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Rapping with Jesus - the Gangsta God and Faith

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From rap to the crucifixion, we look at faith from diverse perspectives.

In our 1st segment, Dr. Ebony A. Utley, associate professor of communication studies at California State University Long Beach, shares highlights of her book, Rap and Religion: Understanding the Gangsta’s God.  She tackles the juxtaposition—and seeming hypocrisy—of references to God within rap music. Hip hop culture and rap music in particular have been condemned for inciting violence, promoting misogyny, and perpetuating racial stereotypes.  Dr.  Utley  argues  that religion has always been an integral part of the urban environments that birthed rap music and she shows how a God-sanctioned gangsta identity can be empowering.

Utley’s writing has appeared in Critical Studies in Media and Communication,  Huffington PostTruthdigMs. Magazine, Religion Dispatches, etc.

In a sharp contrast, Michael Sherlock joins us from Japan in the 2 hour to discuss his book, I Am Christ:  The Crucifixion – Painful Truths.

Sherlock asks, “Have you ever wondered what it is that compels an otherwise peaceful and intelligent human being to pick up a gun for either his country or his religion and slaughter a multitude of men, women and children, while maintaining the delusion that he is carrying out a righteous calling?”

The answer to this question, he says, is belief.

In I Am Christ, Sherlock explores the origins of the gospels, chronicles the contradictions, and challenges readers to examine why they believe what they believe.

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