Everyone's Agnostic Podcast
Cass & Bob interview people you don't know about a subject no one wants to talk about--God. What's not to like?
Episode 112 Jane Doe

Cass and Bob converse with guest Jane Doe. Obviously she’s going incognito. She’s a pastor’s kid and because she’s divorced with two children and pursuing further higher education, she lives with her parents, who don’t know that she’s left the faith. She was an editor and writer for Lifeway Publishing, the mothership of Christian books. She edited Henry Blackaby, Beth Moore, and ghost-wrote for James Dobson. This is a great talk. We discuss the hard work of reconstructing one’s life after the old foundation of theism disintegrates, and talk candidly about sexuality and the patriarchal claims over a woman’s autonomy.  Jane compares leaving Christianity to leaving an abusive boyfriend, including the temptation to go back to him. 

We taped this episode on August 8th, 2016. If you’re liking our show, please subscribe to it, give it 5 stars, and/or leave a review on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Also, you can support us monetarily on a per episode basis through our Patreon page. That’s www.patreon.com/eapodcast. Or leave a donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com.

Credits:
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson
The segue music is by Korean Pop group Astro

Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.

Interesting article on CONSENT

 

 

 

 

Direct download: Ep112_Jane_Doe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:42pm CDT
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Episode 111 Rod & Trish Thompson

Bob and Cass interview Rodney and Trish Thompson—a religiously mixed couple. He’s atheist, she’s Catholic and we discuss how they make it work.  In this age when so many fearful people run to their polemic corners, demonize those that are different, and are unable to compromise, listen or learn from their opposites, Rod and Trish Thompson model a real-life example of how it can work and work well. To borrow from 1 Peter 4:8, “Love covers a multitude of faults.” In other words, when we love someone, we’re much more prone to overlook their faults, cut them some slack, and give them the benefit of the doubt. In this context, we’re less likely to take things personal, be easily offended, or retaliate. Love is that cache or freecell that absorbs the human difference instead of keeping it in play, further escalating the blow for blow mania. Love also helps us respect the other person’s right to think differently. It may even help us realize that that person’s different perspective does not necessarily have to be a threat to our perspective, unless it reveals weakness in it and can then serve as a catalyst to amend and strengthen our own. Staying in the room with difference has a way of maturing us and deflating the insecure ego that desperately needs to be right. The Thompson’s give us a window into how this type of harmony might be realized in religiously mixed marriages.

We taped this episode on July 31st, 2016. If you’re liking our show, please subscribe to it, give it 5 stars, and/or leave a review on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Also, you can support us monetarily on a per episode basis through our Patreon page. That’s www.patreon.com/eapodcast. Or leave a donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com.

Credits:
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson

Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.

Rod’s blogsite “Devotion to Reason”

YouTubes featuring Rod & Trish Thompson

Obama funny skit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7QwOFgpIFU

Electric farmer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdjy4HcGhmM

out take https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RaVahpYibI

marriage advice for morons https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4wki5jSeec

Announcements:

Dr. Marlene Winell was our guest back on episode 35. She’s a counselor for those recovering from religious trauma. It’s our most poplular episode to date. She called and asked me to plug a retreat she’s got coming up September 9-12th in Berkeley, California. More info is available on her website, journeyfree.org, I’ll put a link in the show notes. A Journey Free Retreat weekend is a chance to come together in a small group with the shared goal of taking steps to recover from harmful religion.  Led by Dr. Winell, it provides a safe place to process experiences with the support of others who understand. The 3 day program includes presentations, discussions, and guided activities to facilitate both intellectual insight and emotional growth, providing a leap forward in one’s personal development.  Getting through the fear, grief, anger and stress isn’t easy but you don’t have to do it alone. The cost of the retreat is scaled according to your income, so it’s gonna cost between $500 to $700 and they’ll even work out a payment plan. She just wants you to come.  So check that out at  http://journeyfree.org/retreats/

I also want to mention that I was the featured guest on The Wayward Atheists podcast recently, episode 12. One of the hosts of that show is David E up in Canada. He was our guest on episode 83.  So check out episode 12 of the Wayward Atheists, available wherever you listen to podcasts. http://waywardatheists.com/category/podcast/

I also want to thank Carol Kuruvilla, Religion Associate Editor for the Huffington Post, for including the Everyone’s Agnostic podcast in her article, “17 Great Podcasts For The Spiritually Curious.” Most of the other podcasts listed there are either specific to a religion or inter-faith. I believe the only atheist podcast on the list are this one and Freethought Radio hosted by former guest of this show, Dan Barker (that’s episode 72), and his wife Annie Laurie Gaylor.  Huff Post article featuring Everyone’s Agnostic

I would also like to point to Sam Harris’ recent podcast episode 41 on his show called “Waking Up.” The episode is titled Faith in Reason and features guest Eric Weinstein. It’s been 11 years since Harris published his book, “The End of Faith,” and he has continued to explore the complexities of Faith and Reason and this particular episode really captures these tensions well.  Sam Harris’ Waking Up podcast

 

Direct download: ep_111_Rod__Trish_Thompson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:12pm CDT
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Episode 110 Aaron - Blind & closeted gay/atheist preacher's kid

Cass and Bob interview a young atheist, gay, blind man named Aaron. His father is a Wesleyan minister in North Carolina. His parents and two siblings, all Christian, do not know he’s gay or atheist. At 20 years of age and being blind, he lives at home and his only connection with people that truly know him and accept him is online.  He’s currently in college; he’s a computer programmer. At no point does Aaron exude any sense of self-pity. In fact, he’s quite chipper. He does, however, help us reap the benefit of better understanding his experience. If you’d like to reach out and connect with Aaron, I’m sure it would life his spirits. His email is pretty simple: aaron@atheist.com.  Also, if you’re wondering how I blind person discovers they’re gay—in a culture driven by looks—we talk about that. Bear with us through the first 3 minutes of the interview; we had some audio problems but it gets better after that.

We taped this episode on July 30th, 2016. If you’re liking our show, please subscribe to it, give it 5 stars, and/or leave a review on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Also, you can support us monetarily on a per episode basis through our Patreon page. That’s www.patreon.com/eapodcast. Or leave a donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com.

Credits:
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson

Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.

 

Direct download: ep110_Aaron.mp3
Category:atheism -- posted at: 5:35pm CDT
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Episode 109 Ben Hicks & the polemic divide

Cass and Bob have a conversation with former guest Benjamin Hicks. He was our first guest on episode 3, after Bob and Cass interviewed each other on episodes 1 and 2.  Ben is one of those guys that is just a sweetheart. He’s humble, he’s a beta, he’s got a big heart, he wants the best for everyone. He’s got a conservative brain and a brilliant brain. He’s a career computer guy nerd genius, and we love him. You can hear his deconverstion story there, and today we’re discussing estrangement, animosity, and othering that is so prevalent in today’s western zeitgeist. We saw it in the Brexit, we’re seeing it in the public appeal of Trump’s racist rhetoric. In what universe would someone so incompetent and with such lack of self-awareness rise to popularity like he has? And the tension between the Hillary supporters and the Sanders supporters within the democratic party. The estrangement and distrust between black and brown people with police officers. The widening chasm between the rich and the poor in class warfare. The amassing of guns because we’re so scared. The success of terrorists to truly infect the world with terror. It’s working! When people are out in public, in traffic, out shopping, we don’t feel the brotherhood of man, we don’t feel the warmth of community—unless we’ve quarantined ourselves in gated communities with only people of our own ethnicity.

These are subjects that scholars have tried to understand for millenia. Scholars that look at the brutality of the world and human depravity and instead of just accepting it as the norm they’ve asked questions like why do we act this way? What narratives are framing our paradigms that put as at such odds? I personally expected that once I got out of elementary school, this childish behavior would finally stop. It didn’t. So I thought, well, after high school, that’s when people will be mature enough not to act this way. Nope. College? The workforce? Adulthood? Nope. Maturity has not happened to us yet. And today, we discuss the works of two scholars who’ve come up with some theories, supported by research, that prescribe some insights. This talk is far from a comprehensive view of their work, so I want to prescribe the work of two scholars for those that are truly interested in some possible solutions to our current social discord:

One is Jonathan Haidt. He’s a social psychologist and Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University's Stern School of Business. His academic specialization is the psychology of morality and the moral emotions. Haidt is the author of two books: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (2006) and The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (2012), which became a New York Times bestseller. He was named one of the "top global thinkers" by Foreign Policy magazine, and one of the "top world thinkers" by Prospect magazine. 

The second is Ernest Becker was a cultural anthropology who earned his PhD from Syracuse University and became a professor at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. In 1973 he published The Denial of Death for which he earned a Pulitzer Prize. A year later he died of cancer at age 49.  Also, the book, The Worm at the Core, by doctors Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski, is about the research done to support Becker’s theories.

 

We taped this episode on July 29th, 2016. If you’re liking our show, please subscribe to it, give it 5 stars, and/or leave a review on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Also, you can support us monetarily on a per episode basis through our Patreon page. That’s www.patreon.com/eapodcast. Or leave a donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com.

Credits:
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson

 

Ben’s talk at Unitarian Universalist Church in Murfreesboro

The full text of Ernest Becker’s “The Denial of Death” including the intro by Sam Keen which Cass reads on this episode

Episode 52 of Everyone’s Agnostic podcast featuring Ernest Becker’s book and a lecture by Sheldon Solomon

The Ernest Becker Foundation

Jonathan Haidt’s Ted Talk titled “The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives.”

Haidt’s 6 moral foundations

Newt Gingrich changed it to a 3 day work week so that politicians spent much less time together. 

Imposter syndrome and the Dunning Kruger effect

NY Times article by Frank Bruni, “How Facebook Warps Our World.”

“But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past” by Chuck Klosterman

THE BIG SORT, BY BILL BISHOP with Robert G. Cushing

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Adam Ruins Everything - Why the Electoral College Ruins Democracy

Adam describes how political parties are able to predetermine election winners through a process called gerrymandering.

Haidt at the Museum of Sex: How disgust shapes our morality. 

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/12/22/why-polarization-matters/

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/02/17/the-seven-habits-of-highly-depolarizing-people/

 

Direct download: Ep_109_Ben_Hicks.mp3
Category:politics -- posted at: 1:05pm CDT
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Episode 108 Marie LePage

Cass and Bob interview Marie LePage.

Early in the interview, Marie confesses that as she was graduating from high school, she seriously doubted her own intellect, so between that and her obsession with kingdom things, she decided against college and instead entered the mission field with YWAM. She also admitted that just 2 years ago she wouldn’t have had the confidence to come on a podcast like this, but the Marie we witness here today is really bright, really courageous, and is all out fucks for the cultural standards that oppressed as a woman for the first 30 years of her life—and she expressly says so in this episode. She drops more f-bombs than any guest in our history, even more than me. 

What this episode brings up for me is the power and maturation that BEGINS when one leaves an oppressive Christianity. There are Christianities that postpone one’s maturation. This has largely to do with the absence of personal responsibility, the surrendering of autonomy and decision making and problem solving to God. I get the sense that in the last 6 years, since I resolved there were no gods, that it’s just us here, and I joined the human race and reality, that for the first time in my life, at age 50, the wheels and gears of the natural maturation process, the wisdom that comes from truly being a student of life, that were suspended by Christianity, have begun turning again and I’m becoming something and emerging as a truly free, self-determining agent and a true steward of my life. It’s really exciting to see myself emerging and get to know myself and to garner this power to embrace my identity, which is intentionally surrendered in Christianity. “You are not your own, you’ve been bought with a price.” “your body belongs to god” “your mind belongs to god” Coming out from under voluntary serfdom and into free agency has been one of the biggest positives of deconverting. No, I do not think I’m god, no, this is not pride…this is just getting honest with reality and shedding the fairy tale narrative that there ever was a god who was in charge of everything.  The “how now shall I live” goes from horrifying to a most exciting thing to explore.  What Marie calls, “re-owning my brain.”

We taped this episode on June 18th, 2016. If you’re liking our show, please subscribe to it, give it 5 stars, and/or leave a review on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Also, you can support us monetarily on a per episode basis through our Patreon page. That’s patreon.com/eapodcast. Or leave a donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com.

Credits:
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson

Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.

Video of Marie in YWAM skits

Episode 27 of Secular Sexuality featuring Marie as “April” Marie's story starts at the 30:20 mark

 

 

Direct download: Ep_108_Marie_LePage.mp3
Category:atheism -- posted at: 4:21pm CDT
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Episode 107 Dave Warnock

Cass and Bob interview Dave Warnock, an ex-Christian pastor whom Cass met through The Clergy Project and lives here in middle Tennessee. Week after week on this podcast we talk with people about the two-fold hardships of deconverting—personal and relational or internal and external. Everything changes in our own hearts and minds and that is a difficult process. And outwardly, people react differently to our newfound loss of faith. Some family members and friends, while not agreeing with our changed worldview, are able to love us and maintain healthy relationships even though they may be disappointed in or confused by our changes.  Others, however, may react by dissociating from us; or shunning us. This oftentimes is a defense mechanism- as they don’t know what to make of our loss of faith, and “pull back” as a way of coping. Some see this as a punitive or corrective measure and believe that by withholding relationship, the apostate will repent and return to God. They don’t seem to have the capacity in their spiritual framework to understand that we aren’t running from God or mad at God…we just don’t think he is there anymore; and thus we have nothing to repent of; or anyone to return to. Thus, all we can do in those cases is try to manage the pain of broken familial relationships and wait for it to get better as we get on with our new lives.

This is what Dave has done. Even though the loss of relationship with his adult daughters and his grandchildren is a daily pain, he has found a way to forge a new path that has given him meaning; and he continues to look for ways to re-write the story of his life. His work in Central America in secular missions is one of the things that has helped him do that; as well as daily connections with others who have left the faith and need support and encouragement.

Some people realize the importance of love and keep their priorities straight; others choose their allegiance to their religious guidelines over their loyalty to their unbelieving friend or family-member. I’ve said on the show before that I don’t like tough love or shaming techniques to influence people. Here we have a case where believer’s treatment of the deconverted loved ones due to their pastor’s advice bears a resemblance to cultic behavior:  

Five attributes of cults ring true here:
1. Cult members typically swear total allegiance to an all-powerful leader to whom they cede too much power.
2. In a cult, rational thought is discouraged or forbidden.
3. A cult weakens its follower psychologically such that they look the group to solve their problems.
4. The cult leader makes life decision of the members.
5. Cult members are isolated from the outside world and any reality testing it could provide.

Dave agreed to come on this podcast partly because he hopes by talking openly about this kind of brainwashing, people’s skepticism regarding charismatic church leaders will increase and fewer people will fall into this trap.

We taped this episode on June 11th, 2016. If you’re liking our show, please subscribe to it, give it 5 stars, and/or leave a review on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Also, you can support us monetarily on a per episode basis through our Patreon page. That’s patreon.com/eapodcast. Or leave a donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com.

Credits:
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson
Other bumper music is Sam Maher, New York Subway Hand Pan player

Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.

Dave’s blog called nevercertain

The Clergy Project

Dave’s appearance at Grace Point Church

 

 

 

Direct download: Ep_107_Dave_Warnock.mp3
Category:christianity -- posted at: 2:54pm CDT
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Episode 106 Wm Paul Young author of

Cass interviews New York Times’ best-selling author William Paul Young. Young is the author of “The Shack,” “Cross Roads,” and “Eve”-- a bold, unprecedented exploration of the Creation narrative, true to the original texts and centuries of scholarship—yet with breathtaking discoveries that challenge traditional beliefs. Afterward, Cass and former guest of the podcast, Tony Woodall (episode 29).

Paul’s life is filled with tragedy. Raised as a third culture kid in the jungles of New Guinea, his first identity was tribal, however that tribe had no respect or reverence for his personal or sexual autonomy as a boy.

We taped this episode on June 4th, 2016. If you’re liking our show, please subscribe to it, give it 5 stars, and/or leave a review on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Also, you can support us monetarily through our Patreon page. That’s patreon.com/eapodcast. 

Credits:
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson

Wm Paul Young’s Amazon site

The IMDB site of The Shack movie

Direct download: Ep_106_Paul_Young.mp3
Category:spirituality -- posted at: 11:21pm CDT
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Episode 105 Ex-Jehovah Witness

Today Bob and Cass interview the first ex-Jehovah Witness on the podcast who goes by the name Revan. He is not entirely out yet. He blogs as Atheists on Parade. Revan is a details guy. You’ll find that whether it’s the history of the Jehovah Witness religion or Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, Revan reads and learns everything he can find on the subjects. He even forced himself to learn things that he knew he wouldn’t appreciate at that point in his deconstruction. In fact, he’s says it was very painful for him to subject himself to ideas that were opposed to his current views, but he did it anyway. This is where courage plays a big role in our deconversions. At some point in all our deconstructions, we had to muster the courage to read or watch or listen to something we KNEW in advance was going to hurt. And by hurt we mean it was going to stab some things we had held dear and regarded as true for decades, often since our childhood. These are things we do because we know it’s the right thing to do in spite of the pain. This is what Revan describes as agonizing, and many of us did the same, to get to the place we are now, which is free to think for ourselves, and get out from the tyranny of group-think.

We taped this episode on June 12th, 2016. If you’re liking our show, please subscribe to it, give it 5 stars, and/or leave a review on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Also, you can support us monetarily through our Patreon page. That’s patreon.com/eapodcast. 

Credits:
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson

Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.

Revan’s Blog: Atheists on Parade  

Direct download: Ep_105_Revan.mp3
Category:atheism -- posted at: 6:34pm CDT
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Episode 104 Angela Pancella

Cass interviews Angela Pancella, a Roman Catholic woman who approached him about her engagement with atheist/theist conversations. To her credit, she attended a Free Inquiry meet up in Cincinnati just to better understand what it’s like to be an atheist in Christian hegemonic culture. Angela is a Thomist, which means her theology is largely informed by Thomas Aquinas. If you’re going to hold to a form of Catholicism or theism in general, Thomism is not a bad approach. His attempt to be honest in his theological formation in view of emerging science and philosophy was genuine. He believed that truth is to be accepted no matter where it is found. Thomists argue that faith and reason need not be mutually exclusive. Aquinas was a realist and endorsed much of Aristotle’s philosophies and neoplatonism which purport an ineffable, non-being One (with a capital “O”) as the source and unification of all things.

Angela is a community developer and organizer through Woven Oak Initiatives--a non-profit organization based in Norwood, Ohio that provides a home for small programs focused on education and mentorship. It also serves as a connector in the community, providing opportunities for dialogue, service and relationship-building. Angela has two books published on Amazon. She is also a U2 enthusiast and is generally interested in finding liturgy in secular pop culture.  Bob was out of town for this taping, but he returns at the end for some commentary. 

We taped this episode on May 28th, 2016. If you’re liking our show, please subscribe to it, give it 5 stars, and/or leave a review on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Also, you can support us monetarily through our Patreon page. That’s patreon.com/eapodcast. 

Credits:
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson

Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.

Email Angela your thoughts on U2 at apancella@gmail.com

Articles Angela has written for the fan website @U2

http://www.wovenoak.org/

The U2 Conference and it’s founder, Dr. Scott Calhoun

Starfire Community: An Org Angela Supports

Direct download: Ep_104_Angela_Pancella.mp3
Category:catholicism -- posted at: 2:38am CDT
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Episode 103 Jen & Sabrina

Cass and Bob interview a lesbian couple who are documentarians: Jen Sheridan & Sabrina Torres of Nashville. Sabrina is a former pastor’s wife; Jen is Canadian and raised in the United Church of Canada in a much more progressive brand of Christianity than Sabrina’s American Evangelicalism. They met because, between them, they have 4 autistic children and were both active in an organization for parents of autistic children. Jen is active in lobbying Tennessee legislators for LGBT rights and is making a documentary called “Love, Hate, Church and State.”

We taped this episode on May 23rd, 2016. If you’re liking our show, please subscribe to it, give it 5 stars, and/or leave a review on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Also, you can support us monetarily through our Patreon page. That’s patreon.com/eapodcast. 

Credits:
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson

Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.

“Love, Hate, Church and State” documentary trailer

http://www.dosomethingfilms.com/

Documentary crowdfuning site

Write up in the Tennessean about Jen, Sabrina, and the documentary

Love Hate Church & State Facebook site

Direct download: Ep103_Jen__Sabrina.mp3
Category:exchristian -- posted at: 7:17pm CDT
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