Monthly Archives

July 2015

Bart Campolo, Humanist Chaplain and Former Evangelical Christian

Bart Campolo is a former evangelical Christian leader (and son of famed pastor Tony Campolo) who currently serves as the Humanist Chaplain at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles.

We spoke about progressive Christianity, what it was like coming to terms with his Humanism, and death. Lots about death.

In all seriousness, it’s one of the most interesting and inspiring conversations about death I’ve ever had. That segment begins around the 27:00 mark. Do yourself a favor and listen to it.


Be sure to check out Bart’s podcast right here!

And if you appreciate the work he’s doing, please consider making a donation to the Humanist Chaplaincy of Los Angeles.

Dr. Paul Offit, Vaccine Expert

Dr. Paul Offit is the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor of Vaccinology and Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He’s written tons of published peer-reviewed papers and received countless awards for his work. His latest book, Bad Faith, is all about how religious belief can undermine modern medicine.

On the day of taping, California had just passed a law making vaccinations all but mandatory, Jim Carrey had gone on a Twitter rant about vaccines, and a woman had died of measles.

We spoke with Dr. Offit about why people still don’t get vaccinated, how he responds to the most common arguments offered by anti-vaxxers, and why Bill Maher is wrong when he says we don’t need to get flu shots.


We had a few audio issues during this interview, but the information seemed to come through just fine. Sorry about that!

Near the end of the conversation, we spoke about a Jewish circumcision procedure involving a rabbi’s mouth. You can read more about metzitzah b’peh here.

Dr. Offit and Hemant are both on the board of advisors for the Child-Friendly Faith Project.

Ray Comfort’s Audacity: A Review and Discussion with the Film’s Star Travis Owens

Evangelist Ray Comfort has released a film called Audacity with the goal of convincing gay and lesbian viewers to renounce homosexuality. Jessica and I watched the film (so you don’t have to) and we give you the play-by-play along with commentary. So there’s your spoiler alert!

After that, beginning at the 34:44 mark, we have an *exclusive* interview with the film’s star Travis Owens. He plays Peter, a very devout Christian who wants to spread the Good Word, but sometimes hesitates because it might be awkward. Because he hesitates, bad things happen — especially to gays and lesbians who didn’t accept Jesus into their lives.

In real life, Travis is actually very supportive of LGBT rights, which makes his appearance in this film both questionable and fascinating.

We spoke with him about what it’s like to work with Ray Comfort, whether he’s received more feedback from LGBT viewers or Christians, and why he took on a role that contradicted his personal beliefs.


You can read Camille Beredjick‘s review of the film right here.

Also, Ray Comfort spoke with us about the pro-LGBT beliefs of his film’s two stars and whether that mattered to him.

Linda Stephens, Co-Plaintiff in Town of Greece v. Galloway

Linda Stephens was one of the two plaintiffs in Town of Greece v. Galloway, the 2014 Supreme Court case that legalized religious invocations at government meetings (with a few caveats).

She worked as a librarian for two decades, served as president of the Greater Rochester Chapter of the National Organization for Women, and was vice president of a local chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

We spoke about the worst moment of the oral arguments, how she followed to get updates on her own lawsuit, and why losing the case has ironically worked out in atheists’ favor.


Here’s a link to Dale Carpenter‘s excellent book about the Texas sodomy case, Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas.