Open Thread for Episode 21.02: Russell and Don


Don talks about the Christian slant of the Texas legislature and where they go with their bills and laws.

Comments

  1. larry smith says

    Y’all should stream the show on your website so we can watch and comment at the same time. Am I missing something or is this just a technology fail?

  2. larry smith says

    There’s something inherently wrong with a blog called the Free Thought Blog that moderates their comments.

  3. Murat says

    Isn’t this John the same guy who called from Hawaii last week?

    And, is he a “Jehova’s witness”, though not stating that openly?

  4. Tiffany says

    David from Atlanta…We are the founders of atheist helping the homeless in Atlanta. Hit us up.

  5. Scott says

    It seems that the caller is saying I don’t believe in the bean stalk but the giant is real…

  6. anthonybc547 says

    Those first two callers should have been hung up on immediately. It’s like they didn’t really have anything in mind to say and just wanted to go off on wild, random tangents. Thank goodness for David from Atlanta.

  7. Mobius says

    At the beginning of the show Russel mentioned a survey you will be having. Can you please post here a link to where that survey will be put up?

    Appreciate it.

  8. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    Oh, John’s one of those theists.

    Object to all of it.

    John realizes that religion propagates and amplifies messy ideas yet he misses the common theme of god/s input value.

    Gawd is John’s blood.

    What a waste of good tap dancing skills, I hope he gets paid for it.

    Michelle, a very visible portion of Republicans in general rather create their own reality, with half truths at best. In that way they can maintain an unearned sense of superiority over others and deny them any credibility while maintaining an air of being hardworking, dedicated and chosen people facing the evil, lazy, bullying Democrats and minorities. Reality and facts don’t meld well with their narrative so it is expendable to those set of people.

    Frank is a “Faitheist?”

    Speak for yourself. You can’t get over gawd belief right now.

    Now he has solved the issue philosophers have mulled over for centuries. Ah, joy!

    Frank is giving me nothing.

    “Maybe I’m wrong,” as if he presented anything worth evaluating. He just hypothesized stuff.

    Ew, another nonreligious theist in Vick.

    Of course the messiah is in an invisible realm. Thanks, Vick! You know for a nonreligious theist you sure have the same shitty beliefs.

    David just hit up Google or twitter, black nonbelievers are a thing now, I’m one so I know.

  9. Never a miscommunication! says

    Hey Andres! I think you’re worrying too much about telling your kids your opinions. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with telling your kids honestly what you believe, because they’re not your coworkers that will get all offended and stop talking to you (unless you taught them to hate all atheists, of course). They’ll gladly accept you, I’m presuming, and they’ll probably be curious as well and you’ll get to answer lots of questions without tiptoeing around it like you would with other people.
    In fact, it’s beneficial for you to casually mention that you changed your mind on something, and share it with them while telling them new information they didn’t know before. They will respect their parents way more for being able to admit when they were wrong, and it’ll be a lesson in critical thinking for them, that even authorities can be wrong on things.

  10. Primo di Pietro says

    Vick from Nashville gives himself away when Don, at 1:22:43, asks him why he believes what he believes. There’s a bit of crosstalk in the response, but Vick seems to say that he’s among the “remnant” of believers who have it all figured out. If that is so, he is most likely a member of the Remnant Fellowship Church, which was launched here in Nashville in 1999 as an extension of its founder’s “spirituality-based” weight loss program. Religious hucksterism? You bet. Child-discipline mandates that lead to the death of an eight-year old in Georgia? Allegedly. A cult? Who am I to say otherwise?

  11. says

    @2 larry

    There’s something inherently wrong with a blog called the Free Thought Blog that moderates their comments.

    Moderation is virtually non-existent. The initial moderation for new commenters is to keep out spam bots. Other than that, they only step in in extreme cases.

    I don’t believe your objection has any merit.

  12. says

    @1 larry

    Y’all should stream the show on your website so we can watch and comment at the same time. Am I missing something or is this just a technology fail?

    They don’t have a lot of control over the fundamental structure of this site. Out of all the issues they need to work on, the ability to comment while playing the video is not high priority.

  13. TheYouTube Guy says

    They have to stop taking calls from John from San Diego/Hawaii. The fact that he is giving different places points to that he isn’t serious. He is either crazy or poeing. It was funny the first week but then it just goes in circles. He offers nothing. Maybe they’ll take a short call from him next time and never talk to him again.

  14. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    Yeah, um, Larry@2: Maybe you should start you own freely unmoderated blog. That’d be fun, yeah?

  15. Monocle Smile says

    @larry
    There used to be a live chat for the shows. I’m not sure if that still exists. Most of the time, these open threads go up before the show, so you can comment here and watch on YouTube live.

    Blogs like this get lots of spambots, like Jasper said. There are also drive-by trolls whose comments are utterly worthless. It is better for the discussion to remove these elements.

  16. Cathy Rhodes says

    I hope that the callers actually find the Blog Spot to follow up with some of the comment’s here. I would have loved to further the questioning of caller # 2. Why the anger? Why the anger at hopefully loving people who adopted HER children into their lives and homes. I get the realization of new Atheist’s when the bag is suddenly pulled off of their heads, but before you go out and start proselytizing to others you need to become more informed and more tolerant.

    I would also point out that many of her facts about African Americans, slavery and Black Lives Matter are woefully ignorant.

  17. Monocle Smile says

    Yeah, I don’t buy John/Charles at all. I agree that he’s either a Poe or just a weirdo who likes the sound of his own voice. Either way, discussions with him are not productive and he’s extremely annoying.

    While Michelle’s call touched on an important topic, it wasn’t really relevant to the show, I don’t think. I’m from half an hour south of Rochester, and it’s nice to find someone in an extremely white, affluent area with Michelle’s viewpoint.
    Meh, turns out I’m not the biggest fan of Michelle. Yes, it’s good for her to oppose the anti-vaxxxxxers, but the other religious homes aren’t necessarily terrible and she has a decent chance of landing in legal trouble. I can’t agree with her methods and she might have other issues.

    Vick is a tool. Screw off, basement dweller.

  18. Conversion Tube says

    I feel like Michelle is at the new Angry Atheist stage. Hopefully she doesn’t burn too many bridges before she realizes her current angry mental state isn’t making anything better.

    It’s almost like she’s looking for reasons to lash out.

  19. ironchops says

    To Don’s opening fail presentation.
    I live in Virginia where a similar bathroom bill is being considered. I hope they don’t pass it! I will vote against it if it goes to referendum. North Carolina is trying to reverse/repeal theirs. That type of law seems both useless and divisive. How would you actually enforce it? “STOP!! Show me your birth certificate and pull down your pants.” On one hand I can understand the fear but it seems unfounded. We have had separated bathrooms for most if not all of my entire 55 year life. Sex offenders have always been able to enter any bathroom they wanted. How does this law do anything except waste the time and energy of our governments that should be used on other more important problems.

  20. ironchops says

    To Michelle-Since slavery in the US has been abolished many of the former slaves and their families have been very successful up to and including holding public office and owning businesses and such. I am almost positive those folks worked very hard to be successful.
    As for the rest, you can’t fix what you broke to start with. Just move forward and live a good life without g_d. You still have a lot to learn. Take your time. Don’t do anything that is rash and un-reasonable.

  21. Mobius says

    @22 Conversion Tube

    I agree with you. Many of us, recovering from religion, go through that stage. I think it comes from a feeling that you have been lied to all your life and are angry about it. That seems to be the case here.

    In fact, though, for the most part I don’t think believers are lying. They are presenting what they think to be true. It is just that in most cases they either have not given it deep thought or are unaware of the facts pertaining to their beliefs. Mistaken =/= lying.

  22. Monocle Smile says

    @ironchops
    You missed the point of Michelle’s spiel. Blacks are still wildly disadvantaged today regardless of the few good stories and generally have to work much harder than an equivalent white person to succeed as much. She is absolutely correct that the naive version of the “American Dream” is utter bullshit. As a general rule, “working hard” doesn’t take you all that far without lots of luck, nepotism, and avoidance of systemic prejudices. I recommend reading some Kurt Vonnegut to explore more of this; the idea that poor people are merely lazy and should just work harder is the biggest and most caustic economic lie in America and is exploited mercilessly by certain politicians.

  23. ironchops says

    Hi MS
    I got her point. I don’t agree entirely. I see those that try and work hard have more success than failure in nearly all walks of life. The fact that many, not just a few, have earned there way in spite of not having “lots of luck, nepotism, and avoidance of systemic prejudices” is inspiring to me! I also see people perpetuate their own bad luck so to speak. Bad decisions. In America we don’t live in the cast or futile systems so there is some freedom here, but not a free pass.
    I like this quote: “A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.” I am working hard learning to love better. Thanks for suggesting Kurt Vonnegut. He has a lot of stuff to read. Any suggestion on which on to start with?

  24. Monocle Smile says

    @ironchops
    Start with Slaughterhouse Five.
    I would love to live in your bubble where hard work actually gets people ahead consistently. I find that it’s easy to deceive oneself into thinking that their hard work is paying off proportionally when they’re really just eking out minimal progress. The numbers don’t lie; blacks (minorities in general, but mostly blacks and Hispanics) are getting screwed over way harder than whites, and it’s due to slavery and Jim Crow and the racist attitudes that continue to pervade this country. I need to dig up another book I read a while ago that analyzed the stark differences in education funding just between neighborhoods in New York City. Minorities are generally born fucked, grow up fucked, and then are blamed personally for being less affluent.

    Look at the political talking points over the last couple of decades. Unbelievable amounts of money have gone into investigating “food stamp fraud” when not only wasn’t it warranted to begin with, but the results are laughable. Food stamp fraud is barely noticeable from a budgetary perspective and it doesn’t matter anyway because it’s tied to survival.

    Or how about the backlash to fast food workers striking for $15 an hour? Why did so many people find that unreasonable? Why did no political party support their efforts? Instead, they faced lots of punching down from people who are also barely scraping by who should have instead followed suit and demanded better conditions in turn. Our politicians have rather “cleverly” turned the middle and lower middle class against the poor, which is a red herring to distract from the fact that the top dogs are taking giant shits on most of the population. Corporate profits were mostly at all-time highs in the late parts of the recession (and some during the whole thing!) and yet they still go “fuck yo $15 an hour.” Class mobility is at a 50-year low and real wages have stagnated despite troubling rises in cost of living nationwide.

    Michelle’s spiel wasn’t really about today anyway. Slaves worked harder than pretty much anyone else and got jack shit as a reward. You can’t possibly tell me that those hardships were somehow worth it or paid off.

  25. ironchops says

    I was looking at “Jailbird” but I will heed your suggestion. I will agree that there is still a lot of discrimination going on and I hate that shit. I also hate the fact that the top corporate dogs get way more than their share of bones. I just saw in a report on TV that the top 10 richest people in the world own more than half of all of the worlds wealth. The money paradigm is obsolete. I believe we need to move to a more meritocracy type form of governing, without discrimination.

  26. Marius Bester says

    Don’t get me wrong I’m 100% an atheist (catholic born) however I’ve noticed a correlation between one of the Old Testmanet stories, the Tower of Babel. I have reason to believe it is in a similar place to that of where one of humanities first cities (Jericho) was located also known as the cradle of civilisation (modern turkey). In the story Gods followers try to build a tower to reach God but he smites then down and makes them all speak different languages. This is what happened in a minor way that the people forced out most likely by drought spread into Asia and Europe going on to speak different tongues. Could this be an interpretation of what really happened, taken too far by religious fanatics.

  27. Monocle Smile says

    @Cathy
    Why the anger? Really? As I said in my post, I’m half on Michelle’s side…two of her children are with anti-vaxxxxxers. I’d be pissed, too. It sounds like she found out after the adoption. You call that a loving family? I think you’re making lots of assumptions about the quality of people who adopted her children. Yes, Michelle is going about things the wrong way and could land herself in lots of trouble and yes, she has given up all of her rights as a parent and needs to back off.

    Care to elaborate on your statements concerning blacks and BLM? Because I didn’t find anything that objectionable in Michelle’s statements.

  28. jenlq says

    i feel for michelle and for her children she lost parental rights through adoption. i’d love to hear more about her story and what made her decide to relinquish. also as an adoptee who grew up tortured by religion, i can say this. as an adoptee i felt i need to conform to my religious family. i was very outspoken “religious” up until I went to college. now i am very outspoken atheist. i didn’t “defog” from my adoption issues until giving birth to my own son. now i wish wish wish wish i had the opportunity to get some closure about my birth mother, and the situation that led to my relinquishment. i wonder if i would “fit” in with my birth family. i hope michelle does so research about the primal wound and cultural myths about adoption and birth mothers. we are over represented in jails, mental illness and suicide for a reason.

  29. pickle50 says

    In a fairly bland show the nugget of gold was the bloke who revealed his “research source” is YouTube! 😀 Classic! Some of the callers these days are so lacking in purpose and clarity with their points (including some of the atheists) I sometimes wonder if it is a new strategy by the theists to reduce the popularity of the show. Death by boredom, death by a thousand cuts, that annoying twat John, and the equally irritating “faithiest” are prime examples. I think the host needs to give them a lot less time to spout their bland fuzzy thoughts.

  30. Dean Costa says

    I think that Russell Glasser is completely aggravating and annoying as a Presenter!… this isn’t me trolling it’s actually an honest and accurate observation.

    Condescending, monotone and creepy!

    Just saying.

  31. Simon & Mrs Wendy Hosking says

    I realise this is late so the comment probably won’t be read (I’ve been on holidays – bite me).

    I really enjoyed this episode. On my way out of Christianity I went through various woo beliefs. It’s great to hear callers with similar beliefs get challenged.

    Good work guys.

    – Simon

  32. ironchops says

    to MS…..and so it goes. Strange writing style. I had to google to figure out Billy Pilgrim is Kurt (I think sort of maybe?). Smacks of new age a bit with all that time travel and travelling to Tralfamadore and all. I guess I would be strange too if I went through what he experienced. I liked it. :)