In the runup to the 2020 US general election, several events have occurred on local, state and federal levels that point to an authoritarian slide for the United States. Jaye discusses some of these events, including the presidential and vice-presidential debates, the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Kentucky grand jury decision in the Breonna Taylor case, Donald Trump’s ban on the teaching of “critical race theory” in public schools, and the rushed efforts to confirm staunch conservative Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court in advance of the election. Focusing on the example set by the Christian Right, Jaye makes the case for progressives voting for Joe Biden in this election, and warns that there is more at stake in this election than policy goals.
Christian fiction author Allison K. Garcia returns to Potstirrer Podcast to share with us about her upcoming novel, Finding Seguridad, the second in the Buscando Home series. The conversation includes discussion of themes in the book, as well as a range of topics, including the experiences of Latino immigrants and other marginalized groups in the current political and social environment, domestic violence, deconstruction and reconstruction of Christian faith, coming out as LGBTQ+ as a Christian, Black Lives Matter, and more.
In this public posting of an episode originally released as a Patreon bonus in August 2018 (original title: Abuse: Endorsed by Scripture?), Jaye discusses the use of Romans 13:1-5, a passage in the Bible invoked by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the White House Press Secretary at the time, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to justify the separation and detainment of families seeking asylum at the US-Mexico border. What does this Bible passage really mean – in a historical and contemporary context – if Sessions and Sanders are correct? Jaye warns of the danger of using religious passages to justify oppressive government actions. This episode also includes fresh new commentary that frames this episode in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests.
CONTENT WARNING: The following episode includes discussion of physical and sexual abuse, including the abuse of children. Listener discretion is advised.
Against the backdrop of a deadly pandemic, the fabric of the United States is coming undone. Jaye discusses the impact of the novel coronavirus on communities of color, including Black, Latino, and Native Americans. Also, were the anti-quarantine protests truly “peaceful,” and who was truly behind those protests? In addition, Jaye reflects on the George Floyd murder by Minneapolis police officers, the resulting anti-police brutality protests, and the aggressive police response. What do the events of 2020 say about our country’s leadership and the future of America?
CONTENT WARNING: The following episode involves discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic, police brutality, and historical events related to racial, ethnic, disability and class discrimination, including discussion of violence, illness, injury & death. Listener discretion is advised.
In the public release of the September 2019 Patreon Exclusive, Jaye discusses Donald Trump’s “disloyalty” comments regarding Jewish Democrats. Why would Trump rely on an anti-Semitic trope while stating he is an ardent supporter of Israel? Jaye also outlines reasons why white evangelicals, who are overwhelmingly loyal to Donald Trump, are also ardent supporters of the state of Israel. How do their politics in regards to Israel mesh with their support of a president who tacitly gives cover to anti-Semitic white supremacists?
In the final episode of 2019, Chuckles joins Jaye for a countdown and discussion of the five most downloaded episodes of 2019. They also talk about the 2020 presidential election, including the Trump impeachment, predictions for the Democratic nomination, and if Trump will be re-elected.
NOTE: Potstirrer Podcast will be on break in the month of January, to prepare for the 2020 election cycle, but will be back in early February!
In the third annual Potstirrer Podcast War on Christmas Special, Jaye discusses the non-Christian origins of several Christmas traditions, including the twelve days of Christmas, Yule logs, Santa Claus and more. How did the Christmas holiday develop over time, and if Christmas isn’t purely “Christian,” what are evangelicals waging the “War on Christmas” truly fighting for?
In the third installment of America’s Drug War, Richard Nixon makes good on his second chance at becoming president of the United States in 1968, instituting his “law and order” policies during his president, chief among them sweeping anti-drug policy. These policies concentrated mostly on cannabis and opiates such as heroin, but also overhauled the way the federal government addressed drugs. Jaye provides context to the America of the 1960s, and discusses Nixon’s War on Drugs as key to his crusade to end the social and political change the 1960s represented.
CONTENT WARNING – This episode discusses mature themes, including illicit drug use and political assassinations. Listener discretion is advised.
The War on Drugs in the United States has cost $1 trillion since 1971, and 20 percent of the prison population is incarcerated for drug offenses. Yet there is little evidence it is responsible for declining drug use. How did the War on Drugs truly begin? Jaye explores US history and explains how Prohibition led to our nation’s drug war.
CONTENT WARNING – The following episode discusses mature themes, including illicit drug use and graphic details of murder. Listener discretion is advised.
With the rash of mass shootings in the United States, including ones such as the El Paso, TX shooting that are linked to domestic terror, what is leading to these mass shooting incidents, and domestic terrorism generally? Jaye discusses a possible culprit, stochastic terrorism. What is stochastic terrorism, and can the violent rhetoric of politicians lead to radicalization and extremist violence? Jaye also examines the demagoguery of Donald Trump, the appeal of white evangelicals to Trump and to gun culture, and how these are connected.
CONTENT WARNING – This episode includes discussion of gun violence. Listener discretion is advised.