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Episode 480: The Myth of the Religious Right with Randall Balmer




Conservative evangelicals organized into a political movement in the 1970s in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize abortion. Or did they? Historian Randall Balmer argues this origin story for the Religious Right is a myth. He talks to Skye about the real origins of the movement and how it explains the current state of white evangelicalism.

Also this week, we unpack Peter Wehner’s article in The Atlantic about the breaking apart of evangelicalism. Is the church a victim of media manipulation, or is evangelicalism reaping its own rotten fruit? Plus, lawsuits between believers, training Christians for hand-to-hand combat in vehicles, and Phil’s massive magical mushroom.


News Segment:

Phil’s mushroom [2:47]


Christians training in hand-to-hand combat [8:39]


Mike Stone suing Russell Moore [13:14]


“The Evangelical Church is Breaking Apart” [28:01]


Interview with Randall Balmer:



“Bad Faith: Race and the Rise of the Religious Right” - https://amzn.to/3btjt7D


Interview Start [52:40]


Context for approaching this study [54:23]

What is the myth? [59:59]

Effects of dispensational premillennialism on social engagement [1:11:37]

Emergence of Religious Right in the North/Midwest [1:19:35]

Why do these origins matter? [1:25:22]


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Angel Schepens
Angel Schepens
10 nov. 2021

Reading Jesus and John Wayne right now. Wow, your podcast is the same topic of the book!

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Angel Schepens
Angel Schepens
10 nov. 2021

Hmm...it's deeply saddens me that this is going on in the church. I can't help but wonder how much of this is retaliation is because of his stance on Trump. People like Russell Moore, Beth Moore, etc. have been targeted since taking a position that they were unable to support Trump. Russell Moore accused of stealing others sermons and Beth Moore accused of teaching false doctrine. Prior to their position being made public, they were the darlings of the church. Every article about Beth Moore teaching false doctrine is written after her position about Trump goes public. What the heck is going on with the church?

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I'm curious what ya'll think about the accusations against Russell Moore plagiarizing sermons? I'm not trying to say, Oh well he did this bad thing so it's a wash with whatever Mike Stone might've done...but since I know the podcast is friends with Moore and I haven't heard this issue brought up at all yet I wonder if it's been discussed or will be...

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Niki Harper
Niki Harper
03 nov. 2021

I loved this episode. I wish there was a way to hear the "other side" of some of these ideas. The interview was fantastic (and jarring and sad) and it left me wanting to hear how someone with a differering view would frame the events. I don't want to blindly accept what I hear/read on the internet so hearing differing viewpoints on one topic would be helpful.

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I think we should break apart the country and make all guns legal in the liberal one but all types of abortion illegal in the liberal one, and then in the conservative one all types of guns would be banned and all types of abortion would be legal, that way, nobody would be happy and we could join together to rise up and revolt

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