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 49 American Atheist Convention 2015

Back on April 4th, I taped a few random interviews at the American Atheist Convention in Memphis, so today I’m posting a few selections from that experience.

 

The first is a 9 minute interview with Dave Kong. Dave was personal friends with Madalyn Murray O’Hare, the founder of American Atheists and has witnessed the movement from the beginning. He served on the board for 27 years. And for those who may have little exposure to Madalyn, I’ve posted an 11 minute excerpt from a speech she gave at the 1972 AA convention, 10 years after she founded the movement. .

 

Next is a 6 minute interview with comedian Keith Lowell Jensen who performed a stand-up routine at the conference. I tacked on a 3 minute excerpt of a bit he performed there. Keith has his own podcast called, “It’s Funny Because” available on iTunes and Facebook.

 

Lastly, I play a fascinating talk given by Dr. Jennifer Michael Hecht called Poetic Atheism. She wrote a book that changed my life called, “Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against It.” She argues that to say that there is no meaning to life, or that we have to make our own meaning seems misguided and that meaning has always been a part of community and culture, we need not invent it. She earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University in the History of Science and European Cultural History. She is the author of 3 other books, including “Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson,” and “The Happiness Myth: The Historical Antidote to What Isn't Working Today.”

 

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 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

Music performed by Nikolay Gavlishin

Direct download: ep_49_AA_con_2015.mp3
Category:atheism -- posted at: 5:13pm CDT
Comments[0]

Episode 48 Dan Arel

Cass Midgley and Dr. Bob Pondillo interview journalist, author, blogger Dan Arel. His work is seen on AlterNet, Huff Post, and Patheos as Danthropology.  He’s written for The American Ahteist Magazine and the Richard Dawkins Foundation. Dan has written a book called, “Parenting Without God: How to Raise Moral, Ethical, and Intelligent Children, Free from Religious Dogma.”  Dan is also the blogger who gained recognition from his op ed on the Ken Ham/Bill Nye debate as well as the Creation Museum’s attempt to use Kentucky tax dollars to build Noah’s Ark. Dan is a serious mover and shaker in the secular movement. We think you’ll benefit from getting to know him. 

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 by Cass Midgley

 

 

Direct download: dan_arel_edit1.mp3
Category:atheism -- posted at: 12:02am CDT
Comments[0]

Today’s show is unlike anything we’ve ever or ever will do again. As you may know, Cass was an evangelical Christian the first 39 years of his life and a minister for the last 20 of that. Bob never believed. They got together because they were both fascinated with the anthropology of why humans need God. Today, they examine an artifact of Cass' theism. They are going to play a 45 minute sermon that Cass orated in late 2005 in a small charismatic church in north Texas. What is captured on tape here is the last waning year of Cass' Christian faith, This is the last sermon he ever gave, and a perceptive ear will hear, although couched in Christian language and laden with scripture references, the mental migration he was making toward humanism, naturalism, and agnosticism. It would about 6 to 7 more years before he had embraced full on atheism. and eventually anti-theism. 

Some will be unable to get through it for various reasons. It will bring back memories and emotions for some post-Christians. It might be torturous for some (as it was for Cass) and humorous for others. We just invite you to notice what you notice. Like most charismatic preachers, it gets more and more emotional in time. 

Bob and Cass do a brief intro and follow with about 15 minutes of commentary. We hope, as always, this experience stretches you as a human being.   

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. 

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 by Moby and used by permission

 

 

Direct download: Episode_47_Cass_Last_Sermon_as_a_Christian_2005.mp3
Category:atheism -- posted at: 10:17pm CDT
Comments[0]

Episode 46 Eli aka prplfox

Cass and Bob interview Eli, a YouTuber that goes by the name Purple Fox. Eli got saved at a Young Life camp as a teenager but by the time he was 20 was convinced it was all untrue and yet still found himself in ministry. His journey is described in detail in a YouTube series called Deconversion parts 1 thru 6.  This episode hits the bullseye of what this podcast is all about. 

The deconversion process can be very traumatic.  Christianity is an identity-forming idea and Eli conveys just how devastating it can be to emerge as a young adult and realize your identity is not real. In the mid-2000s, Eli couldn’t understand why more people weren’t talking about this, so he made the videos. 10 years later, the web is packed with ex-Christian material and as the recent Pew research shows: Christianity is shrinking and those leaving their religious affiliation is booming.  

The first hour is our talk with Eli, followed by Bob and Cass' commentary.   

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or most podcast platforms.  If you’re feeling grateful for our podcast, Patreon.com is like a tip jar for our work. That’s patreon.com/eapodcast. 

Notes: 

J. L. Schellenberg and Divine Hiddenness 

Book: “Mistakes Were Made, but Not By Me” by Carol Tavris & Elliot Aronson

Book: Jonathan Haidt - "The Righteous Mind"

The New True Charlie Woo movie by Bob Pondillo

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 by Cass Midgley

 

Direct download: Episode_46_Eli_aka_prplfox.mp3
Category:atheism -- posted at: 12:01am CDT
Comments[0]

Episode 45 Chris Seathinheathin

Cass and Bob interview Chris SeathinHeathin, a local podcaster that we met at ReAsonCon the last weekend in April.  We taped this conversation on May 2nd, 2015.

Chris was an “apatheist” most of his life and didn’t feel the need to express his atheism until he noticed the culture-sprawl of creeping Christian dominionism, to which he retorted by starting the podcast, Unbuckling the Bible Belt.

Chris doesn’t have a post-Christian story, but they discuss binge-drinking, social awkwardness, being a book-nerd history buff and topics from MLK to NSA to NRA to “what is a man?” It’s a bit of a detour from the regular format.  It’s at least a window into another human story that is always uniquely fascinating. 

The irony within this episode is Bob and Chris critique how ill-informed people often talk too much without having the proper knowledge to do so, and yet I (Cass) am the perfect example of that.  

Also, a point I think this conversation raises is that Bob and Chris are life-long non-theists and I was a Christian til 40. I honestly didn't care about "worldly" things--news, world events, history, etc. I only cared about Godly things, things that involved the Kingdom of God. I'm very learned in Scripture and theological topics (which is normally what the podcast is about). This episode exposes my lack of knowledge of the world, and serves as a reminder why are podcast is not topical, but about individual's religious journeys.

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.

https://unbucklingblog.wordpress.com/

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 the theme music for Chris’ podcast: Unbuckling the Bible Belt written and performed by Eric Parsons, marrman89@gmail.com

Direct download: Ep_45_Chris_the_SeathenHeathen.mp3
Category:atheism -- posted at: 4:34pm CDT
Comments[0]

Episode 44 - Mandisa Thomas

Today our guest is Mandisa L. Thomas, the President of Black NonBelievers Inc.  This is the first in a series of interviews I conducted at the American Atheist convention in Memphis, Easter weekend.  I sat down with Mandisa as she was manning the Black Nonbelievers table at the Conference.  The background noise is constant so put on your loud barroom conversation ears and you’ll hear every word.  

As a description of the function Black Nonbelievers, she writes on the website, “Those of us that do not believe in God are all around you.  We’re everyday people, just trying to live normal lives like everyone else.  We’re your neighbors, students, employees, employers and entrepreneurs. A good many of us are also sitting next to you in religious institutions – either in doubt about their faith, or have given it up altogether. But because serious consequences could occur as a result of going public with their nonbelief – including being shunned by friends and family – they sit in silence and pretend to agree with something they no longer believe is true. And that’s where we come in. We exist not as an alternative, but as a primary support system. Whether you are fully out as a nonbeliever, still questioning your faith, or even if you have to pretend to go with the flow, but need a safe place to vent – we are here for you.”

This was an intense interview for me because of how ignorant I feel as a white, privileged male.  I know you’re going to notice my inherent racism in this conversation. Mandisa was very graceful to my blind-spots and I absolutely loved talking to her. I think there’s a lot here for everyone.  My talk with Mandisa is 44 minutes, followed by commentary with Bob for 27 minutes. --Cass Midgley

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. 

https://blacknonbelievers.wordpress.com/

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 by Cass Midgley

www.everyonesagnostic.com hosts: Cass Midgley & Dr. Bob Pondillo 

Direct download: Episode_44_Mandisa_Thomas_-_Black_NonBelievers.mp3
Category:atheism -- posted at: 5:21pm CDT
Comments[0]

Episode 43 - Author Reba Riley "Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome"

Author Reba Riley was raised charismatic evangelical, a graduate of the Focus on the Family Institute, comforted by the safety and certainty of living without doubts.  Then the questions came and eventually the bottom fell out and, like many of us, Reba had to rediscover herself and reality. She visits over 30 different religious experiences in a pilgrimage ala Eat Pray Love.  

Her book, “Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: a Memoir of Humor and Healing in 30 Religions,” is that story. 

Taped on April 18th, 2015. Co-hosts Cass Midgley & Bob Pondillo

Patreon.com/eapodcast

Credits:

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

"Never Know" by Jack Johnson

Percussion by Cass Midgley

Direct download: Episode_43_-_Reba_Riley.mp3
Category:spirituality -- posted at: 9:30pm CDT
Comments[0]

Episode 42 - Tracey Moody

Guest: Blogger and atheist activist Tracey Moody. Very candid interview. Tracey was never a believer. Part of Tracey’s freedom and fearlessness comes from never having been trained under theism. Instead Tracey looked to science for answers and meaning. Tracey’s now famous question at the Creation Debate b/w Ken Ham and Bill Nye was, “What, if anything, would ever you change your mind?” It’s a good question for all of us. This interview was taped on April 13th, 2015.

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. 

http://themoodyatheist.com/

Credits: 

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

Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson

Percussion by Cass Midgley

Hosts: Cass Midgley & Bob Pondillo

midgley.cass@gmail.com

Direct download: Episode_42_Tracey_Moody.mp3
Category:atheism -- posted at: 3:57pm CDT
Comments[0]

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
Comments[0]

Episode 40 - Atheist Debater Justin Schieber

Atheist debater Justin Schieber is a young, brilliant self-taught student of Philosophy and Religion.  You can find his debates on YouTube.  Justin is a thinker who uses debate to invigorate the conversation, not end it; to expand our knowledge and enhance our understanding of the "other" perspective.  This episode is an intellectual conversation. It is followable and everyone should be able to get something out of it.  

We taped this show on March 27th, 2015 on a field recorder so its not our regular standard of quality and the memory card filled up after about an hour so it ends rather abruptly.  When we realized what happened we just did the closer questions on Justin’s iPhone and wrapped it up. 

Credits:

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

"Never Know" by Jack Johnson

Piano by Cass Midgley

 

 

Direct download: Episode_40_Justin_Scheiber.mp3
Category:atheism -- posted at: 7:34pm CDT
Comments[0]