The No God Cast Podcast Interviews Godless In Dixie

This week, Tanner Campbell interviewed me about life as an atheist in the Deep South.  I tell a little bit of my story and I tell some of the struggles that have come with being who I am and where I am.  Evidently the video was so awesome that it fried his computer, so unfortunately that will not be available.  But you can download the audio and hear the interview here.

ngc_screencapIf you’d like to help Tanner keep his podcast going (and help replace his production equipment), consider donating to the cause or else you can become a patron in order to enjoy special perks and offers from The No God Cast podcast.  Tanner interviews someone different every week, and ordinarily they are much bigger and better known than I am.  In the past few weeks he’s interviewed Dale McGowan, Peter Boghossian, James Croft, and James A. Lindsay, and in a few weeks he’ll have Bart Ehrman on as well.  So help him keep it going!

Also, I’ve updated the Godless Tour page by adding links to the articles I’ve written over the last couple of months, so if you’d like to see what I’ve covered so far be sure to check that out.  I started the blog one year ago this week, and it looks like I’ve covered a lot!  Stay tuned this summer and hopefully I’ll be able to put some of these thoughts into book form.  If I pull that off, I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s done.

 

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About Neil Carter

Neil Carter is a high school Geometry teacher, a tutor, a swim coach, a father of five children, and a skeptic living in the Bible Belt. A former church elder with a seminary education, Neil mostly writes now about the struggles of former evangelicals living in the midst of a highly religious subculture.

  • Empire1432

    Great Podcast. I really found your story regarding your experience as a teacher in the south very interesting. I think those of us who are from the North really have very little understanding of what its like to live in a place where religion is so prevalent. I can’t imagine what I would do if I had teachers teaching bible stories to my children in a public school.

  • Empire1432

    Great Podcast. I really found your story regarding your experience as a teacher in the south very interesting. I think those of us who are from the North really have very little understanding of what its like to live in a place where religion is so prevalent. I can’t imagine what I would do if I had teachers teaching bible stories to my children in a public school.

  • Empire1432

    Great Podcast. I really found your story regarding your experience as a teacher in the south very interesting. I think those of us who are from the North really have very little understanding of what its like to live in a place where religion is so prevalent. I can’t imagine what I would do if I had teachers teaching bible stories to my children in a public school.

  • Gra*ma Banana

    Neil, I thoroughly enjoyed the podcast. I’m going to recommend it to my son in TX who doesn’t always believe me when I tell him that MS is much more conservative and religious than any other state in the union. Frankly, I didn’t do enough research on the social/religious side before I moved here back in 2006. I just knew that there was a big economic change coming and I was looking for a financial safe-haven to settle in before it hit. I found out why MS is so “affordable”…It’s one of the “Walmart” states, relying on God and the government to provide for its citizens. Anyone who thinks they can live here without being pressured by friends and neighbors to join their religious “family” is deluding themselves. I have also found that living in the shadow of uber religious and political conservatism is difficult but it is way more difficult in MS than the rest of the red-states in the southeast. (I have also lived in TX, LA, AL, GA, NC & FL.) I look at your struggle and know that I could never be as brave as you are. I continue to enjoy reading your blog and watch and listen to the interviews you post as one way to connect to that “atheist bubble” so I can escape the “evangelical bubble” from time to time. Thanks!

  • Paul Harridge

    Just listioned ,to the podcast, thanks for telling your story.i feel for you ,maybe you should in contact FFR to help you with your dismissal from your job it sounds like the sort of thing they do.I’m from the uk living in Australia but it’s like we are living on diffrent plants, keep up the good work.ps love the Matrix.

  • Paul Harridge

    Just listioned ,to the podcast, thanks for telling your story.i feel for you ,maybe you should in contact FFR to help you with your dismissal from your job it sounds like the sort of thing they do.I’m from the uk living in Australia but it’s like we are living on diffrent plants, keep up the good work.ps love the Matrix.

  • Paul Harridge

    Just listioned ,to the podcast, thanks for telling your story.i feel for you ,maybe you should in contact FFR to help you with your dismissal from your job it sounds like the sort of thing they do.I’m from the uk living in Australia but it’s like we are living on diffrent plants, keep up the good work.ps love the Matrix.

  • David W

    I enjoyed the podcast, thanks!

    Anyone who denies at least least *feeling* like crying during parts of the Toy Story series is obviously lying.

    You said something early on in the conversation about how hard it is to have conversations with some of your religious family/friends now that you are an atheist, and you mentioned that one would be surprised at how much religion seeps into every conversation; you pointed out how this leaves you talking about recent movies, or the weather etc. (I think I have bulk of what you were getting at here.)

    This has been one of the hardest parts of my deconversion. I now find it extremely difficult to speak with my parents, my family and some of my friends; there is this background tension that results from the knowledge that we have two wildly different world views, and that this difference in views is best avoided. I really long for the days when we would sit around the table without that background tension, and the conversation was allowed to flow naturally.

  • David W

    I enjoyed the podcast, thanks!

    Anyone who denies at least least *feeling* like crying during parts of the Toy Story series is obviously lying.

    You said something early on in the conversation about how hard it is to have conversations with some of your religious family/friends now that you are an atheist, and you mentioned that one would be surprised at how much religion seeps into every conversation; you pointed out how this leaves you talking about recent movies, or the weather etc. (I think I have bulk of what you were getting at here.)

    This has been one of the hardest parts of my deconversion. I now find it extremely difficult to speak with my parents, my family and some of my friends; there is this background tension that results from the knowledge that we have two wildly different world views, and that this difference in views is best avoided. I really long for the days when we would sit around the table without that background tension, and the conversation was allowed to flow naturally.

  • David W

    I enjoyed the podcast, thanks!

    Anyone who denies at least least *feeling* like crying during parts of the Toy Story series is obviously lying.

    You said something early on in the conversation about how hard it is to have conversations with some of your religious family/friends now that you are an atheist, and you mentioned that one would be surprised at how much religion seeps into every conversation; you pointed out how this leaves you talking about recent movies, or the weather etc. (I think I have bulk of what you were getting at here.)

    This has been one of the hardest parts of my deconversion. I now find it extremely difficult to speak with my parents, my family and some of my friends; there is this background tension that results from the knowledge that we have two wildly different world views, and that this difference in views is best avoided. I really long for the days when we would sit around the table without that background tension, and the conversation was allowed to flow naturally.

  • http://humanistfox.wordpress.com humanistfox

    I’m glad you mentioned Bolt. In a way, I think it’s even more relatable for the deconverted than the Truman Show, as it explores the dynamic between delusional Bolt and the outspoken skeptic (Mittens), as well as the happy-clappy believer (Rhino). By the end of the film, the way Bolt views Mittens, Rhino, and himself has vastly changed.

    I’m also looking forward to your Truman Show review. It’s one of my favorite movies, and it’s also one I view differently after I deconverted.

  • http://humanistfox.wordpress.com humanistfox

    I’m glad you mentioned Bolt. In a way, I think it’s even more relatable for the deconverted than the Truman Show, as it explores the dynamic between delusional Bolt and the outspoken skeptic (Mittens), as well as the happy-clappy believer (Rhino). By the end of the film, the way Bolt views Mittens, Rhino, and himself has vastly changed.

    I’m also looking forward to your Truman Show review. It’s one of my favorite movies, and it’s also one I view differently after I deconverted.

  • http://humanistfox.wordpress.com humanistfox

    I’m glad you mentioned Bolt. In a way, I think it’s even more relatable for the deconverted than the Truman Show, as it explores the dynamic between delusional Bolt and the outspoken skeptic (Mittens), as well as the happy-clappy believer (Rhino). By the end of the film, the way Bolt views Mittens, Rhino, and himself has vastly changed.

    I’m also looking forward to your Truman Show review. It’s one of my favorite movies, and it’s also one I view differently after I deconverted.

  • Thinker1121

    This is just an amazing interview. I can’t believe all of the garbage you’ve had to put up with, Neil.

    Two questions for you. First, when the student asked you if you were an atheist, were you at all tempted to lie? If I had been in your shoes, I think I would have immediately gone into defense mode, said “of course not!,” explained it away by saying something like “but I do have certain friends who don’t believe as we do” and quickly taken the necessary steps to further restrict Facebook access to prevent anyone else from causing a problem. Did you ever have to systematically lie like this before you came out to protect yourself?

    Second, can your ex-wife see that you were discriminated against, or does she side with the administration? I’m curious because on the one hand, I’m sure that she knows you well enough to know you didn’t do anything wrong…but at the same time if she accepts the logic of “get the atheists away,” perhaps she would be blind to the discrimination.

  • Thinker1121

    This is just an amazing interview. I can’t believe all of the garbage you’ve had to put up with, Neil.

    Two questions for you. First, when the student asked you if you were an atheist, were you at all tempted to lie? If I had been in your shoes, I think I would have immediately gone into defense mode, said “of course not!,” explained it away by saying something like “but I do have certain friends who don’t believe as we do” and quickly taken the necessary steps to further restrict Facebook access to prevent anyone else from causing a problem. Did you ever have to systematically lie like this before you came out to protect yourself?

    Second, can your ex-wife see that you were discriminated against, or does she side with the administration? I’m curious because on the one hand, I’m sure that she knows you well enough to know you didn’t do anything wrong…but at the same time if she accepts the logic of “get the atheists away,” perhaps she would be blind to the discrimination.

  • Thinker1121

    This is just an amazing interview. I can’t believe all of the garbage you’ve had to put up with, Neil.

    Two questions for you. First, when the student asked you if you were an atheist, were you at all tempted to lie? If I had been in your shoes, I think I would have immediately gone into defense mode, said “of course not!,” explained it away by saying something like “but I do have certain friends who don’t believe as we do” and quickly taken the necessary steps to further restrict Facebook access to prevent anyone else from causing a problem. Did you ever have to systematically lie like this before you came out to protect yourself?

    Second, can your ex-wife see that you were discriminated against, or does she side with the administration? I’m curious because on the one hand, I’m sure that she knows you well enough to know you didn’t do anything wrong…but at the same time if she accepts the logic of “get the atheists away,” perhaps she would be blind to the discrimination.

  • Sajee

    I enjoyed the podcast. It was powerful. I’m sorry to hear about your struggles but thank you for the courage to do what you do. You’re an inspiration.

  • Sajee

    I enjoyed the podcast. It was powerful. I’m sorry to hear about your struggles but thank you for the courage to do what you do. You’re an inspiration.

  • Sajee

    I enjoyed the podcast. It was powerful. I’m sorry to hear about your struggles but thank you for the courage to do what you do. You’re an inspiration.

  • http://thebigreason.com Mark Eagleton

    I really enjoyed this. You are as well spoken as you are written. Please do more interviews and speaking engagements.

  • http://thebigreason.com Mark Eagleton

    I really enjoyed this. You are as well spoken as you are written. Please do more interviews and speaking engagements.

  • http://thebigreason.com Mark Eagleton

    I really enjoyed this. You are as well spoken as you are written. Please do more interviews and speaking engagements.


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