51 minutes | Nov 16, 2020

Televangelists

At this point in American culture, televangelists are often seen as overblown parodies, with their pleas for private jets, their fiery sermons, their many scandalous falls from grace. However, millions of people believe in the messages of these celebrity Christians who preach the Prosperity Gospel, that money donated to their megachurches will return to the donor in fantastical ways. Since the 1950s, conservative political preaching has slowly weaved into the gospels of prominent televangelists who have hidden ulterior motives under stories of societal decay. Since the 1970s, these pop-preachers have been able to rally the coveted ‘white Evangelical vote’ to advance right-wing policies and presidents, with 80% voting for Donald Trump in 2016, contributing profoundly to his victory.

Next time on the show: Charismatic Leaders

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American Hysteria is written, produced, and hosted by Chelsey Weber-Smith
Sound design by Clear Commo Studios
Research and co-writing by Riley Smith
Co-produced and edited by Miranda Zickler
Voice Acting by Will Rogers

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