Building a New House with Don Golden
12:54PM Jan 3, 2020
red letter christians
Okay, so it's like the early aughts. It’s like 2001 ish. And what was happening is lots of people were talking about the HIV AIDS crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa. And I would read these articles about the numbers. It was almost like the data or the statistics were like, I couldn't fathom this level of devastation, because that just wouldn't happen in America, let's be honest. So I was like, early 30s. I'm a pastor, trying to do good work but also like there's this thing happening on the other side of the world. That's massive. And so I arranged through a friend to take a trip, because I wanted to see this up close I wanted to see what like, what does a village like where 27% of the people in the village are HIV positive like how does that even…
And I had heard stories of, you know, families where everybody's died older than the six year olds. There's a six year old kid taking care of the babies, and that's… like, I'd heard these sort of stories, but I wanted to see it and understand it in a more full way. So I go to Africa, and we land in Rwanda—Kigali, Rwanda—and there's this guy waiting for us who'd been arranged to be like our guide. And it was like a second it's like a white guy from Ohio turns out it was a white guy from Ohio named Don Golden. And this guy we get in this SUV. And he's driving, and he starts talking and I'm like this is… This guy and I, we just start talking and we go back and forth, and he is driving like he stole it through the streets of Kigali. I'm like who is this man who is so comfortable in this setting—the red soil, the narrow streets? And for the next days on end, he took me around and showed me, all sorts of things I hadn't seen before, but our discussion was so like… It was so alive you know you meet those people and you're like, this is, this is doing something to me and then we became friends and then we work together. And then we wrote a book together, and for a while and then like I got to introduce my RobCast friends to the legend of Don Golden to the actual Don Golden who is the legend, because he so profoundly impacted my life. And now—how's that for a setup?—he's here on the back porch with me. Welcome Don.
Rob Bell, oh man I want to meet this guy.
How was that?
That was awesome.
I have never done, I could be like your hype man.
Definitely, definitely, that's going somewhere. I mean, I gotta use that somewhere.
So, you're doing all sorts of interesting things now. But I want to go back way up to the story, a way of understanding the story that I had had bits and pieces swirling around in me. But you came along and were like, “Oh, it's way bigger and better and more dangerous.” You know what I mean?
So my friends. And what you'll see quite quickly is how Don Golden reads the story of history, the story of who we are as humans, the story of the Scriptures, and what it means to be a person of spirit and soul and heart and faith in this world. You'll see what I'm talking about. So let's start with Empire. Let's start early. The Bible starts with Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, but I remember the first time you were like, “Actually, Exodus is the first book of the Bible.”
Exodus, the first book of the Bible, and Genesis is the backstory. In other languages, it's the first, second, third, fourth, fifth book of Moses—that's what those—the Pentateuch.
Exodus, the liberation from slavery, is the defining metaphor for the biblical narrative, and Genesis is, sort of, group therapy for liberated slaves. If you thought you existed for the production consumption demands of a God on earth, Pharaoh, let me tell you, you were actually made in the image of God. And that's all of Genesis.
So these slaves, get liberated.
But you're… It's… They get out of Egypt, but it's getting the Egypt out of them, because their neural pathways, their hearts, their whole lives have been shaped by, “I exist to produce.”
“I exist to make bricks for my bondage master,” essentially.
That's right, that's right.
So, the Genesis story, then, is like helping you work through how you got in that mess.
And that you actually there's a… There's a goodness to who you are. You're not an object. You’re a human being.
Exactly. Yeah, it really is building up the identity of disempowered humanity. Why were you made? Who made you? What's this all about? And given some of the the fundamental backstory, you know, what… What's the first story that's told after—supposedly—the fall. It is Cain kills Abel. God hears Abel’s blood crying out from the ground. Right at the beginning, basically, this is some ancient Neolithic literary device saying all of history is going to be defined by the cry of injustice, and the God that is, is all about responding to that cry and creating a group of people that will exist for that response. So that's Genesis. Exodus is about that liberation. And you know, for me, it was, it was going to Mars Hill Bible Church and seeing you know thousands of pink cheeked American, you know, well, you know, well well bathed in the, in their right mind and with jobs and with disposable income. Why would God do all of this? And to me it felt very profound that we have to determine what's the weight of this and what do we do with this, now that I'm, “I'm here among you. I'm with you.” And so it became an issue of trying to distill the biblical story really simply. And for me, it all became all about four geographic locations—places that God inhabited in human history—and what we learned about God, ourselves, our purpose in those geographic places. So, Egypt is the place of bondage and slavery. We've all known it, you know. We all experience it. It happens in physical ways, spiritual ways, this kind of Egypt where we suffer, where we are not fully present of who we are as humans. That's Egypt. And then, Sinai is a type of calling. … For sure. Please.
Remember, when you and I first started talking about: in Egypt, the gods—some people own other people—and the gods are fine with this. The gods actually sanction this right this hierarchy of some people oppress others. Wealth is in the hands of a few, where the masses, don't have enough bread. The gods in Egypt are fine with this arrangement.
They actually are the ones backing it. Yeah. And so, the story of the Bible is a radically subversive story, because it introduces a God character who is against this arrangement in the original Rage Against the Machine.
This divine isn't here to keep this system in place, but to subvert it. And in some ways to destroy it because this God hears the cry.
Which is a radical new idea in human history.
Yeah, exactly. Israel and the Hebrew Scriptures introduced a radical departure, that, rather than the gods sanctioning your myth of your power and dominance over others, this is a God who disrupts that dominance and makes that all about the one that's crying out and suffering. So, the Bible calls God “creator” six times and calls God “the God who brought you out of Egypt” like 35 times. That's who this God is. Who is God? God’s the one who brings me out of the place I thought where there was no hope. That's who this God is.
A dynamic being who's looking to liberate whoever's got the boot of empire on their neck
And one who privileges the voices that we can't hear.
As opposed to the one, the static, structural God who wants to keep this thing exactly like it is.
Right. And then what we're going to see in these… what we, you know,… You and I wrote this book, so I'm telling you what you already know.
Isn’t it fun to quote ourselves?
Exactly. There you go, but this really becomes a pattern, a fundamental pattern in the nature of the universe, really, that's being revealed in these ancient stories. And then, Sinai—which is significant that it's out in the wilderness. It’s not a place you can own, a place can dominate, a place you can build a city.
Sinai is where the ten commandments were given, by the way.
Yeah. Sinai. So, the 10 commandments are given there, and that's where the prophets believe that humanity married God. They entered into this covenant with God at Sinai, and then they became agents of liberation for others. You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. You will mediate what I just did for you. You will mediate that to the rest of the world. You exist for the liberation of the rest of the planet. So that's Sinai.
So, ten commandments is like is like the vows of a wedding ceremony. So, we're going to live together. Which I always think is interesting, because for so many people—well, you know like—even the standard like completely cliche tropes about the violent Old Testament God.
And and when we when we wait, of course that's their cultures were very violent obviously, right. But this is this is a about a union and love between the divine and the human. So what's it mean to be human what it means to be human is to be liberated, and then take part participate in the liberation of others yes that's, that's why you're here.
That's right and and just like it is for us, difficult to fully open ourselves to the divine we don't want to be exposed. we don't want to be found out. The people could not enter they said, Moses you speak for us. Don't let that God who's fire on the mountain. He will consume us and it's actually like there's even some sexual imagery there like you know like he's all hot and bothered up on the mountain then they are, they are too timid to, to, to, to be with him, and that union could not be consummated could not be made complete because of the fear the fear of the Union, and really Israel's history is part of that dance of not just rebellion but also fear of being fully in submission to the divine, and you know that's a that's a pattern in all of us.
Well it's interesting I never thought about the link between passion and justice, I'm like I want a better world. And I'll fight for it, I'll organize my life around I want it I want a part of this liberation like there's like a in your loins like I want to create something new here, don't mean. So if you if you,
if you want to keep the status quo.
Just cut people off from their passions. And those were the energies are to resist to march to make noise to right, speak up, right, this. The passion and justice have like an interesting dance. That's fascinating
to me. Okay, so we can do it yeah yeah so so so so inside and I that place of calling and purpose. Yeah, but you can't live on the mountaintop you know you can't live in a place that's that's removed those high points in life. You You come out of that and you head towards Jerusalem, that's the next place and that's the place of blessing and power, you know there's there's a lot of. There's a lot of tension around wealth. And what is purposes and there's so much abuse of wealth that that's natural, then it's understandable but wealth and power were given very clearly in in this narrative, for the purpose of upholding justice and righteousness so God's gonna bless you. Obviously if you're called to change the world, you got to have the goods, you got to have what it takes. People have to trust you, you have to have some renown you have to have some reputation and you got to have the resources to be able to do it. And so Jerusalem a place of the foundation of peace that means it's gonna it's gonna be awesome. It's gonna be an amazing place because it's going to have to be something that's attractive to the world. And it's also the place of choice. You know, do I remember where I came from and what I'm to do and why I have this or do I lose the plot.
So the Queen of Sheba comes to Jerusalem to visit the great Solomon, she tours all of his palaces and grounds and has gardens. Yeah, and she says I know why you've been given all the blessing and wealth and goodness. Yeah, so you would. What's interesting in the English translation maintain justice and righteousness was can, which can appear sort of like blue, but it's like knowing, you've been given this yeah
and you of all people because you were once a slave. You were once under somebody's boot heel. You didn't have any hope you were like the Kurds today, and there's nobody on your side, and then being brought out and being given an empire You of all people will not go the way of all these other empires, right, you will uphold justice and right you'll create a new world order, because that's, that's what God has called you to do,
so she's like I know why you have this you have this to spread it around, to, to, so that you can hear the cry of the oppressed, just like your people's cry was heard, right, and that Jerusalem is this place of what will you do with what you've been given will you use it to build your empire. We talked about the empire of indifference, the books, or will you use what you've been given to spread it around to share with those who need the most and
the irony, for the subtle reader that's why this book, this book is so amazing in the hands of the powerful Bible Bible, this but this book in the hands of the powerful too often becomes a structure of justification for privilege. You know, it becomes this thing that justifies what you have, not a pathway of liberation. Yes, its structure of justification. And you can see for the subtle reader that these beginning to happen in Jerusalem because while she's there making these claims of praise about why they've been given this. They're these two passages on either side of that story one is. First Kings night. It is man. Like we wrote this book together something is the, you know, we all know about the 700 wives and the 300 concubines and that's, that's a picture of a heart that's going astray from God and evangelicals especially love to remember all you know he Solomon lost his way because of all these women so you so you need to
storyteller is slanted against Solomon, the storyteller wants you to be like this guy.
he had it all and he loses the plot that's right
and we know about the moral and fidelity and licentiousness of Solomon, but we read right over and here is, here is an account of the slave labor that Solomon used to build his temple, build the temple and his house and the ghido. So we read right over that Wait a minute. Okay, a liberated slave is called by God to make a difference in the world. He's given everything he needs to do it. And he ends up enslaving others, you know it's almost. It's almost like if an immigrant nation tried to build a wall to keep out immigrants.
I mean almost. This is what happened when you and I started spending time together together and then working together, is we would just read these ancient stories, we would just riff on these ancient stories. And you couldn't help but arrive at America. Yeah, we would just be there in no time. Like when these be it's whether or not it's not about these stories happening happened, they're happening.
Well we aren't going to talk about you know where we. This America, you know we we're the best where the great Well, the price is that, that the eye of history is on you. Very particularly, it is on us and. And I, you know, as we laid out in the book, the access where America finds itself, I believe, although you can break down this metaphor in many ways is from Jerusalem to the next. Yeah, geography, which is Babylon. You know we have a special many Christians conservatives loves to love to read the text and read America as Jerusalem, but we are much much much more Babylon, which also, you know, the book of Revelation talks about Rome as Babylon and, and as as being unfaithful
say more about that if you're in Jerusalem, and you do not use what you've been given to protect and care for the most vulnerable, then you end up in what's called exile. That's right, yeah but giant story. Yeah, that often gets buried.
Yeah, I mean the inevitable far from home, the inevitable outcome of losing the plot, forgetting why you've been given what you've been given, forgetting where it came from, how you got there is his regret is, is to lose your way. And then to find yourself in that place of loss and regret and so Babylon is that is that place, and then the beauty the beauty of this the nature of this god that's revealing This pattern is. Psalm 137 by the rivers of Babylon we hung our hearts and we wept and when the people start weeping, they start turning we start remembering. Yeah, and then they start crying and guess who hears the cry. The God who always hears the cry, here's that cry, and then they start having these, these poets start throwing down sort of art metaphors picture a better future. And it's like, you know, if you would give us back what we lost the Spirit of the Lord will be upon us and we would preach the gospel good news. We'd make it about the week we'd be the ones that heard the cry. And that's what we'd be about that's what we would do, we would envision a temple that would be so big, the whole world could come and worship you in that place. If you would only give it back and then therefore, when Jesus comes that's the one who comes he's the one that comes because the first thing
is we have Moses, who was a leader who led us out of that liberation. Yes, but we could get let out of this liberation and just fall back in the same old trap so all of creation needs a liberation and that's it becomes like a cosmos, the whole thing. So then we need a new Moses, for a
new Exodus, and this is ultimate, this is the ultimate and final one in which everything gets to be baptized and renewed inside the life of this God and it's, and it is like, it is as big as Isaiah his vision of an incompletely re renewed order and and those of us who are faithful Jesus followers today are living in that order. We're not in that exclusionary angry world of who's in and who's out we're in, where the first fruits of this world of flourishing a blessing for everybody at least that's what we
be doing, tell me how. So tell me about Empire, what, because you travel all over and interact with all sorts of different people. What are the truths about empire that go way back that are at work now that people don't see or that are just below the surface guiding this whole thing, or you know talking about an empire needs an animating myth. Right, right.
I think that the most sort of pressing and befuddling issue today that links to this is white privilege. The there's something about privilege that skews our hermeneutic. It is like how we relate how we see things, power, you know, power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely Lord Acton. When you are in power, you get a distortion about yourself about others. And it is very subtly at play that you use your religion to justify yourself what you have in the future that you want so a lot of, there's a lot of displacement fear in among white folks today that a lot of the anger is about is really a fear like man I used to know how to rule this world and I see a world on the horizon in which I'm just one among many, I just woke up and found that there are a lot of other voices in this room, and we're supposed to moderate our tone to accommodate them and I don't like it. I like being the center of the tension in this room, and that that has a lot to do with sort of Imperial psychology and pathology, that is at the kind of the deeper roots and then I think the, which is, which is a deeply held. I'm supposed to run this. Yeah. Yeah. And when and when you cut when whoever you are, and you get to come and be part of it. That gets to my credit Look what I did look how magnanimous I am. And when you realize don't like look at the conference we want. Yeah, exactly. And look how, you know, we're not only empower we're generous and benevolent, but but the real world that we're living in one in which all the voices are being privileged you know when when you hear, you know, black lives matter when you hear people say white Lives Matter and blue lives matter as a response to Black Lives Matter. That to me is the Imperial psychology that's completely missing the fact that you wouldn't America wouldn't speak I wouldn't speak to one of my children if Olivia one of my twins said I matter I wouldn't say Sophie matters too. Right, I would say what's wrong with, with our family that you need to say that yes, so I think that has a lot to do with. We live in a multicultural world that has many different narratives, and we don't know how to allow ours to be displaced without the fear of loss, and you see that pattern. I think in what we just described,
say more about how,
like we talked about the moment you have imagined that you need security cameras that the nature of accumulation and Empire is energy, energy and resources that that would go to those who need it most. When you are accumulating and stockpiling a tremendous amount of energy has to go to protecting and preserving what you've accumulated. That's right. So energy start getting distributed differently.
Yeah, that's right.
I mean I think you,
I think you capture it there. I remember you and I talking about in Egypt, the pharaoh is storing grain
happens in empires somebody starts storing all the grain so somebody is racking up massive amounts of accumulated wealth. That's right, which is then when the famine comes, everybody's going to be dependent on this one. That's exactly right.
And then going back to that idea of a backstory to the God of the God of the universe is a God of infinite creativity of effervescence is always making and creating and making. And after sin enters the equation, I mean to use that old metaphor. It disrupts that and that sense of who this God is this infinitely creative God and introduces the myth of scarcity, you know i i don't have all that I need I fear that I won't and therefore, it, it, it justifies me acting against you on my behalf, and therefore the second myth, the myth of redemptive violence right yeah and those two really do define our define our time today and they come out of the ancient texts and that's the amazing thing you know the Bible is being really really mishandled among us today and I don't blame anybody who just can't tolerate it. But to me it is just, it is just so incredible this, you know, ancient Neil Liske stories and ancient classical stories this old memory of how patterns work. Yeah, super subtle if we can just be humble and kind of read it for the narrative, it is it teaches us so much that we have to learn today about, we can trust this God, to, to give us what we need to provide everything that we need and we can enjoy, we can enjoy the ride. We don't have to fear the myth of scarcity. That's what it means to be a
kid. And when I first met you, you, you, early on, mid 20s. You started going to the places in the world where the greatest tragedies were unfolding. Yes, right one point your passport had like 60 countries.
Yeah. Yes. Yeah, that's not it's closer to 80 now. Is it really
so you had a at a young age she started traveling back and forth between first world Third World between this incredible abundance and comfort and
places just devastated, just devastating. I always wanted to live
abroad, which I did I lived in Europe and I lived in Austria I lived in England but I always wanted to live in Africa went to live in Asia and just didn't work out that way. And what I found out it was, it was really more of a calling to be in that liminal space between, between the extremes and our world and, and I got to do that I recommend that for anyone to travel see the world to see these places that need attention, I, I believe that the world is sort of arranged in this kind of means meaning equation there are a lot of people and among us that have everything but meaning and purpose in their life and then there are a lot of people that have the cause and the struggle in them, and the meaning they just don't have the means to get on with it, and you can bring those people together, and that means meaning equation, it's like nuclear fission, you know,
creative energy you've been doing this for years and years yeah
that's that's right, that's right. Yeah.
So now tell me where all this leads you to now.
Yeah, so I you know I
talked about getting arrested first.
Well sure well you know for me when I met you, it was though it was, I was involved in the charitable aid world world relief and it was. I love that work I with two different agencies I did about 15 years of work with within the aid world and that was amazing got to see lots of great work, I mean the work that we did around aids response and empowering churches and communities to prevent and care for those with AIDS I was That was amazing. And then, that does lead though to activism, you know, there, there are structural reasons why there are problems in the world and so often policy issues and lead you to become more active especially living in the United States, you know you're a citizen of this country you see things that you don't like and policies, and you want to stand up and three years ago I was invited to work with Tony campolo and Shane claybourne at Red Letter Christians and red letter Christians is a network of Jesus and justice writers and
I know in the Bible and this passage is about Jesus, where he actually says stuff it's like in red letters
inside baseball thing inside
baseball. Yes, which we always get to describe as inside baseball and then it's always it's always helpful people are like, Oh, you mean you want to like take Jesus's words serious yeah yeah
okay cool to do.
So the last three years I've been involved in. In, with some radical activists, Jesus followers who really are putting these words into practice and. And that's been, that's been really exciting getting to, you know, Shane claybourne fights, very specifically for for policy changes around the death penalty for example around gun around the proliferation of violence and guns and and the the red letter network is is taking up those causes and all kinds of things and
so as a progression, you for years, you're traveling around the world there's a crisis here, there's a, there's an earthquake. There's a virus that's spreading rapidly. And so you are connecting first World Resources. Yes, money and expertise and such, to help deal with this emergency, let's trade. Yes, but then after a while you're like, Wait wait wait, why did this happen.
Yes. So there's some structural reason why this because this
wouldn't happened over here. Yeah, and this is right This happened in Dallas, or portlander Boston,
what is the larger so you go from A to activism which is we got to change these larger structural things yeah
this is saying that if you scratch injustice scratch compassion, you will find injustice. So the things that move us if you look a little deeper there's often someone that's doing something to make that thing perpetual and to perpetuate that thing. And so activism is really trying to get behind that evangelicals my, my tribal background in Christianity doesn't do a lot of that outside of a few narrow sort of wedge, cultural issues. So that was all very new and really, really phenomenal. I got to, you know, I got to lean into the healthcare crisis are so many even today as many as 30 to 40 million Americans that are not adequately resourced when it comes to health insurance or health care. And, you know, living in the wealthiest nation on the planet, the only OECD country in the world that, in which that's the case
that the, what's happening in America is not having another first of all developed countries. Exactly. We're like way behind.
Yes, that's right. And we pay more per capita per for healthcare than they do, even though most of us don't get the health care or many of us don't get the health care we're still paying more overall so it's about arrangements. And as Dr Bergman says justice is about what belongs to whom and how to give it back to them. You know, so, what belongs to who and how to give
it back to them how to get back in interesting that this country that is so known for innovation,
can't figure this out when you put a person on the moon. But you can't take care of the healthcare issue and that's because a handful of people are getting super rich, and they would that would come to an end and so I mean it's a structural issue that requires activism, and I got to be involved with some of the most amazing people and activism is often where you find these really key barometers let me give you an example. One of our red letter Christians who is also world relief colleague is Jenny Yang, and Jenny, Jenny Yang and Matt saurons are the evangelical experts on the issue of refugees refugee resettlement, and you know if you if you know the Bible if you know the story that we just read the widow the orphan the alien the foreign or they are the barometer of spiritual health, if you when the Bible wants to look at who's healthy spiritually, it isn't the nature of how, how we gather or what our buildings look like it's the condition the widow the orphan and the foreigner. Yeah, well, so that's a barometer, how are foreigners well here's how they are they on an average we taken 100,000 refugees a year since 2000 American receives 100,000 refugees a year. And that's a pitiful number that's a low number given that there are 20 million refugees on planet earth and 60 million displaced people we only take in 100,000 per year but at least we were doing that until this latest administration came to power. And this year we will bring in only 18,000 refugees and next year, it's zero. And there, there has this is a beautiful partnership between the government and churches through World relief International Rescue Committee. It's a partnership that brings refugees here refugees a specific class that means people who are fearing for their lives, and who come with a well founded fear of persecution that number debt now is down to 18,000, the refugee resettlement structures are decimated offices are being closed and mass horns and Jenny Yang are evangelical thing to evangelicals you voted for this president would you mind letting him know that this is wrong, and that you care about this. That's the kind of activism that's essential that red letter Christians and and many, you know, people of faith and good conscience are fighting for and for the last three years. I took a deep dive into that world of activism, it led to a relationship with Reverend William Barber who I think is the is the Martin Luther King Jr of our day he had he's the Amos his heroism. Most on fire today in terms of bringing the, the biblical prophets to bear on power and, and he's is this fusion organizing bringing everybody from every different group not just blacks not just LGBT q activists, but everybody behind what's called the poor people's campaign twice. I've been arrested with him in DC once for Robbie be proud of me I disrupted Congress on the day that is really yeah this a lady went to the, to the, we waited in line with everybody but that morning we had organized 30 clergy that morning we we organized to basically make a statement that while the Obamacare is about to die today. We want to stand up for people who need health care and we were represented by some people who, whose lives depend on that healthcare as all of many of us do, and the one like that morning when you wake up and you know you're going to be arrested. Well, you know, I nervous, I was nervous but I was also unaware. You know I didn't really understand until it was happening. There was a there was like a spiritual sensitivity being the heart of this beast. You know you. We are now at the, we're at the physical heart of this beast and I remember when we waited in line we had everything was ready we got into the rotunda the Capitol gallery. And it was time to stand up and do our ridiculous chant you know and it feels stupid I mean who wants to be doing this kind of thing feels ridiculous. And what do you have in your,
in your head and heart
sadness dear I had fear and awkwardness This is weird I don't want to be here I'd rather be home watching Netflix is the stupid, but it's fine now I, you know, we're here now I gotta do it and so you know we did it and john mccain was on the floor I mean he didn't. He didn't like what we were doing, but later that night. He is the one vote that put his thumb down and kept Obamacare in place and has preserved some level of care for millions of people, so that that day that they're that that experience and then when,
when you're arrested with Reverend Barber, you're seeing a salad with him. What's this great man i mean he's, he's legend. Yeah. What's he like in the cell.
he was. He was like a kid in a candy store he was like, he was literally on the bus on the, on the police wagon taking us to. He was messing with his handcuffs and getting in and out of them. And he was playing he, he was having a, he was having a ball. Okay, yeah,
that was, that was remember Barbara For
me it was legendary African American preacher, yes, who has been standing up to injustice for years, fearless noetic. Yes. He gets arrested he's been taken to the jail.
Yeah, he's not tense, he's not all sweaty and agitated and worried. He's doing all of joy, and all the people within the system all the police several police officers on the two times I was arrested whispered, things like we're with you.
The arresting officers Yes, are saying we're with you, though, especially
the second time which was about separating kids at the border, that's the time that I spent an afternoon with William Barber and Doug Padgett in a jail cell. And that when we were arrested for what's called incoming incoming komoti. Yes. Yeah, same thing is on my record. It means there are certain places in Washington DC around Capitol buildings and the White House where you can't stand, Catherine or something, you can't stand or you can't hold a sign can't come out. Yeah, you can't come on, so we we purposely come out it, and we held a sign that was related to the border. And just bringing awareness to separating kids at the border and this just was so egregious, it was right about the time that Jeff Sessions quoted Romans to justify to quoted Romans,
people in authority don't bear the sword. When people quote. Like when he quoted the Bible like that. I get so angry. Yeah, it makes me so furious.
Yeah, yeah, that that kind of distortion that so Reverend Barber is, he's laughing, he's doing magic tricks his his handcuffs. Yeah, and he's bringing joy to the, the police officers and you know I mean, creating a very human kind of interaction, and I asked him during that time and you know are you encouraged Are you are you discouraged. I'm very encouraged by this the longest the marathon. And we are building a poor people's campaign, and we've got the Spirit of the Lord on our side so that the, you know, those three years these last three years with redditor Christians taught me a lot. There, there is, you know, my, my family from southern Ohio, almost all Trump supporting. One of my family members called me the other day and asked me that so Don you still employed in the grievance industry in the wine industry the grievance industry. I was like, that was like, wow, you know what a shot at, you know, but I also, I also know that I understand where she's coming from she's not connected she's, you know, she has this person has a job and has health care and doesn't get it, and isn't really attuned to the cry. To me, what I learned from this book that we wrote, is that God is the God who hears the cry so Who's crying out who's got something to say. There's a lot of people defending things, but the ones who are crying out, I want to listen to them I want to hear what they have to say. So, that that has these last three years. But here. I also found myself getting pretty angry. Pretty really having to work hard to keep my soul,
and I was actually starting to read a lot of Marxism, and a lot of Marx and Marxism
and structures yes
and kind of looking and sort of the basic framework of Marxism very wealthy people paying paying other wealthy people to convince working people to blame poor people you know that's classic Marxism and I think that's that play today I think that's very much at play today. But the day that I opened an Amazon Prime package to extract the T shirt with a picture of Karl Marx on the front of it I knew I was in trouble. I just bought. I just purchased a Karl Marx t shirt from Amazon
by my dear Karl Marx Sunday long after you're gone. There'll be a T shirt, we can buy your face on it, but it will be sold by a company in which that guy who started the company is the richest man in the history of the world. And he'll make Billy, some days he'll his value will go up by is worth about 5 billion,
and the tax structure that year will be such that he will pay he
will not will pays zero company will not.
Mark has this idea of what's committed commodity fetishism a thing is not a thing and it's right a thing is the spiritual power you imbue it with. Right.
Why are those jeans, this year yeah I see
those shows amazon prime commercials where somebody is looking at their kitchen and they fantasize about this sexy chair, I mean it's truly sexual. Yeah, it is a fantasy of Boolean a seduction Yes, and so when I somehow distorted my brain to buy a Karl Marx t shirt I knew I was in trouble, so I literally is the beginning of this year I got off, social media. I don't have a TV so I was not having any inputs, anything I was learning would be long form reading books. I took three months to just ask myself the question What's my role, what have I learned. What, what should I be doing. And that when I started thinking back to some of the best things that I'd ever been a part of. They had to do with that crossover between charity and philanthropy or or development and economics, yes. Let me give you an example and I've got some interesting information to share with you. When I came to Mars Hill,
years ago, Don and I worked in the same church together sorry editors No,
come on editor's note Yes, so I came to work with you at the Mars Hill we were asking this question, what is all of this resource for all right right
and we have all these people gathered what's the point of that right we came up with this
idea joining the God of the oppressed to make a measurable change in the world if you remember, and we had XYZ like we're going to do something we don't know what it is for a while was just x y z and z became engaging in microfinance and the poorest economy in the world in Burundi. Yeah. And
so micro finance is you give somebody up a small business loan. Right start a business so they can put a roof over their head send their kids to school,
and it's definitely the economic activity, it's small groups of women who are each other's collateral so the $50 loan is covered by the group if if it's not repaid. Well that bank that we started, there were maybe 1000 clients that has 17,000 clients today. It is almost entirely self sufficient, you don't have to be pouring money in it to keep it going. It makes its own money and covers its own costs pays its own stack. I mean, that's amazing. Yeah, and that's in the poorest economy in the world or one of the poorest economies in the world that thing is living. It's also a great overlap between, right, left, because on the left you have a desire for economic inclusion you know you progressives want to see more people involved, but on the right you have this passion for wealth creation, you know, pull yourself up. Well, microphone is they both can make friends in that place. Yeah, so I started thinking, you know about that and started looking into it and what I found is that the energy that we saw that existed in the charity aid world back in the 2000s, that is now in what's called impact investing, people using investment dollars specifically to designs market based solutions to the world's biggest problems. And I just started reading about it and seeing how much energy was in and seeing all the innovation and how how so much is just being pulled out of the world into these new businesses to do good and to solve problems. A lot of its being driven by the need for climate justice and climate forward kinds of businesses. And I just was like, God, that's what I want to do and I just started calling people and next thing I knew I landed a couple contracts as a consultant for a couple of these organizations and I've been able to make this transition, or I'm in the process of making this transition into a really dynamic and exciting world of impact investing and market based solutions to two problems so someone's the arc is
there's aid. Let's get connected these first world to third world, there's a price so these people have money give them money to this thing let's, then you then aid moves you into activism these structural issues. But now, This impact, giving is like new creation, new structures that are like fair and just and equitable and generous and how much of
that is driven by the economy so if you look at all of the investable assets in the world, the whole economy. If it were divided to 200 part charity would be one part, all of the charity in the world would be one part of the money that's floating around
one out of 200. Yes, that's a tiny tiny.
Yeah, pretty much devoted my entire life to that tiny little piece of freedom yeah right right right you know and it's not going anywhere. You know, I may someday, get 2%.
Or what if you want to tilt the world.
Yeah, it's probably it
seems like oh obviously you would go and give a bunch of money and beer, you're like, no, because you'd be playing in this one tiny little sliver, and then if
you add all the bilateral multilateral A that is the USA IDs and governments of the world and multilateral is like the UN, then it's another seven or eight parts so let's just say, 1010 of these 200 parts are all of the world people trying to organize money to do good is happening in the 10 of 10 parts of too high and UK and then all of the money that's actually getting stuff done is actually happening in this other place and Rob let me give you another, another piece of Bible here. Let's go…
This is Don Golden, by the way, just getting warmed up at the 48-minute mark.
Some Bible here.
The first martyr, who is that in the New Testament? Stephen. Right. So, he's brought before the Sanhedrin. This is the political, religious, juridical body.
The industrial-religious-military complex.
Well done. Well said. And he gives this speech and they kill him. So what's he say to get himself killed? Well, he basically tells their history—a lot like we did, because it was kind of how we learned it—but then at the end he starts quoting scripture. And then he ends it with just quoting scripture: “Stiff-necked people.” That's from the end of Deuteronomy.
“You people could have helped change the world but instead you built empires and found yourself…”
And then he quotes this particular passage from Isaiah 66:1–2. “Heaven is my throne,” God says, “and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build me?”
He's basically challenging the authority of Jerusalem. He’s saying, “You compromised religious people, colluding with coercive government. You locking everybody out. Who do you think you are? I mean this God you serve, Heaven is his throne. He keeps his feet here. If you're going to build a place for this God, what's this house going to look like?”
Well this house in that text is the word “oikos”. “Oikos” shows up all over the New Testament. “Oikos” is that place where we exercise our discipleship, where we're responsible to see life flourishing. But “oikos” is also where we get the word “economy.” So, the question would read, in Greek, to the first church, “What kind of economy will you build me?” And they kill him for that.
Because we can talk all we want, we can give all we want, we can bitch and moan about all we want. But the money! Show me the money! How are we going to organize this and let the 2017 tax bill. I mean, right. It was designed to to remove one point, true, $1.5 trillion from the economy, most of which is designated for essential services for the people crying out to God. Right, right.
You know who need the most hours this interview right when it passed with the Vice President and he was asked, like the question of something like like 83% of Americans are against this because they understand that this tax new tax code is against them. Yeah. And he, like he just, he had nothing to say. That's right.
What kind of economy are you going to build me so see you can see how animated I get that's how I somehow woke up one morning opening up a Karl Marx t shirt, but I had to ask myself, wait a minute. Yeah right, my, I'm a nine on the enneagram if you know the enneagram which I know you do but if I got you listeners out there you got some way of understanding people character and the nine. I have yeah and I always you raise that you tie Yeah, I always thought was a five but I learned on a piece by I'm designed to integrate. I'm designed to do what you were picked up from you love everybody in your next. Whoever. That's my mind. And that's actually how I am when I'm healthy. I what I learned during activism is make our hates generic and our loves particular.
Like I hate this tax code. I hate
anything about it. I hate like it doesn't have a face, you can you can hate it. That's right,
yeah but we have to hate things we've got to get riled up about it this is justice this guy, right, this tax structure is something deplorable because is is doing what Steve Bannon said it would do its deconstructing the administrative state. And that's going to hurt people who are marginal and vulnerable and people of color, especially So, yeah,
So, I had to take the decision that I think in this new space where people from both sides have to come together can come together to create a new world. What kind of economy will you build me. That takes people from the left to the right—it doesn't matter. It really doesn't matter it. What matters is Can we work together to create market solutions to some of the world's intractable problems?
Man oh man oh man a man a man okay so you
people can find you. People can get involved, people yeah yeah so look for,
So, so I connect investors nonprofits and philanthropists to the knowledge and the networks, they need to make an impact that's, yeah. That's what my contribution to this is. And so already, I want to tell you just quickly a few of the things that I'm that I'm working on so in in Burundi, where we have this this background Central Africa, right. Yeah, the answer is they call it the Great Lakes so it's central in Ethiopia, one of the poorest, one of the poorest economies there, I'm working with a fund. A group of Christian investors came together and created a fund an investment fund you can't name a fund in a setting like this for sec reasons. But, invest in businesses in Africa and one of them is, it's called long miles. Coffee Company in Burundi, and they have 5000 employees 5000 farmers and a probably 40 or 50,000 people that are part of the value chain coffee is an amazing commodity to invest in as a development product because it's so widespread engaged community so so deeply. And that business is creating super high quality organic Fairtrade coffee. And that's the kind of thing that people can invest in and actually get a return. Ghana is one of the four one of the four leading economies in the world today, fastest growing is Ghana, Ghana will grow this year at 8.8% fastest growing economy in the world. 90% of the impact investing in the world at 80 or 90% of this kind of investing was going to Africa to do good is actually going to white people.
No way. Yeah.
White own businesses. And in Ghana, I am partnered with a group called the Ghana climate Innovation Center, and they specialize they're part of a schatzi University which is like the Wharton School of Business in West Africa, they, they are working to create climate smart businesses with African entrepreneurs. I mean, there they are doing some of the most creative stuff like like turning plastics into fuel growing and cultivating bamboo to turn it into charcoal. These are super important business opportunities. And, yeah,
that's how these scenes are happening all over the world, all over the world. This is the giant thing for me for so many people who are like, as the world falling apart. Is there any reason for hope. I was doing a QA last year and a woman just raise your hand partway through and said, are we fucked. And I'm like wait wait wait wait you gotta there's like 1000 dangle there's like so many interesting things happening,
you know, another thing that I've learned through this process is entropy is at work in the universe. Things do the part, but Genesis is also at Genesis is also those terms are happening. Yep, yep, and they actually even kind of in some ways
are related to our things falling apart. Yeah, are all sorts of new things being birth. Yeah, so let's do
and you know for me, you know, attracting people who want to come and experience these adventures going to Bernie are you gonna make a killer amount of money in boondi no but there are ways to create market based solutions that keep going and we've been a part of that there's so
clients that surround me because of these tremendous
systemic abuses. So many people the word capitals become a bad word. Yes, but they're typing that sentence capital is horrible capitalism is evil, they're typing it on their computer. They purchased it somebody designed an interface. Yes. That's exactly right. And then when somebody comes along says no no no we need market and business and capital, there's like a for a number of people there's like a like a trigger it's like a Twitch, it's like, no that's that's all we need just, we should even have money and you're like, well, let's let's move to a more new creation way of seeing the whole thing that's
that's that's exactly right
and all the good of all of this and leave behind the stuff that makes me miserable.
And for me a whole new piece of this a brand new piece of this is relates to climate, you know that my, my sort of religious tribe, many are still in denial they don't believe the scientists they don't they they're, they're in denial that's not me that's not red letter Christians, but it is still fairly new to me and so one of the, one of the new, new clients I haven't got to tell you about this is a group called resolve and they were born out of the Exxon Valdez please sail. Oh yeah, and they, they became expert mediators basically how do you bring the people that hate each other the most together to resolve problems. Mm hmm. And they they've been doing that for years around all kinds of things like conflict minerals and that sort of thing, but as they have created started creating solutions and bringing all this synergy together all these amazing mashups, they started finding business opportunities, and you know impact investing is based on two things one is the idea of making an impact, you know, so you're actually it's not like greenwashing or, you know, you really want to do something different so it's making an impact. But then the impact enterprise is the actual business that can create a return. So you got it make both of those happen, and they were beginning resolve was beginning to see that kind of thing happen, and now they have two things that are about to go to market that are so cool in this whole environmental space. The first one is called salmon gold. So, Rob, believe it or not, I am involved in gold mining in Alaska. Salmon gold takes goes to these old gold mines in Alaska in the Yukon called placer mines a certain kind of gold mining done about 100 years ago that destroyed fish habitats and salmon runs. With help from Tiffany and Apple resolve goes to find classroom miners and offers them technologies to find more gold. And then to use the profits from that goal to restore the rivers to pre mining, huh.
there's a, you have first first nations are highly motivated about this restoration of the rivers, the miners gets it, they know that their extraction people that you know people who, who wants to be known as a gold miner but well no we're not just gold miners we're going in and we're, we're leaving the rivers restored better than they were. That's right and then Tiffany they want to have. They want to have gold that has a clean source. Yeah. And then, Apple they need this gold for their technology so there's an incentive there. And, and then the government has monies available for restoration that this can create and is in the process of creating a sustainable business so that's one which is really amazing if you want to actually go back and literally take people to do a week of panning for gold and then see how these rivers are being restored. Within weeks they go from no salmon in them to salmon coming back after generations this that's really really awesome and these are
these are. Yeah, give me one more. Okay and then
the other one is called trail guard AI trail guard artificial intelligence, this is a, this is an artificial intelligent anti poaching system that empowers African Rangers to stop poaching before it happens. There's this a serious serious problem. Yeah, between 2010 and 2012 100,000 elephants were killed. There are only 100,000 Forest elephants left, and they could be extinct within the next 20 to 30 years. So, if you look at the Serengeti in Tanzania. It's the size of Maryland has 150 Rangers. There's just no way to cover all the choke points, and to stop poaching. And so, Intel has this is a partnership with Intel in Masada satellite company, and they're these super dig this here, state of the art no various myriad to vision processing units with custom artificial intelligence boom. Come on. Intel is providing that. Yeah, and engineering at pro bono costs yeah this is super high, the cutting room man, it's, it has to operate on very low bandwidth, so that's where the satellite company comes in, but then it also has to operate from international development, standards of empowerment, this isn't just putting cameras up this is about equipping people so that their whole system can be for smoke for force multiply. So, that and this is something that Leonardo DiCaprio is involved in helping fund. National Geographic is what what what fascinates me as someone who comes at this from a faith standpoint is that there is an amazing intersection between faith, between climate. Yeah. And between making money
in a ways that that technology innovation, and compassion. That's right.
And and a lot of people on the progressive side of the band and faith and so in some ways, they've abandoned some of the deeper motivations, not all right and, but our America is a pretty religious place. And so my part with these companies is to is to build a narrative that compels religious people, you know, Romans eight says all of creation is groaning waiting for you to show up
to this kind of thing, there are deep spiritual undercurrents.
That's exactly right. This one with trail guard that has all the marks of massive scalability and it already enjoys equity investors that is people giving money to become part of the ownership. And that they'll, they'll make money so. So that's the kind of work I'm doing, I can be found at just capital quotient.com or Don are golden calm. That's me and. And one of the things that I'm really interested in I'm interested in anyone because I'm not part of a big institution I do my own thing I follow these things where they lead me. Anyone has got passion to do something. I mean, reach out to me. And let's just talk about and let's see where that Who do you know what do you want it. Part of my part of my day is I just go through my, my Rolodex of all the people I know. Like when I learned about long miles. Coffee and Burundi. I'm like, oh okay Dan Rosie he lives. I've known him for 15 years he lives in 10s. He lives in Burundi, so I watch that and within an hour, I get this report long miles. That's one of the best companies in Burundi, check. So that's what I mean about offering people knowledge and networks to get involved in this kind of impact space, you can get, you can do it through impact charitable giving. You can do it through foundations there's a whole category called PR eyes program related investments if you have a family foundation, some of your money can go into investments of businesses, if it's done in the right way. And so those are the kinds of resources that we work with. And then of course investment capital, can you believe, Rob Bell I mean this is this is the stuff that's out there to be done.
Do you see my rock cast friends why I had introduced you to Dan Goldin. These are the kinds of people who are out there doing these sorts of things. I always your, your global mind, to me, has always just been mind blowing. That you are. You are thinking in terms of countries. Not like miles and towns like you, like, you're the guy who when you hear about something and brewed here like I know some people in Burundi I'll contact them was always your, your imaginative large intellect, for bringing all these
very kind, but I but I tell the truth but i i think that a lot of people are frustrated, I think a lot of people are buying marks t shirts. Yeah, not realizing how ridiculous, they are being, and they don't have an avenue that. Right. You know, I've had this time with red letter Christians it's an awesome place for people to engage but this. This speaks of the kind of new world and we're going to have to build what kind of economy, will you build me I want anybody that has any kind of motivation to reach out to me and I want to just, you know, pick up the conversation say, what do you want to do, what can you do, where should we do it.
I love it, I love it. That's
my if I can get my email address it's it's dawn at dawn, our golden.com do
and our GOLDO, and the book that Don and I wrote, years ago 2008 11 years ago, and that book is called Jesus wants to save Christians. I think it was originally called a manifesto for a church at exile, yes I think the title became, how to read a dangerous book how to read a dangerous book or something which a fair chance. Yeah, I'm so glad you stopped by.
I'm really grateful I was
the last that last 20 minutes was new. So folks I was hearing all that what you're up to now, but I just felt like if you're going to come by and give me the update, I should record it, because we would have had this exact probably the exact conversation. Anyway exactly microphones Yes, my friends, I hope that if you're wondering what's happening in the world are things in good is happening, or if you're stuck in one of those folks. I hope that the spirit of golden. It's upon you.
You just had a proverbial ride on Sep through the streets of kuqali.
So keep going. And and I'm cheering you on. I always have been. But appreciate it. I'm so glad that you helped radicalize me years ago. And that you've just kept going. My rabbis still rope. So there you go, my round cast friends grace and peace be with you now, more than ever.
Okay. All right, let's hit it.
Let's hit it. Very nice.
Let's hit the pod.
Let's pop this up. Ladies, gentlemen,
it is my honor and privilege to welcome you to another episode of the ROB cast we are not in the back house today we are on the back porch because the more time spent outdoors, it's just a better life. We all know this, but I am here with Rainn Wilson, making his first appearance
on the ROB cast, can we call it the rain cast today.
Ladies, Gentlemen, welcome to the first it's the first ever rain cast first
ever rain cast.
Yeah, I'm so thrilled you stopped by.
It's great to be here, you know, you came on our little podcast I was doing with Reza Aslan metaphysical milkshake hasn't been released yet and we're tinkering with it and whatnot. It was such a fantastic conversation and I'm a big fan of your podcast here and I'm thrilled to be on your back porch today,
I think that that conversation, our first conversation was an hour and a half on, Rob, if you left this recording studio and got hit by a car. Yeah, a bus, yes Riverside Drive, where would you go,
what would happen. Exactly.
an hour and a half, and where I would be, it was good I'd still be there.
And it was good, it was good, you, you, it got a little general sometimes but I was really really impressed with your talking us through that experience and that you had given that actually some, some very real thought and I love that it's my death is one of my favorite conversations
and I, I like that you said general because to talk about what happens when you die, is an endless dance between speculation. Yeah, and an odd any certitude. There's a suspicion to. And yet. This is the biggest stuff. Yeah, so, jumping in and just throwing things against the wall. It's fine.
It's all speculation, you know as Pete Holmes always says it's like dogs talking about the internet, you know it's
it's out of our Can you know we talked about babies in the womb talking about
what it would be like to go see Apocalypse Now
in a movie theater like they wouldn't have any context for, you know, all of it, all of the mystery and the wonder.
But let's pick up there as well, because you grew up in the faith, I did.
Where did you grow up. I grew up in Seattle, Washington, where, you know, I left for a while my parents went and did kind of the behive version of missionary work in Nicaragua. When I was a kid, so I lived there from three four and five and then, and back to Seattle and my parents became behind, kind of in the hippie days when a lot of people were becoming different religions and exploring different religious and spiritual path.
And the how far back does behind go, let's do behind one on one just for everybody but I
want to one, it's tricky because it's so vast, but, but I want to one is that in the mid 1800s in Persia, which is now Iran. A man who was given the title but how will law which means the glory of God said that had a vision, and that he was a new spiritual teacher, sent from God, for humanity. What Bahais believe in is something called progressive revelation that God, there's only one God we all worship the same being unknowable essence divinity energy thing, whatever that is, and that this the way that this God educates humanity is by sending divine spiritual teachers down every 500 or thousand years or so, to kind of, I call it like kind of updating the operating system right right you know like reboot the system I just did Catalina on my Mac laptop It's the new and I had, you know, Sierra Madre before that and Canyon Country and Cougar and mountain lion before that. And when you do that operating system, you don't scrap the existing operating system you're building on to that existing operating system. Yeah. So, these divine teachers Bahais call them, you know some people call them like prophets of God or messengers of God, byes call them manifestations of God because they are God made manifest on the planet, but they've gone by many names that you've heard of before like Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Jesus Muhammad. And now, how Allah buys believers the most recent of these divine teachers of these kind of gradually unfolding chapters of god yeah spiritual revelation to humanity,
was everything was written down it was an oral tradition, it was like tenants How did the message, get codified or
yeah so SHOW YOU KNOW Jesus told stories that were oral tradition and written down, 100 and 150 years later right and Muhammad, like dictated right the Quran and bahala wrote, so His revelation quote unquote revelation when you think about the largest context of that word revelation was to write down, tablets, prayers books, hundreds of them, hundreds, thousands of them. So, it's Bahais look at that as our holy texts there's not like a high Bible per se, there's just tons of writings by the whole lot. So when you grew
up Did you go to a temple,
like the highest don't have any clergy, and we don't really have like temples, there are certain kind of what they call behind houses of worship, that there's one in Wilmette Illinois just north of Chicago is very beautiful. A lot of people have visited it, but that's for people of all faiths to come and pray and gather together and whatnot so we don't have clergy, we don't have churches, synagogues, mosques gurus mullahs any any of that. So it's usually in people's homes or even in like a community center or something like that. So, but that's besides gather every 19 days for what's called a feast and but that's the prayer, meditation, doing the business affairs of the community gathering lovingly etc and that was in people's homes and
I spent my childhood, doing that. And did you. I'm always fascinated how things get etched like in the childhood psyche, but then years later, we're like sort of still unpacking did that was were there a lot of the highs around you. Or was that with your parents like oh we do something a little different than other people how did that get like imprinted on you.
Yeah, that's, that's a great, that's a great question it. It was some of both, you know, I was born in the late 60s and grew up in the 70s and it was a very spiritually fertile time like yeah, there were there were prayer gatherings and you'd have Buddhists over and people were talking about religious faith in new ways you know Cat Stevens became a Muslim and the Beatles
visited the Maharishi a sec, which was huge. It was like a major cultural yeah east and west but fusion, and it
was in the groundwater, you know, culturally in the groundwater to be having these discussions and stuff like that so I felt a really a part of that. Yeah, there, there weren't a whole lot of highs like in my suburb of Seattle there were like, 1215 behind but with all the other suburbs and then behind in the in Seattle and then we'd have gatherings and there'd be 100 here hundred and 50 there 200 there like. There are now I there's somewhere like hundred 50 to 200 maybe 200,000 Bahais in the United States, very small and about 6 million guys around the world. But yeah, I was definitely educated like hey we as a family we believe something a little bit different than other people. It's closed behind believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. We read from the Bible. We read from the Quran, you know, so we know we don't feel like at odds with Christianity or anything like that. So, yeah.
And then, how did you What did in your home where you grew up in a home that was like hey you can do anything you can try this you can try that or like a, you will go to Stanford or, you know, yeah like what was the, what was the setting like. Yeah.
Well, this is a complicated topic so, um, I grew up in a in a in a difficult home environment. I've written about this and talked about I don't want to. Yeah, I go to, I can go as deep as you want to go That's what she said. But the is that the first That's what she said on the ROB cast.
It is a christian right here on the porch verified it is. Okay, good. Yeah, right. Yes.
I want to give your audience their money's worth. I just free
if you get a plaque or something, can I,
I don't know I'll take that cactus. Okay,
so oh yeah so yeah I had a really dysfunctional family and it was family life was a struggle. My mom left when I was two.
My dad got remarried.
And it wasn't a very. This was something that I struggle with and I've talked about like therapy and written yeah like yeah, I didn't. There wasn't a lot of love in my family, and yet we're in a religious faith
by faith, it's all about love just like
it not like free sex love but just like love one another love all the races love diversity, men and women are equal trying work for justice and peace in the world. And yet, had a really broken family you know, I imagine a lot of Christians can really relate to that right like it's oh this, I mean I hate to say, you want to generalize 2 billion people or some like that but you know what I mean like
you're raised in that shy in ideas, but then the actual concrete materiality of your existence, and
where the rubber meets the road,
yeah there was this huge song when I first started out as a pastor some, it had this line like. You can feel the mountains tremble, like kind of this. God is going to do a giant thing that will alter the created order. And I remember meeting this woman that several years ago in Belfast who is talking about her upbringing and she's like the mountains didn't tremble. She was just like I was I saying that the mountains would tremble but they never trampled me Never Trump just like I was promised this giant thing. Yeah, but the actual on the ground reality of life was a little bit disappointing. Isn't that interesting.
Yeah, it's so easy to talk about universal love and and then it's so hard to like be patient with someone and kind and not interrupt them and right in and make a personal sacrifice for that person and you know what I mean, that's where it gets really much more difficult. Yeah, yeah. But my parents they were good people they were you know they had really messed up, family lives before that and. But yeah, so they. My dad was a struggling artist so he grew up he worked in the he literally worked in the sewer construction business. And at the same time was writing science fiction novels, painting abstract oil paintings, he wrote a book of poetry. He was always weird sculptures he would he would make the lamps that were in our house like out of like driftwood and nails and stuff like that like it was this really bohemian fertile household. So they were very supportive of me being an artist, yeah and whatever kind of path I wanted to take
so that, did you start making things, or were you acting early.
Acting is weird acting is weird. I always knew that I wanted to be an actor, it was there was.