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.
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?
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?
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?
In this episode, Jaye discusses the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida. What are the problems contributing to these school shootings, and what can be done to decrease the instances of these tragedies in the future? Jaye takes on the arguments made on both the extreme pro-gun and anti-gun sides – as Americans on all sides of the Second Amendment / gun control are needed to cooperatively craft lasting, working solutions that will save the lives of children and preserve our democracy.
Jaye concludes her two-part discussion of the abortion issue in Part II. She discusses the origins of the Religious Right after the Roe v. Wade US Supreme Court decision in 1973, and the role abortion as a political issue played in the formation of the Religious Right. Jaye also reacts to the tendency of the pro-life movement to co-opt equality movements for their own purposes. In addition, alternatives and solutions that would lower abortion rates are presented. Does the pro-life movement truly want to save the lives of the unborn?
In Part I of a two-part series, Jaye begins to tackle what has arguably been the most controversial political issue in the United States for the past 50 years – abortion. She discusses her own views on the topic and how she arrived at her stance. Jaye also delves into the history of abortion rights in the United States up until the 1973 Roe v. Wade US Supreme Court decision.