Everyone's Agnostic Podcast
Cass & Bob interview people you don't know about a subject no one wants to talk about--losing faith in the supernatural.

Cass and Bob converse with Dustin Lawson. Dustin spent a year traveling all over North America, Europe, and the Middle East as the assistant to Christian apologist, Josh McDowell. Dustin took McDowell's advice and rigorously scrutinized all the arguments he was espousing, only to find holes that McDowell couldn't defend. After losing his faith and completing a bachelor's in religion and a masters in global politics, he tried to enter the military, but because he a brief bout with cancer at age 20 they turned him down 13 times over five years before letting him in. He is now a public affairs officer in the National Guard. During basic training Dustin won the Iron Man award for having the highest physical fitness score in his company of 200+ soldiers. He's an impressive dude, for sure.

We taped this conversation on August 27th, 2017. We interview people you don’t know, about a subject no one wants to talk about. We hope to encourage people in the process of deconstructing their faith and help curb the loneliness that accompanies it. We think the world is a better place when more people live by sight, not by faith. Please subscribe to our podcast, and leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. Our show is available on most podcast platforms.  Also, you can support us monetarily in two easy ways: you can pledge one dollar per episode or more through Patreon; that’s www.patreon.com/eapodcast, or leave a lump-sum donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com. The smallest contribution is greatly appreciated.

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 Sam Maher

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

 

Direct download: Ep_170_Dustin_Lawson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:27pm CDT
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Cass and Bob converse with Tony Hupp. Tony is the father of Josh Hupp, our guest on episode 158. It might be good to listen to that episode first, if you haven't already. This talk gets very emotional. Tony was in the Air Force for 24 years. He has two sons whom he loves very much and Josh was brainwashed by a cult in Tulsa, Oklahoma for several years that eventually made him forsake his family, place a restraining order on his dad, Tony, and, and the cult leaders took over as parents and overseers of the financial, romantic, and all aspects of their parishioners' lives. Tony tells the story of his attempts to rescue his son and the eventually homecoming.

We taped this conversation on August 26th, 2017. We interview people you don’t know, about a subject no one wants to talk about. We hope to encourage people in the process of deconstructing their faith and help curb the loneliness that accompanies it. We think the world is a better place when more people live by sight, not by faith. Please subscribe to our podcast, and leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. Our show is available on most podcast platforms.  Also, you can support us monetarily in two easy ways: you can pledge one dollar per episode or more through Patreon; that’s www.patreon.com/eapodcast, or leave a lump-sum donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com. The smallest contribution is greatly appreciated.

if you are a listener of this podcast, and would like to be added to the Private Support Group on Facebook, friend me on FB, private message me that you'd like to be added, and give me a brief description of your relationship to the show. I do screen applicants briefly to protect the confidentiality of the group.   

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 Paul Thorn's "You Might Be Wrong."

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

Tony Hupp's Podcast, Unfiltered and Unfettered

Paul Thorn "You Might Be Wrong"

Fred Armison's character, Nicholas Fehn, on SNL's Weekend Update

Direct download: Ep_169_Tony_Hupp.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:36pm CDT
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Cass Midgley converses with Martin Hughes, a pseudonym he blogs under to differentiate his blogging from his role as a college professor. Martin is the writer of the Barrierbreaker blog on the Patheos network. He holds a PhD in Modern American Literature and an MA (with distinction) in English. As someone who grew up in the Quiverfull movement, he was the oldest of seven children and never saw the inside of a classroom until his first year of college, when he decided to become an apologist in the mold of CS Lewis. In the middle of earning his PhD he was finally convinced to leave Christianity, and he has been an outspoken advocate for secular humanism ever since.

When we have in our minds and imaginations how things should go, we drain the life out of what could otherwise be a beautiful chaos. Saying yes to what is means denying that we have any control over our circumstances or other people and even ourselves really. It's only with the benefit of hindsight that we see our own mistakes, isn't it? In real time, we're all just doing what think is best at the time, right? or do we really have time in real time to think? are we just doing and being what comes up in that second? Isn't everybody just showing up? We don't have free will. We don't have choices. Not in real time. See, when we stop thinking life is good or fair or supposed to be a certain way and just let everyone succeed or fail in real time and not judge how they could've done that better...when we release the need and desire to control or shape how this real life shit plays out...this is not scripted...cameras aren't rolling...we don't get a second or third take to make it right...we're actually living. And living is both ugly and beautiful at any given second. When we say yes to what is, we cease judging. When see ourselves and our lives and others through the lens of honesty and reality--not wishful thinking or judgment--we can have compassion. And compassion breeds patience. It creates real space for others and ourselves to just show up and be. There is no extant meaning to life but there is TONS of meaning in the live, spontaneous, improvisational drama of different human beings showing up and interjecting themselves into the movie that is our lives...our reality...playing out in real time. So come on let it go. Just let it be
Why don't you be you. And I'll be me.

We taped this conversation with Martin Hughes on August 20th, 2017. We interview people you don’t know, about a subject no one wants to talk about. We hope to encourage people in the process of deconstructing their faith and help curb the loneliness that accompanies it. We think the world is a better place when more people live by sight, not by faith. Please subscribe to our podcast, and leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. Our show is available on most podcast platforms.  Also, you can support us monetarily in two easy ways: you can pledge one dollar per episode or more through Patreon; that’s www.patreon.com/eapodcast, or leave a lump-sum donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com. The smallest contribution is greatly appreciated.

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 on this episode is Let It Go by James Bay

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

Martin's Blog: Barrier Breaker

Martin's Twitter: @ernestlyseeking

 

Direct download: Ep_168_Martin_Hughes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:20am CDT
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Cass Midgley converses with Kamaria Powell. Kamaria G. Powell was one of those individuals who never felt like one religion was right for her, so she filled her shopping cart of faith with whatever she liked from variety of religions and cultures. She expanded her own definition of what it means to be spiritual. Kamaria was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology at UMass Dartmouth and went on to receive her master’s degree in education at UMass Boston.

In her new book, "What The F#@k Is Enlightenment?" Kamaria challenges readers to take their spiritual identity into their own hands. By candidly illustrating her own life experiences, flaws and all, she demonstrates how a chaotic, mundane life can be transformed into a more purposeful and dynamic one through the process of self-discovery and finding your own unique spirituality. Do you have to meditate? No. Do you have to pray? No. Rather than following a prescribed set of rules, she encourages individuals to find what works for them, no matter how unorthodox it may seem.  

Unfortunately, Bob had to leave town suddenly the day we recorded this due for family bereavement. However, he listened to the interview and he and I discuss it and other things at the end.

 

We as a species are pussies. We're cowards, we're scaredycats. That's not a bad thing. It's just how we are, and the things we are afraid are a big deal and worthy of fear, so no condemnation here. We find ourselves here on this planet, entrusted to these parents, surrounded by these friends, co-students, co-workers, etc. We didn't ask for any this. We had no control over any of it. We have little control over anything, including ourselves and our circumstances. We're powerful creatures with no where to exert our power--the world, the weather, and whatnot DOES NOT CARE about us, it is unmoved by our most severe protests or tantrums. Hell, our best friends can't or won't change to please us or suit our desires, why would Father Time? We're all going to die. We humans are unique because we’re the only creatures that know that we will someday die and that our death can occur at any time, in a way that we cannot control. We are animals — breathing pieces of defecating meat — no more significant than lizards or potatoes. Fuck! That's a horrible existence! Let's admit it--this life is a fucking disaster. And we're all in the same boat, no one got to choose their body, their life, their zip code. no one is better or more powerful than anyone else, except in ways that we've constructed to differentiate ourselves from others--competitions, castes systems, economies, identifiers like skin color, religion, gender, interests, hobbies, etc. We come right out of the womb with judgemental contact lenses on our eyes that teach us to say over and over again our entire lives, "This is not okay," "there has to be more than this," "I deserve better," "I matter, goddamnit!" and we do matter. But we would do well to figure out exactly how much we matter and align ourselves with that truth. And the truth is...not that much. We matter to the people we're sharing life with, but they're going to die around the same era we die, so we really don't matter that much in the big scheme of things. So how should we respond to the reality that life's a bitch and then you die? Can't we muster a little spite? a little orneryness? a little rebel that kicks life in the dick and says, "oh yeah, you want to ignore me? you want to make me miserable? well I have a different idea...how about I have fun anyway? How about I laugh at this whole circumstance and find something interesting within it and do that?

We have a giant imagination but we waste it fantasizing how the world should be, how our lover should be, how long this stop light should be, how smart the bank teller should be, how rare our steak should be, how fast the car in front of us should be going, how good this movie should be, how our children should behave, none of which we have any control over. Let's use our powerful imagination to figure out ways to say yes to what is

Yes-saying can be an arduous concept to ingest. I've said it virtually every week on this show for 3 years. That's over 150 times, and some of you have started to get it, hell, I'm still trying to get it. Some of you think it's nonsense, or it's only afforded to me because of all my privileges, being a white, straight, non-handicapped, handsome male in America. But please be slow to reject it based what you think you know of it. It mostly applies to the big picture perspective of life/reality. It acknowledges two things:
1) Life is hard
2) It only gets harder when you wish it were different, deny it, and/or say "no" to it.  No saying holds onto a belief that perfection exists. Or that flaws are bad. It places judgments of good or evil on that which is unresponsive to judgment.
Conversely, Yes-saying is wanting to operate from as many true assumptions as possible, and the least amount of untruths as possible. It is a difficult work--a life's work in fact--discovering how and when one’s life and values are shaped by lies and delusions. Yes-saying is the slow and steady removal of blind-spots (not knowing what you don’t know nor that you don’t know it). It is infused with the concept of art—which is above right or wrong proclamations. We don’t get to evaluate the Big Bang, or hold up an Olympic score card to the random absurdity of the life that is unfolding before us. It just is, and the only world I want to engage with is this one, the real one. I want to stop wishing it was something different than what it is. I want to join the human race and align with reality. I don't have to like it or agree with it, and in those cases I'll add a word to yes-saying. Yes AND.  For example, if I wake up with a headache or I have to go to a job that I don't like, or my friends aren't calling me as much as I want them to, or my car is a piece of shit...I don't give in to no-saying by stomping my feet, crossing my arms and crying like a two-year-old, "no" or "this is not okay." I start with Yes. I acknowledge that it is happening and that I'm powerless to wish it away. It's not budging. It cares nothing about how I feel about it. I'm powerless to change it, so I start with YES. And then I say "AND." Yes I have a headache AND I'm going to take a pain-killer. Yes, I hate my job, AND I'm going anyway AND I'll find ways to make it fun. Yes, I'm going to die someday, AND I'm not going to forfeit what little power I do have to make some needed changes to enhance my experience while I'm here. Yes-saying is pretty much the serenity prayer penned by Reinhold Niebuhr, just without God (and a little Nietzsche added in there) :

I'm going to exercise the serenity to say YES to the things I cannot change; I'm going to exercise courage to change the things I can;
and I'm going to have the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking this fucked up world as it is, not as I wish it was; trusting that that which doesn't kill me will make me stronger; that I may be reasonably happy in this life. Amen

Given the absolute unfairness of life and the fact that no God is looking out for any of us, a reasonably happy life is about the best anyone could hope for. So grow up, buckle up, life is hard and it only gets harder the more you deny it, reject it, or wish it was something other than what it is.

The conversation with Kamaria Powell on August 19th, 2017. We interview people you don’t know, about a subject no one wants to talk about. We hope to encourage people in the process of deconstructing their faith and help curb the loneliness that accompanies it. We think the world is a better place when more people live by sight, not by faith. Please subscribe to our podcast, and leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. Our show is available on most podcast platforms.  Also, you can support us monetarily in two easy ways: you can pledge one dollar per episode or more through Patreon; that’s www.patreon.com/eapodcast, or leave a lump-sum donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com. The smallest contribution is greatly appreciated.

if you are a listener of this podcast, and would like to be added to the Private Support Group on Facebook, friend me on FB, private message me that you'd like to be added, and give me a brief description of your relationship to the show. The group is confidential, so I do screen applicants briefly.  

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 on this episode is a rendition of Stevie Wonder's Higher Ground by Dave Weckl and Jay Oliver

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

Kamaria's book, "What the F#@k is Enlightement," at Amazon.

Malcolm Gladwell's "Revisionist History" podcast episode on "moral licensing."

The PachaMama Experience

Kamaria's Facebook page

Twitter: @WTFIsEnlighten

Email: wtfenlightenment@gmail.com


Direct download: Ep_167_Kamaria_Powell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT
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Cass Midgley and Dr. Bob Pondillo converse with Sean Ritter of Wichita, Kansas. He's kind of a good ole boy from a fly-over state but his wit and intellect took us by surprise.

Sean is a 40 something father of 3 from Kansas still married to his high school sweetheart. Sean works in middle management for a warehousing company and is a do-it yourselfer. His hobbies are auto mechanics, discussing ultimate concern issues, and enjoys watching independent and foreign movies. He grew up going to church in the conservative Evangelical Free denomination in the 80's and got his Awana Timothy Award along the way. By the time he made it through high school, he was done with church and never wanted to go back. After getting married and starting a family at 19, he returned to church attendance at several different evangelical churches. In 2010, about 10 years after returning to his childhood church things started to change. The long term pastor was fired, the sermons changed theologically and a more Calvinistic theology emerged. This prompted him to read a wide range of theological, historical, philosophical and political books. It was during this time a high level of doubt kicked in and he decided to leave the Evangelical world for a more traditional mainline church. After several years at the mainline church, more doubts came back and Sean is a Deist hovering on agnosticism most days. Sean feels that faith is just something he doesn't have and after years of trying to believe it was time to throw in the towel.

We taped the conversation on August 6th, 2017. We interview people you don’t know, about a subject no one wants to talk about. We hope to encourage people in the process of deconstructing their faith and help curb the loneliness that accompanies it. We think the world is a better place when more people live by sight, not by faith. Please subscribe to our podcast, and leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. Our show is available on most podcast platforms.  Also, you can support us monetarily in two easy ways: you can pledge one dollar per episode or more through Patreon; that’s www.patreon.com/eapodcast, or leave a lump-sum donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com. The smallest contribution is greatly appreciated.

if you are a former guest or a listener of this podcast, and would like to be added to the Private Support Group on Facebook, friend me on FB, message me as much, plus, if you will, give me a brief description of your relationship to the show. Please respect the confidentiality of the Group.

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 on this episode is "Say It Isn't So," by Hall & Oates. 

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

Sean's email: 3crazydogs@cox.net 

Twitter: @3crazydogs24

 


Direct download: Ep_166_Sean_Ritter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:40am CDT
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