Gordon Bonnet of the Skeptophilia blog asks if we can distinguish among quotations made in reference to the Irish during the Potato Famine, the Jews prior to World War II, or the Syrian refugees now.
Hemant Mehta of the Friendly Atheist blog fills us in on some things you should know about Catholic hospitals before you go to one…particularly if you’re a woman seeking reproductive care.
And the Skeptic Rogues from the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast discuss how the U.S. Dept. of Justice is finally starting to crack down on the unscrupulous and sometimes downright unethical practices of nutritional supplement manufacturers.
Finally, it might surprise you that one of this country’s most prominent and respected advocates for secularism is a reverend, unless of course you already know of the Reverend Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Lynn has spent a career making the case that freedom of religion requires freedom from government-sponsored religion. On a Point of Inquiry podcast,he and host Lindsay Beyerstein discuss the numerous ways the mixing of church and state have resulted in corruption and injustices with examples taken from his new book God and Government: Twenty-Five Years of Fighting for Equality, Secularism, and Freedom Of Conscience.
Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State
It’s birthday and anniversary week on the show. Skeptical Sunday celebrates three years on WRFI this month and our 150th show with this broadcast. We’re also celebrating the August 11 birthday of the great 19th-century freethinking orator Robert Green Ingersoll. I’ll talk to Jeff Ingersoll, Royal Bob’s seventh cousin four times removed who lives in Hammondsport, NY. He’s founder of Hammondsport Humanists who are hosting a picnic at the Ingersoll Birthplace Museum in Dresden today at 1 PM. In Hour Two we’re going to hear Susan Jacoby’s lecture from last years’ Ingersoll and the Reform Imperative Conference at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, NY entitled “Where are you Robert Ingersoll, Now That We Need You Again?” Freethought Radio is also celebrating: We’ll hear Dan Barker’s musical version of Ingersoll’s famous “Trinity” lyrics. In addition to all the Ingersollia, we’ll also hear from Ryan Jayne, FFRF’s law clerk and soon-to-be legal fellow, about many state/church victories accomplished by FFRF’s attorneys. Then Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker interview author, poet and filmmaker Jeremiah Camara about his new feature-length documentary “Contradiction: A Question of Faith” that examines the effect of religion on African-Americans. Also today we ask the question “How strong do you like your water?” Gordon Bonnet of Skeptophilia reports those clever homeopaths have discovered water diluted with water is good for.
For more on Sunday’s picnic at the RG Ingersoll Birthplace Museum in Dresden, see this link.
Susan Jacoby delivering her address “Where Are You, Robert Ingersoll, Now That We Need You Again? at the Ingersoll and the Reform Imperative Conference at CFI in Amherst, NY, August 2014.
On Freethought Radio: Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor discuss public vouchers to religious schools, and revelations of hundreds of priests defrocked for raping children. We’ll hear some of the music of nonbelieving composer Jerome Kern, then they talk with Valerie Tarico about her book Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light. Then, on Skeptoid, Brian Dunning compares and contrasts the severity and effects of the three most significant nuclear energy disasters, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. In hour two, we’ll have a look at the increasingly popular but utterly implausible alternative “medicine” known as homeopathy that’s based on the idea that like cures like in vanishingly small dilutions. First we’ll hear from a believer, homeopath Charlene Werner, she’ll explain how homeopathic medicine works. Then we’ll hear a talk by James Randi and excerpts on homeopathy from recent Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcasts.
We start our one year anniversary show as we do each week with Freethought Radio, the show produced by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. We’ll hear updates about FFRF complaints in Texas and Alabama, as well as the Cullman County “Prayer Caravan” saga, in which the governor takes sides against FFRF. Then Dan and Annie Laurie interview Susan Jacoby about her newly released book, The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought. Afterwards, we’ll hear Skeptic Rogues Steven Novella and Evan Bernstein interview climatologist Michael Mann. Are people who call themselves “climate change skeptics” really skeptics? The we’ll hear infectious disease MD Mark Crislip’s take on the latest research on the multibillion dollar swindle known as homeopathy. Finally, to celebrate one year of Skeptical Sunday, a reprise on the show of a very cogent statement of the values and viewpoint we stand for from Jeremy Beahan of the Reasonable Doubts podcast, his “atheist sermon.”