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 Midgley interviews Brian Peck. Brian is a licensed clinical social worker in Boise, Idaho, who specializes in faith transitions and religious-based trauma. His practice, Room to Thrive PLLC grew out of a desire to reduce the suffering unique to faith transitions and to trauma experienced within a religious context.

We taped this conversation on June 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 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=w3v3S82Tux
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson
The segue music is on this episode was performed on a handpan by Sam Maher in the NY City Subway

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

https://www.roomtothrive.com/welcome/

 

 

 

 

Direct download: Ep_156_Brian_Peck.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:37am CST
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Cass Midgley features two guests: a return visit with author Jeff Bates on his new book, "Zombies R A Problem." And our second guest is the sister of our guest from episode 147, Josey, the eldest of 12 home-schooled kids, well this is Hannah, the next born who preceded Josey in leaving the house and leaving Christianity and she's quite a strong personality and gets very vulnerable in this talk. We don't use their last name but it almost could be the Duggers, except these two broke out. These are two 45 minute interviews and unfortunately both are without my co-host Dr. Bob because he was out town on summer vacation for both.  

We taped the conversation with Jeff on May 7th, 2017 and the talk with Hannah on June 3rd. 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 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 was performed by the Barry Orchestra 

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

Jeffery Bates' Amazon page

Video mentioned about of the Universe inside

 

Direct download: Ep_155_Jeff_Bates__Hannah.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:38pm CST
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Cass Midgley and Dr. Bob Pondillo interview Ginna. Ginna is a 32 year old software engineer living and working in New York City.  She graduated from St. Olaf College with degrees in history and English, but transitioned into software development after the recession hit. Ginna grew up in a non-denominational / charismatic Christian household.  From an early age, she was fully immersed in the world of Christian school and Christian culture. She describes herself as having spent every moment trying to be a better follower of Jesus -- asking Jesus into her heart at age 3, reading the whole Bible as a young teen, memorizing scripture, praying, being active in youth group.  But as she came into adulthood, Ginna went through an experience with clinical depression that led her to question everything.

We taped these conversations on May 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 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 was performed on a handpan by Sam Maher in the NY City Subway

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

Direct download: Ep_154_Ginna.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:21am CST
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Cass Midgley and Dr. Bob interview Casper Rigsby.  Casper is a prolific blogger with Atheist Republic, and the Chief Publishing Officer of the organization. In 2015 he personally published 7 books, including the best-selling title, "The Bible in a Nutshell." His work ranges from comedic blasphemy to philosophical inquiry and discourse. He was also nominated in 2015 for the Hitchens Prize which recognizes “an author or journalist whose work reflects a commitment to free expression and inquiry, ‭ ‬a range and depth of intellect, ‭ ‬and a willingness to pursue the truth without regard to personal or professional consequence.”

 

We taped these conversations on April 18th, 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 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

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

Casper's blog on Atheist Republic

Casper's books

Casper's FB profile

 

 

Direct download: Ep_153_Casper_Rigsby.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:55am CST
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Cass Midgley and Bob Pondillo interview Gleb Tsipursky. He's an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Ohio State. He earned a bachelors from NYU, a masters from Harvard, and a PhD from UNC Chapel Hill. He specializes in behavioral science and is keen on how authoritarian regimes take over countries. He was raised in a Jewish household in Russia til he was 10 , but never personally adopted Judaism and is today non-religious.  As a part of the Rational Politics project, Gleb co-founded Intentional Insights (dot org) and the Pro-Truth Pledge (dot org).  

A current tragedy of the commons we're all experiencing today is our eroding confidence in differentiating truth from lies. Gleb is inviting everyone to take the Pro-Truth Pledge. It provides a tool that motivates all who take it to share accurate information and avoid sharing misinformation.

As you've probably figured out, this episode is highly political and if you're a Trump supporter, this is not gonna be a fun ride for you. Gleb paints a much scarier picture of things than I previously assessed. Up until this conversation, I had deemed Trump an idiot. And appealing to idiots. Gleb says otherwise. Gleb even says that Trump is emotionally intelligent, that he knows exactly what he's doing, and knows what to say and what persona to present in order to get elected and to influence people. This is a game-changer. Now keep in mind, Gleb is a Russian immigrant, he has a PhD in History with an emphasis on behavioral science. This is not a conspiracy theorist. This isn't a talking head punding shit out of his ass. This is research based observations, first hand accounts, and historical patterns and examples from  other countries and eras.

I know this is a bit doomsdayish, but Chris Hedges concurs with Gleb's perspective as voiced in a recent article titled, "The End of the Republic." The following is an excerpt from that piece:

"Trump and our decaying empire have ominous historical precedents. If the deep state replaces Trump, whose ineptitude and imbecility are embarrassing to the empire, that action will not restore our democracy any more than replacing Commodus restored democracy in Rome. Our republic is dead.

Societies that once were open and had democratic traditions are easy prey for the enemies of democracy. These demagogues pay deference to the patriotic ideals, rituals, practices and forms of the old democratic political system while dismantling it. When the Roman Emperor Augustus—he referred to himself as the “first citizen”—neutered the republic, he was careful to maintain the form of the old republic. Lenin and the Bolsheviks did the same when they seized and crushed the autonomous soviets. Even the Nazis and the Stalinists insisted they ruled democratic states. Thomas Paine wrote that despotic government is a fungus that grows out of a corrupt civil society. This is what happened to these older democracies. It is what happened to us."

After this conversation, Bob and I both took the Pro-Truth Pledge. I hope you benefit from our talk with Gleb Tsipursky.

We taped these conversations on April 18th, 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 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 was created by the Barry Orchestra, found at barryorchestra.bandcamp.com

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

https://www.protruthpledge.org/

http://intentionalinsights.org/

http://intentionalinsights.org/heel-in-chief-donald-trump-and-the-psychology-of-pro-wrestling

Chris Hedges' article

 

Direct download: Ep_152_Gleb_Tsipursky.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:55am CST
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Cass Midgley and Mark Stephens interview 2 students from Vanderbilt University, Stephen Lee and John Roso. They met through the Secular Student Alliance. Bob was out of town for this one so Mark Stephens is filling in. 

Also, we open with a 20 minute talk with Gayle Jordan, the executive director of Recovering From Religion, an online resource for people wrestling with their faith and wanting someone to talk to. They have a helpline and chat opportunities and a wealth of resources to point callers to. They help from a neutral position, not trying to influence callers toward any particular belief or unbelief, just be active listeners.

Followed by our talk with two Vanderbilt seniors who just graduated this last weekend and who I met through the Secular Student Alliance there on campus. John is a Philosophy major going on to a Masters in it. Stephen is a BioMed Engineering Major. They are roommates and we get to peer into the life of two millennials, both age 21, and their personal histories with Christianity and their journey out of it. And we discuss the collective consciousness of ants.

We taped these conversations on April 15th, 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 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 was created by the Barry Orchestra, found at barryorchestra.bandcamp.com

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

Let's Paint, Exercise and Blend Drinks Video

C Span prank caller compilation

https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/

 

Direct download: Ep_151_Stephen_Lee__John_Rosso.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:23pm CST
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Cass Midgley and Dr. Bob Pondillo interview Amy Monsky. She's the executive director for Camp Quest Southeast, bringing a week of fun, friends, and freethought to kids (and adults!) in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama.  Amy first became involved in Camp Quest in 2010 after learning about it the previous year while searching for a secular alternative to Boy Scouts.  After that first transformative week, Amy went on to found Camp Quest South Carolina which now serves over 110 kids, and is now expanding Camp Quest locations throughout the southeast, including Camp Quest Natchez Trace in Mississippi, operating for the first time this June, and Camp Quest Florida, which is tentatively set to open in 2018.  Amy lives and breathes camp, and any of her free time is spent developing camp activities with her children as guinea pigs or reading about positive youth development and the latest articles from the American Camp Association.  Amy lives with her family in Charleston, South Carolina.

 

We taped this conversation on April 9th, 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 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 was created by the Barry Orchestra, found at barryorchestra.bandcamp.com

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

amy.monsky@campquest.org

www.campquestsc.org

http://womenbeyondbelief.com/

http://www.hingepodcast.org/


Direct download: Ep_150_Amy_Monsky_-_Camp_Quest.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:22pm CST
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Cass Midgley and Dr. Bob Pondillo interview Japh Thomson of Tasmania, Australia. Japh is 35, married with one child and one on the way, a computer programmer, raised in the Assembly of God denomination, became a master puppeteer in children’s ministry, served in missions in Belarus, and taught college courses in Bible College on techniques for teaching children in church. Today, he’s an atheist and his Christian mother asks him, upon his coming out, one of the most poignant questions I’ve heard a believing parent ask a non-believing child. Also, we learn a little about the Tasmanian Devil.  At least these devils are real.

We taped this conversations on April 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 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 was created by the Barry Orchestra, found at barryorchestra.bandcamp.com

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

Japh's book reference:
https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Did-Not-Exist-Atheists/dp/1514814420

Direct download: Ep_149_Japh_Thompson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:00pm CST
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Cass Midgley and Dr. Bob Pondillo interview Henry & Charlie Smith from Colorado. They’re in their 70s, married 47 years. Henry is a former minister, now atheist, Charlie has retained some of her faith, and we witness how they remain respectful and loving in spite of their religious differences.

What comes up for me this week, and in light of this interview, is how each of us, as stewards of our own happiness, choose the paths that we see fit for us. Some might look at the relationship of our guests today and say, “no thank you.” Others might envy it and say, “I wish I could have that.”  And of course, there is no right or wrong answer to this. You do you.

A question was posed this week on the secret Life After God Facebook site by Brian Peck, he wrote: “What does your heart long for?” I just immediately started writing my answer with no forethought. I was a bit surprised by what rose up out of my own heart in response. I wrote, “It seems in all this talk of agency of individuation and differentiation that the most mature version of my "heart" would "long for" nothing, ideally. That I would be self-sufficient, self-soothing, etc. That I would marry myself because anything less would be expecting too much of others or being needy would apply too much pressure on another. That no one could or should be trusted with my "heart." That love is too risky and may, in fact, be a myth. After all, we're just animals and only here for a brief time and relatively meaningless. But if I'm honest, my heart longs for love and if that's a weakness then color me weak. Somewhat hopelessly weak. FML.” Which is short for fuck my life.

What I mean by that is that, as ex-Christians, we’re having to rediscover what it means to be human, but more specifically, what it means to be us. Ourselves. We were taught to not trust our heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” So we were led to distrust the core of our beings. That it lies to us. That there’s good in it, no redemptive value, it is sick and it cannot be cured. And besides, no one can understand or decipher it’s message. It’s the source of confusion. It’s led around by emotions. Don’t listen to it. And so some of us stopped listening to it. But as we know now, it went on talking, and we struggled to differentiate, as Josey said on last week’s episode, between what is God’s voice, what is Satan’s and what is ours—only one of which was to be trusted—God’s. In our work to dig our souls out from under the rubble of our demolitioned Christianity and reconnect with our truest selves, we’ve borrowed some techniques from science, namely differentiation which has to do with identifying ourselves apart from that which we have unhealthily relied on as an authority over us—our parents, our domineering friends, our lovers, and most of all, God. But the thing about LOVE, is that neither religion nor science has the first clue how to understand love. We see little signs of it in a few animal species, but it is a big, fucking deal to us home sapiens sapiens. It makes us do crazy things, experience surreal elation and gut-wrenching pain. The sense I got from all my exposure to the psychology of agency and differentiation was that in order to be mature, evolved, healthy, I had to not need anyone. And perhaps semantics cannot capture the nuance of this elusive thing called love, but I began to say, “I don’t need this person or these friends, but I want them. I choose them from a place of strength with more to give and receive in the relationship because I’m strong, independent, and detached. But it’s a fine line b/w need and want. Perhaps Jeremiah was onto something when he said, who can really understand the heart? But when the question was posed, “what does your heart want?” it didn’t say power, independence, detachment, it said to love and be loved, it said intimacy, it said other people, who I can be myself around, with whom I can share my secrets and my sunsets, someone with whom I am struck and with whom I can fuck, where trust and respect are mutual and love is reciprocated, where laughter is shared over comedy few others could appreciate, to know and be known, to share our common interests and be stretched by our differences.  A friend, a lover, and I’m taking back this word—soulmate. Because for me, at the end of the day, this life is so fucking hard, and so fucking meaningless, that the last bastion for sustainable joy, the safe space from stupidity and absurdity is a small, select community of friends—and everyone would profile what that looks like—but most importantly, and dare I say desperately, without sounding too weak, ONE person with whom which I am the most intimate I can possibly be and not be alone, by myself. When I was a Christian, this was summed up best by Rich Mullins, a lonely, single, soul-searching man, RIP, “when you find someone who’s tender, when you find someone who’s true, then thank the Lord, He’s been doubly good to you.” Even a Christian, and a very honest one at that, had to admit, that you’re damn lucky, I mean you’ve won the lottery, when you find someone who’s tender and true and will put up with your shit. Henry and Charlie personify this today. And as a cynical, melancholy, global-perspective thinker who has no hope for the future of humanity, I personally regard this love, this companionship, this partnership, as the pinnacle of existence, the chief redeeming value of being alive, and as complex and painful as it’s maintenance is, and as the inevitable loss of our that loved one is, as the famous quote from Alfred Lord Tennyson goes, “tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

We taped these conversations on March 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 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 was created by the Barry Orchestra, found at barryorchestra.bandcamp.com

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

Smitty’s business: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MountainViewWood?ref=shop_sugg

 

Direct download: Ep_148_Henry__Charlie_Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:25pm CST
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Cass Midgley and Dr. Bob Pondillo interview Josey Woltersdorf. Josey is 24 years old, the eldest of 12 children, homeschooled and raised on a farm til he was 18.  I think you’re gonna love his genuineness, and his simple yet intuitive engagement with the reality in which he now finds himself.  

Josey's insular Christian upbringing did not prepare him for the real world and as he entered it, his enthusiastic devotion to the love of his young life—Jesus—diminished under the scrutiny of his inquiring mind and it's access to the internet. Imagine the confusion when his internal compass for identifying love, integrity, and truth steered him away from the corruption and dishonesty he saw within his own dearest world-view: Christianity. The Christian obsession with sexual purity and shaming locked Josey in a gerbil wheel of guilt and self-hatred with no hope of victory. The taboo forbidding that religions place on sex produces the opposite result through psychological reactance and it can backfire on those wearing a self-imposed spiritual chastity belt. The epidemic sexual pathology within the Catholic priesthood is a perfect example of this. Human sexuality is a river that cannot be stopped and only overflows in improper ways when dammed.  

During our talk, Josey refers to a court case involving charges against him that could have landed him in prison but didn’t; the details of which he was not at liberty to discuss publicly for legal reasons. But the significant impact it had on his personal formation he does talk about.

I received an email this week from former guest of the show on episode 110 named Aaron. Like our guest today, Josey, Aaron is a young man at 21 years of age, but unlike any of our guests he is blind and dependent on his Christian parents, who don’t know he’s an atheist nor that he’s gay. He’s working towards a college degree while earning income as a computer programmer. He sent me a song he’d written and produced which I’ll play at the end and a link to the YouTube is in the show notes. It’s also available on iTunes and Spotify. In his words, “Its a punk-rock type song about a Christian who's desperately trying to hold on to their beliefs, but ultimately doesn't and is happier without Christianity.”

I asked Aaron for an update on his circumstances and he wrote back, “Unfortunately little has changed in my life, so the situation is pretty much exactly the same as when we last spoke. I'm very good at playing it safe so there usually aren't any holy shit moments where I've slipped up big time. I've got a part time job working with a company overseas in addition to my own development work and part time college so that could, in the long term, further my independence.  The problem is, and this is why I wanted to go on your show back in August, and its also why I published this song, is that I want to be out there in circles of atheism.  I can't help my current situation, but I want to be able to get my voice out in the sense that, maybe I can't be open to the people around me about the damage that Christianity has dealt me, but I can hopefully enlighten other people who aren't as sure about their religion or maybe encourage atheists to be more passionate, because its the lack of passion that causes bad things like the Trump election. It can equally be said that passion's what got us into this mess, both presidentially and religiously, but passion is essential to get someone out to vote and to encourage other people to vote, as well as encourage people to speak up about atheism in their communities. If it were about logic, Clinton would have won the presidential race by a landslide. Its hard to look into the future and live for 2 or 3 years from now when I could be more free, if it indeed could be that soon. So I've often said that its what little activism I can do from my corner that keeps me going when I inevitably ask the question, "Why the hell do I even bother?" I'm sure you can understand that.

If you’d like to correspond with Aaron, his email is aaron@atheist.com

One last thing, I’m trying out a little experiment where I commit to do nothing I don’t want to do. Because when I do something I don’t want to do, I become susceptible to resentment. In the spirit of “honesty is the best policy” and establishing boundaries, I want to be honest with people when I don’t want to do something, whether it's hang out, or if I don't want to continue this conversation. I think we avoid this level of honesty in order to avoid hurting people. But in so doing, we miss the opportunity to teach them what agency looks like. How much personal maturation and evolution could take place if we all practiced this? People might stop taking it personal when you say, “I don’t want to do this or that” if they themselves practiced that same level of honesty and self-determination with you? And what intimacy is to be fostered here? Could we not say that all level of complaining is rooted in doing things we don’t want to do?  So perhaps to cease complaining, criticizing, and condemning starts here. To purge one’s life of bitterness and resentment, should we not stop looking for others to change and instead, change ourselves? Does this not empower us to navigate our world as one who knows what they want.

One of the chores we have to do as ex-Christians is get our identity back from Jesus. This starts by getting to know one’s self, liking one’s self, and showing up as one’s self. In so doing, we would be introducing ourselves to the communities we orbit. People would know us, and trust us, and gain clarity of our strengths and weaknesses, that we've spent most our lives trying to hide from people.

In order to stop doing what you don’t want to do, it may be helpful to get answers to the following questions when facing choices:
Is this something I care about?Does this conflict with my values, personality, or style? Is this how I want to spend my time? Will this light me up? Is this something I need in my life right now?

Gaining personal agency and identity can seem selfish...in an ugly way. And even though selfishness is not at all what we’re going for here, there’s no way around focusing on yourself while you’re establishing your place in the world. In setting such a goal--to not do anything you don’t want to do--we have to acknowledge that it’s complicated and you will have to compromise, or should I say, get to compromise. For example, you probably don’t want to go to work, but you also don’t want to be without income, so you compromise. You may not have the time or energy to sit by your loved one's bedside in the hospital, but if you do it, and you've become of powerful volitional person, you and everyone else who knows you will understand just by the mere fact that you're there, it's because you want to, in spite of the toll its taking. People will start to learn that wherever you are, you're 100% there.  That's a desirable reputation. Hell, that's a desirable life. To be known? To be seen? Isn't that one of the greatest human desires?

I have to add here some pitfalls to avoid in this exercise: Entitlement and Disconnection. 

By entitlement, I mean overdoing the sense that the world owes you anything, or that you deserve certain things just because you want them, which is the mistake of placing conditions or expectations on your own happiness. As a good friend posted on FB this week, “Happiness is an outlook not an outcome.” If you haven’t discovered contentment with your life as it is, no amount of circumstantial change is going to appease the human appetite for hedonism. My admonition today is don’t do anything you don’t want to. That is not to be confused with do everything you want to.  

The second pitfall is disconnection, and by that I mean from others. In your pursuit of self, don’t forget that no man is an island. You don’t exist in a vacuum, and you won’t develop maturity in a vacuum. Real emotional health is fostered best within a community. Don’t close yourself off from the feedback of trusted, loving friends, or better yet, professional therapists.  

To guard your heart from resenting circumstances and people, especially the people nearest and dearest to you, you owe it to them to not do anything you don't want to do.  

 

We taped these conversations on March 25th, 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 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 was created by Aaron, former guest of the show on episode 110

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

Aaron’s song on YouTube

Direct download: Ep_147_Josey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:59am CST
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