Aliens forcing intergovernmental diplomacy; Ted Kaczynski: the time traveler; a two year old possessed by the devil when he murdered his grandmother; and other paranormal phenomena are all issues that Dr. Michael V. Coots discussed with me over the phone prior to the commencement of his live talk-radio broadcast, “After Dark With Dr. Mike” on 1480 AM and 93.9 FM.
In all honesty, I was quickly beginning to get the sense that this radio program was going to be like listening to a schizophrenic rap battle. What was heard, in contrast, was one of the most compelling conversations on faith that I have ever heard over the airwaves thanks in large part to the night’s guest Jon Pompia, columnist for the Pueblo Chieftain. To effectively summarize the course of conversation on this night’s broadcast in so few words would be akin to sewing water to the wall; it would be a legitimate miracle.
Pompia served for twelve years as an altar boy being groomed for the priesthood in the Catholic Church, and his training as a practicing Catholic spanned a period of twenty-five long years. Jon Pompia came prepared with citation after citation for a two-hour discussion on the nature of the Christian God, summoning the voices of everyone from Mark Twain to the Apostles themselves.
Although a self-described “seeker” of faith, he now rejects the Christian God as nothing but “hogwash” because of items in the Old and New Testaments that in his mind undermine any claims that others may have of a benevolent creator. He described the Christian faith as a “snowball that rolled over dozens of pagan religions.” It was apparent that the night’s discussion was going to be a provocative one.
The first caller, Samson, agreed with Pompia that organized religion is one of the main factors that divide our modern world. Pompia added that he had been waiting in vain for any headline to read: “Atheists Attack Agnostics Over Land In the Middle East.” Describing instances in which the Bible advocates men to marry their rape victims, sex slavery, and the stoning of disobedient children, Jon was on a heretical tear that virtually begged a faithful retort. The two that came had a similar theme.
Two female Christian callers echoed one another in their belief that the Bible is a fallible book by design, having been written by mortal men trying to articulate the whims and rule of God. The latter caller went as far as to say that the rules set forth were actually patriarchal commands that men where imposing on each other, invoking a God merely as a means of subjugation and control. Jon pressed the latter caller to provide concrete evidence of a loving God without using terms of feeling. Convinced that she was not following these instructions faithfully, there were a few moments of interruption and friction, but ultimately the whole of the night’s discourse was educational, respectful, and compelling.
Dr. Michael V. Coots, and engineer, Jared Kershaw, largely assisted in providing garnish to the debate. Having no other reference, I can’t say whether or not this broadcast was representative of what one can expect of the show as a whole. But I can say one thing with confidence: this was one unforgettable night of radio. I will definitely be tuning into 1480 AM and/or 93.9 FM anytime between 9-11pm, Monday through Friday, to find out whether or not this night’s program was a freak paranormal experience in itself or actually what it seemed: a refreshing program that celebrates the tenets of free speech and respectful debate.
PRINT CORRECTION: In the print edition we incorrectly listed the show’s information. The radio program is After Dark with Dr. Mike. It airs every Monday to Friday from 9-11PM on 93.9 PM or 1480 AM
By Kevin Healey