Atheists Talk

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"The Myth of Persecution", Candida Moss on Atheists Talk #217, May 5, 2013

The early history of Christianity is a history of persecution, with pagans zealously defending their own faiths through torture and martyrdom and Christians being mauled by lions for the entertainment of the crowd. Or is it?

Biblical scholar Candida Moss reviewed the evidence of early Christian persecution for her new book, The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom, and found it mostly lacking. From the publisher's description:

As the story goes, vast numbers of believers were thrown to the lions, tortured, or burned alive because they refused to renounce Christ. These saints, Christianity’s inspirational heroes, are still venerated today.

Moss, however, exposes that the “Age of Martyrs” is a fiction—there was no sustained 300-year-long effort by the Romans to persecute Christians. Instead, these stories were pious exaggerations; highly stylized rewritings of Jewish, Greek, and Roman noble death traditions; and even forgeries designed to marginalize heretics, inspire the faithful, and fund churches.

The traditional story of persecution is still taught in Sunday school classes, celebrated in sermons, and employed by church leaders, politicians, and media pundits who insist that Christians were—and always will be—persecuted by a hostile, secular world. Moss urges modern Christians to abandon the conspiratorial assumption that the world is out to get Christians and, rather, embrace the consolation, moral instruction, and spiritual guidance that these martyrdom stories provide.

Moss joins us this Sunday to talk about her book and about how this narrative of persecution hurts Christians in the world today.

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Atheists Talk is produced with funding from the Minnesota Atheists and the Humanists of Minnesota. We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather. This radio program is put together by dedicated volunteers and the generous donations of listeners. If you are able to help with a donation please consider doing so at our Radio Fund page.


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Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio: 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show.

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Secular Coalition for America, Edwina Rogers on Atheists Talk #216, April 28, 2013

Almost a year ago, Edwina Rogers took over as the executive director of the Secular Coalition for America. It's been an ambitious, busy year for the Secular Coalition. This Sunday, Rogers joins us to talk with Scott Lohman about what they've accomplished and where they're going in the next year. They'll also discuss the formation of the Minnesota chapter of the Secular Coalition.

Related Links:

Atheists Talk is produced with funding from the Minnesota Atheists and the Humanists of Minnesota. We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather. This radio program is put together by dedicated volunteers and the generous donations of listeners. If you are able to help with a donation please consider doing so at our Radio Fund page.
 

 
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"The Outsider Test for Faith" John W. Loftus on Atheists Talk #215, Sunday, April 21, 2013

John Loftus is a former evangelical preacher. He studied under William Lane Craig and earned Master’s degrees in divinity and theology. He is currently an adjunct professor of philosophy, an author, the creator and primary blogger of the popular website, Debunking Christianity, and the founder of the Skeptic Ink blogging network. He is the author of Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity, a co-author of the book God or Godless, and the editor for two books: The Christian Delusion and The End of Christianity.
 
John Loftus joins Atheists Talk this Sunday to discuss his newest book, The Outsider Test for Faith: How to Know Which Religion Is True. This book seeks to help readers view religion from an outside perspective, to better understand the irrationality of believing in one god (or set of gods) over all others. And it encourages believers to apply the skepticism they have toward other religions to their own.
 
Related Links
 
Atheists Talk is produced with funding from the Minnesota Atheists and the Humanists of Minnesota. We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather. This radio program is put together by dedicated volunteers and the generous donations of listeners. If you are able to help with a donation please consider doing so at our Radio Fund page.
 

 

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Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio: 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show.

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"Denialism on a Large Scale" Greg Laden on Atheists Talk #214, April 14, 2013

Climate denialism operates on a scale and with funding that would have made an old-school tobacco executives green with envy. This makes the climate wars a perfect venue for learning about all the tricks of denialists.

Greg Laden stumbled onto climate denialism through a combination of concern for the environment and studying what climate history can tell us about human evolution. He has documented lies, threats and simple misinformation while working to get good information on climate change out to audiences on his blog and elsewhere. In the process, he's received legal threats, death threats, and more factually incorrect comments than he can count.

This Sunday, Greg will join us in the studio to help us learn to spot denialism in the wild and to tell us what to expect from climate change denialists in the next few months.

Related Links:

Atheists Talk is produced with funding from the Minnesota Atheists and the Humanists of Minnesota. We also wish to thank Q. Cumbers restaurant for purchasing on-air advertising and for providing a great place to eat and gather. This radio program is put together by dedicated volunteers and the generous donations of listeners. If you are able to help with a donation please consider doing so at our Radio Fund page.


SUBSCRIBE TO THE iTunes PODCAST
SUBSCRIBE TO THE STANDARD RSS FEED
Write a review of Atheists Talk 

Follow Atheists Talk on Facebook and Twitter! 

Listen to AM 950 KTNF on Sunday at 9 a.m. Central to hear Atheists Talk, produced by Minnesota Atheists. Stream live online. Call in to the studio: 952-946-6205, or send an e-mail to radio@mnatheists.org during the live show.

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