American Freethought Podcast

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

Prosperity con-man Creflo Dollar is asking his followers for $60 million so he can buy a new luxury jet. Apparently souls can't be saved using business class.

Meanwhile...

Thomas Dunn, a member of the Leesburg, Virginia town council, apparently downplays the role that the United States government had in freeing African-Americans from slavery. According to Dunn, it was the "hand of God" that freed the slaves. What Dunn can't explain is why God chose to free them immediately after the Civil War (with at least 650,000 dead) and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

A Washington, DC pastor (who also happens to be a member of the DC police force) has been charged with sexually abusing a teenaged girl who attended his church.

Finally, complications continue to arise over marriage equality in Alabama. While the state supreme court continues in its defiance, a federal judge  has reiterated her previous ruling overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Direct download: 221_American_Freethought_Podcast_221.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:01 AM

Atheist author and activist Avijit Roy was hacked to death by religious hardliners in his native Bangladesh. His wife was gravely injured and lost a finger, but is expected to recover. It's small consolation, but his death has lead to widespread outrage in Bangladesh.

Plus:

Three young Muslims (and, by all accounts, model citizens) were gunned down by their neighbor in Chapel Hill, NC, ostensibly over a parking dispute. Did the fact that the neighbor was a self-described atheist who railed against religion on Facebook make this a hate crime?

Baseball Bat of Doubt: A father new to atheism struggles with his family's involvement in Boy Scouts.

Finally, we mourn the passing of Leonard Nimoy. He did indeed live long and prosper.

Direct download: 220_American_Freethought_Podcast_220.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:36 AM