On Preach, award-winning KUER religion reporter Lee Hale sits down with people from all walks of life and all religions. You’ll hear them talk honestly about their doubts and beliefs. How they wrestle with life’s big questions. And the way spirituality intersects with their daily struggles and joys.
“We’re all hungry for more frank, fun conversations about how we make sense of life,” Hale said. “This is the best way I know how to learn about faith.”
Preach is a new podcast produced by the Salt Lake City based public radio station KUER (NPR Utah). Hosted by Hale, the show’s 10-episode season debuts Sept. 6, with new episodes released on Fridays. A trailer is now available, which gives listeners a sneak peek at what’s ahead in the first season:
Actor Rainn Wilson (The Office) on returning to the religion of his childhood: “This chronic dissatisfaction just wouldn’t leave. Maybe when I jettisoned the Baha’i faith, maybe I threw the baby out with the bathwater.”
Snap Judgment host Glynn Washington on rebuilding his beliefs after growing up in an apocalyptic, white supremacist cult: “Even though I don’t believe in the religion I grew up with — even though that intellectual framework for having that sort of specialness, and that armor, is gone — sometimes I still feel special. And I don’t have any reason for it.”
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus on tearing down taboos as a sex therapist for Orthodox Jewish women: “Things that I thought were wrong at the time, like women becoming rabbis, were really just social norm issues and nobody could really make a coherent case to me as to why that would be wrong from a religious standpoint.”
Hale and KUER pitched the idea for Preach last year in a successful application for Project Catapult, the podcast accelerator developed by PRX. The conversation-driven, no-judgments format is inspired by Hale’s own experience as a millennial who grew up in a devout Mormon household and became a journalist assigned to cover his own church. Hale says that experience has been enlightening, disheartening and has changed the way he thinks about belief. So now he wants to talk to people of all faiths about living as a believer in the modern world. Because he’s still sorting it all out. And he thinks some of you might be too.
These days, especially online, the word “Preach” is used to encourage someone to share their story. To validate. To tell them that they deserve to be heard. That’s what this show is about. Empowering people — some of them famous, all of them fascinating — who live in the messy middle of faith.
Preach is for people who pray every day, or only when there’s turbulence on the plane, or not at all. It’s for anyone curious about what happens inside their neighbor’s church, mosque, temple, synagogue or meeting but who might not be sure how to start a conversation about it. It’s for people who relish those after-dinner conversations, cozied up in the living room or sprawled out on the back porch, when there’s enough space to wonder aloud about life’s big questions.
As part of Project Catapult, Preach will be distributed by PRX. The show’s production team includes veterans of other successful podcasts developed by public radio organizations, including WBEZ’s Making Oprah and Nerdette and WNYC’s American Fiasco.
Upon its launch on Sept. 6, Preach will be available wherever listeners get their podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, RadioPublic, Pandora, TuneIn and Stitcher.
More about KUER
A charter member of NPR, KUER 90.1 broadcasts from the Eccles Broadcast Center at the University of Utah, providing a commercial-free mix of local and national news and storytelling to more than 175,000 weekly listeners across the state. KUER and its HD channels can be heard at 90.1 FM or streamed online at kuer.org and with KUER’s mobile app.