Episode Eight

Welcome to episode eight of the AtheistAus Podcast.

Can you help build the World’s Largest Skeptic & Atheist Community Center? United Church of Bacon wants to save Magician Penn Jillette’s former home…The Slammer ….and create The Nevatican!

Penn is the vocal half of the Las Vegas magic act Penn & Teller and for 20 years, his former home The Slammer has been a retreat of reason in the desert – and the United Church of Bacon wants to keep it that way.

They’ve begun a Indiegogo campaign, with a goal of half a million dollars, to save the building and make it a venue for all the faithless, for events, weddings and meetups.

To find out more, I spoke to John Whiteside – he’s the Founder and Bacon Prophet of the United Church of Bacon, an advisory board member of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and an advisory board member of the Secular Policy Institute.

Paul Fidalgo is our international correspondent on the show; he is the communications director for the skeptic and humanist organization the Center for Inquiry, where he writes the daily news roundup The Morning Heresy, among a bazillion other things. He blogs at iMortal over on the Patheos network and you can hear him on the Thinkery podcast with Brian Hogg:

  • Jeffrey Tayler at Salon looks at the political landscape, with some troubling polling on Americans’ feelings about being a “Christian nation”.
  • A psychic sues New York state for not giving him the reward money he says he deserves for allegedly helping to catch the two prison escapees earlier this year. [Insert “didn’t he see this coming” joke here]
  • This may not be surprising, but research shows that a fearful disposition and belief in the paranormal are closely associated. Ugh, and 41.4% of Americans think ghosts are real.
  • Ensaf Haidar is reporting that floggings might very soon resume for her husband, Raif Badawi. We’ve not confirmed this, and as you might know, it’s very hard to know exactly what’s going on within the Saudi legal and penal systems. He’s also been awarded the Sakharov Human Rights Prize!

In January 2016, Think Inc. are bringing to Australia An Evening with Sam Harris. Audiences will be engaged with this most celebrated of critical thinkers on the matters of science, spirituality, and secularisation in an age where their conflict with religion is as amplified as ever.

With big thanks to Think Inc., I spoke to Sam Harris about what it’s been like since he was last here for the AFA’s 2012 Global Atheist Convention.

Get your tickets for the shows in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney at the An Evening with Sam Harris web site.

In Australian and AFA forum board news – our correspondent GoldenMane gives us the lowdown on what’s happened this month on the boards. Join him and the lively crowd at the AFA Forums.

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Contact the show at atheistauspodcast@gmail.com.

“Backed Vibes Clean” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
“Base Walker” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

You can find all the previous episodes of AtheistAus over on the SoundCloud site and on iTunes!