Brother Sam Singleton. Easily one of the highlights of Skepticon 4. Okay, there were a whole lot of highlights of Skepticon 4, and over the next few days, I’m going to be saying “This was one of the highlights of Skepticon 4” a lot. And I’m going to mean it every time. But I want to start here.
You know how a lot of atheists — myself included — keep yammering about how the atheist community needs to acknowledge the human needs that religion is fulfilling, and find ways to fill them ourselves? Brother Sam Singleton is one of the folks on the ground actually doing that. Whatever else you may say about them, Christian evangelist prayer meetings fill some real human needs and desires: the need and desire for ritual, for shared ecstatic experience, for inspired and inspiring oratory, for letting loose and going wild in a safe and loving place. In his atheist evangelist performances — and especially in his new “Revival” show, which he debuted at Skepticon 4 — Brother Sam provides all that… without all the bullshit about an invisible friend in the sky who loves you more than anyone and is going to totally fuck you up if you don’t love him back exactly the way he wants.
Mimicking/ mocking a Holy Roller church service — complete with singing, praise, testimony from the audience, the whole nine yards — this is a much more participatory show than his previous ones, and it’s even more wildly fun. It is a hoot and a holler… laced with serious ideas, wild humor, and invective that’s like a razor blade dipped in venom. If Brother Sam comes to your area, I urge you to drop everything and make room in your calendar to see him. Especially if he’s doing “Revival.” I would happily see this show again and again. Goddamn!
This, by the way, is the infamous performance that ticked off Gelato Mio owner Andy Drennen and sparked Gelatogate. So if you just want to know what all that fuss was about… well, this is it. Enjoy!