Restorative Faith Podcast Season 3 is Out Now!


Restorative Faith Season 3 Trailer


For the last two years, the team at the Restorative Faith Podcast has been collecting interviews for our third season. For those unfamiliar with the podcast, each season is comprised of six episodes and revolves around a theme of why people are leaving the church. For Season 1, we discussed evil and how many people outside the church find the Christian explanations for evil to be absurd, non-sensical and irrelevant to their actual real-world experience. In Season 2, we explored the Christian approach to sexuality, peeling back the way biblical sexual ethics are often out of touch with people living in modernity.

In Season 3, we are exploring the theme of discrimination and how the Christian faith has not only contributed to, but has been the source of horrific bigotry, prejudice and hatred in our society. Whereas in the past, when the church held a place of prominence in American society and culture, people simply turned a blind eye to the ways the church has perpetuated sexism, racism, antisemitism, nationalism, preying upon the poor and shaming the mentally ill, in the 21st century, this is no longer an option.


Painting by Dionne Victoria from the trailer.

Indeed, the Bible reinforces so many areas of discrimination that, more than any other topic we have discussed so far in this podcast series, I see the issues in this season as a make or break for the future of the Christian faith. If the church continues to promote teachings that indoctrinate successive generations with discriminatory beliefs and practices, then the Christian faith will not survive.


Therefore, this season provides a much-needed opportunity to dissect the various ways that Christianity and the Bible are prone to create cultures of discrimination. To that end, each episode focuses on an area of discrimination, the human consequences of that theology, and solutions for how we can avoid inflicting the same harm on future generations.


What Took So Long?


Normally, a season of the podcast requires about a year to construct. I work with three reporters (Rebekah Anderson, Laura Savage and Chris Renshaw) who are hunting down interviews. At the beginning of a season, I outline what each episode is trying to accomplish and the types of interviews we need. There are generally three types of interviews we seek out: human-interest stories, subject matter experts, and biblical/religious interpreters.


Part of the reason why this season took so long to construct is because we struggled to find the right interviews for each of the episodes. I have a very high bar for the types of human-interest stories we feature in our episodes. Because we only produce six episodes per season, I’m very picky and will only proceed if they fit all of my criteria.


One of the hardest human-interest stories to find this season was for the mental illness episode. Even though mental illness is extraordinarily common, there is a great deal of stigma around mental illness, so many people don’t want to talk about how their affliction has impacted their lives. On top of this, there is also the problem that those with mental illness often struggle to articulate what’s happening in their minds and how it changes their perception of reality.


Moreover, I really wanted someone who had experienced psychosis. Having worked in a psychiatric facility, what you find is that many people who have been psychotic struggle to even comprehend what happened, let alone reflect on the experience in way that would be enlightening to listeners. My reporters scoured the internet for stories. If they found something interesting, they would track down their personal information, often to no response or, if there was a response, it was generally a “No, thank you.”


Eventually, Laura came across someone who fit most of my criteria—Patricia Tomasi. What we could find on the internet was the broad strokes of her story. The details were sparse, but it was our best lead so I had Laura setup a pre-interview with her and, after hearing her full story, I knew it was exactly what we needed.


My only reservation was that she was hesitant with certain details. In order for this to work, I needed her to be exceptionally transparent and honest. Laura asked Patricia if she was down for a deep dive into her life and history. When Patricia said she was game, I shipped a microphone to Canada. Needless to say, her full story was astounding and made the episode a firecracker.


What You Can Expect


If your inclination is to skip to episode 2, I would caution you not forget about the other episodes. Patricia is just one of many amazing stories we were able to record. In truth, every episode contains remarkable stories that will capture your attention.


Another good example is in episode 4, where we explore the role of the Christian faith in perpetuating racism. Our reporter Chris Renshaw was able to snag an interview with Dr. Bernard Lafayette, one of the main architects of the Freedom Rides and protests of the 1960s. Dr. Lafayette was roommates in seminary with John Lewis, who brought him into the Civil Rights Movement.


Dr. Bernard Lafayette standing next Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hearing Dr. Lafayette recount stories of travelling into the deep South during the Freedom Rides is harrowing. However, even more chilling is when he recounts the attempt by the Klu Klux Klan to assassinate him on the same evening the KKK murdered Medgar Evers and attempted to murder Benjamin Elton Cox.


Derek Black being interviewed on Today

I was also able to interview Derek Black, the son of Don Black, the founder of White Nationalism, and the godson of former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard, David Duke. At one time, Derek was seen as the heir-apparent to the throne of White Nationalism. He talks with us about how he grew up in the midst of the white supremacist movement and the circumstances that caused him to ultimately turn his back on the White Nationalist Movement.


Similarly, we were able to find someone who fell deep into the QAnon conspiracy, but, over time, found their way out. In our first episode, we get an inside look into the Jehovah’s Witness faith and how the structures within the church are designed to protect abusers from ever seeing justice. All this to say, I am super proud of the content of Season 3 and believe it was worth the wait. I hope you will agree! If you like what you hear, please give a positive rating to the podcast on the platform where you listen. Below are some options:


Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

Restorative Faith


If you have any reactions to the episodes, you may leave a comment below or you can e-mail me at info@restorativefaith.org.


Where Do We Go Next?


I’ve always envisioned the podcast as being a total of five seasons and we’ve already begun work on Season 4, which will revolve around the issue of science. Obviously, the conflict between science and the church has been one of the major issues that has caused people to walk away from the church over the last century. We will be exploring various issues surrounding evolution, technology, medicine, artificial intelligence, genetic engineering and consciousness. As usual, these topics will all be anchored by human-interest stories and that’s where we need your help.


If you click on Season 4 of the podcast, you will find a list of some of the stories we would like to tell. If you, or someone you know, has a story that fits into the topics we are researching, please fill out the form and provide some details of what the story involves. Upon reviewing your submission, if we feel it fits into the narrative of a particular episode, we will contact you to obtain more information about the story and your availability to be interviewed.


As we collect interviews for Season 4, I will be placing the majority of my creative energy into editing my new book Restorative Beauty, which I hope will be ready for publication by the summer. Thank you for listening and for your support of Restorative Faith!

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