“The Chosen People” w/ Todd Gitlin

Americans and Israelis have often thought that their nations were chosen, in perpetuity, to do God’s work. Through great adversity and despite serious challenges, Americans and Jews, leaders and followers, have repeatedly faced the world fortified by a sense that their nation has a providential destiny. As Todd Gitlin (w/ Liel Leibovitz), argue in this book, what unites the two allies in a “special friendship” is less common strategic interests than this deep-seated and lasting theological belief that they were chosen by God. The Chosen Peoples shows how deeply ingrained is the idea of a chosen people in both nations’ histories, and yet how complicated that idea really is. And it offers interpretations of chosenness that both nations dearly need in confronting their present-day quandaries.

Todd Gitlin is an American sociologist, political writer, novelist, and cultural commentator. He has written widely on the mass media, politics, intellectual life and the arts, for both popular and scholarly publications.

“My generation of the New Left – a generation that grew as the [Vietnam] war went on – relinquished any title to patriotism without much sense of loss. All that was left to the Left was to unearth righteous traditions and cultivate them in universities. The much-mocked political correctness of the next academic generations was a consolation prize. We lost – we squandered the politics – but won the textbooks.” -TG

“God and the Folly of Faith” w/ Dr. Victor Stenger

What can religious faith tell us about the universe? What can the scientific endeavor tell us about that same universe?  Where do they agree, and where to they clash? How do we know what is real and what is imagined? What constitutes a good reason for believing in something, and how has believing for poor reasons affected our society?

Dr. Stenger is adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado and emeritus professor of physics at the University of Hawaii. His research career spanned the period of great progress in elementary particle physics that ultimately led to the current standard model. In his last project before retiring, he collaborated on the underground experiment in Japan that showed for the first time that the neutrino has mass. The Japanese leader of the project shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics for this discovery.

Dr. Stenger is author of many books including the NY Times bestseller, God: The Failed Hypothesis and The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning.

“Dear White America…” w/ Tim Wise

Prominent anti-racist essayist, educator, and author, Tim Wise, joins the Equal Time For Freethought this Saturday with a message for white folks: shape up, because your status as a “majority” is about to be shipped out.

According to estimates, people of color will be the majority in the United States by no later than 2050.  The change in demographics is just one of four fronts on which “white normativity,” as Wise calls it, is being challenged.  In his latest book, Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority, Wise pens a 153 page letter directly to white Americans (as well as non-whites who subscribe to a destructive ideology of white privilege), that challenges and dismantles the roots of their beliefs.

Wise, who does not “hate white people” as many have claimed, says white folks of today should not assume blame for the racially motivated atrocities of their forefathers, but do have a responsibility to foster a socially just and equal society today.

In this interview, Wise will discuss changes on the other three fronts – political, economic, and cultural – as well as elaborate on points made in his book including how whites’ inability to identify with the pain of black and brown people – in particular, a failure to acknowledge and stop predatory lending practices in communities of color – may have contributed to the spread of high-cost mortgage tools into middle “white” America.

Dear White America is Wise’s sixth book.  Others include his acclaimed memoir, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, and Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama.

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/ Arnell Dowret

This Week: Dealing w/ Pivotal Life Events, Naturalistically.

While faith-based and other traditional paths which are based on supernatural beliefs claim to provide these benefits, the reality clearly falls short. Naturalism in contrast, which concerns itself with attaining an understanding of ourselves and our place in the universe that is accurate, reliable, and testable (evidence-based) can actually deliver all of these benefits, with a level of effectiveness that no supernatural-based approach can equal.

Gaining a naturalized understanding of ourselves and how we fit into the world around us can help us reduce thoughts and feelings that diminish our effectiveness and debilitate us mentally and physically such as guilt, shame, regret, blame, resentment, indignation, anxiety, fear, anger, hurt, and feelings of worthlessness; it can sharpen our awareness, deepen our empathy, and support lasting growth. The way we will demonstrate how a naturalistic understanding can accomplish all of this will be by taking calls from listeners who are willing to share how such damaging feelings may be diminishing their happiness.

Naturalistic Support is an approach to providing non-hierarchical peer support, and demonstrating how applied naturalism can facilitate personal growth. It is not a substitute for conventional psychotherapy or other forms of counseling that are traditionally provided by licensed professionals.