Virtue in the Wasteland Podcast

We explain the true, modern origins of the American national holiday of Thanksgiving.  Why do we get tired after eating the dinner?  Why do presidents pardon a Turkey each year?  

Direct download: ViW21_Thanksgiving_Part_2_-_A_Secular_Feast_Day_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am PST

We follow up on old emails, messages, and questions.  We tell a story about loose ends, then conclude with two former students: Tim Olson, an ethnomusicology student and world traveler who sets the record straight on the Afghan national sport, and Lauren Yauk who traveled the world to find the best approach to global development.  Her story is helpful for understanding how young adults think about the world these days, and the obstacles they face as they seek to do good in the world.  

Direct download: ViW21b_Loose_Ends.mp3
Category:Bonus B-Side -- posted at: 5:00am PST

The often untold history leading up to the first Thanksgiving.  Jeff tells about one of his favorite topics in history: the Florida Holy Wars of the 1560s; this is the Thanksgiving that almost was.  Dan gives the true story of the Pilgrims' first thanksgiving meal.  We argue that Thanksgiving is a holiday with religious roots, but that the holiday as we have it today originates in the secular or "left hand" kingdom, and thus is of value to all people in the US.  Foreign listeners should listen to find out why we Americans have such a fetish for Turkey once a year, and for some interesting stories from early modern history.  

Direct download: ViW20_Thanksgiving_Part_1_-_Historical_Background.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am PST

Filmmaker Lev Anderson joins us to talk about his move from city planning to directing documentaries, "Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone" and spend the bulk of our time discussing his upcoming project on the history and future of Irvine, CA the safest city in America, a model of urban planning that is copied around the world, and the epicenter for our podcast.  We start by discussing his recent documentary We discuss the ethics and art of city planning, and the ways in which it affects our lives.

Bonus B-Sides are in depth conversations with professionals who join us to talk about why they like what they like and how exercising their vocations can cultivate virtue in our cultural wasteland.

Direct download: ViW19b_Irvine-A_Model_City.mp3
Category:Bonus B-Side -- posted at: 5:00am PST

The second part of a two part conversation about the intersections of religion and politics.  In this episode, we focus on US Supreme court cases related to the exercise of religion.

Direct download: ViW19_State_and_Church.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am PST

What is the distinction between the two kingdoms?  Should faithful citizens want to merge the church and state?  Is America a Christian nation?  Where did James Madison get his ideas?  We rely heavily on Dr. Dan van Voorhis' knowledge of American history to help address these questions and more.

Direct download: VIW18_Church_and_State.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am PST

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