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"Safe, Legal, and Good"? The Tragic New Abortion Paradigm

Episode Notes In today's episode we're talking about abortion--more specifically, how we're moving away from the language of "safe, legal, and rare" to an ideation of abortion as an unqualified good. This is a short conversation, but you may be interested in our longer discussion of this topic that we recorded originally in 2016. See our episode from January 22 of last year (2019) called From the Archives: 46 Years After Roe: Links: Alexandra...


In Review: "Rise of Skywalker" w/Chandler Ryd

Reviewing Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker w/Chandler Ryd [SPOILERS ABOUND] In this episode Chandler joins the show to talk about the ninth serial installment in the Star Wars saga, "Rise of Skywalker." We talk about Zac's theory of the five levels of Star Wars fandom, J.J. Abrams as a franchise director, "The Last Jedi" vs "Rise of Skywalker," Disney's effect on the franchise, the "Guardianization" of Star Wars, and discontinuity in the Star Wars canon. We'd love to hear what you think of...


Holiday Food News w/Margaret Perry

Holiday Food news w/Margaret Perry Today is our last release before Christmas Day, and Margaret Perry joins us on the show to talk about Holiday Food News! On the conversation list: mashed potato recipes, peppermint bark, and taco-scented wrapping paper (among other things), and we close out the episode with a Trader Joe's true fan litmus test, which we all fail miserably. We'll be back during the 12 days of Christmas with more content--in the meantime, have a very Merry Christmas! We'd...


The Popped Cast: Christmas Music Merry Madness

The Popped Cast: Merry Madness of Christmas Music! March has March Madness. December has Merry Madness! In this crossover edition, we hop onto The Popped Cast to talk with hosts Josh and Maureen Goldman about the best Christmas songs of all time. Sixteen candidates go head-to-head in a bracket tournament until we declare one the winner! If you like what you hear, check out The Popped Cast wherever you get your podcasts, or head to We'd love to hear what you...


Making Room for Christ(mas)

Making Room for Christ(mas) In today's episode of Vernacular, we talk about some ways that you can "make room" for Christmas despite all of the distracting noise of the season. We talk about hospitality, generosity, sharing of your things, hosting guests, maintaining family rhythms, avoiding Black Friday, penitence, the 12 days of Christmas, caroling after Christmas (gasp!), and devotional practices. We'd love to hear what you think of this episode! Reach out to us: Email | Instagram |...


Fighting Cancer, "Improved" Gene Editing, and More Bioethics News

Fighting Cancer, "Improved" Gene Editing, and More Bioethics News In this episode we review some bioethics news (links below) and talk about a new book about fighting cancer (and when enough is enough) and advancements in gene editing that some are talking about as "a significant step towards [being] able to make just about any kind of DNA change that anyone wants at just about any site in the human genome." Prime Editing (NPR) Article on Dr. Rebrikov's efforts at altering "deaf" gene...


Food News (October) w/ Elena

Food News (October) w/ Elena We take advantage of Elena's visit to record an episode about the Food News you never knew you needed for the month of October. Liquor-filled tide pods? Check. Dave Chang's take on international food aisles as bastions of racism? Check. Cat Advent calendars? Check. We also have our first-ever on-air taste test, trying out Clif Bar's new Spiced Pumpkin Pie flavor. We'd love to hear what you think of this episode! Reach out to us: Email | Instagram | Twitter |...


Does "Ad Astra" fulfill its ambitions? w/Lara & Chandler Ryd and Josh Goldman

Does "Ad Astra" fulfill its ambitions? Lara & Chandler Ryd and Josh Goldman join Vernacular this week to talk about James Gray's Ad Astra, starring Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, and Liv Tyler (sort of). We share our observations and criticisms of the work, commiserate about the perils of voice-over, pick our favorite cinematography excerpts, and talk about space baboons. It's a fun conversation about a movie that doesn't quite cut it for most of us. We'd love to hear what you think of this...


Fall Read/Watch/Listen Recommendations!

Fall Read/Watch/Listen Recommendations! The September Equinox happened this week, which mean's it's time for October baseball, stiff breezes, early sunsets, and honeycrisp apples! In this episode we share some of the things that we've been reading, watching, and listening to (or plan to) as the leaves start to turn crimson--we have some ideas for media to accompany your pumpkin spice lattes and Oktoberfest ales this season. We'd love to hear what you think of this episode! Reach out to...


Food News w/Zac and Sally

Food News w/Zac and Sally In a departure from our regularly scheduled programming, we take a lighthearted look (inspired by the sadly defunct "Food News" from Grantland) at food news from around the country. Take a listen to hear about "Grocery Happy Hour" in Finland, the Popeyes Chicken Sandwhich craze (and why Zac used to think Popeyes was a Catholic establishment), Starbucks' newest idea, and the pumpkin lineup at our beloved Trader Joe's. Let us know if you like this episode--we had...


Philosophy and NBC's "The Good Place" w/Alexi Sargeant

The Philosophy of NBC's "The Good Place" w/Alexi Sargeant In this episode previous Vernacular guest Alexi Sargeant (freelance writer and Managing Director of the Aquinas Institute at Princeton University) joins us to talk about NBC's "The Good Place" and what it tells us about our final destination, ethical quandaries, and the art of being human. For more info on Alexi's work, follow him on Twitter. You can also read his article about "The Good Place" here. We'd love to hear what you think...


Dad Pod: Talking Fatherhood w/Nate Seibt

Dad Pod: Talking Fatherhood w/Nate Seibt In this episode of Vernacular (Zac is thrilled about the title), Nate Seibt returns to the podcast to talk about the joys and failures of fatherhood. Zac and Nate swap stories of bedtime struggles, obedience trials, transitioning from the workplace to the home on the end of day commute, and what they would tell their pre-dad selves about what fatherhood is all about. We'd love to hear what you think of this episode! Reach out to us: Email |...


Messy Motherhood w/ Maureen Goldman and Caitlin Brian

Episode Notes In this episode, Sally sits down with fellow moms Maureen Goldman (of The Popped Cast) and Caitlin Brian to talk about their current joys and challenges as moms. Tune in to hear about picky eating, discipline, and raising rambunctious youngsters. Maureen mentioned her latest project, Working Mom Savvy! We'd love to hear what you think of this episode! Reach out to us: Email | Instagram | Twitter | Patreon Outro music: Heroine Queen by Hallows


Resisting Throwaway Culture w/Dr. Charlie Camosy

Resisting Throwaway Culture w/ Dr. Charlie Camosy In today's episode of Vernacular, we sit down for a conversation with Dr. Charlie Camosy about his recent book, Resisting Throwaway Culture: How a Consistent Life Ethic Can Unite a Fractured People (New City Press, May 2019). We discuss how the Consistent Life Ethic (CLE) can challenge people of all political stripes to reevaluate their long-held beliefs on some of our most polarizing topics--including abortion, immigration, reproductive...


*Bonus Episode* "Creedal Catholic" with Meg Hunter-Kilmer

Today we have a special bonus episode of Zac's new theology podcast, Creedal Catholic! See below for show notes, and if you like what you hear, go ahead and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts! We'd love to hear what you think of this episode! Reach out to us: Email | Instagram | Twitter | Patreon Preaching, Bishops, and Staying Catholic w/Meg Hunter-Kilmer Meg Hunter-Kilmer, the "Hobo for Christ" (, joins Zac to talk about how Catholics can encourage their priests...


Our Accidental Experiment in Minimalism

Accidental Minimalism It's been well over a month since we arrived in Colorado, but we still don't have our furniture and other household items. It's actually a good thing though! In this episode, we talk about what we've learned in this accidental experiment in minimalism: a) you can always do with less, and it's easier than you think; b) having less forces you to be oriented outward towards friends and neighbors; and c) having less makes you more grateful. We'd love to hear what you...


Summer Read/Watch/Listen Recommendations!

Book, TV, and Podcast Recommendations for Summer In this episode, hot on the heels of our big Colorado move, we break down some of the reading, TV, and podcast material that has been consuming our time lately. Among the recommendations: a C.S. Lewis trilogy, a great new crime fiction mystery series, a couple of great theology books, a hagiography by a Nobel Prize winner, a bingeable murder mystery podcast, and HBO's new Chernobyl miniseries. If you like our work, please consider supporting...


Upping Your Coffee Game w/Nathan Seibt

Upping your Coffee Game In this episode we're joined by Nathan Seibt (follow Nate on Instagram here), who talks with us about his passion for coffee, what the average Joe needs to know about a cup o' Joe, and offers some practical ways to step up your coffee game. Some of the resources Nate mentioned are below: Stumptown Coffee Roasters 7 Ways to Level Up Your Morning Coffee Routine Brew the Perfect Cup: The Complete Guide Where the Wild Coffee Grows We'd love to hear what you think...


Book Club: J.K. Rowling's Cormoran Strike series w/Theresa Breslin

The Book Club Returns! In this episode, we sit down with Theresa Breslin, a repeat guest on the podcast, to talk about the latest series from J.K. Rowling, who is writing the Cormoran Strike under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. We talk about Rowling's masterful character development, the arc of the eventual 9 books in the series (only four have been published so far), the romantic tensions between the central characters, and more! But don't worry--if you haven't read the books yet, we...


How We Learned to Distrust Social Media

How We Learned to Distrust Social Media Social media is everywhere. If you're reading this, chances are that you have at least one account on a major social site. We do! But in this episode we scratch the surface a little bit on the ideas driving social media, and the results aren't that encouraging. Listen along to hear about perverse incentive structures and the problems with advertising. We're not Luddites though, so we close with three ideas to help you better use social media. We'd...