Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 70: Attorney David Niose, on Legal Issues Affecting Young Atheists

Our latest podcast guest is attorney David Niose, to chat with us about legal concerns that young atheists may have as they go back to school.

Niose has been the president of two major organizations, the American Humanist Association and the Secular Coalition for America. He currently serves as the AHA’s legal director. He’s also a lawyer who has argued in front of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court about why the Pledge of Allegiance shouldn’t be recited in public school classrooms. And he’s the author of Nonbeliever Nation and Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason.

We spoke with him about the legal issues affecting young atheists and how they should respond. Topics addressed include: Saying the Pledge of Allegiance, “See You at the Pole” events, religious choir music, science education, Gideons Bible giveaways, faith-based assemblies, and prayers at football games.

[Read more...]

Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 69: Dan Barker, Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation

Our latest podcast guest is Dan Barker, a former minister and co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (along with his wife Annie Laurie Gaylor).

Barker was a teenage evangelist and longtime preacher before he stepped away from God for good. In addition to his work with the FFRF, he’s also the author of Godless (2008) and Life Driven Purpose (2015).

I spoke with Barker about why he goes on The Daily Show even when the segments aren’t very kind to him, his next project encouraging people to read the Bible, and how all Christian ministers are “slaves traders.” (Yep.)

[Read more...]

Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 68: Neil Carter, Writer at Godless in Dixie

Our latest podcast guest is Neil Carter, a blogger at Godless in Dixie, where he writes about being an atheist in the Deep South. He’s a teacher, a personal trainer, and a father.

I spoke with Neil about what it’s like being non-religious in Mississippi, the “evandelism” that followed his coming out, and the importance of having someone to talk to when you have religious doubts.

[Read more...]

Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 67: John Dehlin, Founder of the Mormon Stories Podcast

Our latest podcast guest is John Dehlin, founder of the Mormon Stories podcast.

John just completed his PhD in clinical and counseling psychology. His podcast celebrates the faith and also critiques it when necessary. Because of some of his views supporting same-sex marriage and the ordination of women within Mormonism, Dehlin was excommunicated from the Church earlier this year for apostasy. That story was covered in the New York Times.

We spoke with John about how discovering the truth about Mormon history pushed him away from the Church, why he still has a soft spot for the faith, and why Mormons have strategic reasons for standing firm against LGBT rights.

[Read more...]

Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 66: Shulem Deen, Former Hasidic Jew

Our latest podcast guest is Shulem Deen, a former Hasidic Jew.

Since leaving that world, Shulem has founded the website Unpious which is a voice for other ultra-Orthodox Jews who may be rethinking their faith. His new memoir is called All Who Go Do Not Return.

We spoke with Shulem about the hypocrisy of Hasidic Jews regarding modern technology, how that community reacted to an episode of This American Life focusing on them, and how America Online became his gateway to the outside world.

[Read more...]