An Interview with Paul Provenza: Finding the Funny in Authentic Atheism

This is an article by Becky Garrison. It appears in the 3rd Quarter 2013 issue of American Atheist magazine. American Atheist magazine is available at Barnes & Noble and Book World bookstores in the U.S. and at Chapters Indigo bookstores in Canada. Go to Atheists.org/magazine to see a map of store locations, to subscribe, or to join American Atheists. Members receive free digital subscription.

Why in no god’s name did a comic emcee the Reason Rally? Has Atheism now de-evolved into a punch line that’s past its prime replete with watered down cocktails, stock sitcom characters, and right leaning puppetry? Paul Provenza riffs via telephone with Becky Garrison on the evolution of comedy, Atheism, and all that jazz as he points the way forward for those seeking authenticity and truth in a culture driven by Christianity and commerce.

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An Interview with Creationist, Filmmaker, and Banana-Enthusiast Ray Comfort

Some of you know Ray Comfort because of his latest movie “Evolution Vs. God.”

Most of you know him better for his video “The Atheist’s Worst Nightmare“:

Nearly four years ago, I interviewed him for this website and he was gracious enough to answer all the questions I asked.

So, given the opportunity to do it again, and with some of your submitted questions in the mix, I asked Ray about everything from his selective-editing of videos to the infamous banana routine.

His answers are reprinted below in their entirety. (I have edited the exchange only for grammar/clarity and added links to Ray’s responses when I felt they were helpful.)

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Is There a Problem with the Evangelical Adoption Movement? An Interview with Kathryn Joyce

After Mother Jones published an excerpt from journalist Kathryn Joyce‘s new book The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption last month, the Christian media went into defense mode. The excerpt offered a rarely-seen view into overseas adoptions, where children can sometimes be taken away from their (very much alive) birth parents, who are led to believe the separation is only temporary.

So what’s the real story? Are these criticisms valid?

I sent many of the questions I had to Kathryn Joyce and she was kind enough to respond (via email):

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The Problems with Male Circumcision: An Interview with the Producer of American Secret

Francelle Wax is the producer of a film called American Secret: The Circumcision Agenda which takes a close look at the problems with male circumcision. More broadly speaking, it addresses the ideas of how ideas spread, why we believe in rituals that serve relatively little or no benefit, and what it would take to change our beliefs.

Francelle was kind enough to answer my own questions as well as those solicited from friends:

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An Interview with Lauren Drain, Former Member of the Westboro Baptist Church

Lauren Drain‘s father visited Westboro Baptist Church over a decade ago while making a documentary film (which was tentatively titled Hatemongers). When he returned home a month later, he was a different man. He had internalized what they were preaching and eventually moved his entire family, including 14-year-old Lauren, to Kansas to become members of Fred Phelps‘ church.

Now, Lauren has written a book about her experience with the “God Hates Fags” family called Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church (Grand Central Publishing, 2013). [Read more…]


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