A Leap of Doubt
#038: Escaping Religious Purity Culture (w/ Linda Kay Klein)

#038: Escaping Religious Purity Culture (w/ Linda Kay Klein)

July 8, 2019

On this episode, we cover the evangelical Christian “purity movement” that emerged primarily as an American phenomenon in the 1990s. This movement built an entire industry out of the concept of purity and abstinence from any and all sexual expression. The resulting subculture saw the marketing of purity rings, purity pledges, and purity balls. But the message this movement offered was a dangerous one that has devastated many lives, especially girls and women but also for men as well.

My special guest for this episode, Linda Kay Klein, has an insider’s perspective on the purity culture and why it’s so devastating to psychological and physical wellbeing. She is the founder of Break Free Together. A storyteller and social innovator, Linda has spent over a decade working at the intersection of faith, gender, sexuality, and social change. She earned an interdisciplinary master’s degree from New York University focusing on American evangelical Christian gender and sexuality messaging, and she is the author of the book Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement that Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free, available from Touchstone Publishers.

Links

Linda Kay Klein website: https://lindakayklein.com/

Follow Linda Kay Klein on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaKayKlein

Buy Linda’s book: https://tinyurl.com/y69b49f3

Tina Schermer Sellers, “A Biblical Scholar and Clinical Sexologist Debate Christian Sexual Purity,” June 22, 2012, https://tinyurl.com/y4euqre6.

 

Join the official discussion group of this podcast at www.facebook.com/groups/aleapofdoubt.

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt. Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, Kim Bojkovsky, Freethinker215, and Rob Schreck for being my patrons!

 Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist.

The opening intro and closing outro was written by Nathan Dickey, produced and edited by Rich Lyons and read by Deanna Joy Lyons.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org.

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution.

#037: Christian Nationalism’s Founding Myth (w/ Andrew L. Seidel)

#037: Christian Nationalism’s Founding Myth (w/ Andrew L. Seidel)

June 19, 2019

My guest for this episode is Andrew L. Seidel, an atheist, secular activist, and constitutional and civil rights attorney at the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which has been instrumental in litigating many successful cases involving entanglements between religion and the US Constitution. Andrew has written extensively about religious freedom and the wall of separation between church and state. He is the author of a new book, “The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American.”

In this conversation, Andrew and I discuss the threat posed by Christian Nationalists and theocrats to American (i.e. secular) values, debunk a few of the major myths put forward by “Christian Nation” historical revisionists, talk about why we need to bring emotion to the fight against theocracy, not just facts, and what average everyday citizens can do to aid in that fight.

Links:

John F. Kennedy’s Commencement Address at Yale University, 11 June 1962: https://tinyurl.com/yycregle.

Freedom From Religion Foundation: https://ffrf.org/.

Andrew L. Seidel’s website: http://andrewlseidel.com/.

Follow Andrew on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndrewLSeidel.

Andrew’s book: https://tinyurl.com/y2vxf3k2.

The Christian Nationalists’ 2018-19 “Project Blitz” playbook: https://www.au.org/sites/default/files/2019-01/Project%20Blitz%20Playbook%202018-19.pdf.

Marc J. Ambinder, “Inside the Council for National Policy: Meet the Most Powerful Conservative Group You’ve Never Heard Of,” ABCNews.com, May 2, 2002, https://tinyurl.com/y6sqrv5e.

Council for National Policy, 2014 membership directory (essentially a Who’s Who of Christian theocrats): https://www.splcenter.org/sites/default/files/cnp_redacted_final.pdf.

Jeff Prebeg’s Extra Life fundraising gaming campaign benefiting Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation:  https://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=347752.

Special thanks to Natalie Newell, who has been featured on this podcast before, for helping to set up my interview with Andrew.  

 

Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, Kim Bojkovsky, Freethinker215, and Rob Schreck for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist.

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org.

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution.

#036: Transgender Representation in Fiction (w/ Dharma Kelleher)

#036: Transgender Representation in Fiction (w/ Dharma Kelleher)

June 13, 2019

My guest for this episode is Dharma Kelleher. One of the few transgender authors in crime fiction, Dharma writes gritty novels (four in all, with more to come) about outlaws, renegades, and misfits, all with a progressive bent and written from a trans/queer perspective. Her novels include the Jinx Ballou Bounty Hunter series and the Shea Stevens outlaw biker series. She is a former journalist and currently a member of Sisters in Crime, the International Thriller Writers, and the Alliance of Independent Authors. Her work has appeared on Shotgun Honey and in the new “Murder-A-Go-Go’s” anthology.

Dharma and I discuss her process of creating characters, researching gritty elements of society, and the challenges and joys associated with representing transgender women and men as the protagonists and heroes they deserve to be. We also dive into some history, discussing the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and Dharma’s own personal story of transitioning in the early 1990s. For this episode, Dharma also reads the first chapter of “Chaser,” the first book in her Jinx Ballou series.

Links

“Murder-A-Go-Go’s: Crime Fiction inspired by the Music of The Go-Go’s”: https://downandoutbooks.com/bookstore/west-murder-go-gos/

Dharma Kelleher’s website: https://dharmakelleher.com/

Dharma Kelleher on Twitter: https://twitter.com/zenpunkdharma

Dharma’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMH4bZhCBufbzBh6w5HQgTA.

The Writer’s Detective Bureau podcast: https://www.writersdetective.com/podcast.html

“Linda Fairstein: Literary Group Rescinds Honor over Role in Central Park Five Case,” The Guardian, November 29, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/nov/29/linda-fairstein-mystery-writers-of-america-grand-master-award-rescinded.

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, “Writers Want this Book Canceled for Misgendering its Protagonist,” The Daily Dot, February 15, 2019, https://www.dailydot.com/irl/cape-doctor-book-james-barry-transgender/.

Kristian Wilson, “Forthcoming Book about Surgeon Dr. James Barry Has Sparked an Important Conversation about Trans Stories,” Bustle, February 25, 2019, https://tinyurl.com/y2n2ghqj.

Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) has published a full list of the 369 transgender and gender non-conforming individuals who lost their lives in 2018: https://tinyurl.com/y3kfb9fx.

 

Join the official discussion group of this podcast at www.facebook.com/groups/aleapofdoubt.

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt.

Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, Kim Bojkovsky, Freethinker215, and Rob Schreck for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist.

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org.

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution.

#035: American Intolerance of Immigrants is Not New

#035: American Intolerance of Immigrants is Not New

May 22, 2019

The history of America’s treatment of the “poor and huddled masses” tells a very different story than the one we’re often accustomed to hearing, one of hostility and exclusion toward outsiders who looked to America to live up to its promise. Contrary to popular belief, the poor and huddled masses were never welcome in America.

On this episode, we discuss America’s dark history of demonizing and excluding immigrants, and how the current xenophobia and racism exhibited by the Trump administration toward Mexican and Muslim immigrants and refugees is only the latest chapter in a long series of immigrant panics. Included in our survey is the anti-Catholic conspiracy theories of the nineteenth century, the discrimination and harassment experienced by German-Americans during WWI, the mass internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII, and the unfounded fear of Jewish immigrants and refugees from Nazi Germany. We also discuss why the concept of race has no validity in science and use statistics and evidence to debunk present-day fears of Muslim “terrorists.”

Joining me as my special guest for this uncomfortable but hugely relevant and important discussion is Robert E. Bartholomew, one of the two authors of the book “American Intolerance: Our Dark History of Demonizing Immigrants” (Prometheus Books, 2018). Bartholomew is an American-born medical sociologist, journalist, and human rights advocate who currently serves as a history instructor at Botany College, in Auckland, New Zealand. He has written 15 books and published more than 60 articles in a number of professional journals. According to his website, Dr. Bartholomew “has written on an array of topics ranging from human social and cultural diversity, to mass hysteria, social delusions, moral panics, fads, collective behavior, the history of tabloid journalism, history of the paranormal, popular myths and folklore.”

Links:

Robert E. Bartholomew’s website: https://robertebartholomew.com/.

The book: https://www.amazon.com/American-Intolerance-History-Demonizing-Immigrants/dp/1633884481.

 

Join the official discussion group of this podcast at www.facebook.com/groups/aleapofdoubt.

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt.

Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, Kim Bojkovsky, and Rob Schreck for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist.

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org.

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution

#034: Did Jesus Exist? (w/ David Fitzgerald)

#034: Did Jesus Exist? (w/ David Fitzgerald)

November 14, 2018

In this episode, we are doubting the historical existence of a man you may have heard about: Jesus of Nazareth. Ever since critical biblical scholarship began in the eighteenth century, largely a product of the Enlightenment, the consensus among mainstream historians and religious scholars has been that a man named Jesus did historically exist in Palestine and was crucified by the Romans in the first decades of the Common Era. Although these biblical critics did doubt and challenge the reality of the New Testament’s portrait of Jesus as a miracle worker and divinely appointed savior, they did think – or, more precisely, assume – that there was a real man named Jesus upon whom theological legends were later based. But there has always been another school of thought. The mythicists argued that not only was the Christ of faith a theological fantasy, but the Jesus of history was also a fiction. Jesus, said the mythicist scholars, never even existed historically.

Did Jesus exist as a historical figure? That is the question we are exploring here today on this podcast. Joining me as my special guest is David Fitzgerald, an author and historical researcher who has been actively investigating the Historical Jesus question for over 20 years. He has a degree in history and was an associate member of the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion (CSER). He has authored five books, including “Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All” and the three-volume work “Jesus: Mything in Action.” I have a guest co-host joining me for this episode as well, my friend and former colleague from the dearly-departed Trolling with Logic podcast, Wolf McNamara.

Doubter of the Week: Marian Evans, aka “George Eliot” (1819-1880): Victorian poet, novelist, and freethinker, who translated Strauss’ “Life of Jesus, Critically Examined” into English.

Links:

David Fitzgerald on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dgcfitzgerald

David Fitzgerald book “Nailed”: https://tinyurl.com/y8f4o3x5

David Fitzgerald’s “Jesus: Mything in Action” books: https://tinyurl.com/y6wenp4j

David Fitzgerald, “Examining the Existence of a Historical Jesus” (Skepticon 3 lecture, 2010): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvleOBYTrDE

 

Join the official discussion group of this podcast at www.facebook.com/groups/aleapofdoubt.

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt.

Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, and Kim Bojkovsky for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist.

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license. The editing was done by Rich Lyons of the “Living After Faith” podcast.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org.

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution.

#033: Reviewing “Wild Wild Country” (w/ Chris Watson)

#033: Reviewing “Wild Wild Country” (w/ Chris Watson)

November 7, 2018

Eastern mysticism clashes with rural America in this episode, as we recount a tale of religious bigotry, government paranoia, bombings, wiretapping, poisonings, assassination attempts, and airplane chases. I am joined by my good friend and patron the show Chris Watson, host of The Podunk Polymath Podcast, to review and discuss the six-part Netflix documentary series Wild Wild Country. The series chronicles the rise and fall of Rajneeshpuram, the once-thriving city established in 1981 in central Oregon by the Indian guru and mystic Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers.

We discuss the moral panic instigated by the residents of the small town of Antelope, Oregon, in response to the Rajneeshees’ arrival, and how their fear of change was able to influence the Federal government to side with them and express the same prejudice. We also ponder the question of whether or not the prejudice and bigotry displayed toward the guru and his followers is what pushed the guru’s personal secretary, Ma Anand Sheela, to go behind the guru’s back and orchestrate statewide bioterrorism acts and assassination attempts of government officials and journalists. We also explore the implications for the United States’ constitutional freedom of religion and how the government failed to uphold it.

Links:

Wild Wild Country official trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBLS_OM6Puk

Chris Watson’s Podunk Polymath Podcast: https://thepodunkpolymath.com/

Chris Watson on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PodunkPolymath

Further reading:

“Read The Oregonian’s Original 20-part Investigative Series on Rajneeshees,” The Oregonian, April 6, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/y8o53h6s

Kirk Braun, Rajneeshpuram: The Unwelcome Society (Scout Creek Press, 1984)

James S. Gordon, The Golden Guru: The Strange Journey of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (The Stephen Greene Press, 1987)

Win McCormack, The Rajneesh Chronicles: The True Story of the Cult that Unleashed the First Act of Bioterrorism on U.S. Soil (Tin House Books, 2010)

Donna Quick, A Place Called Antelope: The Rajneesh Story (August Press, 1995)

Ma Anand Sheela, Don’t Kill Him! The Story of My Life with Bhagwan Rajneesh (Fingerprint, 2013).

Jane Stork, Breaking the Spell: My Life as a Rajneeshee and the Long Journey Back to Freedom (Pan Macmillan, 2009)

 

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt. Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, and Kim Bojkovsky for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist.

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license. The editing was done by Rich Lyons of the “Living After Faith” podcast.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org.

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution.

#032: The Satanic Panic, Fantasy Games, and Religion (w/ Joseph Laycock, PhD)

#032: The Satanic Panic, Fantasy Games, and Religion (w/ Joseph Laycock, PhD)

October 31, 2018

In this episode, we explore the topic of fantasy role-playing games (RPGs) within the context of the moral panic and cultural stigmatization that surrounded games like Dungeons & Dragons and Vampire: The Masquerade during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and 1990s. My special guest is Joseph Laycock, PhD, assistant professor of religious studies at Texas State University and the author of three books, including Dangerous Games: What the Moral Panic over Role-Playing Games Says about Play, Religion, and Imagined Worlds. He has also written a book about vampire mythology and the communities that form around them and several journal articles on subjects which include Otherkin, parody religions, and paranormal beliefs.

Doubter of the Week: Reginald Scot (1538-1599), English politician, legal scholar, and author of The Discoverie of Witchcraft, a skeptical treatise on demonology that set out to refute the widespread belief in witches during the European witch craze.

 

Links:

Joseph Laycock on Twitter: https://twitter.com/joe_laycock

Joseph Laycock’s website: https://sites.google.com/site/joelaycock/home

Joseph Laycock’s book “Dangerous Games”: https://tinyurl.com/y8p5mljn

Jack Chick’s “Dark Dungeons” comic tract (1984): https://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0046/0046_01.asp

Dark Dungeons movie (Zombie Orpheus Entertainment, 2014): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qc9JiIiOSQ

Michael A. Stackpole, “The Pulling Report” (1990): http://www.rpgstudies.net/stackpole/pulling_report.html

 

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt. Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, Kim Bojkovsky, and Freethinker215 for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist.

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license. The editing was done by Rich Lyons of the “Living After Faith” podcast.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org.

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution.

#031: How Evangelicalism Fosters Sexual Abuse (w/ Carly Gelsinger)

#031: How Evangelicalism Fosters Sexual Abuse (w/ Carly Gelsinger)

October 25, 2018

My guest for this episode is Carly Gelsinger, author, writing teacher, and freelance editor. She holds a bachelor’s in psychology from William Jessup University and a master’s in journalism from Boston University. Her work has appeared in local, regional, and national publications. Her first book, which was released this month, is called Once You Go In: A Memoir of Radical Faith, a book about her life inside a fundamentalist Pentecostal church, where she was on fire for the Lord, as they say, until she found the courage to leave and forge her own path free of the toxicity and fear that fundamentalist religion so often breeds.

Carly and I discuss her life inside the Pentecostal faith and her exodus out of it, as well as the conservative evangelical “purity culture” movement and the ways in which it has damaged the well-being of young women within conservative evangelical subcultures. We explore the ways in which evangelicalism fosters sexual abuse and why conservative evangelical women often vote against their own interests, not just in matters related to reproductive rights, but even when it comes to supporting men accused of sexual assault. We end by discussing resources young women and men trapped in a religious community can turn to if they need to call out sexual abuse.

Doubter of the Week: Anne Newport Royall (1769-1854): First professional woman journalist in America, and the first lobbyist in Congress for the separation of church and state.

Links:

Carly Gelsinger on Twitter: https://twitter.com/carlygelsinger

Carly Gelsinger’s website: https://carlygelsingerauthor.com/

Carly Gelsinger’s book Once You Go In: A Memoir of Radical Faith: https://www.amazon.com/Once-You-Go-Memoir-Radical/dp/1631524291

Carly Gelsinger, “Pentecostalism and Spiritual Abuse,” Patheos, October 5, 2014, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/andygill/pentecostalism-and-spiritual-abuse/.

Carly Gelsinger, “How Evangelicalism Fosters Sexual Abuse,” Unfundamentalist, January 18, 2018,  http://unfundamentalists.com/2018/01/evangelicalism-fosters-sexual-abuse/.

Carly Gelsinger, “I Know Why Evangelical Women Support Brett Kavanaugh. I Was Raised To Do The Same,” Huffington Post, October 3, 2018, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/brett-kavanaugh-evangelical-women_us_5bb3a28de4b0ba8bb211985b.

Andy Herndon’s The eXvangelicals documentary on GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/theexvangelicals

GRACE (a ministry that trains Christian communities to recognize, prevent, and respond to child abuse): http://www.netgrace.org/.

 

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt. Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, Kim Bojkovsky, and Freethinker215 for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist.

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license. The editing was done by Rich Lyons of the “Living After Faith” podcast.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org.

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution.

#030: Westworld and Philosophy (w/ Kimberly Engels and James South)

#030: Westworld and Philosophy (w/ Kimberly Engels and James South)

October 18, 2018

In this episode, there is plenty for us to doubt, because we’re talking about philosophy of mind with some moral and ethical philosophy thrown in like sprinkles on top. In what may well become a recurring theme on this podcast, we’re doing another philosophical deep-dive into a television series. This week, we’re analyzing HBO’s Westworld, a cerebral, high-concept series which explores the emergence of artificial consciousness in a theme park modeled after the American Old West and populated by highly sophisticated robots that look and act just like humans from that era.

Joining me for this journey into the maze are two philosophy professors, Dr. James South and Dr. Kimberly Engels, who together have edited an anthology of essays entitled Westworld and Philosophy, a fairly recent addition to the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series.

Are the hosts of Westworld conscious, and if so, what is their experience like? Would AI have a bias for consciousness? Does Westworld reveal your true self, or does it shape who you are to become? How might we apply moral luck, virtue theory, and the Sartrean concept of existentialism and freedom to the show’s characters? Do Westworld’s hosts possess self-consciousness, or merely phenomenal consciousness? These are just a few of the questions we explore in this episode.

Links:

Westworld and Philosophy book: https://www.wiley.com/en-us/Westworld+and+Philosophy-p-9781119437888

James B. South’s website: http://academic.mu.edu/southj/

Kimberly S. Engels’ website: https://ksengels.wordpress.com/about/

 

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt. Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, and Kim Bojkovsky for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist.

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license. The editing was done by Rich Lyons of the “Living After Faith” podcast.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org.

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution.

 

#029: The Post-Fact Era and the Rise of Trump (w/ Nathan Bomey)

#029: The Post-Fact Era and the Rise of Trump (w/ Nathan Bomey)

October 11, 2018

In this episode, we are applying our doubts and critical thinking toward the myth of “alternative facts” and other lies and fictions of our day that has infected our democracy, ushered in a post-fact era and the digital misinformation age, and helped propel Donald Trump into the White House. My guest for this episode is Nathan Bomey, the author of a new book titled After the Fact: The Erosion of Truth and the Inevitable Rise of Donald Trump. Nathan Bomey is an award-winning business reporter for USA Today, and previously a reporter for the Detroit Free Press.

In this discussion, Nathan Bomey and I discuss the decline of the journalism industry and how its pivot toward sensationalism and partisanship has negatively impacted the public’s perception of truth and helped facilitate the rise of Trump. We also talk about the rise of social media and the ways in which the technological revolution in personal interaction might have contributed to a rise in tribalism and a decline both in empathy for others and in concern for truth and accuracy. We also talk about how social media has been and potentially can be used as a tool by people in power to bypass or circumvent the accountability of journalistic scrutiny, and why the threat of viral misinformation is a new crisis comparable to the Cold War race between the U.S. and Russia that should drive us as a society overcome partisanship to place a new emphasis in education on teaching critical thinking. Finally, we discuss ways in which we can each individually alter how we talk to each other in order to help disparate groups break through barriers and restore trust.

Doubter of the Week: Charles Mackay (1814-1889): Scottish poet and journalist, author of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

Links:

Nathan Bomey’s website: http://nathanbomey.com/

Nathan Bomey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NathanBomey

Nathan Bomey’s book “After the Fact”: http://nathanbomey.com/after-the-fact

David Weigel, “House Science Committee Chairman: Americans Should Get News from Trump, Not Media,” Washington Post, January 25, 2017, https://tinyurl.com/y7dha3ct.

 

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt. Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, and Kim Bojkovsky for being my patrons!

Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist.

The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license. The editing was done by Rich Lyons of the “Living After Faith” podcast.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org.

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution.