015: Black Women & Christianity in the United States (with Deanna Adams) Part 2

April 20, 2018

How does the African-American civil rights movement impact upon the state of black churches in America today? And should it be important to understand the legacy of African-American atheists and free thinkers? 

Today's conversation features the continuation of last week's discussion related to the history of African-American peoples and how that has affected black churches (and treatment of African-American women specifically).

Deanna Adams is an atheist, womanist and author who brings a fascinating perspective to the table, as an African-American woman. 

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014: Black Women & Christianity in the United States (with Valerie Wade) Part 1

April 13, 2018

How did the transatlantic slave trade and the resulting cultural violence affect Africans? Add to this the introduction of "white Christianity" into the mix and what results helps to explain much of the current situation within many African-American churches today.

This week's episode features a fascinating conversation with Valerie Wade: author, historian, and "cultural Christian." As a contributor to Karen Garst's upcoming book Women v. Religion, Valerie shares a particular fascination not just with history, but specifically focuses upon the treatment of African-American women in black churches currently.

Even though African-American women make up a large majority of black churches in terms of attendance and finance, they have historically not been allowed to have leadership roles, or to able to preach. Valerie offers up some fascinating historical and cultural insights on this issue.

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013: Coming Out In A Hostile World (with Dana Stinson) Part 2

April 6, 2018

In this second episode we pick up Dana's story from last week: coming out as a transgender woman and having to formulate a plan to do so--without her entire world falling apart.

Part 2 continues that story and also develops what happened when she and her spouse decided to talk to the pastor of their church, where they were both heavily involved in leadership.

Would either end well? And where is Dana now, in terms of her own faith journey, as well as her transition?

Listen in to find out!

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012: Coming Out In A Hostile World (with Dana Stinson) Part 1

March 30, 2018

What's it like to grow up in the evangelical church culture, with parents who were pastors, but all the while struggle with your own gender identity?

What do you do when you're married with a family, involved in church leadership, yet have the feeling inside that you're not being honest with yourself about your own gender?

How does God factor into all of this also?

This week we're going to hear exactly what it's like from my friend, Dana Stinson.

Making it all the more difficult for Dana was the cognitive dissonance--the conflicted thinking--of trying to balance what the church taught about gender identity and her own feelings.

Was she being honest with herself?

If you don't know a trans person at all, well...now you do! Listening to another person's experiences and points of view--with an open mind--is one of the best ways to enter into their world and see things from their perspective.

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011: Surfin’ With the Atheist (with Tim Malins)

March 23, 2018

What's it like to attend a Christian school? And what happens if you've never had any experience of Christianity or the Bible?

This week's guest, Tim Malins, is an old friend from way back--he moved up from Southern California to Washington State at the tender age of just 12 or 13. We met at the Christian fundamentalist school I and several other church friends attended.

This is Tim's story: how fundamentalism affected his mental health; introduced conflicted thinking via the concepts of "secularism;" scared him with end-times prophecy; avoided evolution and touted creationism, and more.

He's since become an atheist...

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010: Did Jesus Exist? Or…Was He A Myth (with David Fitzgerald) Part 2

March 16, 2018

If Jesus of Nazareth did not exist--as the Gospels indicate he surely did--then what are the implications for Christianity?

Find out more in Part 2 of my conversation with mythicist and atheist David Fitzgerald, author of Nailed: 10 Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All and Jesus: Mything in Action.

We explore the potential implications of this possibility--for Christianity, society, culture, and the planet. Christianity is losing its best and brightest, most thoughtful and compassionate people--so who will be left to carry the torch?

Find out in the second half of our conversation!

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009: Did Jesus Exist? Or…Is He A Myth (with David Fitzgerald) Part 1

March 9, 2018

Did Jesus of Nazareth actually exist?

Believe it or not, this is not the first time this question has been posed by theologians and biblical scholars. 

Dating to the 18th and 19th centuries, scholars responding to biblical higher criticism sought to find the "real Jesus of history"--not the Jesus of the Gospels, whom they alleged had been covered up by layers of traditions.

But today, mythicist and atheist David Fitzgerald questions whether Jesus even lived at all, or if he was indeed a construct of literary and theological notions. Author of Nailed: 10 Christian Myths that show Jesus Never Existed at All and Jesus: Mything in Action, David searches both the biblical and historical records to see if Jesus ever walked the earth.

Join me for the first half of this challenging and thought-provoking discussion!

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008: From Evangelical Christian to Angry Atheist to…Paleolithic Cave Art (with Andrew Gurevich) Part 2

March 1, 2018

 

Should Christians who believe in "young earth creation" be threatened by the notion of ancient civilizations that predate all major world religions?

Only if their own worldview is narrowly restricted by a literalist reading of the Bible. 

In the second half of my conversation with Andrew Gurevich of Portland, OR, we somehow tie together a wide range of threads in order to answer that question: apophatic theology, neurology, politics on the right and left, and finally...paleolithic cave art.

How is this possible? I'm not entirely sure myself, but somehow Andrew is able to tie all those seemingly diverse topics together and make it work.

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007: From Evangelical Christian to Angry Atheist to…Paleolithic Cave Art (with Andrew Gurevich) Part 1

February 23, 2018

How does a person go from evangelical Christian, studying at Bible college and seminary, to walking away from it all and becoming an angry atheist?  And now, an expert in paleolithic cave art with a prophetic voice?

Believe it or not, this trajectory describes the life of this week's guest: Andrew Gurevich of Portland, OR, USA. A leading mythologist and teacher of world religions, not only is Andrew fast becoming an expert on ancient cave art, but in addition he seeks to discover the multifaceted connections between humanity, religion, spirituality, politics, and tribalism.

In this first half of our conversation, Part 1, Andrew talks about his upbringing and how it's all come full-circle somehow along the journey of becoming who he is.

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006: Unbuckling the Bible Belt: Deconstructing Christianity in the Deep South (with “Seamus Clarke”) Part 2

February 16, 2018

Part 2 of my conversation with "Seamus Clarke" (a pseudonym) continues our exploration of the deconstruction of his Christian faith. 

What happens when you mix the childhood trauma of sexual abuse, a distant father with major issues of his own, evangelical dogma, "spiritual bypassing," and life in a red-state, Trump-supporting Bible belt? Let "Seamus" tell his story of a man who is in the process of questioning all these things and more.

Adding all those issues up, and then layering a veneer of Christian respectability and platitudes that are supposed to deal with trauma...then what you end up with is a particularly American brand of evangelical Christianity that desperately needs to be deconstructed.

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