Free to Listen

It was a delightful conversation, as always.  Robin and Debra from The Incarcerated Christian podcast always amaze me with both their program and their enthusiasm.  I’m still bit nonplussed that they find my work interesting.  They invited me back for an October discussion around Nightmares with the Bible, located here.  Although the book has not yet sold enough copies to have earned any royalties (i.e., it hasn’t covered the cost of its own publication yet), it has nevertheless led to four interviews and even had a Choice review.  Granted, a good part of the lack of enthusiasm is its Elon Musk price point, at least that’s what I tell myself.  I’m still hopeful that a paperback will be out next year.

I suspect people are interested in demons.  Considering that movies keep on being made about them and doing well, I hope it’s only a matter of time.  While I’m waiting, however, I’ve got some good listening over at The Incarcerated Christian.  The podcast addresses a couple of issues: one is spirituality and the other is the effects of being raised in a religion that boxes or cages a person in.  The proprietors are among the few who realize that there’s a spirituality to horror.  I’m reading a book just now that considers thzt question.  And I know of others, active ministers among them, who find spirituality in horror.  I don’t know their backgrounds well enough to know their carceral status, but to me the connection makes sense.

Photo by Marco Chilese on Unsplash

I’ve written before that I’ve come to rely on experience as a source of knowing.  Not entirely, of course, but it’s clear that those who don’t trust their experience end up incarcerated.  My experience of organized religion suggests that it has many issues that require professional help.  That’s one aspect of having been a seminary teacher, and administrator, that has fed into my experience.  Having seen how that happens, and knowing the kinds of people who rise to the top—just look at politicians, particularly on the right-hand side—my experience suggests that ecclesiastical corruption is far more common than most people suspect.  In order to accomplish big things humans have to organize.  And in any organizational structure there will be climbers.  In general you don’t get to be clergy (apart from those non-denominations that’ll hire anyone making certain claims) without seminary.  And seminary isn’t what it seems.  To me, watching horror makes far more sense than befriending the jailer.  Take a moment to listen; it’s free.

Learning to Like

The shout-out is an always appreciated gesture.  Among the guests on The Incarcerated Christian podcast, I’m pretty clearly the one with the smallest following.  That makes me doubly grateful to Robin and Debra for the work they’re doing.  If you want to get a sense of what their initial year involved, please take an unrushed moment or two and listen to their year-end reflection.  Better yet, follow them wherever you follow podcasts.  I’ve been watching some YouTube lately (I know, I know, the world has gone after TikTok instead) and I’ve come to realize that even those channels with millions of views have to remind people every single episode to click like, share, and/or notification.  Nobody knows it’s worth their time if readers/watchers don’t share!

One of the things about writing is that is craves readers.  There’s an almost Hebraic sense in which my writing is intended as a statement, whether or not it’s even read.  Ideas build up until they must be expressed.  You start to get to know other people by their words, written or spoken.  I sincerely wish I had more time to listen to podcasts.  I’m one of those people who can’t write with music or talking going on.  Nor can I work that way.  Those two activities make up the majority of my waking hours (perhaps I’m trying too hard, if there is such a thing).  Even the smallest Who, however, has his “Yop” to express.  In that case, however, he ended up saving the world.  I suspect many people have no idea what this blog’s about.  If you know, please tell me.  (There’s a comment section below.  Don’t forget to click like and share when you’re down there!)

The Incarcerated Christian has had everyone from evangelical pastors to obscure religionists such as yours truly on their podcasts.  People who aren’t afraid of the dark.  There’s an episode about the divine feminine.  There’s another by a blogger who used to follow my blog and comment on it in the early days until his own efforts took off.  And there are the hosts, Debra and Robin, whose stories are intriguing in their own right.  They approached me not knowing my own history with abusive religions—perhaps it comes through in my writing, or at least my choice of subjects?  There’s a strange comfort in knowing that others have had similar experiences.  Religion can be a monster, devouring people and spitting them out, all in the name of sanctity.  Listen to the Incarcerated Christian podcast, and don’t forget to like and share alike.