October 17, 2022
What’s easier to sell: God or knives? A father of 2 speaks to Geth about going from pastor life to selling knives out of a van. He explains why some ministers end up leaving and moving into sales. He also opens up about adultery in the church, getting into therapy, trying weed, and how his marriage improved after switching careers.
341 — From Slinging Bibles to Slinging Knives
Chris [00:00:04] Hello to everybody out there who’s ready to move on. It’s a Beautiful/ Anonymous. One hour. One phone call. No names. No holds barred. Hi, everybody. Chris Gethard here. Welcome to Beautiful/ Anonymous. Thanks to everyone who came out in Athens, in Atlanta, let alone Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago. Good month of getting out on the road, meeting people. Gonna end things strong this month at Fest down in Gainesville, Halloween weekend. Maybe I’ll see some of your punk rockers there. Who knows? Heads up before we even start this episode. There’s some slight conversation about suicide, suicidal ideation. So be ready for that. You might want to skip it if that’s, you know, something that you’re dealing with, something that’s hard to hear right now. Wanted to give you a warning about that. This call… It makes sense because it’s someone who’s had a crisis of faith, a crisis of of life in a way. It’s a caller who who trained to be a pastor, who was a pastor, who stopped being a pastor, and who tells us why. Um tells us where life is at now. Tells us how the skills one learns to be a pastor can apply to other areas of life when you move on. There’s some frustration in it. There’s… A caller who’s kind of throwing up his hands at some of the behavior he sees that that made him walk away from something he believed in so deeply. It’s a really interesting call. It’s really fascinating to me to hear about making big changes in one’s life because I’m kind of at that place. I don’t know if people have picked up on this in listening to the show lately, but I’ve been having a bunch of questions myself. So this one really timing wise, hit for me in a way that’s pretty profound. And anybody out there, if you’re thinking about “I might want to make a major change in my life”, I think this one’s going to hit for you too. Enjoy it.
Voicemail Robot [00:02:20] Thank you for calling Beautiful/ Anonymous. A beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host.
Caller [00:02:28] Hello?
Speaker 1 [00:02:29] Hey. How’s it go-
Speaker 2 [00:02:30] No way! (LAUGHS) Hey Chris.
Chris [00:02:38] (LAUGHS) That reaction feels good. Someone cackling. An evil cackle.
Caller [00:02:44] That’s how it works every time. Wow. Yeah. Evil cackle. It’s a it’s a “I’m enjoying this thoroughly” cackle.
Chris [00:02:51] Good. I’m glad you’re into it.
Caller [00:02:52] This is great. How are you?
Chris [00:02:54] Ugh. How am I? I’m not doing great. I always answer honestly. I’m not doing great. But I’ll be fine. It’s one of those things where I’m aware that everything’s great, but I’m not doing great. You know that type of feeling?
Caller [00:03:08] Yeah.
Chris [00:03:09] Yeah.
Caller [00:03:10] I do. I know that type of feeling really well. It’s like I got no reason to feel this shitty, but I do. I know it’s going to be okay, but I still feel shitty.
Chris [00:03:18] Yeah, I’m in one of these places where I’m like, everything is, in the immediate sense, really good, but I’m having major anxiety about my future. And that’s tough. Hold on, I have to bang on the floor because there’s noise. This child, the child, the human child is making. But that’s I mean, I’m just that’s what I’m.
Caller [00:03:39] The human child. The small human.
Chris [00:03:41] Human child is making noise. But yeah, it’s like… I got to keep this entertainment career going and get this kid health care for 23 more years. It’s daunting. That’s that’s where all my anxieties start from. How are you?
Caller [00:03:55] Oh man. I’m, you know, I am, you know, above average. You know, there’s plenty of things that could take it from okay to great. There’s a lot of things that I’ve narrowly avoided that, you know, could make things a lot shittier. So I can’t really complain.
Chris [00:04:14] Okay. Above average. That’s a nice, honest place to land.
Caller [00:04:16] Yeah. Yes, absolutely. Now, there’s one thing I always promised myself that if I ever got the chance to talk to you, that I would say, and I promise I’m not going to fanboy too much.
Chris [00:04:31] Okay. Hello?
Caller [00:04:33] All right. I’m here.
Chris [00:04:35] Sorry about that. There was- my son was standing at the bottom of the staircase of- I am at the top of a staircase, and he decided it was time to just stand at the bottom and scream. So I had to go just ask him to pipe down.
Caller [00:04:47] And scream. It’s totally alright. I have, I have two kids. My, my, my oldest is- I get it. My, my oldest is seven and a half and he still hasn’t picked up on the social contract of being on the phone yet.
Chris [00:05:02] Yeah, yeah.
Caller [00:05:04] Totally get it.
Chris [00:05:06] Now, you were saying you don’t want to fan boy too hard.
Caller [00:05:10] I don’t want to fanboy too hard, but absolutely a huge fan of yours. Love your work, seen your specials, your books. And I know your best days are ahead of you. But I will say my favorite, favorite Chris Gethard moment will always be when you had a pipe hidden inside of a sandwich as Trevor on The Office.
Chris [00:05:31] Thank you so much. That’s very nice of you.
Caller [00:05:32] That’s. That’s how I met you. That’s how I fell in love. And then it was great.
Chris [00:05:36] Extremely nice of you. And I like it. And I’ll tell you what, thank you for saying my best days are ahead of me, because I sense that you you you could tell I needed to hear that based on how I reacted when you asked me how you are doing. So thank you for that white lie. That was very kind of you. Thank you.
Caller [00:05:56] Oh no. It’s I’m a big comedy fan. It’s a good it’s a good time to be a comedian. You kinda do whatever you want. You know, you don’t have to have that basic mold. You know, I it’s funny because I just read Tom Segura’s book, and he talked about how, you know, only the choice people get picked up on HBO. And I’m like, well, Gethard made it.
Chris [00:06:16] I did get that. I did get that. Who knew? Who knew? I had no idea Segura said that in his book.
Caller [00:06:20] There you go.
Chris [00:06:22] I’d like in my heart to think that that was a reference to me, but I doubt it is because I’ve never met him to my knowledge, and I doubt he knows who I am.
Caller [00:06:30] Oh, I’m sure he knows who you are. Completely. Tom’s a good guy. He knows everybody.
Chris [00:06:34] Who knows. Yeah. No, I, I’ve, I’ve enjoyed a bunch of his stuff that I’ve seen. It’s, it’s I got- since you’re a comedy fan, it’s getting weird because it’s one of these things where I’ll like, see somebody put a bid up and I’ll like the bit and then I go and now I have to just like- it’s hard to be a comedy fan these days because it’s like and now I have to thoroughly research this person to make sure there’s no, like, things about them I should know before I can just say I like their comedy. It’s a dark. It’s dark. You have to like extensively research of person’s past before you can just be like, Yeah, they’re funny.
Caller [00:07:09] Yeah, it’s you really have to be well versed. Because I mean, comedians tend to roll in packs too. So, you know, if you like his stuff, you like all of his buddy’s stuff and his buddy’s podcast and all that’s on there. It’s yeah, it’s, it’s hard because I think it’s really splitting comedians down the middle, too. Like there’s comedians that say, like, hey, like there’s some stuff we really shouldn’t say, like, ever. And then there’s comedians that are just really butt hurt and like, well, we can’t do comedy anymore because we’re getting policed on everything we say. And, you know, I don’t know, I’m like somewhere in the middle.
Chris [00:07:50] I find all of it annoying. I think I might just go to grad school. I’m thinking about grad school. That’s what I’m thinking. maybe it’s time, get out of this game.
Caller [00:07:59] Are you? Maybe? You know. Yeah. Hey, listen, if you’re if you want to talk to a guy that started life one way and ended up a- I’m your guy.
Chris [00:08:10] How’s that now? Oh, so you’ve been through a big career switch or a big life switch like I’m thinking of.
Caller [00:08:16] I’ve been to a huge life switch.
Chris [00:08:18] What’s that mean?
Caller [00:08:19] So. I, yes. So ever since the age of eight years old, until I was about 28, I had a dream and a goal to be a pastor, a minister. And I was. So it’s a lot to fit into one hour. But long story short, you know I grew up as a church kid. Grew up going to a big old megachurch in the Midwest and, you know, had this pipe dream of being a pastor. And long story short, I graduated from high school, went to Bible College, went through Bible College, started getting jobs at churches and found an absolute just shit show when I got there.
Chris [00:09:10] Wow. So you’re not a pastor anymore?
Caller [00:09:16] I’m not. Nope.
Chris [00:09:18] Did you ever. Were you ever a full on pastor or did you were you were you just studying for it?
Caller [00:09:23] I was.
Chris [00:09:23] You were. Okay.
Caller [00:09:25] So. So I studied. Yeah, I studied all the way through. I graduated. And so the first church I took was just under a year after I graduated. And it was kind of pretty close to my home town. I was there for six months and found out the pastor was sleeping with the secretary. And the church kind of like, fell apart and went to hell. Uh, I was working for the pastor.
Chris [00:09:55] When a church goes to hell, you know, you don’t toss that phrase around lightly. You’re, I mean, you’re an ex pastor. So when you say someplace went to hell, this has extra weight than if I said it.
Caller [00:10:07] Yeah, absolutely. Well, you know, churches are these really unique animals because they’re they’re a mixture of a lot of things. Right? They’re they’re kind of like a like a social club, but they’re also kind of like family gatherings and family reunions. You know, the people that you go to church with, they’re the ones that, you know, babysit your kids or coach your football team or, you know, you do business with them. Your realtor might go to your church. And so they’re these tight knit communities and they’re kind of centered around a pastor, right, who, you know, knows the good book and does the right thing and makes the church run and gives the sermon on Sundays. And so when that person goes and does something completely, you know, against all of these espoused values, you have a group of people that falls apart pretty quickly. It’s actually really sad to watch.
Chris [00:10:59] Yeah, that’s a huge bummer. It’s a huge bummer. I’m getting the sense… I’m getting the sense you were, like you said, Pastor. So we’re not talking Catholicism here, which is the one I’m familiar with, having grown up in it.
Caller [00:11:14] Right.
Chris [00:11:15] Because, that.
Caller [00:11:16] We’re more so talking like like you’re like evangelical Protestant Christianity, I guess if you’re not super familiar at all, you know, and in America, you’ve got kind of like these three big groups. You know, you’ve got obviously Catholicism, right? You know, which, you know, the Catholics. That’s one group in and of itself. Maybe the Eastern Orthodox people kind of fit in with that. And then like with Protestants, you have mainline Protestants, which is probably like your Anglicans hang out there and a lot of your Methodists. And and that’s where, you know, it’s not Catholic, but it’s still pretty, you know, pretty bougie on the inside, and everyone wears, you know, dresses up and sings hymnals and stuff. And then you get like your more modern kind of what they call contemporary evangelical churches. And those are kind of the more the hip, cool, I mean, you lived in New York for a long time and I know you’re- are you still in- I don’t know if you’re still in Jersey, but you know Hillsong New York was a church kind of like that.
Chris [00:12:23] I’m in Jersey. Are these like the megachurches? Do they fit into modern the modern style that you’re describing?
Caller [00:12:29] Most yeah. Yeah, most. I would say 90% of megachurches fall into that, um, that kind of evangelical church kind of thing. And that’s kind of the vein I was growing. I mean, the church that I grew up in was probably about, when I was a kid, it was about 1500 people. Now it’s about 5000 people.
Chris [00:12:48] Every Sunday, 5000 people.
Caller [00:12:52] Oh, yeah. Mm hmm. Coming in. Coming out. I mean, Jumbotron in the sanctuary. I mean. Yeah, I mean, I was a nineties kid, so I was, I grew up in kind of that golden age of megachurches where, you know, the Joel Osteen’s of the world were coming up and turning stadiums into churches. And, you know, church was on T.V.. It was a it was a big shift.
Chris [00:13:20] That nineties church TV. I tell you, I haven’t thought about that. But as as someone who came up watching a lot of TV in the nineties, I know exactly, exactly what the caller’s talking about. The momentum is broken. Let’s do some ads. We’ll be right back. Thanks to all of our advertisers. Now let’s get back to the phone call.
Caller [00:13:47] Yeah. I mean, I was a nineties kid, so I was I grew up in kind of like golden age of megachurches where, you know, the Joel Osteens of the world were coming out and turning stadiums into churches. And, you know, church was on T.V.. It was a it was a big shift.
Chris [00:14:05] And then you said there was a third, there was a third breakdown.
Caller [00:14:13] Well, the megachurches were the third. So you have the Catholics, you have like the main- what you’ call mainline Protestants, which are like the Lutherans. And then you’ve got like the the contemporary evangelicals. Those are kind of like those three groups.
Chris [00:14:26] You were in that one.
Caller [00:14:27] But, you know, most of you know what you see, yeah.
Chris [00:14:32] Most of what you see, most of what you see is what?
Caller [00:14:36] Yeah. So most of what you see on the news right now, you know, if the, you know, a popular pastor has a scandal and, you know, which is becoming more and more it’s in the news more frequently. They’re they’re typically like an evangelical, like a modern megachurch. And so like I grew up in that. I wanted to be that. I mean, and what I really wanted to do was I just, I, I liked people. I love people. I had a heart to help them. But as I got more and more into church ministry, I realized that, gosh, like, this system isn’t designed to help people. This system is designed to make us look cool and make money.
Chris [00:15:14] Mm hmm. Mm hmm. That’s dark. That’s a sad thing to realize.
Caller [00:15:21] Yeah.
Chris [00:15:23] So you were out there at a.
Caller [00:15:24] It is, and it’s tough.
Chris [00:15:27] Sorry. Finish the thought.
Caller [00:15:30] Yeah. No, no, no. Go ahead. Go ahead. Sorry, I have a bad habit of cutting people off.
Chris [00:15:33] No, no, no. Please. So it sounds like you were at you were at like not a huge church where you find out that the head pastor is sleeping with somebody and those things tie together. Right? This idea that when when religion becomes rock star stuff, the people the people who pursue the rock star life don’t always have the best intentions. Right? And you kind of ran into that head first it sounds like, in your personal experience. Like this is becoming a moneymaking venture and somebody is using his status to to hook up with people, which is like very much a betrayal. That’s a pretty heartbreaking realization to get into something that you’re dedicating your life to ostensibly.
Caller [00:16:16] Oh, yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I’ll never forget, you know, when I was at that church, it was a smaller church. It was kind of in this strip mall, and it was behind some of these projects. And we had this teenage girl that just wandered into our church during the week, and she was absolutely hopped up on something uppers. And just reeked of vodka and was like crying and just like, I don’t know what to do and all this sort of stuff. And I’m like, Hey, cool. Like, we can help this person out. Like, can we get, you know, she wants help. Can we get her, you know, connected with rehab? Can we get her, you know, some housing? Because she’s having some housing needs. You know, what sort of local resources can we, you know, this is what we’re supposed to be here to do, right? Like, let’s help her. What can we do? And then all the pastor told me was, well, she can show up on Sunday.
Chris [00:17:12] That’s a bummer.
Caller [00:17:13] Oh. Yeah.
Chris [00:17:17] Yeah, that’s like a failing of-
Caller [00:17:18] It broke my heart.
Chris [00:17:19] It’s a failing of the infrastructure that you hope churches exist to provide. Right? Community.
Caller [00:17:25] Right. Right. You know, and I’ll be the first to say it, it’s not 100% of churches. I have, I know pastors that are credible that have gone to some of the hardest and toughest places in America with just full, you know, just desire to help and love on people. But, you know, those ministry positions that I was a part of, I mean, ministry was- looked nothing like what I what I hoped it would be and what I thought it would be. And that was tough too. It was tough for me because, you know, after- I mean, I had a couple of different churches with pretty similar type stuff that happened. And when I was 28, I was I had a huge mental breakdown and kind of came to grips with my kind of mounting depression and anxiety around it. And I was like, man, if I if I take another church, it’s going to be the end of me. It’s going to be the end of my marriage. It’s going to be the end of my family. And I just I was like, fuck it. I can’t do it anymore. Sorry Sally. And I just, you know, walked away from it all. And honestly, it’s been a journey that has brought me a lot more peace and fulfillment. And, you know, and I don’t have to have a title anymore of pastor to help somebody, you know? Or to be there for somebody. It’s just, you know, and I can just do it because I’m a decent human being that wants to help another decent human being. It’s a really good feeling.
Chris [00:18:55] I’m glad that you’re feeling more positive. I’m glad that you, you know, to hear that you as a pastor had a fuck it point, and you said, In my my mental health, my marriage, my home life, they’re all suffering because of this. It does beg the question of, so what, what was the pivot? What what did you wind up doing? Who are you now?
Caller [00:19:20] Yeah. Well, it’s funny, Chris. There’s this weird phenomenon that when pastors leave ministry, like, the next career path in line for them seems to always be sales. I kid you not. I know so many pastors that left ministry, and now they’re salesmen. They sell cars…
Chris [00:19:44] You don’t say. You don’t say!
Caller [00:19:48] Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. One of the big, big car lots in my town is run by one of the old youth pastors from one of the well-known churches here. And he had a pretty public affair and they kicked him out. So now he runs the car lot.
Chris [00:20:04] So I’m not trying to cast aspersions on religion in general. But you’re saying just in your personal experience, it is it might be fair to say that the skills you learn in as a pastor help you- those are skills that are analogous to skills that you need to hustle goods and services to a public when you’re working on commission.
Caller [00:20:30] Oh, yeah. Well, I mean, I think you got to be charismatic. You got to be personable. You can’t be afraid to meet new people. You have to network well, you know, be a highly energetic, motivated person. That’s kind of what it is. So, you know, when I left ministry, you know, sales was just kind of right there. And I’ve sold a little bit of everything. I’ve sold cellphones, I’ve sold windows and doors. I’ve sold, you know, right now, believe it or not, I am sitting in what I call my mobile office, which is a van full of 1500 knives.
Chris [00:21:02] Full of what?
Caller [00:21:04] Knives. Like a kitchen knife.
Chris [00:21:08] You’re in a van with 1500 knives in it?
Caller [00:21:10] Yes. I work for a company that sells like knives to local restaurants, anywhere with a kitchen. So nursing homes, restaurants, hospitals, kitchens. So we help them with all of their kitchen cutlery. So it’s I used to sling bibles, now I sling knives.
Chris [00:21:36] Wow. And how long have you been in the knife slinging game?
Caller [00:21:40] I have been in the knifes since actually just this year. I started in January. I was doing something else for a small business that kind of went super sideways due to COVID. And so I kind of found myself looking for the next thing. And here I am, slinging knives.
Chris [00:22:00] Now, let me ask you this. So you’ve done both, right? And I sit here and I go… And let me lay it out before you answer, because my basic question is, which product is… Which product is the easier and which product is the more difficult one to to sling? Because on one sense, when your product is God, religion, in some sense that’s an easy sell, right? Because it’s like I’m selling you your own salvation. I’m selling you on how your soul will wind up eternally. I’m selling you on the idea that you might burn or you may be good. But also, that’s all theoretical, right? You can’t hold God in your hand. You it’s you know, there are people out there, like I lean towards, you know, agnostic, atheist or a little more agnostic. But the idea of there’s some people in their head going, I might just be here because this is the community side of it. This is, I don’t know if I necessarily even buy into all the God stuff. I just like hanging. There’s people who go to church in certain areas of the country where you go, Well, that’s really where the dating scene is. If I’m going to meet, I’m going to meet my wife, that’s where all the single ladies hang out, you know? So in some sense, it’s an amorphous product that’s not tangible. A knife you can hold. A knife you can say to somebody, look how easy it is to sharpen. And you sharpen it in front of them. A knife you can go, look, it’s going to cut through this thing you didn’t expect to cut through. And it does it. But it’s not God. The knife isn’t going to determine for them where their soul winds up once they are gone. So I’m wondering, which is the harder sell? Which is the easier sell, God or knives?
Caller [00:23:51] Ooh. That is an incredible question. Incredible question.
Chris [00:23:56] Thanks. Been doing this a long time, baby.
Caller [00:24:01] Well, and it’s hard because on one hand- and this might come as a surprise to a lot of people, you know, Chris, I have gone through, you know, post-secondary education for ministry. So I have studied like Old Testament and New Testament. And I understand ancient languages of Greek and Hebrew. I can tell you contextually, like what culturally was going on thousands of years ago when some of these texts were being assembled. But then when you come to church on Sunday and you hear a pastor get up and talk, it’s still really just largely kind of however it comes out of their head. I mean, in the in that evangelical world, I mean, I think that the other traditions that are much closer tied to traditions and rituals and stuff like that, like the Catholic Church is different. But it’s really just however you want to package and present it. I mean, that’s why you get so many preachers and people on TV that are just feel good and “live your best life now” kind of thing. But on the other hand, and this is where what I would say is I would say it’s it’s definitely easier to sell knives than to sell God. Because when you are a pastor, when you are when you’re in control of a church or working in a church, what a lot of people don’t realize, too, is that as a pastor, you actually, in a way, are the product. Because you are supposed to be the example of, hey, if I do this God stuff, this Bible stuff, and I put it into practice, you know, your life is going to look like mine. And that’s why so many pastors have this persona. You know, so you go on TV and watch Joel Osteen. He’s got a big smile on, his teeth are perfect, he’s wearing a suit, and everything is is just so just so perfect. Because they are the product. They’re supposed to exemplify how amazing your life is and how rich you’ll be and how happy you’ll be and how much your wife will love you and how much your kids will love you if you just do this God thing. And in reality, it’s that facade and it’s that kind of front and mask that pastors have to put up all the time that’s so exhausting and unsustainable. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen pastors just do horrible things, just destroy their lives, just because they can’t take it anymore.
Chris [00:26:41] Right. Because that’s all that’s a pretty hollow thing at the end of the day. It’s a facade.
Caller [00:26:52] Mmhmm.
Chris [00:26:52] I’ve got to ask you since we’re on this topic.
Caller [00:26:57] Yeah.
Chris [00:26:58] You know, you’re saying, like, there’s this nature of like people are a product and a pastor is a product, and that’s a hard thing to sustain. And yeah, when you frame it like that, it’s like, at the end of the day, you don’t have to have every hair in place to sell a knife. It might help, but you don’t have to. The knife can sell itself to a certain degree. Like if you have if you if you had a rough morning with the kids and you got a stain on your shirt and you don’t notice it, it’s not necessarily going to be a deal breaker.
Caller [00:27:29] I can still show up and be like, Hey, here’s the knife. It’s a sharp knife. You want to buy the knife.
Chris [00:27:34] Yes. And if the person go- and if you look down, you go and you can go, oh, yeah. My my kid’s still learning how to use a spoon. And he tossed it at me. My bad. And you can have a laugh. Whereas a pastor, you’re presenting it as they have to be infallible. They can’t have these flaws because they’re supposed to represent the idea of becoming one with divinity. They represent that idea to their people. That’s that’s a tough standard to maintain. It does tie in this idea of pastors as rock stars, this idea of pastors who put on personas. There is a thing and I don’t want to offend you because you came up in this world, but it sounds like you have your misgivings. I don’t want to offend anybody. There’s people out there who are evangelical, who are listening right now. I’m not trying to hurt anybody’s feelings. But I will say, as someone who grew up Catholic, who stepped away from it, who has misgivings about that church, you know, certainly I see all the child sex abuse stuff in the Catholic Church and I’m just going, this is poisoned. The well is poisoned. How can how can I go back to church if this is not dealt with? I’m now seeing in the evangelical world there’s this idea of like Christian nationalism. It’s really becoming a thing that’s being written about. And our politics are merging with a lot of evangelical pastors, where pastors are getting way more forthright about not just their own political beliefs, but let’s get active. There’s- I just watched a documentary about QAnon that talked about how a lot of the QAnon language and imagery is showing up in evangelical sermons now. And I go, that that’s almost like a replacement religion. QAnon is almost its own cultish. Right. Like the difference between a religion and a cult is a pretty fine line. And I think most people who are rational point to QAnon as something that’s more cultish, but it’s starting to show up in a religious context. And there’s certain pastors that were interviewed as part of this documentary I watched on Vice about like, hey, you’re like, you’re starting to like read from Revelations and talk about going to war. And then in the same breath, you’re bringing up Hunter Biden and saying that we need to be religious warriors. And then you see stuff where people are saying, you know, there’s an evangelical movement to get the Constitution changed, to say that America is a Christian nation. And then you see Congress. I think I forget if it was Marjorie Taylor Greene or Lauren Boebert, like retweeting articles about that, going like, hell, yeah, we’re going to do it. And then you go, Well, fundamentally, one of the main things about the Constitution was they said separate church and state. We’re not a Christian nation. I don’t want to dwell on it too much because we’re all very exhausted and scared by the conversation. But I’d feel irresponsible if I didn’t ask you what you at least thought of these things as you see them.
Caller [00:30:18] Yeah, yeah. It’s it’s huge, Chris. And it is, I mean, it’s everywhere. It’s absolutely everywhere. I actually it’s funny you mention tying it to QAnon. I was a consultant at a church plant, which means, you know, they’re starting a new church. And I got out of dodge pretty quickly when the pastor started talking about QAnon stuff from the pulpit on Sunday morning.
Chris [00:30:44] Oh, geez. Oh, so you’ve seen this up close. Verifiable. This is not just the media is not out here like cherry picking the rare church doing this. Like you’ve seen it yourself. It’s spreading.
Caller [00:30:55] Oh, no. Yeah. Oh, no. I mean, well, I don’t have time to share all of the information that I would share with you. But. But. First I’ll answer your question and then I have a book recommendation if anyone interested to learn more. But… Our history in America is actually deeply woven with that Christian nationalism. I mean, we see it now a ton with Donald Trump, of course, and all this QAnon and this sort of stuff. But I mean, you go back, you know, turn back the clock a little bit and you look at, you know, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Jimmy Carter was a devout evangelical Christian. You know, only had one wife, taught Sunday school. I mean, still teaches, I mean, this past Sunday school, former President Jimmy Carter was probably teaching Sunday school. Um works, you know, with Habitat for Humanity, all this sort of stuff. Very exemplary Christian life. Ronald Reagan, on the other hand. Very worldly seeming. Divorced. You know, having different women and this stuff. But the evangelical that were- groups that were involved at the time, they backed Reagan and not Carter, even though Carter was a better representation, quote unquote, of their values. And the reason is because that far right agenda, that nationalist agenda, has all hijacked evangelical Christian congregations for, gosh, probably almost 100 years now. It’s it’s very much there. It’s very concerning. It’s a base that, you know, far right and nationalist candidates and pundits know is there so that they can aggravate that base, they can keep it going. And pastors amplify it. I mean, I know pastors that- I know a church in my town that had Eric Trump in a week before the 2020 election. In their pulpit. So it’s very much there. If anyone is interested in learning more, there is a book. It’s by a woman named Kristin Kobes Du Mez. And it’s called Jesus and John Wayne. Amazing book. It explains so much I don’t have time to go into. But just touches a lot on the history between evangelical Christianity and Christian nationalism that we see today.
Chris [00:33:30] What’s the name of the book again? Jesus and John Wayne?
Caller [00:33:34] Jesus and John Wayne. Amazing book.
Chris [00:33:36] Writing it down. I’m gonna get it. Right now I’m reading a book about- I can read one book at a time because I fall asleep, because I have a three year old son. And right now I’m making my way through a book about the history of the Crazy Eddie Company, which was a local New York area appliance store with insane commercials from my youth. Great book. And after that, it will be Jesus and John Wayne, as per your recommendation. It’s got to be tough. It’s got to be tough.
Caller [00:34:02] You’re going to love it.
Chris [00:34:03] Here’s a question for you, because you said, I mean, you sound happier. Better for your life, better for your marriage. Better for you as a family person. But to be young and to be motivated to live life in service of others, and then to find out the infrastructure of this seems to be, in your experience, you had some bad run ins with pastors sleeping around, pastors making it about them, talking about trying to help to launch new churches where they start talking about QAnon on Sunday services real early into the history of the church. And you go… It’s… It just strikes me as a sad thing to realize, because you’re the guy who wanted to say, can we can we find a parishioner who needs to get into a rehab and actually help her get in there? Is there a family that’s suffering from something that we can get hands on and help? When you moved on, like you’re talking about, like, oh, I had this transition now. But that’s, that’s a big piece of yourself that gets extinguished for you to be able to move on. And it must feel like giving up in a way. And it must feel like giving up something that you’ve been taught your whole life and dedicated your whole life towards thinking was actually the most important thing.
Caller [00:35:29] Mm hmm. Yeah.
Chris [00:35:31] It’s hard. We’re talking about it in bullet point form, but it’s hard.
Caller [00:35:35] Yeah. It absolutely was hard. I mean. Right? Yeah. Well, you know, it. It was extremely hard. And it’s still definitely a process. Like I said, in 2018, you know, the circumstances around that and finally making the decision to quit, I mean, it was a mental breakdown. It was, um, things were so bad that I was driving down the highway and I’m like, I can either… Jerk the steering wheel and crash my car and it’ll be done, or I can drive this car to the hospital and get help. And thank God that’s what I did. And I checked myself in for about five days.
Chris [00:36:20] Hate to say it. I’ve been there. I know there’s other people listening who have been there as well. I’m so happy that the caller is here on the phone today able to talk to us. I think this is a point where a lot of people might need to take a break, take a little breath. So luckily, we have one break left. We’re going to time it right now so everybody can catch their breath, come back for more, because this call only gets more gripping along the way. Thanks to all of our advertisers who allow the show to exist. Now, let’s finish off this phone call.
Caller [00:36:49] Things were so bad that I was driving down the highway and I’m like, I can either… Jerk the steering wheel and crash my car and it’ll be done, or I can drive this car to the hospital and get help. And thank God that’s what I did. And I checked myself in for about five days. And I came out of the psych ward knowing two things. You know, one, I was absolutely done with ministry forever. But number two is that I did still believe in God or a higher power, just not as I understood it currently. And that’s still kind of where I am. You know, letting go of that did bring a lot of relief of not having to live that life anymore and not having to do those values anymore. I’ve been able to just I’m not afraid anymore to ask questions. And there’s a there’s a name for this process that people tend to go through, whether it’s Catholicism leaving Catholicism or evangelical Christianity and called deconstruction. You actually had a guest on a month or so ago that brought up the same term. But it’s that that deconstruction process of finally asking questions and dismantling things that don’t make sense. And, you know, it’s absolutely hard, but also I find a lot of peace and joy. I can actually enjoy my family, enjoying my kids. The big difficulty is, you know, I left at 28. You know, earlier I said I decided I wanted to be a pastor when I was eight years old. I left when I was 28. Now, that was four and a half years ago. I mean, I don’t think I want to sell knives for the rest of my life. You know what I mean? But that’s just that was my singular desire and passion for so long. I’m still figuring out what the fuck I want to do, you know?
Chris [00:38:53] Yeah.
Caller [00:38:55] I’m. I’m 32, you know, I’ll be 33 next spring and I still got a lot of life left, and my kids are still young. And, you know, there’s still a lot of opportunity. I just don’t know, like, what to do. And I’m kind of paralyzed, too, because it’s like, well, I put 20 years in that and that turned to shit. So I’m kind of afraid to like, jump all the way into a new thing, because what if that turns out to be horrible too? But that’s just kind of where I am. You know, I’m happy enough. I tell my therapist I’m bored a lot. You know, he tells me to just be curious and stuff. And I’ve been in therapy on and off for the last four years, and that’s been insanely helpful. You know, therapy, by the way, is still very, very stigmatized within church circles. Um, you know, you just need to pray harder and have more faith, which is also really sad. But therapy has been really great for me. But to answer your question, it’s hard still sometimes, but it’s also a lot easier a lot of the time. But I just don’t really know long term what I want to do with my life now.
Chris [00:40:01] Well, I’m so sorry that it came that down to the wire that you were driving that car. And it came down to that choice, jerk the wheel or drive to the hospital. I’m very glad you drove to the hospital. Glad you’re in therapy, sorting it out today. I do have, because my brain has to find the joke, I do have this image in my head if you want me to share it.
Caller [00:40:29] Do it. I love it.
Chris [00:40:29] There is a part of me that’s like, you know, you decide to drive the car to the hospital and then, you know, you pull into the emergency lane and you go in and you’re panicking and breathing heavy and you’re having, like, this scary breakdown. And then you explain to them what’s going on and they go, Oh, yeah, okay, we’re going to bring you to the well-intentioned clergy wing of the mental hospital. We have a whole wing of people who got into clergy because they had good intentions. And here’s the Catholic priest who doesn’t want to participate in a cover up and thinks maybe the bishop has placed some cover up priest in his parish and he’s got to bite his tongue.
Caller [00:41:05] Here’s a rabbi that sick of doing circumcisions. Yeah.
Chris [00:41:09] Yes. Here’s the rabbi. Yes, exactly. Exactly. Here’s the here’s the person who came out of divinity school and was working under a priest that has a $4 billion yacht. And they just can’t reconcile that that person could ever do that while saying the things they say on Sundays. Here’s the, yes, all of it. And it’s just a whole wing full of priests and rabbis and monks. Like here’s everybody disillusioned with their religions who thought they were to help their communities. You’re not alone.
Caller [00:41:39] Right? They may be in like Texas. There’s a mental health hospital like that. But no, I was just thrown in with, you know, just everyone. I was the oddball out. Like, well, we have, you know, someone with thought disorder that can’t form a complete sentence. And then here’s another person with bipolar who got off their meds and, you know, and then here’s this guy that is just kind of sad and doesn’t want to be a pastor anymore.
Chris [00:42:05] And this was only four and a half years ago. And how long have you been married?
Caller [00:42:12] I have been married for it’ll be nine years. Next month.
Chris [00:42:14] Nine years. So can I ask you about that too? Because to be a pastor and step away from it is a major life choice and a major life change. But someone who’s marrying a pastor or aspiring pastor is someone who also is opting into that lifestyle. And I have to imagine, too, there must be fear on your end of, well, if I’m not a pastor, am I, like, have I sold you a false bill of goods here? Like, did you now, did you marry into something and now I’m telling you I don’t want that anymore. And I’m asking you to adjust as well, because that is a lifestyle choice unto itself, I would imagine.
Caller [00:42:55] Yeah. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, and that was that was a huge thing for us because we very much, I mean, we met when she came to a Bible study at my house and she thought the guy running the Bible study was kind of hot. But our our marriage and relationship, you know, was kind of predicated on doing ministry and her being a pastor’s wife. And there’s a whole other kind of subset of stuff with that, too. If you’re married to a pastor, there’s a whole bunch of expectations of, you know, you should be barefoot and pregnant and staying home with the children and raising them and being a good support. And, you know, there’s there are lots of corners of evangelical Christianity that are very oppressive to women too. So part of it was very difficult to her, because again, like, that was, hey, this is how and sort of why we got together in a way. So we kind of had to rediscover who each other was and what we loved about each other, apart from this idea that we would always be doing ministry. But you know, the part where women were mistreated and expected to be these, you know, submissive and nice and kind and sweet women all the time, you know, she was very excited to get out of that.
Chris [00:44:20] Oh she was?
Caller [00:44:21] Very excited. That was difficult for her. Oh, yeah.
Chris [00:44:24] So. Right. Because I would imagine if you were saying before that, like, pastors have to put on this perfect face. And I have I would have to imagine maybe, maybe the only people in that culture who have to be even more perfect all the time is the pastor’s wife.
Caller [00:44:38] Mm hmm. Yeah. Pastor’s wife and pastor’s kids.
Chris [00:44:41] So she was ready to get out. How did your kids react? Were they confused or did they have a breath of fresh air relief as well or what?
Caller [00:44:51] Well, I think I think my kids were too small to really understand what was going on back then. I mean, when we left, oh shit, my son was only three and my daughter was two. So they were real small. But one thing I can definitely attest to is now, you know, that we know what we know now, my son, who’s seven, he has ADHD and autism. And so he’s he’s a awesome dude. He’s a cool dude. Um, he’s super, super smart. But he was always just ratcheted up to an eleven, right? Running around, making noise, being wild and stuff like that. And there was always kind of this expectation like, hey, you know, keep your kid quiet and sitting still in church, which are the two hardest things for my kid to do. So just him being able to just be himself and be a kid and not have to behave a certain way like every time he’s in a church building, like once or twice or three times a week, like I just, I can already tell he’s happier.
Chris [00:45:58] That’s cool. That’s cool.
Caller [00:46:04] Yeah.
Chris [00:46:05] To sit here and feel like you sacrificed so much.
Caller [00:46:07] Life is better on the other side.
Chris [00:46:08] Yeah. And to hear that you were in a lifestyle that was pushing you to a breaking point and that, I mean, to spend a few days in a mental hospital sorting it all out. Not easy. Not like this is- I’m glad that you and I are here talking about it so casually today. But let’s not mistake the fact that just because we can talk casually about it, that this sounds like it was… Impossible. But then you get out on the other side of it and you go, okay, like outside of of me, to also realize your wife’s happier, to realize I have a kid who’s going to grow up feeling like he can let his guard down and be himself in situations that he wouldn’t have been able to if I was still in that. Those must be amazing and reassuring things that make, make that stay in the hospital feel very worth it, I would have to imagine.
Caller [00:47:00] Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I am 1,000,000% at peace with where I’m at. You know, I’ve had friends or family members or other people being like, you know, you might come back. Never say never. And I’m like, I will bet. I mean, if I ever return to ministry, Chris, you can find me and bring a sandwich filled with a lead pipe and bust my kneecap, because it’s never going to happen.
Chris [00:47:32] You got it. Now wait. Now, let me ask you a real question. Here’s the one I’ve been nervous to ask the whole time. You ready?
Caller [00:47:38] Ooh. Do it.
Chris [00:47:40] So. I don’t have great knives. I don’t cook all that much. My knives are fine. They get the job done. Why do I need these fancy, expensive knives? At the end of the day, if I’m not cooking all that much, really why should I upgrade to these knives you’re trying to sell me right now?
Caller [00:48:02] Uh huh. He’s been nervous. He’s been wondering, what’s the pitch? Well, if you Chris at home just cooking, I doubt that you’re going to be cutting 250 pounds of onions a day like the fajita restaurant that I was at last week.
Chris [00:48:22] Right, right, right.
Caller [00:48:23] So, you know, for you, you get an I mean, Anthony Bourdain said, just use the largest French chef knife that you can comfortably handle and you can do 99% of what you need to do in a kitchen.
Chris [00:48:38] How many times have you quoted Anthony Bourdain since you got this knife salesmanship job?
Caller [00:48:49] (LAUGHS) Too many to count.
Chris [00:48:50] Every day?
Caller [00:48:52] He- his book is actually great, too. Not even everyday. Like once a week.
Chris [00:48:56] Okay.
Caller [00:48:57] You know. But his book, Kitchen Confidential, about what it’s like working in the restaurant industry is also a fantastic read.
Chris [00:49:07] It is. It is. I don’t think I’ve read the whole thing, but I think I read a number of Mad Magazine articles he wrote that I think were expanded into Kitchen Confidential. And it’s another one on the list. You know what? I’m putting it right next to Jesus and John Wayne.
Caller [00:49:22] There you go. I’ll tell you, he was a prolific writer.
Chris [00:49:26] Yeah, he was.
Caller [00:49:27] You know, everything that he did transcended. He understood that food was something that brings people together. And that’s what I love about working in the restaurant industry, is I get to meet all these these people, you know, these people that just put their lives into their restaurants and their food and what they do. Anthony Bourdain has always kind of been that prolific thinker and writer. I mean, if you watch that show he did on the Travel Channel, I mean, he he goes to like Northern Ireland and he talks about- I mean, you think that religious discrimination is is bad in America, which it’s not. I mean, there’s still like concrete walls up in Northern Ireland separating the Protestants and Catholics.
Chris [00:50:10] Believe me, I visited the grandfather of my grandfather- visit- visited the village where my grandfather grew up in Armagh. And I was shocked to find out that the schools are still segregated. I’m like, you have segregated schools in the United Kingdom? And they were like, Yep. All the kids are in one building, but the Protestants walk that way in the morning and the Catholics walk that way, and those kids don’t see each other throughout the day. I was like, This is actual segregation in the United Kingdom. That’s wild.
Caller [00:50:38] Oh yeah. It’s still there alive and well. I mean, if you go on the Protestant side, there’s murals of of guerrilla soldiers and assault rifles and weapons and stuff. And then if you go on the Catholic side, it’s, you know, humanitarians and people that have, you know, given their lives to the cause. It’s really interesting. And I know a lot of that thanks to Anthony Bourdain. Look at that.
Chris [00:51:04] Wow. Wow. So you’re not selling knives to your average homeowner. You’re not you’re not knocking on my door and saying, hey, pardon the cold call. I know you have a busy life, but can I interest you in this new knife set? This is not this is not that vision. This is this is a company with clients and your and and like you said, 250 pounds of onions. These are the clients. Got it. Okay. Understood.
Caller [00:51:31] These are the clients. These are the these are the ones doing that. Yeah, yeah. I don’t know how you started asking me about knives and then I started talking about Northern Ireland and Anthony Bourdain, but that’s just kind of how my brain works sometimes.
Chris [00:51:41] Listen, it’s Beautiful/ Anonymous. There’s no rules. It’s chaos. Jump from thing to thing. A pastor who goes to a mental hospital and then wants to sell knives and tell me about Northern Ireland? Yes! It’s the show I’ve always dreamed of. And we’re pulling it off.
Caller [00:52:01] Well, I’ll tell you that, life definitely looks different sometimes. I mean, I you know, when I was a pastor, I didn’t smoke, I didn’t do any drugs and, you know, smoke weed or anything like that. Yeah. The first time I smoke weed, I smoked weed, it was was really interesting.
Chris [00:52:18] So you’re- you got into weed? You left the ministry, you got into weed.
Caller [00:52:23] Yeah. The cannabis.
Chris [00:52:24] Why was that first time so interesting?
Caller [00:52:29] You know, I think it was just a, especially with the conversation changing on it so much in the U.S. where it’s legal. It’s legal in my state, you know. And so a lot of the negative stuff and apprehension I got was all from my church upbringing. And the first time I smoked weed, I stood up, I said to my wife, I have to go to sleep right now. She’s like, Are you okay? I’m like, Yes, I’m okay, but I have to go to sleep right now. I went upstairs, I went to bed. It was the best I’ve ever slept in my entire life. Tell you what.
Chris [00:53:09] Love that. Love that. What other uh what other what else is going on in your life now that would have felt forbidden five or six years ago? Smoking weed…
Caller [00:53:26] Oh. Yeah. Smoking weed, drinking bourbon. One of the things that is actually not super scandalous that I wouldn’t have looked into when I was still administering Christianity was is really just like childhood PTSD and trauma and recovering from that and adjusting. You know, I’ve been working through different things with my therapists and reading books. Because the narrative when you’re in church is just pray more. You know, God’s all you need. You’re fine. But you know, in a lot of these books I read is, hey, here’s things about attachment styles and here’s, you know, re parenting and and having self-love and compassion and differentiation and all these different things that I can learn to actually heal and be a functional human. I mean, I can’t believe how dysfunctional and just out of whack I was in those years being in the church and being and pastoring, because they kind of discourage looking into your mental health and taking care of your mental health. They just they push you further into reading more of the Bible and praying more and going to church more and giving more money. And, you know, put you all in this cycle. So I know it doesn’t sound super sexy, but just reading into psychology and healing from trauma is something that’s low key pretty scandalous if you’re still in church.
Chris [00:55:02] Wow. How do they make church cool? Because when I was a kid, church was the least cool thing in the world. Every kid in my neighborhood, we used to always try to find out which one was Father Quinlan doing because his was like 15 minutes long. He was really old. He clearly didn’t want to be there. And he’d fly through the whole ceremony in like 15 minutes. How have evangelicals made it that young people are like lining up, banging down the doors to get into church?
Caller [00:55:29] I mean, that’s that’s the challenge. I mean, for a lot of places, church is kind of like like a roller rink on a Wednesday afternoon. Like, what is this place used to be a place- people used to like this. What happened? Like, I think that what a lot of churches are trying to do is like brand themselves, right? So, you know, with millennials and with Gen Z, like the branding is very important where it’s trendy and it has this look and it’s, you know, their social media. And they try to through social media, trendy graphics and videos and stuff, try to make this- I mean, it’s funny if you if you go to like the social media page of some of these churches, it’s almost like a club. Like they’re trying to make it look like like all these young, sexy, attractive people are like hanging out, playing volleyball, like they’re trying to make church sexy again. But, you know, I think especially like Gen Z-ers. Like Gen Z-ers, like, I’m a millennial, you know, and so we kind of have a bullshit radar. But Gen Z-ers, man, like they can smell bullshit from ten miles away and they don’t put up with it for a second. So I think that’s why you’re seeing such a decline. Young people are leaving church in an alarming rate. At an alarming rate. And not coming back. And, you know, we all know why.
Chris [00:56:53] Yeah, yeah. It’s a hell of a story. We got about six and a half minutes left.
Caller [00:56:59] I know.
Chris [00:56:59] We’ve got about six and a half minutes left. Would you say- a hard question for people who have been through what we’ve been through, would you say overall you doing okay these days?
Caller [00:57:15] Knowing what I’ve been through and how dark my lowest point was, I would say, absolfuckinglutely. Like things could be way better, but I’m doing just fine. I’m thankful every single day that I didn’t leave my kids, I didn’t leave my wife. I get to hang out with them. I get to play Pokémon with my son. You know, I get to go hang out with my wife. I get to take my daughter to ballet. I get to watch the sunset. I just I get to have friends and I get to live my life without this sneaking, constant reminder of I should be doing this and I should be acting this way and I should be saying this and doing this and not doing that. That’s gone. So I’m thankful every single day. You know, some days I’m thankful to God. Sometimes I’m thankful to the universe. Sometimes I’m thankful to myself for that decision. There’s a lot of shit I don’t know, but I’m, I’m good, man. I’m good, Chris. And I’m so glad, so glad that I finally got the chance to talk to you about it.
Chris [00:58:21] Yeah, I feel really lucky. It’s, it’s this serendipitous thing because I have I was just honest about it up top but still semi joking but I’m really having a… Oh, boy. We got 5 minutes left. It might get really real on my end. But, like, I’m really… I’m really having my own crisis of faith in my life choices and how sustainable they’re going to be. Feeling a lot of pressure. To provide for my family. And I’m wondering if I need to pivot in my forties, which is daunting. Scary.
Caller [00:58:56] Yeah. Super daunting.
Chris [00:58:57] But it feels meant to be that I talked to you today. Yeah. Feels meant to be that I talked to someone who did it about something that- I will not compare comedy to God, but I will say I was 100% dedicated to it and believed in its ability to affect people in positive ways and bring people together, build communities and all that stuff, doesn’t feel real for me anymore. I’m sure it’s still real, but I’m feeling old. Scared of it. Shut out. Like my ticket sales are really bad compared to what they used to be, and me going, Do I need to start building a backup plan now so that if this peters out over the next few years completely, I’m not left holding my dick in the wind? You know? I have a little kid to worry about. Do I need to start right now finding the next thing? And it’s daunting and it feels like giving up. But I also don’t feel so bad about giving up. It’s a very strange place I’m in. Usually when things get this mixed up for me mentally in terms of my career, that’s when something comes along that keeps me going. But I’m starting to feel like, do I want to keep playing that game for 20 more years? I feel like talking to you right now is making me feel very okay about taking a real step back, thinking about who my- who I am now today, and who my priorities are in this moment, not what my priorities are when I was 19, 20, 21 years old. And to get out of that idea of dialogue of giving up. Moving on and giving up, they’re not always the same thing. Feels very. It feels very important to have talked to you today.
Caller [01:00:43] Exactly. Exactly. And you know, Chris, if I could say- yeah. Yeah. I’m glad we talked, too. And if there’s anything that I could say to you, you know, on behalf of all of your fans, we absolutely love you. We love everything you’ve given us. Everything from Sandwich for Oscar Martinez to the Netflix Netflix special, to the book, to the shows that you present, and all of this stuff. But all that to say, like, all of that body of work doesn’t define who you are. And just like me at 28 saying, you know what? Fuck it. You know, that’s not me. And I got to decide who I am. I mean, you have the exact same power within yourself to say, you know, I did all this stuff, I enjoyed it, fuck it. You know, and I’ll be just as big of a Chris Gethard fan if in 20 years you are still making comedy and making this podcast, or if you’re teaching, you know, who Elliott Smith was in music history at some university in 20 years, right? Either way, I’m a Chris Gethard fan.
Chris [01:01:54] Makes me feel like if you’re feeling this and I’m feeling this… Like a relatively successful comedian over here. You know? Like, I’m I can admit that. But, I mean, if pastors are feeling it and I’m feeling it, I wonder if there’s not every- wonder if there’s just like a lot of us just going… This idea, this idea that were raised and in kindergarten, they start telling you, what do you want to be when you grow up? And you have to pick it. And then you go to college and you pick a major or you pick a college that’s a divinity school that the whole school’s pointing and that’s your thing. So go into debt and get on board with that idea that that’s going to be your thing. And then pay off the debt. And every month you pay off the debt, you go, How could I ever walk away from this if I sacrificed so much for it? I think we’re all starting to realize, like, maybe it’s not natural to just pick who you’re going to be when you’re 18 years old and then be that person forever. Maybe that’s a very unnatural thing by modern standards. And I wonder if there’s not so many of us out there having these little crises, feeling like we’re in a bubble, feeling like we’re weird for wanting to move on from the things that have felt so important for so long. I wonder if there’s not, like, a bubbling movement of people out there going, Please don’t make me pick who I’m going to be when I’m 19, because I might reserve the right to change that. Can we build some? Can we build something into society where you get to and it doesn’t feel like failing? I’m glad I talked to you. I needed to hear this today.
Caller [01:03:35] You know, you could say, fuck it if you want to.
Chris [01:03:39] I just might. Who knows? Hey, our, our time is up. Last minute, last last few seconds. Last message to the world. I can’t, I can’t thank you enough. Honestly, I needed this one. What’s, what’s the final message out here to the listeners of Beautiful/ Anonymous?
Caller [01:03:54] Oh, man. I love you all. And you’re allowed to say fuck it if you want to change your life.
Chris [01:04:04] Caller, I have to thank you for opening up, telling your story. I will not soon forget that one. No way. I’m glad you’re still around to tell that story. And what a unique and interesting perspective. Thanks for putting it out there. Thanks to Anita Flores for producing the show. Thank you to Ryan Connor for your engineering skills. Thanks to Shellshag for the theme music. Hey ChrisGeth.com if you want to know more about what I’m up to, including all my live dates, stand up, Beautiful/ Anonymous tapings. They’re all up there. And wherever you’re listening right now, there’s a button that says something like subscribe, favorite, or follow, and when you hit that button, it’s one of the things you can do in a simple way that just helps the show so much. So thanks in advance if you consider doing so. If you want merch, we got mugs and shirts and posters and stuff. Those are all up on Pod Swag. You’re also going to want to check out Stitcher.com/premium. You can get episodes of the show there without any ads and there’s tons of other shows over there, too. Other ad free shows, exclusive shows. You can get a promo code “stories”. You get a one month free trial at Stitcher.com/premium.