July 21, 2022

The Men We Need With Brant Hansen


Here’s my impressive-sounding bio.

Brant Hansen is an author, nationally syndicated radio host, and advocate for healing children through  CURE International.

He’s won national “personality of the year” awards for his work on his offbeat and quirky radio show. His podcast with his friend and radio producer, Sherri Lynn (“The Brant and Sherri Oddcast”) has been downloaded more than 10 million times.

His first book, Unoffendable, has prompted a national discussion on the idea of forgiveness, and our culture’s embrace of self-righteous anger.

His second book, both provocative and very personal, is Blessed are the Misfits: Great News for Those Who Are Introverts, Spiritual Strugglers, or Just Feel Like They’re Missing Something. In this book, Hansen addresses his own, and many others’,  inability to “feel God’s presence”, and how God might Himself feel about that.

His latest,  The Truth About Us: The Very Good News About How Very Bad We Are, hit bestseller lists in spring/summer of 2020.

He has been married for 30 years to Carolyn, and they have two grown children.

But.... here's My real bio:

Brant Hansen has no idea what he’s doing.

He keeps showing up, and people keep asking him to do stuff, and he keeps saying yes.

Except when he has to say no, and then he feels kinda guilty about it.

He has ideas, and sometimes they leak out on paper or over the airwaves, and people read them, or hear them, and then look at him funny.

He doesn’t want to brag about it or anything, but he was PRESIDENT of the Illinois Student Librarians Association. He was also All-Conference in “Scholastic Bowl”, and lettered in basketball and football (both for keeping statistics) and was President of his own Stamp Collector Club, which consisted of himself.

Brant always looks inappropriately intense. He can’t help it.

He also has nystagmus, which causes his eyes to shake and his head to move involuntarily. He’s always been ashamed of this, but it is what it is. Brant’s wife thinks he’s handsome anyway, so when he’s around her, he doesn’t have to think about it.

Brant is really, really skeptical. More skeptical than skeptics, as it turns out, especially the one-way sort who are only skeptical of religious claims, but not themselves.

He thinks Jesus is the only person who really makes sense. Jesus said “No one is good but God” and this affirms Brant’s observations of himself, others, and all of human history.

Brant is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. It causes him to say things you’re not supposed to say, apparently. But he asks God to please, please help him not to hurt people, but to be a blessing to them.

Brant is thankful for anyone who wants to be friends, but he gravitates to outcasts and weirdos, because they’re usually nice to him.

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Transcript

Josh:

Good day fellows. Welcome to uncensored advice for men. My name's Josh. I'm your host. This has been so fun interviewing people, bringing you guys advice you in my audience. You guys have questions and you're like, you asked me, I don't know. I go ask some of my friends, bring them on the show, hit record, share the conversation with you. On today's show, we have a guy named Brant, and he's going to talk with us about some cool things that maybe has never even been in your mind before. A brand welcome to the show, man.

Brant:

Thanks. Honored to be here.

Josh:

Yeah. All right. So you're an author. You ha you've been in thousands of different shows. Like if you type your name in YouTube, you see all sorts of videos and such, why don't you give us an overview of like, why, as a content creator, like what is, what message are you trying to put out to the world? And who are you while doing that?

Brant:

I talked about the kingdom of God, Jesus, favorite subject. Most people don't. I mean, most church people don't know that. I think it's really beautiful and it operates in such a different way, especially given what we're going through as a country right now, politically like the kingdom doesn't like Satan offered Jesus, everything, all the political power. He said, no, like, this is this. Isn't how my kingdom works. And it's so beautiful. Once you see it in action, how everything gets turned upside down. Like you want it, you want more of it and you'll do what it takes to get to it. And it'd be part of it. That said, one thing I do is I work, I'm leaving tomorrow to go to Africa. I work with a hospital network called cure, and it's the best expression of who Jesus is I've ever seen. Like, I struggle with a lot of what the church does and how we operate some times. I get hospitals that provide surgeries for kids that have no money and they're completely mocked and rejected by their communities because they have a disability that we could fix. So that's what our hospitals do. We fix them, we give them top notch, orthopedic and neurosurgeries and we do it in the name of Jesus. We pray for them and we let their families know, but these are top flight hospitals that serve the poorest of the poor. So that's my main thing. And I use my platforms, books. My radio show is syndicated on a couple of hundred stations, but the stations don't actually pay me. They have to, they have to air cure spots if they run my show. That's, it's a sweet arrangement because then I don't have to necessarily work for a radio station, whatever. I could just be part of it. I get to be part of this work. Like I said, I think it's the best expression of Jesus I've ever seen. So that's what I do.

Josh:

Super cool. In the process of running your show, like if, if we're listening into one of your shows, so give us an idea of what's the name of your show? Give it a shout out, give a plug.

Brant:

Oh, sure. It's just called the brain Hanson show, but you can find the podcast if want to end the podcast with my police or Sherry. She's on my show too, but a it's called the brand and Sherry OD cast. If you want to check it out, it is a weird mixture of comedy attempts. I'm like straight up, like we've both done stand up and then it's bizarre. And it's also deep. It's, you'll be like, you'll have whiplash. You're like what in the world? But it's, it's been successful. So it's wonderful. We have had maybe 12, 13 million downloads so far. So it's gone really well.

Josh:

Yeah, man. That's awesome. I know we're going to talk about the subject of, the kingdom of heaven and you do a lot of work of talking about men and you wrote a book on it, right. But yeah. What inspired you to start a show called the odd cast? Right? Like what inspired that?

Brant:

Well, and I know I'm weird. Especially like, people have certain expectations about how a radio show works and our show sticks out. We didn't been told by consultants, like you're on these stations, you have to tell people, you're strange. Like, cause people have to give you a week or two weeks before they catch on to what's going on. Cause at first they were like, why is this monotone white nerd guy on with this boisterous African-American lady? Suddenly talking deeply about God, and then it'd be an end playing the accordion live. I play the flute live. I do all sorts of theater, the mind stuff, because it's who we are.

Josh:

Yeah.

Brant:

You know, so I know it's odd. People, I had to name the podcast something, and if I, Hey, it Ryan's with odds. There you go.

Josh:

There you go. So you're a flutist. You, you share that with will Ferrell and Terry crews, right.

Brant:

That's right. Are you free to call it flutist, but that's just to be high and mighty,

Josh:

Toot your own horn, right? Yeah. All right. You have this podcast and like wildly successful, but like consultants and people are going, Hey, bro. Like you have to tell people that you're weird. Like why? Like,

Brant:

Well, because.

Josh:

Initiated that.

Brant:

We're on all these Christian radio stations and like their music stations. They expect you to go, Hey, coming up, we've got the next song from blah, blah. You know? And I don't do that. I, I, I sound different on the air. Like it's, I sound just like this, but it's like, people don't expect it to be that raw and in not smooth. It's really a show about struggling to do a show. So.

Josh:

I feel like I'm living that. Right.

Brant:

Yeah. That's exactly it. We're just, we're so transparent about it and it's bracing and it's still, if people, especially, I think baby boomers tend to be thrown by it. If they're listening there, they're like, why isn't this guy trying to be smooth? Like is even competent don't you want? Younger people or people that have strange stitches of humor, it's like, they're like, yes. Finally one of us got on the air, ? It sounds like a real, it sounds like weird friends, like strange friends,

Josh:

If you could, this is far left question, off the wall question. Like, if you could play the flute on the stage with like Metallica or corn or like a heavy metal band, like, do you think you could keep up with them,

Brant:

Keep up with them. I could add some like at Moss and ambient coolness. I totally would too. And I absolutely. If Metallica was actually two of them, Italian, you guys live right over here.

Josh:

Let's go get them right now. And we'll put on a concert,

Brant:

You guys looking for a mediocre.

Josh:

I could be the commentary about it the whole time. Yeah. We could do it. Yeah.

Brant:

Yeah. That and I do puppets too. I got a lot of puppets, ? So it's weird. I mean, nobody and people don't expect puppets on the radio, so,

Josh:

Yeah. That is all right. So that is very unique. Very weird. Right. Puppets, flute, accordion.

Brant:

Yeah.

Josh:

What was your childhood like? Tell us about your upbringing.

Brant:

This is just it. I never felt like I fit in. I was always an observer. I never understood why humans behave the way they do. I still don't, but I make room for it. I try to adapt to it, to put people at ease because I need to love them, but I still don't understand, but okay. As an adult that comes in handy for observational humor, because things that people take for granted, but are really funny. You can point those out and that's usually what Seinfeld does or a lot of people. I was the president when I was in high school, I was the president of the Illinois student librarians association, but entire state.

Josh:

Nice.

Brant:

Played the flute in the marching band. Gosh, what else did I was a nerd. I mean, I was, I dominated Scholastic bowl, like Quizbowl, I mean, I would just all conferences, a freshmen I'm really good at trivia night at a pub. So my upbringing was very church. My dad was a pastor, but it was also a very scary childhood. I went through a couple of divorces and a lot of drama and a lot of trauma and a lot of fear.

Josh:

No kidding. What so PK, you guys are the worst pastor kids aren't there, right?

Brant:

Yes. Right.

Josh:

You went through a lot of trauma divorces. Like what could you do? Do you mind opening the kimono and sharing? Like what was the cause of that?

Brant:

My dad, he's very sorry. There was, I, I'm a limited what I can say out of respect for him, but I did write in one of my books called blessed that are the misfits about being wounded. I did mention some of the scary stuff. He's a big guy and there's stuff that happened that was traumatizing. He was in and out of psychiatric care and whatnot too. The thing was, were still doing sermons. We're still up there every week. I had this dichotomy, very extreme dichotomy of fundamental Bible teaching and an abject for your,

Josh:

How does that, so God heavenly father, right? How does earthly father who's scary and you can't even share some of the stuff that you've experienced. How, how do you see God, heavenly father earthly, loving father sometimes on the stage preaching about a heavenly father, but then maybe not doing some stuff that a loving father would do.

Brant:

Oh yeah. I think to this day, I'm still learning how good God is to this day. I mean that in a positive way, really, but it's like, it was so scary. My impression of him was so scary and not relatable. It, and the more I see who Jesus is, the more drawn I am to God. I also had to realize, and I think you do, you can do this when you're young, you can go, what? God is a better father. Like he's the father, if let's say you're you grew up in orphan, you can still dream of a great father, even if you don't have it.

Josh:

Yeah.

Brant:

So I, I can make that separation. I'll tell you what though. I am extraordinarily skeptical of everything. I joke about this, but it's true. I used to do talk radio. I would interview the guy who's the, who was the founder of skeptic magazine. And he was a humanist. He was the president of the American humanist association. I would have him on routinely and I was a believer and we would debate and talk about stuff routinely. He literally said, you're more skeptical than any than I am.

Josh:

Yeah.

Brant:

Like that. The key was that the reason I'm a believer is because I'm at, I would like to think of an equal opportunity skeptic. I'm not just skeptical of Christian claims. Like I'll look at alternatives and be skeptical of them too. I feel like a lot of people don't do that. Honestly. It's one way skepticism.

Josh:

One way doesn't mean, I like that.

Brant:

I don't think a lot of people actually believe their atheism. I don't, I think they're in denial. I don't think they live. Like, what they're saying is true. So like there's all sorts of things. Jesus is the only person who acknowledges human sin, which I think is an observable fact. I don't know how we avoid that fact. Like the humans don't love. Like we should, like, he acknowledges it and actually does something about it. He calls out the religious hypocrisy, like that's, it's medicinal for me, how he operates and who he is. It's like, if I was going to design a God, it would be Jesus. Right. He's very appealing to me, but my skepticism has chased me back around. Cause I don't actually believe the alternatives make logical coherent sense. So there you go.

Josh:

That's super cool. All right. One way skepticism, and we might see that and we could call that like, close-minded right. Like this is my way this, there's no other way, but that's one way skepticism taking a look at alright, show me the alternative and then CR like putting it through a lens.

Brant:

Yeah. Or, or I'll give you an example. I'm sorry. Just cause you got me started thinking about this.

Josh:

Right.

Brant:

So we love to deconstruct our faith. Okay. Fair enough. I've done that, I've asked tough questions and I've had to get rid of certain things and cling to certain things and decide, does this make sense and start all over. Okay. But how about deconstruct the culture? Does it actually work like the larger culture before you deconstruct Christianity? Just kind of been to the flow of culture? Like, is it really wise? Is it working? Is hyper consumeristic approaches to sexuality? It working well for us as a race of people? Like God has ideas about sexuality and the Bible. That's totally out of step with our larger cultural ideas. Okay. Fair enough. How are our cultural ideas working out? Like if we actually, I never hear anybody talk about this, but let's say we think God's idea of sexuality and the Bible as it's expressed is regressive and blah, blah. Okay. Fine. For argument's sake. The culture's IVQ let's compare the two. If we actually obeyed God in a sexual arena, now I'm a sexual center. Everybody listening is too. Let's say we did just thought experiment. Sure. There wouldn't be any human trafficking. There wouldn't be sexual abuse. There wouldn't be any sexual harassment. There wouldn't be rape. There wouldn't be incest. There wouldn't be a need for millions of abortions. There wouldn't be kids like massive amounts of divorces are caused by sexual unfaithfulness. Like you can go on aids, sexually transmitted diseases by the hundreds of the millions we wouldn't have. So is the culture actually reasonable? I mean, is that like comparing the two ways you want to deconstruct this and not ask questions about that? I don't think it's working. I think we have a massive, we've opened up a massive Pandora's box of destruction.

Josh:

Do you think it's, do you think it's like this pendulum swing, right? That it's just like, all right, this is what God said. Let's let's go. How far, the other direction and see if that works. We'll deconstruct this and build this over here. Right. As is the pendulum swinging or have we not even seen how far this pendulum can go?

Brant:

Well, if you look at anthropology, I think you can find some similarities about pagan. I would say that's a, that's a, a big word or a loaded word. It can have negative connotations. I don't even mean, but look at it, look at the nations that surrounded Israel and what they practiced.

Josh:

Sodom and Gomorrah.

Brant:

Yeah. It's.

Josh:

It's,

Brant:

It's, it's exploitative, it's deadly, there's mass and infanticide. I mean, that's very common in human history. Like just absolute abject brutality. Even during Jesus' time, like what was going on with the capitalist and he'd be, he would take the disciples over there nearby and say, and they were, it was called the gates of hell. They would have the, in the festival to pan right there. It was a mass beastiality in a temple. No kidding, not kidding. Like that's what it was known for. And, and temple prostitutes and its culture was highly horrible. The children. It's like, I don't know if it's a pendulum swaying or it's just, we've got different spiritual leaders in the tend to rule over cultures and they tend to do the same stuff. So I know that's trippy.

Josh:

It is trippy. Maybe if everybody was on trips right now, we would see a lot of stuff that, like that we're actually trying to understand the, you mentioned a spiritual world, right? You said, Satan took, it takes Jesus and he goes, see this kingdom, you could have it, political power, whatever. Right. And, and you said, he said no, because he saw the true kingdom. Satan has done a good job at hiding us where we cannot see what the true kingdom is. Jesus saw it. What does the true kingdom even look like in your.

Brant:

Perspective? Well, I get to see when I go to these hospitals, that's why I love so much about it. The kid, the people who are the absolute rejects are treated like royalty. In the normal kingdom, they're disposable, people are telling the moms a mom's usually abandoned by the dad because the kid has a disability. He'll be like your curse. It's considered a curse really, to be less than, yeah. Who's, who's responsible for this. It must be the mom. You must've done something immoral. That's cross all the cultures where we operate. Mom is blamed. She must be less than, that's why this child is cursed. Dad often leaves. Maybe most of the time leaves she's left alone. The community often says, you need to take your kid to the river and be done with this. Wow. Like, so they go running away screaming. When they see any kind of a quote, unquote deformity or whatever they're dealing with. The kids can't walk. For instance, they got clubfoot and they're 12 years old. They've never like, so all that said, when they come to the door of a cure hospital, our staff is trained. Whether it's housekeeping, nurses, doctors, receptionists, whatever, trained to basically come running through the mom, treat her like a VIP and say, oh my goodness, what a beautiful baby? Or what a, what? A handsome young man. Hey, can I hold the baby? What a beautiful, she's never heard that before. No. We proceed to charge them $0 and 0 cents for sometimes multiple surgeries. And we feed them in the hospital. The moms included, they form like a sorority with other moms. This is what happens at all these hospitals. There is singing there's worship going on in the O R I'm in the, or watching these surgeries happen. The doctors are singing worship songs. They'll have it like on just while they're finishing surgeries, they're praying over the kids. In God's came to first, most important people take a back seat to the people that are considered disposable, who get elevated and it's free. It's a grace. They go back to their villages and the people are like, who did this? Like how we thought you were cursed? Why is your daughter? You know, she's 16 years old. Suddenly she can walk, who did this? And, well, we're not cursed. It turns out that God loves us. I think it's a really good illustration, how the kingdom operates. There's a lot of different facets to it. And Jesus keeps explaining it. He's like the kingdom is like the kingdom. It was like that. And I love that. I keep exploring it and learning about it. One thing it's not as coercive.

Josh:

What do you mean?

Brant:

Well, I can't strong arm somebody into the kingdom and it's not about me forcing other people to, it's not about me getting power over them. It doesn't work that way. Jesus could have done it that way, but he's like, that's not how it works. It's just through the heart.

Josh:

That's how fired. We can't even earn it. Right? Like we can't pay enough money for it. We can't do it. Fix enough kids even for it.

Brant:

Nope. And we don't earn it. We get to enjoy it. And it is beautiful. When you experience it and you realize, wait, I can be a part of his kingdom on earth as it isn't a habit. Like you come alive in that. It's, it's very energizing. One other thing I wanted to say about that.

Josh:

Yeah.

Brant:

I didn't know this till recently. Herod historically, it's one of the richest people of all time and Caesar Augustus is the Zenith of Rome. Jesus is born when they are in charge of that area. Herod had a fortress on a mountain, built by slaves of mountain, built by slaves and it overlooks Bethlehem. Jesus is born in the shadow of like one of the, maybe the richest man in the history of the world and his fortress of power. He's Herod the great at the time of Caesar Augustus. Here's where the real king is born and his set it like, so the shepherds here, the king is more than like the Wiseman accommodate, acknowledge that this is the king. His kingdom is different, but it's indirect opposition to what we think of as how a kingdom works. So I think that's really cool.

Josh:

That is cool, man. I got so many cool questions for you in my head. They're cool. Right. Like, we'll see by the audience of what they think, right? Like, why are you so drawn to people with disabilities or odd things? Like, why are you drawn to it? Embracing it? Why?

Brant:

I do think it's because I'm on a spectrum, the autism spectrum. And I was diagnosed in my thirties. My son's on it as well. I do think that gives me what, how about this? You meet a lot of kids on the spectrum. A lot of them are very ended, a little animals, a lot of them like they love and they feel, and they identify with dogs or little ant like that's. That was me too. Still is there's something about the vulnerable, the vulnerability of them. The fact that they're, they don't require anything of you, relationally, where you don't understand. Humans are hard. I've had to learn how to do eye contact. I've had to learn how to smile, put people at ease. None of that is natural. It's all mechanistic and wrote. I've had to learn how to do small talk.

Josh:

Now you have a radio show with 12 million downloads. Like that's, that's unique that doesn't seem like a natural wiring for someone of, sharing what you're sharing that does. That seems like against the grain for you.

Brant:

Well, I think you'll find if, when you listen to the podcast, you'll go, nah, this is what I expect. Like I can't tell because there isn't any small talk on it. Yeah. I don't do chit-chat on the air. Like it's, that's what I mean. It's I like things that matter. I also like being a goofball, but it's not. And radio is inherently introverted. Just like stand up comedy, you think, oh, but you're talking to all these people. You must be an extrovert. No, no. It's just writing comedy. The discipline of that is an introverted exercise. In radio is your I'm with one person, but that's, she's the only person I work with. I don't work with anybody else.

Josh:

Got it. Yeah.

Brant:

It's I mean, it's in this little studio, like what's pretty introverted.

Josh:

What's one of your go-to jokes where you're, where if you feel like things are a little slow and you're like, this is, I'm pulling this out of the holster. This one's always a good one.

Brant:

Well, I've okay. I actually do use actual jokes. I'm not a big fan of jokes per se, but now I do. I do. I add this piano bed that starts playing and I have Sherry. I'm like, Sherry, go ahead. Can you do the voiceover thing? She'll say, I think we do this live. You're like, it's time for a joke masterclass with your instructor, bran Hanson. And I'll actually read a joke. The thing is when you have serious masterclass music going on, it can be totally stupid. But it's funny to hear the failure. Like it's a, this is a masterclass and it's even when it's not funny and Sherry, most of the time she doesn't react. Like that's not actually that abusing. I'm like, but it is. If you think about it, this is what like, and I have to unpack it. So it's actually about crafting and burning.

Josh:

Yeah.

Brant:

If you're a listener in the car and you're hearing this, like it's hard not to listen to it because it's a train wreck.

Josh:

Yeah. Give us one of your, give us a masterclass, Sherri, or what's her name? Sherry or.

Brant:

Sherry.

Josh:

All right. She's playing the piano in the background and here's the masterclass with Brant. And he's gonna tell us a joke.

Brant:

It's all gone. I gotta,

Josh:

That's a crushing burden right there.

Brant:

Yeah. You're you know, right. I, I got to find my notes. I can't even remember. Let's see. Oh man, dude. I'm sorry. I'm blanking Exodus. That's something I do about every day. I didn't want a day basically. All right. I'm sorry.

Josh:

Well, we'll come back to it. Cause it's going to pig. I don't care what we're talking about when you're ready. Just throw it in. Okay. But all right. In the process living, you said, some trauma growing up, lot of fear, a lot of anxiety you saw hypocrisy inside the house, pastor this, how did you overcome that? Where you're like, okay, I'm going to believe in this guy named Jesus. When you, when you were firsthand witness of something, hip hop hypocritical, like for a lot of people that would turn them off, they would run as far and fast, the other direction as possible.

Brant:

I was ready to, but again, I can't the alternatives to me aren't as compelling. I don't know how, I mean, I don't know how else to say that. It sounds horrible in a pluralistic environment. I supposed to say that, but everybody has exclusive ideas about truth. Like even if somebody says, all religions are saying the same thing, like, well, that's a proclamation that not everybody agrees with. Like who are you to do that? It's like the alternatives to me don't work. I, I know you're not supposed to say that, but I, this is the uncensored thing. What do we do with this then? Are we supposed to pretend that there is no sinfulness, that there is no solution for it or that humans are getting better?

Josh:

We're not.

Brant:

Yeah. I mean, it just, I don't believe that I just I'm skeptical of these claims. It also, what, there was a bombing, where was it? It was in England. It was Ariana Grande's concert or whatever. It was, there was a bombing. They had the Memorial service because people die. This was like five years ago or something. They had all the stars there for this big Memorial concert back in wherever it was Manchester or wherever it was. I can't remember. Yeah. They wrapped it up with a tearful singing of somewhere over the rainbow. There was no mention of God or anything. It was like, in the end, is that all you got like, it's at all you got, and shouldn't my viewpoint of the world. Shouldn't it makes sense of death. Or I have something to say rather than just kind of bland emotionalism. We don't really know what that was all about in the start. The sun's going to eventually supernova in any way or burnout out or whatever it's going to do. It's meaningless. Do we really believe it's meaningless?

Josh:

Yeah.

Brant:

I don't think this works. I don't think anybody really believes that. I think people actually, when they're complaining about Christianity, they actually just want us to better. Christians. What they actually want. They're calling for us to better Christians because deep down, I think they know there's something to this story. That's deeply true.

Josh:

Yeah. That's cool. That's a very unique way of looking at things. You mentioned the kingdom. Once you see the kingdom and you said, you're learning about this, but you said the closest thing that you've seen is what happens in these hospitals or man, you almost made me cry and I'm not allowed to cry on my own show. When the lady walks in and she's carrying a deformed child and the staff runs up to her and says, we're so glad you're here. What a beautiful baby. Like to me, like putting, I have three kids like thinking if one of my kids for that, or if that was my wife or whatever, like that would break my heart. And it breaks my heart. Even here in the story that kids have to suffer. Right?

Brant:

Oh, it is every day. I'm not exaggerating. What frustrates me is that people don't know more about these hospitals. We, we fund the heck out of all sorts of others. I don't even see the connection to Jesus. What a lot of stuff, honestly, but this is so obviously it's, we're healing and proclaiming the kingdom of God. Sorry, my phone. I almost always have.

Josh:

Metallica calling. Did we get the gig.

Brant:

Lars?

Josh:

Yes.

Brant:

Yeah, no. It's it's like the first time I went, it was a hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan. It was started by believers, Christians then Cabo. It was like very dangerous to be there. I went back a few times. I was there three or four times that I would go to this hospital, but it was for women and children. Yeah. The first time I was there, it was a one pound baby. They handed me to hold, who had no name, had been abandoned by her parents at the time they thought she was going to die. What's the point like, and I got to sit there and rock with her. They just need skin time. Like we, next year, but I sat there rocking and I was thinking about God and like how he regards her as prestigious, like in his kingdom, she's royalty. And I like that. I mean, were big about celebrities that she's got no money, no name. She's a woman and Afghanistan.

Josh:

Without just a.

Brant:

Child without a name with no power, no papers, nothing. And God regard her as royalty. Well, I like that. I mean, and so all of these kids that are absolutely on the bottom row, most of them are the last to eat and their own families because they're there because they have a disability.

Josh:

Yeah.

Brant:

For us to honor them, healed them, send them back out, joyfully, skipping, and dancing and running and exclaiming. There's not a day where there's not tears of joy in those hospitals. I'm not, I'm not exaggerating. You we'll just go from one mom to the next. It's quite, I can't believe this is happening. How did this happen? So,

Josh:

The world did you end up there? Cause you're talking about being in the, or amongst flutist accordance. Are you also a surgeon? Like why?

Brant:

I am not, but what's about that. I also have a neurological condition myself and it's called nystagmus and it's, it keeps me from doing stuff like surgery or I was terrible at sports. My eyes moved back and forth rapidly all the time.

Josh:

Oh wow.

Brant:

I can't hunt are not real good with guns.

Josh:

I'm laughing with you. Not at you,

Brant:

It's, it's cool that I get to use my words as I don't, I can't use a scalpel, but I can use my words. I wound up there weirdly enough, because I was, I had an MC and I'm terrible MC a TobyMac connoisseur. And, and they asked me was, it was down here in south Florida. They asked me to make announcement about cure on the stage. I was like, what does that just tell me? And they had a representative there. It was worse with them. She's like, here's what we do. I was like, that sounds interesting, actually, like there's millions of kids with disabilities who don't have access to medical care. That could be fixed. We're believers. What fix them? I mean, it costs about a thousand dollars a surgery. We just do one after the other. It's just a matter of funding. So I'm not a surgeon. When I got excited about this, I took my son when he was in high school age and he got pretty pumped in the Orr. He was standing there for eight, nine hours. So now he's at Yale medical school. Yeah. He's planning to be a surgeon for cure if that's the plan. So we're excited.

Josh:

You emceed an event, Toby Mac, and then they're like, Hey, mentioned something about this. And you're like, all right. Oh, I'm in. And then now you work there.

Brant:

Yeah. That is exactly it. I kept visiting the hospitals to raise awareness and money to fund surgeries for the hospital in Afghanistan. So I was just volunteering. After a while, when I wanted to kind of make a shift in my radio career, they're like, we'll work with us. I just relaunched the radio show with that idea that if you do want to run the show, then you have to talk about cure. So it's been win-win for everybody.

Josh:

Super cool. In, in your journey, you wrote some books, you did a Ted talk and you've been interviewed like a thousand times. Why'd you write the books, right? Like give us an idea of some of the books you wrote, what like, and why'd you write them?

Brant:

Do you know what Seth Goden is? Has a marketing guy. Yeah. Well he wrote a book called linchpin and I recommend it. Yeah. So that's what unlocked me. Like I always thought, oh, I need to write books. I need to write. Cause I enjoyed writing and I'm the board's nerd, but I never did. I was in my late forties, like I'm 52 now. I guess I was mid forties, but I read that book and his whole point was, this is good for anybody to hear. I think there's a point was just do the thing and send it. Even if it's mediocre,

Josh:

Even.

Brant:

If it's a bad ad, just get it done. It was like, there's so many perfectionist. They think it can write the next, I always thought I'd write this epic tome like Tolkien ass thing. Well, I'm not capable of that. So I'm never going to do it. He was just like, look, he himself, like, I'm no great writer, but I keep hitting sin. I keep shipping the product. I keep making the thing, even if it's not good. I resolved to go to the coffee shop, sit down and write a chapter about something. I didn't even know what, write a chapter about something and not get up, not use the bathroom, not order another coffee until a really crappy chapter occurred on the page. I was, I gave myself freedom for it to be really bad, but I'm going to do it.

Josh:

Awesome.

Brant:

So I did it. And then I went back again. I wrote a chapter the next week. It was, I was like, I don't care how bad it is. I'm going to actually get it done. Instead of just dreaming about writing something, I sent those two chapters to Harper Collins. So that's how the books got started.

Josh:

Super cool. How many books is about.

Brant:

It for now? Yeah, it's called an offendable. That was the first book. And they were like, this is intriguing. It has a very counterintuitive idea behind it. I've written this, the men, we need some book that just came out about actual masculinity and stuff. So yeah.

Josh:

Well this is a show about men. Like, let's talk about the men we need. What, give us some points on like what, what are the men we need? Right. Like I'm badass. I got guns. I'm a dealer in shooter, right? Like what does masculinity actually look like?

Brant:

Well, the problem with that, like I grew up in a small town in Illinois. I couldn't play football. I couldn't do sports days or the littlest kid in the class. I'm a nerd. Right. I a huge thick glasses, all that stuff. Like, do I have access to being masculine because I can't do any of that stuff. Like I can't do the guns. I can't, but that did get me thinking over time. Like, so what is uniquely good about masculinity? Because all that other stuff has the trappings of it, right? Yeah. I started thinking about it and then learning about the jobs that Adam was given specifically in Genesis, he's given a specific job as to being a keeper of the guard and Eve is given a role of rescuer, like as a huge laser. And that's what it means. I was just thinking about Adam and his failure to protect the garden and be the keeper of the garden. It got me thinking, well, how are we keepers of our gardens? Like, so it means protecting, it means providing security for people. It also means cultivating beautiful things, letting the vulnerable things in the garden, thrive and flourish.

Josh:

Yeah.

Brant:

Like, like I see that as my role as a husband and father, but also as a friend and a member of a community, like I want to protect the vulnerable and I want my wife to be able to thrive. I want to set the tone so that she's able to use her immense gifts as she wants and Excel in it. I want her to feel secure. I want my kids to feel secure around me. I feel like that's our, that's what masculinity actually is.

Josh:

That's cool. I'm going to give you an opportunity to get some massive brownie points. What's your favorite thing about your wife?

Brant:

Oh gosh.

Josh:

You better come up with something like that. Better, faster than you came up with a joke.

Brant:

I'm not, I'm not kidding. There's many things. She's very smart, very willing to be humble. Very funny, very musical. I appreciate the effort she puts into physical upkeep. Like she works out really hard and we've been married 32 years. Wow. And it's gone really well. We have an intense marriage. It's it's everything's intense.

Josh:

What do you mean by that?

Brant:

Well, I mean,

Josh:

I mean, don't show me any pictures, but like what do you mean by we have an intense marriage.

Brant:

Okay. So, so we're very verbally, oh gosh. Dialed in tones and stuff and she, we don't have any, no, one's getting away with anything.

Josh:

You call it alley.

Brant:

Yeah. It everything's an issue.

Josh:

Yeah.

Brant:

We have to figure out like stem, but some of that's good because nothing festers, you can't just be like subtly cutting each other down. Not that's never going to happen because instantly that's a big deal. We have to work through all of that. We keep learning how to do it. There's also the intensity on the good side too. And like we have an amorous relationship. Like, so that's been a blessing. Life has been a blessing with her. It's it's just high intensity. It's all of it's really good.

Josh:

That's super cool, man. For, for dudes, who, we have a guy in our audience who recently he's maybe 60. He, he had a successful career in, big companies and such, but like he recently is uncovering that he is on the spectrum for autism. He's the one who actually said, you need to go check out brands. I like to watch some of your stuff. I was like, oh, this guy's actually really awesome for a guy who has a, a discovery. Cause you said you were in your thirties when figured this out for you, how'd you figure it out for you. What advice do you have for, a guy in his fifties or late, he's going to get mad at me that I don't know how old he is, but like what, what advice you have for a guy like learning this and how did you find this out about yourself? This is crazy, right?

Brant:

Sure. Well, my wife found out about it for me. Like she made the diagnosis originally like on her own unofficially, but when she was started learning about it and she was learning about it based on not just my behavior, but our son's. Like, what's going on. He's like at like 14 years old is kind of the apex, like teenage years of just like something's up, something's different. I was resistant to it because I feel like things get over prescribed over, diagnosed over. When she had me take a deeper dive into it's like, yeah, this is kind of obvious. I talked to my mom about it. She was like, oh my gosh, exactly. Like everything's like, she wishes she had, she was always like, I didn't, I wondered what was going on. Why are you so different from everybody in town? Like, what's going, what's the deal. I had no dates until my wife. Like, like, I didn't know how to talk to girls or anything like that. Really. I had people around who were friendly, but I didn't date or anything just too awkward. Didn't know how to keep the conversation going. But see, I like the diagnosis now. I mean, I got officially.

Josh:

All right. I must have hit a bad button and we dropped in it for a second, but all right. Back here with Brandon, he was just about to unravel, like, all right. So, they started looking at their son and they're doing some studying and his wife actually said, Hey, maybe we should put you through the test. Your mom said it was super helpful. Right? Like I wish I had these resources, like what happened then? That's when you went out.

Brant:

Yeah. I, I was like, okay. Went talk a psychologist and stuff. And that was helpful. Mostly as an adult, I think the value of a diagnosis is just kind of the retrospective explanation of everything. Like what was that in middle school? Why did I feel like why? You see these commonalities that go along with this socially.

Josh:

Yeah.

Brant:

And it's an explainer. It's an explaining device for a whole lot of stuff.

Josh:

Yeah.

Brant:

But it's beautiful. I want to try to tell people I love, there was one doctor. I remember who would make the diagnosis. I read about this, but he would make the diagnosis with some 13 year old boy or girl or something with the parents there and say, congratulations, you have Asperger's. And I like that. I, I feel that way when I meet a lot of kids who are on the spectrum, like when I'm out doing stuff, cause they know that I'm on it. They're like, Hey, I'm on the spectrum too. I'm like, sweet. And what are you into? What's your thing. They'll name the esoteric subject matter that they deep dive and it could be the paint on the Hindenburg. It could be, you know, middle earth. It could be any number of things, but it's always fascinating.

Josh:

Yeah.

Brant:

So I, I love it. I think for that, for somebody who's 60, you don't have to get a diagnosis, but there it is like an explainer. It helps me go, okay, how can I love people in light of the fact that I'm now more aware of how I come across? How can I put more people at ease? My wife has helped me with that a lot.

Josh:

Yeah. Cause you said some of this stuff is a little mechanic, right? It's not natural for you to do, eye contact or, chit chat and such. Like relating with people is something that wife is helping with. Some of it's mechanic, like what have you found are some good tips maybe for someone who is learning this about themselves?

Brant:

Well, first of all, it's not good enough if you're a believer. Anyway, I tell this to people who are Christians. It's not good enough to just say, well, this is who I am deal with it.

Josh:

Yeah.

Brant:

Nobody can do that. That's not love. I'm like, okay, so this culture doesn't make any sense to me. Fine. Then it really doesn't. Let's say I was doing a missions work and an sent to another culture. I would learn that culture. Even if it doesn't make sense to me or if I don't prefer it, I would learn it because I love people. I have to do certain things that don't make sense. I, I will do it because that's serving people and that's part of life. I tell people that as a tip, another tip is my wife said, I joke about this on stage of her talking. But like, when I stand wrong. She pointed out, like I stand like data from star Trek. Like with my hand, my weight is evenly displaced on both feet. My hands are at my side. I just stand straight and she's like, don't do that. I was like, why not? She's like, well, you look like data from Snoop, like a robot. It's like, well, how are you supposed to stay in? She said, what you do is you like bend one knee,

Josh:

Right.

Brant:

Bend one knee and you kind of lean. You kind of put one hand in a pocket or on your side or whatever that puts people at ease. I literally will catch myself standing the wrong way and they'll be like, okay, do the thing. People are like, oh, he's cool. You know,

Josh:

Now be honest, when she was like, sweetheart, you stand like Spock or like data. Did you go, thank you. Like, that's awesome. That's a compliment. She was like, that's not good.

Brant:

I did. I'm like, but that's cool. I like, the date is my favorite guy on next generation. So what's the downside with G yeah. She said it puts people at ease. It looks like I'm trying to escape. Yeah. I think that's because I'm trying to escape.

Josh:

You're actually chatting. Right. Got it. Let's do this man. You're traveling around the world. Healing kids, bringing Jesus name, cool places, writing cool books. The, the most recent book is the men we need. Right. Where can we go to find, more of your books, more about you. What's a good place to start that journey.

Brant:

You can go to my website, it's brand hanson.com and it's got links to the podcast and stuff on there. In the books, obviously I wish I could give everybody a free copy. Cause I don't, I never want to feel like I'm selling something. I do think the main we need for guys is very important. Like, cause I don't Feel like people are casting a vision of what masculinity really is and why it's. We have such a good life giving thing, or it's sports, a vision. It just kind of parrots the typical lines about, you need to be Jack and do outdoorsy stuff. Like there's something deeper and better. Once you get that vision again, it gives, it brings life to you and the people around you. It helps you say no to other things in life. Like it's very difficult if you're addicted to something, anything to just give it up cold Turkey out of sheer willpower. Well, you need a bigger vision. You need to know, oh, this is what I'm actually for and why I do what I do. It makes it easier to do that. Yeah. Like, so that's all.

Josh:

That sounds like a really cool book. What's your thing. One of the questions you ask other people, if they're like, Hey, I'm on the spectrum. You're like, all right, what's your thing. What do you go? Deep Hindenburg paint and all this. What's yours.

Brant:

That's such a good question. I have to compliment you on something first. That is, I've done do a lot of interviews. I've done a lot of interviews. It's all about listening and you are clearly listening and that's so good. Like that's, it's rarely practiced. I got to tell ya. So I've had some good interviews too. Don't get me wrong, but it's just like, that makes all the difference in human interactions. So, yeah. Thanks for doing that. I'm.

Josh:

Huge into.

Brant:

Sweet. I'm huge into talking and CS Lewis.

Josh:

Cool.

Brant:

I used to memorize baseball stats. That was my thing. Growing up. I mean, a ludicrous amount of baseball statistics. Bizarrely,

Josh:

Do you have an identic memory?

Brant:

No, I don't think so. It just mattered to me so much for summary statistics still highly appeal to me, but I've had to back off. I was way into like advanced analytics in the eighties. Well, ahead of the curve on that, like I was, I made up my own algorithms and stuff for like more detailed player analysis of actual value and stuff. And yeah.

Josh:

Did you see money ball?

Brant:

I did. I did. It made me sad because I was like, I used to be, I, I feel like a hipster. It's like, I was into this before everybody else now it's mainstream to be whole,

Josh:

Does it.

Brant:

Sabermetrics even Brad Pitt's and on my thing.

Josh:

Oh, he was following you dude. Like you started it, Brad Pitt followed you.

Brant:

Yeah. Yeah. I'd like to think of it that way. Instead of thinking like I was memorizing baseball statistics on Friday nights when I was 17 and other people were interacting socially,

Josh:

Yeah. Yeah. All right. So what you're, how old are you? 52. 52. All right. Baseball for you, like in the seventies, who your favorite player and right. Seventies would be like when you really started paying attention to it.

Brant:

The eighties was big. I'm from Southern central Illinois. So I will begin to the Cardinals.

Josh:

Okay.

Brant:

I kept the Zenith for me was 1982 women series. But I was honestly what's.

Josh:

That, was it Ozzie.

Brant:

Smith? Yeah. Yes. He was a shortstop all the way through the eighties, into the nineties and the late nineties. I could tell you the starting lineup for different years or whatever, that would bore the heck out of you. I want it. I do. I will say this is interesting. I played baseball for eight years. Really? Organized baseball, never got a hit. I can't see very well at all, but I wanted to play so bad. I was oh, for eight years,

Josh:

But.

Brant:

I forgot to hit plan.

Josh:

Did you ever get hit? Did you get hit with the.

Brant:

Polio? I got hit. Oh yeah. I got hit by the ball. Yeah. I was like, sweet. I get to go the base seriously. Like it was, but this all ends. Well, I'll tell you like, so I wanted to be in and I asked her, I wanted to be the play by play guy for the major leagues, ? Cause I grew up listening to the radio and baseball, baseball. That's why I went into radio originally, but it wasn't until I was in college, I realized, how am I going to do play by play? I can't even see the ball when I'm on the field. Like, how am I going to just be like, well, I heard a back crack and crowds making some noise. I like, I won't, I can't see it. Anyway, my dream of announcing Cardinals games had to die, but weirdly enough, I wound up in Florida and in south Florida and in Jupiter's where I live. Well, the Cardinals are their spring training stadium in my neighborhood.

Josh:

That's crazy.

Brant:

Okay. The guy who does the PA was like, Hey, would you fill in for me? I was announcing now batting for the Cardinals, number five, Albert pools and all that stuff. I did it for a bunch of games. I did the mats and I did the Marlins, but you don't have to be able to see that. Well, I just had my binoculars. I could see who's on back. It's like, I know who the pitcher is like now pitching out of Wainwright for the Cardinals for 50 or whatever. Yeah. But I got to do it,

Josh:

Dude.

Brant:

You're the Cardinals.

Josh:

Did it? That was your dream.

Brant:

Yeah. I was like, I honestly was like, that's a sweet little blessing for a nerdy kid from Illinois. Didn't have any money growing up, and could never play the game. Now I'm like, I'm energy seeing the Cardinals.

Josh:

That's God given you just like a little wink, right? Like he's like,

Brant:

Oh, I thought that's my dude funny. That's why I felt I was just walking home. You get like $30 to do it or something, ? But it's like, that was really cool. Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah. That's awesome. You know, what's really cool. When, when you can, when you were sharing this about like discovering, maybe I have a disability or maybe I have this, or maybe I'm on that spectrum, whatever the case may be. You're fearfully and wonderfully made is what the Bible says. Isn't that crazy?

Brant:

It is. And it's again, working a cure. The first question everybody has when they have any kind of a disability was like, whose food did something wrong? Somebody did something wrong. They asked Jesus that question, because this is what traditional culture does. Like somebody at fault. They bring a blind guy to Jesus and they're like, okay, was it you? Was it him or his parents that are at fault for this? And Jesus says neither one. He said, I'll tell you why this happened so that God can be glorified. Wow. And then heals him. So that's what we get. That's what we get to do.

Josh:

This is such a tough one. All right. I had a conversation with someone in my audience and he's having a hard time with God right now because his son has autism and he's not getting healed. He's like my loving God could snap his fingers and my kid could get healed, but it's not happening. And he's p****d. He's having a really hard time with Christianity right now. Like I put you on the spot. This is a tough question. I'm sorry for it at five o'clock.

Brant:

That's the problem. I have no problem. Completely solving the suffering question for humanity. I can. No problem. I'm just kidding. Like that's, I mean, that's a big one. I do have a couple of thoughts on that. Like number one, your kid, probably in this particular case, this doesn't deal with suffering of the whole, but in this particular case, again probably has an incredible gift that maybe you haven't discovered yet or is, is going to do something or teach you something God's going to use this boy. So it's something to consider. As far as suffering goes, a couple thoughts on that. We all have limitations. Like we're all very limited when it comes to the universe. Like, I can't even push that tree over right there. We can't, I, with all my specs on a planet that is another spec floating in a fairly mediocre galaxy among billions. Like that's the best way we can look at it without God. So what is it? W what's the answer there with that without God, but we're also all, we all have different limitations. We're also made of dust. Just because I don't see a reason for something to be the way it is, doesn't mean that reason doesn't exist. I hope that makes sense.

Josh:

Yeah.

Brant:

We're going, why would God allow this to happen? There's no reason. So there must not be a God. How do you know? There's no reason like the guy in the Bible who struggles with this, the most that philosophical treat is most about this book, a job. At the end, God does not answer all his questions. There was a backstory, but God doesn't come out and tell him what it was. He just rewards him for his faithfulness in the end. Yeah, probably has been through, so I don't have an answer. I don't have to, but it doesn't mean there isn't one. What kind of, what kind of humorous would I have to be capable of? Think if I can't, if I don't know what the answer is to this incredible question and there isn't one, like, no, maybe I have to trust the God's actually good. And though he slay me. I know he's good. So that's surprised us. I know that he has demonstrated his love for us and he has suffered as well. He knows what it's like to suffer. I know how he feels about suffering.

Josh:

Yeah. Back to the joke, like, did you figure out what your joke was? You're going to share because we're running out of time.

Brant:

One was really stupid, but it did occur to me and this takes some set up, but I came out of the thing. She's like, okay, now I'm time for a joke masterclass. We're gonna start to a handsome, like, why did the chicken cross the road? She was like, why are the chicken cross the road? I said, to get to the crazy lady's and she's like, that's not funny. I'm like, okay, well how about this knock? Who's there the chicken. So it had a little hesitation. She's like, actually, that's actually pretty creative. Like, so I scored points on that. I usually, yeah.

Josh:

'cause she's the crazy lady. Cause the chickens knocking on her door. I got it.

Brant:

Yeah. You can do that with guys, too. Like to get to the big dumb guy's house or whatever. And then, you know,

Josh:

Oh, I'm going to do that to my kids later on. They're going to love it. They won't get it, but.

Brant:

No it's solid. It's solid comedic material if they don't get it, that's not.

Josh:

That's on them. Yeah.

Brant:

I blame, I blame the audience all the time.

Josh:

Yeah. Hey, it's your fault. You're not laughing at my jokes right now. So.

Brant:

This stuff is solid if you don't like it. That's what the value is.

Josh:

Yeah. Oh man. What question? W we're running out of time, man? What questions should I've asked you that I completely screwed up and did not ask you during this interview?

Brant:

Well, I don't think there is one. I hope for the you're the guy who was listening about the spectrum stuff. I D I do think it's a good thing to look into. It's a good thing to learn how to love people better. That it, a lot of that stuff can be very instructive for us to know how to be more loving and how we can come across. And that is a big deal. It's never too late to keep growing up. Like, well, I'm 40. I am who I am. No, no, no, man. None. If you're a believer, you're, we're always in a formative mode. Our formative years didn't stop. Still, still being formed.

Josh:

Yeah. That growth mindset. We're always learning, always growing, always improving. Super.

Brant:

Cool.

Josh:

Cool man. Well, Brent, this has been awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome,

Brant:

John.

Josh:

Yeah. Fellow dudes in the audience. Yeah. Well, we're not done. Let me do my outro for a second. Okay.

Brant:

Okay. Sorry. Sorry.

Josh:

All right. Back to you guys in the audience. We'd love you guys so much, man. Thanks for listening into this episode as always reach out to our guests and say, thanks for being on the show. Check out Brandt hanson.com. Right. Did I get that right? Yep.

Brant:

Yep.

Josh:

Perfect. His contact information will be in the show notes so you could follow the, go to his website, buy his books, donate a crap ton of money. Let's see how many kids we could save like a thousand dollars a surgery let they let's see if we could, maybe it knocked down a hundred surgeries or something, but I love you guys. This shows for you, if you're struggling with something and you'd like to, get some help, head on over to uncensored advice for men.com, fill out a quick form and have a conversation with me or maybe one of our guests. If you have something to share with us guys, maybe get on the show next till then see ya.

Brant Hansen Profile Photo

Brant Hansen

Author

Here’s my impressive-sounding bio. Please use this one for professional stuff:

Brant Hansen is an author, nationally syndicated radio host, and advocate for healing children through CURE International.

He’s won national “personality of the year” awards for his work on his offbeat and quirky radio show, which airs on more than 200 stations. His podcast with his friend and radio producer, Sherri Lynn (“The Brant and Sherri Oddcast”) has been downloaded more than 10 million times.

He leverages his radio platform to advance the healing work of CURE, which provides life-changing surgeries for children with treatable conditions.

His first book, Unoffendable, has prompted a national discussion on the idea of forgiveness, and our culture’s embrace of self-righteous anger.

His second book, both provocative and very personal, is Blessed are the Misfits: Great News for Those Who Are Introverts, Spiritual Strugglers, or Just Feel Like They’re Missing Something. In this book, Hansen addresses his own, and many others’, inability to “feel God’s presence”, and how God might Himself feel about that.

His latest, The Truth About Us: The Very Good News About How Very Bad We Are, hit bestseller lists in spring/summer of 2020.

Brant speaks to groups/conferences/churches when his schedule allows.

He has written for CNN.com, The Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Relevant, and numerous other outlets on matters as varied as public policy, culture, sports, Asperger’s Syndrome, and faith. He’s been a game inventor, fronted a modern rock band, and still dabbles in singing and songwriting.

He’s traveled extensively throughout the world for CURE and other groups, including multiple trips to CURE’s hospital for women and children in Afghanistan.

He has been married for 30 years to Carolyn, and they have two grown children.

My real bio:

Brant Hansen has no idea what he’s doing.

He keeps showing up, and people keep asking him to do stuff, and he keeps saying yes.

Except when he has to say no, and then he feels kinda guilty about it.

He has ideas, and sometimes they leak out on paper or over the airwaves, and people read them, or hear them, and then look at him funny.

He likes toast so much that he can’t really allow himself to eat it anymore. He used to eat a loaf of burnt, dry toast every morning to start the day. He has had to back off. He realizes he has a problem.

He doesn’t want to brag about it or anything, but he was PRESIDENT of the Illinois Student Librarians Association. He was also All-Conference in “Scholastic Bowl”, and lettered in basketball and football (both for keeping statistics) and was President of his own Stamp Collector Club, which consisted of himself.

Brant always looks inappropriately intense. He can’t help it.

He also has nystagmus, which causes his eyes to shake and his head to move involuntarily. He’s always been ashamed of this, but it is what it is. Brant’s wife thinks he’s handsome anyway, so when he’s around her, he doesn’t have to think about it.

Brant is really, really skeptical. More skeptical than skeptics, as it turns out, especially the one-way sort who are only skeptical of religious claims, but not themselves.

He thinks Jesus is the only person who really makes sense. Jesus said “No one is good but God” and this affirms Brant’s observations of himself, others, and all of human history.

Brant is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. It causes him to say things you’re not supposed to say, apparently. But he asks God to please, please help him not to hurt people, but to be a blessing to them.

Brant is thankful for anyone who wants to be friends, but he gravitates to outcasts and weirdos, because they’re usually nice to him.