Caught on Tape: Me Speaking to an Atheist Group

Don’t rent a movie this weekend. Instead, you can just download and watch the speech I gave to the Minnesota Atheists group last weekend!

Even better: You can put it on your iPod and watch it anywhere you go!

Part 1 tells the whole eBay Atheist story (from the original auction to the book). Part 2 is the Q & A session held afterwards.

The easiest way to watch these videos is by using iTunes and subscribing to the MN Atheists’ feeds.

To subscribe to the Audio podcast, use this link: feed://www.mnatheists.org/atheist_talk/audio.xml

To subscribe to the Video podcast, use this link: feed://www.mnatheists.org/atheist_talk/video.xml

My lecture is the most recent addition and should start downloading when the feed is subscribed to.

If none of what I just wrote makes any sense to you, more thorough instructions are here.

And hush with the comments about how my arms never seem to stay still.


[tags]atheist, atheism, Minnesota Atheists, iPod, eBay Atheist, podcast[/tags]

  • http://www.skepchick.org writerdd

    Great talk, thanks for posting the link. I was particularly interested in the section where you talked about working together with moderate religious people. Although I agree with a lot of what Sam Harris has written in his two books, I don’t think it’s necessarily true that all moderate religious people provide cover to extremists. Some do, but not all. There are two Christian authors who are excellent examples of those who are speaking out against the abuses of religion.

    One is John Shelby Spong, who is pretty much reviled by evangelicals, because of his views and who is a retired Episcopal Bishop, and so is not considered a “real” Christian by most fundamentalists and evangelicals. Spong wants to modernize Christianity and jettison the tribal baggage, prejucide, and superstition that ahteists find most distasteful about religion in general. I would consider him a fellow atheist based on my reading of his books, but he considers himself a devout Christian. I recommend any of his books to anyone who thinks that all Christians are superstitous idiots.

    The second is Randall Balmer, who is himself an evangelical, but not a “slave to literalism” (his own words), and who has written a book specifically to criticizie the way that evangelical churches have gotten in bed with extremist right-wing politics. I would love to see a discussion between these two authors and several atheist authors (but not Penn, who can not refrain from using words like christard). While Balmer has a more magical worldview than I am comfortable with, he is an excellent example of a moderate Christian who is doing is best to speak out against the worst parts of his own evangelical “family”.

    Both of these authors show that it is possible for Christians to break the taboo that it is not allowable to criticize religous beliefs.

  • Karen

    I would love to see a discussion between these two authors and several atheist authors

    I would love to see that, also. There are certainly many points of common interest both groups could identify and work on together!

  • http://bjornisageek.blogspot.com Jet

    Today I tried your friendly atheist approach to a group of girls in my lecture that came up to me during a break. I was reading your wonderful wonderful book, and the leader asked me if I were an atheist or a Christian. I answered honestly, and she proceeded to tell me that not believing in God is against the bible. Here I could have said something incredibly sarcastic, but instead I smiled, and keeping in mind your talk in MN, responded politely that I’m aware that not believing in God is against Christian values. These girls spent the rest of the class talking about me (during the lecture) and giving me dirty looks through the rest of the classes we shared. Being a friendly atheist is just as hard as being confrontational, and I would have answered differently had I not seen you in MN.

  • Norm

    Don’t need to watch the podcast since I was there, and it was an excellent talk, though I am sorry that we both had to endure that professor’s bloviations. Is it just me, or does there seem to be at least one guy in every audience at a talk like your’s who uses the Q & A session as their soapbox?

  • http://emergingpensees.blogspot.com/ Mike C

    A few more Christian authors speaking out against fundamentalist Christianity include Jim Wallis, Greg Boyd, Robin Meyers, and Becky Garrison.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant

    Jet– I’m sure if those girls acted that way, they would’ve done the same whether you were “friendly” or “aggressive.” On the up side, I’m sure they had to struggle to find something mean to say. Those aren’t people who want to have a discussion. But I hope you’ll keep the friendly approach going and please let us know how it goes with a more receptive audience!

    Norm– There’s always someone… but that’s why these events are fun :)

  • http://aboutkitty.blogspot.com/ Cat’s Staff

    A few more Christian authors speaking out against fundamentalist Christianity include [...] Greg Boyd [...].

    It’s hard to picture Greg Boyd speaking out against fundamentalist Christianity, that will be interesting to see. I’ve got the raw video from the Robert M. Price and Greg Boyd debate here and I hope to have it up soon on the Minnesota Atheists Podcast.

  • valhar2000

    And hush with the comments about how my arms never seem to stay still.

    Maybe you can sue Lucasarts for not paying you royalties for the Moneky Island Character “Stan”…

  • Norm

    Concerning Greg Boyd, I’ve actually gained a lot of respect for the guy in the past year or so. One of my sisters actually attends his Woodlynn Hills Church on occasion, and she tells me a significant number of members left it last year because he refused to support conservative political candidates. He also released a book called “The Myth of a Christian Nation”. While I disagree with him on most things, he is a good reminder that the terms “fundamentalist” and “evangelical” are not synonyms.

  • Karen

    After I posted here yesterday, I realized I had neglected to mention that there is a group of moderate-to-liberal Christians working with secularists in an effort to track and defeat theocracy and the Religious Right.

    It’s a blog project called Talk2Action and they often have really cutting-edge information about the most scary folks who want to demolish the separation of church and state. It’s worth checking out once in a while.

  • http://bjornisageek.blogspot.com Bjorn Watland

    Ok, so when is the ISMSOE audiobook coming out?

  • http://friendlyatheist.com FriendlyAtheist

    Ok, so when is the ISMSOE audiobook coming out?

    If there’s interest in the actual book, I’m sure an audiobook will be soon to follow :) If you’d like to buy 2394729834 copies of the book, this will help the cause immensely.


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