Christian Humanism and Jay Bakker on Atheists Talk

We have an interesting guest on Atheists Talk radio this morning: Jay Bakker, a Christian, pastor, theologian, and the son of televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. I’m the host for this show, which means I’m not doing the active interviewing part (that’s all Travis Peterson, president of Minnesota Skeptics – Go Travis!), and as a result I’m typing this in the studio as Jay and Travis are speaking.

Travis and Jay spent the first two segments of the show talking about Jay’s experiences growing up as the son of the Bakkers and in the shadow of the PTL (Praise the Lord) Club TV show. Right now, Travis is asking Jay why, after all of his experiences and struggles, he’s still a Christian. Good question.

[Oops – I got distracted with listening to the interview – I’m a shitty live blogger, lol. You’ll have to catch the podcast to hear Jay’s answer]

So, show’s over – and just when it started to get extra interesting, darn it!

Jay and I started to debate about the definition of Humanism in the last two minutes of the show. We continued speaking off air for a while, but we didn’t reach a resolution.

Continue reading “Christian Humanism and Jay Bakker on Atheists Talk”

Christian Humanism and Jay Bakker on Atheists Talk

Give to the Max: Atheists Talk Radio

I have been volunteering as a host, interviewer, producer and social media hyper for Atheists Talk Radio since 2011. The first show that I was part of was as a host with Carl Hancock. He was speaking with David Eller about his book Cruel Creeds, Virtuous Violence. Since then I had participated in some truly memorable interviews with guests such as Shelly Segal,  Neil deGrasse Tyson, Katherine Stewart, Rebecca Stott, Howard Bloom, Seth Andrews, Dale McGowan, Victor Stenger, Greta Christina, Adam Lee, Keith Lowell Jensen, Amanda Knief and Baba Brinkman – to name a few 😉

A recording studio - carpeted walls, microphones, and a table filed with electronics. Me and Scott Lohman are sitting in two of the chairs.

Me and fellow interviewer, Scott Lohman, in the recording studio at KTNF AM950.

Atheists Talk touches a lot of lives -mine  and those of our listeners. It’s a pretty amazing, well-established project. We have:

  • A seven-year history. Our first show was Richard Dawkins in January 2008.
  • 335 shows and counting available on our website, iTunes and SoundCloud
  • 932 likes on our Facebook page (there shall be much hip-hip-hooraying when we hit 1000!)
  • Twitter account that allows us to promote guests and increases our visibility
  • People behind the scenes doing web support, fundraising, amd promotion, and supporters giving recurring donations to help us fund our not inexpensive air time.

It’s a pretty awesome project, is what I’m saying. So I shall join in the chorus of voices asking you to consider using Give to the Max Day to financially support our project if you find it worthy of support. You can learn more by clicking the image below (it redirects to the Give to the Max website)



Give to the Max: Atheists Talk Radio

Atheism: It’s Not All About Atheism

This morning I was up early to do the live radio show, Atheists Talk. My guest was Keith Lowell Jensen, a stand-up comedian who incorporates atheism into much of his work. We spent a portion of the first section (about seven minutes) discussing his religious upbringing, when he started including atheism into his material, and the purpose of doing so. Then we moved on to talk other things like his new album, Atheist Christmas, Keith’s work with Stand Up! Records, his comedic style and influences, etc.

This did not sit well with Roger from Saint Louis Park.

Continue reading “Atheism: It’s Not All About Atheism”

Atheism: It’s Not All About Atheism

Atheism: It's Not All About Atheism

This morning I was up early to do the live radio show, Atheists Talk. My guest was Keith Lowell Jensen, a stand-up comedian who incorporates atheism into much of his work. We spent a portion of the first section (about seven minutes) discussing his religious upbringing, when he started including atheism into his material, and the purpose of doing so. Then we moved on to talk other things like his new album, Atheist Christmas, Keith’s work with Stand Up! Records, his comedic style and influences, etc.

This did not sit well with Roger from Saint Louis Park.

Continue reading “Atheism: It's Not All About Atheism”

Atheism: It's Not All About Atheism

Some Cool Stuff Coming Up

There are so many geeky, gaming, skeptical, atheist events on the horizon for 2014! Eeeeeee!

Geeks Without God on Atheists Talk – January 18th, 2014

This Sunday I’ll be interviewing Tim Wick, Molly Glover and Nick Glover on Atheists Talk. They’re the hosts of the podcast Geeks Without God. They’re Very Funny People and totally worth waking up for at 9am on a Sunday morning. You can listen locally on KTNF AM950, livestream the show online, or you can always catch the podcast later. Look for Atheists Talk on iTunes or check out our website.


The Hubby’s 40th Birthday Celebration! – January 24th, 2014 This is a semi-private event, but I want to share that I am SO excited! We rented a movie theater, y’all.  We’ve invited a bunch of friends, and we’re going to serve sandwiches and soda and then show Raiders of the Lost Ark. In a theater. That we rented. A theater!



FTBCon2 – Jan 31-Feb 2, 2014

The second Freethought Blogs virtual convention – FTBConscience2 – is at the end of the month! More info is coming so very soon. Panels in place. Final schedule being scheduled. Final Lanyrd being Lanyrded.


Con of the North – Minneapolis, MN – February 14-16th, 2014


Con of the North is a local board game convention. This will be my second year attending because last year was a freaking blast. I played back-to-back board games in two and four hour time slots from 8am-midnight all weekend long. I discovered a ton of new games. Board games. Card Games. All weekend long. They also had LARP, computer gaming and RPGs. Miniatures has a huge presence, and while I don’t do miniatures, it was amazing to stop and look at the art and craftsmanship of the games.



Chicago Skepticamp 2014 – Chicago, Illinois – April 5th, 2014

A day long event promoting science and critical thinking, put on by volunteers from the Chicago Skeptics. Participants are encouraged to discuss and question both traditional skeptical topics and new subjects. Attendance is free, though all attendees are encouraged to help by either speaking, helping set up/clean up, or by making a donation. I attended back in 2012 but had to miss last year’s event. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to make the drive down this April.


SkepchickCon – Bloomington, MN – July 3rd-7th, 2014


CONvergence – the first and purest of my scifi/fantasy convention loves, and then the Skepchicks come along and make it that much more awesome! Once again, and FreethoughtBlogs will combine our awesome powers to bring kick-ass science and skepticism panels and rock-til-you-drop room parties to CONvergence. SkepchickCON is fundraising right now – they’re auctioning off a hand-knit MISANDRY! hat – perfect for the man-hating feminazi in your life – and a customized voice message from Debbie Goddard.


Okay! So what else is going on that I shouldn’t miss?

Some Cool Stuff Coming Up

Through God-Colored Glasses

The Skeptic's Annotated Bible

This morning I took part in the Atheists Talk interview of Steve Wells, creator of the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible. I’ve been a big fan of the SAB website for several years, mostly because of the “categories” that he has put together to capture the different messages that are presented in the Bible. For instance, if I want a quick list of scientific and historical inaccuracies in the Bible, or passages that threaten, blame or harm women I can reference the SAB. I want to pick up a copy of the hardcover print edition because I find that format very appealing for perusing whole chapters. Okay…if I’m honest you can already do that with the website. Really I’d just like to see the pretty leather-bound hardcover version on my bookshelf next to my King James version. And if the Skeptic’s Annotated Quran and Book of Mormon are ever released in hardcover (Wells has wepages for both of these books as part of the Skeptic’s Annotated series) I can have the whole set!

During the interview I was keeping an eye on the Facebook and Twitter because sometimes we’ll get comments or questions for the show through social media. I have to be careful because every once in a while I’ll see something during the show that almost makes me lose my shit on the air. Today was one of those whiles. From Facebook:

two-third cup
Image transcription, a screen cap from a Tumblr:

How Awesome is Our God?!! He even cares about the littlest things in our lives… I needed 2/3 cup of milk to make my recipe tonight… And this was all the milk in the carton… Exactly 2/3 cup… EXACTLY! I mean, EXACTLY!! Wow! God is GOOD!

[picture of a pyrex measuring cup filled with approximately 2/3 cup of milk]

[Response by] eltigrechico:

this actually makes sense.

people go ‘why does God let bad things happen?’

its because while some poor bastards are being herded into a mass grave somewhere God is busy making sure Kathy in Dunghole, Wisconsin has exactly the right amount of milk for her recipe.

you gotta pick your battles

My first thought was: POE. I found this screencap on a couple of different websites, and I started to dig in to try to find the source, but then I went, Fuck it! I’ve got better things to do on a Sunday! I know people who think like the OP (and not just on the internet, y’all. Just last week one of my coworkers told me that she had prayed to God the night prior that we’d have enough buffer to run our study. And praise Jesus, we did!), so let’s just go forward under the assumption that this is real, k?

So yeah…the response is spot on. If you’re going to say that god is responsible for all things in our lives, then go ahead – praise him for the good. But he also gets to answer for the bad shit. This is philosophy 101 – the Problem of Evil right? But  to praise god for the coincidence of having the right amount of milk for a recipe? That ain’t exactly some loaves and fishes-grade work going on. God phoned this one in.

I’m having a bit of trouble getting over the type of worldview that lets one’s mind wander to god for every little thing. It’s just…silly. It’s not like this woman offered up a muttered “Thank you, God” under her breath and kept making dinner. Nope, she was so moved and awed by the wonder of her heavenly father’s influence that she was compelled to stop working on her recipe, take a picture of the miraculous event and draft a status update on Facebook so she could share this blessing that God has bestowed upon her and her family.

It’s not just silly. It’s blind and privileged and unexamined and obsessed.

This is one of the reasons I’m glad for god-free spaces. We’re not always right, but at least gods are off the table when we talk about things like coincidence and confirmation bias.

BTW – one of my favorite responses to this post over on FB was “That’s no 2/3 cup. You need read the volume at the meniscus. Where’s your god now?”

Through God-Colored Glasses

Interview with Greta Christina for Atheists Talk

Who had the most fun this morning? That would be moi.

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Greta Christina for the radio show that I co-host for Minnesota AtheistsAtheists TalkWe discussed anger – what it is, what it isn’t – and anger’s place in activism. The inspiration for our talk was Greta’s book Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godlesswhich she published in 2012.

I recommend Greta’s book to those who are genuinely interested in why atheists are “so angry” about religion (spoilers: we’re angry, but not all the time, and for very worthy reasons, and many of us want to do something effective with this anger). The book is written for believers and non-believers alike, for atheist activists, religious apologists and those who haven’t given the topic much thought, but wonder what all the fuss is about.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is that it addresses those who argue that the religious right extremists aren’t “real” Christians, that Christianity is all about love and tolerance. Greta explains reasons why one can’t simply be “a better Christian”, why moderate and progressive religions, New Age religions and those who identify as “spiritual but not religious” aren’t let off the hook when it comes to the religious-based and reality-blind injustices that are committed by believers and by religious or spiritual institutions.

You can listen to the interview on iTunes, on the AM950 radio station website, or at the Minnesota Atheists podcast page. Or here, if I figured out how to embed the link properly 🙂

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And I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to say that if you enjoy the interview, and want to help Minnesota Atheists continue to keeping doing work like this, you can donate at the Atheists Talk radio show Fund Page.

Interview with Greta Christina for Atheists Talk

Godless Money Fundraiser

How cool is this? A member of Minnesota Atheists has donated some of her early-1950s US paper money to use as a fundraiser for the Atheists Talk radio show that I co-host with Stephanie Zvan and other members of Minnesota Atheists. The bill is free from God – the “In God We Trust” motto didn’t appear on paper money until 1957, although it has been stamped on some US coins since 1864. This particular bill is a circulated 1950 B series $20 bill.

The eBay auction started last night and ends on Friday. Because we were accepted into the eBay Giving Works program, the purchase is tax-deductible. 100% of the proceeds are able to go toward keeping Atheists Talk on the airwaves and available as a podcast around the world. So all of you godless radio supporters, take a look at the auction, read more about our radio program, and consider placing a bid!


As a side note, I was looking up information about the “In God We Trust” watermark and found a 2011 article by Freethought Blog’s Ashley F. Miller over at Open Salon called Why “In God We Trust” is a Problem.

Godless Money Fundraiser

Gangland Turkey Killing

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate the holiday! I have a few odds and ends for today’s post, and then I’m getting back to the party!

Things are all a-flurry in the Bilyeu-Hubby family households. Over the past two days I have made gluten-free mincemeat pie, Mom’s made cranberry sauce, many board games have been played, and much 12-year Glenlivet has been drunkified.

I’m hosting Atheists Talk on Sunday. You can listen live at 9am CST when we interview Dr. Ivan R. Schwab about his new book Evolution’s Witness: How Eyes Evolved.  I can already tell this interview is going to be a blast; in 2006 Dr. Schwab won an Ig Nobel award in ornithology and he wore a giant, red woodpecker hat for his acceptance speech! Silly + Science Talk sounds like a good reason to wake up early on a Sunday to me! If you listen live, remember that you can always call or email us with questions during the show. We love that. Doooo eeet!

Here’s a little holiday-themed stupidness that my brain did when I was glancing at the newspaper yesterday:

Of course, the image is associated with the article beneath it, but at first glance I thought Thanskgiving had gotten really weird this year. Considering the seriousness of the first story, I have to say that’s some odd article formatting, Star Tribune.

Here are links to the first, very not-funny story about a gang feud in St. Paul, and to the second story about the weird not-really-a-pardon-more-of-a-stay-of-execution for the turkey named Bipartisan. 

And with that I’m back to the holiday chaos!  Have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend!

Gangland Turkey Killing

Give To The Max Day: Atheists Talk Radio

Give to the Max Day is happening RIGHT NOW.

Give to the Max Day Logo

It’s a day of charitable giving run by by, which offers several financial incentives to inspire nonprofit, school and donor participation in Give to the Max Day.


Continue reading “Give To The Max Day: Atheists Talk Radio”

Give To The Max Day: Atheists Talk Radio