1. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    A pleasant greeting to Lynnea.

    This episode blew by, I was shocked when it was over. Don’t have anything to complain about, thanks and praises to the backstage crew.

  2. Murat says

    It was good to see Lynnea as the co-host once again.
    Naturally, people’s minds work in different ways and having the same people on all the time brings with some sort of monotony. There can be times when you can almost say something before the host, especially if the caller is making way for catchphrases.
    Not just because of this, but also because Lynnea seems to be from an “inner-liberal” circle of the atheistic “sects”, plus, also thanks to the couples energy she naturally and inevitably provided along with Russell, the episode worked out very fine.
    The young adult caller from Lebanon seems to have a personality and and a way of thinking that are tailored for skepticism. He was quick in absorbing the basic arguments and is likely to keep questioning, which takes more of a merit than reaching answers.
    I think there was a minor misunderstanding between him and the hosts, though: The kind of shock the concept of atheism gave him is likely to be coming from him considering it to be solely “anti-theism”. Though I have never been there, I know Lebanon to be rich in culture as a multi-faith country where differents sects of major religions (when not engaged in civil war) interact on a daily basis. But such social structures also create even more dense inner groups. So, on the one hand “questioning” in a way to find approval for one faith or to challenge the other may be normal, just like inter-faith marriages can be, but, “faithlessness” considered truly abrupt and uncalled for with regards to ANY religion.
    I think that was exactly why atheism, especially for he read it directly as a “there’s no god!” exclamation, shocked him.

  3. Jackie Graham says

    There is no entity named Sam Hain associated with the Celts. In a nutshell, Samhain (pronounced SOWan) was one of four main feast days in the Celtic world. It signified the beginning of the dark part of the year, when the veil between the natural and supernatural world dissolved and beings from the Otherworld might move between them. It is the celebration that, over time (and interpretation) became Hallowe’en. If there are any self-proclaimed ‘druids’ out there worshipping Sam Hain, they are making stuff up. We know very few facts about the druids themselves since they never wrote anything about themselves or their practices down.

  4. Bret Frost says

    You need to teach your sound guy how to operate his/her equipment. It’s fairly easy. You turn the knobs/sliders to balance the sound levels so the hosts and callers are at similar levels. You see those little meters or LEDs? Use them to gauge the sound levels. Don’t let them go into the red zone for too long. They are not a free light show to stop you falling asleep. All through this show the callers could barely be heard over the noise on the line. But the fool on audio did nothing. Good content but a struggle to watch and hard to hear.

  5. Justin says

    Somehow both Lynnea and Russell misheard Josh multiple times; he wasn’t saying that Russell wasn’t in the picture, he said multiple times that PHIL SESSIONS isn’t in the atheist experience facebook banner picture.

    Now, of course, old hosts like Jeff and Martin are in that picture that have since quit the show, so my answer would be “who the fuck cares”. But I suppose at some point if you wanted to re-take the picture, make sure Phil is in it? Honestly it’s not an important issue and I’m sure it’s not at the top of TAE’s to do list.

  6. Mobius says

    When Ali started off saying he was shocked to learn that atheists exist, I thought the call was going to go badly. Happily, I was wrong. Ali, unlike so many theists, was not only willing but eager to listen to what Russell and Lynnea had to say. There may not have been a meeting of the minds, but it was a good discussion. IIRC, Ali said he was only 16 years old. He showed quite a bit of insight for someone that age. An excellent call.

  7. hansmud says

    Re comment 6 from Justin. I’ve noted that every now and again the hosts don’t quite catch what callers say. Assuming the sound person(s) hear both sides of a call more clearly, and have a channel to hosts’ earbuds, could they fill them hosts in on what’s was said? Except where hosts want to interject on points made by callers, could it be down to a delay in feeds to earphones that results in hosts talking over callers so not catching what they’re saying?

  8. hansmud says

    Some time spent on dungeons and dragons analogies considering it’s a niche interest (as Russell said, “nerd!”!. Analogies could usefully relate to what could reasonably be expected to be experienced/encountered by viewers in general.

    Near death experiences are exactly that. The persons involved did not die, however, death and near death may involve similar physiological processes. The example Lynnea gave of these experiences being similar to similar to sleeping is useful to a point, but may not be directly analogous, as they are, I would argue, demonstrably different things! Experiences involving oxygen deprivation may more closely approximate dying or near death experiences. For example fainting or standing up suddenly from a laying position. I’ve experienced the latter every now and again and it had loss/darkening of peripheral vision, leaving a “tunnel” vision experience. This appears to be the “light at the end of a tunnel” that NDE experiencers often relate.

    Modular brain damage affecting the senses, movement and cognitive functions mentioned is a good way to explain the roles the brain performs and how these can be selectively impaired or destroyed through physical trauma and disease. This puts to bed the idea that the mind is separate from the brain, although clearly some people don’t understand, or cannot conceive that their minds just stop when the brain dies.

  9. hansmud says

    Is there a limit on the number of characters in comments? I attempted to post a comment and it didn’t appear – no message saying it was too long etc. I edited (shortened) it and reposted it and it appeared straightaway. Could a character counter be included that runs down as you type be included if there is a limit?

  10. Murat says

    @10 Hansmud
    It had happened to me back when I was posting some really long texts. But it’s a random flaw I guess, seems not to happen all the time, regardless of length.
    More like evil magic than science.

  11. Lorry Zarb says

    living in Australia where fully 30% of us are non religious (in the latest census ) and where a politician who declares themselves as religious are viewed with suspicion rather than admiration and being an atheist is is just who you are , i feel despair that your nation which i admire in so many ways seems to be being left behind by history , keep up the good work

  12. ironchops says

    As a Baptist church going atheist I have not heard any negative comments towards playing D&D. I play from time to time myself, with other Christians (one is a pastor) and we have a great time. From my view point neither are real physically/empirically. I can see that maybe some fundamentalist may have a problem in that it exposes the believer to thoughts of other religions, gods or cults which is generally frowned upon for fear it may lure a believer away.
    Believers and non-believers can and do have long lasting marriages/relationships. Andy’s former boyfriend has a lifestyle that the formal catholic doctrine views as a “disorder” and he is still catholic. He needs to choose (or at least come to some sort of tolerance or quit) and until he does he is stuck in turmoil with himself and most likely will not work well in any relationship. He is not being honest with himself. I can only guess he may have family pressure.

  13. Monocle Smile says

    The Dungeons and Dragons thing reminds me of the religious response to Harry Potter. The response should be ridicule and raucous laughter, but there were some disturbing stories about parents I would describe as…unfit.

    EL was probably fist-pumping during Lynnea’s entire spiel, as he’s one to push the idea that worlds with magic would still operate under their own set of constraints (he loves his Thor references). I’m a fan of this approach.

  14. Murat says

    After the D&D talk, Russell said he wondered what the criteria was for magic and demons to be frawned upon, given that LOTR seemed okay while HP not so.
    I believe it lies in the public persona of the writer and the point they are making with the use of such fiction.
    J. K. Rowling is known to be a humanist, leftist, progressive person.
    Had the same kind of stuff been successfully used in the form of novels by Kellyanne Conway or Ann Coulter, religious AltRight would race to force the books into schools, claiming them to be relevant with both science and literature education.

  15. StonedRanger says

    Bret Frost
    They don’t have a ‘sound board’ per se, and no sound engineer. There are volunteers doing the best job they can with the limited equipment they have. Things are much improved now than they were when they first moved from public access tv. Im guessing they don’t have any way to turn up the callers that wont turn up the noise also. And for crying out loud, the guy was calling from Lebanon. Sometimes one has to pay a little more attention to the call due to call quality, but that’s a small price to pay to have the opportunity to talk to someone like Ali. Even though a muslim, and one who had not even entertained the thought that someone might not believe in a god, he came to the show with an open mind and responded very positively to the answers to his questions. I hope he calls back, often. If you think you can do a better job with the sound, im sure that AXP would welcome the donation of your time, expertise and perhaps a donation of some equipment to help with the problem. Otherwise, just coming here to bitch about things isn’t helpful. Compared to public access, this show runs pretty damned well. Thanks to those upfront, and those in the back without whose hard work this show wouldn’t happen.

  16. Vern Graner says

    Bret Frost and “StonedRanger”-

    Yes, we do have a mixer and yes we do have a sound engineer for the show- that honor would fall to me. 🙂 I’ve been a fan of the show for years and I volunteer my time each Sunday (and on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays for the Non Prophets) to help with the sound quality of the show. 🙂

    I can appreciate the frustration of listening to the show and not being able to hear things clearly. That particular frustration is what led me to donate my time and quite a bit of equipment to furnish the new studio.

    StonedRanger is correct- when a call comes in over a lot of internet “hops” (e.g. overseas call), or if the caller is in a noisy environment, or if the callers equipment is poor, the call quality can be rather bad. When these things happen, I take a number of steps to try and improve the call quality. First, here’s a summary of the equipment we have that allows us to take calls-

    We use a Comrex STAC-VIP VoIP phone system that is designed for commercial radio stations. The phone switch feeds into our Behringer XENYX X2222USB Mixer. The mixer channel used has three bands of EQ (two shelving, one parametric) and that channel is managed by the insertion of a MULTICOM PRO-XL Dynamic Processor (expander/compressor/gate).

    When the hosts take a call, the first thing I do is adjust the EQ trying to make the tone of the callers voice as natural as I can. If the caller sounds “tinnny” I add bass. if the call sounds “dull” I add treble. If the call is “sharp” sounding, I will sweep the mid range to find the spiking frequency and attenuate it.

    The next thing I do is adjust the expansion gate. The point of the gate is to only allow the callers spoken words to get on to the air. When the caller stops speaking, their volume (in theory) should drop below the gate threshold causing the gate to close and mute the channel. This keeps hissing/crackling/wind noise/phone handling sounds etc to be kept off the air. However, this ONLY works if the background noises are at a lower volume than the callers voice.

    In the cases where the callers voice is at the same level as the noise, there is no way for the system to differentiate the voice from the noise so I simply adjust the EQ and the gates and hope the call goes well or improves as it goes along.

    All things considered, for a small community studio our system is actually pretty sophisticated. To provide further insight, here is a link to my web site where I share some studio information including a complete schematic of the audio portion of the show’s system:

    The audio schematic is the PDF file named “Mixer_Layout-X2222-2o-VLG_MSPDF.pdf”. You can also view some behind the scenes pictures and a small video clip of the system in action during a show.

    At the last production meeting (last weekend actually) I discussed what we might do with the phone switch in order to insure the best call quality. Our phone system connects to OnSIP for our 6 lines and an action item was to contact them and find out if QoS for VoIP on our router might help with call quality. We also explored asking COMREX about protocol negotiation to see if we might change the call encoders selection priority in order to “prefer” higher quality calls during the VoIP negotiation phase.

    So in closing, no Bret, I don’t sit back and watch the “light show” during the program- I spend a lot of time making sure the calls are as clear as they can be. 🙂 If the call sounds bad, let me tell you, it was a lot worse before it received all the treatments we were able to apply! 🙂

    I would be happy to answer any questions about our setup and I welcome any suggestions on how we might improve show audio quality. Though I have quite a bit of experience in sound engineering, I welcome knowledgeable and useful feedback (heh! pun!) 🙂


    Vern Graner
    Sound Engineer for
    The Atheist Experience Internet TV Show
    The Non Prophets Podcast
    Proud member of the Atheist Community of Austin

  17. taintedbloop says

    im halfway through this episode and the call i just listened to (i think it was josh?) and jeez this is really cringeworthy…especially the part when they were joking about mimicking tracy. i know lynnea is not experienced so she can’t be the most experienced with the callers so i feel like russell should have picked up the slack but i feel like he hasnt for some reason. this episode is really weird. its like the both of them are really giddy and maybe a little high on something, like all over the place. i dont know. it seems like they dont know what to say almost all of the time.

    anyway, that’s enough of that. i still love the show. sometimes you guys are just weird.

  18. citizenscriv says

    I really like the episodes when Lynnea is on, she makes great arguments and observations, would love to see her on more

  19. Bear Lemley says

    It’s was hard to watch this episode and not cringe. It is said that that if you have nothing nice to say it is best not to say anything. So… well I miss the Tacie and Matt show. This show was embarrassing. IMHO

  20. says

    Embarrassing that you did not help Jason from La Cruces, NM identify the problem in his conversation with his friend! Why would you not point out the false dichotomy or burden of proof? SO simple just to say that being unable to DIS-prove something does not mean it must be true!

    I give the newbie the benefit of the doubt, but Russel should have been able to pick this out after it was missed.

    I appreciate the hosts and their experience, but after watching these two I only wish I lived in the area so I throw my own hat in the ring. I may get tangled up eventually on some subject, but I am now certain I could do better than this.

  21. Simon & Mrs Wendy Hosking says

    Joshua, if this was a YouTube comments section there would be 20% of the posters saying how one of the hosts is hot and what they would like to do them, 20% saying one of the hosts is a fat pig that should stay in bed and 20% calling Matt s Feminist Chuck even though he wasn’t in this episode.
    This forum is far from perfect, but so much better than YouTube. Just have a look at the AXP videos posted on other channels.

    – Simon

  22. Murat says

    What’s wrong with everybody?
    The episode was cool. It was just different in tone, which is always a good thing!
    Jeez… AXP has never been the grounds for pretentious academical debate format or something to that effect, and such episodes that somehow stand apart should always be welcome.

  23. RationalismRules says

    @Joshua #23 It’s a first-pass filter to weed out empty opining and trolls. With Twitter, Instagram etc. everyone now seems to think their smallest thought deserves to be shared with the world. They’re wrong.

    The tiny amount of extra effort that it takes to post here weeds out 99% of the crap that no-one should have to wade through, and makes it that much more likely that what gets posted is worth reading. Very effective, I say!

  24. Yaddith says


    I can understand your frustration that the hosts did not point out at the beginning of Jason’s call that being unable to disprove something doesn’t mean it’s true, but Russell did eventually address this subject at the end of the call (at 30:30), when he said that the default position should be not to believe something if you do not have a reason to believe it, “and that’s basically what atheism is.”

  25. Ethan Myerson says

    I loved the goofy energy in this episode, I absolutely loved the D&D talk and wished there were more. I encountered some of the religious objections (“moral panic”) over D&D as a kid in the 80s. Not from my family – liberal secular Jews – but definitely from friends who could suddenly no longer come over for game night when parents learned it was THAT game.
    I would have thought all of that moral panic went out with the Reagan Administration, but this year my son wanted a D&D party for his 12th birthday, and was sad that one of his friends wouldn’t be able to come, because his parents learned it was THAT game. Plus ça change…

  26. Monocle Smile says

    @Bret Frost
    The next post where you’re not a whiny dick will be the first.

    I agree, I liked this show BECAUSE it was a bit of a change of pace, not in spite of it. I think Lynnea brings a twist; my first exposure to her was a show years ago where Seth the Presuppositional Slavery Apologist called in and she baffled him with his own argument.

  27. RationalismRules says

    @Vern #19
    Thanks for the detailed explanation, and for your unseen but vital contribution to the show!

  28. citizenscriv says

    loved the ‘Ali’ call, such a smart kid to be reasoning like that whilst growing up in such a closed minded environment

  29. Monocle Smile says

    In the recent past, AXP tried opening up YouTube comments for a single show just to see what they’d look like.
    The results were much more appalling than Simon’s characterization, which should tell you something. AXP has decided they don’t need that shit, and I think they’re right.

  30. Bret Frost says

    Bring out the insults. Why is it that you guys are happy to mock religions and point out logical flaws in them but nobody is allowed to voice an observation that the sound between the callers and hosts was not balanced? How are they meant to improve the show if everyone here is an ass licker? The show was not perfect because the voices of the hosts was louder than the callers. All through the show the sound was not up to scratch. Lynnea constantly played with her ear buds because she could not hear the callers. Either The hosts blasted out or you strained to hear the phone ins. You twats need to look inwards. It is fine to rubbish religion but not fine to point out true faults with this show. And no I am not religious, I’m and Atheist and have been for years. This show has helped me be comfortable with that choice. But I will not be silent when something technical is wrong with a broadcast that a trained monkey could remedy. It matters not that they are volunteers the sound person did a shit job this week. Isn’t the aim of the show to improve and inform? You can’t do that if the production sucks. Throwing insults at people who have different opinions to you is a typical pig ignorant defence. They was no good reason why this weeks show’s sound was different from past weeks apart from the sound guy. The comments are for people to comment. Sometimes it will be brown nosing other times it will be the hard truth. Grow a spine and learn to take criticism as it is the true path to improvement. @Vern Graner thank you for an honest answer unlike the other assholes on here. It’s enough to drive me back into the arms religion, at least you can speak there without being insulted.

  31. Monocle Smile says

    There’s offering constructive criticism, and then there’s being an unrepentant fuckstick week after week.
    Guess which one applies to you?

  32. bigjay says

    I like(d) The Big Bang Theory, the first 4 seasons anyway. Maybe I’m not considered a nerd, though, I don’t know. I was popular in high school, basketball star, had a cool car and a pretty girlfriend. But now, I’m quite a nerd, electronics geek, Arduino, RasPi, some coding, building Hackintoshes, etc. So I’m not quite sure if that qualifies me as a real nerd or not, but I’m at least on the nerd spectrum somewhere! LOL

  33. Bret Frost says

    I prefer to tell it as I see it rather than join the flock and suck dick just to fit in. “Oh the sound levels were exemplary, must be true ’cause idiot commenters say so” And just like that the sound of the show magically became great. It’s as if an unseen spiritual being reached back in time and fixed the recording. Vern explained his workings and I accept them, you can only do so much. Funny how the man I insulted (sorry about that Vern) is man enough not to lower himself to the level of the retards who insist on entertaining me with insults. I cannot stop laughing at the stupidity of the sheep on here. I thought only the flock of religion were thick and once you stopped believing in nonsense your brain grew. But no, Lets praise a bad job and pretend all is fine. Re-run the episode and listen.
    The content was fine.. the sound was not. Balance is king.

  34. Simon & Mrs Wendy Hosking says

    Brett, how is calling a volunteer sound engineer a ‘trained monkey’ and a ‘fool’ constructive? Is that really how you want to represent yourself?
    You come across as an asshole – you can hardly be expected to taken seriously. If you were a caller I’d have hung up on you.

    – Simon

  35. johnmaskelyne says

    Brett, ironically, you seem to be focusing on the content of your comment and not the quality of its transmission.

    There is no issue with saying that you found the quality of the audio poor this week. Indeed that could well have been helpful.
    Insulting the volunteer as a “fool” and implying he is lazy, is not ok – especially as you have paid nothing to watch and enjoy the show week after week!

    If someone invited you round to give you a free meal as their guest, it would be ok not to like it. It might be fine to offer some tips. Would you really call the host a fool for not cooking it right and explain that, if they hadn’t just sat there enjoying the light show on the range, they might have done a better job? If some of the other guests were annoyed on behalf of the host, would you really be surprised?

  36. RationalismRules says


    Why is it that you guys are happy to mock religions and point out logical flaws in them but nobody is allowed to voice an observation that the sound between the callers and hosts was not balanced?

    Since nobody is allowed to voice such an observation, how is it that we are having this discussion about you having voiced such an observation?

    Throwing insults at people who have different opinions to you is a typical pig ignorant defence.

    Right-o! So according to your own criteria, your use of “ass licker”, “twats”, “trained monkey” “assholes” “suck dick” “retards” & “sheep” all demonstrate that your defense is pig-ignorant. Good to be clear on that.

    It’s enough to drive me back into the arms religion, at least you can speak there without being insulted.

    Oh, petal! You threw shit at someone and some bounced back and your little skin got soooo badly bruised!

  37. Murat says

    @citizenscriv #34
    Do we really know if the caller’s environement is particularly closed minded? He is probably being fed the kind of dogma most young adults usually are, unless they live in trademark libaral surroundings. An exaggeration based on clichés seem to come along for people from muslim-dominated places. In fact, the alleged features of the common religion doesn’t change the nature of one’s inner skeptical journey that much. Can even help trigger things faster.

  38. Murat says

    @Bret Frost #40
    Your frustratration with the sound and the way you defend the particular language you preferred while expressing it makes me think you have had a personal issue about a similar situation in the past. Something buried deep inside the subconscious. Alien abduction; the commander of the experimenting crew getting frustrated at you for not being loud enough while the burning smell coming from the electrodes on your sensitive skin is becoming just unbearable…
    Why else, if not for the overrun of one such suppressed memory…
    And yes, technical qualities of the show need to be worked on. Which I believe is part of what the 14 grand will be spent for.

  39. Elu Sive says

    Best part of the show at 1:29:20 !
    If anyone is making a “best of” real for AXP then please include that clip!
    The other 99.9% of the show was good too, just saying…

  40. StonedRanger says

    @Vern As to having a sound board and an engineer I stand corrected. Still appreciating the job you do.

    @Bret I didn’t call you any names, I just gave my opinion on the show. The rest of my comment that was directed towards you stands. And if these comments are enough to make you go back to religion, Im going to guess you were an atheist for bad reasons in the first place.

  41. Yos8 says

    Jesus Christ, can we have a concerted effort to get someone who tempers Russell’s autism instead of reinforces it? I am sorry to come in so nasty on this — and I hope it won’t really be perceived as nasty, since I legitimately think there’s a very good chance Russell is on the spectrum — but in episodes like this one, Russell and his cohost miss so many great opportunities to have meaningful conversation because they’re too busy making some self-indulgent joke that completely ignores the fact that they’re on the line with a real live human, being watched by people interested in the content of their discussion.

    Russell is awkward enough with his inability to make polite conversation. (How many calls before someone tells Russell you can end a conversation with a confident “OK, I really appreciate the call! ” versus “OK… I… THINK we’re gonna go on to some…one else now. …………………………………. Bye.”)

    Having Russell actually get to a place where he has successfully identified, “OK, let’s move on from this pointless topic of The Big Bang Theory / D&D”, and they’re about to move forward, was so inspiring, until Lynnea, unbelievably, kept bringing up the topic again and again, as if Russell wasn’t even present. It was almost surreal.

    And one final “ugh” at watching them get practically giddy with excitement because they listen so poorly that neither could hear the caller refer to “Phil” repeatedly. Even if the problem was technical, someone with a modicum of human understanding would’ve just stopped and been like, “Sorry, am I understanding you right?” …And then the double-down with Lynnea’s inability to comprehend that the caller could possibly want to say something nice about Tracy without her being present to hear it.

    I’ve said before, and believe, Russell is probably the second best host on the show, but in general AXP has a real, recurring issue with hosts who just can’t handle basic social interactions in a way that doesn’t come off as selfish or, I guess, completely fatuous. Incredibly frustrating.

  42. Murat says

    …but in episodes like this one, Russell and his cohost miss so many great opportunities to have meaningful conversation because they’re too busy making some self-indulgent joke that completely ignores the fact that they’re on the line with a real live human, being watched by people interested in the content of their discussion.

    I think the source of what you consider a problem is that, the “meaningful conversations” you refer to have already been made more than several times throughout the history of the show. The official and unofficial AXP videos on YouTube are abundant with them. Most newcomers are probably people who have watched them and enjoyed the debunkings of major fallacies by the very same hosts.
    I’m okay with sticking to the “formula that works”, but after a point, the “meaningful conversations” that can be made over the same limite number of topics are not more enjoyable or more effective than writing into a Star Wars script a “new” Death Star with high expectations.
    I did enjoy “The Force Awakens”, but I believe “Rogue One” made more sense and also more positive contribution to the saga, because it worked on the already existing Death Star while providing a new perspective and an alternate story based on its existence.
    I think the analogy is clear enough for anyone posting here, so, suffice it to say that I believe it’s “better” to not take the same route again and again, especially in the case of generic topics.

  43. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    I’m just grateful that Bret got to relieve themselves of the clear angst and bubbling anger they hinted at in past thread posts, it was clear that they were precisely the type of poo-flinger that the utube section was closed for. I don’t know which was better, the kettle meeting or the faux “unbothered by JeW!1!1” persona towards the commenters here.

    I worry that they didn’t bring the free speech banners along with them though.

    As for Yos8(#48) *rubs back and hands a breath of fresh air*

  44. Ramon1 says

    Greetings, keep up the good work guys!
    I have my own small insight as to the remark that Lynnea made about how theists seem to not mind Lord of the rings as opposed to Harry Potter. And of course that they do not oppose the narnia chronicles. I think that they don’t oppose the Lord of the rings for much of the same reasons. As we all know cs Lewis novels were blatant Christian analogies. So the magic is tolerated. Tolkiens novels were published in the 50’s which means that much of his writing was done in the 40’s. During or imeidiatly after ww2. If you examine the events of Lord of the rings you see striking similarities to the war, the players and even the geographical layout(mordor to the west much like Germany). So while it is a general good vs. evil story it is also a analogy to ww2… and who wants to be opposed to what the good wizards of America and Great Britain did to sauron, I mean hitler. Oh well same thing. Thank you for listening to me.

  45. Robert, not Bob says

    @51 While you can find fundies who’ll cry Satan! at anything (including Narnia, I kid you not), I think they’re mostly responding to “new” things: things they can see acquiring young fandoms. They’re conservatives: new trends are especially frightening.

    Of course, another poster’s point that Rowling is a liberal Christian (and therefore a hated enemy) is a good one. Also, Harry Potter is “low fantasy”: the characters are ordinary people with whom readers can easily identify. Lord of the Rings is high fantasy, in which users of magic are largely inaccessible elves and demigods.

  46. Chancellor of the Exchequer says


    As you already know, you’re one of my faves here. 😀

    *insert revolutionary # here, titled “atheistsspreadinglove”*

  47. RationalismRules says

    @notBob #54
    I agree. Plus, not only are the magic wielders ordinary people, they’re kids. That sets it way apart from Narnia and LOTR.

    Given the unprecedented popularity of the books I think it was inevitable that some pastors would oppose them. If you’re a pastor wanting to raise your own profile (and which evangelical pastor doesn’t?) denouncing a popular cultural phenomenon is a good way to get noticed. Add the (relatively new) internet and the hot-button terms “demonic” and “children”, and it was pretty much guaranteed to spread through the evangelicals / fundies.

    I distinctly remember when HP came up in conversation with my sister – I was interested in how it was spreading the joy of reading to non-bookish kids (ie. my nephew). She told me she wouldn’t let her son read it because her pastor had warned that it was damaging.
    Me: Have you actually read it?
    Sis: No.
    Me: (facepalm)

  48. RationalismRules says

    @56 Having just posted this, it occurs to me that my recollection of Narnia is limited to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I have no idea if kids wield magic in any of the other Narnia books.

  49. Yos8 says

    @Murat 49

    > I think the source of what you consider a problem is that, the “meaningful conversations” you refer to have already been made more than several times throughout the history of the show. The official and unofficial AXP videos on YouTube are abundant with them. Most newcomers are probably people who have watched them and enjoyed the debunkings of major fallacies by the very same hosts.
    >I’m okay with sticking to the “formula that works”, but after a point, the “meaningful conversations” that can be made over the same limite number of topics are not more enjoyable or more effective than writing into a Star Wars script a “new” Death Star with high expectations.

    Yes, you’re absolutely right, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about at 01:01:58 where Russell clearly identifies that there’s been a lot of time spent discussing the merits of The Big Bang Theory, which came up as a totally off-hand remark in the first place, and goes, “I feel like we’re in danger of losing the part of the audience that does want to hear about atheism mainly,” and looks at Lynnea, cooperatively, who nods in concurrence and then goes, “Yeah. I don’t think it’s bad. Just, everything feels a little .. off, about that.” and Russell kind of sits pensively, trying to figure out what she’s talking about, and then she goes, “About that show,” and he glances to the side uncomfortably because THAT TOPIC WAS DONE WHY DID YOU BRING IT UP AGAIN??

    @50: Thanks! More please.

  50. says

    HOW VERY SAD, that the caller at age 16, is so unaware of other ways of thought.
    No wonder there are so many stupid religious people over there.
    Yeah, we’ve got ’em over here too.

    Religion comforts…and cripples.
    History is clear about this.

  51. tigerlily55 says

    I enjoyed the show especially the last caller. It’s not really surprising that he never heard of atheism. I’ve seen fundies show they are totally unaware that there are more liberal versions of Protestantism forget about atheism. I think Russell and Lynnea seemed awkward appearing together.but I like Lynnea. I also remember the episode where she totally backed one guy into a corner very swiftly. It was great. I love all the women on the show and wish Lynnea was on more often.

    I think it would waste less time if hosts would say, “Hi Judy from Denver. You’re on the air. What would you like to talk about today?” It might eliminate some of the annoying small talk that takes place at the beginning of the show. I also think they should deliberately have the hosts switch off on who would answer the caller so one person isn’t doing most of the talking. That host can always defer to the other host if they are unsure of how to answer.

  52. Kansas Devil says

    David Yao and his arguments about fundamentalism demonstrates arguments by current atheists are nothing new, even though they still seems to need repeating.
    It also goes to show that times really have changed and the battle to fight atheism has grown quite weak while the battle by atheists has grown stronger. Sicking the IRS on atheists no longer results in annihilation.
    I would say that David Yeo really doesn’t need to make a return to the scene. There are plenty of others who have taken the torch and have burned down a few fundamentalist bridges.

  53. Murat says

    @danlewis #60

    Religion comforts…and cripples.
    History is clear about this.

    We should also see how “beneficial” religion is for certain groups, how it empowers those that stick to dogma and mass manipulation at the expense of denying reality, morals and ethics.
    When we talk only about the obvious harm, we fail to see the pragmatical aspects.
    The argument grow ineffective, just like a parent preaching to son not to join the Mafia, saying it would be “bad”, while the son clearly witnesses the daily glamour and richness of those who are “in” as “made guys”.
    Religion’s embedded role in society is quite more complex than what we sometimes expect everyone to see through naked rationalism.

  54. Wovoka says

    I have to agree with the responses #20, #23, #24, #48. I do not wish to sound unappreciative for the time these hosts donate; but quite honestly, this show was gawd awful. It is the first AE show where I felt I have totally wasted my time. WAY too much time was spent on topics like dungeons and dragons. While some may enjoy playing games, Harry Potter, or whatever, others have absolutely no interest, finding the topics childish. So YES, you will loose begin to lose audience with broadcasts like this. As a husband and wife team, it simply doesn’t work. Lynnea’s responses and analogies were missing the mark, and Russell was too distracted to address topics seriously. In my opinion, it would be better for the show if Lynnea contributed in some off-air capacity. My 2 cents….

  55. Monocle Smile says

    If you waste your time, that’s your problem.
    Your criticism could apply to every topic ever. Please tell me you understand this.

  56. King Lam says

    I was the first caller on this episode. It was my second time calling in. I was shocked to find out I was first because I’d try to call in many times but failed to get through except once before. The first time I got through it was at the very end of the show and I only spoke to Matt Dillahunty for a few seconds. Anyway in this show I asked Russell and Lynnea if they were familiar with Richard Yao and the group Fundamentalists Anonymous but they said they were not familiar with either. I am posting this link for anyone who may be curious about what I was asking about.

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