Brad and Dan begin by discussing the new Hillsong documentary, “Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed,” and the various sexual abuse and infidelity scandals that have rocked the church of the stars. They draw on work by Dr. Leah Payne in order to link Hillsong to a long line of celebrity megachurches that use spectacle, entrepreneurial tactics, and slick marketing to attract young, hot, and rich parishioners. History tells us that eventually scandal will rock the church, due in large part to the authoritarian leadership structures that often characterize this type of ministry.
Leah Payne’s op-ed: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/justin-biebers-former-church-hillsong-usa-decline-hypepriests-will-end-rcna23685
They then dig into the news that the Saudi Crown Prince helped funnel 2 billion dollars to Jared Kushner’s new firm, despite reservations from pretty much everyone else involved. This leads to a discussion of how propaganda and corruption mark autocratic regimes whose constituents lack trust in their leaders and government. It also provides a helpful rebuttal to Uncle Ron’s “whatabout Hunter Biden” line.
“The real concern here is that the public has no way of knowing exactly what favors someone like Kushner may have done for the Saudis.” – Walter Shaub
The episode finishes with substantive discussion on the Georgia Senate runoff and how it illuminates the failed promises of the Democratic party and the incredible war the GOP has made on the state level in just over a year.
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