If life is a mystery, whodunnit? Award winning Hollywood TV producer and playwright Scott Carter (HBO, PBS) discusses personal faith and ethics with a diverse roster of interfaith and non-faith celebrity guests to uncover what we believe and what we don’t. New episodes on Fridays for believers and doubters to follow religiously! Send us your thoughts (and prayers) [email protected]
Nayyera Haq: There but for the Grace of God go She
il y a un jour
43:06Scott met Nayyera Haq when he produced HBO's Real Time, and she was always a smart and insightful guest on a range of social and political topics. She is a highly accomplished professional (see below), a doting mother, a devoted wife and a proud Muslim American. Her parents – a physician and a public school teacher – immigrated from Pakistan to Staten Island, New York and instilled in her a commitment to public service. From an early age, Nayyera has sought to understand how the American Dream worked for her while others around the world struggle. She credits her upbringing and an application of principles from multiple faiths for the enriched life she leads today. In My Homily Opinion (IMHO): Scott reflects on the shameful tolerance of child labor for some migrant children in the US today. He recalls the lessons of a 1973 short story, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin, which describes a utopian paradise where everyone's permanent happiness is predicated on one child. Guest: Nayyera Haq is an energetic and versatile broadcaster. She is a Producer on CommandZ, a social-impact series directed by Steven Soderbergh. She hosts talk radio on SiriusXM where she connects dots for listeners on local and global issues. A storyteller at heart, Nayyera uses her two decades of experience as a senior diplomat and government official to help people make sense of the world today. She launched and hosted the nightly newscast, The World Tonight and was Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for the Black News Channel. Nayyera’s insights and personal appeal make her a regular television guest of hosts like Bill Maher, Joy Reid, and Jake Tapper. She publishes in outlets as varied as The Daily Beast, The Washington Post, Refinery 29, and The Root. Nayyera previously served as a Senior Director in the White House and Senior Advisor at the State Department, advising our nation’s top leaders on issues of international security and diplomacy. Email Scott: [email protected] Ye Gods is produced by Efficiency Studios: Creator and Host, Scott Carter; Executive Producer, Dossie McCraw; Co-Executive Producer, Selena Lauterer; Associate Producer, Robyn Rose Valentine. Hosting services provided by Podbean. Music licensed by Epidemic Sound.
Rabbi Steve Leder: Yom Tov
38:56ENCORE EPISODE Author and Senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, Steve Leder joins Scott to discuss his book For You When I Am Gone; Twelve Essential Questions to Tell a Life Story. Scott asks Rabbi Leder about his path to becoming a Rabbi, his personal struggles with mental health, and how he points people to the light when they are in the valley of shadows. Listener advisory: this episode touches on topics that may be sensitive to some including attempted suicide. We can all help prevent suicide. Free and confidential emotional support is available from the National Suicide & Crisis website (988LifeLine.org), or simply dial 988 in the U.S. In My Homily Opinion (IMHO): Have you got regrets? Scott has a few. On this week’s IMHO Scott asks if we can bridge the gap between aspiration and action. Email Scott at [email protected] Guest: Steve Leder currently serves as the Senior Rabbi of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, a prestigious synagogue in Los Angeles with three campuses and 2,700 families. He is a regular contributor and guest on The Today Show, writes regularly for TIME, Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper, Woman’s Day Magazine, contributed a chapter to Charles Barkley’s book Who’s Afraid of a Large Black Man?, and has published essays in Town and Country, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and the Los Angeles Jewish Journal where his Torah commentaries were read weekly by over 50,000 people. His sermon on capital punishment was included in an award winning episode of The West Wing. He regularly appears on the Today Show, CNN, NPR and weekly on Spectrum 1 News. Rabbi Leder received the Louis Rappaport Award for Excellence in Commentary from the American Jewish Press Association and the Kovler Award from the Religious Action Center in Washington D.C. for his work in African American/Jewish dialogue and in 2012 presented twice at the Aspen Ideas Festival. He is the author of four books including More Beautiful Than Before; How Suffering Transforms Us and the recently published For You When I Am Gone; Twelve Essential Questions to Tell a Life Story. Newsweek Magazine twice named him one of the ten most influential rabbis in America but most important to Steve is being Betsy’s husband and Aaron and Hannah’s dad. He is also a Jew who likes to fish. Go figure. Ye Gods is produced by Efficiency Studios: Creator and Host, Scott Carter; Executive Producer, Dossie McCraw; Co-Executive Producer, Selena Lauterer; Associate Producer, Robyn Rose Valentine. Hosting services provided by Podbean. Music licensed by Epidemic Sound.
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Yvonne Orji: Bamboozled by Jesus
41:50Today a conversation of biblical proportions with actress, comedian, author, and producer, Yvonne Orji. Her book, Bamboozled by Jesus: How God tricked me into the life of my dreams is now out in paperback. Scott is someone who's read a lot of celebrity memoirs, some written by friends. This book is different. Yvonne doesn't just recount the peaks and valleys in the upward trajectory of her career. She compares her challenges with the biblical stories and parables that inform her life choices. Can God love you and still leave your prayers unanswered? [email protected] More about BAMBOOZELD BY JESUS: How God Tricked Me Into the Life of My Dreams By Yvonne Orji "Yvonne somehow found a way to brilliantly weave her humor, insight, courage, and faith into pages that feel like a weekend retreat hanging with your best, boldest, brightest and most blessed girlfriend. Bamboozled by Jesus is real talk about deep faith put in practice from a woman committed to living a life of vision, purpose, service and success." ―Kerry Washington, actress, producer, & director Actress, comedienne and now author, Yvonne Orji, hilariously, and with tremendous wisdom, exposes the trials and victories she has experienced on the way to the life of her dreams, in her memoir, BAMBOOZLED BY JESUS. Whatever greatness, whatever joy we may hope for, Yvonne is here to tell us that God has something even bigger and better in store for us, if we can just trust Him and be open to having our minds blown by His goodness, His creativity, and His knack for surprises! Orji takes readers on a journey through twenty-five life lessons, gleaned from her own experiences and her favorite source of inspiration: the Bible. But this ain’t your mama’s Bible study! Whether you're a college graduate coming up with your "next step" or a 30-something experiencing a sudden change in career or relationship status, Yvonne is here to remind you God has custom-designed your life to be magnificent, and by default, the magnificent is uncertain. Living your best life forces you beyond your capacity and demands reckless abandon of your comfort zone. Yvonne infuses wit and heart in sharing pointers like why the way up is sometimes down, and how fear is synonymous to food poisoning. Her joyful, confident approach to God will inspire everyone to catapult themselves out of the mundane and into the magnificent. Yvonne's story will encourage you to believe that more is possible for your own life when you let go and embrace the adventure. Along with her own captivating stories, Yvonne takes a thoughtful look into the lives of some of her favorite characters from the Bible, breathing new life and fresh perspective into familiar stories about bravery, resilience, and taking risks. If you're truly ready to live a life beyond your wildest dreams, hold on for the ride and be prepared to be bamboozled into a new way of thinking about embracing your unique destiny. Ye Gods is produced by Efficiency Studios: Creator and Host, Scott Carter; Executive Producer, Dossie McCraw, Co-Executive Producer, Selena Lauterer; Associate Producer, Robyn Rose Valentine. Hosting services provided by Podbean. Music licensed by Epidemic Sound.
Robert Costa: Faith in the Truth
36:41ENCORE EPISODE: Journalist, co-author with Bob Woodward of “Peril”, and Chief Election & Campaign Correspondent for CBS News Robert Costa joins Scott to discuss his Catholic upbringing and how faith brings him a respite from dark times. He muses on his reluctance to talk about himself in his reporting and his dedication to facts and objectivity in every story. Scott and Robert also get into his reporting on the religious right and his understanding of the politics of the conservative Christians in the GOP. In My Homily Opinion (IMHO): Judge not, lest ye be judged. But sometimes we can’t help it. Scott discusses the final season of HBO’s Succession and how Logan Roy’s “suspicions” about the afterlife sparked comparisons to real life media moguls Rupert Murdoch and Sumner Redstone. Email your suspicions to [email protected] Guest: Robert Costa is the Chief Election & Campaign correspondent for CBS News, where he covers national politics and American democracy. Based in Washington D.C., he is a regular contributor to the "CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell," "Face the Nation with Margaret Brennan," "CBS Mornings," and "Sunday Morning," as well as to CBS News Streaming programs such as "Red & Blue." Before joining CBS News in 2022, Costa and reporting legend Bob Woodward co-wrote "Peril," which was published by Simon & Schuster in September 2021. The book documented the tumultuous transition between the Trump presidency and the Biden presidency and was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller. It was also cited in congressional subpoenas issued by the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. From 2014 to 2021, Costa was a national political reporter at The Washington Post. Costa served as the moderator and managing editor of "Washington Week" on PBS from 2017 to 2020. Ye Gods is produced by Efficiency Studios: Creator and Host, Scott Carter; Executive Producer Dossie McCraw, Co-Executive Producer Selena Lauterer and Associate Producer Robyn Rose Valentine. Hosting services provided by Podbean. Music licensed by Epidemic Sound.
27:39On each episode of YE GODS, Scott Carter starts with the same question: If life is a mystery, whodunit? No one knows what happens when we die, neither the devout believer nor the fervent atheist. This special episode presents excerpts from past interviews in which guests have described experiences of forces connecting them to unexplainable energy – some say the work of God, some say maybe something else. But each has an unshakable sense of connecting to a powerful...something. You'll hear from writer producer Larry Wilmore, Emmy winning actress Patricia Heaton, novelist and podcast host Jack Wilson, conservative radio host Eric Erickson, and journalist Ana Marie Cox. Why limit the size of the miracle you are willing to accept? If you believe in miracles. Send your stories of miracles and close encounters with the supernatural to [email protected] Ye Gods is produced by Efficiency Studios: Creator and Host, Scott Carter; Executive Producer Dossie McCraw, Co-Executive Producer Selena Lauterer and Associate Producer Robyn Rose Valentine. Hosting services provided by Podbean. Music licensed by Epidemic Sound.
Susie Essman: Praying to the Humor God
25:24ENCORE - Actress and comic Susie Essman from HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm joins Scott to discuss praying to the humor gods, the connections between comedy and Judaism, why Larry David the creator of Curb Your Enthusiasm and co-creator of Seinfeld is a sort of Rabbi, plus remembrances of their mutual friend, the late comic genius Gilbert Gottfried. Guest: Susie Essman has played the sassy Susie Greene for all eleven seasons of the critically-acclaimed HBO comedy series, Curb Your Enthusiasm. Her hilarious bouts of withering sarcasm and uninhibited insults have become her character’s trademark. The Los Angeles Times calls Susie, “The most lyrical purveyor of profanity on television. She makes the entire cast of “The Sopranos” look like rank amateurs. It really is a gift.” Susie’s streetwise vernacular is perfectly suited for her life in Manhattan where she has been a veteran of the world of stand up comedy for thirty-nine years. She has appeared in her own half-hour HBO comedy special, made numerous appearances on Broad City, The View, Hacks and The Tonight Show, to name just a few of her many television credits. She has also acted in numerous films. Susie resides in New York with her husband and one-eyed Shih Tzu. Send your thoughts (and prayers) to [email protected] Ye Gods is produced by Efficiency Studios: Creator and Host, Scott Carter; Executive Producer Dossie McCraw, Co-Executive Producer Selena Lauterer and Associate Producer Robyn Rose Valentine. Hosting services provided by Podbean. Music licensed by Epidemic Sound.
Larry Wilmore: Cathnostic
33:38ENCORE with Comedian-writer-producer Larry Wilmore who has one of the most impressive resumes in TV from In Living Color, to The Bernie Mac Show, The Daily Show to Blackish and HBO’s Insecure. He now hosts the Larry Wilmore: Black on Air Podcast with The Ringer. He stops by to talk about his epiphany as a door-to-door salesman, his Catholic upbringing and his comedic love of The Marx Brothers and their 1930 classic vaudeville film Animal Crackers. In My Homily Opinion (IMHO): Do we all have a reason why we are here? Scott Carter honors his friend the late and great comedic genius Garry Shandling. Scott tells the story of how writer/director Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin), while researching for the documentary The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling discovered a note from Garry that only Scott could decipher about Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, and Garry’s legacy as a mentor to Sarah Silverman and many others. Guest: Emmy Award winner Larry Wilmore has been a television producer, actor, comedian, and writer for more than 25 years. He can currently be heard as host of Larry Wilmore: Black on the Air on The Ringer Podcast Network. The show, which premiered in 2017, features Wilmore’s unique mix of humor and wit as he weighs in on the issues of the week and interviews guests in the worlds of politics, entertainment, culture, sports, and beyond. He can also be seen in the Paramount+ film Jerry and Margo Go Large, alongside Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening. He also serves as executive producer alongside Kerry Washington, in the Hulu legal drama Reasonable Doubt for Hulu’s Onyx Collective. Larry is currently in development on the comedy series Lately for ABC, a behind-the-scenes look at the upstairs-downstairs dynamics of the people who work at a late-night talk show. Wilmore released his first book, “I'd Rather We Got Casinos and Other Black Thoughts”, in January 2009. He lives in Los Angeles. Send your thoughts (and prayers) to YeGo[email protected] Ye Gods is produced by Efficiency Studios: Creator and host Scott Carter, Executive Producer Dossie McCraw, Co-Executive Producer Selena Lauterer, Associate Producer Robyn Rose Valentine. Hosting services provided by Podbean. Music licensed by Epidemic Sound.
Sam Harris: Being Nothing, is Everything
36:25ENCORE EPISODE: Is there a there-there? A place within the mind separate from our thoughts? This week Scott talks to neuroscientist and founder of the Waking Up meditation app, Sam Harris. They discuss how meditation helps us to be happy in the most ordinary of moments and make the most of each moment, vs. the need to extract the greatest pleasure from our greatest moments. And that there are things to discover about the nature of the mind that are liberating, with the potential to reduce suffering of emotional anguish and ultimately lead to improvements in wellbeing. Regarding atheism, Sam remarks that, “it’s not so much a claim that the universe isn't much stranger than we realize, (but) in fact, maybe it’s stranger than we can possibly imagine.” And that there are propensities of the human mind that are universally available regardless of culture or geography, and one can find truths across beliefs in Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Judaism,Islam and others, yet we need to have 21st century non-sectarian conversations. Sam shares this quote from Tibetan Lama Kalu Rinpoche: 'What we live in is an illusion. There is a reality, you are that reality. When you understand this, you'll realize that you're nothing and being nothing, you are everything.' And a recommendation of literature from Leo Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich In My Homily Opinion (IMHO): Scott reads from Oscar Wilde’s “De Profundis” and discusses his belief that there is a need for ritual even in the lives of the irreligious. He asks the listeners if God hides himself from us or do we just not know where to look for him? Guest: Sam Harris is a neuroscientist, philosopher, and author of five New York Times best sellers. His work covers a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy, religion, meditation practice, political polarization, rationality—but generally focuses on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live. His books include The End of Faith, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, and Waking Up. Sam hosts the popular Making Sense podcast and is the creator of the Waking Up app, which offers a modern approach to living a more examined life, through both in-depth mindfulness training and secular wisdom. Sam has practiced meditation for over 30 years and has studied with many Tibetan, Indian, Burmese, and Western meditation teachers, both in the United States and abroad. He holds a degree in philosophy from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. Photo credit: Christopher Patey Send your thoughts (and prayers) to [email protected] Ye Gods is produced by Efficiency Studios: Creator and host, Scott Carter; Executive Producer, Dossie McCraw; Co-Executive Producer Selena Lauterer; Associate Producer Robyn Rose Valentine. Hosting services provided by Podbean. Music licensed by Epidemic Sound.
Stephen Mitchell: Faith in Practice
42:45Author and poet Stephen Mitchell has spent a career pursuing life's meaning as taught by history's great spiritual practices. His is a hero's journey, which ends with the presenting of an elixir, a blessing to the world. His gift to the world are his works, which distill his long sought and gained wisdom. Guest: Stephen Mitchell was born in Brooklyn in 1943, educated at Amherst, the Sorbonne, and Yale, and de-educated through intensive Zen training. His many books include the bestselling Tao Te Ching, The Gospel According to Jesus, The Book of Job, Gilgamesh, The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, The Second Book of the Tao, Bhagavad Gita, The Iliad, The Odyssey, Beowulf, and Catullus: Selected Poems. He is also the co-author of three of his wife Byron Katie’s bestselling books: Loving What Is, A Thousand Names for Joy, and A Mind at Home with Itself. You can read extensive excerpts from all his books at www.stephenmitchellbooks.com. Photo credit: Brie Childers. In My Homily Opinion (IMHO): Scott reflects on the words of the sixth U. S. President, John Quincy Adams who once wrote (building on words his father had also written), “I am a warrior so that my son may be a merchant so that his son may be a poet.” With a volunteer army, few Americans are warriors. And the merchant class has been gobbled up by massive big box chains. Modern appliances and digital devices have relieved most of us from the back breaking labor that once consumed Americans' waking hours. We have more discretionary time than our ancestors. How many of us are poets? How do we use this gift of time? Time, once a luxury, is now a commodity. To pass, to kill. How could distracting ourselves be life's purpose? Send your thoughts (and prayers) to [email protected] Ye Gods is produced by Efficiency Studios: Creator and Host, Scott Carter; Executive Producer Dossie McCraw, Co-Executive Producer Selena Lauterer and Associate Producer Robyn Rose Valentine. Hosting services provided by Podbean. Music licensed by Epidemic Sound.
Ana Marie Cox: There’s A New Day
33:30Today's encore conversation touches on topics that may be sensitive to some including attempted suicide. Life can be hard, but suicide is preventable and free and confidential support is available by dialing 988 or go to 988lifeline.org Guest: Ana Marie Cox is a political columnist and culture critic whose writing has appeared in The New Republic, Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, and NBC.com. Through 2022, she wrote a “Sober Questioning” column at The Cut. She’s also a prolific podcast host including Space the Nation with Dan Drezner and With Friends Like These from Crooked Media. She’s a regular on the Stephen King podcast The Losers Club (a favorite episode is this one on recovery themes in King’s work). Her memoir, “Just Like Your Mother” — a reported account of addiction, recovery, and intergenerational trauma — will be published by Random House in 2024. In My Homily Opinion (IMHO): Scott is keeping the door ajar with a one-step-at-a-time willingness to consider new things and challenge old beliefs that do not work. Send your thoughts (and prayers) to [email protected] Ye Gods is produced by Efficiency Studios in association with Dossie Media, Executive Producer Dossie McCraw, Co-Executive Producer Selena Lauterer and associate Producer Robyn Rose Valentine. Hosting services provided by Podbean. Music licensed via Epidemic Sound: Song, There’s a New Day by Staffan Carlén.