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51% #1582: Why A Woman In Middle America Walked Away From Her Faith

On this week’s 51%, meet a Midwestern woman who talks about God Land after the election of Donald Trump, learn about a wellness studio strengthening people in recovery from addiction, and a composer in residence reviews her year.

After Donald Trump was elected in 2016, Lyz Lenz went through two break-ups — her marriage ended (the fact that she voted for Hillary Clinton and her husband supported Trump did not help the already broken union) and she walked away from the conservative, white, Christian evangelical faith she had embraced her whole life.

A mother of two and lifelong resident of the Midwest, Lenz set out to discover the changing forces of faith and tradition in God’s country. And from this exploration came her memoir, “God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss and Renewal in Middle America.”  Lenz tells 51%’s Elizabeth Hill that it was the collapse of the church she founded that sparked her quest.

There’s strength training, yoga, meditation and more. It’s a nonprofit wellness studio that helps people in recovery from addiction. Reporter Kamilah Kashanie brings us the story of a gym that is changing lives in Falmouth, Massachusetts, where one woman found her kind of strength. 

It seems, especially these days, we battle over labels, wanting to get rid of them. But our labeling goes beyond us, and to the birds.


Composer in Residence. It’s not a common job. But that was the title Kashimana Ahua held for a year in the central Minnesota town of Willmar. The goal was to help the town's increasingly diverse community get to know each other--by writing songs together. Emily Bright reports.

That’s our show for this week. Thanks to Tina Renick for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. If you’d like to hear this show again, sign up for our podcast, or visit the 51% archives on our web site at wamc.org. And follow us on Twitter @51PercentRadio

Content Advisory:

14:15: Hell hole (not bleeped)

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