When we were first becoming friends, Rachel and I loved arguing about our worldviews. “You don’t believe ANYTHING is evil?” I would shout at her across the table while we ate brunch. “What about sex traffickers who sell people for money?” She would roll her eyes. “You’re being extreme. But even then, I don’t think it’s useful to call anyone evil.” I would pause, realizing she had a point. “Okay, maybe people aren’t evil, but some acts definitely are.” “Well…”
One time she excitedly brought out a Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy book. “This essay references American evangelicalism, and you’re American. What do evangelicals believe?” Almost overwhelmed by the irony, I laid out the gospel for her according to the acronym I learned at a high school Dare 2 Share conference. She could tell this was rehearsed. “How excited are you that you just witnessed at me?” “You becoming an evangelical is the literal last thing I want.” “Good, because this is all ridiculous.”
But when we started dating, religion quickly became a touchy topic. It felt too personal and too heavy. We would dance around issues, and we went to a Christmas Eve service at an queer-friendly Anglican church, but mostly, we ignored the conversations that had once been so easy.
One day, I mentioned that once, a donkey talked in the Bible. “That’s in the Bible!?” she asked. “Oh yeah, there’s all sorts of weird shit in the Bible; it’s great!” “Tell me more!” Thus began our tentative Sunday Bible Story Time. Over brunch or in the car, Rachel would suddenly say, “Tell me a Bible story!” and I would reach into my brain and pull out the funniest and most interesting stories from my childhood.
I always want to turn everything into a podcast, but I knew we had to be equally invested, so I kept my mouth shut. After one story on a lazy Sunday evening, Rachel said, “We’re funny. We should make this a podcast!” I’ve never lunged for my laptop more quickly.
We started from the beginning, covering the book of Genesis in twenty episodes over five months. At first, we were irreverent. Rachel was skeptical of Christianity and I was determined to show off how cool and emotionally distanced I was from the literalism I grew up with. But as we kept making episodes, we found a really great middle ground. We still laughed at the silliest parts and picked apart the dangerous elements, but at the same time, we developed a respect for the stories. Rachel realized some of it was meaningful, and she appreciated getting to know the thing that has made me me. I realized that I really enjoy discussing the Bible as stories, debating their themes without having to view them as moralistic historical fact. And we both were surprised to fall in love with the 2014 movie Noah starring Russell Crowe.
At the end of season 1 of So You’re Dating a Christian, I’m proud of what we’ve made and excited to see where we go from here. I hope some of you will listen to our podcast, though I know this isn’t for everyone. As we say in every episode description, this podcast is for:
- Non Christians who are curious about the craziness of Christianity
- Christians who want to laugh at the absurdity of Christianity
- People who want to understand a different perspective
- People who are dating across a religious divide
- People who are put off by dating someone with faith
- People who try to hide their faith when dating non faithy people
And maybe it’s for YOU.
Listen to So You’re Dating a Christian on Apple Podcasts now!