Episode 110: Kristin Kobes Du Mez – “Jesus and John Wayne.”

We caught Professor Kristin Kobes Du Mez at her home on a Friday afternoon after a week of teaching American History at Calvin University. It also happened to be the week of the 2020 election, and at the time we recorded, no presidential winner had been formally declared. Her past month had been a blur of interviews. Her book, Jesus and John Wayne, a history of white evangelicalism, has put her in the spotlight as white evangelicals have been one the most reliable voting constituencies for Donald Trump. This fact puzzles many outside of evangelicalism, who seek her out for comment, since many outside this tradition widely see Donald Trump as someone whose language and behavior are antithetical to the morality of scripture. Yet Du Mez describes in her thoroughly-researched book how notions of militancy and masculinity have been strong themes through generations of white evangelical communities until this present day. The militant, masculine approach of Donald Trump seems to explain why he, more than any other presidential candidate in recent history, has garnered the support and admiration of white evangelicals. Her cultural history of this segment of white Christianity was why were so honored to have her join us to talk about her book.

Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation – Kristin Kobes Du Mez

National Exit Polls: How Different Groups Voted 2020 – New York Times

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
by Austin Channing Brown