SkepSun #166 (11_29_2015)

On Freethought Radio, Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker talk with sociologist and author Ryan T. Cragun explains his new book: How To Defeat Religion in 10 Easy Steps.

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

SkepSun #165 (11_22_2015)

On Freethought Radio, Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker declare “We love Paris, and detest religious terrorism.” In the news, we’ll hear about Governor Kasich calling for an agency to spread “Judeo-Christian values” and Mormons are leaving the church over their gay-marriage stance. After hearing John Lennon’s “Imagine,” Annie Laurie and Dan talk with Fernando Alcántar, a Mexican immigrant who was converted by American missionaries, became a Christian leader, and then became a gay atheist activist. His new book is To The Cross and Back: An Immigrant’s Journey from Faith to Reason.

Speaking of immigration, Gordon Bonnet has a thing or two to say to those who’d close the U.S. borders to refugees fleeing for their lives from Syria. He’ll even quote Christian scripture in a column from the Skeptophilia blog from the past week entitled “I was a stranger and you took me in.”

Then, in the wake of Islamist-sponsored massacres in Beirut, Paris and Bamako, what does the future look like for muslims in Western Societies, what are the prospects for a global civilization with shared values and what is the way forward?  Is a conversation even possible? Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz show that it is. Juliette Kayyem, Lecturer in Public Policy, at the Harvard Kennedy School moderates a discussion at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics between Maajid Nawaz, a British muslim and former jailed Islamist, Chairman of Quilliam, the world’s first counter-extremism think tank and Sam Harris, well known “New Atheist” author and neuroscientist.  The discussion, which took place in September of this year, centers around their jointly authored book, Islam and the Future of Tolerance .

Here is a Seidel to the Andrew Seidel article I mention at the end of the show.

Islam & Future of Tolerance