By Mark Heller
GCU News Bureau
We’ve lost our way.
It’s a national and societal concept Wayne and Julie Purdin feel strongly about, which is why they’ve taken to radio and Internet podcasting as a means to share their – and others’ – perspectives.
Wayne has been lead curriculum editor at Grand Canyon University for seven years. Julie is a teacher in the Cartwright School District in Phoenix. On Saturdays, however, they co-host the “God and Country” radio show on KFNX (1100 AM) from 11 a.m. to noon.
The shows often revolve around their guests, who include a wide swath of religious and cultural backgrounds, perspectives and opinions. Guests often present a broad spectrum of political, social and economic thought leaders:
- Al Fadi: a former Islamic jihadist who’s now director of the Center for Islamic Research & Awareness
- Stephen Limbaugh: musician, composer and cousin of nationally syndicated conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh
- Dannion Brinkley: author and “New Age” thought leader following three near-death experiences
- Ravi Batra: award-winning economist
- Elbert Guillory: former Louisiana senator, lawyer, Navy veteran and U.S. congressional candidate
“We’re all looking for answers,” Wayne Purdin said. “Whatever the religion or politics, it seems like God is missing and we need to get back to our roots.”
GCU faculty members also are occasional guests. The Sept. 24 show featured Kevin Walling, a fourth-year full-time faculty member in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and also a former civil attorney and judge in Arizona. They discussed civil liberties, the Constitution and governments’ various roles (or non-roles) in society from what Walling called “more of a libertarian lens.”
“We have local TV and local radio that deals with politics and government,” he said. “It’s not uncommon, but I think it’s something of a new thing for GCU to engage in by allowing faculty and staff to participate.”
While the opinions expressed are solely those of the hosts and/or guests, the opportunity to speak and share isn’t lost on the hosts.
“The world is kind of a classroom for the journey of our souls,” Julie Purdin said. “People are so caught up in gratifying the finite desires of their human bodies and psyches that they’re missing the eternal joy of spiritual fulfillment. What’s important is to do God’s will in their lives, but it seems as though people are finding ways and creating diversions to do the opposite.”
Since KFNX provides a wider forum for those wishing to broadcast via radio or podcast, securing advertising, sponsorships and donations is key to sustaining air time and perhaps expanding the show’s length and frequency.
“We just want to educate people, to know about the realities beyond themselves and their own individual little worlds,” Julie Purdin said. “People have often missed the real pursuit of happiness. It’s a conservative message about not being caught up with ego or outward appearances. That pursuit will not give lasting happiness.
“People lie to support an agenda these days. It’s a shame, but we hope to regain some of that honesty of our spiritual roots. That’s a big part of spiritual fulfillment.”
Contact Mark Heller at (602) 639-7516 or firstname.lastname@example.org