139 episodes

An in-depth examination of the culture and politics of Christian Nationalism and Evangelicalism by two ex-evangelical ministers-turned-religion professors. If you have ever wondered what social and historical forces led white evangelicals to usher Donald Trump into the White House this is the show for you. As former insiders and critical scholars of religion, Dan Miller and Bradley Onishi have a unique perspective on the Religious Right. Guests have included Chrissy Stroop, R. Marie Griffith, Janelle Wong, Randall Balmer, Katherine Stewart, and many others.

Straight White American Jesus Bradley Onishi + Daniel Miller

    • News
    • 4.8 • 635 Ratings

An in-depth examination of the culture and politics of Christian Nationalism and Evangelicalism by two ex-evangelical ministers-turned-religion professors. If you have ever wondered what social and historical forces led white evangelicals to usher Donald Trump into the White House this is the show for you. As former insiders and critical scholars of religion, Dan Miller and Bradley Onishi have a unique perspective on the Religious Right. Guests have included Chrissy Stroop, R. Marie Griffith, Janelle Wong, Randall Balmer, Katherine Stewart, and many others.

    Trying to Save a Sinking Ship: Race, Power, and White American Christianity

    Trying to Save a Sinking Ship: Race, Power, and White American Christianity

    Brad speaks with Kyle J. Howard, a theologian and counselor trained at a Southern Baptist Seminary. He discusses his conversion at 18 at a Black Church in Georgia, his journey to ministry as a counselor of racial and spiritual trauma, and his insider perspective of the calculation made by leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention.
    It goes like this:

    Demonize Critical Race Theory in order to divert attention from the sexual abuse scandal.

    Anticipate losing a number of Black pastors and churches, along with other POC.

    Retain political influence and the majority of White pastors and churches.

    Overall, stoke fear in order to shape the denomination into a certain mold.

    Steady the losses the denomination has experienced in recent years.


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    • 30 min
    Weekly Roundup: White Panic is Destroying the Country

    Weekly Roundup: White Panic is Destroying the Country

    Brad asks Dan to explain how the Southern Baptist Convention is a barometer for White American Christianity and what it means moving forward. They then discuss how the White panic over CRT has led to dangerous legislation and lawsuits. In AZ, a new law stipulates that teachers will be fined 5k if they discuss divisive topics without giving time to "both sides." In PA, a family is suing a school district for teaching about White privilege and BLM because is supposedly infringes on their "majority White religion," of Christianity.
    Their discussion finishes with a damning investigation of how MAGAites and QAnons are taking over election sites and polling places, leaving our democracy less stable and under threat.
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    • 57 min
    A House Divided: Dispatches From SBC 2021

    A House Divided: Dispatches From SBC 2021

    Brad speaks again with journalist Jonathan Krohn who is covering the Southern Baptist Convention for the New Republic. Krohn takes Brad through all the major events at the convention:
    From an SBC presidential candidate leaving a sexual abuse survivor and activist in tears to the war on CRT and the surprise victory of Ed Litton in the presidential election. While the Southern Baptist Convention is a niche topic, Brad argues that what is happening in the country's largest Protestant denomination is a window into the present and future of American Christianity and politics. The SBC is deeply divided. There are already rumors of schism. In many ways, the Southern Baptist Convention mirrors the American political landscape as it grapples (or doesn't) with issues related to race, gender, sexuality, history, and authority.
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    • 40 min
    The Opportunistic Radicalism of Charlie Kirk

    The Opportunistic Radicalism of Charlie Kirk

    Brad talks with Dr. Matthew Boedy, Associate Professor of English at the University of North Georgia, about the rising young star of Christian nationalist circles and the GOP writ large--Charlie Kirk. Dr. Boedy traces Kirk's "conversion" from young conservative to staunch Christian nationalist. According to him, one of the reasons Kirk has become America's Christian nationalist youth pastor is his marriage of traditional conservative talking points with apocalyptic rhetoric surrounding the fate of the nation and its departure from the Founders' vision for a "Christian" country. The scary thing: Kirk's organization is a 30 million dollar enterprise that is implementing Christian nationalist curricula in youth groups and schools all across the country in order to radicalize young people in the name of a Republican Jesus.
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    • 39 min
    Weekly Roundup: On the Road to Minority Rule

    Weekly Roundup: On the Road to Minority Rule

    Brad and Dan begin with insight from Prof. Jason Stanley: “History shows that propaganda can make a dominant group mad with panic and fear about the threat of a small minority subjugating them, supposedly by seizing the institutions and doing things to their children.”

    They use this idea to explore the myths that are inciting panic and fear in White Americans, including White Christian nationalists, across the nation: the Big Lie, the propaganda against Critical Race Theory, the GOP's Myth of the Real American, and so on.
    The conclusion: If you tell the story a certain way, it becomes history. It becomes a factual record of the past in the minds of the people who tell the story over and over again. 
    The danger: when history becomes open to distortion by the will to power, it opens the door for authoritarian leaders to create the story of the past--and the projection of the future--in dangerous ways. 
    They finish by discussing the DOJ's approach to protecting LGBTQ+ students in a recent court case.
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    • 56 min
    Patriarchy, Critical Race Theory, and Christian Nationalism

    Patriarchy, Critical Race Theory, and Christian Nationalism

    Brad speaks with Jonathan Krohn ahead of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting. Jonathan is an investigative journalist and essayist whose work has appeared at Mother Jones, the Washington Post, and many other outlets. He also grew up in the SBC and was once considered a teenager star in the denomination. He will be covering the annual meeting for the New Republic. He and Brad discuss what he expects will happen at the convention. It appears that the USA's largest Protestant denomination is going to shift even further rightward by embracing Christian nationalism explicitly, by continuing the demonization of critical race theory, by ignoring sexual abuse allegations, and by cementing even deeper the commitment to patriarchal theologies. All in all, this is a startling window into one of the most influential Christian communities in the country.
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    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
635 Ratings

635 Ratings

Lydia12637 ,

In love!

I am so glad I found this podcast. Wonderful insight!

acknowledger ,

Thank you

This podcast is helping me think through why I felt I had to leave my evangelical church. Leaving felt like a bad breakup and these talks are giving me some balance and forgiveness toward myself. Grateful.

JasonArnoldWyo ,

Helpful podcast

As someone raised in the evangelical church in the United States, I had a long bumpy road trying to navigate the quirks and foibles in the faith community. Bradley does a great job here unpacking a lot of difficult concepts and dynamics. Even if you disagree with him I think it’s worth a listen to better understand what’s going on in the north American church

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