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tv   QA Kate Bowler  CSPAN  February 25, 2018 8:00pm-9:02pm EST

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at not cot :00 p.m. eastern, british prime minister inresa may answers questions london. after that, the national governors association holds a discussion on work force skills and innovation. ♪ ,nnouncer: this week on q&a bowler.cabler -- kate she discusses her memoir "everything happens for a reason : and other lies i have loved." brian: where did you get the title "everything happens for a reason and other lies i have loved. ?" loved
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kate: people always say everything will work out or god is making away. maybe this was a lie that i loved all along. it is a theological explanation project where i dig into my own terrible belief. you -- sick are you? kate: it is hard, but i am doing better than a lot of people. i have moved from crisis management to the more chronic can., where i live scan to s drugs, doctors and all kinds of things are making away. brian: when did you find out you had cancer? kate: two years ago. there is no cancer and my family, so i did not imagine it was's will.
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one day i got a phone call that explained my mysterious stomach pain. cancer?hat kind of kate: colon cancer. as it turns out, it is increasingly common that young people are getting what was traditionally thought as an older person's illness. brian: in your book you say it is in the liver? kate: yes, it spread to my liver. tried to a phrase i use to explain. they give you a series of horrible options when you have stage four cancer. it could be this and this treatment could work. it could be this much worse thing, which is a death sentence or a mismatch repair disorder where the sellers replicated
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isorrectly -- cell replicated incorrectly. when i find out that i had this tiny little 3% kind of cancer, i declared it was the magic cancer because it was one of the only kind that open me up for new treatment. brian: where you live? durham, north carolina, but i am from canada. i'm a professor at divinity school. i teach do-gooders of all kinds. it is a lovely place to work. brian: what do you teach? kate: survey courses. i do smaller seminars. i'm a specialist in modern christianity. i have been studying mega-churches and people with beautiful hair.
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brian: i want to show you a picture you have on your site of your husband and your son. how old is zach in my picture? -- that picture? his baptism. the relay thatre he is -- i think he was nine months or something. mennonite? is a kate: they are a people who love to talk about their suffering. -- they moved largely communally through germany and russia. a lot of the moved to canada. rural manitoba, on it. -- ontario and pennsylvania.
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different groups that really account of their own suffering. the commit to doing a lot of things together. withesire to ruin salads jell-o. i found that they are my favorite people to be wonderfully sat around. -- sad around. brian: what kind of things do mennonites do that baptist or catholics do not? kate: they are most famous for their pacifism. flyingy grandpa was planes, his grandpa was in the mines. they are most in this for the pacifism and anti-materialism. that is partly why -- usually cannot tell the difference anymore. they look like every average
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capitalists. did down, they feel really guilty about the things that they have. brian: how many are there in the world? kate: i do not know. there is tremendous growth. ofre is a lot in the planes canada. i'm not sure with the overall total is. teach at duke, what kind of degrees are the people that you are teaching? getting -- teaching getting? kate: most of them will get a masters in religious studies or they will become a reverend and go off to inflict my views on other people. brian: why did you want to teach this? kate: i like the idea that ideas have traction. maybe that has become more important to me now that i have been living with my diagnosis.
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you realize you are giving people a worldview and they have live in thed hospital, board rooms and living room holding their hands during the most important moments of their lives. brian: how many doctors did you see? kate: i had a number of undiagnosed -- entirely unrelated. i saw over 100 over the last two years. in that last stretch, maybe 15. brian: you had another illness before the cancer. kate: it was 1000 times more dramatic than it seemed. i lost feeling in my arms. it was a very easy to fix nerve disorder. when i had it, it was very dramatic. i was locked in bathrooms for too long because i cannot turn the door handle all of a sudden.
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my first bookg very difficult. i look back on that as a very dark, lightly comical time of my life. brian: when was your last book published? kate: 2013. it was the first historical account of this really widespread movement. it took me 10 years of obsessive research and stalking people to of it. con pores it was hard to study at the time because nobody called themselves a prosperity preacher. he cannot do an easy survey. -- you cannot do an easy survey. .t would be naturally insulting
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here is a prosperity minister. if he is, how do you know and have you talked to him? >> i have land. i have houses. do you mind me bragging for just a moment? ♪ >> i do not have anything god did not give me. everything i can -- has came from god. have came from god. it preacher said if i sewed a seed equal to my monthly -- he said i would have a debt free house in 12 months.
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be,d not see how that could but i got my debt free house and eight months. he is one of the most unrepentant of prosperity preachers. he does not mind talking about money all the time. is a famous old-school prosperity preacher, when it was uncommon for pentecostals to talk about money. mike came along and talked about it all the time. seven secrets to seven kingdoms. he does a lot with spiritual numbers. brian: raised in texas. he talked about a seed. kate: it was a new language. it was pioneered by the
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charismatic founder of oral roberts university. the idea is kind of genius. it helps explain how money was supposed to work when you give it to somebody else. the idea is your donation will be a seed and you have to planted in the ground area of course, -- and the ground. there is a time of waiting. 1963ote his first book in called "the miracle of seed faith." you have to learn how to the live according to these seasons of sowing and reaping. it explains what happens when you give money and do not see a return. it is still in the return and you have the pray for the rain and seasons to change so you can receive your harvest. brian: how much of that do you believe?
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kate: none of that. trying to remain so open when i was doing this that he -- study. mike murdock is the caricature of that late 1980's asking forst donations. he is the caricature. met one, the people i and very average things. if you look at the little letters people used the right to pentecostal healers, they would write for things like a new tohing machine or the nerves go to a new sewing circle and make friends. advances, alliny the things that make life a little more bearable. that gave me a a lot of compassion for the people who stand late to watch mike. he went to prison. his name was jim baker and
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married to tammy faye baker. she is dead and he is remarried to lori graham. i want you to explain how this works. donald trump is president. miracle not by man. god called him to do it. i will be bringing the profits and. prophets in. it is the hour of the church in america again. brian: 78 years old and so active. he does television every day that this. what do you make of him? kate: it is not surprising that of moreof his ideas than enough were rooted in
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patriotism. there is a slice of the prosperity gospel where sense thatsm and a the prosperity gospel of the individual and nation are connected and come together in someone like jim baker. he and tammy were the king and queen of 1980's televangelist on. they had the most-watched christian program. heritage usa was built right around the border of north carolina and south carolina and was meant to be the expression of their more than enough-ness. they called everyone family. they really reached into people's living rooms and asked people to celebrate a pentecostalism that had come of age.
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in the late 1980's, jim is toppled by a sexual and financial scandal that sent him to prison. weirdly enough, i met a number of people who he met in prison when i gave a talk at the prison where he had been held. i was giving this history of prosperity gospel talk. the back ofuys in their hands. they said we know jim. they had all kinds of stories. brian: did you interview him? kate: no. i never met him but would love to. he wrote a book called "i was wrong." he is a natural salesman. he went on largely to sell dehydrated food stuff for the elderly. know. people
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if you keep your eye on the screen coming can see the more buckets you buy, the more money you pay, but is a bar -- a bargain, the more you buy. , we will this food extend a couple more days. it is four months of food. you only need three of them. we give you for buckets. lasts 30 years on your shelf. >> they are even waterproof. if you are in a flood and it gets wet -- it is free. >> you are getting a lot of food. it is for those grandkids. brian: what do you think of that? why do they do this? kate: the pragmatic reason is from day one, he was an amazing.
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he said i could be anything, but i ended up selling the gospel. i have hundreds of hours of footage that i watched the research of the book. it was fun. it was a round-robin of anderent entertainers speakers. it showed you how little they actually preached and how much it was this carnival family atmosphere. for him to go from a prosperity theology to a more scarcity model, where there is not enough . it shows how incredibly pragmatic and adaptable this feature can be. brian: what would you not believe as a minister says to you this is the future. what would turn you off? one thing i learned about
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pentecostals as their sense of wonderment. tried to take that in the spirit of generosity. so often, it is incredibly prescriptive. i get a lot of that stuff in the mail still. brian: do you believe them? kate: no. brian: do they believe themselves? kate: many of them do. there are sales and among them. they were always really pragmatic and entrepreneurial. --y would travel around these tent revivalists. when they were done, they would cut up the tent into tiny , asres and sell the pieces if all the spiritual power had been absorbed into the fabric. they are both promising something that people want.
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people like me, when i got really sick, i wanted stuff i .ould touch and feel i can see why these very material things really catch on. brian: here is the president of the united states talking in 2015. >> the great norman vincent field was my pastor. he would give a sermon you would never want to leave. we thinke in a while, about leaving a little early, even though we are christian. sermon -- i'ma telling you, i still remember his sermons. it was unbelievable. he would bring real-life situations into the sermon and you could listen to them all day long. brian: in your book, did you read about him? kate: the prosperity gospel a
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bald in different streams are you one of them was the pentecostal version we saw and people like mike martek -- mike murdock. we are in a new era of science and wonders and it darted in the early 1900s. it most often looked to healing. also, the gift of tongues, an unknown language. you will see people searched what does not sound like intelligible words. in some versions, it is supposed to be a translatable language, but most iterations it sounds land of syllables. like syllables.
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it looks like mainline protestantism. there is a theology of self-esteem. they are borrowing from you new thought.e -- whatever you can think and articulate will come true. , whone like donald trump latches onto a figure like norman vincent field, will we see is a respectable version -- what we see is a respectable version. brian: let's watch him. powercalled the hour of at the crystal cathedral. >> what do you want to be? dedicate it to jesus christ with your whole life. and do not doubt it.
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believe. mind oficture in your that goal. hold it tenaciously in the fromious mind until process of intellect tossed mosys, it sinks into the office process. it sinks into the unconscious. kate: they really make visualization and processes the theological infrastructure for how it works area and what is different -- how it works. you absorbed it in such a way that you can unleash it into the world. version of the prosperity gospel into positive thinking. it develops into this long
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lineage with other famous schuller like robert and men like donald trump. he said do not doubt it. why not? there is positive confession and negative confession. obstacle,ate a mental it will come true. whenever bad things happen, you have to look at yourself to figure out why it did not come to be. met bennye you ever hinn? kate: i did. i went on a trip with benny hinn and his followers to walk where jesus walked. little bit from canada, little bit from israel and the states. brian: when you say 900 of his followers, is that the only 900 he has?
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kate: no. they take these really big tors. tours. you pay a lot of money. what kind of person is financially investing in a faith healer and one of their hopes? brian: why do you call him a faith healer? specialty is that if you believe in us, your body will reflect the glory of god and be restored. he has a strong financial message but is known for his faith healing. brian: do you believe in him? kate: i do not have a lot of affinity towards him. i have seen a lot of binny henn. he is one of the pastors that i watched the most and is often the most dramatic. he is the one on youtube where he raises his hand and you will
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see 100 people fall over at the same time. approach ismatic one that i found somewhat manipulative. december 18 2017 -- 18, 2017. benny henn. ,> and the mighty name of jesus i come against you in the name of the one i served. leave this young lady. in the name of the lord my god. complete the healing. it is really gone, right?
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there is no pain in your stomach? well then, that is real. kate: when i see something like that, i can only see it from her perspective. as a christian, i believe christianity has a very long tradition of divine healing. i do not think it is not possible for god to heal people, but you can he how quickly he andd from praying for her then his confidence in himself and that vehicle. the idea because she did not have pain in that moment that she is definitely healed. brian: have you ever seen one of these where someone stood up and read i still have pain right had it for? kate: yes. big convention center. it was one of his proteges, paul
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white. we would love a donation for this and less come one person started yelling we do not have it. there was horrible violence and .aughter it was a financially exhausting time. the response was a 10 main it -- minute sermon braiding people for lack of faith. paula white was a spiritual protege of benny henn. she is now most famous as donald trump's personal pastor. she has a large mega-church in florida called without walls. of is a chipper preacher more than enough. brian: have you met her? kate: no, but i have been to her church.
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brian: here is paula white. >> i want you to make a commitment. the first hours of your day, give to god. i want you to spend time in prayer. says doucial because he not come before me empty-handed. tithe is 1/10 of your income. , somef us bring one day of us bring one week, some of us bring an entire month's because we understand the principle of all first belong to god. time: who made up the 10% -- tithe? kate: there is a lot of arguments about whether it is 10%. what you can see what first
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categories that the prosperity gospel develops to ask for different kinds of -- donations. it becomes mandatory. large churches will ask a believer for their financial records to make sure they are giving 10%. that you are spiritually in danger if you're not fully giving. there are offerings that can be spontaneous and related to the person. .eed faith that is the idea that the language means you should give person, but itt will be returned back to you. -- where some swear
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the pastorcelebrate being there. pastor goes on vacation, they pass the hat. when it is his birthday, they pass the hat. what is your reaction to that? kate: weirdly enough, most people i interview really like seeing their pastor do well as an expression of who they are. demonstrate the spiritual principles at work. some of it ends up being really celebrated. sometimes the mega-church will put the parking space of the pastor with the luxury car really in front with the vanity plates. there is no hiding it. brian: what would your reaction
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for anothered thousand dollars from you and you see him with a mercedes? one guy had two large first lady's outside his home -- mercedes outside his home. kate: i have an uncomfortable feeling about those displays because those churches so often .un around family businesses fore has been a real push financial transparency. it makes it hard because the argument is one that parishioners believe. we live in a spiritual universe and if god gives to them, god can give to me. what does it mean, redeem
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the curse? kate: apollo is talking about .he imagination everything you are doing is not just for something but against something. someone like norman vincent field did not really talk about that. he used a lot of psychological language. someone like paula white, very much into the pentecostal thought is always talking about supernatural forces against year. brian: the next man is well known. homes a 17,000 square foot . the home is worth about $10.5 million. web, he seese something like 52,000 people a week.
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here he is, jules dean. >> -- joel holstein. rain, theall the waters came within a foot or two of reaching the walls and flooding the building once again. without those floodgates, we would not be in here today. -- water started receiving started to recede. we thought it was safe to start taking people in on tuesday. if we had opened the building earlier and someone was injured or it had flooded in people lost their lives, that would be a different story. i am at peace with taking the cautious, but i do not want to take the heat for being foolish. brian: what do you think? kate: i do not know enough about
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the details to say whether he was appropriately cautious. question ofe the what a large prosperity church is for. ,art of the critique he got was is his job to be the front line of charity? it is a real question for prosperity preachers when their entire the ologies says if i can do it, you can do it. says if i can do it, you can do it -- theology says if i can do it, you can do it. brian: why does someone want to sit in a room with about 30,000 people for a service that -- like that? kate: he is easy to listen to. there is an atmosphere of
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positivity and celebration. he is very kind. and wanty to like him to be around like-minded people. the people who go there are aspirational in some way. it works like that for all classes. in -- and imagined, vote for life. -- of her class, it gives the reasons to keep caring and a justification for what they have area -- what they have. run the clip and you can explain how he fits into all this. had not been mistreated, had not been ostracized, he would not have the passion to do what he does. if oprah winfrey had not gone through the things that she went through, she would not be so
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committed to make sure that everybody finds the purpose and dream. i'm telling you what you think is working against you is absolutely working for you. brian: pain. kate: td jakes is probably the most they must african-american prosperity teacher. so much of what he does as long similar lines about talking about self-esteem. a franchise he developed in the 1990's around healing sexual abuse of women in the church, it really brings that message out where your pain becomes your purpose. the worst thing can be the best thing. it promises within the course of a human life, you can have everything you hoped for. notn: is opera religious or -- ophrah religious or not?
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kate: i think so. the book secret was really popular, which was another expression of that new thought idea where you can have what you conceive of. there is also that idea that there is no such thing as luck, that any obstacle can be overcome for those who work hard and make the most of every opportunity. that is an american belief as well. loose these figures are as you are never sure, but they say he is worth about $18 million. why is he worth that amount of money? kate: he has a film production company. he has been involved in music. he has a series of for-profit and nonprofit enterprises.
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part of that springs out of this entrepreneurialism where i can have it and so you can. i think there is a lot of controversy over the tax-exempt status. with homes that ministers live in, i think it is becoming more question because churches are increasingly split between the very large and various law. the average church has about 70 , includingple in it kids. most people go to these top-heavy churches. tax-exempt status for some pastors helps some churches stay financially afloat. brian: almost all these people are from the south. kate: they are.
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it is such a good question. part of it has to do with these suburban churches. churches in the land. they are slightly on the outskirts of cities. and during the hand duster -- gesture of the sun belt. partly it has to do with urban fall and migration patterns. brian: are they more religious in the south than in the north? kate: sometimes it surprises you. there are a lot of churches around seattle. project in when a club -- winnipeg, manitoba. we are canadian. we are not supposed to have austerity mega-churches, if you
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ask many people. preachers will say in the name of jesus. the way they say jesus come you could tell they had a southern teacher. >> i do not know if he figured this out or not, but god often uses pain to get our attention. god whispers to us and our pleasure but shouts to us in our pain. hello? do you think i made you to live for yourself? no, you are made for so much more. god often uses pain to get our attention. us for aain to prepare breakthrough. if you are in pain right now, congratulations. i do not think he is a prosperity preacher.
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he is mostly southern baptist. california, itn is a largely evangelical church. what he is getting at is the theology most americans want to share. pain is always progress. i do not believe that anymore. i think i really thought that life was a series of ladders. i thought if i kept climbing, it would lead to something. the pain level me. part of it was coming to grips to curenot being able my own cancer and assume that i always have the time i want with while i think all kinds of beautiful things can , ipen in our dark season
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think it is a beautiful lie to say that pain will always be rewarded. brian: here is a name. he is still alive, 82 years old. this goes back to 1988 when he got himself into a little trouble. i have sinned against you, my lord. ask that your precious blood would wash and cleanse is in then until it seas of god's forgetfulness. never to be remembered against me anymore. , it definedpology
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in people's minds the caricature of the televangelist. he was incredible. assembly to god pastor. he started off as a prosperity preacher. he decided he thought it was not true anymore. there was internal division. involved in a very heated series of rivalries with other preachers. brian: did he out another preacher for being with a prostitute? you the shows incredible underbelly of that
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story were so many of them were trying to sabotage the other. and then they all went down. the people he was against out of him. it went several years. kate: it was mutual damnation. i think can see it in the apology. think you can see it in the apology. if you repent, you can be saved. when people fall, they can immediately apologize and about-face. these are personal figures to people. you feel like you know them. bakker was in prison, you had people at the courthouse pleading for him. he was like family to them. he might have been the
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original prosperity minister. how many religious people are taught to believe that they do not deserve any ring? -- anything? oh lord, i know i am not worthy. anything you do not feel you are worthy of, you cannot have. anything you feel you do not deserve you are not worthy of, you cut yourself off from that good. kate: reverend ike. preachervery popular in the 1960's and 1870's, through the 1980's. it goes to show you how the language of prosperity can be incredibly empowering. he was talking to people who had where they in an era were told they can never have enough, let alone more. this fixed strand of african-american prosperity preaching ended up being part of
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saying godlary of to be there with someone with their heel on your throat. let me ask you again how long you had the cancer. what kind of treatment are you getting now? kate: i had a whole series. i finished one course of treatment. i'm in therapy -- chemotherapy. brian: where is it being done? kate: now it is being done at duke. it is a real about-face in my day. brian: for a while, you are going to atlanta. wednesday.every it was a trial.
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those of us to qualify for trials are desperate to get it. brian: when you had an operation, what was it? kate: i had a few operations. was to remove a huge tumor from my:. olon. c brian: has there been any shrinkage? kate: yes. i think that is where we are with immunotherapy. changing in things science, the hope is to get from one good outcome to the other. --lways try to ask wayne explain that i am not terminal. the hope is always to try to to swing you vine over the deep.
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all through that period, people kept saying we believe in god -- will you believe in god an atheist.he was here is what he was saying. >> a large number of people have asked me, doesn't it change your attitude? i said that i really do not think it should. lifent a lot of my deciding that there is not any redemption or salvation. there is no afterlife or supervising. if i were to tell you that i have a malignancy in my have -- esophagus, that changes everything.
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you would think it would have an effect on my iq. attitude?t about your have you changed your thinking? kate: i think i have. i always considered myself a pretty decent type. so much of it was wrapped up in the assuming that god was a part of this enhancement project i was on. , i willnd i got sick admit it was a really spiritually powerful time for me. you can hear me stuttering. i am good about techie about other people's faith. talking about other people's faith. intimate and i did not
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want to tell people. i felt the presence of god. i felt the love of other people. all the intense -- the second i got sick, my community got together in a chapel and prayed like marathon runners for me. part of it was reflecting back to me love. also, the sense that i hope as , butre preparing to die someone or someone -- something or someone needs you there. this was back in the 1980's. it is about a man named ernest. tell us what you think of this. how you get that special knack that you can do that?
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>> i do not have a knack. this is no knack. don't you fear god? god is the healer. jesus came and healed. the bible said. i fast, pray and god answers prayer. you can see him pressing in. is it a prayer? are you anointed? is it a special place you go to? brian: does god answer prayer? kate: i think often. sometimes, not. the question is that the issperity gospel raises is, there a secret formula and can i find it somewhere? i think the answer is no. those that borrows from wonder
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bar us from wonder and hope? i do not think so. brian: let's see what you think of this. , iat 10:30 in the morning stood up in prayer and let that group of 200 plus people in prayer. we rebuked the hurricane comes this monster in the atlantic ocean and commanded it to go back where it came from. 10:30, the progress of that hurricane stopped. you can look at the records, if you do not believe me. kate: it is a wonderful arrogance. the hubris of it, i sort of love it. my face when a much something like that. they have gumption like nobody else. they really believe they can turn around a hurricane.
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i'm glad they tried. immediately it opens itself up. what condemnation lies on those who fail? this is always a problem at prosperity reacher -- preacher's funeral. there is always a little bit of a bulletin that has to explain why a man of faith would pass away. i think that is an awful burden to bear. they have to be a problem to be explained. brian: this happened after the super bowl when the eagles won the game. here is their quarterback. >> just another game, right? >> just another game.
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unbelievable. all the glory to god. to be here with my daughter, my wife, my family and teammates, we are very blessed. he is going to be a preacher after he gets out of the football business. all glory to god. before the game starts, both sides pray. kate: the super bowl is the annual reminder. this is a country that does not believe in luck. all things are earned. come withth athletes a sly and bleed for a goal and only one side wins. little -- always be winners and losers. brian: i want you to tell this story of the preacher's wife.
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kate: sure. brian: please tell that one. do you remember it? it is the wife and the pastor. of course. i learned a lot about the .itualized expectation the preacher's wife stands up in the middle of the service and says we need to pray down the rain. the spiritual heavens will open and everything asked for will come done. shattering, stomping and praising god, in hopes that everything they are praying comes true. a house, a car. at the time, it was a baby. out a hope for every good thing that we are living under an open heaven. she stopped her feet, kicked off
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her heels and asked us all to hope for more. mennonite, are they evangelicals? kate: some of them are. they are a little like the jewish faith. it has a widespread mennonite culture. a lot of them are evangelical. with: the new york times two big articles from you. how did that happen? tend toe first -- i write mary privately. when i first got sick, i noticed the great irony of me being a and the author of a book called "blessed." i wanted to be the first person to point out that i was not super #blessed.
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people start to poor certainty on your pain. maybe if you prayed in this way or go see so-and-so, he will fix this. the desire i had to want for sure wasn i was not possible. i sent that article in and found a wonderful editor who i had door. -- adore. . got thousands of letters point was do not poor certainty on my pain. of course, billion people did. you so much. here are categories of responses to those in pain. there are minimizer is. minimizers.
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, i am not onto say trial. brian: 10 books you need to know about by kate bowler. blessed and everything happens for a reason. she has been my guest and we thank you. kate: thank you for having me. what a treat. ♪ announcer: for free transcripts or to give us comments, visit us at q& q and day programs are available as c-span podcasts.
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if you liked this q and day, here are others you might enjoy. christopher hitchens spoke with us in 2011 about his life and career less than a year after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer. national institutes of health director francis collins talking about the genome project and how it is important to medical research. you can find these interviews online at the -- talking about growing up with survivalist parents in the mountains in her book "educated: a memoir." >> a lot of people have taken to heart this idea that to learn
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something you have to have a degree and an institution in place to teach it to you. i am grateful to my parents come up but i was not raised to think that. and i decided i wanted to go to college, it felt like something i could do. not because i have formal education but i need to learn algebra. i kept going with that. parents took it too far. i arrived at university really underprepared. ask what the holocaust was. people thought i was anti-semitic. >> watch afterwards, tonight at 9:00 eastern on c-span two. >> monday, on c-span's landmark
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cases, we will look at the supreme cortez, mccullough versus ireland. -- supreme court case, color versus maryland. explore this case and the high court's ruling with university of virginia's peterson. and a university of arkansas professor. mondayandmark cases on at 9:00 eastern on c-span, listen withrg, or the free c-span radio app. order a copy of the companion book, available for a dollars $8.95. -- there is an interactive constitution. >> at the british house of was askedheresa may tome


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