What’s That Sound?

Podcasting: Rest Your Eyes and Listen

Podcasting has become a pretty popular form of communication over the past few years.  In its most basic sense, it it’s a more modern form of radio broadcasting.  Podcasts are pretty easy to access too, as you can listen on a web browser or use an app on your smartphone.  Another reason podcasts are so popular is purely because there are so many, and you can find one with a topic on just about anything.  Podcast topics range from fictional stories about true comes or mysterious places to more intimate interviews with average people about significant events in their life.

In this post, I’m going to discuss a few different podcasts I listened that provide some examples about how religion can affect people’s lives.  The first podcast is an interview with a girl who became unknowingly became part of a cult, the second is a lecture from a rabbi explaining how religion needs to be a healing force in today’s society, and the last an interview from a Jesuit priest about how God can be seen in everyday life.

Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People: Escape From A Cult

In the first podcast I listened to, Chris Gethard, the interviewer, takes a call from an anonymous person to discuss their story, and in this specific episode the woman calling had been a part of a cult.  The interview itself is unedited, and aside from a few breaks for ads, is simply the entire call between Gethard and the anonymous person.  There is some music played to help transition between parts of the interview, specifically when moving into the ads, but aside from that, the only thing present is the interview itself.  This way, the listener gets the raw and real story coming from the caller, and when the story gets as detailed and personal as this one, it’s hard for those listening to pull themselves away.  The woman discusses a pretty difficult time in her life, as her parents were going through a divorce and her boyfriend, who was incredibly religious, pulled her into the cult his family were a part of.  This story showed the negative influences of religion in a person’s life, specifically the religion of those close to them.  Because the guy that she was dating was a member of a certain religious group, an intense and isolated cult, the woman unknowingly became part of the cult herself.  The people the woman spent the most time with began to affect her religious viewpoint and entire life by spreading their beliefs to her, and in her story, it had an incredibly negative effect.

TEDTalks: It’s time to reclaim religion

The second podcast I listened to, a TEDTalk, was done in a more lecture style format, with one person discussing a major issue in today’s society.  In this podcast rabbi Sharon Brous begins by explaining two major problems with religion in today’s society.  The first one is that members of radical religious groups carry out attacks in the name of God and cause pain to many people, and this can very quickly turn people away from religion.  The second is that many people, especially those of a younger generation, feel bored by and disconnected from many normal religious traditions and rituals.  She proposes that religion needs to be a healing force in today’s culture, and that people need to figure out what religion and God means to them.  She says that religious leader’s jobs are to make people uncomfortable and to make people think about those kinds of things.  While Brous explains that many people may not personally be religious, she also points out that most people have some sort of interaction with religion, whether it is negative or positive, personal or global.

On Being with Krista Tippett: James Martin–Finding God in All Things

In On Being, the host, Krista Tippett, interviews different scientists, philosophers, and theologians to discuss “big questions of meaning.”  In the interview I listened to, she talked to a Jesuit, James Martin.  They discussed the general beliefs of the Jesuits and that of their founder, Saint Ignatius.  Much of their discussion focused on, like the title suggests, finding God in all things, including the mundane or normal parts of daily life, like watching a movie.  Martin explained how he had never been devoutly christian, and how God had “found him” while he was watching TV one afternoon.  Martin’s philosophy, and the Jesuit’s as well, have a lot to do with what I’m focusing on in my blog.  They want to see God in every part of life, which I think many people do in one way or another.  Jesuits believe in finding the positive light and joy in all of life through God, and I believe many people do this, but I think doing things through God has more of an effect than just finding joy, in fact I think that’s more of an effect of doing so.

Featured Image:

“Dad’s Radio” by Alan Levine. Photo provided by flickr.

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