On August 10, 1984, during an evangelical tent revival service in rural Ohio, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and savior. I was 14, and I was born again. I took this conversion seriously. I spent the coming summers as a teen preacher in the Philippines, Haiti and in China. I witnessed in the streets. I attended a Christian college. I was, as they put it, lock, stock, and two smoking barrels for Jesus.
But that was then, and then is now.
I no longer believe in Jesus. In fact, I no longer believe in God, any God. But what do I do with the fact that I was once “born again”? Was I really reborn? Even if it was only metaphorical, what happened? And now that I do not believe, what happens to my born again status? Am I unborn again? Or re-reborn?
This week’s show unfolds in three chapters: Birth. Rebirth. And Born Again. We take a look at the history of midwifery in the US (with a quick peek at the BBC hit TV show, “Call the Midwife”). Spoiler alert: We aren’t doing so great on the birthing front compared to other industrialized nations. Next we spend time with Benn Marine. He’s a transgender man who tackles the complicated world of gender with empathy and lots of humor. Lastly, I sit down with an evangelical theologian and finally get at those “born again” questions I should have asked a long time ago.