On this episode, I speak with my friend and LGBTQ-rights activist and speaker Marissa Alexa McCool. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with three degrees in English, Anthropology, and Cinema & Media Studies. She hosts multiple podcasts, including The Inciting Incident Podcast, The Cis Are Getting Out of Hand, and We Too – Our Stories, and in the space of two years has authored six books with a seventh in the works, including two novels. She won a 2014 Keystone Award for Excellence in Journalism and co-founded The Trans Podcaster Visibility Initiative with Callie Wright in 2017. According to her website, Marissa “tends to blend her theatrical background and fiery passion for atheism, humanist and secular values, and intersectionality.”
Marissa and I discuss her personal journey as a trans woman bringing her experiences to bear on her activism in the secular humanist movement, including the epic story of how she personally confronted an evangelical hate pastor on the campus of the university she attended. We also discuss the power of myths and the often-subtle ways storytelling and narrative influences culture and society as well as individual lives and attitudes. Along the way we critically examine the concept of echo chambers, identity politics, intersectionality, and how to be a true ally to minority groups and marginalized individuals.
Marissa’s website: http://rismccool.com/
Marissa on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RisMcCool
The Inciting Incident Podcast: http://www.incitingincident.libsyn.com/
The Cis Are Getting Out of Hand podcast: https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-cis-are-getting-out-of-hand.
Marissa’s GoFundMe page for “Operation Science Vagina Recovery”: https://www.gofundme.com/3z5hf2
Join the official discussion group of this podcast at www.facebook.com/groups/aleapofdoubt.
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Thanks to Jeff Prebeg, Jeanne Ikerd, Torsten Pihl, Chris Watson, and Kim Bojkovsky for being my patrons!
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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.
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This week I am very excited to bring you an interview with Karen L. Garst, PhD. She writes for the Faithless Feminist blog and website and is the editor of the book Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life without Religion(published in 2016). She has also edited a new book which has just been published, titled Women v. Religion: The Case against Faith – and for Freedom. She joins me on this episode to talk about the intersection of atheism and women’s rights and to make the case that religion is the last cultural barrier to gender equality.
My guest on this episode is Dr. Abby Hafer. She holds a doctorate in zoology from Oxford University and teaches human anatomy and physiology at Curry College. She is the author of the 2015 book The Not-So-Intelligent Designer—Why Evolution Explains the Human Body and Intelligent Design Does Not.
Why has the belief in a single, all-powerful, and dominant male god been so widespread and pervasive throughout human history, and why does it continue to be so influential and intuitive to human beings today? In this episode, I interview Dr. Hector Garcia, a clinical psychologist and author of the 2015 book Alpha God: The Psychology of Religious Violence and Oppression, to tackle this question. Garcia traces monotheistic religious belief to our primate origins and points to religious differences and our evolved psychology as the common denominator underlying most of the world’s violent conflicts. We talk about religious violence and oppression within the context of Darwinian natural selection and about the ways in which religion is built upon and exploits the human obsession with dominance and submission dynamics and sex.
There are all manner of misconceptions and potentially harmful myths surrounding what women want, what men want, and about how best to navigate romantic relationships, from flirting to dating to long-term relationships. On this episode, I speak with special guest Harris O’Malley, aka Doctor NerdLove, to dive into these issues and set the record straight on the complications and nuances of love, sex, and dating in the 21st century.
Where should we look to find the origins of political violence and crisis? Is political crisis and conflict inevitable? If so, what can we possibly do to improve the human condition and ground a rationale for effecting change in a universe that really is devoid of any ultimate, transcendent meaning? For this week’s episode, I am very excited to welcome Nabila Jamshed as my special guest to talk about these questions and how they bear on the nature of existential crisis in overwhelmingly disastrous times of global confusion and how we might face the world being on fire without being inundated by despair.