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A Leap of Doubt #035 American Intolerance of Immigrants is Not New

#035: American Intolerance of Immigrants is Not New

The history of America’s treatment of the “poor and huddled masses” tells a very different story than the one we’re often accustomed to hearing, one of hostility and exclusion toward outsiders who looked to America to live up to its promise. Contrary to popular belief, the poor and huddled masses were never welcome in America.

On this episode, we discuss America’s dark history of demonizing and excluding immigrants, and how the current xenophobia and racism exhibited by the Trump administration toward Mexican and Muslim immigrants and refugees is only the latest chapter in a long series of immigrant panics. Included in our survey is the anti-Catholic conspiracy theories of the nineteenth century, the discrimination and harassment experienced by German-Americans during WWI, the mass internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII, and the unfounded fear of Jewish immigrants and refugees from Nazi Germany. We also discuss why the concept of race has no validity in science and use statistics and evidence to debunk present-day fears of Muslim “terrorists.”

Joining me as my special guest for this uncomfortable but hugely relevant and important discussion is Robert E. Bartholomew, one of the two authors of the book “American Intolerance: Our Dark History of Demonizing Immigrants” (Prometheus Books, 2018). Bartholomew is an American-born medical sociologist, journalist, and human rights advocate who currently serves as a history instructor at Botany College, in Auckland, New Zealand. He has written 15 books and published more than 60 articles in a number of professional journals. According to his website, Dr. Bartholomew “has written on an array of topics ranging from human social and cultural diversity, to mass hysteria, social delusions, moral panics, fads, collective behavior, the history of tabloid journalism, history of the paranormal, popular myths and folklore.”

Links:

Robert E. Bartholomew’s website: https://robertebartholomew.com/.

The book: https://www.amazon.com/American-Intolerance-History-Demonizing-Immigrants/dp/1633884481.

Join the official discussion group of this podcast at www.facebook.com/groups/aleapofdoubt.

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt.

Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, Kim Bojkovsky, and Rob Schreck 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.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org.

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution.

Website: Episode #034 Did Jesus Exist? (w/ David Fitzgerald)

#034: Did Jesus Exist? (w/ David Fitzgerald)

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.

Did Jesus exist as a historical figure? That is the question we are exploring here today on this podcast. Joining me as my special guest is David Fitzgerald, an author and historical researcher who has been actively investigating the Historical Jesus question for over 20 years. He has a degree in history and was an associate member of the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion (CSER). He has authored five books, including “Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All” and the three-volume work “Jesus: Mything in Action.” I have a guest co-host joining me for this episode as well, my friend and former colleague from the dearly-departed Trolling with Logic podcast, Wolf McNamara.

Doubter of the Week: Marian Evans, aka “George Eliot” (1819-1880): Victorian poet, novelist, and freethinker, who translated Strauss’ “Life of Jesus, Critically Examined” into English.

Links:

David Fitzgerald on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dgcfitzgerald

David Fitzgerald book “Nailed”: https://tinyurl.com/y8f4o3x5

David Fitzgerald’s “Jesus: Mything in Action” books: https://tinyurl.com/y6wenp4j

David Fitzgerald, “Examining the Existence of a Historical Jesus” (Skepticon 3 lecture, 2010): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvleOBYTrDE

 

Join the official discussion group of this podcast at www.facebook.com/groups/aleapofdoubt.

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt.

Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, and Kim Bojkovsky 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. The editing was done by Rich Lyons of the “Living After Faith” podcast.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org.

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution.

Website_ Episode #033_ Reviewing “Wild Wild Country” (w Chris Watson)

#033: Reviewing “Wild Wild Country” (w/ Chris Watson)

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.

We discuss the moral panic instigated by the residents of the small town of Antelope, Oregon, in response to the Rajneeshees’ arrival, and how their fear of change was able to influence the Federal government to side with them and express the same prejudice. We also ponder the question of whether or not the prejudice and bigotry displayed toward the guru and his followers is what pushed the guru’s personal secretary, Ma Anand Sheela, to go behind the guru’s back and orchestrate statewide bioterrorism acts and assassination attempts of government officials and journalists. We also explore the implications for the United States’ constitutional freedom of religion and how the government failed to uphold it.

Links:

Wild Wild Country official trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBLS_OM6Puk

Chris Watson’s Podunk Polymath Podcast: https://thepodunkpolymath.com/

Chris Watson on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PodunkPolymath

Further reading:

“Read The Oregonian’s Original 20-part Investigative Series on Rajneeshees,” The Oregonian, April 6, 2018, https://tinyurl.com/y8o53h6s

Kirk Braun, Rajneeshpuram: The Unwelcome Society (Scout Creek Press, 1984)

James S. Gordon, The Golden Guru: The Strange Journey of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (The Stephen Greene Press, 1987)

Win McCormack, The Rajneesh Chronicles: The True Story of the Cult that Unleashed the First Act of Bioterrorism on U.S. Soil (Tin House Books, 2010)

Donna Quick, A Place Called Antelope: The Rajneesh Story (August Press, 1995)

Ma Anand Sheela, Don’t Kill Him! The Story of My Life with Bhagwan Rajneesh (Fingerprint, 2013).

Jane Stork, Breaking the Spell: My Life as a Rajneeshee and the Long Journey Back to Freedom (Pan Macmillan, 2009)

 

Consider supporting me Patreon if you enjoy the show: http://www.patreon.com/aleapofdoubt. Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, and Kim Bojkovsky 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. The editing was done by Rich Lyons of the “Living After Faith” podcast.

Check out our website: https://reasonrevolution.org.

Give us a like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reasonrevolution.