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A right-wing pastor told a right-wing TV host that many students at Bible colleges are becoming atheists, getting jobs at churches anyway, then preaching “wokeness” from the pulpit. And all of this stems from the idea of a transgender Jesus.

Good luck connecting those dots.

Last week, a research fellow at the University of Cambridge shocked a bunch of conservative Christians when he claimed that depictions of Jesus suggested he had a “trans body.” That was based on his male appendage as well as paintings that “depicted a side wound… likened to a vagina.”

“In Christ’s simultaneously masculine and feminine body in these works, if the body of Christ as these works suggest the body of all bodies, then his body is also the trans body,” the sermon concluded.

To be clear, he wasn’t saying Jesus was transgender. Only that depictions of his body in certain hand-selected, extremely old paintings suggest femininity… and maybe that should give us pause when it comes to Christians’ treatment of trans people. Is that a stretch? Maybe. But so are a lot of interpretations of artwork because that’s how interpretations work.

When the dean of Trinity College said such a view was “legitimate,” all hell broke loose… by which I mean conservatives hit Headline Bingo, able to work “Jesus,” “trans,” and “sermon” into a single sentence.

It’s all a big kerfuffle over nothing, but it’s the sort of story that routinely gets blown out of proportion. The metaphorical language of college students who are attempting to be inclusive of LGBTQ people is always fodder for right-wing zealots who assume any positive mention of trans people is nothing more than “wokeism.”

Anyway, that story became a segment on the conservative network “Real America’s Voice,” where host Miranda Khan invited Pastor Lucas Miles to share his thoughts on the matter. They only spent a few minutes on the topic itself, and that time included Miles making a Hitler reference, but the conversation quickly shifted to how many pastors are liberal.

That’s when things got really weird.

Miles attempted to say this liberal shift was hitting Christian colleges as well… but in the process, he made an even more extraordinary claim:

It’s not rare to see a Bible College student enter Bible College as a… passionate believer and then leave an atheist —- that’s happened — and then go and get a job at a pulpit someplace in America, pastoring a church, even though, themselves, they don’t believe in God. This is happening all the time. And this is one of the things that I’m really working to expose and then also… try to provide some solutions for.

Even the host wasn’t buying it, saying, “I haven’t heard of this happening!” But when she pressed him for more details, Miles had nothing. He switched to whining about pastors who preached about systemic racism, abortion rights, LGBTQ rights, etc… as if that’s the same thing as being atheists (since progressive Christians don’t exist in his bubble).

Khan, like all bad journalists, didn’t ask any useful follow-up questions.

For what it’s worth, there’s no evidence—none whatsoever—of students shedding their faith at a Christian college, then still getting a job as a pastor in order to become a Trojan Horse for atheism. The idea that someone with nagging religious doubts would purposely choose a career dedicated to preaching the Gospel just doesn’t make any sense.

If that’s the sort of thing that’s “happening all the time,” then Lucas Miles should reveal some names. He won’t because he’s a liar.

There are pastors who become atheists over time and who have trouble leaving their churches for new careers. Many of them are members of The Clergy Project. But that’s a far cry from atheists knowingly choosing careers in churches in order to liberalize the congregation.

For a guy who runs an organization meant to hold pastors accountable in the pulpit, he has no problem lying about why they don’t adhere to his fundamentalist Christian views.

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of FriendlyAtheist.com, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.