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.
In light of the growing normalization of white supremacy and related forms of bigotry in the United States, Jaye focuses on the debate between unfettered free speech and the regulation of hate speech. What does “free speech” truly mean in the US context, and why does it matter? Should “dangerous” speech be made illegal? Jaye also discusses libertarian ideology – specifically how, despite its emphasis on individual rights, it may fall short in the realm of free speech. In a corporatocracy, should we consider ensuring free speech rights in relation not only to government, but also to businesses, especially in the Internet age?
The 2018 midterm elections are here! In this episode, Jaye talks midterm predictions, the Voting Rights Act, Millennials and Gen Z, and voter suppression. Jaye also discusses a major think tank responsible for the current Republican agenda, and which supplies the manpower behind GOP presidents from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump. Why does this organization have a vested interest in subverting democracy? Can the American people overcome the anti-democratic measures of right-wing politicians and save this country?
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.
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.
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?
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.