Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 60: Dianna E. Anderson, Purity Culture Critic

Our latest podcast guest is Dianna E. Anderson, author of Damaged Goods: New Perspectives on Christian Purity, all about the intersection of the church and sexuality.

Anderson grew up in South Dakota. After stints as an English teacher in Japan and a radio producer in Chicago, she’s turned her focus to writing. Damaged Goods is her first book.

We spoke with her about why sex is often seen as shameful in parts of Christianity, what conversations the broader evangelical church is having about sex, and whether the church can ever become sex-positive. Lots of sex. #Sex

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Christian Leader: Let’s Help Muslims Observe Ramadan by Introducing Them to Jesus

During this time of Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims worldwide, Jerry Rankin, president emeritus of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board, knows exactly how Christians can help Muslims during the holiest time of their year:



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Gays Are Setting the World On Fire, According to Janet Porter and Mike Huckabee

Happy Pride Month, fellow uncontrollable arsonists! May your alternative lifestyle glow with the fire of a thousand blazing freedoms.

I’m paraphrasing Janet Porter, the president of conservative Christian group Faith2Action, in a video excerpt from the anti-LGBT documentary Light Wins. This one in particular is about how LGBT people are ruining the country by supposedly shutting down businesses run by vocal opponents of equality. Mike Huckabee makes an appearance, too.

Right Wing Watch nabbed the clip below:



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Another Florida Megachurch Preacher, Billy Graham’s Grandson, Resigns After Affair

A high-profile pastor resigned over the weekend after admitting he had had an affair.

In general, I think the media shouldn’t criticize people for what they do in their private lives unless they were hypocrites, like pastors preaching Christian moral superiority or that gay marriage will destroy society. (That’s why Ted Haggard, who frequently spoke out against homosexuality, was fair game.)

But Tullian Tchividjian (above) is the grandson of Reverend Billy Graham and nephew of Franklin Graham. This is a family that has done more than most to make life harder for LGBT people. Even if Tchividjian (rhymes with “pigeon”) shied away from social issues, it’s not like he was openly supportive of civil rights for LGBT people. And silence from Christian leaders on this matter is nearly as bad as blatant homophobia. When your own family is best-known these days for peddling the notion that gay marriage will destroy society, you better believe you have an obligation to say they’re wrong.

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Comedian Marc Maron and President Obama Discuss Faith in Interview (Albeit Very Briefly)

We know President Obama‘s father was non-religious. In a 2006 speech, Obama said that his father “was born Muslim but as an adult became an atheist.” His mother was Agnostic (though Obama once referred to her in Dreams from My Father as a “lonely witness for secular humanism”).

On Friday, comedian Marc Maron interviewed President Obama for his WTF podcast and the episode was released earlier today. If you listen to the show regularly, as I do, you knew religion was going to come up at some point. So I was eagerly awaiting what Obama would say about faith — his own, his parents’, etc.



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