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.

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College Football Analyst Sues Fox Sports, Saying He Was Fired Because of His Christian Beliefs

In 2013, former NFL running back Craig James (below) was fired from his job as an analyst on Fox Sports Southwest after only one appearance on air.

The official reason was that he was just “not a good fit” at the network and a “polarizing figure in the college sports community.”

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“In God We Trust” Stickers on Police Cars Lead to Dueling Protests in Florida

Bonifay, Florida is another city where the local police chief has put “In God We Trust” stickers on all the department’s vehicles for reasons that *totally* have nothing to do with Jesus. (All hail Jesus.)

It’s a decision that led to dueling protests over the weekend:



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Donald Trump: I Don’t Know If I’ll Campaign for Atheist Votes Since They “Might Not Like Me”

We know Donald Trump calls himself religious (“I go to church”) and is trying to win over the GOP’s conservative base, even if he’s horrible at speaking Christian-ese.

Given his attempts to reach out to religious voters, Trump was asked at a recent campaign stop in Iowa whether he would also try to get the votes of atheists:



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Is This Islam-Themed Porn Movie Pure Hotness, or a “Fetishistic Fantasy Rooted in a White Savior Complex”?

If you like porn and you have a burning desire to get edumacated on the different types of Islamic women’s garments, I guess you could turn to the upcoming porn feature Women of the Middle East for, um, enlightenment. It features four scenes that each show

… a different type of veil — hijab, niqab, khimar, and burqa. [E]ach scene is meant to highlight or provide social commentary on a different aspect of women’s status in the Islamic world.

I don’t envy Vice author Mark Hay, who finds himself selling a bit of titillation in his article about the super-smutty film, while at the same time touting his culturally sensitive bona fides. Vice‘s headline reads “Shockingly, a Porno Featuring Hijabis and Niqabis Is Not Very Sensitive Toward Islam,” and Hay adds that

While the script tries to mix up the status quo of white male domination of brown women with a scene featuring a dominant veiled woman, and attempts to portray the lesser-seen world of conservative Muslim prostitution, it does so very ham-fistedly. What pops out may not be a demur [sic] hijabi getting gangbanged by aggressive Americans, but it’s still a fetishistic fantasy rooted in a white savior complex with a heavy garnish of Arabo-Muslim stereotypes.



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