Barbara Mancini, Advocate for Medical Aid in Dying

Barbara Mancini is an ER nurse from Pennsylvania. In 2013, she was arrested and prosecuted on charges of trying to help her terminally ill 93-year-old father take his own life. She is now an advocate for medical aid in dying.

We spoke with Barbara about her heartbreaking personal story, the connection between assisted suicide and abortion rights, and her correspondence with Brittany Maynard.

Notes:

Barbara works with an organization called Compassion & Choices. Check them out!

Ali A. Rizvi, Author of The Atheist Muslim

Ali A. Rizvi is a Pakistani-Canadian writer, physician, and musician who resides in Toronto. He’s the author of a new book called The Atheist Muslim: A Journey from Religion to Reason.

Ali lived in Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, as part of a progressive Muslim family, before he moved permanently to Canada in his twenties. He is a trained physician and a vocal advocate for secularism, science, and reform, particularly in the Muslim community.

We spoke about whether someone can be culturally Muslim, whether there’s something uniquely problematic with the doctrine of Islam, and what people like Reza Aslan get wrong about the faith.

Notes:

We referenced an article written by two ex-Muslims about why Aslan was so wrong with his characterization of Islam. You can read that piece here.

Dr. Steven Tomlins, Atheist Bus Campaign Researcher

Dr. Steven Tomlins is a researcher and graduate of the University of Ottawa who has just co-edited a new academic book called The Atheist Bus Campaign: Global Manifestations and Responses. It looks at the various atheist advertising campaigns — billboards, bus ads, and the like — all over the world.

We spoke about how this idea went viral, which kinds of ads are more successful, and whether the media coverage matters more than the messages themselves.

Sarah Levin, Secular Coalition for America’s Senior Legislative Representative

Sarah Levin is the Senior Legislative Representative for the Secular Coalition for America, a lobbying group in Washington, D.C. representing non-religious people on Capitol Hill. She graduated from American University with a degree in International Studies, focusing on the Middle East and Israeli domestic politics.

Following Tuesday’s elections, we spoke about what church/state separation advocates should be worried about over the next few years, the positive developments (and there were some!) from Election Day, and what atheists need to do to become more of a political force in the future.

Notes:

Be sure to check out the Secular Values Voter website to learn more about openly secular candidates!