Podcast Link. June 28, 2008 – Guest: Champion of the First Amendment: Jim McCollum
Another ode to the defeat of prayer in schools (not that I disagree on the subject) The episode featured audio segments that many long time listeners probably have heard before. If you’re new to the long history of the battle between religious believers, and those of us who cherish our secular institutions, then this is a reasonably good introduction to the subject.
The announcement concerning the Supreme court travesty of justice that most Americans aren’t even surprised by these days (I think they’ve gotten one case right in the last how many years?) That in Hein v. the Freedom From religion Foundation it was ruled that taxpayers do not have the right to challenge the constitutionality of expenditures by the executive branch of the government. This is a departure from historical precedent.
The audio from this video clip was played in response to the decision.
The only remaining remedy for us to end the office of faith based initiatives (another extra constitutional office, this one instituted by a purported conservative President. We’ve come a long way since Reagan and ending the education department, haven’t we?) is to lobby Congress to defund the office. One more activity that I’m not going to hold my breath over.
I regret to say that I had never heard of Kristin Lemsbefore this episode. Considering that I was raised in the buckle of the bible belt that is the Great Plains region, I guess that’s to be expected. Days of the Theocracy makes the episode worth listening to by itself.
Of course, this comes from a guy who can quote large sections of Alice’s Restaurant from memory, with great pleasure.
Elissa Wall’s story is a prime example of my oft voiced opinion that the other shoe is yet to drop when it comes to the State of Texas v. FLDS. She provides a very telling look into what the FLDS is really all about.
[Previous posts on the FLDS. The emotional reaction that I have to discussions of women’s roles within these ridiculous fundamentalist churches is almost beyond description. It always reminds me of a story idea that came to me one night. What would a society look like if women were permitted to kill any man, for any reason, from the time of birth. Maybe the average couch dwelling male would listen when the woman spoke, then. Don’t shoot the messenger, it’s just an idea]
Stolen Innocence looks like a good book (Video) I don’t think I’ll be able to read it.
Pagan pulpit rounds out the episode with a sermon on the christian trinity. Apparently the passage on the trinity does not appear in the ‘original’ I John 5:7, it was inserted by catholic priests in ages past (current translations do not include the passage) even if it was found in the Bible, how would you make sense of it?
So, it is declared that the Father is God, and the Son God and the Holy Ghost God, and that these three Gods make one God.
According to the celestial multiplication table, once one is three, and three times one is one, and according to heavenly subtraction if we take two from three, three are left. The addition is equally peculiar, if we add two to one we have but one. Each one is equal to himself and the other two. Nothing ever was, nothing ever can be more perfectly idiotic and absurd than the dogma of the Trinity.
Julia Sweeney has been mentioned and been a guest on Freethought Radio more times than any other person. I caught “God Said Ha!” on one of the movie channels a few months ago. I set the DVR to record the program based on mentions it received on Freethought.
I didn’t find it that funny (interesting, just not LOL funny) nor did I find Pat that interesting on SNL (truthfully, I haven’t watched SNL since Aykroyd and Belushi left the show. However, the asexual characters you meet inevitably being referred to as Pat proves that her characterizations have progressed to myth status) I had already written a blurb about the impending movie back in November; So when I saw that it was once again time bring up the subject of Letting go of God, because it was time to review the older Julia Sweeney interview, I balked.
I really didn’t want to trash something I hadn’t seen or heard, but I couldn’t recommend something if I hadn’t experienced it either. So, I bit the bullet and wandered over to Audible for a download of the show (brought to my attention by another podcast I listen to) and after fighting with the DRM restrictions for a few minutes (the subject of several rants, one of the reasons I don’t generally use download sites) I finally got the file running. I’m actually glad I took the time to listen to Letting go of God before writing this, because it is a very funny audio program. Heres a video snippet from TED talks:
Looking forward to the movie now.
Oh, and as far as this episode of Freethought goes, all of the interviews with Julia are entertaining (that’s why I was willing to risk $11 and change on a download I might not have been able to use) this one is no exception.
Confession. I had nearly given up on reviewing Freethought Radio, until I heard this episode. Michael Shermer’s book “Why Darwin Matters“ was a CATO event which I reference whenever I get into an argument with ID supporters (there’s also the Mind of the Market event) but really, I was just impressed that Dan and Laurie reached outside of their comfortable progressive group and found someone new to talk to.
“Science progresses funeral by funeral” (anonymous observation)
The subject of Expelled was a prominent discussion point in the interview. My thoughts on that worthless film are here. Micheal Shermer’s review is here.
The episode opened with discussion of the ARIS poll and Harris Polls that show a marked decline in religious belief and attendance. I personally like the interactive features at The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. No matter how you slice it, though, there’s no arguing that the US is becoming less concerned with religion.
Which probably explains why the Southern Baptists featured in Theocracy Alert sound so concerned.
I actually listened to this episode a year ago because Catherine Fahringer is from Texas and I wanted to hear the views of a fellow Texan. I was surprised to hear that there was a chapter of FFrF in Texas. They certainly don’t have a web presence.
Paraphrasing Susan Jacoby; It really doesn’t matter what the beliefs of the founding fathers were, what matters was what they put in the founding documents. There is no god in the Constitution; and the ‘creator’ referenced in the Declaration is nothing more than a nod to nature as the creator.
Those of us who have been wandering around in Libertarian circles for the lat 15 years are reasonably familiar with these facts.
Now, the story of Robert Green Ingersoll (the second half of the interview) is something you wouldn’t know about unless you have been looking into the history of disbelief. You certainly wouldn’t have stumbled across his name in school in modern day America, the devout have exorcised him from the history books.
The final segment gets into the part of the interview that I find most interesting. Why are you a non-believer? The varying stories of how and why a person comes to “lose faith in faith” just seem to hold my attention.
db officiates @ a wedding as a ordinated non-believer.
theocracy alert. CNN out foxes Fox with their candidates religious forum (solidad o’brien clips? john edwards) why doesn’t hillary just admit she lives in an open marriage, and bill can seek favors from whoever he wishes? Reelection, right.
Complaint form on ffrf
michelle goldburg kingdom coming salon.com insightful commentary on the rr goals and tactics. Frightening to think about.
marion the barbarian (Pat Robertson) some of his more idiotic statements.
bill sizemore investigative reporter studying pr & his shady business dealings. From dirty deals with african dictators; to commercially marketed health aids of dubious quality that he doesn’t even own, there are few sins pr isn’t guilty of. At least he’s never been caught with a prostitute. There is that to say for him (i cringe every time I forget & leave the tv on a station that airs 700 club at night. From humanist trek to antihuman pr; who said the markets were becoming more specialized?)
freethinker blues db
tlkng snks but I’m nuts
theocracy alert heartless ann coulter texas repubs declare america is a christian nation (demonstrably untrue) const gay marriage amend defeated in congress.
Podcast Link. May 31, 2008 – Guests: Bestselling author Prof. Daniel C. Dennett and Prof. Eric Barnes
eric barnes holman wisconsin cross the village accptd lowest bid for prop lyonsclub
theo alrt mccains pastor problems continue (parsley & hitler) leibermann & hagee now.
daniel c. Dennetts second appearance. (previous) adolescent questioning is good. Debate “is religion the greatist threat to rationality & science” (quote what follows 25:00) how far can we take religious freedom (flds) the spell that must be broekn is the spell gainst the study of religion.
I sense an undercurrent of disagreement between dennett & gaylor. Makes for interesting listening.
This episode kicks off with a brief history of the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
Theocracy Alert. Hagee, McCain & Hitler. California marriage decision, from the vantage of the Family Research Council. 1 in 8 science teachers teaching creationism on same level as evolution.
Pagan Pulpit. The Problem of Evil.
Sean Carroll is the guest, The Making of the Fittest is his book. A subject near and dear to my heart. The proof for evolution; which is also an invalidation of creationism. Dan refers to it as a genetic detective story. I think I might have to read this one.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? then why call him God? –Epicurus
Janeane Garofalo is the guest. Entertaining as usual. At a point in the second half of the show, Dan asks for and she grants him absolution. On a more serious note, her thoughts on fundamentalism struck a chord with me. I think she’s got it right. Right-brained need for control.
The first Guest is Arthur Thexton, who spoke on the Wisconsin death penalty referendum. (it appears to have had no effect, although it did pass. Narrowly)
Dan Barker performs In no Hurry to Die.
Pagan Pulpit deals with the same subject. (I’ve said this myself recently. Dead is dead, and murder is murder. Killing in cold blood, which is what execution is, is always murder)
John Scalise, the second guest, was on to discuss BSA violations of law; and his Michigan lawsuit over public school support of the Boy Scouts. A tax funded membership organization that discriminates on the basis of religion. Hard to understand how that is allowed to continue.
Podcast Link. May 17, 2008 – Guests: The Amazing James Randi & Dad Complainant in FFRF’s Newest Religion-in-School Court Challenge
Thecracy Alert. Child Evangelism Fellowship is partnering with a Wisconsin public school system, targeting children as young as 4; disguising their proselytizing as a party, and giving gifts at Christmas, using school facilities without compensating taxpayers.
McCain’s pastor problems; Mother Jones magazine skewers Rod Parsley. James Randi is the guest.
Theocracy Alert. Tinky Winky’s critic Jerry Falwell is dead; Criticism of the idiot’s own words follows. The Hitchens vs. Sharpton debate has a segment aired (as well as Hitchen’s rather pointed comments on Jerry Falwell) including this quote;
Not until gentle Jesus meek and mild is the concept of Hell introduced.
Thank you Mr. Hitchens for hitting on the point that I find most objectionable as well.
Dale McGowan (the guest) has written Parenting Beyond Belief a guide to how to raise children in this religion drenched society. I was impressed with his devotion to this subject. If my children weren’t well on their way towards adulthood, I would probably pick up a copy of the book.
Richard P. Sloan is the guest, and his book is Blind Faith. This was his second appearance on the show, with more disturbing trends in medicine.
“I never felt the slightest interest in the next world. I think it’s here, and I think that anything good that you’re going to do, you should do for other people here, and not do anything to make yourself have a happy time in the next world.” – Catherine Hepburn
Sonjia Johnson was excommunicated by the Mormon church for her support of the ERA. The Mormon church worked very hard behind the scenes to defeat the amendment. Sonjia Johnson is listed in Annie Laurie Gaylor’s Women Without Superstition. An entertaining interview and history lesson.
The episode wraps up with supportive phone messages.
Ellery Schempp, through his and his families efforts, brought the case Abington vs. Schempp before the Supreme court and ended prayer in government schools. His story really is an inspiraton for all of us out here facing similar (if not as egregious) violations of state/church separation.
The episode winds up with “Atheists are People Too” (parody of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood) and a discussion of the differences between growing up atheist and growing up religious (yes, Dan; sleeping in Sundays is something to be jealous about) and what effect that has on life as an adult.
Theocracy Alert features Jay Sekulow (fast talker. With all the baggage that entails) and Annie Laurie Gaylor on The O’Reilly Factor.
Rob Boston is the guest. Not only a writer, he represents a ‘competing’ separation of church and state group. His group has been part of several cases (two in Texas that he talked about, as well as the Dover case and the Prison Fellowship case) before the court concerning religion’s intrusion into government.
This is the first episode of Freethought Radio that was broadcast at The Mic 92.1. Thanks to whoever it was at “Madison’s Progressive Talk” that thought to put this show on the air.
Theocracy Alert (before they started calling it that) Concerns the VA establishment of a spiritual/faith assessment as part of it’s health care practices. Religious belief has nothing to do with faith, no matter what Christian Scientists say otherwise. FFrF is suing over this practice.
Yip Harburg’s son Ernie is the first guest. Somewhere Over the Rainbow is one of my favorite showtunes, written by Yip Harburg. It was the right way to start the archives (and the program) to start with a show featuring well-known American icons like the songs for The Wizard of Oz, written by an almost unknown composer who was also a freethinker.