This is not a pivot of my entire project in a Christian direction, quite the contrary: It's one specific time and place where I can develop that dimension of my thinking, without all the caution and apology required in typical intellectual fora. The rest of my project will remain in the modern rational civic tradition, because the reality is that in some non-trivial sense God has in fact been killed, and I have no illusions about that. But I am a believer, so in some sense God lives, eternal. How does this make sense? No fucking clue, which is why I decided I really need to spend more time thinking and talking about it.
There's also a market wager here because I have a strong sense that the entire "Christian" genre is in need of some serious disruption. And it's a huuuuge market, because still a majority of Americans identify as Christians.
So my big idea here is to try what the 'Dirtbag Left' did to the Normal Left, but to religion and Christianity in particular. The Dirtbag Left is really just normal leftists being honest and funny about real things the Normal Left hides for reasons of public-image management. So my thesis for disrupting the infamously, sinfully cringe "Christian" genre is to just be honest and funny about all the things Normal Christians never talk about. And avoid all the ridiculous stuff Normal Christian content contains: lame proselytizing, saying ridiculous things like "Christ loves you" — like bitch I am a believer but I'm just not willing to sound that gay. Perhaps that is because my faith is weak, perhaps that is because I’m a sinner ashamed of my faith, or perhaps it is because normal Christian content producers are gay.
I think a lot of Christians perversely enjoy sounding stupid to heathens because it accentuates their feelings of in-group belonging and also tolerating contempt from the out-group proves the strength of their faith so this actually incentivizes people to express their faith in the gayest way they can, to increase their social status within Christian communities. So which one is it? Do I suffer from a shallow and perhaps even opportunistic kind of faith? Or is all currently existing Christian content hopelessly gay? I take this to be an open question, and I’m open to the former answer. But I’m not fully convinced the latter answer is not the correct answer, so I’m just going to say everything I think about the matter, with a loving spirit, in good faith, and I’ll let my interlocutors, time, and reality adjudicate. And by time and reality, I mean God.
I proposed the idea for this podcast to my Twitter friend @Christlover2000 (Ashley from Girls Chat) because I believe she embodies the vibe I want (genuinely devout but not proselytizing, funny, able to talk about anything, and not corny); she is very unique with a bizarre and intriguing story and identity; I've enjoyed the two or three podcasts we've done in the past; Girls Chat proved she could do a podcast consistently and from that she already has a fan base, probably more Christian than mine; and she happens to be in a tough spot right now after some severe personal health challenges and an unfortunate divorce from Girls Chat. So I thought this could be good for her, and for all the reasons above I thought it might be a good first attempt at building out the Other Life podcast network.
Just like I always tell people in IndieThinkers.org to design their projects as limited-run experiments, with end dates and measurable goals, we've agreed to do 10 episodes and then re-evaluate if we want to really invest in continuing it. For me personally that means I would like to see about 500 downloads per episode averaged across the ten episodes. If we don't hit that it's not the end of the world, we may still want to continue, I just think it's good to set goals at the outset of creative projects.
You can listen to the trailer and first episode at chatforgod.com. From there you can subscribe wherever you prefer. If you follow my work in any part for the weird, typically unspoken Christian dimension, I feel confident saying that I really think you should subscribe. After recording the first 4 episodes, I really think we might be on to something.
If you like it, send it to a friend and leave a review on iTunes—these are the most important factors that get a podcast off the ground in the early days.