R. Kelly has been an R&B superstar for two decades, with hit songs such as “I Believe I Can Fly” and “I Wish,” and winning several music awards, including three Grammys. But while Kelly has enjoyed mainstream success, throughout his career, he has been plagued by allegations of sexual involvement with underage girls and inappropriate, abusive relationships with women and girls.

Recently, the documentary miniseries “Surviving R. Kelly” was released on Lifetime, discussing allegations of Kelly’s sexual misconduct, including more recent allegations that he keeps women and girls captive in an abusive “sex cult.” The documentary featured interviews with several accusers, family members of alleged victims, former business and personal associates, and family members.

R. Kelly has not been convicted of any crime related to the sexual misconduct and abuse allegations, and he has denied all accusations.

In this episode, Jaye discusses the R. Kelly documentary with her brother, the author of Gods of Life and co-owner of Shining Otaku Comics, Ervin Johnson II. Jaye and Ervin talk about Kelly’s history, the #MeToo movement, and women’s empowerment. The episode also includes a “palate cleanser” segment where they discuss manga (Japanese comics), Shining Otaku Comics, and Gods of Life.

CONTENT WARNING: This episode includes discussion of sexual assault, child molestation, and domestic violence. Listener discretion is advised.

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The relationship between the American church and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people has all too often been rocky, and conflict is inflamed by opposition by churches and Christian political institutions to equal rights for LGBTQ Americans. Opposition to equal rights for LGBTQ Americans is based on the belief among many Christian traditions, denominations, and sects that homosexuality and transgender identity are morally wrong, based on how they interpret a handful of Bible verses.

In Part I of a two-part series, Jaye focuses on the non-affirming position of many Christian institution as it relates to sexual orientation. She examines the “clobber” verses, making the argument that the non-affirming position is not conclusively supported by the Bible. What damage is being done to LGBTQ people, both inside and outside the church because of the non-affirming doctrine of many American churches? And – can you be Christian and affirming?

CONTENT WARNING: This episode includes discussion of homophobia, anti-LGBTQ bigotry, sexual assault and suicide. Listener discretion is advised.

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In response to Vice-President Mike Pence stating Christian education should be off-limits to criticism, hashtag #ExposeChristianSchools, started by scholar and exvangelical Chris Stroop (@c_stroop), went viral, particularly on Twitter.

Jaye discusses the need for extremist ideology and abusive behavior in evangelical Christian schools to be exposed, and the importance of providing space for those who have lived through the Christian school experience to share their experiences. She also shares a couple of personal stories from briefly attending a Christian elementary school.

Why are right-wing politicians, conservative media, and evangelical Christian leaders hostile to people coming forward with the truth about evangelical Christian education?

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With the voter registration deadline upon us in many states, Jaye discusses the long-term impact of the vote, and why getting registered to vote and exercising the franchise is important in saving our democracy. She explains how voting in conservatives to federal and state offices over time has led to increased money in politics and reduced political impact from individual voters, especially poor Americans and ethnic minorities. Despite this, Jaye argues that voting still makes a difference, and that focusing on non-voters can help bridge the gap caused by voter suppression.

CONTENT WARNING: This episode includes discussion of sexual assault, particularly in the second main segment of the episode. Please be advised.

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American Citizens – Register to Vote NOW and Vote November 6!: http://www.vote.org

Several scandals involving sexual harassment and sexual abuse have been uncovered recently in a number of churches across the Christian landscape. Why is abuse within the church such a huge story, why does it occur, and what can churches do better to reduce abuse occurrences and respond to these incidents? Jaye discusses a few of these recent scandals – delving into authoritarianism, sexual repression, and purity culture, and how these mechanisms can enable perpetrators and silence victims.

CONTENT WARNING: This episode includes discussion of sexual activity, sexual assault and child abuse. Please be advised.

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CONTENT WARNING: This episode includes discussion of physical and sexual violence, and descriptions of oppressive behavior.

In today’s episode, Jaye discusses recent news stories related to undocumented immigration and refugees from Latin America. Where are the 1500 missing migrant children that were being tracked by the federal government? How are children in the custody of US Customs being treated? And is there any moral or ethical issue with calling MS-13 gang members “animals?” Jaye delves into past events as she makes the case that when we dehumanize other people, it becomes all too easy to treat them inhumanely – or watch and do nothing.

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In this episode, Jaye contemplates her academic background and personal experiences in American evangelicalism when examining the recent focus by the mainstream media on white evangelicals. Over 80 percent of white evangelical voters supported Donald Trump in 2016, and many American evangelical leaders continue to defend Trump’s rhetoric and actions, which sharply run against the very Bible evangelical doctrine states is the inerrant word of God. Are white evangelical believers being persecuted or led astray? And – is American evangelicalism redeemable?

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