The Humanist Hour #65: the Friendly Atheist

A new episode of the Humanist Hour is available for listening. Keep reading to find out about the guests on this month’s show.

In this month’s podcast, Jes Constantine and Todd Stiefel talk to Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist, about his activism in the freethought movement. Hemant also gives Jes and Todd a brief public speaking lesson and pop quiz. Plus, learn about the latest news with Rock Beyond Belief and the Reason Rally!

Next Month: Calling all secular teenagers! We want to know what it’s like to be growing up in America as a freethinking teen. Call our listener comment line ( 202.618.1371 ) and tell us why we should interview YOU.

Segment 1: Good News!

Godless bus ads will now roll in Little Rock. On Thursday, Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled in favor of the United Coalition of Reason (UnitedCoR), and against the Central Arkansas Transit Authority (CATA) and its advertising agent, On the Move Advertising (OTM), for declining to run $5,260.00 worth of bus ads aimed at attracting local atheists and agnostics in Central Arkansas. The queen-sized ads, that were to be placed on the sides of 18 buses serving Little Rock’s Riverfest, would have said: “Are you good without God? Millions are.” A blue sky with clouds was to be the background behind the words. [Read More]

Rock Beyond Belief’s earliest attempts were not taken seriously by Fort Bragg, as visitors may remember. However, the situation has changed drastically in the months since our first approach fell through. Fort Bragg’s Garrison Commander, Colonel Sicinski has made the right call, and has now approved our event with the full government support that was promised. [ Read More ]

The Reason Rally is a movement-wide event sponsored by the country’s major secular organizations. The intent is to unify, energize, and embolden secular people nationwide, while dispelling the negative opinions held by so much of American Society… and having a damn good time doing it!

On March 24, 2012, nontheists from all corners of the nation will descend on Washington, D.C. en masse to deliver the good news: “We’re huge, we’re everywhere, and we’re growing.” It will be the largest secular event in world history. There will be music, comedy, great speakers, and lots of fun… and it’s free!

Segment 2: Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist

Hemant Mehta graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with degrees in Mathematics and Biology. While there, he also helped establish their first secular student group, Students WithOut Religious Dogma (SWORD). He earned his Masters in Math Education at DePaul University and currently teaches high school math in the suburbs of Chicago.

He has worked with the Center for Inquiry and the Secular Coalition for America, received scholarships from American Atheists and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and now serves on the board of directors for Foundation Beyond Belief (a charity organization targeting non-theistic donors) and is the former chair of the board of the Secular Student Alliance (which creates and supports college atheist groups nationwide).

Hemant appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and his book, I Sold My Soul on eBay (WaterBrook Press), was released in 2007.

His blog, the winner of the 2011 Bloggie award for Best Weblog About Religion, can be read at Patheos.com.

Links from this month’s episode:

Music from this month’s episode (in order of appearance):


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