MTV Star Who Once Campaigned for George W. Bush and Was a Member of the Religious Right Explains ‘How Studying Religion Made Her a Liberal’

Reality TV star Susie Meister, who was on two seasons of MTV’s now-defunct “Road Rules” and five seasons of “The Challenge,” is speaking out about her transformation from enthusiastic conservative to outspoken liberal — an evolution that she says unfolded while pursuing her PhD in religious studies.

Meister recently appeared on The Church Boys podcast, where she discussed a recent op-ed she penned titled, “Why I Left the Right: How Studying Religion Made Me a Liberal,” and openly shared the details of her ideological evolution.

“It wasn’t as if it happened over night,” said Meister, who completed her PhD two years ago. “From the start to the end, I turned from a young Republican literally that worked on the Bush 2000 campaign and went to the inaugural ball to somebody who no longer identified at all with the religious right, in particular.”

Listen to The Church Boys discussion with Meister at the 42:00-minute mark below:

She made it clear, though, that her article — which documents the finer details of that transformation — isn’t prescriptive and is merely the result of her own experience.

“I’m not saying I have the monopoly on the truth or anything like that,” Meister said. “The Bible changed in the way that I saw it, and the parts that started resonating were about the life and preaching of Jesus, basically.”

While she still identifies as a Christian, there are traditional elements of the faith that she has doubts about, including the virgin birth.

President George W. Bush and Susie Meister (Susie Meister)
President George W. Bush and Susie Meister (Susie Meister)

Despite not being convinced, Meister said that she remains “open to it,” diving even deeper into her ideological evolution in her reflective article.

“Growing up immersed in the evangelical community, I was so familiar with the Christian rhetoric and worldview that it never occurred to me that they might be getting it all wrong,” Meister wrote. “During the late eighties and throughout the nineties, evangelicalism hit its stride in terms of communicating and promoting a very specific message that amounted to a chorus of sound bites about ‘family values,’ militarism, and the pro-life movement.”

She continued, “The group’s unified theological positioning inspired the mobilization of American evangelical voters and influenced countless election results.”

Read the entire piece here.