“AtheistVoter”, Amanda Knief on Atheists Talk

In May, American Atheists underwent a reorganization to better help them focus on shaping public policy. As part of that focus, they created a new role of National Legal and Public Policy Director in Washington, DC. This role is filled by former Executive Director Amanda Knief, whose background is in law and politics. This past week, she took American Atheists’ AtheistVoter initiative to the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa to ask conservative Christian politicians what they had to offer the growing demographic of nonbeliever voters and to join Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers’ protest of the event.

This Sunday, Amanda returns to Atheists Talk to discuss the aims of the AtheistVoter program and tell us what else she looks to accomplish in her new role.

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

“Fortney Road”, Jeff Stevenson on Atheists Talk

So, what really happened at Fortney Road?  In the late 1960’s and during the 1970’s, Christianity was adding a large new movement of former hippies and drug users and other young adults.  They referred to themselves as “Jesus Freaks.”  It was a movement of communes and music, of revolutionary ideas that brought The Word to people who were bored with and couldn’t relate to conventional evangelical Christianity.  Larry Hill was the charismatic preacher and leader of one such church based from a farm on Fortney Road.

Our guest, Jeff Stevenson, spent seven years researching the goings on of a cult whose members were run through an ordeal that few can understand.  They lived through sleep deprivation, corporal punishment and sexual abuse at the hands of Hill.  Things looked great from the outside, and sounded great, too.  The church sponsored a musical group that has produced some of the most unusual blues/rock Christian music ever heard and featured the talented guitarist Glenn Schwartz, who had come through The James Gang and Pacific Gas And Electric before joining Hill’s church and helping to form the All Saved Freak Band.

Freethought House has published Stevenson’s book and we welcome the author to the show.

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

“Stay”, Jennifer Michael Hecht on Atheists Talk

After losing two friends to suicide just over a year apart, Jennifer Michael Hecht was looking for answers. As she usually does, she turned to philosophy, but she found herself dissatisfied with the reactive individualism of Enlightenment and modern secular philosophy. Out of that dissatisfaction came Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against It. Stay chronicles the history of Western reasons for committing suicide and the reasons philosophers have given for people to hang on through bleakness and despair.

Hecht joins us this Sunday to talk about the book and to talk about why would should be grateful to those who chose to remain with us.

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation

“From Eternity to Here,” Bruce Gerencser on Atheists Talk

Independent Baptist Preachers can be feisty types.  They even maintain their ‘tude after they become atheists.  Bruce Gerencser started over eight churches, pastored at eight and was a preacher for over twenty five years.  Now Bruce is a humanist and agnostic blogger.  Join us as we find out about his life as a preacher and how he left religion.  Bruce blogs at “The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser; One Man’s Journey from Eternity to Here.”

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

“Science Debate in 2016!”, Sheril Kirshenbaum on Atheists Talk

We don’t need our presidential candidates to be scientists, although many of us wouldn’t complain too much if it were so. We do need them to have an understanding of how important science must be in forming public policy and informing our leadership in resolving vital issues. ScienceDebate is a drive started by several scientists and science communicators in an attempt to hold at least one debate focusing on science in 2008’s presidential cycle. The demand is growing for a debate in the 2016 cycle, with more than 43,000 signers.

Sheril Kirshenbaum is the Executive Director of Science Debate and will be talking to Greg Laden about progress being made and prospects for finally putting science on the table as a topic for discussion in the election.

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

“A Pod of Podcasts,” Local Podcasters on Atheists Talk

Atheists Talk is not the only podcast in the Twin Cities for atheist and skeptics.  On this show, we’ll do a bit of cross-promotion.  Joining us live and in the studio are podcasters who have their own shows: Geeks Without God, Positively Godless, A Minnesota Trans Atheist, and Dimland Radio. We’ll find out what they say and do in their podcasts and give our listeners some new audio resources for fun, science, atheism, music, and skepticality.

After the show, join us and some of our guests for brunch at Q-Cumbers restaurant.

Our podcasting guests:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

“What Are Morality and Ethics?” Dan Fincke on Atheists Talk

In denigrating atheists, theists will often claim that we have no basis for morals nor a grounding for ethics.  We don’t have a book; we don’t have a source; we don’t have commandments that tell us, as atheists, how to be good.  Engaging the issue, atheists often make the mistake of listing all the good things that we do as citizens and generally altruistic human beings and rightly we are proud of our efforts.  But we aren’t necessarily more moral or ethical than anyone else, and so, if we take credit for the good things we do, we have skipped a crucial step in argumentation: We haven’t defined our terms.  Asking Christians to define ethics and morals based on the actions we take and contemplate in our daily lives, we often discover that it really comes down to their belief that they are “saved,” and we are not.

Dr. Dan Fincke is a professor of philosophy and has written several articles discussing the issues of ethics and morality. He returns to Atheists Talk to explain empowerment ethics and how we can use objective, non-religious means to develop ethics and morals.

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

“The Nones versus The Dones”, Neil Carter on Atheists Talk

“We’re not unchurched, we’re done churched.” Neil Carter, from his blog Godless in Dixie.

According to the General Social Survey (GSS), the number of Americans choosing not to affiliate with a specific religion is growing rapidly larger. Since 2012, the number has risen by 7.5 million people.

Does this mean that the number of atheists or agnostics is growing that rapidly? No, not so fast. There are a large number of still-religious people who don’t go to church or feel like organized religion fills their spiritual needs. So, among the Nones, there are religious people and even people who designate themselves as “spiritual but not religious.”

And then there are The Dones. Neil Carter has been there, done that and has a bunch of the t-shirts of a churchy background, but now he is an atheist. He blogs at Patheos, and has written of the Dones as a subset of the Nones.

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

“A New Vision for the SSA”, August Brunsman on Atheists Talk

The Secular Student Alliance has been supporting student groups in colleges and high schools for fifteen years. This year, they released a new vision statement that addresses some of the unique needs of a movement with leadership that graduates every few years, as well as many of the questions the broader atheist movement has been facing as a whole. They have embraced humanist ideals, civic engagement, and inclusion.

This Sunday, the SSA’s Executive Director, August Brunsman, joins us to discuss where the SSA is coming from in releasing this vision and how they intend to make it a reality.

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.

“GMO Revisited!” Anastasia Bodnar and Greg Laden on Atheists Talk

Genetic Engineering, or Genetic Modification, is a process that creates a shortcut method to crossbreeding and hybridizing crops and livestock for favorable traits. Technologists create genetically modified organisms, or GMO’s, by inserting genes into the chromosomes of the target DNA. Sometimes the transplanted gene is from an organism in the same species as the target species, other times the gene is from a different species or it may be the case that an animal’s gene is spliced into a plant’s gene. In a recent show, Dr. Anastasia Bodnar and Mike Haubrich discussed the difficulties of spreading the news about the science of GMO’s due to rancor in the social media.

On this show, Dr. Greg Laden will join us to continue the discussion in a more positive light. We will go through the positive benefits of using genetic engineering to meet the growing demands of an ever larger population with a shrinking land area for raising the food to feed billions of people. We will address the ways in which the technology will adapt our food to help cope with the effects of climate change and help reduce other threats to the environment as well.

Related Links:

Listen to AM 950 KTNF this Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio at 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show. If you miss the live show, listen to the podcast later.

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. If you like the show, consider supporting us with a one-time or sustaining donation.