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Every Monday you get a show.  We've been serving up at least one show a week for over two years.  This past summer Jeff and Dan realized that there schedules were going to be out of sync (because of travel).  And so they recorded a bunch of shows back-to-back.  And then, as a new academic year began, they found themselves back in the cozy confines of the ViW studio in Southern California.  This is the first show recorded after nearly a month of being away from each other (their longest break from each other since the show started).  Having travelled to China, Japan and elsewhere (and thanks to a fan,  Patrick Ortiz asking for some traveling stories) we have cooked up a show on the delights and perils of traveling and how our thoughts might be applicable even if you never leave your hometown.  You will learn that Jeff ordered a dog for dinner.  Dan probably talks about places he's lived and probably waxes on about his beloved Ohio.

 
 
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That's right, she's back! And so we use K's instead of C's. It's sociologist Dr. Kristen Koenig!  You might remember the good doctor from such shows as "Kristmas Special", "Pilgrimage to Selma", and "Freaks and Geeks".  We talk about crime statistics, why and who tend to be involved in different types of crimes, and criminal behavior as a sociological phenomenon.  And, of course, because Kristen is a dear friend of the show, we tend to go on small tangents and mess around a bit.  The show is about something bad, but our guest is something wonderful. Enjoy the show!

 
 
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I know, it might seem something out of character for us to talk about fashion.  But stick with us on this one.  Dan currently writes a column for our friends at the Jagged Word on culture and fashion on what might be considered a more high minded website.  The larger question at hand is: how do we present ourselves to others, and is it that important?  Dan and Jeff have their usual back and forth and touch on a number of issues as well as discussing the particulars on style.  This is one of the shows that we recorded during a particularly fun series of shows before Jeff left for China. Enjoy the show!

 
 
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Hey there. So, this is a new show (but a little bit older).  We recorded this and then hit a bunch of shows in a row and didn't upload this one- it isn't July 4th themed, but we mention it as well as the New Harper Lee book, which at the time of recording I just started reading.  Nevertheless, we talk about our summer reading and then we talk about how America has been described by various foreigners over the centuries, and what their insight might help us to understand.

 
 
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That's right kids, this week we are putting the "fun" back into Fundamentalism.  Well, we are at least going to have a little bit of fun talking about American history and the trajectory of Christian Fundamentalism.  If you've seen any of Dan's videos or lectures you know that he knows the history of this stuff like the back of his hand, and if you've heard some of Jeff's stories you know that he lived some of this stuff.   But before you go thinking this is a show "sticking it to" the Fundamentalists, we are looking sympathetically, historically, and socially at this movement which has been, er... fundamental to the history of our institutions, cultural taboos and scores of social fads.  Share with a friend, rate us on Facebook, or send us a note. Enjoy the show!

 
 
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So, Dan wrote an article about the book as soon as it was released and he sped through both the book, as well as to Kill A Mockingbird (book and movie).  You can read that here.  This show lays with some of these themes, but we go a little deeper into the the themes of the book.  Even if you haven't read it, you can listen to this show as there are warnings if you want to stay away from the plot details near the end (although the powerful ending is not discussed).  We talk about the nature of fallen heroes, why the book was panned by some, and the enduring legacy of the themes of To Kill A Mockingbird.

 
 
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It is hard to pick a favorite show, or a show we were most excited about recording.  This show certainly would rank near the top of our favorite shows we've done in the years we have been knocking these shows out on a weekly basis.
Dan came across this documentary by typing in "best documentaries" on google a few months back.  The description made it sound interesting enough.  By the time the documentary was over Dan was floored by the story.  It turns out that we had a few connections to the main figure in the movie, Jay Reinke, and he graciously agreed to come on the show.  If you haven't seen the film (it is on Netflix) you can still listen to this show (we take a break half way through before getting into any spoilers).  Jay is as candid, if not more, than in the film and answers the questions we had about the movie (that many of our friends had as well).  This is a show about one of the best documentaries (winner of a special Jury award at Sundance as well as 11 other awards) we have ever seen, and this was an opportunity to get behind it by having a conversation about the nature of Jay's work with the influx of population to his small town because of the shale boom, a story that took turn after turn, the nature of underdogs, sexuality, compassion, and redemption. Listen and share with a friend.

 
 
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On today's episode we start by discussing a little bit of the discussion that ensued after our last show (Marriage Morality and the Law) and Jeff's post on the show at the Jagged Word.  Our main topic for the show involves the question that we have received more than any other: what to do when you are at a job you hate.  We talk a lot about the significance and importance of work, career, etc... on this show and so it seemed appropriate to tackle this one, head on.  We do so, primarily by looking to an unlikely source: Hunter S. Thompson.  Thompson once wrote a letter to a young man who was asking him a similar question and we break down Thompson's letter through our sense here at ViW. Enjoy the Show!

 
 
 
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Gay marriage, the Supreme Court, and the cultural implications of a changing political landscape is what this show's about.  We recognize that we, once again, are in danger of offending everyone, including many close friends. We have a slightly different take from both the Left and the Right.  Remember, this is not primarily a theological/biblical discussion this week, but instead is primarily about the interplay between church and state, and on that we tend (especially Jeff) to lean libertarian on this matter. Note that, while we get a bit playful (we recorded this on a short evening window between our collective family vacations), and probably reject many of the ways in which you think about this issue, our overall take is complex.  We challenge the idea that Christians should care much about the legal aspects of sexual ethics, and we distinguish law, ethics and theology.  On the other hand, we find some of the concerns of the dissenting justices to be legitimate from a constitutional point of view.  Perhaps the most frustrating piece for our conservative Christian friends is our sense that we hold that there is little reason to believe that the 14th Amendment will be allowed to thwart the basic rights of the 1st Amendment, with the possible exception of some Christian churches and non-profits losing their tax exempt status.  

We call Christians to get back to the business of being a beacon of light in a listless world, rather than cultural bullies.  In any case, we welcome your feedback and are willing to consider blind spots.  But given the number of emails asking for us to address the issue, we figure a candid discussion is in order, even if we lose friends over the matter.  

Finally, the bits of humor on the show are by no means meant to belittle the very serious emotional import this whole matter has for both LGBT and Conservative Christian listeners.  We seek to love and serve all our neighbors, and wish you all the best.  God bless America, and God bless you, dear listener.

Click here for a direct download.

 
 
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When it comes to American Christian history, and the current phase of the culture wars, the terms "pietism" and "legalism" get lobbed about.  We discuss the history of pietism in Europe and America, and show how understanding the history and beliefs of the old school Pietists can help us understand the tensions today between Christianity and American culture.  The image here is of a conventicle in the tradition of Hans Nielsen Haugee (1771-1824), painted by Adolph Tidemand, 1852.  You can find Dan van Voorhis' lectures on this topic by cl

Click here for a direct download.