On this emergency episode, Brad asks religion scholars to weigh in on Trump’s violent Bible photo op. He speaks with first with Dr. Richard Newton, Assistant Professor of Religon at the University of Alabama. They discuss how Christianity often offers a validation to racism and what he means by the term negrophobia. Christian nationalism is a prominent theme on Straight White American Jesus. Brad discusses how it played into Trump’s photo op with Samuel Perry and Andrew Whitehead, authors of “Taking America Back for God,” a new and important text on Christian nationalism in contemporary USA. Using Christian nationalism as a lens helps clarify why Trump’s base is also populated by a good number of white Catholics. Brad discusses this with Matthew J. Cressler, Asst. Professor of Religion at the College of Charleston. They discuss his work on white Catholicism as a vehicle for segregation in the USA, and the work of black catholics who are working to dismantle the structures of racism in the church. Brad turns next to Dr. Matt Recla, Associate Director of the University Foundations program at Boise State, to get a view of Trump’s weaponization of the Bible from the eyes of a scholar of the Roman empire. Dr. Recla explains the ways Christians and politicians have done the same throughout the last 1700 years. Finally Brad asks his Skidmore college, Dr. Lucia Hulsether, author of the forthcoming book Capitalist Humanitarianism, to help him understand the term racialized capitalism. He finishes the episode with insight from his former colleague Dr. Charles McKinney Jr, professor of Africana studies at Rhodes College, who relays a lesson in how white people often view racist acts and how to begin doing anti-racist work.
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