February 16, 2008 - War of the Billboards
(This episode marks the first time I caught the live stream from The Mic92.1. Still waiting for an Air America affiliate in Austin)
The episode starts with Dan Barker's trip to Brazil for the "Nova Conciencia" (Far away from the Carnival?) tolerance conference, which was picketed by evangelicals. Lively conversation.
Freethinkers Almanac featured Galileo Galilei and Susan B. Anthony amongst others.
The interview featured an anonymous FFrF member who, while passing numerous religious billboards, thought to counter them with one encouraging participation in a non-religious group, FFrF. The Imagine no Religion billboard spurred the erection of two opposing billboards; one of them a disclaimer from the billboard owner, and another from an evangelical group out of Virginia (it's actually a rather frightening image) which asks why do atheists hate America?
Two articles were posted in the local paper (Chambersburg Public Opinion) the first of which was quite inflammatory, quoting extensively from an interview with the hate-filled christian who sponsored the second billboard. If the coverage had stopped there, there would be much to get irate about. Luckily, a second story was published featuring Annie Laurie Gaylor which corrected the flaming diatribe that was previously published.
I have to agree with the assessment that the addition of "in god we trust" to the Feds money, and "under god" to the pledge in the 1950's has disenfranchised the freethinker segments of the US population. The devout out there now take it for granted that it was always this way, leading to atheists being the last group that it's ok to discriminate against.
Instead of Why do atheists hate America; the question should be, Why does America hate atheists?FFrF is looking to expand the billboard campaign. Wouldn't mind seeing one in Austin. It'd be a nice break from the usual mix of beer, anti-drug and church sponsored billboards that we get around here.
"Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations... can never effect a reform." -Susan B. Anthony
2007 Archive episode.
February 17, 2007 - The 'Alabamification' of the Nation
Theocracy alert covered Bill Maher's visit to Ham's Creation Museum in an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, which airs on HBO (podcasts are available on iTunes) I can't find a video capture of it, but I'm sure it was priceless. Dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden? What will the creationists evolve into next?
Also, the Gum Game merited a mention. One of the abstinence only gov't funding recipients (the Rockville Maryland Pregnancy Center) conducted a classroom lesson (for 9 years, no less) which involved all the students in a class chewing the same piece of gum as a demonstration of how STD's are transmitted. I wonder how many diseases were spread during the course of this lesson?
The guest this week, Pamela Sumners, wrote an article for Freethought Today (the associated newspaper of Freethought Radio) entitled "Alabamification" of America Continues, What Is Happening to Our Judiciary? The interview in this episode traveled down a similar vein.
My main complaint? Her rejection of democratic controls when they don't align with her agenda. Term limits helping the Religious to elect people who think like them. Initiative and referendum being an access point to get religious based laws on the books. If you think voting solves anything (and I don't, but most progressives do) then you have to accept that the majority opinion is what is important, even when it is at variance with your opinion.
[As far as the article goes, I have to take exception with her overly simplistic categorization of all people who support a return of states rights as white supremacists and misogynists. In fact, I found very little to agree with in the article other than a shared view of a relative lack of value in the the majority of current occupants of the Supreme Court (a la the Kelo v. City of New London gutting of private property rights. Or Gonzales v. Carhart the symbolic right-to-life victory over an abortion procedure used in less than 1% of abortions; but does, in fact, set a precedent of congress intervening in standard medical practice when it is deemed necessary.) other than that, I'd have to say that Ol' Joey would label her a Femmenazi; and I'd have a hard time disagreeing. This guest, like Rothschild, showed a fair amount of political dogma.]
A brief discussion of Judge Roy Moore (the ten commandments judge) and the Federalist Society and the changes they have wrought in the appointment of justices warrants mention. The interview finished up with a discussion of a lawsuit in Pike county Alabama concerning four Jewish children whose rights were being infringed, and were in fact being physically assaulted and intimidated for not being christian. Apparently you don't want to live in Alabama and be anything but devout christian.
Freethinkers Almanac featured Giordano Bruno and other victims of religious persecution.
This episode also included Intelligent? Design?, a song created from a poem written by Philip Appleman. It sums up the problems with creationist theory with a bit of humor. I've played this bit for a few friends, and it's always gotten a laugh.