From Faith to Humanism with Bart Campolo

Bart Campolo joins Brian Edward and Kristyn Whitaker Hood on the Mythicist Milwaukee Show. Bart is a secular minister, speaker, and writer who currently volunteers as the Humanist Chaplain at the University of Southern California.

Born and raised in suburban Philadelphia, Bart became an evangelical Christian as a teenager and was immediately attracted to urban ministry. After graduating from Brown University and serving as an urban youth pastor in Minneapolis, he returned to Philadelphia to found Mission Year, a national service organization which recruits young adults to live and work among the poor in inner-city neighborhoods.

As he became an influential evangelical leader, however, Bart increasingly questioned his own faith. In 2005 he returned to street-level community building in inner-city Cincinnati, where he eventually completed his gradual transition from Christianity to secular humanism. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2014, Bart’s work has been focused on inspiring and equipping all kinds of people to make the most of their lives by actively pursuing loving relationships, social justice and a genuine sense of wonder.

In Bart’s new book, “Why I Left, Why I Stayed”, the Campolos reflect on their individual spiritual odysseys and how they evolved when their paths diverged. Tony, a renowned Christian teacher and pastor, recounts his experience, from the initial heartbreak of discovering Bart’s change in faith, to the subsequent healing he found in his own self-examination, to his embracing of his son’s point of view. Bart, an author and Humanist chaplain at the University of Southern California, considers his faith journey from Progressive Christianity to Humanism, revealing how it affected his outlook and transformed his relationship with his father.

As Why I Left, Why I Stayed makes clear, a painful schism between father and son that could have divided them irreparably became instead an opening that offered each an invaluable look not only at what separated them, but more importantly, what they shared.

The Legal Side of Humanism w/ Monica Miller

Monica Miller is Senior Counsel at the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center. She graduated from Pitzer College in 2008 and from Columbia University in 2009 with a Masters in Public Administration for Environmental Science and Policy. She graduated cum laude from Vermont Law School in 2012. Monica was a Dean’s Fellow at Vermont Law School where she taught first-year legal writing. She also created the Vermont Law School “Secular Law Students Association,” and was a semi-finalist in the 2012 Animal Law Moot Court Competition.

Since joining the AHA as an attorney in 2012, Ms. Miller has vigorously defended the separation of church and state by litigating Establishment Clause cases in federal courts across the country. In addition to litigation, Ms. Miller has successfully enjoined numerous constitutional infringements through legal demand letters sent to government entities such as schools, prisons, and city councils. Ms. Miller has written amicus briefs in support of cases of public interest, including several briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ms. Miller has appeared on Fox News and MSNBC, as well as local television stations and radio shows, and is regularly quoted by national and local media outlets throughout the country, including Fox News, Aljazeera, USA Today, Newsweek, the Washington Post, the National Law Journal, among many others.

In pursuit of her concern for fundamental rights, Monica is also an attorney for the Nonhuman Rights Project, working to obtain common law personhood rights for nonhuman animals.

A member of the California State Bar and U.S. Supreme Court Bar, Ms. Miller is also admitted to practice in: District of Columbia, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, United States District Court, Central California, United States District Court, Colorado and United States District Court, Northern District of Florida.

Awesome Show, Great Job! w/ Tim Heidecker

Tim Heidecker is an actor, comedian, musician, writer and director. He is one half of the comedy team of Tim and Eric. Tim, along with Eric Wareheim, created the television shows “Tom Goes to the Mayor”, “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!”, and “Tim and Eric’s Bed Time Stories”. He is also the creator and lead in the television shows “Decker” and “On Cinema”. “On Cinema” is now in its ninth season which will be released on Adult Swim and YouTube on March 6th, 2017.

Tim has also made music a vital part of his career. He released “In Glendale”, his first solo album and most straightforward set of songs yet, in 2016. 

Sean Fracek and Jacob Woelfel were extremely honored to have the chance to interview Tim on his upcoming projects and the early days. Tim shares his experience with the short film festival in L.A. Channel 101, where he and Eric Wareheim would create short films and compete against other creators such as Dan Harmon, Justin Roiland (creators of the “Rick and Morty” television show), and Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone from the Lonely Island.  

We also discussed his cameo in the “Portlandia” episode entitled “Ants” and his relationship with the actors and creators of the series. We discuss his current focus on music and how this ties into his comedy. Tim also shares his views on religion and why he identifies he is an agnostic/atheist. We are huge fans of Tim Heidecker and had a lot of fun with this interview. Don’t miss it!

The Arc of Morality w/ Dr. Michael Shermer

Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, a regular contributor to Time.com, and Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. His new book is “The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom”. He is also the author of “The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies”, “The Mind of the Market”, “Why Darwin Matters: Evolution and the Case Against Intelligent Design”, and “The Science of Good and Evil”. He has been a college professor since 1979, also teaching at Occidental College, Glendale College, and Claremont Graduate University, where he taught a transdisciplinary course for Ph.D. students on Evolution, Economics, and the Brain. As a public intellectual he regularly contributes Opinion Editorials, book reviews, and essays to the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Science, Nature, and other publications. 

Dr. Shermer received his B.A. in psychology from Pepperdine University, M.A. in experimental psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and his Ph.D. in the history of science from Claremont Graduate University. He appeared on such shows as The Colbert Report, 20/20, Dateline, Charlie Rose, and Larry King Live (but, proudly, never Jerry Springer!). His two TED talks, seen by millions, were voted in the top 100 of the more than 1000 TED talks.

Brian Edward and Mario Quadracci host as they discuss Dr. Shermer’s new book “The Moral Arc” as well as everything else he is currently working on. We touch on religion and politics in this very informative interview. Don’t miss it!  

Jesus Hank Christ w/ JJ Whitehead

JJ Whitehead is a Canadian born stand-up comedian, who was based out of the UK until 2014. He currently lives in Hollywood, California. He has made appearances at 14 Edinburgh Festival Fringe including 7 solo shows. He is currently touring as the opener for Jim Jefferies as well as working on his own shows across the globe.

JJ joins us on the show to discuss his early career in stand up and how the scene has changed over the years. JJ has traveled all around the world to perform live shows and has had many experiences with different cultures. Make sure to check out JJ’s new comedy album, “Fool Disclosure”. We love JJ’s comedy and were honored to have some laughs with him on air. 

Hunted by Scientology: The Ron Miscavige Story

Ron Miscavige is the father of the leader of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige. He is also an author, having penned the tell-all book "Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige and Me"

Ron appeared on ABC News’ 20/20 to reveal the drastic measures he took to escape from their ‘Gold Base’ compound in California. He has also appeared on Leah Remini's new docuseries "Scientology and the Aftermath" 

Ron Joined us live in the studio to discuss everything from his introduction to Scientology in 1970 to escaping the Gold Base compound in 2012. Ron will be speaking at the Mythinformation Conference IV on September 30, 2017 in Milwaukee, WI. 

This is Jilly w/ Jill-Michele Meleán

Jill-Michele Meleán, "Jilly" was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She declared at a young age that she wanted to be like Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Benny Hill. 

Jilly started in theater and took her natural comedic timing to the stand up stage, headlining across the country while continuing her acting career. After many years of hard work, she's made a name for herself in the Comedy Television world with memorable performances on FOX's “MadTV" and Comedy Central's "Reno 911".

She is currently filming a feature film entitled "This is Meg". Which is based on true events, "This is Meg" is a transparent look into the L.A lifestyle of a "working but not famous" comedienne and actress.

Jill joined us on the show and we discussed everything from her early career in acting to the making of “This is Meg”. She explained how her experience on MadTV helped shape her understanding of the business. We discuss her upcoming stand up hour special. Jilly is an extremely hard working and talented entertainer.

Make sure to checkout her YouTube show that is also featured on "Funny or Die". Don't miss this interview!   

The Atheist Republic w/ Armin Navabi

Armin Navabi joins us on the Mythicist Milwaukee Show podcast! Armin is a former Muslim from Iran and the founder of Atheist Republic, a non-profit organization with over one million fans and followers worldwide that is dedicated to offering a safe community for atheists around the world to share their ideas and meet like-minded individuals.

Armin was born and raised in the Islamic Republic of Iran and was indoctrinated thoroughly in the Muslim tradition. After almost losing his life in the pursuit of God’s grace, the devastation of that event motivated him to seek a better understanding of the nature and concept of God and religious belief. Armin’s journey led him to leaving Islam and becoming an atheist.

Wanting to reach out to others like himself, Armin continues to examine religion as well as the notion of God and interact with others to engage in thought-provoking and educational discussion.

Armin is the author of “Why There Is No God: Simple Responses to 20 Common Arguments for the Existence of God” which provides simple, easy-to-understand counterpoints to the most popular arguments made for the existence of God. Each chapter presents a concise explanation of the argument, followed by a response illustrating the problems and fallacies inherent in it. Whether you're an atheist, a believer or undecided, this book offers a solid foundation for building your own inquiry about the concept of God.

Where Mormonism Meets Mythicism Part 1 w/ Bryce Blankenagel

Bryce Blankenagel, host of the very poplar Naked Mormonism podcast, joins us in the studio for a two part interview where we discuss the history and current state of the church as well as the traditions, beliefs and practices of Mormonism.

Bryce takes us from Joseph Smith starting Mormonism to the South Park creators writing a musical about it. We learn of the horrible murders and genocides that took place in its early days as well as how it is still destroying lives in the U.S. We discuss some of the outrageous concepts such as the “garments” or magic underwear that protect from bullets and the devil as well as Joseph Smith talking to god in a hat etc. We recorded over two hours of audio and delve into many topics. You can find part two of this interview on the Naked Mormonism podcast. Don’t miss these shows!

Bryce is an ex-Mormon and has spent years studying everything the Church tells you not to. He does not hold back when criticizing Mormonism and has the facts to back up his arguments. If you want to learn more about the actual history and state of Mormonism listen to his podcast and become a patron today

The Big Picture with Professor Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Research Professor of theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Harvard University. His research focuses on fundamental physics and cosmology, especially issues of dark matter, dark energy, spacetime symmetries, and the origin of the universe. 

Recently, Carroll has worked on the foundations of quantum mechanics, the emergence of spacetime, and the evolution of entropy and complexity. Carroll is the author of “The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life Meaning, and the Universe Itself”, “The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World”, “From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time”, and “Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity”.

He has been awarded prizes and fellowships by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Sloan Foundation, the Packard Foundation, the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Physics, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Royal Society of London, and the Guggenheim Foundation. 

Carroll has appeared on TV shows such as The Colbert Report, PBS’s NOVA, and Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, and frequently serves as a science consultant for film and television. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, writer Jennifer Ouellette.

Mythicist Milwaukee 2016 in Review

Jake, Lorence, and Sean review the various projects that Mythicist Milwaukee was involved with in 2016. They discuss the Bart Ehrman/ Robert Price Debate, The Mythinformation conference III, The Eric Andre Show experience, Reason Rally 2016 and more!

They also discuss the upcoming 2017 projects including the “Batman and Jesus” movie premier and the Mythinformation Conference IV event. Mythicist Milwaukee is made up of hard working volunteers that are constantly raising funds and working on many projects that include major national events, original media etc.

The Mythicist Milwaukee team has been able to pull off some of the most unthinkable tasks and has been succeeding in creating a secular presence in Milwaukee as well as around the world. This team will continue to bring unique initiatives to the secular world. If you enjoy what we do please help support us on our Patreon.

Atheists Rock and Roll w/ Monster on Sunday

Steve and Tally Cass, founding band members of Monster on Sunday, join us on the podcast.  Monster on Sunday has been rocking the San Diego music scene, introducing a new wave of lyrical rationality to a thoroughly religious environment. 

Steve and Tally discuss their journey into atheism and how it has affected their music. We get an in-depth look at the narrative behind some of their songs and how it ties back to atheism.

 

Steve and Tally, believe in the merits of science, the virtues of critical thinking, and consider “faith” to be sheer folly. They are carving out their own atheist hard rock musical genre. During the interview we get to preview some of the songs off of their album “Baby Eater”.

Don’t miss this fun and entertaining interview with the very exciting up and coming atheist rock band!

Leaving the Jehovah's Witnesses w/ Daniel Wiebe

Daniel Wiebe is a vocal ex-Jehovah’s Witness that speaks out about the church in multiple online forums. His most popular avenue is his YouTube page where he discusses his experience as an ex-Jehovah’s witness and what that means to everyday life and his relationship with his family and his friends that are still in the faith.

His criticisms of the faith are based on his experience with losing his family. They are also generated from the feedback that he receives from ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses that have reached out to him through his online forums.

Dan joins us on the podcast to discuss how his life has changed since he has left what he calls the cult of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. After hearing what he and many others have gone through it would be hard to challenge that description. Dan also takes us through some of the traditions and practices that you may not have known about the Jehovah’s Witness faith.

Don’t miss this powerful and insightful interview with Dan Wiebe. 

Social Norms and Activism w/ Melissa Chen

Melissa Chen is a genome scientist and secular activist. She is the Editor/Curator at Global Secular Humanist Movement and Co-Founder & COO at Securing Change. She worked at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

She studied Computational Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Computational Biology at Boston University.

We had the honor of meeting Melissa at the '16 Reason Rally and are honored to have her on the podcast to discuss the amazing work she is doing!

Psychedelic Suburbia -- David Bowie and The Beckenham Arts Lab w/ Mary Finnigan

Mary Finnigan was born in Manchester, UK. She moved to London in the early 1960s to take up a career in journalism. 

She worked for national newspapers including The Daily Mirror and the Sunday Times and also spent many years in broadcast journalism -- as a correspondent, editor and documentary maker. In 1969 she met the rock star David Bowie, who introduced her to Tibetan Buddhism. 

Her practice continues to the present day. Mary has also published a range of investigative material on power, sexual and financial abuses in Tibetan Budhhism, mostly for The Guardian newspaper. 

In particular she has exposed abuse perpetrated by the lama Sogyal Lakar aka Rinpoche. Mary's book Psychedelic Suburbia -- David Bowie and The Beckenham Arts Lab was published in January 2016. It is available on Amazon.

Discussing Culture through Music and Comedy w/ Lahna Turner

Grammy nominated Lahna turner is one of the hottest comedians working the comedy circuit. With her hilarious songs and sharp wit Lahna holds nothing back as she shares insights and observations from her life as an ex-wife, mother, and the uncensored inner voice of millions of women.

Her one hour special titled “So.... I wrote a song about it” is available on Hulu. She has appeared on NBC, Comedy Central, Animal Planet, Netflix, VH1, CMT, and truTV." she made her big screen debut in the award-winning indie film "teacher of the year."

Lahna has performs in top comedy venues and theaters nationwide and abroad including many tours for the USO.

Her two comedy albums, "If These Lips Could Talk" and "D!@k Jokes and Other Assorted Love Songs," have received airplay at top radio stations across the country as well as national lampoon’s top 40 comedy countdown, and are currently in rotation on SiriusXM satellite radio.

Lahna joined us on the podcast to discuss her career as a comedian. Lahna brilliantly blends music with comedy. We are extremely honored to have had the opportunity to talk with Lahna. Don't miss this interview! 

3 of the 9 Atheist Airwaves Podcast Hosts

Atheist Airwaves is Corpus Christi’s only radio show for atheists and the secular minded. They are sponsored by Corpus Christi Atheists and the South Texas Coalition of Reason. Christian Ferris, Amanda Stephens and Reb Spence join us to talk about the Atheist Airwaves podcast and the secular community in Corpus Christi, Texas.

We discuss how the podcast originated and how they were kicked out of a community radio station for being pro atheist and LGBTQ. They share their connection to Bill Maher and how they built a fundraiser around his appearance in Corpus Christi. If you are a fan of their podcast don’t miss this interview.

Did Jesus Exist? Price/Ehrman Debate- Who Won? Who's Next?

On Friday October 21, 2016, Dr. Robert Price and Dr. Bart Ehrman finally debated on whether or not Jesus existed. The Mythicist Milwaukee team held the debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Turner Hall. After the debate many people in Milwaukee and online were already discussing who won and what the main takeaways were from the debate.

We decided to invite the experts on a podcast to get their opinion on this debate and where the mythicist position is headed. Matt Dillahunty, Dr. Richard Carrier, David Fitzgerald and Kristyn Whitaker Hood join hosts Sean Fracek and Jason Lawson to discuss the debate.

Matt Dillahunty explains why he feels at this point the mythicist position is not ready for the spotlight. But is it getting there? Also, If you are in that camp that feels Dr. Richard Carrier should be the next to debate Dr. Bart Ehrman, you will get a sneak peek of what that would like in this interview. 

Major Entertainer Mike H on the Eric Andre Show Experience

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Mike Hickey aka Major Entertainer Mike H is a seasoned entertainer and professional opening act. We had the honor of meeting Mike on the Eric Andre Show tour. He was the opening act each night and definitely had appropriate material representing that position.

During this interview, Mike discusses his experience on the Eric Andre Show live tour. Mike also discusses the work that he has done on the Tom Green Show. He has been working with Tom Green for many years and even fills in as co-host periodically.

Mike is also working on various other projects including the full length documentary “Where in the hell is the Lavender House? The Story of Longmont Potion Castle” that will focus on the popular anonymous prank caller Longmont Potion Castle.

Mike explains how his friendship with Gregg Turkington aka Neil Hamburger started and the various projects that they have worked together on over the years.

You can catch Mike at the upcoming Festival Supreme event that will feature acts such as Jack Black, Eric Andre, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, Flight of the Concords, Sarah Silverman, and many more. This event will take place on Saturday October, 29th 2016. You can find tickets here. 

Mike is a hilarious comedian and a super nice guy. We were honored to have him on the show! Don't miss this interview!

MythCon III and Price-Ehrman Debate Round-Up

More than 250 people were in Milwaukee on Friday, Oct. 21 for the Mythinformation Conference III and Buzzed Belief debate between Dr. Robert Price and Dr. Bart D. Ehrman. Others from around the world tuned in via live broadcast to hear the debate, "Did Jesus Exist?"

Missed it live? Rent the streaming version of the video for $4.99. 

Source: Post-event survey responses from event attendees

Source: Post-event survey responses from event attendees