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Episode 522: The New Secular South & Celebrities for Jesus with Katelyn Beaty

Evangelicals are no longer the largest religious group in the South. Russell Moore says they’ve been replaced by a dangerous new kind of southern secularism. These MAGA-vangelicals don’t attend church, don’t follow the moral teachings of the Bible, and are fixated on politics and conspiracy theories but still call themselves “Christians.” What role does the church have in mitigating the danger of this new sect?

Plus, a church in Texas faces legal trouble for performing an evangelistic revision of the musical Hamilton without a license. Then, Katelyn Beaty is back to discuss her new book Celebrities for Jesus: How Personas, Platforms, and Profits are Hurting the Church. She explains why we keep manufacturing more Christian celebrities despite their high failure rate, and why accountability structures aren’t enough. Also this week, Phil eulogizes Freya the walrus, and a man sues after five years of flatulence.

Patreon Bonus with Katelyn Beaty: The ugly side of Christian publishing -

News Segment

2:45 - Freya the walrus update

9:42 - News of the Butt

15:25 - Church production of Hamilton

25:55 - The new secular south

42:48 - With God Daily

Interview with Katelyn Beaty

“Celebrities for Jesus: How Personas, Platforms, and Profits are Hurting the Church” -

44:10 - Interview intro

46:15 - Why this book?

50:45 - Fame vs. celebrity

58:13 - When accountability doesn’t work

1:04:27 - Celebrity and an illusion of intimacy

1:13:29 - Christian celebrity and discipleship

1:19:41 - Credits

Other articles and resources mentioned:

“When the South Loosens its Bible Belt” by Russell Moore (Christianity Today) -

“Fighting Flesh and Blood” by Kristin Du Mez -

“A Church Called Tov: Forming a Goodness Culture That Resists Abuses of Power and Promotes Healing” by Laura McKnight Barringer and Scot McKnight -

Holy Post website:

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15 commentaires

Smiley (Stage name)
Smiley (Stage name)
22 août 2022

"Can someone PLEASE turn me back? I don't want to be a convertible anymore!" ☹️☹️🙁🙁🙁


"If you dislike the religious right, wait till you meet the post-religious right." - Ross Douthat. Not sure if/when he penned this, but it was around the time of the start of the Trump campaign that it made the rounds. He was correct.

Also, if Steven Colbert ever comes on the show Phil desperately needs to teach him about making good cartoons. He was the producer on "Fairview" and it's a hate-filled, stereotyping, unwatchable mess. It makes The Babylon Bee looks subtle and funny.


19 août 2022

Love the convo. So we talk a lot about dealing with celebrity/fame in church settings, but as someone in the music buisness, I'm really curious how say Phil or Christian deals with finding a healthy structure for accountability, since they work in their own creative/media businesses in that sort of "parachurch-ish" world that's also more entrepreneur than institutional in an industry where success does involve some degree of popularity or fame (at least enough to put food on the table from sales). And I'd love tips on what you do for accountability as I find myself more in that world too (besides all the great tips already in Phil's book).


Children's book with euthanasia at the end, "Mrs. Chippy's Last Expedition" by Caroline Alexander (Illustrator: W.E. How, Photographer: Frank Hurley), the somewhat falsified account of the feline member of Ernest Shackleton's expedition that failed with miraculously little loss of life. IRL, the cat's end was a bit more percussive than is inferred in the book, but "Seal Watch" has forever become a part of our family vocabulary in describing our cats' behaviours.


Thomas Holt
Thomas Holt
18 août 2022

I just heard Skye mention that even celebrity leaders who are part of a denomination can become "too big to fail." some examples of this are Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker who were both members of the largest Pentecostal denomination in the US. IIRC Jimmy Swaggart went through a period of "restoration" or some such, which might have been overseen by the denomination, but that was only after being outed by investigative journalism.

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