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tv   QA Kate Bowler  CSPAN  February 26, 2018 12:22pm-1:26pm EST

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>> tonight, on c-span's landmark cases, we'll look at the supreme court case mccullough v. maryland, a case that solidified the federal government's ability to take actions not explicitly stated in the constitution and the legitimate use of this power. explore this case in the high court's ruling with university of virginia associate law professor and mark, university of arkansas law professor, and author of mccullough v. maryland securing a nation. watch landmark cases live tonight at 9:00 eastern on c-span., or listen with the free c-span radio app. for background, order a cop of the landmark cases companion book. available for $8.95 plus shipping and handling at cases. for an additional resource, a link on our website to the national constitution center's nteractive constitution.
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>> a theck won on "q&a," duke devimbity school professor and prosperity gospel smaller kate bob doler. professor boller who was diagnosed with incurable stage 4 cancer at age 35 discusses her memoir. everything happens for a reason and other lies i've loved. kate, where did you get the title, everything happens for a reason? and other lies i have loved. >> i think it just came to me because it was one of the many boom rangs that people give to you when you're sick. surely everything's going to work out o, god is making a way. and i wrote the book to try to explore maybe this was a lie i loved all along. so the book is a theological
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excavation project i'm trying to dig into my own secret terrible belief. brian: how sick are you? kate: stage 4 cancer not decorative. it's hard. i'm doing better than a lot of people. i moved from that crisis management to the more chronic part of this in which i live skin-to-skin. thankfully so far drugs and doctors and all kinds of things are making a way. brian: when did you first find out you had cancer? kate: two years ago. 35, there is no canser in my family. i just didn't imagine it was possible. and then one day out of the blue i got a phone call that explained my miss serious tomach pain and realized i was in deep. brian: what kind of cancer? kate: colon cancer. i'm never specific about that partly because i didn't imagine
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everyone imagining me and m my combon the rest of my life. it's increasingly common that young people are getting what was traditional thought to be an older person's illness. brian: you do say it's in the liver? kate: it spreads often to the liver t did with mine. brian: what's magic cancer? kate: that was just a little phrase i gave to try to explain. they give you this -- a series of horrible options when you have stage 4 cancer. it could be this. and this treatment might work. it could be this other much worse horrible thing. immediate death sentence. or this tiny little -- they call a mismatch reparodies order where the cell's replicated incorrectly which could be genetic or not. but if you have this 3% cancer, then new immunotheir if i possible. when i have the 3% cancer i declared it was the madge inc.
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cancer because it was the only kinds that opened me up for new treatment. brian: where do you live? kate: i'm from canada. i live in durham, north arolina. brian: what did you do in durham, north carolina? kate: i teach do-gooders of all kinds. pastors, nonprofit workers, people with hopeful thoughts when they stair at the horizon. by yan: what do you teach? kate: the big survey courses. their puritans to megachurches courses. then i do smaller seminars. i'm a specialist in modern american christianity and for the last 10 years i have been studying teleadvantagelists and megachurches and people with beautiful hair. by yan: i want to show you a picture you have on your blog site of your husband and son. how old is zach? kate: that's his baby dedication. we all grew up mennonite. he has an i-part and a baptism
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oncey to make clear he is being dedicated not baptized. all the anna baptists would reject us. he's nine months or something and that's in tobaccoin's parents backyard. brian: what's a men none identity? kate: they are a people who love to talk about their suffering. nnon came out of a me simons was their leader. they moved through germany and russia and a whole bunch moved to can in a can in the late 1800. they populate a lot of rural manitoba and ontario and the states, indiana, nebraska, kansas. then pennsylvania. different kinds of groups they all have a really sick account of their own suffering which is largely why they put to doing things together. simplestity. pacifism. desire to ruinal lids with
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jell-o. i have always conto a mennonite church and i found they have very fine people. they almost expect you to be sad. kite: they are most famous for their pacifism. and anti-materialism. that's partly why -- you usually can't tell the difference between them because they are often plain clothes like the rest of us. they look like every average apitalist. brian: how many are in the world? kate: there is tremendous growth. a lot of international growth.
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a lot in the plains of canada. brian: when you teach at duke what, kind of degrees are the people that you're teaching get? kate: i teach in the graduate program. some of them will get ph.d.'s. most will get either a masters in religious studies or m.j. they will be a reverend. kate: i like the idea we're beholden to communities of care. that's become important to me since i have been living with the dying know sifments you are iving people a world view. 40e8ding people's hands during the most important moments of their life. brian: during this process of finding your cancer, how many doctors did you see?
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kate: wow. i had a number of them diagnose -- entirely unrelated. i saw over 14u7bd within the last few years. in that last stretch maybe 156789brian: you had another illness before the cancer. what was that? kate: it ended up being 1000 more dramatic than it seemed. i lost the use of my arms for over one year. it turns out it was just some kind of very easy to fix nerve disorder related to having overly lax joints. so boring. but when i had it, it was very dramatic. i found out i was like locked in bathrooms for too long because i could not turn the door handle all of a sudden. it made writing my last book almost a nightmare. i had to have a human aid or tried to replicate research
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notes by reciting it into a computer. i often had a double arm cast on. i look at that as a very dark, very comical time of my life. brian: when was your last book published? ate: 2013. t was the first historical account of this really widespread movement. it took me 10 years of obsessive research and stalking people to map the kind of contours of it. it was really hard to study at the time because nobody called themselves a "prosperity account of this really preacher." so you cannot do like an easy survey. so you cannot do like an easy survey. what all the prosperity preachers in the room please put up your hands? because it sounded so naturally insulting to assume they were not just preaching the gospel. brian: i want to ask you about this man. this is about a minute. this is a prosperity minister? is, how do you know that? have you talked to him? >> i have a house, i have
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land. do my mind me bragging for just a moment? do you mind me bragging a is, h bit? [applause] speaking in tongues] >> i do not have anything god did not give me. everything i have came from god. if you are my protégé, if i want a debt-free house i would do what i did, i sowed a seed equal to one month's mortgage payment. if i sowed a seat equal to my monty house note, mortgage, it . s $3,400 he said, i would have a debt-free house and 12 months. i did not see how that could be, but i got my debt-free house in eight months. [end of video clip] kate: mike murdock. he is one of the most unrepentant of prosperity preachers. he does not mind talking about money all the time.
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so, if anyone is up to late, they have usually watched mike murdock on christian tv. he is kind of 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. and he sold like, seven secrets to seven kingdoms. he does a lot with spiritual numbers. you can see him running the spiritual math for people. and he sold like, seven secrets if you give me this much, god will reward you in this way. brian: based in texas. talks about a seed. kate: it was a new language. it was pioneered largely by oral roberts, who was handsome and charismatic founder of oral roberts university. he pioneered this language. this agricultural language. the idea is kind of genius in so far as it helps explain how money was supposed to work when you give it to someone else.
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the idea was, your donation is a seed and you have to planted -- plant it in the grund. the ground being the righteous pastor. and then there is a time of waiting. oral roberts wrote his first book in 1963 called "the miracle of seed faith." it explains that every good believer is kind of like a spiritual farmer. you have to learn how to live according to the seasons of sowing and reaping. and explains what happens when you give money and do not see a return. the answer is, it is still in the ground. you have to pray for the rain and the season to change that you can finally see the harvest. brian: how much of that do you believe? kate: none of that. yeah. but i think that is why i was trying to remain so open when i was doing this study. someone like mike murdock is like the caricature of that late 1980's televangelist who weeps in front of the camera and asks for donations on
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tv. i mean, he is the caricature. but so often, the people i met in the pews wanted very average things. if you even look at the little letters people used a write to pentecostal healers and early mike murdock's, they would write for things like a new washing machine or the nerve to go to a new sewing circle and entecostal healers and early make friends. self-esteem, tiny advances. all of the things that make life a little more bearable. make friends. self-esteem, tiny advances. all of the things that make life a little more bearable. that gave me a lot of compassion for the people who stay up late watching mike. brian: next up is a man we knew years ago. he went to prison. his name is jim bakker. he was married to tammy faye bakker. she is dead. he is remarried to lori graham. let's watch this. we have a couple clips. i want you to explain how all
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of this works. rack begin video clip] >> donald trump is president! >> this is a miracle not by man. you know, god called him to do it. i'm going to be bringing the prophets in. we are going to talk. those who prophesied and watched this, this is the hour of the church in america again. [end of video] brian: 70 years old. does television every day like this. what do you think of this? kate: i haven't seen this but it does not surprise me that a lot of his preaching is rooted in patriotism. there is a slice of the prosperity gospel where republicanism and a sense that the prosperity gospel of the both the individual and nation are connected and come together in someone like jim baker. he and tammy were the king and
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queen of 1980's televangelist television. they had the most-watched christian program. heir theme park, heritage usa, was built right around the border of north carolina and south carolina. it was meant to be this expression of their jubilant more-than-enoughness. you could call and slide down the water slide and watch a taping of jim and tammy. they called everyone family. they really reached into people's living rooms and asked people to celebrate a pentecostalism that had come of age. of course 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. the federal prison where he at
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been held. i was giving this history of prosperity gospel talk. normally i have to talk people into caring. a bunch of the guys in the back put up their hands. they said, we know jim. they had all kinds of stories. brian: did you interview him? near branson, missouri. kate: no. i never met him but would love to. he wrote a book called "i was wrong." saying that he repented of much of his prosperity theology. as can you see he's a natural salesman. he went on largely to sell dehydrated food stuff to the elderly. brian: there he is right now. so people know, there are big buckets. if you keep your eye on the screen in the left-hand corner you can see, the more buckets you buy, the more money you pay. but it is a bargain, the more you buy. but again, this is jim bakker selling the buckets. [videotape] >> all of this food, we will
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extend a couple more days. because i just feel like we should. it is four months of food. you only need three of them. we give you for buckets. this food lasts 30 years on your shelf. and that is great in america. >> they are even waterproof. if you are in a flood and it gets wet, it is good. it is all shipped free. >> you are getting a lot of food. a lot of food. >> yeah. >> it is for those grandkids. brian: all of that for $3700. what do you think of this? why do they do this? kate: the pragmatic reason is from day one, he was an amazing. a salesman. he said i could be anything, but i ended up selling the gospel. i have hundreds of hours of old ptl footage that i watched for the research of the book. it was fun. every time tammy faye sings, my son dances. it was a round-robin of different entertainers and speakers.
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it showed you how little they actually preached and how much it was this carnival family atmosphere. very often pitched toward the elderly. for him to go from a prosperity theology to a more scarcity model, where there is not enough. also give money to me. it shows how incredibly pragmatic and adaptable this preacher can be. brian: in your current stage four cancer, what would you not believe if a minister says to you, this is the future. what would turn you off? kate: one thing i learned about pentecostals with their sense of wonderment. that god can do surprising hings. i try to take that in the spirit of generosity, but so often it is incredibly prescriptive. like, if you give this donation here is this miracle oil.
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lot of transaction manyism. -- transactionlism. i get a lot of that stuff in the mail, still. brian: do you believe it? kate: no. brian: do they believe it themselves? kate: i think many of them do. but there are consummate salesmen among them. they were always really pragmatic and entrepreneurial. for instance, even when they just had tents. they would travel around, these tent revivalists. when they were done with the tent, either because their crowds were too big or too small, they used to cut up the tent into tiny little squares and then sell the pieces, as if all of this virtual power had been absorbed into the fabric. it goes to show you that at every stage they are both promising something like a tactile reminder that people want. someone like me, when i got very sick, i wanted things i could touch and feel. a little reminder i was still myself. i can see why these very material things really catch on. brian: here is the president of the united states talking in 2015.
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[[video clip]mr. trump: the great norman vincent peale was my astor. the power of positive thinking. the power of positive thinking. everybody has heard of him. norman vincent peale. he would give a sermon, you never wanted to leave. sometimes we have sermons, every once in a while they think about leaving early even though we're christian. norman vincent peal would give a sermon. he would give a sermon, i'm telling you, i still remember his sermons. it was unbelievable. he would bring real-life situations, modern day situations into the sermon. you could listen to him all day long. brian: in your book, did you write about him? kate: the prosperity gospel is abundant in different streams are you one of them was the pentecostal version we saw and people like mike murdock. pryian: define pent costal -- efine pentecostal.
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pentecostal, they believe we are in a new air of science and wonders. it started in the early 1900s. it most often looked to healing. also, the gift of tongues, an nknown language. you will see people talking and what does not sound like ntelligible words. brian: we heard mike murdock talked that way. kate: yes, it is called glossolalia. in some versions, it is supposed to be a translatable language, but most iterations it sounds like the land of syllables. they believe is a spiritual heavenly tongue given to them. he comes from what looks like mainline protestantism. he had a methodist background. brian: we heard mike murdock talked that way. kate: yes, it is called plus this that heology of self-esteem. they are all borrowing from new thought. it said the mind was a spiritual incubator. whatever he can think and articulate will come true.
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like you are unleashing a spiritual force. and someone like donald trump, who latches onto a figure like norman vincent peale, that is what you see is a very respectable version. a version of what you say and confess backing you up. brian: let's watch. this is back in 1987. it is called the hour of power. it was at the crystal cathedral. [video clip]>> what do you want to be? then dedicate it to jesus christ along with your whole life. and, don't doubt it. believe. then, form a picture in your mind of that goal. hold it tenaciously in the onscious mind until by process
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of intellectual osmosis, it sinks into the unconscious and when it gets into the unconscious, you have it. because it will have all of you. kate: yeah, i mean they really make visualization and intellectual process the theological infrastructure for ow it works. so what's different than having good self-esteem and doing this? their answer is you absorb it in such a way you can actually unleash it into the world. goodm so, norman vincent peale, he kind of develops it into other ntellectual preachers like how robert schuller did and donald trump who becomes the first presidential candidate whose onlyle religious biography stems from the prosperity gospel. brian: he said "do not doubt it." why not?
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kate: there is positive confession and negative confession. you have bt it, created a mental obstacle, then it won't come true. which means whatever bad things happen, you really just have to look a yourself to find out why it did not come to be. brian: have you ever met benny hinn? kate: i did. i went on a trip to israel with benny hinn. with 900 of his followers to walk where jesus walked. you have created a mental obstacle, then it won't come true. brian: and he is also from israel? kate: yes. he is a little bit from canada, a little bit from israel and the states. brian: when you say 900 of his followers, is that the only 900 he has? kate: no. they go on these really big tours. you go with a,000 other people into giant tour buses. traveling around israel. you pay a lot of money. what kind of person is financially investing in a faith healer, and what are
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their hopes for an experience like that? brian: why do you call him a faith healer? kate: his specialty is that if you believe enough, your body will reflect the glory of god and be restored. he also has a strong financial message, but he is most known for his faith healing? brian: do you believe in him? brian: do you believe in him? kate: benny hinn, i do not have a lot of intellectual and theological affinity towards him. i have seen a lot of benny hinn. 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 see 100 people fall over at the same time. his very dramatic approach is one that i found somewhat anipulative.
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brian: you will only see one person in this one. this was december 18, 2017. benny hinn. [video clip]>> i rebuke the cancer in the ighty name of jesus. i come against you in the name f the one i serve. leave this young lady. leave her now in the name of the lord my god. heavy breathing] benny: complete the healing. it is really gone, right? 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. i have had a lot of people pray for me similarly and as a
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christian, believe christianity has a very long tradition of divine healing. so i certainly do not think it is not possible for god to heal people. it you can see how quickly he moved from praying for her, he has the anointed vessel of god and then his confidence in himself as that vehicle. then the idea that 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 said, i still have pain right where i had it before. kate: yes. it was financial. it was a session where they were asking for -- at this big convention center -- it was one of his protégés, paul white. when they said, we would like donations for this and this and this, one person in the back started yelling, we do not have it! and there was this horrible silence and then laughter. the truth was, it was a
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financially exhausting time. the response was a 10-minute sermon berating people for lack f faith. paula white was a spiritual protégé of benny henn. and also td jakes, a famous african-american preacher in dallas. she is now most famous as donald trump's personal pastor. she has a large mega-church in florida called without walls. she is a chipper preacher of more than enough. brian: have you met her? kate: no, but i have been to her church. i have seen her live for a few times. brian: was at when you are doing your research? kate: yes, that's right. brian: harris paula white, based in florida. [video clip] >> a at the beginning of this year i want you to make a commitment. the first hours of our day give to god. i want you to spend time in prayer and his word.
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it is crucial because he says, do not come before me empty-handed. for your first offering, not the tithe. tithing is 1/10 of your ncome. it's the first 10th. to the just any 10th. many of us bring one day, some bring one week. some of us bring an entire months salary because we understand the principle of all first belongs to god. brian: who made up the 10% tithe? kate: there is a lot of arguments about whether it is 10%. spiritual math. what you see there with "first fruits" is categories that the prosperity gospel develops to ask for different kinds of donations. so the 10% does not just becomes a suggestion, it becomes mandatory. in some congregations, they even ask for believers
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financial records to make sure they're actually giving 10%. otherwise, the threat is in order to redeem the curse. and other words, you are spiritually in danger if you're not fully giving. then the are our offerings that can be spontaneous and related to a speaker. if you have a guest speaker. seed faith. by yan: seed faith? kate:like we talked about with oral roberts. that language means you should give in hopes that that person will be the reason it is returned back to you. first fruits, there is even pastors appreciation day when you are supposed to give a certain amount to celebrate the pastors anniversary at that church. there are just more and more categories where we need to give. reasons to give. brian: i have a friend to when the pastor goes on vacation, they passed the hat. when it is his birthday, they passed the hat.
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what is your reaction to that? if you are in a church like that, what would your reaction be? kate: most people i interview really like seeing their pastor do well as an expression of who hey are. look how well he is. that is how they demonstrate the spiritual principles at work. the argument is if it works for him, it can work for me. some of it ends up being really celebrated. pastors with jets, pastors with his center mercedes-benz out front. sometimes the megachurch will put the parking space of the pastor with the some of it ends up being really celebrated. luxury car in front with the vanity plate so everybody so it. they are certainly not hiding it. brian: what would your reaction be if he asked for another thousand dollars from you and you see him with a ercedes? one guy had two large mercedes utside his home.
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kate: i have an uncomfortable feeling about those displays in part because so often those churches have -- they are run like family businesses in which brothers and sisters are often board members. there has been a real push for financial transparency but it certainly makes it hearts -- hard because their argument is one that parishioners believe. which is we live in a more than enough spiritual universe. if god gives to them, god can give to me. brian: what does it mean, edeem the curse? she said that. kate: paula white was talking about the imagination, densely the spiritual universe. that everything you are doing is not just for something but against something. someone like norman vincent
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peale did not really talk about that. he used a lot of psychological language. someone like paula white, very uch into the pentecostal will think about supernatural forces always at work against you and you are using god's principles to counter them. brian: the next man is well known. reportedly between $ 0 million. he has a 17,000 square foot home. the home is worth about $10.5 million. looking at the web, he sees something like 52,000 people a eek. he stands in front of. here he is, joel osteen. >> we installed large floodgates all around the building. he stands in front of. last sunday morning during all of the rain, the waters came within a foot or two of breaching the walls on flooding
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the building once again. without those floodgates, we would not be in here today. the waters started receding. the water started to recede late sunday maybe into monday. we felt it was safe to start taking people in on tuesday. if we had opened the building earlier and someone was injured, or perhaps it flooded and people lost their lives, it would be a whole different story. i am at peace with taking the heat for being precautions, but i do not want to take the heat for being full us. -- foolish. brian: what do you think? he got beat up over harvey when he didn't let people into that former basketball arena. kate: i do not know enough about the details to say whether he was appropriately cautious. it does raise the question of what a large prosperity church is for. part of the critique he got was, is his job to be the front
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line of charity? it is a real question for prosperity preachers when their entire theology says if i can do it, you can do it. it is heavily individualistic. in moments like that, as the pastor of the largest church in this country, he sets an national example, it does call into question what churches are for. historically they have been fundamentally social services. brian: in your opinion, why does someone want to sit in a room with maybe 30,000 people to listen to a sermon like that? kate: he is easy to listen to. he tells adorable corny jokes. here is an atmosphere of positivity and celebration. he is very kind. it is easy to like him and want to be around like-minded people. the people who go there are ositivity and celebration.
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often aspirational in some way. it works for all classes. for the poor, it is for an imagined, hoped-for life. for the middle class, it often explains what people already have. for the upper class, it gives them reasons to keep caring and also a justification of what they have. brian: he is based in houston, this next fellow is based in dallas. often aspirational in some i will run the clip and then you can explain how he this -- fits into all this. >> of nelson mandela had not been mistreated, had not been ostracized, he would not have the passion to do what he does. if oprah winfrey is not gone through what she is gone through, she would not be so committed to making sure everybody finds the purpose and dream they have. i am telling you the pain you think is working against you is actually working for you. brian: pain. kate: td jakes is probably the
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most famous african-american prosperity preacher. so much of what he does as long similar lines about talking about self-esteem. his brand, especially a franchise he developed in the mid 1990's around healing sexual abuse of women in the church, really does bring that message out where your pain then becomes your purpose. the worst thing can be the best thing. it is these constant spiritual inversions that promise that within the course of human life, you really can have everything you hoped for. brian: is oprah religious or not? kate: i think so. yeah, it sure. brian: does she fit into religious world you're talking about? kate: the author of that book "secret" that was so popular, which was another expression of that new thought idea where you
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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 certainly just an american belief as well. . .
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i think there is a lot of controversy over the tax-exempt status. especially for personages , with homes that ministers live in. it is hard. i think it is becoming more and more of an ethical question because churches are increasingly's went between the very large and the very small. the average church only has about 70 people in it, ncluding kids. but most people in the country go to these top-heavy churches, which is to say they are well-resource churches. what is tax-exempt status for some pastors, is also what helps some churches stay financially afloat. brian: you live in duke, north carolina. almost all of these people are from the south. kate: they are. from the sun belt. brian: why? kate: that's such a great question. part of it has to do with these are suburban churches. big churches need land. we find they are slightly on the outskirts of cities.
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really sprawling. i am giving you the hand gesture of the sun belt right now. they are mostly in that atlanta to l.a. kind of wide half circle. partly it has to do with urban sprawl. partly it has to due with migration patterns. brian: are they more religious in the south than in the north? kate: sometimes it surprises you. there are a lot of prosperity megachurches around seattle. evangelical an culture. i started this project in winnipeg, manitoba. which has the largest prosperity church in north america. we are canadian. we are not supposed to have austerity mega-churches, if you ask many people. that is supposed to be american. preachers will say in the name of jesus. the way they say jesus, you can tell they had a southern preacher as a teacher. brian: here's a man worth $25
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million from saddleback. rick warren. [video clip] >> 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? huh? you think the whole purpose of your life is for you to live for you? no, no, no. you're made for so much more. god often uses pain to get our attention. god often uses pain to prepare us tore a breakthrough so if you're in pain right now, congratulations. [end video clip] brian: do you believe that? kate: i do not think rick warren as a prosperity preacher. he is largely southern baptist. in his church in california, it is a largely evangelical church. saddleback church. it's a large evangelical church. i think what he is getting at, too, is the theology that most
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americans want to share which is that somehow pain is always progress. i do not believe that anymore. i mean, think i really thought that life was a series of ladders and if i just kept trying and climbing that it was always go to lead to something. brian: because you have had a lot of pain. kate: the pain just leveled me. part of it was coming to grips with me not being able to cure my own cancer and assume that i will always have the time i want with my family and be able to imagine the future for myself that i had expected. while i think all kinds of beautiful things can happen in our dark seasons, i think it is a beautiful lie to say that pain will always be rewarded. brian: here's a name that certainly people my name will remember. he's still alive. 82 years old.
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this goes back to 1988 when he got himself into a little trouble. let's watch. [video clip] >> i have sinned against you, my lord. i would ask that your precious blood would wash and cleanse every stain until it is in the seas of god's forgetfulness. never to be remembered against me anymore. [end video clip] kate: that apology, it defined in people's minds the caricature of the televangelist. brian: jimmy swaggart. kate: jimmy swaggart. incredible orator. assembly of god pastor. brian: still going.
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kate: with his son. he started off as a prosperity preacher and decided it was not true anymore. ich shows you the internal wrangling. whether or not it was the same thing as prosperity gospel. which it isn't but there was internal division. and he was by the time of his own fall involved in a very -- a very heated series of rivalries with other preachers. brian: didn't he out another preacher for being with a prostitute? kate: there is an amazing book about t.p.l. that just came out by professor -- p.t.l. that ust came out by a professor and it shows you this incredible underbelly of that story in which so many of them were trying to sabotage the other. and they all went down. ryan: he went down because the people he was against outed him. and he went on for several years to be with prostitutes. kate: it ended up being mutual
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damnation. brian: why do people go back to people like this? kate: i think you see in the apology is christianity has it in its theology that if you repent you can be saved. when people fall, they can immediately apologize and make an about-face. these are personal figures to people. if you watch the same person, that face for such a long time, you feel like you know them. even when jim bakker was in prison, you had people at the courthouse weeping and pleading for him. he was like family to them. brian: this man died in 1979, he was like 97-years-old at the time. he might have been the original prosperity minister. [video clip] >> how many religious people are taught to believe that they do not deserve anything? some religious people even pray that prayer. oh, lord, i know i am not worthy. anything that you don't feel
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you are worthy of you can't have. anything you feel you do not deserve you are not worthy of, you automatically cut yourselves off from that good. kate: reverend ike. he was a very popular preacher in the 1960's and 1970's, and then through the 1980's. he was -- and it goes to show you how the language of prosperity can be incredibly empowering. he was talking to people who had been raised in a jim crow era in which black americans were told they could never have enough, let alone more. and so this fixed strand of african-american prosperity preaching ended up being part of this vocabulary of saying od never asked you to be there with someone with their heel on their throat. that god can promise you more and you can see prosperity flourishing among the many
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communities that are often disenfranchised. brian: let me ask you again how long you had the cancer. kate: a little over two years. brian: what kind of treatment are you getting now? kate: i had a whole series. i finished one course of treatment. immunotherapy and chemotherapy. brian: where is it being done? kate: now it is being done at duke. it is about three minutes from my office. i leave my office. all of a sudden i go into a place that has facemasks. it is a real about-face in my day. brian: for a while, you are going to atlanta. kate: yeah, i went to atlanta for almost a year. every wednesday. it was a trial. immunotherapy is at the beginning of stages of development so those who qualified for trials are pretty desperate to get it. brian: when you had an operation, what was it? kate: i had a few operations. brian: the main one. kate: the first one was to remove a
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huge tumor from my colon. brian: has there been any shrinkage on the current tumors you have in the liver? kate: yep, yep. that with everything, i mean i think that is where we are with immunotherapy. the idea of a new category of incurable. which is that with so many things changing in science, the hope is to get from one good outcome to the other. i always try to explain that i am not terminal. it means i am not necessarily going to die right away. i mean, we all die, like, that might be news to some people. but the hope is to always to like try to find the next vine that will swing me over the deep end -- deep and hope for the best. brian: this man who died in 2011 had esophageal cancer and all through that period people kept saying will you believe in god now because he was an atheist. we interviewed him a year before he died and here is what
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he said. [video clip] >> a lot of people ask me, doesn't it change your attitude for the supernatural and so forth and i said i really don't see why it should. i never thought this was a particularly searching question. i spent a lot of my life deciding that there isn't any redemption, that there's no salvation. that there is no afterlife, no supervising force. if i was to tell you, well now i have got a malignancy in my esophagus, that changes everything, you would think i hope the main effect will be on y i.q. [laughter] kate: he is always so clever. brian: what about your attitude since you got cancer at a young age? have you changed your thinking
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on religion? kate: i think i have. i always considered myself a pretty jesus-y type. i think so much of it was me wrapped up in assuming that god was a part of this enhancement project i was on. called life. the second i got sick, i will dmit it was a really -- is a really spiritually powerful time for me. which is funny. i feel so uncomfortable. you can hear me stuttering. like, i am good about talking about other people's faith. i am a historian. i am the calculated careful observer but when it comes to my staff it was so much so intimate i didn't want to tell people. i really felt the presence of god. i felt the love of other people. people pouring in, the intense prayers. i mean, the second i got sick my whole little community got
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together in a chapel and prayed like marathon runners. like handing it off all throughout my surgery. part of it was reflecting back to me love and also the sense that like, my hope is that as i was preparing to die that i was having to make reparations, -- preparations that someone or something meets you there and i certainly felt that way. brian: this is one of the times you see a minister challenged. this was back in the 1980's. a man that lives in ohio i will a name earnest -- ernest ainsley. he is today 96-years-old. tell me what you think of this. >> how you get that special knack that you can do that? >> i do not have a knack. i won't give you an interview. this is no knack. aren't you ashamed talking to the word of god like that and talking about a knack? don't you feel god? the bible says that god is the healer. and that jesus came and healed. the bible said they could.
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>> why can't you do it? what do they lack that you have? >> i pray and god answers prayer, man. god answers prayer. kate: you can see him pressing in. what's the formula? and is it a prayer? are you anointed? is it a special place you go to? i've been encouraged to do all those things regularly. brian: does god answer prayer? kate: i think often. and then sometimes not. i think the question is that the prosperity gospel raises is, is there a secret formula and can i find it somewhere? i think the answer is no. but does that bar us then from wonder and hope? i do not think so. brian: recently pat robertson had a major stroke although they say he will completely recover from it. he is 88 years old. years ago back in 1985, you probably studied this incident. let's see what you think of this? >> at 10:30 in the morning in
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the old monticello hotel which is now demolished, i stood up in prayer and led that group of 200-plus people in prayer, we rebuked the hurricane, this monster in the atlantic ocean and commanded it in the name of jesus for it to turn around and go where it came from. this is a true story. you can look at the record if you don't believe me. kate: it is a wonderful arrogance. the hubris of it, i sort of love it. you can see my face when a much something like that. i have been in a million healing rallies. part of what i like is they have gumption like nobody else. they really believe they can turn away a hurricane. i'm glad they try. the problem is -- brian: why have there been several hurricanes on virginia beach since? kate: it immediately opens itself then, why can't it work all the time, uniformity?
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what condemnation then lies on those who fail? this is always a problem that prosperity preachers' funerals. unless they die at 96 or something, then there is a bit of a bulletin that has to explain why a man of faith would pass away and people are screaming and crying for the meaning of it. i think that is an awful burden bare, that rer to they have to be a problem to be explained. brian: this happened after the super bowl when the philadelphia eagles won the game. here is their quarterback nick foles. you will see what he had to say. >> just another game, right, nick? >> just another game. unbelievable. all the glory to god. obviously really like his might and to be here with my daughter, my wife, my family, my teammates, this city, we're very blessed. brian: reportedly, he is going
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to be a preacher after he gets out of the football business. all glory to god. but what -- how do you explain that before the game starts both sides pray? kate: yeah. i think the super bowl is the annual reminder to americans that somehow there's intermediary step between their prayers and god's answers is, this is a country that doesn't believe in luck. this is a country that thinks all things are earned and so when you see, especially with athletes, is like them sweat and bleed for a goal and then only one side wibs, it always highlights the capriciousness of this, there will always be winners and losers and you don't get to pick which. brian: i want you to tell this story of the preacher's wife. the language of ecclesiastes. then you go into the story. will you please tell the story? you remember it? kate: tell me? brian: the wife and the pastor.
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kate: yeah. no, of course. i learned a lot about the kind of ritualized expectation. win i went to these -- when i went to these churches. the preacher's wife stands up in the middle of the service and says, we need to pray down the rain. if we pray, the spiritual heavens will open and everything asked for will come down. people start stomping, shouting, praising god in hopes that everything they are saying come truce. a house, a car, and for me at the time it was a baby. what it does is, it carves out in you a hope for every good thing that maybe we are living under an open heaven. brian: and she stood up in the church? kate: she did. she stomped her feet and kicked off her heels and asked us all to hope for more. brian: are mennonites, which you are, are they evangelicals? kate: some of them are. yeah, they are a little like the jewish faith. but the culture and a religion.
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it's got a widespread inside mennonite culture. because it can be both like a, are you mennonite ethnic and religious but a lot of them are evangelical. brian: the new york times with two big articles about you. how did that happen about your situation? kate: sure. well, the first -- i tend to write very privately. first when i first got sick, i noticed the great irony of me being a scholar and the author of a book called "blessed." when nothing in my life appeared to match that theology. of course i wanted to be the first person to point out that i wasn't super #blessed. so i wrote a piece on what it feels like as a problem tore solved and people start to pour certainty on your pain. maybe you should try this, maybe if you prayed in this way or go see so-and-so, he will fix this. the desire i had to want for more, when i was not sure was
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possible. so i sent that article it in a and found a wonderful editor who i adore. he gave it a front page of the sunday review. hen i got thousands of letters about it saying, no, i would like you to be certain so here's the solution. the only point i had was do not pour certainty on my pain. but of course, billions of people did. so i wrote this other piece, ok, guys, i love you so much. here are kind of categories of responses to those in pain. there are minimizers. at least you don't -- problem solvers. maybe you should try or teachers, have you seen this documentary? and i am all aboard a great love but i would like to say like i am not on trial. brian: 10 books you need to know about by kate bowler. one of them is "blessed." a history of the american prosperity gospel. that's back in 2013. and her newest book,
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"everything happens for a reason and other lies i loved." kate bowler has been our guest. thank you. kate: thank you for having me. what a treat. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] announcer: for free transcripts or to give us your comments about this program, visit us at q& q&a programs are also available s c-span podcasts. >> the house back at 2:00 p.m. eastern. on the agenda, seven bills, including one allowing indian
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tribes to set up amber alerts. and another on sickle cell disease prevention and treatment programs. tomorrow the house takes up a bill on prosecuting online sex traffickers. and wednesday the reverend billy graham will lie in honor in the rotunda of the u.s. capitol. when the house is back in session you can find live coverage here on c-span. and this afternoon, remarks from deputy attorney general rod rosenstein on cybersecurity and the priorities of the justice department. he'll be speaking. we'll take you there live at 4:00 p.m. eastern right here on c-span. >> this week on "the communicators" -- >> i thought the internet was -- >> that's really interesting. it can be borderless. but what we've seen is and the thing i think we need to focus on right now is it turns out that this medium we thought was going to give voice to the voiceless and in many cases did, power to the powerless can also be used by dictators, by
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terrorists. by dark political money. to undermine democracy. and we have got to address that problem. >> from the state of the net conference held in washington, d.c., we'll discuss the impact of technology on democracy and voting. watch "the communicators" tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. tonight on c-span's landmark cases -- we'll look at the supreme court case mccullough v. maryland, a case that solidified the federal government's ability to take actions not explicitly mentioned in the constitution and restricted state action against the use of the power. explore this case and the high court's ruling with university of virginia associate law professor sarah peterson and mark, university of arkansas law professor and author of "mccullough v. maryland: securing a nation." watch "landmark cases" on c-span, c-span doirk or listen
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with the -- or listen with the free c-span app. and the book is available for $8.95 plus shipping and handling at for an additional resource, there is lang on our website to the national constitution center's interactive constitution. >> for nearly 20 years "in depth" on book tv has featured the best known nonfriction writers for live conversations about their books. this year as a special project we're featuring best selling fiction writers for our monthly ogram "in depth: fiction edition." in us with jeff, who is book as made into a movie "gods generals." 11 more novels which recount the american revolution to the
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korean war. during the program we'll be taking your phone calls, tweets and facebook messages. our special series "in depth fiction edition" with author at noon ra live sunday . set, mark janus mark janus, the .ead plaintiff you cast your argument before the court today as a first amendment issue. the first amendment guarantees me the right of freedom of speech and freedom of association. the problem is i am not allowed to make that decision for myself. i don't have that choice. afscme


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