American Freethought Podcast

de American Freethought

Question. Think. Decide.

Episodios

342 - Let's Not Go Brandon

por American Freethought

From Pepe the Frog to the kidding-not-kidding white power hand sign, conservatives are increasingly using "humor" and weird "inside jokes" to spread hate-speech, bigotry, and violent threats. The latest tiresome fad is the phrase "Let's Go Brandon," which is a not-so-thinly-veiled substitute for the more blunt "Fuck Joe Biden." Republican congressmen repeat it in floor speeches, or wear face masks emblazoned with it, in the House chamber. On at least one occasion, a conservative crowd chanted it in church.

Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has been censured by the House for tweeting a modified anime video depicting him killing fellow Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and slashing at President Joe Biden. Unrepentant, he retweeted the video immediately after his censure. Meanwhile, over the Thanksgiving weekend, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) joked that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a Muslim, was a member of the "Jihad Squad" and implied she could be a suicide bomber.

Newsmax White House correspondent Emerald Robinson has been pulled from the air after tweeting bizarre warnings about the (real-life) COVID-detection process SATiN that uses a drop of blood and the bioluminescent enzyme luciferase. Mark of the Beast or some such nonsense.

Plus:

Thanksgiving turns 400, and Native Americans still struggle to counter the ahistorical mythology surrounding it.

Trump's former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn says the United States must have "One nation under God, and one religion under God." If the Founders could hear him, they'd never stop throwing up.

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341 - Bruce Ledewitz (The Universe Is on Our Side)

por American Freethought

I interview Duquesne law professor Bruce Ledewitz about his new book The Universe Is on Our Side: Restoring Faith in American Public Life. Bruce is a secularist who nonetheless proposes that the current societal crisis in America (and perhaps the entire Western world) is rooted in the aftermath of what Neitzsche called "the Death of God." It's a controversial proposition, as is his prescription for a way forward.

For more about Bruce visit BruceLedewitz.com or follow him on Twitter @bruceledewitz

Buy a copy of The Universe Is on Our Side for yourself!

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340 - David G. McAfee (Hi, I'm an Atheist!)

por American Freethought

I interview David G. McAfee about his new book Hi, I'm an Atheist!: What That Means and How to Talk About It with Others.

Buy a copy of Hi, I'm an Atheist! for yourself.

For more about David, follow him on Facebook.

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339 - Leigh Eric Schmidt (The Church of Saint Thomas Paine)

por American Freethought

I interview Leigh Eric Schmidt, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, and author of The Church of Saint Thomas Paine: A Religious History of American Secularism, which looks at the struggles of 19th century freethinkers to define themselves in contrast to traditional religion and traditional religious organizations.

Buy a copy of The Church of Saint Thomas Paine for yourself!

Learn more about Professor Schmidt and his fellow faculty members at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics.

Plus:

There has been a spate of Islamic terrorism-related incidents on the international front. In the UK, Conservative MP Sir David Amess was stabbed to death by a Somali immigrant during a public appearance. In Norway, a recent convert to Islam murdered five people using--of all things--a bow and arrows. And in Afghanistan, ISIS-K claims responsibility for two bombings of Shia mosques that killed 93 worshippers altogether.

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338 - Thomas Cathcart (There Is No God and Mary Is His Mother)

por American Freethought

I interview philosopher and author Thomas Cathcart about his new book There Is No God and Mary Is His Mother, a thought-provoking exploration aimed at ex-Christians and even atheists, which asks whether Christianity can be credible, meaningful, and practical absent the traditional theological formulas and doctrines.

Buy a copy of There Is No God and Mary Is His Mother for yourself.

Plus:

Liberal Christians mourn the death of 90-year-old Bishop John Shelby Spong, the Episcopal Bishop who fought for the rights of women and LGBTQ people, and rejected the mythological aspects of Jesus (the Virgin Birth, miracles, even the Resurrection!) while still embracing what he saw as the spiritually transcendent experience of the Christ. I didn't agree with Spong on that last part, but I considered him an ally nonetheless in the quest to foster a more rational, tolerant Christianity and thus create a better society.

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337 - Mary Roach (Fuzz)

por American Freethought

I interview award-winning popular science writer Mary Roach about her new book Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law. It's a humorous look at the serious topic of human-animal conflict in an age of exploding population and global warming.

Buy your very own copy of Fuzz.

For more about Mary and her work visit MaryRoach.net.

This was Mary's third appearance on American Freethought. Listen to her first two appearances here:

099 - Mary Roach (Packing for Mars)

250 - Mary Roach (Grunt)

Plus:

(Briefly mentioned in the interview) The snail darter--a tiny fish once on the endangered species list--is back in the news!

Twenty years after 9/11: I look back at fact-versus-fiction in the root causes of the terrorist attacks, and assess our success after two decades of fighting the so-called War on Terror.

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336 - Jennifer Hochschild (Genomic Politics)

por American Freethought

I interview Harvard Professor Jennifer Hochschild about her new book Genomic Politics: How the Revolution in Genomic Science Is Shaping American Society.

To buy a copy of Genomic Politics, click here.

Plus:

America is finally out of Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the chaotic end to US withdrawal will be an ongoing political controversy; and, of course, we'll have to watch helplessly as Afghanistan sinks into a new theocratic hinterland.

The Supreme Court has allowed Texas' new ultra-restrictive abortion law to go into effect, more or less ending abortion in that state and launching a new, more dangerous phase in the fight over women's reproductive freedoms.

The coronavirus pandemic is at the height of yet another surge, one that has left the vaccinated portion of the population largely untouched. Of course, this new surge is made possible by the orneriness of Republican denialists and the misplaced trust of conservative Christians in the protection of the Almighty.

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335 - Obery Hendricks (Christians Against Christianity)

por American Freethought

I interview Dr. Obery M. Hendricks, Jr. about his new book Christians Against Christianity, a scathing rebuke from a progressive Christian perspective against how (white) conservative Christians pursue political power while ignoring the central teachings of Jesus regarding love, mercy, tolerance, and justice.

Plus: It looks like America is getting out of Afghanistan for good, but our withdrawal will be disastrous in both the short term and long term.

To buy a copy of Christians Against Christianity click here.

For more about Dr. Hendricks visit OberyHendricksPHD.com.

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334 - Rep. Jared Huffman (Congressional Freethought Caucus)

por American Freethought

I interview Representative Jared Huffman (Democrat representing California's 2nd District), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Freethought Caucus. We talk about the origins, purpose, and recent activity of the Freethought Caucus; about perennial issues (like the national motto, the Pledge of Allegiance, legislative prayer, etc.) of concern to freethinkers; public policy and public acceptance (or denial) of science; and the current "civil war" within the GOP between the traditionalists and the more rabid Trumpist/MAGA/QAnon faction.

For more about Congressman Huffman visit https://huffman.house.gov

For more about the Congressional Freethought Caucus click here.

We touched on the work of Jeff Sharlet in exposing The Family (the secretive, but powerful, Christian organization best known to the public as sponsor of the so-called National Prayer Breakfast). For more about The Family, you can listen to our interviews with Jeff Sharlet in episodes 67 and 105.

Plus:

Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has resigned after his cellphone data was used to track his participation in the gay hookup app Grindr. You will recall the USCCB briefly threatened action (potentially denial of Communion or even excommunication) against American politicians--including President Joe Biden--who are self-proclaimed Catholics who nonetheless support a woman's right to choose when it comes to birth control and abortion.

Defrocked Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, 91 years old, has been charged in Massachusetts with sexually assaulting a teenaged boy in 1974. The charges are made possible after so long a time due to a quirk in Massachusetts' statute of limitations, which places a "pause" on the countdown when an offender leaves the state. McCarrick was only defrocked two years ago, and reports reveal that multiple popes either ignored McCarrick's misdeeds or tried to downplay the church's response.

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333 - John V. Petrocelli (The Life-Changing Science of Detecting Bullshit)

por American Freethought

I interview John V. Petrocelli, Professor of Psychology at Wake Forest University, about his new book The Life-Changing Science of Detecting Bullshit. What exactly is bullshit, and how does it differ from a lie? Why do people bullshit? And how can we become better at identifying and countering bullshit? These are all important questions given our current social and political environment.

Buy a copy of the book for yourself right here.

While you're at it, treat yourself to Harry Frankfurt's tiny classic On Bullshit.

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332 - Muhammad Syed (President, Ex-Muslims of North America)

por American Freethought

I interview Muhammad Syed, President of Ex-Muslims of North America. We discuss the critical mission of his organization, as well as their new Apostate Report, which analyzes the demographics of Muslims who live in the United States and Canada who leave the faith, and breaks down the reasons their decision and the challenges they face as a result.

For more about Ex-Muslims of North America visit exmuslims.org.

Download the Apostate Report.

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331 - Benjamin Radford

por American Freethought

I interview skeptical investigator, author, and podcaster Benjamin Radford. Our wide-ranging conversation covers various topics, including the Pentagon's pending release of a report on UFOs [latebreaking info: the nine-page report, titled "Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" was released on June 25, 2021 by the Director of National Intelligence, not the Pentagon], the "Havana Syndrome" (in which some allege that US embassy staff and others have been subjected to debilitating attacks by a mysterious directed-energy weapon), antivaxxer Dr. Sherri Tenpenny's astounding assertion that the COVID-19 vaccine is magnetizing some people, and the current state of skepticism in America.

Visit Ben's official website BenjaminRadford.com.

Listen to Ben's podcast Squaring the Strange (which he co-hosts with Pascual Romero and Celestia Ward).

Also mentioned in the podcast:

Fulton v Philadelphia - The Supreme Court rules unanimously that Philadelphia officials unfairly ended their adoption contract with Catholic Social Services, a religiously affiliated agency that refuses to adopt to same-sex couples.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops authorize the drafting of a document that could lead to a rebuke (or worse) of politicians like President Joe Biden who take Communion but still support abortion rights, which is against Church teachings. [Latebreaking info: the USCCB now says "there will be no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians."]

JFK's famous 1960 speech on separation of church and state.

Mick West's Metabunk.org, an excellent skeptical resource that contains, among other things, information about the relatively recent UFO videos released by the US military.

James Randi debunks a "magnetic man" on live TV in South Korea. The video looks likely to be from the 1980s.

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330 - Daniel A. Sjursen (A True History of the United States)

por American Freethought

I interview Daniel A. Sjursen, retired combat veteran and former West Point history instructor, about his new book A True History of the United States, which tackles head-on the dark aspects of America's past: racism, genocide, conquest, and capitalist hegemony. 

For more about Danny and his work visit SkepticalVet.com.

To buy a copy of his book click here.

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329 - Philip Jenkins (Climate, Catastrophe, and Faith)

por American Freethought

I interview historian Philip Jenkins about his new book Climate, Catastrophe, and Faith: How Changes in Climate Drive Religious Upheaval, in which he rewrites the familiar approaches to the history of religion, argues that climate is the missing dimension in religious history, and offers a timely discussion of future trends in religion during an era of climate crisis.

To buy a copy of this book, click here.

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328 - Roy Speckhardt (Justice-Centered Humanism)

por American Freethought

I interview Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director of the American Humanist Association and author of Justice-Centered Humanism: How (and Why) to Engage in Public Policy for Good.

We talk about how Humanists can expand their concerns from separation of church and state to current issues like race, class, gender, and sexuality; his impending retirement from AHA after 16 years; and the controversial decisions by the AHA Board to withdraw the Humanist of the Year Awards from Richard Dawkins (1996 recipient) and Lawrence Krauss (2015). [Former Humanist of the Year Award recipients Stephen Pinker and Rebecca Goldstein issued a letter of criticism against the decision on Dawkins.]

For more about Roy and his work visit RoySpeckhardt.com.

For more about the American Humanist Association visit AmericanHumanist.org.

To buy a copy of Justice-Centered Humanism click here.

Plus:

I discuss the troubling pro-Trump consolidation of power within the Republican Party, and the recent "Call for American Renewal" by a group of about 100 conservatives seeking reformation of the Republican Party or (failing that) formation of a rival third party.

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327 - Heino Falcke (Light in the Darkness)

por American Freethought

I interview German astrophysicist Dr. Heino Falcke, who led the international team of scientists and technicians that created the first image of a black hole. Heino's new book is Light in the Darkness: Black Holes, the Universe, and Us.

For more about Heino and his work visit HeinoFalcke.org.

To buy a copy of his book click here.

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326 - Michael Gordin (On the Fringe)

por American Freethought

I interview Princeton's Dr. Michael Gordin about his new book On the Fringe: Where Science Meets Pseudoscience, an exploration of the "demarcation problem"; i.e., how to separate science from non-science.

For more about Michael and his work visit MichaelGordin.com.

To buy a copy of his book click here.

(At the top of the show, a clip from Irish comedian Dara O'Briain's humorous takedown of pseudoscience and alternative medicine.)

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325 - Mustafa Akyol (Reopening Muslim Minds)

por American Freethought

I interview journalist (and senior fellow at the Cato Institute's Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity) Mustafa Akyol, author of Reopening Muslim Minds, in which he outlines how the Islamic world lost its way, and how it can move toward progress and modernity by leveraging traditions from its own past.

For more about Mustafa and his work visit MustafaAkyol.org and Cato.org.

To buy a copy of the book click here.

Plus:

Mississippi's Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith is against Sunday voting because...the Bible?

Feedback: A listener takes me to task for daring to imply that older people might have trouble grappling with complex topics like math and statistics, especially if they lack the proper academic or professional background.

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324 - David Robert Grimes (Good Thinking)

por American Freethought

I interview scientist and science advocate Dr. David Robert Grimes about his new book Good Thinking: Why Flawed Logic Puts Us All at Risk and How Critical Thinking Can Save the World.

For more about David and his work visit DavidRobertGrimes.com.

To buy a copy of the book for yourself click here.

Plus:

The 21-year-old man who murdered eight people at three massage parlors in metro Atlanta claims he was removing "temptation" for his sex addiction. Former high school classmates remember him as a "super-Christian" obsessed with sex who was an active member of a fundamentalist Baptist church.

Pope Francis has the prohibition against gay marriage in the Roman Catholic Church extends to priestly blessings of gay unions.

Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark of Missouri's Malden First General Baptist Church is on leave after preaching that wives need to lose weight in order to keep their husbands' interest, and praised "epic trophy wife of all time" Melania Trump.

The Supreme Court has ruled in Uzuegbunam v Preczewski that Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Georgia, was wrong in prohibiting a Christian student from proselytizing and passing out literature outside a strictly defined "free speech" zone. Both the ultra-conservative Alliance Defending Freedom and the liberal American Humanist Association filed briefs on the student's behalf.

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323 - Emily Joy Allison (#ChurchToo)

por American Freethought

I interview Emily Joy Allison, author of #ChurchToo: How Purity Culture Upholds Abuse and How to Find Healing, in which she shares her deeply personal story and offers a way forward for survivors of church-based indoctrination and mistreatment.

To buy a copy of this book click here.

For more about Emily and her work visit EmilyJoyPoetry.com.

Plus:

A report reveals the late Christian apologist and preacher Ravi Zacharias used his massage parlors and international travel as cover for sexual abuse and possibly even rape.

The Southern Baptist Church can't do one thing right without doing another thing wrong. Lately, the SBC has "disfellowshipped" two churches for employing preachers convicted of sex crimes and two for "affirming homosexual behavior."

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322 - Ian Rosenberg (The Fight for Free Speech)

por American Freethought

I interview Ian Rosenberg, media lawyer, legal counsel for ABC News, and author of The Fight for Free Speech: Ten Cases that Define Our First Amendment Freedoms.

For more about Ian and his book visit thefightforfreespeech.com.

Plus:

Donald Trump survived his second impeachment, and now the Republican Party continues the project of ejecting anyone who dared oppose him. The GOP is morphing from a political party into a religious cult centered around Trump.

I discuss the deaths of two pornographers, Larry Flynt and Rush Limbaugh, and compare their legacies.

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321 - Randall Balmer (Solemn Reverence)

por American Freethought

I interview Dr. Randall Balmer, historian and Episcopal priest, about his new book Solemn Reverence: The Separation of Church and State in American Life.

To buy this book click here.

Plus:

Kudos to the US House of Representatives for removing Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments, as punishment for promulgating dangerous and false conspiracy beliefs and for concurring with calls to assassinate fellow members of Congress. The Republican Party failed to discipline her themselves, having become the party of Trumpism and QAnon conspiracy theorists.

Newly minted Secretary of State Antony Blinken took his oath of office with his hand resting on a copy of the Constitution, not the Bible, surprisingly with little controversy. This hasn't stopped some conservative pot-stirrers from complaining that VP Kamala Harris insincerely "hovered" her hand over her Bible, somehow invalidating her oath. And last year, Marjorie Taylor Greene implied that federal law required oaths be taken on a Bible, and unsuccessfully attempted to confront Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib about their use of a Qur'an.

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320 - Ben Friedman (Religion and the Rise of Capitalism)

por American Freethought

I interview Harvard economist Dr. Benjamin M. Friedman about his new book Religion and the Rise of Capitalism.

To buy this book click here.

Plus:

Donald Trump gets impeached. Again. For inciting the riot at the US Capitol. And his impeachment trial begins in the Senate on February 9th.

The Justice Department should show no mercy to the rioters who stormed the US Capitol on January 6th, to send a message to their fellow travelers that the United States will not tolerate such violence and intimidation.

President Biden's inauguration had more God talk (by far) than any presidential inauguration in modern times.

Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC) wants to adopt "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" as the National Hymn. Just...no.

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319 - Chaos and Hope

por American Freethought

Rioters overrun the US Capitol for four hours, disrupting the formal tally of electoral votes by a joint session of Congress. Trump and his surrogates (and a long line of conservative leaders) bear direct responsibility for inciting this violence and feeding dangerous misinformation to their followers. 

Plus:

Democrats will control both Congress and the White House for the first time in years. What should they do with that power?

A Pew Research study shows that the new Congress is far more religious (and far more Christian) than the US population at large.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) causes a minor controversy with his multicultural, multi-gendered invocation.

Congress has a female chaplain for the first time in history.

I decline to interview a flat-earther.

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318 - Michael Arthur (I, Pastafari)

por American Freethought

I interview Michael Arthur, writer, director, and producer of the documentary I, Pastafari: A Flying Spaghetti Monster Story.

For more about the film visit ipastafaridoc.com.

Plus:

A COVID-19 patient in a California hospital uses an oxygen tank to murder a fellow patient--for praying.

The Pope okays COVID-19 vaccines even if they were developed using fetal tissue.

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317 - John R. Hibbing (The Securitarian Personality)

por American Freethought

I interview John R. Hibbing, author of The Securitarian Personality: What Really Motivates Trump's Base and Why It Matters for the Post-Trump Era.

Buy a copy of the book for yourself here.

Plus:

Trump's running out of options in his fraudulent attempt to overturn his election loss. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic gets worse and worse, and Trump and the Republicans are doing nothing to bring it under control. On the bright side, vaccines will soon be available and Joe Biden will try to restore sanity to the country's pandemic response.

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316 - Tim Ward (Pro Truth)

por American Freethought

I interview Tim Ward, co-author (along with Gleb Tsipursky) of Pro Truth: A Practical Plan for Putting Truth Back Into Politics. We talk about the Pro-Truth Pledge, a tool to enable politicians, government officials, public personalities, and even regular citizens in sharing, honoring, and encouraging the truth as a central foundation for political discourse. 

For more about the Pro-Truth Movement, visit ProTruthPledge.org.

For more about Tim and his work visit ChangemakersBooks.com.

To buy a copy of Pro Truth for yourself, click here.

Plus:

The newly conservative-controlled Supreme Court has issued "injunctive relief" against an executive order (issued by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo) that sought to restrict the number of attendees at religious services in certain zones identified as pandemic hotspots. In Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo, the Court agreed with the church's argument that restrictions applying uniquely to religious meetings violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. (Nevermind, as pointed out by Chief Justice John Roberts in his dissent, that Cuomo had already altered his executive order so that the zone restrictions no longer apply.) Justice Stephen Breyer also dissented, insisting that governors should be given considerable latitude to act during times of public emergency. In any case, this ruling is surely a harbinger of how a SCOTUS now dominated by Trump appointees will rule favorably on behalf of religious conservatives.

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315 - Ruining Thanksgiving

por American Freethought

I interview historian David J. Silverman about his book This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving. 

Buy a copy of the book for yourself here.

Plus:

Looks like we're getting rid of Trump but not Trumpism. Joe Biden has won the presidency, but the Democrats lost ground in the House of Representatives, and the Republicans will almost surely retain control of the Senate. Meanwhile, Trump and the Republicans are denying he lost, making outrageous and unsupported claims of widespread vote-counting fraud, and continue to seal themselves off from reality. It's gonna be a rough two months until Biden's inauguration on January 20, 2021.

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314 - Noah Lugeons (Outbreak: A Crisis of Faith)

por American Freethought

I interview Noah Lugeons, author of Outbreak: A Crisis of Faith - How Religion Ruined Our Global Pandemic. Noah is also a co-host of The Scathing Atheist and God Awful Movies podcasts.

To buy a copy of Outbreak, click here.

Plus:

The skeptical community mourns the loss of James "The Amazing" Randi.

Humanist Mubarak Bala, held incommunicado for nearly six months on a charge of blasphemy by Nigerian authorities, is alive! He has finally been allowed to meet with legal representation. A hearing has been scheduled for December 10th. For more on Mr. Bala's case, listen to my interview with Leo Igwe in episode #310.

Ultra-conservative Judge Amy Coney Barrett, rammed through the confirmation process by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), has been sworn in as the newest Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Conservatives now hold a 6-3 majority on the court, which could endanger everything from the Affordable Care Act to gun control to Roe v Wade.

Pope Francis has endorsed "civil unions" (but not explicit marriage equality) for LGBTQ people, saying they "have a right to a family." Needless to say, the Pope is not receiving universal support from within the Roman Catholic Church, and Protestant leaders like Franklin Graham have taken a dim view of these latest comments.

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313 - Richard Carrier (Jesus from Outer Space)

por American Freethought

I interview Dr. Richard Carrier about his latest book, Jesus from Outer Space: What the Earliest Christians Really Believed about Christ, which asserts that the teachings of Jesus Christ began as cosmic revelations to a chosen few, and only later did Christian writers create a terrestrial biography for Jesus that borrowed heavily from similar death-and-resurrection mythologies of the ancient world.

For more about Richard and his work visit RichardCarrier.info.

To buy a copy of Jesus from Outer Space, click here.

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312 - Craig A. Evans on the Historical Jesus

por American Freethought

I interview theologian Dr. Craig A. Evans, co-author of Can We Trust the Bible on the Historical Jesus?, which is based on a debate Dr. Evans had some years ago with Dr. Bart Ehrman.

(My apologies on the sound quality of the interview itself. We experienced technical difficulties.)

For more about Craig Evans and his work visit craigaevans.com.

Buy a copy of Can We Trust the Bible on the Historical Jesus? here.

Listen to my previous conversations with Dr. Bart Erhman in episodes 51 (Jesus, Interrupted), 200 (How Jesus Became God), 244 (Jesus Before the Gospels) and 299 (Heaven and Hell).

Plus:

President Donald Trump is in the hospital with covid-19, a fitting conclusion to months of neglect, lies and denial.

It's looking inevitable that Judge Amy Coney Barrett will be confirmed on the Supreme Court (if not before the election, certainly before the inauguration) to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The Democrats don't have the votes to stop her confirmation, and very little in the way of parliamentary maneuvers that might slow down the process. Legitimate questions still remain about how Judge Barrett's religious beliefs might influence her judicial rulings--but fundamentalists certainly expect it to have an influence; otherwise, why are they so excited about her?

Finally, potentially good news for Dave Warnock (interviewed in episode 293 back in January 2020), who is suffering from ALS and originally thought he might have as little as two years to live. His doctors are exploring additional diagnoses and the (admittedly slim) possibility that effective treatments may be available to him. We wish him luck.

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311 - Jared Yates Sexton (American Rule)

por American Freethought

I interview Jared Yates Sexton, author of American Rule: How a Nation Conquered the World but Failed Its People, a dark history of the United States from colonial times to the present. Sexton came to national prominence during the 2016 presidential election, when his reporting from Trump rallies earned him death threats. He is also the co-host of The Muckrake Podcast, a twice-weekly political discussion from a decidedly progressive angle.

For more about Sexton and his work visit jysexton.com. To purchase a copy of his new book click here. To listen to The Muckrake Podcast click here.

Plus:

Devastating news that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has died at 87. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already signaled he intends to fast-track Trump's pick for her replacement; this despite denying President Obama his pick for nearly a year under similar circumstances after the death of Antonin Scalia in 2016. The hypocrisy is thick around the senior Senator from Kentucky.

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310 - The Arrest of Nigerian Humanist Mubarak Bala

por American Freethought

Mubarak Bala, president of the Nigerian Humanist Association, was arrested in April 2020, allegedly for a Facebook post that blasphemed against Islam. Since his arrest, no one--not even his lawyer--has seen or heard from Bala. His whereabouts are uncertain, and no one knows if he is alive or dead. I talk with Leo Igwe, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Nigerian Humanist Association, about Bala's plight, and what secularists around the world can do to help.

For more about Mubarak Bala's situation click here.

To listen to our previous conversation with Leo from 2013, click here.

Plus:

Trump continues to drive the crazy train over a cliff. Now he's spinning elaborate stories--without a shred of evidence--about black-uniformed thugs packing a plane bound for DC, intending to disrupt the Republican National Convention. He also indulged in a whiny rant about how cans of soup are the weapon of choice for anarchists and Antifa disruptors. That he has ANY followers remaining is dismaying, but it's a sure bet that this election will be won or lost on the margins and not by a landslide. In other words, Trump is a symptom and not the disease.

Jerry Falwell, Jr. is out (permanently, it seems) at Liberty University, over reports that not only did his wife have a long-term affair with a former pool-boy named Giancarlo Granda, but that Falwell liked to sit in the corner and watch.

Former American Atheists president David Silverman continues his downward spiral, it seems. He recently appeared on the David C. Smalley podcast and claimed to be so disaffected from left-wing politics that he's considering voting for Trump. He also asserts that institutional racism is no longer a "thing" in America, that felons who have run-ins with the police have it coming, and that crime and poverty in the African-American community are mostly the result of internal culture and not centuries of oppression. To hear my interview with Silverman from December 2019, click here.

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309 - Party Platforms 2020

por American Freethought

The Democrats have a ticket! As expected, former Vice President Joe Biden has selected Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. If elected, Biden will be our second Catholic president, but Harris will make history as the first VP of African descent or of Asian descent. Some conservatives are already circulating a birther conspiracy about her (saying she is ineligible for office, having been born in California of parents who were--irrelevantly--not at the time citizens), but will they also make an issue of her mother's Hindu upbringing?

Five Faith Facts about Kamala Harris

Plus:

I look at the Democratic and Republican party platforms from a freethought perspective, analyzing the frequency of certain key words or phrases. (And since the GOP didn't bother to create a new platform for 2020, I play a clip from American Freethought episode 254, in which David Driscoll and I look at their 2016 platform.)

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308 - Marie D'Elephant (Everyone's Autonomous)

por American Freethought

I talk with Marie D'Elephant, host of Everyone's Autonomous, a new podcast in which she talks "with guests and subject matter experts about how we can begin to move forward after having processed our toxic religious upbringings." We also discuss something else that's in the news more often these days: polyamory, or "ethical non-monogamy." 

For more visit www.everybodysautonomous.com.

Plus:

Trump's campaign pitch is getting shriller by the day. Now he claims a vote for former Vice President Joe Biden will hurt religion, the Bible, and God Himself.

Jerry Falwell, Jr. takes a leave of absence as president of Liberty University after tweeting a risqué picture of himself with a scantily clad friend.

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