Humanist for the Holidays – Call-In Special!

With the holiday season comes a lot of cognitive (and emotional) dissonance for politically conscious humanists. If you were raised with religion, you might have fond memories called up by holiday decorations that clash with your current understanding of exploitation and consumerism. Meanwhile, you’re visiting family and friends who may not be aware of your “un-believer” status.

So how do humanists maintain integrity during the holidays while still having fun? Call in with your stories, advice, and questions and we’ll sort it all out on Equal Time For Freethought!

We will speak with Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, about humanist celebrations and how humanists and atheists can live full, moral lives without religion, and with Patrick Colucci, Vice Chairman of the HumanLight committee, who will discuss the first ever international humanist winter holiday, now celebrating its 10th year!

“Thank God for Evolution” w/ Michael Dowd

This Saturday, evolutionary evangelist – former pastor and author of ‘Thank God for Evolution’ – Michael Dowd, will speak with host Matthew LaClair on the subject of evolutionary theory and the sciences.

Since 2002, Reverend Dowd and his wife have traveled across the country, addressing more than 1,500 theistic and secular groups alike on the subject of evolutionary theory. How can the sciences be communicated to those with varying religious and political views? Should “religious” language be a part of this discussion? Is it hypocritical to believe in a Supreme Being with no factual information, while simultaneously accepting evolution? Can secularists and theists learn some things from one another?

Rationale for a Movement

The “Occupy Wall Street” protests may indicate that after decades of moving ever further to the right, our nation might now be willing to take a more progressive approach to addressing societal problems.

But like its conservative counterpart, to be sustainable, a progressive approach needs to be supported by a socio-political narrative which resonates with the general public.

At its core, the conservative rationale for perpetuating and expanding our top down, authoritarian, and highly stratified system resulting in extreme winners and losers is based on traditional narratives which teach that people are naturally greedy, lazy and antisocial, and because of this, our “big carrot/big stick” system is the only system that can work.

Progressives know this argument is fallacious, but arguing against the default setting of traditional beliefs while managing to keep the audience listening will be a challenge.

So what is the philosophical thinking that informs the OWS organizers?  Is there anything that resembles a cogent view that they commonly hold?  If so, how can this be conveyed to the general public?  And if not, how will this new movement resist the push back from mainstream conservatives who were successfully rolled back the mid 20th century social-economic gains, to a large extent by appealing to people’s underlying conservative mind set.

Join us as we speak with representatives from the Occupy Wall Street movement live in our studio.

This week, Sunsara Taylor will speak with Meenakshi Gigi Durham who is an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa. Durham researches media and the politics of the body, with emphasis on gender, sexuality, race and youth cultures. She holds a joint appointment in the Department of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies.

Durham’s 2008 book, “The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What We Can Do About It,” provides strategies for empowering girls to make healthy decisions about their sexuality. Her research has received significant coverage in news outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, The Times of London, Frontline, People, “Dr. Phil,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Salon.com, in addition to being reviewed in scholarly journals.

Durham is writing a new book, tentatively titled “Technosex,” about how bodies/sexualities are translated into the virtual environment through practices like sexting.

Sunsara also will speak to two as yet unnamed guests on the rise of violent pornography and child pornography in America.