Sasha Sagan kicks off the Strange Customs podcast with actor, author, and activist BRANDON KYLE GOODMAN in a thoughtful and hilarious conversation about an ancient custom that is a major part of Brandon’s life—but one they couldn’t have participated in just a few years ago.

We’ll also hear from historian STEPHANIE COONTZ about how changeable and varied this “traditional” custom has actually been over the centuries.

Episode excerpt

BRANDON: I stopped going to church and wasn’t reading my Bible, but I was yearning and missing the spiritual connection. To me, spirituality could be meditation, it could also be like laying on your yard and looking at the stars. It could be going on a hike. It could be watching your favorite YouTube videos of Whitney Houston singing. It’s whatever fills your heart and fills your cup and brings you joy and allows you to feel grounded. That, to me, is the purpose of spirituality. Not this book of rules, things you can and can’t do and shouldn’t say. It’s like—just be a good person. That’s it.

For me, with Christianity specifically, God is this white man in the sky with a long beard and a book that’s like, “You can’t get in here.” If that’s your vibe, that’s your vibe. But for me, we’re far more complicated than that.