RD Extra: Interview with Jeremiah Banister

Breaking his silence on the subject of religion after more than a year, a former apologist, conservative activist and Christian radio show host discusses his rejection of religion in this exclusive interview. Jeremiah Bannister has served as a preacher, worked with anti-gay groups, been a presuppositionalist, Calvinist, sedevacantist, and soon will be returning to the airwaves in his new role as a freethinking secularist. Hear his story in this exclusive interview with Reality Check/ Reasonable Doubts.

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  1. Fergus Gallagher says

    Talking of extras, the very early RDs (Ep. 20-ish) talk about a “Facebook only” special, with cheeky language. Is that still available anywhere?

  2. Todd W. says

    Hey guys,

    In one of your Determinism podcasts, you referred to a scientific study which indicated that we act on decisions before we “make them” in our minds. Is there any way you can point us to that study?

    Thanks! Love the show.

  3. Hammurabi says

    Todd, I believe they were referring to the Libet experiment. However, since science has moved on in the past 30 years and many more (and more rigorous) experiments have taken place since then, I would suggest a little broader look by checking out the wikipedia page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuroscience_of_free_will

    Also I would recommend Daniel Dennett’s book “Consciousness Explained” in which he goes over this and many similar experiments within the much larger context of explaining consciousness as a whole.

  4. DFB says

    Not at feedburner, not at iTunes. It looks like an interesting interview. I’m so sad that I can’t hear it. Color me teased.

  5. says

    Todd, there have been several experiments of that nature since Libet in the 1980s. I’d look up his work first (and read the whole papers rather than just taking the media-hyped gist as the conclusion), and then look at later work by e.g. Dylan-Haynes. Using Scopus to help you find papers that cite Libet will be useful, too.

  6. Jose Rodriguez says

    When I downloaded the last podcast (RD Extra: Interview with Jeremiah Banister) and is blank!

  7. says

    There seems to be a problem with the download from iTunes. It downloads a full file (35mb or so), but when played it just gives a brief spurt of static and ends.

    I’ve tried freshly downloding the episode again, but the problem persists. The mp3 file linked above fails to play also.

  8. M says

    I remember seeing this “Paleocrat” guy on Youtube and being utterly (1) disgusted that this guy was such a sophistical presuppositionalist and (2) fascinated that the guy was a *Catholic* presupper!

    Now, years later, look at ’em go! Weird world, eh?

  9. Jessie says

    Half way thought the episode on stitcher and it is no longer available. Is this a glitch or did you guys join the boycot?

  10. clamboy says

    I see that others have had the same problem playing this episode as others have, but I will just add my name to the list. Not that you guys owe me anything, but I do always look forward to listening. Thanks for all that you do, now gimme!!

  11. Fergus Gallagher says

    FWIW, I downloaded the MP3 with the above link and (separately) via RSS (today, ~16:00 GMT). Both copies were just fine.

  12. clamboy says

    “…others have had the same problem playing this episode as others have…”???? Okay, just an “I” in place of the second “others,” and let me slap myself like Boogaard.

  13. Brad says

    Very good interview, enjoyed it all the way through!

    I did feel that the story was kind of missing the climax, though, since he didn’t really detail his actual conversion process once he “went silent” and started researching in detail. What was his approach? What resources did he use? What convinced him his prior beliefs were all false?

    Is he going to talk about that part of his process on his new radio show? Will that be downloadable via podcast I assume?

  14. gallus1 says

    Still unable to play interview……please help, i’ve been compelled to listen to theists over the last week and require some reasoned speak.

  15. skm9 says

    I couldn’t get the download to play in realplayer, windows media player, or quicktime, but it played fine in vlc media player.

  16. Todd W. says

    Thank you, Hammurabi and Calum. The Wikipedia entry was very informative, and I’ll definitely have to do more research on this. I find it all very fascinating.

  17. Gary says

    Fascinating … I had to listen to the interview twice (so far). I would love to hear more about his transition into atheism and/or agnosticism. There should be a follow up interview and maybe even have Jeremiah answer listener questions!

    BTW – is his name Bannister or Banister?

  18. Earsby says


    Your podcast is very fine. However, I am unable to listen to or download this episode either directly or via iTunes.

    Sounds like an interesting one – could you upload another copy for us to download?

    Merci beaucoup


  19. Earsby says

    Further the above, I am able to listen to the downloaded file via Media Player, but it won’t play directly on the web, or via iTunes.

    Hope this helps you diagnose the issue.

    Cheery bye

  20. Strider says

    Very disappointed this was an RD extra. I’m not sure why the hosts felt this guy’s story was *so* compelling as to merit its own episode. In fact, one of the more seemingly interesting tidbits in his story (i.e., leaving the military) was only hinted at and not explained at all! There was another tidbit, similarly hinted at, but damned if I can remember and *damned* if I’m gonna listen again to figure it out. I think this is the only episode of RD to which I will not listen primarily because I heard it on “Reality Check” already. I guess you’re allowed at least one dud (IMNSHO) in your long history of *excellent* shows, eh?

  21. Proreason says

    Really Strider? Really?

    I guess if you’re very attached to the exact dynamic of the Reasonable Doubts Formula, I can see where you’re coming from – it’s a great podcast. But on the merits of the interview alone, was it really THAT dissapointing? I found the interview to be exceptionally well done, Jeremiah was quite erudite, and the fundamental goal of the episode was to share a fundie’s (sorry) path to reason.

    I guess individual differences prevail, but to call it a “dud”, well, once again, really? Really?

  22. says

    Here we go…

    13. M – Flattery. haha Admittedly, I’ve always been, at least to some degree, intrigued by the fact that my positions have invoked both disgust and fascination within people I’ve never formally met face-to-face. Such is one of the many wonders of the Internet, I suppose.

    18. Brad – Agreed and yes. PaleoRadio deals daily with religion, politics and culture. I’m unsure that one program has passed where religion hasn’t been discussed. I plan to speak at some length, both on and off PaleoRadio, about my apostasy, detailing the who, what, where, when, why, and how, so to speak.

    23. Blahface – I’ve been told many times that I look like the Amazing Atheist. I’ve never spoken with him. I’m unsure whether he was ever familiar with my work, though I was certainly familiar with his. Concerning pictures, add me on Facebook.

    28. Gary – It is spelled Bannister, with two n’s. I plan to go into greater depth, though I’m unsure which venue would be most appropriate. YouTube seems ideal. I also plan to discuss it in detail on my blog, even in print. Of course, matters such as these are touched on regularly during my radio program. The nature and format of the program makes getting into this in any sufficient depth rather difficult. We’ll see.

    31. Strider – No worries, you win some and lose some. As a kind of “for the record,” I don’t think my story is all that intriguing, per se. I was asked to do the interview and was more than glad to acquiesce. As it turned out, overall reception was positive. In the end, I was grateful for the opportunity and was excited to at least finally begin speaking about the matter publicly. Even so, and either way, it’s neither the beginning nor the end of my world.

    32. Proreason – haha Short and sweet: Appreciated.

  23. Matt says

    I wish Mr. Bannister had explained Sedevacantism and related viewpoints in a little more detail. Few people are aware of this subculture, and fewer still understand the implications. It is a mistake to confuse these people with mainstream Roman Catholics. Sedevacantists and “Traditionalist” Catholics are extremists, pure and simple. As an example, they are holocaust deniers and the most vicious antisemites on the face of the planet. If I had to choose between them and Islamists, I might go with the Islamists, and that’s saying something. If you think I’m exaggerating, look it up.

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