American Freethought Podcast
Podcast 258 - Live at DragonCon 2016

John Snider (sans David Driscoll, sadly) presents another live show at DragonCon's Skeptrack in Atlanta. He's joined by Mandisa Thomas (founder and president of Black Nonbelievers) and Gina Colaianni (student activist and former president of Kennesaw State University's Secular Student Alliance) in discussing "Diversity in the Skeptic/Freethought Community."

Many thanks to Derek Colanduno (organizer of the Skeptrack and co-host of the pioneering Skepticality podcast), as well as Mark Ditsler of Abrupt Media for providing stellar audiovisual services.

Direct download: 258_American_Freethought_Podcast_258.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:37pm EDT

We discuss a recent article by Donald Prothero in Skeptic magazine, in which he looks at the state of the Intelligent Design movement, ten years after its stinging defeat in Kitzmiller v. Dover. The overwhelming majority of scientists are against ID (and Creationism in general), and the courts have ruled that it's purely religious. They're not gone, but the IDiots are shifting their tactics. Can Intelligent Design make a comeback?

Plus:

An anti-gay preacher who gloated in the aftermath of the Orlando nightclub massacre has been arrested on suspicion of molesting an underaged male.

Islamophobia at home and abroad! Newton County, Georgia has issued a moratorium on ALL religious construction, now that a Muslim group from metro Atlanta wants to build a mosque there. And in France (where they're still reeling from devastating terrorist attacks) several townships are trying to ban the burkini (a modesty swimsuit favored by some Muslim women) from public beaches.

Direct download: 257_American_Freethought_Podcast_257.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:21pm EDT

Podcast 256 - Matthew O'Neil (After Life)

We interview Matthew O'Neil, author of After Life: Solving Science and Religion’s Great Disagreement. In his new book, he looks at what the Bible actually says about things like Heaven, Hell, the soul and Resurrection, and how it differs from modern, mainstream Christian ideas. He also delves into what science can tell us about an afterlife and about the process of death.

We previously spoke with Matthew in episode #242 about his book What the Bible Really Does (and Doesn’t Say) about Sex.

Plus:

If you're coming to DragonCon, come see American Freethought live at the Skeptrack, Monday, September 5th at 11:30am. The topic will be "Diversity in the Freethought/Skeptic Community" and there will be special guests.

Direct download: 256_American_Freethought_Podcast_256.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:39pm EDT

Podcast 255 - Is Kaine Able?

We take a look–from a freethinking and skeptical viewpoint–at Democratic Platform 2016, as well as the political positions of Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's pick as Vice Presidential running mate.

Plus:

The recent leak of emails from the Democratic National Committee shows that some staffers, at least, entertained the despicable notion of using presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' supposed atheism against him in an effort to aid rival Hillary Clinton among the "Southern Baptist peeps."

Body Found--an alt-rock band active in St. Louis, Missouri in the early 1990's, whose song "To Be Dead" is this podcast's theme song--has a new album! Desert Ressurection is available August 1st via Amazon.com, iTunes, and all the usual places you can download music. Show your appreciation for their contribution to American Freethought!

Direct download: 255_American_Freethought_Podcast_255.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:04pm EDT

Podcast 254 - Pence and Insensibility

We take a look--from a freethinking and skeptical viewpoint--at Republican Platform 2016, as well as the political positions of Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Donald Trump's pick as Vice Presidential running mate.

Plus:

new Pew poll shows evangelicals and so-called "nones" falling in line behind Trump and Clinton, respectively and unsurprisingly. The poll also shows a reasurring drop in the number of voters who say that it's important that the President have strong religious beliefs.

 

Direct download: 254_American_Freethought_Podcast_254.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:05pm EDT

Podcast 253 - Baby Fingers, Baby Christian

For the third presidential election cycle in a row, evangelical fundamentalist Christians have failed to nominate a Republican candidate that's a full-throated theocratic nut job (although they came close with Ted Cruz). And once again they're faced with the daunting task of keeping themselves relevant by throwing their weight behind the inevitable candidate, no matter how odious he may be. And so, we have people like Focus Crosshairs on the Family president James Dobson declaring, with no evidence, really, that Donald Trump (he of the bloviation and baby fingers) is now a "baby Christian" who was brought to Christ "recently." Trump himself has made laughable attempts to ingratiate himself to the fundamentalist vote, quoting "Two" Corinthians and saying his favorite Bible verse is "an eye for an eye"--the one Bible verse that Jesus explicitly refuted! Anyway, a road is being paved to give conservative Christians an path (rickety at best) to vote for Trump as one of theirs.

Plus:

A federal judge blocks Mississippi's Orwellian "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act," a law expressly designed to ensure anti-gay, one-man-one-woman Christian bigots ever have to deal with anyone in the LGBT community. Look for this one to be resolved in a year or two by the Supreme Court, almost certainly on the side of those who want to see all citizens treated equally and without discrimination.

Ken Ham's Ark Encounter boondoggle has opened for business in central Kentucky. Holey Scripture looks at how the Ark (both Noah's and Ham's) was made. And just what the heck is "gopher" wood?

Direct download: 253_American_Freethought_Podcast_253.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:11pm EDT

Podcast 252 - Frank Lambert (Separation of Church and State)

We interview Dr. Franklin T. Lambert, author of Separation of Church and State: Founding Principle of Religious Liberty. In this, his latest book, he corrects the claims of revisionist "historians" like David Barton that the United States was founded as a Christian nation, and that separation of church and state is a myth promulgated by a conspiracy of left-wing elitist academics. Dr. Lambert is professor of History at Purdue University, where he teaches courses on Colonial and Revolutionary American History and American Religious History. He is the author of eight books, including The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America and Religion in American Politics: A Short History.

Plus:

A brief discussion of the recent massacre of 49 people in Orland0, Florida by a self-proclaimed follower if ISIS.

A brief discussion about the American Ethical Union (aeu.org), which has permanent congregations in several cities, including Washington, DC; Vienna, Virginia; and St. Louis, Missouri.

Direct download: 252_American_Freethought_Podcast_252.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:52am EDT

David Driscoll offers his on-site observations from Reason Rally 2016, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. For more info on the event visit ReasonRally.com

Direct download: 251_American_Freethought_Podcast_251.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 4:40pm EDT

Podcast 250 - Mary Roach (Grunt)

Whoo-hoo! It's our 250th episode! We'll celebrate by continuing to put out some more episodes.

Meanwhile, we interview Mary Roach, whose latest book is Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War (available in hardcoveraudiobook and for Kindle). Roach is the author of other insightful and humorous nonfiction titles like Stiff (an exploration of the ethical issues associated with the use of cadavers), Spook (at look at scientific evidence for the afterlife), Bonk (the study of human sexuality) and Gulp (eating and digestion). We last spoke to Mary waaay back in episode #99 about her book Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. For more about Mary Roach and her work visit MaryRoach.net.

Plus:

Look for David Driscoll at the Reason Rally, June 4th at the Lincoln Memorial.

Direct download: 250_American_Freethought_Podcast_250.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 6:37pm EDT

Podcast 249 - The Faith of Christopher Hitchens

We discuss Larry Alex Taunton's new book The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World's Most Notorious Atheist (available in hardcover, as an audiobook, or for Kindle). In this memoir, Taunton (a Birmingham, Alabama based minister and founder of the Fixed Point Foundation) recounts the friendship that developed between himself and Christopher Hitchens. Considerable controversy has arisen over Taunton's insinuation that Hitchens, while he had no deathbed conversion, may have re-evaluated religion (if not Christianity) during his final months.

Direct download: 249_American_Freethought_Podcast_249.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:15pm EDT