When most Americans think of late civil rights icon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we often picture a unifying Christian minister who used non-violence to advance his dream of racial equality in the United States. King would have been 90 years old this year, had he not been assassinated. We observe his birthday every January, and often hear his name invoked, as well as that of other civil rights leaders, in February during Black History Month.

But in death, has Dr. King been whitewashed?

In the first installment of a two-part series, Jaye discusses some widely-held beliefs regarding Dr. King and the world in which he lived. She provides context for Dr. King’s life, and sets the record straight on a respected, but misunderstood historical figure.

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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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It’s time to get into the spirit of the holidays! In this year’s “War on Christmas” holiday special – Jaye is joined by her husband Chuckles as they react to strange stories and answer listener questions. Jaye waxes poetic about KFC on an open fire while Chuckles reveals something in this episode that even Jaye didn’t know about him. Listen now!

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In November of 2018, 26 year old American explorer and missionary John Allen Chau was killed by the Sentinelese people, an isolated tribal group living on North Sentinel Islands off the coast of India. Chau went the island illegally in order to share with them about Christianity. The incident is controversial, sparking outrage, consternation, and even admiration.

Were Chau’s actions worth the cost of his life? And could his actions cost the Sentinelese people their lives as well? Jaye discusses the parties involved in the incident, Christian missionary work, and why history matters when unpacking the discomfort some have with the idea of missions.

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What if the religious extremism Americans should be most concerned about comes from Christianity? In this episode, Jaye explores the authoritarian, extremist elements of American evangelicalism and the overwhelming support of Donald Trump by white evangelical Christians. Jaye also discusses the Quiverfull movement, the increasing emphasis on authoritarianism and control within evangelical Christian colleges, dominionism, racial reconciliation, evangelical support for Donald Trump’s inhumane policies, and parallels between right-wing evangelicalism and ultra-conservative Islam.

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Political science researchers Benjamin Knoll and Cammie Jo Bolin join Jaye on this episode to share with listeners their knowledge and research on women clergy, and talk about their new book, She Preached the Word. The researchers discuss some of the book’s themes, including the barriers to ordination of women, the acceptance of women clergy in congregations, and the effects they have on their congregations. They also discuss their research methodology, including the new, original data collected and analyzed to arrive at their findings. How do women clergy affect the self-esteem and outlook of women and girls in their congregations, and how might women in religious leadership affect the prospects of women leadership in other areas of public life?

Order She Preached the Word on Amazon.com

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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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