Born-again Christian actor Stephen Baldwin has launched a new 16-episode, road trip-themed television docuseries that aims to help Americans across the nation understand each other better in the wake of the heated 2016 election.
"The Great American Pilgrimage," which debuted on Sunday on RT, features the 51-year-old Baldwin touring the country in an RV with his three dogs. Throughout the series, Baldwin interviews everyday Americans from various walks of life in hopes of showing that people need to get to know each other before judging others based on their looks or who they support for public office.
Baldwin, a supporter of President Donald Trump, toured the country with his friend and RT financial newscaster Max Keiser.
"We decided to, mostly with a vibration of humor, go out and do this Duck Dynasty-esque, kind of fun, silly docuseries where we are going out and meeting unique people from all walks of life who are here in the country," Baldwin explained in an interview with The Christian Post.
Seeing how divided the United States has become in the wake of Trump's election last November, Baldwin wanted to go out and ask Americans of all colors, genders and sexual orientations one simple question.
"Hey coalminer, hey veteran, hey LGBT person, whoever you are, 'What's America to you?'" Baldwin asked. "My role in all this is basically to ask that question. But it is me personally wanting to go out and host that conversation and, by design, not get involved in the opinions or a lot of the judgmental perceptions we see in this country today."
Baldwin explained that he and Keiser made stops in places like Los Angeles, Phoenix, South Dakota, Chicago, North Carolina and Boston.
One person featured in the series is an African-American man who stopped Baldwin on the Venice Beach boardwalk to ask him about his views on immigration. Although they may have had differing views on immigration, Baldwin said that he and the man eventually bonded over the fact that they are both fathers of two children.
"I am just trying to see if I can be a part of starting a domestic conversation where everybody tries to take a deep breath and lighten up a little bit and respect one another," Baldwin explained. "If I can interview folks from all walks of life, people can watch those interviews and perhaps people who don't understand some of those points of views or absolutely disagree with those views, maybe there is some enlightenment that might come."
Deedra Abboud, the Muslim Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Arizona, was also interviewed on the show.
"I'm a born-again Christian and this woman is a Muslim. We had a fascinating conversation. I just sat there and asked questions and she talked and I listened," Baldwin said. [F]or me, the conversation wasn't about [theological bickering]. I didn't do any of that. When she responded in ways that I thought [were at odds with my faith], I wasn't saying that. It was me taking in information of who she was and what makes her who she is and the process that she goes through about the choices she makes relevant to her family or her marriage or her politics or her PTA meeting or whatever it is.
"The right thing to do is to let me get to know this woman and then formulate whatever [opinion]. I can form whatever opinion and go out and talk to others and ask, 'What do you think about what she said?'"
The debut of "The Great American Pilgrimage" came on the same day that the leader of the Anglican Church, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, said in an interview that he doesn't understand why American Christians would support Trump for president.
As an avid Christian Trump supporter, Baldwin told CP that he would love to talk to Welby to see why he thinks the way he does about Christian Trump supporters.
"Honestly, now my reaction isn't [to get upset]. I am not going to now take [Welby] up in my mind and put him in a certain category," Baldwin said. "I am going to say, 'Why does he think that? Where in Scripture can he show me the reasoning?'"
Baldwin, who is politically at odds with his brothers, asserted that his goal with the television sseries is not to "convert" anybody to his personal line of thinking.
"My goal is to simply say, 'Wouldn't it be cool if we could all just consider that couple minutes of grace before we are so quick to judge,'" Baldwin assured. "That is going to sound like a bunch of Christian hocus-pocus to some people. Haters are going to hate and that is fine."
"The Great American Pilgrimage" was sponsored by a $500,000 donation from the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency Dash. Baldwin stated that Dash was heavily involved in charitable efforts throughout the trip, including helping those victimized by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.