss how the religious right is attempting to codify powers in the US through Trump's potential nominee. We also hear how faith can guide judges without imposing on their rulings and how Jenny herself handles her relationship to faith.

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Sep 25 2020

36mins

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How coronavirus has changed the way people die

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As the death toll from the coronavirus reaches 200,000 in the United States, Phill talks to two chaplains about the difficulty of dying in isolation. Halle Diecidue and Stephanie Ramos have spent the last months helping individuals plan their deaths during a most unusual time—and without the usual coping mechanisms that we’re used to in end-of-life care. Before speaking to the chaplains, Phill talks to political strategist Zara Rahim about the revisionist history of the legacy of Islamophobia post-9/11.

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Sep 18 2020

42mins

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A Divine Abortion Story

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This week, Phill hears a personal story of how one woman’s relationship to religion changed (for the better!) after her decision to have an abortion. As a young Hindu woman in a pro-life group at her Catholic school, Shivana Jorawar panicked when she found out she was pregnant. What happened next brought her a feminist approach to Hinduism that she carries with her today.

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Sep 11 2020

27mins

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The sanctity of abortion

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This week, Phill dives into the most religiously fraught political battlefield of our time: Abortion. To better understand the fight for abortion access nationwide, he first talks to Monica Simpson, the executive director at Sister Song, a reproductive justice organization led by women of color. Monica breaks down the ways reproductive care becomes politicized, and what’s at stake for bodily autonomy should Trump win re-election. Then, Phill talks to Reverend Amanda Hambrick Ashcraft—a pro-choice minister who explains the history of religion and abortion, and how the pro-life movement was created as a convenient political tool for white men seeking power.

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Sep 04 2020

34mins

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Why Muslims Are Starving in ICE Detention

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This week, Phill starts by discussing Jerry Falwell Jr’s resignation from the evangelical Liberty University amidst news of an alleged sex scandal. Joining Phill is the Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, who helps to unpack the pitfalls of purity culture. Then, Phill takes a deep dive into a story that made headlines last week:  an ICE facility in Miami is currently serving rotten halal meals to its Muslim detainees, with their only other choice being pork, a meat that’s considered haram. Phill talks to Nimra Azmi of Muslim Advocates to better understand the cruelty Muslim detainees in ICE detention are subjected to when trying to practice their faith. Then we hear from Aura Bogado, an investigative reporter at Reveal, who talks Phill through what’s at stake for immigration reform and the people at our borders, come November and beyond.

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Aug 28 2020

35mins

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The Surprise Guest at the DNC

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This week at the first ever socially distant DNC, leaders from the party were invited to give speeches and remarks in support of the Biden/Harris ticket. Included in those invitations were a number of faith leaders speaking out against Trump in an unprecedented manner. One such leader is Bishop Mariann Budde, who speaks to Phill about her decision to lead the benediction at this year’s convention—and how her faith helped her make the decision. We also hear from Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons, a fellow with the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at American Progress, who puts into perspective what this year’s inclusion of faith leaders means for the future of the Democratic party .

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Aug 21 2020

29mins

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Reverend Warnock and the case for the Religious Left

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Reverend Raphael Warnock’s name has been in the news a lot lately as the Senate race heats up in Georgia. Just last week, WNBA players—alongside Stacey Abrams and Elizabeth Warren—endorsed Rev. Warnock’s bid to replace Senator Kelly Loeffler, an anti-Black Lives Matter conservative, in November. Phill talked to Reverend Warnock about what called him to the church—and now, to politics—and how faith has influenced his policy choices from reproductive justice to voting rights.

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Aug 14 2020

29mins

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