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 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 "The Shack"

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 "Revan"

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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Episode 102 BJ Saylor

Cass and Bob interview another local friend, BJ Saylor. BJ’s story is interesting because in view of the two major influences on human development—nurture vs nature or environment vs genetics--he’s a product of the south, raised lower middle class by his single mother in Christian schools through high school and yet he’s a deeply intelligent thinker and observer. His story is like something out of a Flannery O’Conner novel. The BJ we witness today at age 27 is a hybrid of these tensions with the emergence of his inner-self trying to shed the old skin of his environment while remaining in it.  Perhaps his future awaits him when he can get some distance between himself and his Southern Gothic environment.  

We taped this episode on May 20th, 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.

Bad Lip Reading w/ Ted Cruz

The guy who wrote Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure has an atheist book.

 

Direct download: Ep102_BJ_Saylor.mp3
Category:exchristian -- posted at: 2:55pm CDT
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Episode 101 Chris TerryNelson

Cass and Bob interview Chris TerryNelson. Chris is a former Presbyterian minister. He earned his MDiv from Princeton Theological, his undergrad in Philosophy from University of Massachusetts Amherst. He’s now finishing up a Masters in Marriage And Family Counseling/Therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University here in Nashville.  He’s active in Ryan Bell’s Life After God, he’s a blogger, and just an overall super guy. I think you’re going to benefit from this conversation. 

We taped this episode on May 14th, 2016. If you’re liking the show, please subscribe to it, rate it with stars and shit, 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.

Chris’ blog “Cutting Your Path”

 

Direct download: Ep101_ChrisTerryNelson.mp3
Category:atheism -- posted at: 12:37pm CDT
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Episode 100 Bart Campolo

Bob and Cass interview Bart Campolo, Humanist Chaplain at the University of Southern California. Bart is the son of reknown evangelical preacher and author, Tony Campolo. Bart’s vision for creating community and helping other’s live their best lives through loving relationships is exciting and inspiring. Although this is our first time to interview Bart, we featured an interview he did with Hemant Mehta back in episode 58.

We taped this episode on May 9th, 2016. If you’re liking the show, please subscribe to it, rate it with stars and shit, 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.

More about Bart Campolo: http://bartcampolo.org/

 

Direct download: Ep100_Bart_Campolo.mp3
Category:humanism -- posted at: 8:52pm CDT
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Episode 99 Rev. Brian Quincy Newcomb

Welcome everyone to episode 99 of the Everyone’s Agnostic podcast, I’m Cass Midgley. Today, I bring you a special episode where I’m going to briefly focus on music as a voice that both called me to stay Christian and called me out, and my guest today symbolizes that tension.

Some of my favorite Christian music artists were Edin-Adahl, Sweet Comfort Band, Allies, The Front, David & the Giants, Russ Taff, Charlie Peacock, the 77s, Jimmy Abegg, Mark Heard, Dave Perkins, Jon Gibson, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Switchfoot, and Adam Again.  I collected over 800 Christian music cassettes and CDs between the early 80s and late 90s. I was the music buyer at a Christian bookstore and I was a sales rep for StarSong. Early on I decided to ban secular music from my life. Part of what keeps one convinced that they’re in the right is by surrounding one’s self with music that only confirms one’s beliefs.  How could all these songs be written about something that’s not true? And yet, in the outside world, there were even more songs and musicians who felt no need to write religious songs.

One of the hats my guest today wears is that of a music critic. He wrote close to 900 articles in Christian music publications between 1982 and 1999. That’s over one articles a week for 17 years and those same years coincide with my infatuation with Christianity. And if you trace those articles chronologically, he little by little, started reviewing secular music more and more, which gave me permission to lift my ban on it and listen outside the Christian sub-culture.

The other thing I think this episode points out is that there are some smart Christians out there who, maybe in the vein of John Shelby Spong, or Marcus Borg, or Paul Tillich, have figured out a way to shape their Christian narrative into a redemptive work and practice that makes the world a better place. They have salvaged, at least for themselves and a few others, that which claimed to be salvation.  They’ve made craft beer out of barley and hops and it has enhanced the lived experience of those in their wake. 

Reverend Brian Quincy Newcomb has served as pastor in the United Church of Christ for over 30 years. We talk about the evolution of his faith from childhood to present day. I picture him as a master craftsman that started whittling away at a solid tree trunk 40+ years ago and today it is a sculpture of a giant black bear with her cub in her mouth, a fish in one hand, and crossing a roaring river. We talk about the formation of his faith, through deconstruction and reconstruction, and his struggle with kidney cancer. And at the end, some friends offer a few words about Brian’s impact on their lives. 

We taped this talk May 7th, 2016. Subscribe, rate us, and/or leave a review of our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.  Also, you can support through our Patreon page.

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.

Link to Brian’s bio on the church website

Some of Brian’s reviews on The Fire Note

Peter Enn’s book: “The Sin of Certainty”

Seth Godin’s Amazon book page

Rene Girard interview

 

 

 

Direct download: Ep99_Brian_Q_Newcomb.mp3
Category:christianity -- posted at: 5:30pm CDT
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