The Humanist Hour
Summary: A typical episode of the HH podcast features interviews, commentary, news, and music. Notable guests have included Sir Salman Rushdie, Prof. Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, E.O. Wilson, Alan Dershowitz, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Andy Rooney, Greg Graffin of Bad Religion, Holly Near, Dar Williams and Julia Sweeney. The HH podcast is hosted and produced by Bo Bennett, PhD, from the American Humanist Association.
In this episode, Bo Bennett interviews his good friend, Jeremy Chappell, about his "spiritual" journey from fundamentalist Christianity to… well, we're still not sure where he is, but the conversation is fascinating! We hear all the time from nonbelievers about their journeys, but rarely do we hear from a critical thinker in the process of giving up long-held beliefs. Jeremy is a crime scene supervisor at the Kansas City police department. He studied criminal justice at the University of Illinois at Springfield, and spends much of his free time contemplating philosophical issues and actively debating controversial issues.
In this episode, Bo Bennett interviews Bob Ready, Chair of Camp Quest, along with Sarah Henry, a long time camper. Camp Quest, the secular summer camp, is a place for fun, friends, and freethought for kids ages 8-17. They provide a traditional sleep-away summer camp experience with a wide range of activities including sports, crafts, games, swimming, and campfires. In addition to traditional summer camp activities, Camp Quest offers educational activities focused on critical thinking, ethics, scientific inquiry, philosophy, and comparative religion. Camp Quest is open to all children and teenagers, but it is particularly geared towards building a community for children from atheist, agnostic, humanist and other freethinking families. Their goal is to provide a place where children can explore their developing worldviews, ask questions, and make friends in an environment that is supportive of critical thinking and skepticism.
In this episode, Bo talks with Dr. Robert M. Price about the 10 things everyone should know about the Bible. Robert M. Price is Professor of Biblical Criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute as well as the editor of The Journal of Higher Criticism. His books include Beyond Born Again, The Widow Traditions in Luke-Acts: A Feminist-Critical Scrutiny, Deconstructing Jesus, and The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man. Other titles are The Crisis of Biblical Authority, Jesus Christ Superstar: A Redactional Study of a Modern Gospel, The Da Vinci Controversy and The Amazing Colossal Apostle. Links: Dr. Price’s webpage: http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/ Follow Dr. Price on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robert.m.price.77
In this episode, Bo Bennett interviews Pat Johnson, DTM, Past International President for Toastmasters International, a world leader in communication and leadership development comprising over 292,000 members in 122 countries. As Humanists, we have important messages to share, but are we doing effectively? Scientists are notorious for their lack of communication skills, and those who value reason and logic tend to not connect to audiences as well as those who are not afraid to connect emotionally with audiences. Listen as Bo and Pat discuss their experiences as professional public speakers and give five tips to those wanted to be more persuasive and effective to an audience, a family, or even just a single person. Pat Johnson is a seasoned executive who has been a leader in corporate, government, not-for-profit and entrepreneurial industries. She was the fifth woman ever to serve as Toastmasters International President from 2010-2011.
In this episode, Bo interviews professional comedian Ian Harris. Fresh off the taping of his ground breaking new comedy TV special, Ian Harris is hitting the road with his Critical & Thinking tour. Ian’s debut hour special, Ian Harris: Critical & Thinking, is a skeptic take on religion and common beliefs in the form of an incredibly smart and charged comedy. Originally a San Francisco Bay-area comic, Ian has been a top headliner for years, touring na-tionally as well on the nearby Los Angeles alternative comedy scene. Winner of many major competitions, he has been seen on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Comedy Central and as a headliner on the Evolution of Comedy Tour. Ian was even ranked #25 on Entertainment Journal's Top 100 Comedians list. Ian’s comedy is cutting edge, thought provoking, and cleverly crafted, often eliciting compari-sons to greats like Lenny Bruce and George Carlin. With a unique point of view, Ian delivers a style of stand-up all his own.
In this episode, Bo interviews Muhammad Syed, co-founder and director of operations for Ex-Muslims of North America, and Hiba Krisht, ex-Muslim blogger. The Ex-Muslims of North America are a group of people dedicated to supporting and helping ex-Muslims. The primary reason for our group’s existence is to build a community and provide a sense of solidarity for ‘ex-Muslims’ – people who used to follow Islam or identify as Muslim, and who no longer do so. As such, this group is only for ex-Muslims, primarily those located in or from North America.
In this episode, Bo interviews Chris Stedman: interfaith leader, author, and humanist. Chris is the author of "Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground" with the Religious. Booklist calls the book "an intimate and deeply affecting portrait... [that] proves [he is] an activist in the truest sense and one to watch." Currently the Executive Director and Coordinator of Humanist Life for the Yale Humanist Community, Chris was formerly the Assistant Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University and the Values in Action Coordinator for the Humanist Community at Harvard. He is also the atheist columnist for Religion News Service, Emeritus Managing Director of State of Formation at the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue, and founder of the first blog dedicated to exploring atheist-interfaith engagement, NonProphet Status.
In this episode, Todd and Kim interview Mandisa Thomas, Founder and current President of Black Nonbelievers, Inc., a non-profit fellowship of nonbelievers in the Atlanta area that is dedicated to providing an informative, caring, festive and family-friendly environment. Although never formally indoctrinated into belief, Mandisa was heavily exposed to Christianity, Black Nationalism and a bit of Islam. As a child she loved reading, and enjoyed various tales of gods from different cultures, including Greek and Ghanaian. “Through reading these stories and being taught about other cultures at an early age, I quickly noticed that there were similarities and differences between those deities and the God of the Christian Bible. I couldn’t help but wonder what made this God so special that he warrants such prevalence in today’s society,” she recalls. Mandisa has been a guest on such programs as The Critical Eye, Ask an Atheist, and the Black Freethinkers Blogtalk Radio Show. As the president of Black Nonbelievers, Inc., she works to encourage more Blacks to come out and stand strong with their nonbelief in the face of such strong religious overtones. "The more we make our presence known, the better our chances of working together to turn around some of the disparities we face. We are NOT alone."
In this episode, Bo interviews Dale McGowan, Executive Director of Foundation Beyond Belief, a humanist charitable foundation based in Atlanta. In 2006, Dale left a 15-year career as a college professor to pursue writing full-time. He edited and co-authored Parenting Beyond Belief (2007) and Raising Freethinkers (2009), the first com-prehensive resources for nonreligious parents, as well as Voices of Unbelief (2012) and Atheism For Dummies (2013). Dale also writes the secular parenting blog "The Meming of Life" and teaches nonreligious parenting seminars across the US. In 2008, Dale was named Harvard Humanist of the Year for his work in nonreligious parenting. He holds degrees in physical anthropology and music theory from UC Berkeley as well as a Ph.D. in music composition and theory from the University of Minnesota. He and his wife Becca, a second grade teacher, live near Atlanta with their three children.
In this episode, Bo interviews David Silverman, President of American Atheists and the creator & Executive Producer of the 2012 Reason Rally. Silverman attended Brandeis University, where he completed a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science while honing his debate skills with theists in numerous informal debates. He previously served as a professional inventor at Bell Labs for eight years (with 74 issued patents) and a marketing director for Natural Microsystems. Silverman has been an atheist since he was six years old. He became an activist in 1996 and soon began his tenure at American Atheists, first serving as New Jersey State. Around this time, he also founded the Alliance of Lucent and AT&T Atheists and Secularists, the first employee club of its kind. He was tapped to be the National Spokesperson in 2004, and then was named Vice President in 2008. The Board of Directors elected Silverman as President in September of 2010.
In this episode, Bo interviews Dr. Michael LaSala on the topic of reparative therapy—attempts to convert primarily gay men and lesbian women to heterosexuals. Michael C. LaSala, PhD is an associate professor and director of the Master of Social Work program at the School of Social Work at Rutgers University. His research examines the family relationships of gay men and lesbians and his current work looks at the role of gay and lesbian family relationships in coping with stigma and parental influence on gay youth's safe sex behaviors.
In this episode, Bo, Kim, and Todd host this episode in front of a live audience at the 73rd Annual AHA Conference in Philadelphia. Our guest for the first half of the show is AHA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Dr. Eugenie Scott, former Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education. For the second half of the show, Bo, Todd, and Kim interview the audience. They ask some thought-provoking and some light-hearted Humanist-related questions, provoking interesting and often amusing answers.
In this episode, Bo interviews Tom Clark from Naturalism.org. Tom is currently a research associate at the Institute for Behavioral Health with the Heller School at Brandeis University. He is the founder and director of the Center For Naturalism, conducting public education, policy development, and community building to promote worldview naturalism. Tom is also the editor of Naturalism.org, which is among the Web’s most comprehensive resources on worldview natural-ism, its implications and applications.
In this episode, Bo interviews Dr. Ryan J. Bell. For 19 years Dr. Bell was a pastor, most recently the senior pastor of the Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church. In March 2013 he resigned his position due to theological and practical differences. As an adjunct professor he has taught subjects ranging from intercultural communication to bioethics.
In this episode, Todd and Kim interview Taylor Muse—singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the band Quiet Company. Hailing from Austin, TX, Quiet Company has been making a name for themselves nationally for their energetic live shows and anthemic, dynamic, indie-rock -- which critics have called a mix of The Beatles, Death Cab for Cutie, Arcade Fire & Weezer -- with attention from the likes of the New York Times, Paste Magazine, NPR (Top 5 Bands to See at SXSW), Last Call with Carson Daly, Houston Chronicle, Austin Chronicle and more.