Matthew A. Sutton on American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism

This Saturday, host Matthew LaClair interviews Professor Matthew Avery Sutton from Washington State University, where he teaches religious, cultural, and 20th century US History. He is the author of three books, starting with Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America, which served as the basis for the PBS documentary, Sister Aimme. He then wrote Jerry Falwell and the Rise of the Religious Right, followed by the subject of today’s show, American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism, released just last month.

American Apocalypse recounts the history of the American evangelical movement, focusing on rapture theology. It’s history and development since the mid-19th century is a fascinating tale that provides us with an otherwise forgotten and neglected part of American history. Of particular importance is the concept of Armageddon or the “end-times,” a theory that remains an important part of the cultural and political landscape, effecting decisions not only in the lives of individuals, but in domestic and foreign policy.

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/Arnell Dowret

The Funnier Side of ETFF w/ Julianna Forlano!

Arnell Dowret welcomed Julianna Forlano of WBAI’s own The Julianna Forlano Show!

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/Arnell Dowret

“Shame on Me? Shame on You?”

What does it mean to feel shame? Is it helpful towards healthy behavior, or is it actually harmful? What is the naturalistic take on shame, and how might we handle this often debilitating emotion?

Shame will be the topic of this weeks Naturalistic Support Workshop, so…

Naturalistic XMas Special!

This Xmas, Arnell Dowret will host our annual program taking a humanistic, naturalistic view on the Christian holiday! The two-hour special will feature all the usual goodies including the Xmas meditation, our historic interview with Santa, and more…

This Xmas, we also had the pleasure of speaking with two members of the Freethought community! Dr. Dian Killian is a Certified Trainer with the international Center for Nonviolent Communication. We often hear that this is the season of goodwill towards all men/women — a noble humanistic ideal which should extend the entire year — and that in times of trouble, this sentiment takes on even more profound meaning. In the “Immediate and Personal” segment of this special program, we will speak with Dian about her work and how it can be useful when dealing with the recent and intense conflicts between the Police and the public.

Later on, in the “Vast and Futuristic” segment, we will speak with astronomer Carolyn Porco who is the leader of the imaging science team on the Cassini mission presently in orbit around Saturn, a veteran imaging scientist of the Voyager mission to the outer solar system in the 1980s, and one of the  imaging scientists on the New Horizons mission on its way to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. Here we will take a look at the cosmic view of a holiday — built on the scientific and intuitive awareness of the winter solstice — where even its religious endeavors are an attempt – albeit a weak one – to understand the universe.

So join us for this 2-Hour Xmas Special, and then come  back on Saturday for a special repeated program on the origins and continued existence of our policed society in America, with Kristian Williams!

How we Lost our Humanity and How we can get it Back

What does it mean to be human? As a culture, we have asked that question in a million different ways and have probably thought up hundreds of different responses. It’s a philosophical question for some, a scientific question for others, and sometimes… an everyday question many ask just to try and figure out where they fit into the scheme of things. But here in the 21st Century, it may be one of the most important questions we could ask.

We have come to a crossroads. Humans will number near 9 billion in the not so distant future. We have not gone very far to eliminate chronic hunger, disease, famine, violence, war, abuse of other life forms on the planet, and the destruction of the ecosphere which sustains us.

Through the social sciences, we know we were not always like we are today… so full of greed, aggression, isolationism, selfishness, uber-competitiveness… nor so alienated from ourselves and each other. So what has gone wrong? What may be the reasons we have lost what Darcia Narvaez calls our “human essence?” What have been the affects of key qualities of modern, Western society such as political hierarchies and capitalism? And what might we do to restore homeostasis and build a healthier, more humanistic future global society?

We will discuss these ideas in a special Equal Time for Freethought with Darcia Narvaez and Harriet Fraad who have made it their life to ask, and try to find answers for, these questions.

ETFF Tribute to Dr. Lester Garwood…

A friend of the show, and of its producers, has sadly gone too soon. On this special tribute program, we aired some of Dr. Lester Garwood’s best moments on Equal Time for Freethought…

Carl Sagan said we are all “Star Stuff”; But Lester shined more than most …


Dr. Daniel Fincke of the blog, ‘Camels with Hammers’

Where does morality come from? Is it just the whim of society, or is there an objective moral standard? And if the latter, does that confirm arguments for God? Does atheism have anything to say about morality?

This week we’ll be speaking with Dr. Daniel Fincke who has his Ph.D in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms before leaving to focus on teaching online philosophy classes. He wrote his dissertation on ‘Ethics and the Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.’

On ‘Camels With Hammers,’ the philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. On this blog, he’s written about a variety of issues including objective morality, atheism — and specifically — an in-depth analysis of the philosophy of the movie “God’s Not Dead”, in which a Christian student is forced to debate his evil atheist philosophy professor. Does that movie get philosophy – and atheism – right? Or is there more to the story?

Stephen Eric Bronner on The Bigot: Why Prejudice Persists

What are the conditions which lead to bigotry? How common is bigotry in American society today, and how does it manifest itself in our post civil rights, gay rights, and women’s rights culture? Has the twice elected, first black president helped cool the flames of prejudice and racism, or has it fanned them instead? And how do we challenge bigotry if it is so deeply rooted in many segments of American culture and around the world?

We’ll talk about this and more this week with Stephen Eric Bronner. Bronner is a professor of political science and the Director of Global Relations at the ‘Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights‘ at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. He is also the author of over a dozen books including the subject of this show, “The Bigot: Why Prejudice Persists.”

Naturalistic Support Workshop w/ Arnell Dowret