Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spreading the Atheist Gospel?

Evangelizing for atheism? You've seen the ads on the Muni buses: "Imagine no religion" and other quotes from famous non-believers promoting the Freedom From Religion Foundation. It's part of a small wave of pro-atheist media that's risen over the past few years. Is the campaign a sign of a broadening public discourse about faith and the lack of it? Or does it insult religious people and widen the divide between people of faith and their non-believing neighbors?

Join us live at 11 or email us at What do you think of the rise of Athiesm? It's Your Call, with Rose Aguilar and you.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Reverend Scotty McLennan, dean of Religious Life at Stanford.

Click to Listen: Spreading the Atheist Gospel?


Anonymous said...

I was so happy to see the FFRF billboards that I ran out and joined the organization. They have encouraged me to speak out about being an atheist although I was previously shy about my nonbelief in the supernatural. I hope that those atheists who called in but are still slightly ashamed or afraid to speak up about their rationality can be liberated by this dialogue.

Anonymous said...

Excerpt (slightly edited) from feedback email to Rose Aguilar re today's show:

Some particularly interesting shows recently (as is often the case).

Hey Rose, one day *I'd* like to be permitted a chance for some *very* (I'd even settle, just ever occasionally, for just *somewhat*) extended comments, and even a, "[name / caller], are you still on the line?", 2nd bite at the apple(/guest) solicitation from you, and (even just rarely) a *back-and-forth* exchange (let alone argument) with the guest, like that caller Drew got today (and like some other callers, sometimes regularly, get).

This, like that *Drew* caller today who was so busy attacking your guest as being angry or stressful or vitriolic or whatever he was rather *aggressively* -- and kept at it(!), like a bulldog with a shoe -- emotionally accusing/attacking your guest Annie-Laurie of being (he could have just said it *once*, if he could intellectually/logically support his inherently subjective charge, and then moved on); this, as *he* was being rather angry or stressful or vitriolic *himself* (isn't that called *"projection"*!?), instead of just making whatever intellectual point of which he might (or might not) have been capable. Only, I wouldn't spend *my* comment-question time emotionally attacking -- in a word (not) *browbeating* -- the guest! My last comment-question on Your Call, on October 9, was only just over 60 (68) seconds (and for the past numerous months my calls have been no more than once a month -- and I *never* get a 2nd bite at the apple with a [sometimes politically and factually lying] guest on those occasions).

I guess that people like Drew think that anyone who's (other people who are) defending their arguments (any arguments that Drew disagrees with) is being angry or vitriolic; or that anyone who's being emotionally attacked is not entitled to be stressed about it -- rather than, perhaps, if so and legitimate, their being intellectually critiqued, criticized or challenged, which a caller is legitimate allowed to do.

By people, like Drew, who make such highly aggressive personal or ad hominem attacks/slurs against others...: "angry", or "vitriolic" or, other accusations, like "ranting", etc., is always what those they (like Drew) *disagree* with are (what the *other* person is) being or doing. It was actually *painful* to listen to (I really felt sorry for your guest Annie-Laurie) -- and then you let him come back in a 2nd time, extending the pain for not only Annie-Laurie, but I bet for many of your listeners, like me. I wish you had intervened and ask Drew to just make his point without emotionally/personally accusing/attacking your guest of being whatever. Gee, I didn't even treat that closet Zionist, morally squiggly, and lying Chomsky that way.

Joseph from Berkeley