Drew Marshall grew up in a funeral home, was kicked out of four schools, and finally dropped out after completing grade nine. Not wanting to wait around for life to give him a shot, he ran away to California at the age of seventeen and became a wrangler at a ranch-camp in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. After returning to Canada four years later, having never played a game of football in his life, he became a punter at the semi-pro level, which eventually led to NFL & CFL tryouts. After leaving his football dreams behind, Drew then began training for a career as a Fire Fighter. Had he decided to settle into any one of these ambitious pursuits, this wandering autodidactic iconoclast would never have ended up taking an unbelievable step of faith. In 1997, he moved his family to Australia with nine bags of clothes, two children, no place to live, and no job!
"I intentionally wanted to put my life into the hands of God and make a personal investment in this thing called 'faith.' Trusting anyone was tough, let alone God. The next thing I knew I was an Associate Pastor at a church wondering how I ever got the job!”
Then, after five years in Australia, he moved his family back to Canada and in 2003 and with absolutely zero broadcasting experience, walked into the studios of JOY 1250 and pitched the idea of hosting a talk show that was different. Drew now hosts Canada's Most Listened To Spiritual Talk Show - listened to by an estimated 100,000 people around Southern Ontario and online by listeners from over 100 Countries!
He’s known as the “Howard Stern of Christian Radio” because of his brutal honesty and the fact that he’ll interview people other God shows won’t: like The High Priest of the Wiccan Church of Canada or The High Priest of the Church of Satan or the leader of Canada’s polygamist colony. He’s also interviewed everyone from blues icon, BB King to country diva, Wynonna Judd - shock rocker, Alice Cooper to “The Godfather of Soul,” James Brown - television icon, Kathie Lee Gifford to entertainment royalty, Marie Osmond.
This is a trailer for a four-part documentary to be aired prime-time Christmas 2011.
What Does Drew Actually Believe?
Drew has gained a bit of a reputation as the God Guy with a radio show on Canada’s largest Christian radio station, who continues to rage against the bizarre North American Christian sub-culture. This has prompted a number of people to ask, “Okay, then what is it that Drew actually believes?”
Because he’s such an autodidactic iconoclast (THERE IT IS AGAIN... WHAT THE?), it’s still kind of difficult to accurately describe his spiritual belief system, but we’ve come up with a few things that might help:
Johnny Cash - Hurt
"Vulnerable Before the Creator"
And for the avid readers out there (home-schoolers), below is the “bit” Drew performed during his appearance at the Vancouver Comedyfest, September 26th, 2009.
“After watching 4 comedians (3 atheists & 1 Jew-ish) as well as the President of The Canadian Humanist Society deliver blow after blow against the justifiably ludicrous aspects of religion, it was my turn to defend! I had no idea how to defend religion, let alone defend what I personally believe, so I didn’t! As I spoke, I felt a very visceral and warm response from the mostly humanist/atheist audience, as if they were collectively saying, “Thanks for that. It meant a lot.” Afterwards, Tim the atheist moderator & Dylan the atheist comedian expressed, quite warmly, their appreciation for what I’d said. Later that night, Andy the Jew-ish comedian and I had a wonderful chat about his faith background. We’re looking forward to having him as a guest on our show in the not too distant future. For those of you who prayed for me – thanks. The following is what God laid on my heart during the flight from Toronto to Vancouver.”
Tie your shoes and buckle your pants, the Global ComedyFest is bringing a laughter-packed series of non-pc debates and roasts to the stage, exploring the three most off-limit dinner conversations! Politics, Race and Religion. Out of Bounds My Ass is one part comedy show, one part political debate and one part town hall meeting, pushing the boundaries of comedy and riding the edge (think Bill Maher's Religulous). Each show opens with a comedic presentation on the history of the great debate between science and religion, followed by panel discussion and questions from the audience, adding an interactive element to the show. We have no doubt that this will be the most talked about show at the festival! Check your sensitivities at the door because we're going there.
“So since I’m the Jesus Guy on this panel, I guess that means that I’m supposed to defend religion? I’m not sure you’ve got the right guy for the job. I’m the only guy to ever be completely expunged from Canada’s premier God TV show, 100 Huntley Street. I’m the guy who owns the domain www.tohellwithreligion.com . I’m also the guy who was black listed by a number of churches in Toronto for having run a competition last year called Preacher Idol… and this year, we’ve done it again with our latest contest… So You Think You Think God Wants You To Sing!
I was interviewed recently on David Shore’s Monkey Toast (www.monkeytoast.com), a sort of improv talk show here in Toronto. David asked me what it was that I actually believe. And that’s the crux of this discussion here tonight isn’t it? Once someone asserts their religious or spiritual belief system, especially one that might be based on absolutes and doesn’t waffle about in the realm of warm and fuzzy, kumbyah, hug a whale, kiss a tree, politically correct, moral relativity, feel good kind of stuff… well that’s when things tend to get a little awkward at the party.
However, having said all that, I just can’t sit here and defend religion. Personally, I think that the end of Jesus was supposed to be the end of religion. That’s one of the reasons the religious leaders killed him. The only people he really pissed off were the pious, self righteous, religious leaders and the reason he pissed them off so much was because of what he was trying to teach; that the way to God was not through religion! I do find it interesting that what transpired after the death of Jesus was a complete comedy of errors. His followers began a radical movement that eventually turned into … a religion.
So in trying to think of what I could possibly say to add to this discussion tonight, I started wondering WWJD. However, this is all I came up with…
I’m just really sorry.
I want to apologize to everyone here for the dumb-ass things which I’ve done personally that have just been a complete misrepresentation of how Jesus people are supposed to live AND for the dumb-ass things that Christians have done for centuries, in the name of Religion.
The initial things that naturally come to mind, which I should probably apologize for, are the Crusades or the Salem Witch Hunt or for the countless missionaries and explorers and white folks who raped, robbed, and killed in the name of Christianity.
I am really sorry for all that stuff. I don’t think that’s exactly what Jesus had in mind when He said, “Go into all the world and tell everyone the Good News.”
Of course I’d also like to apologize for some of the so-called Christian leaders of today; like Benny Hinn & Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Falwell & Pat Robertson & the pièce de résistance… George W. Bush.
I’m so sorry for the dumb-ass things that have come out of their mouths…
Things like; Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment on New Orleans or that HIV/AIDS is God’s punishment on the gay community. (And speaking of gay, the Teletubbies or Bert & Ernie… Gay?… Really?... Wow...) Or that God is a Republican and he fully supports "their" decision to start a war based on weapons of mass distraction. Please understand people, that the Christian right… is neither!
I’d also like to apologize for the way Christians have treated our homosexual friends, neighbours and family members. The cute little saying that Christians have is that we should “love the sinner but hate the sin.” Personally, I wonder if Jesus might have tweaked it just a little bit and said something like, ”love the sinner, hate our own sins.”
I’d like to apologize for the way Christians have treated women and for the fact that even today in the majority of churches, women still aren’t valued as equals and that the old school style of male dominated, patriarchal leadership is still alive and well in this misogynistic institution called church. What’s really interesting to me is that of the very few female TV preachers out there, Joyce Meyers - one of the most famous, actually sounds like a man. I’m just sayin’…
I’d also like to apologize for our blatant hypocrisy... for not living the way that we expect you to live.
We’ve told you that you can’t have sex outside of marriage yet at the same time, your wives and sisters and daughters are going to our clergy for counseling and end up getting hit on by these great manipulators of God. Recently on my show we talked about a study done by a Christian university which found that 3.1 percent of adult women who attend religious services at least once a month have been victims of clergy sexual misconduct since turning 18. In other words, seven women in every congregation of 400 adults have been sexually victimized by the ones they should trust the most.
I’m really sorry for that…
I’m also incredibly sorry and unbelievable angry that clergy sexual abuse of children has cost the U.S. Roman Catholic Church alone more than $2.6 billion since 1950. I'm thinkin' that money could have been put to better use...
I’m sorry that Christians have put more of an emphasis on drinking & smoking & swearing instead of justice & mercy & love. I think we forgot that Jesus used some pretty harsh words himself as he took the piss out of the phony religious leaders. I think we also tend to forget that his first miracle was turning himself into a bartender.
I’m really sorry that we’ve designed an institutionalized system that requires so much money just to operate. I’m sorry that most of the church budget has been spent on salaries and sanctuaries instead of on those who are hungry, thirsty or lonely. We’ve cared more about our crystal cathedrals and purchasing private jets with tax free donations from you’re grandmother's grocery money, then we have about the widows and orphans and prisoners in our own neighborhoods.
I’m sorry that the greatest group of volunteers in the world with the greatest ability to finance their mission has, for the most part, spent more time infighting and dividing rather than engaging in human rights or heeding the Bible’s call to take care of this planet instead of raping it.
And I’m sorry that we’re still so scared to talk about sex, which continues to drive those with sexual issues back into the closet. People... When will we realize that masturbation can’t be beat alone!
I am so sorry for…
Leaving religious pamphlets at restaurants instead of tips!
For those really embarrassing movies & marches, and for Contemporary Christian music!
For really bad television shows that still have straight guys designing their sets!
For incredibly lame bumper stickers and really gay sayings like “God made Adam and Eve not Adam & Steve!”
For being arrogant, ignorant, demanding and rude in the way we’ve shoved our agenda down your throats!
And I’m especially sorry for anyone who grew up with Christian parents who just made up dumb-ass rules that weren’t even in the Bible!
And yes, follow me around long enough and you’ll soon find out that I am one of these dumb-asses we’ve been talking about.
Jesus wants me to love those who are jerks, but I’d rather pound them! Jesus wants me to be patient with others but I drive right up the backside of those new Canadians who haven’t yet learned that the left lane is for ME! Jesus wants me to put others before myself, yet I always try to get the closest parking spot, the best seat on a plane or use my Comedyfest performer’s pass in order to bypass the long lines in front of the clubs this weekend. He wants me to love those that are hard to love and yet I find Joe the retard that lives across the street from me a complete pain in the ass. I also pray to God that I never find out who is actually on the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal!
Now look… I do have friends, Jesus people, who actually get this stuff right. They’re actually feeding the poor, housing the homeless, clothing the naked, adopting the unwanted, and choosing to move their families out of the comfortable “cracker filled” burbs to live amongst the broken and broke. So it can be done – I’m just sayin’ I suck at it.
I struggle with my faith. I’m no where near as certain about the reality of what I believe as maybe I should be. But maybe doubt is more compatible with faith than certainty?
I do believe that there is a God and that our Creator is pure, perfect and Holy. I also believe that anyone wanting to get things right with their Creator just needs to cry out with a humbled and surrendered spirit, and then I really believe that God will reveal to you what you need to do about Jesus. Billy Graham said it best during his last interview with Larry King. Larry asked Billy what would happen to him if he didn’t follow Jesus. Would he still go to Heaven? Dr. Graham responded by saying, “Larry, all I can tell you is that without Jesus, there is no guarantee.”
I don’t think that God is the problem - I think it’s his fan club. I’m pretty sure it was St Augustine that said, “The church is a whore but she’s my mother.” True, we’ve all been a very unfaithful lot. There is one Christian bumper sticker I do like… “Too bad we can’t feed Christians to the lions anymore.”
And so, good people of Vancouver, to quote The Doobie Brothers (a band named after this city’s favorite past time) Jesus is just alright with me, but to hell with religion!”
Thanks to Donald Miller, Mike Yaconelli, Tony Campolo, Bruxy Cavey, Paul Young, and the rest who chip away at my edges. I stole all the good stuff from you!