Monthly Archives

August 2015

Attorney David Niose, on Legal Issues Affecting Young Atheists

David Niose has been the president of two major organizations, the American Humanist Association and the Secular Coalition for America. He currently serves as the AHA’s legal director. He’s also a lawyer who has argued in front of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court about why the Pledge of Allegiance shouldn’t be recited in public school classrooms. And he’s the author of Nonbeliever Nation and Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason.

We spoke with David about the legal issues affecting young atheists and how they should respond. Topics addressed include: Saying the Pledge of Allegiance, “See You at the Pole” events, religious choir music, science education, Gideons Bible giveaways, faith-based assemblies, and prayers at football games.


If you need advice on handling Pledge of Allegiance issues, be sure to check out the AHA’s Don’t Say the Pledge website.

Also, if you see any potential church/state separation problems at your school, be sure to contact the AHA’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center, Americans United, Freedom From Religion Foundation, or American Atheists.

Dan Barker, Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation

Dan Barker was a teenage evangelist and longtime preacher before he stepped away from God for good. He is now the co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (along with his wife Annie Laurie Gaylor), a group dedicated to the principle of separation of state and church.

Barker is also the author of Godless (2008) and Life Driven Purpose (2015).

I spoke with Barker about why he goes on The Daily Show even when the segments aren’t very kind to him, his next project encouraging people to read the Bible, and how all Christian ministers are “slaves traders.” (Yep.)


Here are links (one and two) to Barker’s segments on The Daily Show.

Here’s more about Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers and his 2007 lawsuit against God.

(Image via Tim Hughes, 2010)

Neil Carter, Writer at Godless in Dixie

Neil Carter is a blogger at Godless in Dixie, where he writes about being an atheist in the Deep South. He’s a teacher, a personal trainer, and a father.

I spoke with Neil about what it’s like being non-religious in Mississippi, the “evandelism” that followed his coming out, and the importance of having someone to talk to when you have religious doubts.

If you’d like to support Neil’s work, you can donate to his Patreon page right here.

(Full disclosure: Neil’s blog is hosted on Patheos, as is Friendly Atheist.)


Here’s a link to the CBS Sunday Morning segment that featured Neil.

If you need someone to talk to about your religious doubts, call the Hotline Project.

John Dehlin, Founder of the Mormon Stories Podcast

John Dehlin just completed his PhD in clinical and counseling psychology. But you may know him best as the founder of the Mormon Stories podcast, one that celebrates the faith and also critiques it when necessary. Because of some of his views supporting same-sex marriage and the ordination of women within Mormonism, Dehlin was excommunicated from the Church earlier this year for apostasy. That story was covered in the New York Times.

We spoke with John about how discovering the truth about Mormon history pushed him away from the Church, why he still has a soft spot for the faith, and why Mormons have strategic reasons for standing firm against LGBT rights.


Here’s a link to, a site we referenced during the show.