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Better Sects

Better Sects

By Matthew Chambers
A podcast for the faithful and the faithless. On life, spirituality, and navigating what happens between the bookends of birth and death.
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Currently playing episode

Episode 009: Tsh Oxenreider

Better Sects

Episode 012: Lindsey Boylan
Lindsey Boylan made waves primarying long time Congressman Jerry Nadler, made even bigger waves late last year revealing how she suffered significant sexual harassment while working in the office of New York’s Governor Cuomo, and today she shares why she’s doing what she’s doing, and how her life’s journey is shaping who she is and who she’s becoming.
January 8, 2021
Episode 011: Same God
Today, I have the privilege of chatting with Dr. Larycia Hawkins and Filmmaker Linda Midgett. Dr. Hawkins found herself face to face with that reality when she made international news and was ultimately fired as a tenured professor from Wheaton College for wearing a hijab and standing in solidarity with muslims. As a Christian woman of color, she had been incensed and heartbroken by comments made toward muslims by prominent evangelicals such as Jerry Falwell Jr, and decided to act, along with several students from one of her classes. This story ended up as a documentary by Linda Midgett called Same God, and they join me to share their incredible journey today.
December 9, 2020
Episode 010: Matthew Paul Turner
It’s the 10th episode of Better Sects! My friend, author Matthew Paul Turner joins me today. I was introduced to Matthew several years ago when he was curating a blog called Jesus Needs New PR…it was intriguing to me to see someone unpacking their spiritual trauma and journey so candidly and publicly. Over the years, he’s been able to share his poignant writing in publications such as the Washington Post, the Daily Beast, and USA Today. A couple years ago, he also joined actor Morgan Freeman as the photojournalist for the National Geographic docu-series, The Story of God. This summer, Matthew made the announcement, along with his wife, blogger Jessica, that he was gay, and they would be ending their marriage, but were forging a path to remain dear friends and co-parent their three children, even as they navigated uncharted relational waters. This episode is very emotional and raw as Matthew holds nothing back, but shares deeply from his heart about the pain and joy he’s experienced, but also how writing for children, and especially his new Christmas book is allowing him to tell the stories he believes every child, and all of us need to hear.
December 2, 2020
Episode 009: Tsh Oxenreider
I’m so thrilled to chat today with bestselling author, Tsh Oxenreider. Over the years, her perspective, stories, and journeys have been shared on and in media platforms big and small…you may have even encountered her on outlets like HGTV, Food Network, NPR, Real Simple magazine, and The Washington Post. In addition to her incredibly popular books, she also shares weekly newsletters, and you can catch her regularly on her podcast, The Good List. When I glanced at the calendar and realized the season of Advent was approaching, I reached out to Tsh to see if she’d be willing to join me and share some thoughts and heart not just from the spiritual side of Advent, but even in how to navigate this season of hope and healing in the midst of such a tumultuous year.  Whether you find yourself interested in the spiritual journey of Advent or not, I hope Tsh’s thoughts on embracing art and music and meditation as a part of the holiday spirit in this challenging year bring encouragement.
November 25, 2020
Episode 008: Jonathan Merritt
Today, I get to chat with fellow preacher’s kid, dear friend, author, and speaker, Jonathan Merritt… Jonathan is a trusted voice in America on matters of religion, culture, and politics. He is an award-winning contributor for The Atlantic, and a contributing editor for The Week, But his writing doesn’t end there…Jonathan has published more than 3500 articles in respected outlets such as The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. he regularly contributes commentary to television, print, and radio news …you may have caught him on ABC World News, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, PBS, and CBS’ “60 Minutes.” In non-Covid times, Jonathan speaks all over on topics relating to spirituality, politics, and current events. He’s sincere, an incredibly deep thinker, and has a gift for communicating in a way that speaks directly to the issue and even more to the heart. We cover all sorts of topics…from growing up Baptist to fundamentalism to the evolution of the church to trauma and a million things in between.
November 18, 2020
Episode 007: Pantsuit Politics
Today, my guests are Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers from the acclaimed podcast, Pantsuit Politics. Beth and Sarah have teamed up to bring balanced commentary on the political culture in the United States, filled with intelligent discussion, and some spiritual crossover that gives listeners a more clear understanding of what’s happening, how, and why. The most unique element to their discussion is that they both come at these issues from different sides. Their human approach to politics in has led their podcast to become one of the top 5% most downloaded, with listeners in all 50 states and all over the world. In 2019, they published their first book together called I think you’re wrong (but I’m listening). Pantsuit Politics has been called America’s political therapists, and I know we’re all in need of some political therapy based in reality rather than hyperbole...
November 11, 2020
Episode 006: A Post-Election Message from Host Matthew Chambers
Yesterday was Election Day. The votes are still being counted. Here is my heart and prayer and hope for America in the midst of these complicated days and what looks like a deeply divided nation.
November 4, 2020
Episode 005: Zach Lind of Jimmy Eat World
On episode 5 of Better Sects, I’m chatting with Zach Lind. Zach is a founding member and drummer for the band, Jimmy Eat World. Zach and I connected earlier this year in the midst of their world tour being canceled as a result of the devastating COVID19 pandemic. Our discussion today covers a lot of ground…from ableism to politics to how their biggest hit, “The Middle,” happened as a result of the 9/11 tragedy. We talk about the grief of missing out on sharing their new record on tour, and in true Zach Lind style, he has some tough words for some other bands and events who haven’t shown much wisdom in choosing safety and caution over the allure of performing live. Another area we dive into is the struggle of spiritual journeys, and how beliefs evolve over time as we mature and grow. Zach shares a little bit about the enneagram and how that’s helped him navigate not only creating better music with his bandmates, but life in general.
October 28, 2020
Episode 004: Jeannie Gaffigan
Today, I’m so excited to welcome Jeannie Gaffigan. Jeannie is is a writer, producer, and active catholic. She and her husband, comedian Jim Gaffigan have five kids, and live in New York City. Our chat today covers lots of experiences over the past few months, including what happened the night in August when Jim went viral in a now infamous tweet storm during the Republican National Convention. I love Jeannie’s candor, humor, and humanity she shares here, and I know you’ll appreciate her takes on faith, learning as a mom of five, and leading in complicated days…
October 21, 2020
Episode 003: Jenn Abel
Today, my guest is Jenn Abel. Jenn is a writer, teacher, and mother of six. She has been through a significant personal, spiritual, and emotional evolution. In the ramp up to the 2020 election, Jenn went viral after sharing a post about abortion that came from her mother's heart. Over the years her views on what it means to be "pro-life" have shifted, which has affected how she approaches who she votes for and why. With crucial presidential, federal, state, and local elections in the United States just around the corner, this is such an important conversation…at the perfect time.
October 14, 2020
Episode 002: Lisa Gungor
Diving deep with Grammy-nominated artist, mother, and spiritual teacher, Lisa Gungor. From her charismatic Christian roots to a spiritual journey that hasn’t left any part of her life, faith, marriage, or motherhood unchanged, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss. Come for the deconstruction, stay for the advice on tantric sex. This episode covers is all!
October 7, 2020
Episode 001: Father James Martin SJ
On the very first episode of Better Sects, I have the privilege of chatting with Father James Martin on politics, storytelling, conscience, and how in the world we can find unity in the midst of these unique and difficult days. Follow us on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook Subscribe for the Sects Therapy Newsletter on
September 30, 2020