American Freethought Podcast

An ESPN profile of National Football League's Arian Foster (a running back with the Houston Texans) highlights the fact of his atheism in a sport (and a state) that's notoriously religious. Meanwhile, evangelical poster-boy Tim Tebow (well known for his history of pious displays on the field) has been given a fourth chance in the NFL, this time as a quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Plus:

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has refused a request by the state attorney general to reconsider their ruling that Ten Commandments monument installed on the state capitol grounds is unconstitutional. It's not clear when the monument will be removed, but conservative legislators are already plotting to set in motion an amendment that will revoke the state's separation of church and state. Meanwhile, the Satanic Temple will be looking for a new home for their recently unveiled statue of Baphomet (which they had planned to donate to Oklahoma as a counterbalance to the Ten Commandments).

There's been a sudden outbreak across the South and Midwest of sheriffs and police chiefs who want to spend taxpayer money to put IN GOD WE TRUST decals on their offical vehicles. Sure, it's officially the national motto, but inevitably the bureaucrats behind it can't help blathering on about the rights of the majority, America is a Christian nation, yadda yadda yadda.

Yet another secularist blogger (the fourth this year!) has been hacked to death in Bangladesh by Islamic extremists. Niloy Neel was murdered in his own apartment while his wife was held in another room. While the vast majority of Bangladeshis are understandably outraged, the police and courts seem slow to show progress in preventing the violence and bringing those responsible to justice.

Direct download: 231_American_Freethought_Podcast_231.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:39 PM

[Due to technical difficulties this episode suffers from poor sound quality. We'll have the issue resolved before we record again. Our apologies for any inconvenience.]

We interview Jeffrey Selman, author of God Sent Me: A Textbook Case of Evolution vs. Creation, a behind-the-scenes look at Selman v Cobb County School District, the federal case in which he successfully sued to have "evolution is only a theory" disclaimer stickers removed from the school system's biology textbooks.

For more about Jeffrey's work in defending liberty and church-state separation, visit JeffreySelman.com.

Direct download: 230_American_Freethought_Podcast_230.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:42 AM

We look at the ongoing blowback--at the state and local levels--against Obergefell v Hodges, in which the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is constitutional. Specifically, we look at the refusal by two county clerks--Casey Davis in Casey County and Kim Davis in Rowan County (pictured)--to issue marriage licenses in Kentucky, and a proposal in the state legislature to allow clerks to refuse to issue marriage licenses if it offends their religious beliefs.

Plus:

Six people are dead in Chattanooga in an apparent case of homegrown Islamist terrorism.

And...another victory for LGBT rights!  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ruled that discrimination against someone based on their sexual preference is sex discrimination pure and simple.

Direct download: 229_American_Freethought_Podcast_229.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:56 PM

We discuss the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, with special attention to the bitter dissents seemingly aimed at delegitimizing the Court itself. We also look at the more-or-less predictible reactions by conservative politicians and pundits. Events are unfolding in various states aimed at resisting or slowing implementation of the ruling, and it's a sure bet this will be playing out until the election next fall.

Plus: Another victory! The Oklahoma Supreme Court rules that a Ten Commandments monument on the statehouse grounds is a violation of the state constitutions prohibition against the use of funds to benefit--either directly or indirectly--religion.

Direct download: 228_American_Freethought_Podcast_228.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:23 PM

We discuss the issues surrounding the recent massacre by a racist terrorist of nine black worshippers at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, including race, religion, politics, gun control and the Confederate flag.

Plus:

Do you watch Orange Is the New Black? Apparently the lead character has come out as a fan of science, Hitchens and all that jazz.

Direct download: 227_American_Freethought_Podcast_227.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:32 AM

A mob of armed protestors converged on a mosque in Phoenix during Friday prayers (for no other purpose, it seems, than to get attention and hopefully rile local Muslims into doing something rash). The worshippers handled it perfectly.

SCOTUS is entering the home stretch for this session, and right out of the gate they've issued a ruling favoring religious freedom in EEOC v Abercrombie & Fitch.

We interview Jan Netolicky, author of the young adult novel The Skipworth Summer, set in the 1970s and featuring an atheist as a sympathetic protagonist. The book is available in paperback and for Kindle.

Finally, if you haven't already, check out the new "This Date in Freethought History" posts.  Get all knowledged-up on interesting and significant events in the history of atheism, separation of church and state, and the ongoing struggle to understand our place in the cosmos. Follow at AmericanFreethought.com, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter @AmerFreethought.

Direct download: 226_American_Freethought_Podcast_226.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:52 PM

Ryan Cragun makes his fourth appearance on the podcast, discussing his new book How to Defeat Religion in 10 Easy Steps: A Toolkit for Secular Activists. His broadranging suggestions include taxing religious institutions (and thereby unshackling them from IRS regulations on their speech), defending nonpartisan science and history education, and even co-opting religious traditions (including offering secular alternatives to traditional religious holiday songs). This compact book is an excellent resource for newby freethinkers, suggesting specific actions that can be taken by individuals, local groups, and national organizations.

How to Defeat Religion is available in paperback and for Kindle. For more about Ryan Cragun visit RyanTCragun.com.

Direct download: 225_American_Freethought_Podcast_225.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:17 PM

We interview Dr. Alice Dreger, author of Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science, in which she discusses recent controversies involving bioethics researchers and activists—herself included. Dr. Dreger is the professor of Clinical Medical Humanities and Bioethics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University in Chicago. She found herself at the center of another controversy recently when she live-tweeted her son's abstinence-heavy public school sex-ed class.

Galileo's Middle Finger is available in hardcover, for Kindle and as an audiobook. For more about Alice Dreger visit AliceDreger.com.

 

Direct download: 224_American_Freethought_Podcast_224.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:41 AM

We interview science fiction and fantasy writer James Morrow about his latest novel Galapagos Regained. This historical fantasy follows Chloe Bathurst, an actress and former zookeeper for Charles Darwin, who treks across the 19th century land- and sea-scape to gather evidence to disprove the existence of God and win a £10,000 prize! Speaking of prizes, Jim has won numerous awards, including the Hugo and the World Fantasy Award. His previous novels include Towing JehovahBlameless in AbaddonThe Eternal FootmanThe Last Witchfinder and The Philosopher's Apprentice. For more about Jim visit JamesMorrow.infoGalapagos Regained is available in hardcover, for Kindle and as an audiobook.

Direct download: 223_American_Freethought_Podcast_223.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:00 AM

Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson is at it again. This time he entertained a Vero Beach, Florida prayer breakfast by gleefully describing the hypothetical rape, torture and murder of an atheist family. Classy.

Plus:

Give credit where credit's due: Afghanistan's new president Ashraf Ghani speaks out on behalf of moderation and tolerance in the Islamic world.

Neil Degrasse Tyson has a new weekly talk show debuting on April 20th.

If you have an opportunity, check out CNN Special Report: Atheists: Inside the World of Non-Believers. It's neither a perfect nor a complete depiction of the freethinking community, but it's certainly an improvement over CNN's traditional coverage. Also, HBO's Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is well worth your time.

Direct download: 222_American_Freethought_Podcast_222.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:37 AM