Everyone's Agnostic Podcast (general)
Cass & Bob interview people you don't know about a subject no one wants to talk about--losing faith in the supernatural.
Episode 115 Chris Johnson

We have the good fortune of talking with the writer and director of a new documentary called “A Better Life: An Exploration of Joy and Meaning in a World Without God,” Chris Johnson.  You may have seen a screening of it at the Reason Reason Rally. Chris Johnson is a New York-based photographer and filmmaker. He received his undergraduate degree in film production (along with a minor in religious studies) from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. His photography has been seen in various outlets, including The New York Times. He is the author of the coffee table photography book, “A Better Life: 100 Atheists Speak Out on Joy & Meaning in a World without God” that later was made into this documentary. Chris has traveled the world with A Better Life, and continues to do so, speaking and screening the film in over 60 cities on four continents.

For the book, Johnson interviewed many prominent atheist figures such as Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Dan Dennett, Derren Brown, Pat Churchland, Julia Sweeney, David Silverman, Penn & Teller, to name a few, plus many every-day people. He has given talks on atheism and his work at conferences, universities, non-profit organizations, and community groups. In addition, he has also been a guest on numerous podcasts, radio and TV shows around the globe.

Chris is the recipient of the Kodak Award for Excellence in Filmmaking as well as the B.F. Lorenzetti Scholarship for Excellence in Filmmaking. Additionally, Chris sits on the Secular Board of Advisors, as well as the board of Openly Secular. And he’s 8 episodes into his own podcast, A Better Life, and it’s really good. Chris is truly a professional.

For more information on Chris’s work and how you can purchase or rent your own copy of the documentary , visit: www.theatheistbook.com

We taped these conversations on August 27th, 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 Sam Maher recorded on a handpan in the NY subway.

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

You can find more information on the book/film/podcast/tour at: www.theatheistbook.com

You can support the tour/podcast here: https://www.patreon.com/theatheistbook

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEJXD6r9d78

Who's in the film?

The film version of A Better Life features a selection of those from the book — atheists from around the world from many different backgrounds and professions. They include best-selling authors, award winning artists and scientists, and many well-known public personalities and figures including:

  • A.C. Grayling, Philosopher, author and Master of the New College of the Humanities.
  • Adam Pascal, Musician/Actor, created the role of "Roger" in the musical RENT.
  • AJ Johnson, Vice president and co-founder, Be Secular.
  • Alex Honnold, Rock climber, featured on 60 Minutes & the cover of National Geographic Magazine.
  • Andrew Copson, Chief Executive, British Humanist Association.
  • Cara Santa Maria, Co-host and Producer, TakePart Live on Pivot TV.
  • Dan Barker, Co-president, Freedom From Religion Foundation.
  • Daniel Dennett, Philosopher, author, and cognitive scientist, Tufts University.
  • Donald C. Johanson, Paleoanthropologist, Arizona State University. Discovered the fossil of the hominid australopithecine known as "Lucy."
  • Helena Guzik, Online Publications Assistant, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Julia Sweeney, Actress, comedian & author.
  • Matt Dillahunty, Speaker/co-cost; The Atheist Experience.
  • Nahla Mahmoud, Environmentalist/Human Rights Activist.
  • Patricia S. Churchland, Neurophilosopher, University of California San Diego.
  • Robert Llewellyn, Writer, TV presenter, speaker, actor (Red Dwarf), electric vehicle evangelist.
  • Sean Carroll, Theoretical Physicist, California Institute of Technology.
  • Tracie Harris, Speaker/co-cost; The Atheist Experience.

 

Direct download: Ep_115_Chris_Johnson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:52pm CDT
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Episode 114 Alex Starr

Cass and Bob interview Alex Starr whose faith journey weaved in and out, back in and back out of Greek Orthodox Christianity. He read Dawkin’s “God Delusion” and followed it up with Lee Strobel, the Christian apologist. Alex is skilled talker; he’s a salesman for a living, he’s currently in law school, and he’s a songwriter. So as a first on this podcast, we feature him performing one of his songs live in the studio at the end of the interview. His story is compelling. We’re excited to bring it to you.

We taped these conversations on August 21st, 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 Sam Maher recorded on a handpan in the NY subway.

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

 

Direct download: Ep_114_Alex_Starr.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:08pm CDT
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Episode 113 Double Feature: Yert & Ashley

Today, Cass and Bob present a double feature. We converse with 2 separate guests: one who appears under a pseudonym, we call him Yert, the second using her real name, Ashley Hall.  They both live locally here in the Nashville area and share their story of leaving their Christian faith.

Yert is a 37 year old man was raised Christian. Ten years ago, he was in a tragic boating accident on Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee in which he suffered severe head trauma and was in a coma for 32 days. When he awoke, he recognized his mother’s face, he remembered the English language, but he had to learn how to walk and talk again. He also had to learn his religion again and this time, it didn’t make any sense. With this second chance on life, he viewed things more skeptically and eventually renounced his faith.

Our second guest, Ashley, has a Masters in social work and councils with preteens. She herself was diagnosed with autism at age 12. She testifies that her autism contributed to her need for things to make sense which at the time included Christianity, but as she matured she found her childhood faith to be counterfactual. She’s grateful that her faith contributed to her desire to help others. Now she continues to do so without it. 

We taped these conversations on August 6th, and August 13th, 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 Sam Maher recorded on a handpan in the NY subway.

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

Mr. Deity “Bourne Again Identity” sketch

Do people with Autism lack empathy?

 

Direct download: Ep_113_Yert__Ashley.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:38pm CDT
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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 84 Nick Franklin

Cass and Bob interview Nick Franklin, an atheist firefighter from Franklin Tennessee. He’s our first first responder, a spontaneous loner, he’s into perler beads and his cat. It’s a fun conversation with whiplash turns and corners. Give it a listen!

We taped this talk on January 30th, 2016. Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn and most podcast platforms.  If you’re feeling grateful for our podcast, Patreon.com is like a per episode tip jar for our work.

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 on this episode is “The Less I Know the Better” by Tame Impala. 

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

Nick’s Bead Art: jnjfranklin.deviantart.com

Direct download: ep_84_Nick_Franklin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:57am CDT
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Episode 69 Lex Pelger

Cass Midgley and Dr. Bob Pondillo talk with Lex Pelger. This is a one of a kind conversation a young genius. Lex grew up in Amish country Pennsylvania. As a Christian missionary, he built houses in Haiti and his personal pilgrimage took him through Nepal and traveled all across North America. He majored in biochemistry and molecular biology at Boston University. He spent a year hitchhiking around the States. He advocates for medical use of cannabis and hallucinogenic. 

We taped this talk on Oct 17th , 2015. Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn and most podcast platforms.  If you’re feeling grateful for our podcast, Patreon.com is like a per episode tip jar for our work.

Credits:

"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU

Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson

All other music is by Cass Midgley

 

Direct download: ep69_lex_pelger.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11pm CDT
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Episode 54 Jennifer Crumpton - Femmevangelical

A native of Birmingham, AL, Jennifer graduated from Samford University in 1996 with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. For 13 years, her career progressed as an advertising executive developing campaigns for major global brands such as Citigroup, MasterCard and Chase. This work took her from Atlanta to New York City, where she also spent time working in theater, independent film, commercials and playwriting. Intrigued by the power of story to increase human empathy, and the dynamic effect of popular culture and personal narrative on political persuasion, faith practices and ideological identity, Jennifer left her business career to attend Union Theological Seminary in New York City. At Union, she studied inter-religious dialogue, Christian ethics and feminist theology, and immersed in faith-based social justice initiatives. She graduated in 2011 with a Master of Divinity.

Jennifer has since applied her mix of skills and interests in non-profit executive positions at the nation’s largest inter-religious media company, Odyssey Networks, and the inter-faith dialogue and advocacy organization Intersections International. She is also Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at the Int’l Center for Religion and Diplomacy in Washington DC where she serves as liaison to the United Nations.

She writes regularly for Patheos and Huffington Post as Femmevangelical: The Modern Girl’s Guide to the Good News, and hosts a monthly radio show segment about women, faith and politics on national Fairness Radio.

She speaks charitably of a term Jesus used most commonly translated as the ‘kingdom of god” but she calls it “the realm of God” perhaps because, like so many biblical terms, the old vernacular carries too much baggage. I imagine “kingdom” sounds too much like dominionism, and she also reclaims the word repentance. To Jennifer, it’s simply a changing of the mind, a newly informed world view that is often a complete 180 from previous assumptions. It represents being teachable, staying in the room with difference, and actually listening and learning new perspectives. 

Jennifer is a Christian reforming from within. Something I was not able to do. I have a special appreciation for those who are helping the church regain relevance and Jennifer is one of those. She holds on to a lot of scriptures, but especially the radical Jesus. Unfortunately I didn’t get to the more dogmatic questions as to where she stands on some doctrinal issues

This conversation was taped on June 27th, the day of after the SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality. Bob was out of town at the time so I invited my friend Chrissy Miller to co-host with me.

Credits:

"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU

Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson

All other music written and performed by Cass Midgley

 

 

Direct download: Ep_54_Jennifer_Crumpton.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:50pm CDT
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Episode 41 - Geoff Little, Beer & Hymns

Guest: Geoff Little.  Like all interviews, this is a snapshot in time of a personal journey.  Geoff is the son of the head of the Christian Broadcasting Network, second only to Pat Robertson himself.  Geoff is in that rock-and-a-hard-place space of identifying as Christian but embarrassed by it every day.  But, since we could easily make a case that Jesus would be embarrassed by today’s Christianity, it begs the question, is Geoff more or less of a Christian?  This is where SO many Americans are today—wanting to hang onto Jesus but disgusted by what poses as Christianity today.  You can hear the tension in his words, of not wanting to throw Christianity under the bus while being brutally honest with himself about what he sees. 

 Geoff is the founder of the Beer and Hymns movement in Nashville.  In fact, there’s one coming up Thursday, April 30th, 7:30pm at Mercy Lounge in Nashville.  $5 in advance/$8 at the door, and I think that includes a ticket for one beer.  Geoff experiments with stand-up comedy and story-telling.  You can YouTube him and get a feel for his sensibilities.  He’s one of my best friends in middle Tennessee.  I think you’re gonna like him.  We taped this show on April 5th, 2015 in my backyard.  Geoff provided the beer.  

Bob & I will be at ReAsonCon 2015 in Hickory NC April 25th.  Hope to see you there. Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, TuneIn and most podcast platforms.  If you’re feeling grateful for our podcast, Patreon.com is like a tip jar for our work. That’s p a t r e o n dot com slash eapodcast.  My thanks to Bob and Geoff for making this conversation possible. 

 http://www.beerhymns.com/

Bart Ehrman & James White Debate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P35zWvmkHBo

Credits:

"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU

Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson

“It is Well” accapella by Sam Robson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG525x2mUTU

“It is Well” solo piano John Pahlow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVQgN2u0Iac

All other music by Cass Midgley

 

 

Direct download: Episode_41_Geoff_Little_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:08pm CDT
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Episode 39 - Benjamin L. Corey

Christian bridge-builder, Benjamin L. Corey blogs as Formerly Fundie on Patheos.  He graduated cum laude from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in his home state of Maine with two Masters degrees in theology and missiology and is a current doctoral student at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of “Undiluted: Rediscovering The Radical Message of Jesus.”  He is one of those, like so many that we have on this show, that have followed (or taken) Jesus in the opposite direction of today’s hijacked Christianity, to what he calls non-violent enemy love. From the highly individualized Western Christian culture to Jesus’ socially collective community-driven message.  Ben is highly active in helping out the least of these and making the world a better place.  I think, like so many progressive Christians, he’s one step away from humanism, but by his own admission, couldn’t be an atheist even if he wanted to. 

Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and most podcast platforms.  If you’re feeling grateful for our podcast, Patreon.com is like a tip jar for our work. That’s p a t r e o n dot com slash eapodcast. 

This episode was taped on March 23rd, 2015. 

Credits:

"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" introduction by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU

"Never Know" by Jack Johnson

Guitar bumper by Cass Midgley

http://benjaminlcorey.com/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/

 

 

Direct download: Episode_39_-_Benjamin_L_Corey_Christian_Missionary.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:50am CDT
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