Blog 2017-11-17T15:58:00+00:00

Bart’s Blog

602, 2019

The letter I sent about our new gatherings in Cincinnati

By | February 6th, 2019|

Dear Friends,

As I shared at our last potluck, I’m not alone in longing for a regular, content-driven gathering that’s overtly focused on pursuing love as way of life. Indeed, it appears that the main obstacle to launching such a gathering isn’t a lack of interest, but rather the lack of an affordable space big enough to hold all the people who might want to give it a try. So then, instead of just waiting, we’re going to forge ahead with a small-scale version of what we have in mind, beginning this coming Sunday, Jan.27th at 10am, right here in my dining room.

Unlike the potlucks, however, these events will start on time at 10am sharp, and end in less than an hour. Then you can stay or not for coffee and cookies until a hard stop at noon. And what happens in between? A simple combination of music, a guided meditation, a short TED-ish talk, and a little intentional connection, all arranged around a specific theme, with the goal of inspiring each of us to grow in lovingkindness. If that sounds to you like some kind of house church for humanists, well, you’re not far off.

Don’t worry, though, we’ll still have meet-ups at Coffee Emporium two Sundays a month, for those who want more casual fellowship, and monthly reading groups as well. I just hope you’ll give this new thing a try, too.

Your friend,


PS – I wish we could offer a special program for children, but I’m afraid that’ll have to wait until we’ve got a better venue. For now, please feel free to bring coloring books or other quiet play options along with your kiddos.

PPS In case you’re wondering, the theme of this first meeting is Paying Attention.

910, 2018

Bart’s Book List (Part 2)

By | October 9th, 2018|

Bart’s Book List (Part 2)

Here’s the second half (or a little more than half) of my reading list, and please check out our accompanying in-depth bonus podcast episode over on Patreon, just for podcast insiders, partners and supporters!

Here are the books we talk about in the bonus episode:

  • Reclaiming Conversation – Sherry Turkle
  • Mating in Captivity – Esther Perel
  • The Art of Loving – Erich Fromm
  • Dancing in the Streets – Barbara Ehrenreich
  • The True Believer – Eric Hoffer
  • The Beginning of Infinity – David Deutsch
  • Guns Germs and Steel – Jared Diamond
  • Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom
  • Good to Great – Jim Collins
  • The Believing Brain – Michael Shermer

Want to hear about these books, why I chose them, why I love them and recommend them? Head over to Patreon HERE, where for as little as a buck a month you can support the podcast and get bonus content for it.

1809, 2018

Bart’s Book List (Part 1)

By | September 18th, 2018|

People often ask for a list of books that I would recommend. The list has changed a little over time, but we figured we’d put it out in two ways: a simple list here on my blog for everybody, and a more in-depth bonus podcast episode over on Patreon just for podcast supporters!

So, here are the books we talk about in the bonus episode:

  • The Sacred Depths of Nature – Ursula Goodenough
  • The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins
  • The Great Agnostic – Susan Jacoby
  • Various books – Robert G. Ingersoll
  • Letter to a Christian – Nation Sam Harris
  • The Righteous Mind – Jonathan Haidt
  • The Blank Slate – Stephen Pinker
  • The Tipping Point and other books – Malcolm Gladwell

Want to hear about these books, why I chose them, why I love them and recommend them? Head over to Patreon HERE, where for as little as a buck a month you can support the podcast and get bonus content for it.

We’ll do Part 2 soon!

1805, 2018

Interfaithless Barbecue Beach Party details

By | May 18th, 2018|

In brief:

On Saturday, May 19th, on the sandy shores of the Southern California coast, will be the 9th Interfaithless Barbecue Beach Party at Bolsa Chica State Beach, California. This event is hosted by my friend Morris Bird, who appeared on Humanize Me after the party last May (Episode 211 HERE).

You must RSVP with Morris otherwise you will not know where to find them on the beach. It is a 3-mile beach and you won’t find them if Morris doesn’t tell you where they will be. Morris’ email address is below. If you can’t make it this weekend, the next one will be on Saturday, September 8th.

The complete details:

The annual Southern California interfaithless start-of-summer get-together will be held on Saturday, May 19 at Bolsa Chica State Beach. Everything starts at 3pm. After hanging out with your fellow ‘exes’ and enjoying the beach, the BBQ ribs (that’s right, y’all get ribs) will be ready around 6pm. Stay as long as you’d like and enjoy the fire. The beach closes at 10pm when the lifeguard trucks come by telling the group to leave.

Note: This beach does not allow alcohol or pets. In the past, this event has attracted ex-Christians, ex-Mormons, ex-Jehovah Witnesses, ex-Orthodox Jews, ex-Muslims, ex-Scientologists, ex-Adventists. At recent events, people travelled from as far as Las Vegas and San Francisco to attend. Mingling with counterparts from similar backgrounds is, for lack of a better word, heavenly. Parking at the beach is $15. Bring some food to share if you’d like, or just bring yourself. The man planning the event and smoking the ribs (Morris) accepts tips, but it’s not mandatory. Don’t not come if that’s an issue. You must RSVP for this event by emailing Morris. To those who RSVP, Morris will let you know the exact spot on the beach. If you don’t RSVP, you’ll be lost on a 3-mile beach trying to find the party.

Email Morris at .

404, 2018

You Can Do Love

By | April 4th, 2018|

Last month I had a great time sharing this message with the good – and mostly secular – folks at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Cincinnati, just around the corner from my old house in Walnut Hills.

I’m not sure what it said in the program, but it should have been titled, “You Can Do Love”.  Honestly, having bombed at NaNoCon a week earlier because I miscalculated my speaking time, it was a huge relief to actually finish the same talk and discover that, well… it kind of works.

I only wish this recording included the 14 year-old who sang the best version of “Imagine” I’ve ever heard just before I got up.


2502, 2018

A Lenten Journal Entry

By | February 25th, 2018|

I’m not the world’s best blogger, but here’s the entry I wrote for Randy Evans, a Christian missionary who’s putting together a Lenten devotional for street people in Wilmington, North Carolina. The other contributors (Richard Rohr, Shane Claiborne, Sarah Heath, Stanley Hauerwas, Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, Doug Pagitt, etc.) are all prominent believers, so I had to double check to see if Randy invited me to contribute by mistake. He wrote back, “Absolutely no mistake. I believe you have something to say. People experiencing poverty need to know they deserve self-respect, self-worth, and dignity….you are a Conveyor of Hope!”  Let’s hope so.  This is an especially hard time of year to be homeless.


Lenten Journal Entry for Randy Evans (Bart Campolo)

I grew up going to church, but I never really understood Lent, let alone the strange Biblical myth behind it, about Jesus spending 40 days in the desert facing the temptations of Satan to sell out the rest of humanity. What I did understand was that each of us kids was supposed to give up something we enjoyed – like candy, soda or television – for the same length of time, as a way of honoring Jesus’ sacrifice, and that to me the whole exercise seemed utterly lame. After all, none of us was setting aside food and shelter like Jesus, let alone preparing to give our lives for others. It wasn’t until I stopped believing in the literal truth of the story – and the reality of God – that I finally recognized the great value of teaching a youngster how to curb his or her craving for luxury for the sake of something – or someone – more important.

Perhaps today you have something precious – a few dollars, a moment of patience, some kind words, a warm place to stay – that you’d normally keep for yourself, but you know someone who really needs you to share it with them. You don’t have to, of course, but if you do you’ll be rejoining the greatest human tradition of all: Sacrifice for the sake of another. There is great dignity in such a choice.

Then again, perhaps today you are the one in need, and your hope hangs on whether or not someone else has learned the lesson of Lent, which is that each of us is entirely worthy of someone else’s sacrifice. If that is the case, and you are suffering because those with more won’t stop indulging themselves, there is great dignity too in reminding yourself that that – and not you – is the real problem, and in vowing not to make the same mistake when your situation improves.

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