Naturalistic Support Workshop w/ Arnell Dowret

Author, professor, and historian Garry Wills speaks with Matthew LaClair on American politics, religion, and this history of the Catholic Church. Northwestern Prof. Emeritus Garry Wills is the author of around 40 books, the latest being The Future of the Catholic Church with Pope Francis. Wills has received numerous prizes for his work including the Merle Curti Award of the American Historical Association, the National Book Critics Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. He is also a reviewer for the New York Review of Books. His most recent review discussed the new book Why The Right Went Wrong by E.J. Dionne Jr., who will be our guest for April 23rd.

A life-long Catholic, Prof. Wills has grappled with the inconsistencies and irrationality of certain beliefs, such as the literal story of Noah’s Ark, Transubstantiation, and other supernatural claims, while maintaining a core belief in Heaven, Hell, and the divinity and resurrection of Jesus on Earth. ETFF opens the door to Wills to explain how he and other theists distinguish the symbolic from the literal. What do theists and non-theists of all stripes have in common? What makes us different? Are our differences important?

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/Arnell Dowret


For this show we will explore the psychology, history, and political climate that has fueled the rise of the Right-Wing and its most prominent symbol of today, Donald Trump. Our first guest will be Dr. Leon Seltzer, a psychologist practicing in Del Mar, California. Dr. Seltzer is the author of Paradoxical Strategies in Psychotherapy, and is a frequent writer for Psychology Today, where he writes on subjects such as anger management and conflict resolution. He most recently published 3 parts of a 5-part series in Psychology Today called “Outrage and Outrageousness: The Secret to Trump’s Popularity.”
Following Dr. Seltzer, we will speak with attorney Tom Turnipseed, who served as the executive director to conservative George Wallace’s 1968 campaign. Joining him will be his wife, Judy, who also worked in the Wallace campaign. The Turnipseed’s experienced dramatic political and personal changes since then. Mr. Turnipseed later served as Chairman of the Board of the Center for Democratic Renewal, worked as the co-council for Macedonia Baptist Church in Clarendon County, S.C. in their case against the Ku Klux Klan for burning their church in 1997, and has promoted additional progressive causes.
What leads people to promote and support racism, and what led some of them to change? What is the psychology behind Donald Trump and his most adamant supporters? What can we learn from the past to change the present?

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/Arnell Dowret

We occasionally have the opportunity to speak with people in the arts rather than academia to examine other ways of understanding where we’re at as well as where we want to be and how to get there. For this show, I had the chance to talk with humorist Danny Katch about how to understand what it means when we hear the term ‘socialism’ bandied about – especially since the Bernie Sanders campaign for president – what socialism actually is, and can it be re-envisioned for today’s world-gone-crazy?

And for the first time on Equal Time, we will speak with the founding members of a rock band whose mission it is – besides making good music – to cut through what historian Morris Berman refers to as our American political ‘fog.’ The New York founded The Last Internationale.

Naturalistic Support Workshop


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On Grief and Loss

Two-Hour Fundraising Special: The Wages of Rebellion

It’s that time again when you can help keep both WBAI-NY on the air, and ETFF on WBAI by calling in (212-209-2950), or donating on WBAI.org during our special two-hour program!

This program will focus on journalist Chris Hedges new book, Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt.  ‘Focusing on the stories of rebels from around the world and throughout history, Hedges investigates what it takes to be a rebel in modern times. Drawing on an ambitious overview of prominent philosophers, historians, and literary figures he shows not only the harbingers of a coming crisis but also the nascent seeds of rebellion. Hedges’ message is clear: popular uprisings in the United States and around the world are inevitable in the face of environmental destruction and wealth polarization.’ (official book description)

For your donations, we will be offering Hedges’ book and a DVD of his talk at Berkeley, CA,  “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt” … Hosted by Richard Wolinsky!

The Good Death: Exploring how People Die in America w/ Ann Neumann

This week Barry Seidman will be speaking with Ann Neumann about her journey of discovery concerning death in America. No matter what happens to our society, to our species, over the next few decades…death isn’t going anywhere (well, unless the Transhumanists are right, of course).  How we die may or may not reflect how we’ve lived, but it does reflect our culture and the state of our society.  A merger of religion, politics, biology and existential angst tell the stories of people from all walks of life as they face and finally succumb to death.  And for naturalists, recognizing that death is not a transition to a heaven or alternate universe, it’s important we do this right.

Is there such a thing as a “good death?”  If so, how many Americans will experience it? What stands in their way, and is there anything we can do to make things less devastating? We will be asking these questions and more as we discuss Ann’s debut book, The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America.

Michael Shermer: Skeptic

From a 10-step “Baloney Detection” guide to investigations into alien abductions, 9/11 conspiracy theories,  Creationism, therapeutic magnetism, and Bigfoot, Dr. Michael Shermer has made it his life’s work to think critically about — well — everything! His new book, Skeptic, presents readers with the tools necessary to do the same concerning a variety of innocent but misguided assumptions, baloney, bunkum, balderdash, and bullsh*t.

Host Matthew LaClair interviews Dr. Shermer, founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine, founder of the Skeptics Society, and author of over 15 books including Why Darwin MattersThe Believing BrainThe Moral Arc, and the subject of our discussion, Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye.

In addition to Dr. Shermer’s books and magazine, he is also a monthly columnist for Scientific American, a regular contributor to Time.com and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University.