May 10, 2022 • 45M

John Fugelsang - Finding Jesus in a Morass of Religion

The UnChristlike-ness of Fundamentalism

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Appears in this episode

Mark Smeby
My faith has taken quite a beating over the years...but I still want to hang on to it. Organized religion can be a messy and painful mistress—promising love and connection, and instead offering hypocrisy and shame. There’s still so much excellent wisdom within Christianity that can truly revolutionize our world. I want to help fight through the clutter and find the really good stuff. I want to save my faith, and maybe help save yours, too.
Episode details

Episode 5 - Political Comedian and Broadcaster John Fugelsang

WARNING: This episode isn’t for those who are easily offended.

My guest is actor, comedian, writer, and broadcaster John Fugelsang. I first saw John on VH-1 and I knew then that he was a super funny, smart guy. I next saw him when he hosted America’s Funniest Home Videos for a stint. He has appeared on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, HBO, and NPR. Recently, Fugelsang was the host of Current TV’s daily show, Viewpoint, where he analyzed the news and facilitated conversations about current affairs. Currently, he hosts a daily political comedy program called “Tell Me Everything” on the new SiriusXM Insight Channel, which is super entertaining to listen to.

So why am I having John on my podcast? I believe John has some brilliant insights into what it actually means to be a Christian. And I hope we can come up with some ideas on how those of us who consider ourselves to be Christian can steer clear of some of the politically-motivated trappings of fundamentalism.

KEY QUESTION: The irony is that many conservative Christians believe they are supposed to have a bad reputation, they are supposed to be hated, and even persecuted. But if the goal of a Christian faith is to be more like Jesus, might there be a better way to approach the culture? Not as a battlefield, or a gaggle of sinners needing to be saved, but as brothers and sisters reflecting the image of God, made for connection, perhaps even, in need of each other?

Watch the full unedited video on YouTube here.

Quotes from John:

“I aspire to be Christian. I aspire to be more Christian. I would not presume to handle that label on myself. Christianity is under attack and it’s always been under attack by people who declare themselves Christians and actively work against everything Christ talked about. The loudest Christians are the ones rejecting the teachings of Christ. For a lot of Right-Wing America, the Bible consists of the book of Leviticus and the book of Revelation duct-taped to the entire Left Behind series.”

“You have to be able to find God in the eyes of people you despise.”

“I’m not an optimist, I’m a recovering cynic.”

Connect with John at His "Tell Me Everything" show airs on SiriusXM Progress #127 9-12am ET M-F. Find him on Twitter at or at

Books Mentioned (w/Amazon links):

Jesus and John Wayne - Kristin Kobes Du Mez - a “must read.”

Faith After Doubt - Brian D. McLaren

The Sin of Certainty - Peter Enns

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Please check out my book, Losing Control: Finding Freedom By Letting Go, my journey away from a faith driven by fear, shame, and scorekeeping, towards a reframing of Christianity that is actually rooted in faith, hope, and belovedness. It’s also available as an audiobook!

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