I’m speaking at Chicago Ideas Week today!

I’m speaking at Chicago Ideas Week today! October 11, 2012

I’m on the Religion panel, and I think my talk on the Ideological Turing Test and fostering productive fights will go up online.  I’ll keep you posted.  Oh, and in honor of the talk, I’ve finally overhauled my pre-conversion “About Me” tab above.  Want to take a look and give me any notes in the comments of this post?  I’ll have time for a few revisions after my plane touches down.  Older versions of the “About” description are archived here, for comparison purposes.

And while I’m aloft, check out the list of my co-panelists.  It should be a pretty diverse set of talks.


Lauren Drain – Lauren Drain was a former member of the much hated Westboro Baptist Church. For questioning the WBC’s belief system and methods, she was kicked out of membership and her father banished her from her home and family. Lauren is the author of the forthcoming memoir Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church, to be published in 2013.

Joshua DuBois – Joshua DuBois is Special Assistant to President Obama and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In this capacity, Joshua helps direct the Obama Administration’s engagement of faith-based and other nonprofit organizations around the country.

Eboo Patel – Named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Eboo Patel is the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a Chicago-based organization building the interfaith movement on college campuses. Author of the book Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation, which won the Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, and the forthcoming Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America, Eboo is also a regular contributor to the Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, NPR, and CNN. He served on President Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship.

Theodore Ross – Theodore Ross is the author of Am I a Jew? and his essays, journalism, and short fiction have appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, The Atlantic, Saveur, Tin House, and elsewhere. He is the Articles Editor of Men’s Journal, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and children.

Julia Sweeney -Julia Sweeney is best known for her four seasons on “Saturday Night Live,” in which her most famous character was androgynous “Pat.” She is also known for her three critically acclaimed one-woman monologues, “God Said, Ha!” “In The Family Way” and “Letting Go of God.” Julia has worked as a writer on several TV shows including “Sex & the City” and “Desperate Housewives.” She has also appeared in several TV shows including “Fraiser” and “Sex & the City” and in many films, including “It’s Pat: The Movie” “Pulp Fiction” and “Stuart Little.” Currently Julia has a new book entitled, Hanging Out in the Mother Hood which will be published by Simon & Schuster in April 2013.

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