I am a talk radio junkie. I love discussions of politics and current events, and listen to as much as I can get, to the usual consternation of the dear wife. Anyone who’s paying attention knows that I lean towards the conservative end of the political spectrum, as does most of the radio I listen to. Living in Utah, that’s sort of a given, though.
That being said, it is somewhat refreshing to hear an alternative point of view spoken intelligently and without rancor. I encourage any of my readers who are talk radio afficianados to take a listen to Shared Sacrifice, a podcast co-hosted by Gary Barkley, whom I consider a good friend and capable orator. Gary and I worked together for a few years in Logan, abusing customers and engaging in juvenile chicanery. Who wouldn’t enjoy working with someone who routinely says things to people like “Sir, if I need a definition of incredulity I need only look at your payment history” or “I refuse to be patronized by a dullard”?
Gary served a tour in Iraq and is author of Shared Sacrifice: Dont Ask Dont Tell & The Global War on Terror. While his political views differ vastly from my own, or from those of my other military chum, Señor Dangriga, I found his first show appropriately opinionated yet willing to consider other views instead of vilifying them. I think it’s healthy to read and listen to people who I disagree with, so I can consider both views. There is so much, on the left and the right, that is concerned only with winning one for their “side” rather than looking at the facts of the issues and having intelligent discussion; resorting to name-calling and self-righteousness instead (Rush Limbaugh, Keith Olbermann, Michael Savage, Chris Matthews, et al). They’re useful to me only for one thing: if I ever start to nod my head in agreement with everything they say, I will have known I’ve gone off the deep end. Gary brings passion as well as knowledge and credibility to his views, and I respect him for it, even if I wasn’t nodding my head the whole time.
Shared Sacrifice‘s first show interviewed Damon Linker, author of The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege. The discussion centered on the view that the religious right in America is trying to stifle liberal democracy, and the separation of church and state. Having mainly listened to shows postulating the opposite, that secular “progressives” are trying to squelch any mention of God in public discourse, it was educational for me. Mr. Linker was mainly discussing Catholic and Protestant theology, so I can’t comment for sure on his accuracy of certain belief systems, but the occasional “them” and “those people” used when referring to religious folk, to me, gave away a little bit more of his understanding than he may have intended. There’s still a ways to go as far as secular and religious minds truly understanding one another, but a good attempt was made. A funny, insightful discussion free of vitriol that I recommend.
Keep it up, Gary.