Muslim Apostate: Criticizing Islam Vital for Change

June 9, 2014
By
Muhammad Syed

Muhammad Syed

Fast-Growing Ex-Muslim Group Offers Community and Support While Battling Bigotry

Today I’m talking with a civically active and very public American Muslim apostate, Muhammad Syed, co-founder and director of operations for the Ex-Muslims of North America. The Ex-Muslims of North America’s objectives are providing support and help to ex-Muslims, eradicating the apostasy taboo, and fighting bigotry. The organization is comprised of ex-Muslim non-theists primarily located in or from North America, with various ethnicities and nationalities participating. Syed is going to tell us more about the group and fill us in on some interesting details. He’ll also tell us why he became a non-believer in 2007. We’ll also talk about issues relating to ex-Muslims and criticizing Islam, and the recent controversy involving Ayan Hirsi Ali.

MP3 File
(38 minutes, 41 seconds, 18.57 MB)

Listen to Ayan Hirsi Ali Respond to the Brandeis University Award Reversal Here | Read a Summary Article on the Controversy Here | Read Ayan Hirsi Ali’s Interview With Reason.com Here | Watch Mehdi Hasan Interview Richard Dawkins Here | You HAVE to check out the terrific comic strip Jesus and Mo – click here

Growing Group of Doubting Clergy Speak Out in New Blog

May 21, 2014
By

Rational Doubt: Researcher Linda LaScola’s Edits a New Blog for Pastors Leaving Faith Behind

Linda LaScola

Linda LaScola

Linda LaScola discusses the new blog she’s editing, Rational Doubt, The Clergy Project Blog. She also discusses her collaboration with philosopher Daniel Dennett on a study of non-believing clergy and a 2013 book about that work, Caught in the Pulpit, Leaving Belief Behind. LaScola is a qualitative researcher, and has traveled around the country interviewing people on numerous subjects, including health, mental health, public policy and religion. She been doing this for more than 25 years. LaScola earned a Master of Social Work from The Catholic University. The blog and the book provide unique insight into thoughts and arguments directly from the minds of those who preside in the pulpit – or used to. Both are valuable and informative reading.

MP3 File
(39 minutes, 1 second, 18.73 MB)

Click here to check out The Clergy Project | Click here to list to my conversation with Jerry DeWitt

Religious Conservatives Wrong on Church Freedoms

April 22, 2014
By
Rob Boston

Rob Boston

The Attempt to Redefine Religious Liberty is Misguided & Endangers Rights of Others

Conservative Christians complain that their religious freedoms are under attack partially because women in our country seek to use legal and effective birth control. These methods are included in a larger package of coverage offered in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. This mandate to include contraceptives vexes the Mennonite owners of Conestoga Wood, a custom wood products manufacturer, and the Southern Baptist owners of Hobby Lobby, a craft store retailer. These proprietors claim that their religious liberty is restricted by the psychic shackles of the contraceptive mandate, distressing their godly conscience. With the enthusiastic support of religious conservatives, the legal attempt to seek an exemption reached the Supreme Court this March. Rob Boston, Director of Communications at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and my guest on today’s podcast, rejects the notion that these business owner’s religious liberty is in jeopardy. He argues that religious conservatives are redefining religious liberty in a flawed and damaging way. Boston has worked at Americans United since 1987. He’s editor of the organization’s Church & State magazine and the author of four books, the most recent published this year titled, Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You the Right to Tell Other People What to Do.

MP3 File
(37 minutes, 40 seconds, 18.08 MB)

Click here to listen to my podcast with Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club, The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children | Click here Listen to my podcast with Sean Faircloth, author of Attack of the Theocrats!: How the Religious Right Harms Us All-and What We Can Do About It | Click here to read the New York Times article explaining why morning after pills don’t cause an abortion

Bible Geek Views Jesus as Myth, Book of Acts as Funny Fiction

April 2, 2014
By
Dr. Robert Price

Dr. Robert Price

New Testament Scholar Dr. Robert Price Gives Brief Tour of the Search for the Historical Jesus

A small number of responsible and qualified scholars are currently representing a view of the the historical Jesus that is sure to have Christians rising from the church pews in indignant anger. These scholars are called “mythicists,” and they claim that Jesus was not an historical person, but a fictional or mythological character invented by early Christians. One popular proponent of the mythicist view is Dr. Robert Price. He is professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute, and he teaches philosophy and religion at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary. Price is the founder and editor of The Journal of Higher Criticism. He is a Fellow of both The Jesus Seminar and The Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion, and he is also a Research Fellow for the Center for Inquiry Institute. Price is a prolific author – his work can be found at this link - and he also hosts two podcasts, The Bible Geek and The Human Bible. When I heard that Dr. Price would be in my home town of Portland, Oregon on Thursday, April 10 to deliver a speech titled, The Christ Myth, well, I just had to see if I could catch up to him and ask a few questions.

MP3 File
(51 minutes, 31 seconds, 24.73 MB)

Listen to my podcast with Dr. Richard Carrier here | Listen to Carrier eviscerate the book of Acts here

Philosopher Argues Against Christianity’s Double Standard

March 11, 2014
By
Philosopher Matt McCormick

Philosopher Matt McCormick

Drawing Ire From a Religious Crowd, Matt McCormick Says Case Against Jesus’ Resurrection is ‘Overdetermined’

Philosopher Matt McCormick created controversy in the small town of Manteca, California recently by delivering a speech against belief in the resurrection of Jesus. Approximately 300 religious people gathered in front of the library throughout the talk, hosted by the Stanislaus Humanists on January 15. They prayed, swayed and spoke in tongues, encircling the building at one point to shout out the Devil. McCormick joins the podcast to discuss his Manteca experience and his 2012 book, Atheism and the Case Against Christ. McCormick is a professor of philosophy at California State University–Sacramento. He argues that believing in the resurrection on historical grounds is a double standard, since believers reject analogous supernatural claims. McCormick compares the evidence for the resurrection in the Christian tradition to evidence presented during the Salem witch trials. The results are surprising and fascinating.

MP3 File
(53 minutes, 45 seconds, 25.81 MB)

Check out Matt McCormick’s blog Proving the Negative • See McCormick’s talk in Manteca here

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