Past Present Podcast: Baton Rouge, Christian Intellectuals, and Teaching Trump


In this week’s episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia debate flood relief in Louisiana, the disappearance of Christian intellectuals, and teaching Trump in the classroom. Baton Rouge Flood Relief More than two feet of rain brought death and destruction to southern Louisiana recently. Natalia addressed the political dimensions of the Louisiana flood, including Donald Trump’s visit to the state and blaming President Obama for not going there. Niki argued the memory of George W. Bush’s bungling of Hurricane Katrina provided important context for the political meaning of the Louisiana flood. Neil situated the flood in a long history of flooding in Louisiana, including the Great Mississippi Flood of […]

How They Did It: Kevin Moore, Actor Turned Nurse

Kevin Moore

Welcome to How They Did It: the podcast that gets you the real story behind the success. Host Darbi Worley interviews extraordinary people about this thing called life and how to do it better. In this episode, Darbi interviews actor-turned-nurse Kevin Moore about his midlife career change and how suddenly losing his mother informs his work today.  They also talk about dying and God.  It’s a good one. Follow Darbi on Twitter or Facebook.  Interested in paying her to say words?  Go to Thanks to Girls Like Bass for our theme music! Get their album Pleasure Mystic Futuristic on iTunes and everywhere digital music is downloaded.

Finding Authentic Meaning for Life

Shanti Grumbine, Collecting Evidence Before It Can Be Hidden Or Destroyed (From “Genizah”), de-acidified New York Times newspaper, jade glue, matte medium, UV archival spray, nails, magnets, 27x12 inches

From earliest infancy and continuing throughout life, humans seek secure relationships with others that will provide enough security to allow us to explore the world around us without feeling alone and vulnerable. Supported by others, we don’t fall back on fight-flight-or-freeze programming, nor allow basic survival concerns, such as finding the next meal, to dominate all our actions. Instead we can develop additional relationships with others, and accumulate skills to support us for whatever challenging circumstances arise in the future. In addition to providing security, belonging to a community provides us with a sense of purpose greater than survival alone: […]

Past Present Podcast: Brexit, Camps for Grownups, and Trump’s Missing Campaign


On this week’s episode, Natalia, Neil, and Niki discuss Brexit, Adult Camps, and Trump’s faltering campaign.   Brexit Voters in Britain passed a referendum supporting the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. Neil explained that although Brexit was supported by the minority party UKIP, it was able to bring the referendum to a vote because Prime Minister David Cameron promised he’d allow it if reelected in 2015 and because, as Niki pointed out, deep divisions in Cameron’s own Conservative Party. Natalia and Neil situated the Brexit vote in other historical questions about British unity, including the Irish Home Rule movement and the recent Scottish independence movement. […]

Past Present Podcast: Muhammad Ali, Brock Turner, and the First Woman Nominee

Muhammad Ali history

On this week’s Past Present podcast, Niki, Neil, and Natalia debate the legacy of Muhammad Ali, the aftermath of the Brock Turner trial, and America’s first woman nominated to the presidency by a major party. Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali died last week at the age of 74. Natalia remarked on a life that was as notable for Ali’s political activism as it was for his athletic prowess. She also connected Ali’s story to Jane Fonda, another celebrity known for both her fitness empire and her controversial political activism during the Vietnam War. Neil commented on how Ali’s religious conversion to Nation of Islam was seen as […]

Past Present Podcast: Multicultural Evangelicalism, the End of Running, and Facebook in India


On this week’s Past Present podcast, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss the changing racial demographics of American evangelicalism, the decline of running, and digital imperialism. Multicultural Evangelicalism Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention recently wrote in the New York Times that the white evangelical church of old is no more. Neil noted the significance of Moore’s piece, considering the SBC originated from a split among Baptists over slavery in 1845. Natalia compared white American evangelicals’ increasingly close relationships with conservative Christians in Africa, South America, and Asia to the global network of religious people of […]

Past Present Podcast: Trump’s Evangelicals, the KKK, and CrossFit

crossfit workout review

On this week’s Past Present podcast, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss Donald Trump and evangelical voters, the Ku Klux Klan, and CrossFit. Donald Trump and Evangelical Christians Donald Trump is winning white evangelical voters, and evangelical leaders are not happy about it. Niki pointed out that Ted Cruz seemed like the candidate who should be winning evangelical voters, but Neil argued 2016 is revealing the political diversity within evangelicalism that has often been overlooked. Natalia observed Trump’s evangelical supporters often praised him for his wealth and business acumen, reminding her of the work of historians like […]

Past Present Podcast: Facebook Philanthropy, Baby Names, and Prayer Shaming


On this week’s Past Present podcast, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s philanthropic gift, the history of baby names, and “prayer shaming.” Facebook Philanthropy Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan announced they would donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares to charity, totaling some $45 billion. Some observers have been critical of the couple’s decision. Niki pointed to Napster founder Sean Parker’s manifesto, “Philanthropy for Hackers” as a precursor to this debate. Natalia mentioned that books like Matthew Bishop’s Philanthrocapitalism have applauded the way billionaires are devoting themselves more to charitable giving and thereby reshaping the […]

Past Present Podcast: Pope Francis, Quit Lit, and Donald Trump

Pope Francis

On this week’s Past Present podcast, Nicole Hemmer, Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, and Neil Young discuss Pope Francis’ visit to the US, the “quit lit” phenomenon, and Donald Trump. Pope Francis The papal visit of Pope Francis marks the tenth time a pope has come to the United States. In his new book,We Gather Together, Neil writes about how Pope John Paul II’s papal visits in the 1980s strengthened the American pro-life movement and deepened evangelical-Catholic relations. Quit Lit The rise of “quit lit” from professors announcing their departure from academia in written form found its most recent example in an […]