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Kristin Du Mez Tells Me How Evangelicals Fell in Love with John Wayne

When the Access Hollywood “locker room talk” tape hit the mainstream on October 7, 2016, both Russell Moore and historian Kristin Du Mez were horrified. But while Moore felt surprised by the evangelical response—or lack of response—to the video, Du Mez saw it as a predictable outcome of militant masculinity within evangelicalism. In their conversation, and in her book Jesus and John Wayne, Du Mez explains why.

On this episode of The Russell Moore Show, Moore and Du Mez talk about the overlap of history, politics, and Christianity when it comes to understanding American evangelicalism’s relationship to gender. Moore and Du Mez discuss the centrality of sexual purity in much of American Christianity in the past few decades and the specific devastation of leaders who purported those messages later acting as predators. They share their thoughts on the parallels between changes in the Republican party and evangelicalism over the past few years, and what it means to realize that what you once saw as a fringe group within your tribe was, in fact, more of a core than you had ever imagined.

Listen in for an episode filled with great questions, thoughtful answers, and mutual engagement on challenging topics.

“The Russell Moore Show” is a production of Christianity Today

Chief Creative Officer: Erik Petrik

Executive Producer and Host: Russell Moore

Director of Podcasts: Mike Cosper

Production Assistance: CoreMedia

Coordinator: Beth Grabenkort

Producer and Audio Mixing: Kevin Duthu

Administrators: Christine Kolb and Pam Vodenova

Theme Song: “Dusty Delta Day” by Lennon Hutton

Only when we see how lost we are, we can find our way again. Only when we bury what’s dead can we experience life again. Only when we lose our religion can we be amazed by grace again.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Editor in Chief of Christianity Today and is the author of the forthcoming book Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call for Evangelical America (Penguin Random House).