Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 72: Leah Vincent, Former Ultra-Orthodox Jew

Our latest podcast guest is Leah Vincent, a former Orthodox Jew and the author of Cut Me Loose: Sin and Salvation After My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood.

Vincent is the first person in her family to attend college and she earned her Masters degree in public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.

We spoke with her about life growing up in the culture, what fundamentalist faiths have in common, and what she plans to teach her daughter about her religious background.

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Secular Invocation Delivered in Longwood, Florida

The city of Longwood, Florida hosted an atheist invocation this week, delivered by Loren Kahle:

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CJ Werleman: I’m Totally Like Salman Rushdie Right Now

In case you still had any doubts as to CJ Werleman‘s credibility…

Right. Those blog posts calling Werleman out on the mounds of bullshit in his new book are the same thing as Islamist extremists attempting to kill a man by force.

(And seriously, how hard is it to spell someone’s name right?)

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Kansas Officials Say They Didn’t Fire Staffer for Not Going to Church

Last month, Courtney Canfield, a former staffer at the office of the Kansas Secretary of State, said in a lawsuit that she was illegally fired by Assistant Secretary Eric K. Rucker (below) for not attending church enough.

The problems began in February of 2013, when Canfield was invited to a church service by a staffer working for Rucker. That happened multiple times but she never went. (Canfield was a Methodist, but not particularly religious.)

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New York City Health Board Gets Rid of Consent Forms for Snip-N-Suck Circumcisions

There’s a disturbing practice in the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish culture known as metzitzah b’peh in which a rabbi (mohel) sucks the blood from a baby boy who has just been circumcised. If that wasn’t disgusting enough, some of the mohels have had herpes simplex, passing the virus on to the children. Since 2000, more than a dozen infants have contracted herpes in this manner and at least two have died.

In some cases, parents weren’t even made aware the mohels were performing this ritual.

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