Episode 20 – Pastor June Joplin

Hard to Believe #020 – Pastor June Joplin 

Until last summer, June Joplin had been serving as pastor at Lorne Park Baptist Church in Toronto. Then she delivered a sermon that would change her life. In the months since, she has been interviewed by the New York Times, Vox, and the CBC, and her story has been featured in major news outlets far and wide. She spoke to John about what led to her wanting to be a pastor, what led to her coming out, and her hopes for Christianity and herself as she considers what comes next.

You can find more about her at her website, PastorJune.com

She is on Twitter @beloved_june

You can contribute to her GoFundMe here

#3.15 – Dr. Joshua Bowen Hard to Believe – A Podcast About Belief

For the first episode of 2023, John spoke to Dr. Joshua Bowen. He’s an expert in the ancient near east and a regular on YouTube and podcasts, as well as the author of The Atheist Handbook to the Old Testament, which guides curious people with no personal faith investment through what the Old Testament actually says and how to understand it in context and as an historical artifact. Here Dr. Josh talk about his former life as a fundamentalist, how research and critical thinking moved took him out of that belief system, and what often stands in the way of a real understanding of the Bible and who wrote it. You can learn more about the work he does alongside his wife, Megan Lewis and how to support them and their work here: Digital Hammurabi Dr. Josh's book, The Atheist Handbook to the Old Testament, is available here in physical and digital form. He is on Twitter @DJHammurabi1
  1. #3.15 – Dr. Joshua Bowen
  2. #3.14 – #FreeCasey – with Jenn Tisdale
  3. #3.13 – Shannon Foley Martinez
  4. #3.12 – The Monster That Made Bram Stoker
  5. #3.11 – The Heathen Queen

Episode 19 – Emmy Nominee Liza Richardson

Hard to Believe #019 – Emmy Nominee Liza Richardson 

Long admired in the television and movie world, Liza Richardson developed a loyal fan following when she served as the music supervisor for The Leftovers, and this year she was nominated for an Emmy for her work on Watchmen. Joey Lewandowski – whose favorite show of all time is The Leftovers – joins John for the first time since our debut episode to talk to Liza about her work, her life, and how she helped make The Leftovers what Joey calls “the best show about religion that’s not about religion” ever.

Find Liza on Instagram and Spotify, where she puts together ridiculously great playlists. 

#3.15 – Dr. Joshua Bowen Hard to Believe – A Podcast About Belief

For the first episode of 2023, John spoke to Dr. Joshua Bowen. He’s an expert in the ancient near east and a regular on YouTube and podcasts, as well as the author of The Atheist Handbook to the Old Testament, which guides curious people with no personal faith investment through what the Old Testament actually says and how to understand it in context and as an historical artifact. Here Dr. Josh talk about his former life as a fundamentalist, how research and critical thinking moved took him out of that belief system, and what often stands in the way of a real understanding of the Bible and who wrote it. You can learn more about the work he does alongside his wife, Megan Lewis and how to support them and their work here: Digital Hammurabi Dr. Josh's book, The Atheist Handbook to the Old Testament, is available here in physical and digital form. He is on Twitter @DJHammurabi1
  1. #3.15 – Dr. Joshua Bowen
  2. #3.14 – #FreeCasey – with Jenn Tisdale
  3. #3.13 – Shannon Foley Martinez
  4. #3.12 – The Monster That Made Bram Stoker
  5. #3.11 – The Heathen Queen

Episode 18 – Greg Garrett on U2, zombies, race in Hollywood, and more

Hard to Believe #018 – Greg Garrett – Cultural Theologian

Cultural theologian Greg Garrett is the author of more than 20 books, including 2009’s We Get to Carry Each Other, the Gospel According to U2, 2017’s Living with Living Dead, an exploration of the theological and human insights of the zombie apocalypse trope, and A Long, Long Way: Hollywood’s Unfinished Journey from Racism to Reconciliation, which was published in May of this year.

Greg teaches English at Baylor University in Texas. He joined John to discuss U2, zombies, race and racism in Hollywood, and the people who continue to teach and inspire him.

He can be found on Twitter at @Greg1Garrett

#3.15 – Dr. Joshua Bowen Hard to Believe – A Podcast About Belief

For the first episode of 2023, John spoke to Dr. Joshua Bowen. He’s an expert in the ancient near east and a regular on YouTube and podcasts, as well as the author of The Atheist Handbook to the Old Testament, which guides curious people with no personal faith investment through what the Old Testament actually says and how to understand it in context and as an historical artifact. Here Dr. Josh talk about his former life as a fundamentalist, how research and critical thinking moved took him out of that belief system, and what often stands in the way of a real understanding of the Bible and who wrote it. You can learn more about the work he does alongside his wife, Megan Lewis and how to support them and their work here: Digital Hammurabi Dr. Josh's book, The Atheist Handbook to the Old Testament, is available here in physical and digital form. He is on Twitter @DJHammurabi1
  1. #3.15 – Dr. Joshua Bowen
  2. #3.14 – #FreeCasey – with Jenn Tisdale
  3. #3.13 – Shannon Foley Martinez
  4. #3.12 – The Monster That Made Bram Stoker
  5. #3.11 – The Heathen Queen

Episode 17 – Mandisa Thomas – Founder of Black Nonbelievers

Mandisa Thomas is the founder of Black Nonbelievers – a nonprofit that connects Black Americans and their allies who are living free of religion and might otherwise be shunned by family and friends in a caring, friendly, and informative environment. The group now has chapters in 14 major cities across the country. 

Mandisa serves on the board of directors for the American Humanist Association, and has been recognized as the Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association’s 2018 Person of the Year, the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Freethought Heroine for 2019, and the Secular Student Alliance’s 2019 Backbone Award winner.

She talked to John about why she believes Christianity can’t be unlinked from white supremacy, why she took on the role of helping other Black atheists come out of the closet, and the importance of putting people first and keeping the momentum of this moment alive. 

#3.15 – Dr. Joshua Bowen Hard to Believe – A Podcast About Belief

For the first episode of 2023, John spoke to Dr. Joshua Bowen. He’s an expert in the ancient near east and a regular on YouTube and podcasts, as well as the author of The Atheist Handbook to the Old Testament, which guides curious people with no personal faith investment through what the Old Testament actually says and how to understand it in context and as an historical artifact. Here Dr. Josh talk about his former life as a fundamentalist, how research and critical thinking moved took him out of that belief system, and what often stands in the way of a real understanding of the Bible and who wrote it. You can learn more about the work he does alongside his wife, Megan Lewis and how to support them and their work here: Digital Hammurabi Dr. Josh's book, The Atheist Handbook to the Old Testament, is available here in physical and digital form. He is on Twitter @DJHammurabi1
  1. #3.15 – Dr. Joshua Bowen
  2. #3.14 – #FreeCasey – with Jenn Tisdale
  3. #3.13 – Shannon Foley Martinez
  4. #3.12 – The Monster That Made Bram Stoker
  5. #3.11 – The Heathen Queen