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Unholier Than Thou

Some people came out of the pandemic with a new skill, new spouse, or new lease on life. Others came out with a divorce, a drinking problem, or an identity crisis. No matter how the last year has treated you, journalist Phillip Picardi is back to guide you through the spiritual conundrums that tend to crop up amidst global catastrophe.With the help of friends, strangers, and celebrities, Unholier Than Thou has risen from the dead and is back for season 2: Resurrection. We’re talking recovery, rediscovery, resilience, resolutions, and more. This season of Unholier Than Thou is all about the wisdom of everyday people falling down, getting up, and trying new things as they navigate a newish world. AND Phill will take listeners on the road as he drives from LA to Cambridge as his search for illumination takes him to Divinity School. Because he’s spiritually blonde, honey. So tune in. New episodes of Unholier Than Thou drop every Friday, starting October 8.

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Some people came out of the pandemic with a new skill, new spouse, or new lease on life. Others came out with a divorce, a drinking problem, or an identity crisis. No matter how the last year has treated you, journalist Phillip Picardi is back to guide you through the spiritual conundrums that tend to crop up amidst global catastrophe.With the help of friends, strangers, and celebrities, Unholier Than Thou has risen from the dead and is back for season 2: Resurrection. We’re talking recovery, rediscovery, resilience, resolutions, and more. This season of Unholier Than Thou is all about the wisdom of everyday people falling down, getting up, and trying new things as they navigate a newish world. AND Phill will take listeners on the road as he drives from LA to Cambridge as his search for illumination takes him to Divinity School. Because he’s spiritually blonde, honey. So tune in. New episodes of Unholier Than Thou drop every Friday, starting October 8.

Jesus Christ, Social Justice Star!

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Happy holidays! To celebrate the ~festive season~, we thought we'd release a fan-favorite: Phill's conversation with Brittany Packnett Cunningham about Jesus. Yes, that Jesus!

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.)


For a transcript of this show, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Dec 17 2021

31mins

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Recommitment (with Doctor Darien)

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On the final episode of this season of Unholier Than Thou, we end where it all began. On the first episode, Phill sat down with his fiancé, Darien, about being a healthcare worker during the first wave of covid. Darien is back, covid is still here, and the world is much changed. He and Phill discuss how being on the frontline worker has changed, and their newly long distance relationship, and how they remain committed to each other.



For a transcript of this show, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Dec 10 2021

1hr

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Reunion (with Bambi)

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This week, Phill is joined by Bambi, who helped him come out of the closet many moons ago in a magical land called gay.com. They talk about what it's like growing up the black sheep, finding acceptance and love in the arms of strangers, and what it's like reconnecting with someone who changed your life.



For a transcript of this show, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Dec 03 2021

50mins

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Restitution (with Sarah Pearson)

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This week, Phill is joined by his classmate, Sarah Pearson, who works fighting clergy abuse. She and Phill discuss how high up the chain coverup efforts go, how predatory priests are often relocated into communities of color, and what justice for victims may look like.




For a transcript of this show, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Nov 26 2021

45mins

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Recovery

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Alcohol consumption increased 23% during the pandemic, particularly among women and those who live alone. People are cut off from their support systems, and many have lost their income. Without social and financial resources, staying in recovery is hard and entering it can be even harder. This week, we have two stories about recovery. First, we have Odette. Odette is part of an online recovery group called Cafe RE, and over the course of the pandemic, became the host of its podcast and the face (and voice) of the community. She talks about her religious upbringing and spiritual practice, where we find strength, and misconceptions about recovery. Then we have Quianna. Quianna's road to recovery has been long, and credits her success to finding god on her journey.


If you're curious about sobriety, here are some resources that might help:

Find an AA meeting near you

Join Odette and Cafe RE

Looking to moderate? SMART Recovery might be for you

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's 24 hour hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)



For a transcript of this show, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Nov 19 2021

1hr 27mins

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Revisiting (with Reza Aslan)

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This week, Phill is joined by author Reza Aslan to revisit the early aughts in the American imagination. In the wake of America's withdrawal from Afghanistan, how do notions of American exceptionalism hold up? Reza and Phill discuss how Christian imperialism has crept its way into allegedly secular politics, look critically at America's outmoded hero complex, and question to legitimacy of the liberator theology that we carry with us today.



For a transcript of this show, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Nov 12 2021

56mins

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Redeemability

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And now for something a little different. This week, Phill is joined by a panel of great thinkers, writers, and theologians to tackle a big question: What role does Christianity have in an increasingly secular America? Do we need it? Does it leave room for those of marginalized identities? Does it welcome those who might have left and want to come back? Can it eschew its imperial past and embrace those it has harmed? It sounds heavy, but you'd never know it from the all the laughter.


Panelists:

Jacqui Lewis

Meggan Watterson

Darnell Moore

Erica Williams


For a transcript of this show, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Nov 05 2021

1hr 2mins

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Reframing (with Chris Stedman)

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Content warning: This episode contains discussions of suicide

Have you heard the one where the atheist walks into the divinity school? Oh, it’s not a joke, it’s the lived experience of humanist chaplain Chris Stedman. Phill and Chris talk about the pros and cons of organized religion, cultivating community and ritual outside of religious contexts, using the internet to heal after personal tragedy, and finding the divine in pop divas. Required listening for the “spiritual vibes of non-religious people.”

Resources:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255 or text HELLO to 741741



For a transcript of this show, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Oct 29 2021

54mins

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Re-entry (with Michael Arceneaux and Aminatou Sow)

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Welcome to covid’s Groundhog Day. Every day’s the same and we constantly have six weeks to go before it’s over. But school’s open, traffic is back, and it’s time to start thinking about what the world looks like on the other side. Here to talk to Phill about reentering a very changed and very similar world are writers Michael Arcenaux and Aminatou Sow. They chat about the challenges of creating through disaster, seeing old injustices through new eyes, creating boundaries, and finding god in memes.



For a transcript of this show, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Oct 22 2021

53mins

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Redefinition (with Michelle Williams)

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Phill was always bound to interview Michelle Williams. You could call it fate, but we prefer DESTINY, child. The Gospel Girl talks to Phill about the connections between mental health and faith, how god lives in the high notes, and what to do with your life after you check ‘global superstar’ off the checklist.



For a transcript of this show, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Oct 15 2021

50mins

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Resurrection (with Samhita Mukhopadhyay)

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In the inaugural episode of our resurrected show, Phill talks to one of his favorite people in the world: Samhita Mukhopadhyay. Samhita made some big changes during covid (like a lot of us). As Editor in Chief of Teen Vogue, she was at the height of her career: she had the high profile, the platform, the influence. And then? She stepped away. She and Phill dive in to betting on yourself, the lessons of grief, and rebuilding relationships over time. 



For a transcript of this show, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Oct 08 2021

55mins

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Trailer: Season 2 - Resurrection

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Someone must have moved a boulder out of the way, because Unholier Than Thou is back from the dead, baby! And we’re celebrating our resurrection with stories about yours. New jobs, new loves, new mistakes, new realizations, new challenges, new gay people talking about Catholic guilt (not all new — Phill’s still here). Join Phill and a stable of stars, friends, colleagues, and strangers as they try to glean answers from a year full of questions. New episodes every Friday, starting October 8. 


Follow Phillip Picardi

Follow Crooked

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Oct 01 2021

1min

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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. 



For a transcript of this show, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Dec 25 2020

32mins

Play

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


For a transcript of this episode, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Dec 18 2020

33mins

Play

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?



For a transcript of this episode, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Dec 11 2020

41mins

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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


For a transcript of this episode, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Dec 04 2020

44mins

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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.



For a transcript of this episode, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Nov 27 2020

39mins

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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.



For a transcript of this episode, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Nov 20 2020

38mins

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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


For a transcript of this episode, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Nov 13 2020

50mins

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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


For a transcript of this episode, please visit crooked.com/unholierthanthou.

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Nov 06 2020

39mins

Play

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