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The Friendly Atheist Podcast

Churches are turning into MAGA cults

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Jessica and I spoke about several stories from the past week involving religion and politics.

— A Kansas town voted to remove “In God We Trust” from police vehicles. (2:03)

— Canada’s Parliament rejected a motion to end invocation prayers in the House of Commons. (6:41)

— Evangelical pastors shouldn’t be surprised that their churches are turning into MAGA cults. (15:51)

— Predator megachurch leader Jack Schaap was released from prison earlier than expected. (37:05)

— Idaho’s Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin says “Christ will reign” if she becomes governor. (53:17)

Overturning Roe Might Backfire on Christians

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Jessica and I spoke about several stories from the past week involving religion and politics.

— The Supreme Court’s supposed Roe decision could backfire on conservative Christians. (1:15)

— A Christian college punished a sexual assault victim for having premarital sex. (39:05)

— The Supreme Court also said Boston couldn’t say no to putting up a Christian flag outside City Hall. (55:35)

— In a cruel ritual, an 8-year-old Jain girl had her hair plucked out by hand. (1:12:18)

This Christian Show’s Ad Campaign Backfired

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Jessica and I spoke about several stories from the past week involving religion and politics.

— A Christian show’s viral “persecution” marketing campaign backfired. (2:15)

— The Supreme Court is about to fumble a simple church/state separation case. (15:05)

— An atheist in Florida says if controversial books are banned, then the Bible needs to go too. (35:15)

— An Alabama couple can’t adopt a kid because they’re non-religious. (40:46)

— Christians sang worship music on an airplane. (49:06)

— A Christian “health insurance” ministry left families high and dry because it was all a grift. (58:09)

— Canadians say evangelicals hurt society more than any other religious group. (1:09:18)

Interview with Dr. Katie Gaddini, author of “The Struggle to Stay: Why Single Evangelical Women Are Leaving the Church”

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In this solo episode (Jessica will be back next week), I spoke with Dr. Katie Gaddini, a sociologist at the Social Research Institute, University College London and a research associate at the University of Johannesburg, Department of Sociology.

She recently released her debut book, The Struggle to Stay: Why Single Evangelical Women Are Leaving the Church, which is based on over four years of in-depth ethnographic research with single evangelical women in the US and the UK.

We talked about purity culture, the mixed messages sent to Christian women, and whether their churches do more harm than good.

1:00 How did you get interested in this topic?

2:10 Are Christian women leaving church or the religion?

3:35 When they leave their churches, what are they missing out on?

4:55 What role does modern-day feminism play in women leaving church?

7:40 Do Christian women have opportunities to date, or is it always about courtship and marriage?

10:00 How do Christian women deal with sex loopholes?

15:30 What happens to women in the church as they get older but are still single?

17:40 Does the pressure to find a perfect Christian guy make things worse?

19:45 What’s been the effect of #MeToo on these Christian women?

21:20 What do you make of the messages sent to Christian girls by modern Christian “influencers”?

24:18 Do churches ever offer sex ed for adults?

26:40 What’s the message being delivered to older, single Christian men?

27:50: What happens when Christian women realize they’ve been lied to about the sexual binary between abstinence and anything-goes?

29:50: Are church leaders adapting to any of this?

32:10 Are evangelical churches a force for good in these women’s lives?

33:50 Who are positive role models for Christian women wanting responsible advice about sex?

35:10 What surprised you in your research?

36:40 What has been your family’s reaction to your book?

37:20: What is your current research focused on?