Dr. Dawn Eden was born into a Jewish family, became an Agnostic during her teenage years, and then found God and became a Catholic in her 30s. Along the way, she was a rock journalist and worked as an editor for the New York Post and Daily News. Since her conversion, she’s written several books including The Thrill of the Chaste and Remembering God’s Mercy: Redeem the Past and Free Yourself from Painful Memories. She’s also a long-time blogger at the Dawn Patrol.
Before giving a talk at a church just outside of Chicago recently, we had 20 minutes to chat. We used the limited time to talk about her unique religious journey, whether allowing priests to have sex is a good idea, and how she arguably kickstarted my own career with this blog post.
(As I make clear in the podcast, there were several points I would love to have pushed back on and debated further, but time didn’t allow for it.)
Monica Miller is Senior Counsel at the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center. If the AHA is involved in a lawsuit, she’s the person doing the legwork, and that involves everything from letters to city councils to amicus briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court.
We spoke with her about when anonymity can be used in a case, the surprising number of religious people who complain about church/state violations, and when a Christian cross isn’t a Christian cross.
Mentioned in the episode were AHA lawsuits involving the federal prison system and the Bladensburg Cross.
You’ll also want to check out the AHA’s Don’t Say the Pledge campaign.
Reddit Atheism (r/atheism) may be the largest online community in the world for atheists. Whenever you have an anonymous group of that size, bad things may happen. And the site certainly has a reputation for low-brow memes, smugness, anger, and a disdain for the religious. But they’ve also used their power for good, raising money for groups like Doctors Without Borders.
We spoke with two of the moderators of the atheism “subreddit,” Feinberg and LurkBeast, about the positives and negatives of the site, the power of the ex-religious subreddits, and why r/atheism isn’t as bigoted as one research paper claimed.
r/atheism has a wonderful FAQ for all things godless right here. It includes a very helpful section you should read if you’re thinking about coming out as an atheist to your family.
There’s a subreddit called The Great Project “for people to write out their religious de-conversion story.” It’s a wonderful page to browse through to realize you’re not alone.
(Image credit: licenseplate)
Teresa MacBain is a former Methodist pastor and the first female member of the Clergy Project to publicly “come out” as a nonbeliever. She did that at the 2012 American Atheists convention.
She’s now the director of the Hotline Project, which offers callers who are grappling with their faith a chance to talk (anonymously) with an atheist about any questions or concerns. Their number is 1-84-I-Doubt-It (1-844-368-2848).
We spoke with her about how she began having doubts about religion while in the pulpit, the type of people who call the Hotline Project, and how to volunteer to be on the receiving end of that call.
***Update***: Since taping this episode, Teresa has temporarily stepped down from this position, but the Hotline is still available for those calling it.