In this episode, we explore the issue of women’s reproductive rights. The historic 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade upheld women’s dignity and placed constitutional protections around women’s freedom of choice and right to control their own body by making abortions legal in the United States. But this human right has been under constant attack by the anti-choice movement in the four decades since. Dr. George Tiller, the late-term abortion provider who was murdered by a gunman in a church in May 2009, often made the statement that people need to listen to women and understand what they are going through. I’m doing my own small part in this discussion by speaking with two women in this episode for whom abortion and reproductive rights is important.
In the first part of this episode, I speak with Amy (the one with a ‘y’), one of the two hosts of the Secular Soup podcast, who shares her perspective as someone who worked at a Planned Parenthood clinic. We discussed what Planned Parenthood actually does (including all the basic care services that do not include abortion), her experiences with protecting patients from protesters, what life was like for women before Roe v. Wade, the Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws that have been quietly put into legislation by anti-choice lobbies, and why the pro-choice side should be unapologetic about upholding abortion as a human right.
In the second part of this episode, I interview Jen of the Not Another Atheist Podcast about her own personal experiences with the abortion procedure and how to effectively debunk myths associated with it, including the myth that most women regret their decision to have an abortion.
Secular Soup podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/show/secular-soup
Not Another Atheist Podcast: https://notanotheratheistpodcast.podbean.com/
Dr. George Tiller clip: “I’m a woman-educated physician”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V52JQ4Z3rjs
Ann Fessler, The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade (New York: Penguin Books, 2006)
Susan Wicklund, This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor(New York: PublicAffairs, 2007)
Dr. Willie Parker, Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice (New York: Atria Books, 2017)
Ruth Graham, “The Myth of Abortion Regret”: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2016/10/the_myth_of_abortion_regret.html
“Appeals Court Won’t Reconsider Tennessee Abortion Measure Decision,” Tennessean, February 28, 2018, https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2018/02/28/tennessee-abortion-laws-case-amendment-1/383251002/
Join the official discussion group of this podcast at https://www.facebook.com/groups/alopdiscussion/
Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt. Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, and Torsten Pihl for being my patrons!
Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheNatheist
The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.
The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license.
In this episode, we are doubting the historical existence of a man you may have heard about: Jesus of Nazareth. Ever since critical biblical scholarship began in the eighteenth century, largely a product of the Enlightenment, the consensus among mainstream historians and religious scholars has been that a man named Jesus did historically exist in Palestine and was crucified by the Romans in the first decades of the Common Era. Although these biblical critics did doubt and challenge the reality of the New Testament’s portrait of Jesus as a miracle worker and divinely appointed savior, they did think – or, more precisely, assume – that there was a real man named Jesus upon whom theological legends were later based. But there has always been another school of thought. The mythicists argued that not only was the Christ of faith a theological fantasy, but the Jesus of history was also a fiction. Jesus, said the mythicist scholars, never even existed historically.
Eastern mysticism clashes with rural America in this episode, as we recount a tale of religious bigotry, government paranoia, bombings, wiretapping, poisonings, assassination attempts, and airplane chases. I am joined by my good friend and patron the show Chris Watson, host of The Podunk Polymath Podcast, to review and discuss the six-part Netflix documentary series Wild Wild Country. The series chronicles the rise and fall of Rajneeshpuram, the once-thriving city established in 1981 in central Oregon by the Indian guru and mystic Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers.
In this episode, we explore the topic of fantasy role-playing games (RPGs) within the context of the moral panic and cultural stigmatization that surrounded games like Dungeons & Dragons and Vampire: The Masquerade during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and 1990s. My special guest is Joseph Laycock, PhD, assistant professor of religious studies at Texas State University and the author of three books, including Dangerous Games: What the Moral Panic over Role-Playing Games Says about Play, Religion, and Imagined Worlds. He has also written a book about vampire mythology and the communities that form around them and several journal articles on subjects which include Otherkin, parody religions, and paranormal beliefs.
My guest for this episode is Carly Gelsinger, author, writing teacher, and freelance editor. She holds a bachelor’s in psychology from William Jessup University and a master’s in journalism from Boston University. Her work has appeared in local, regional, and national publications. Her first book, which was released this month, is called Once You Go In: A Memoir of Radical Faith, a book about her life inside a fundamentalist Pentecostal church, where she was on fire for the Lord, as they say, until she found the courage to leave and forge her own path free of the toxicity and fear that fundamentalist religion so often breeds.
In this episode, there is plenty for us to doubt, because we’re talking about philosophy of mind with some moral and ethical philosophy thrown in like sprinkles on top. In what may well become a recurring theme on this podcast, we’re doing another philosophical deep-dive into a television series. This week, we’re analyzing HBO’s Westworld, a cerebral, high-concept series which explores the emergence of artificial consciousness in a theme park modeled after the American Old West and populated by highly sophisticated robots that look and act just like humans from that era.