TPPP Episode 136 : Of Death, Dying, and Disbelief

This week Zach and I have on Candace Gorham. We talk about her new book ‘On Death, Dying, and Disbelief’. We also talk about her journey to atheism, her work as a licensed mental health professional, her other book, and her love of hiking!

Candace is a licensed professional mental health counselor. She is a former ordained minister turned atheist-humanist activist, researcher, and writer on issues related to race, religion, and mental health. She is a member of the Black Humanist Alliance advisory board, The Secular Therapist Project, and The Clergy Project. Candace is also the author of “The Ebony Exodus Project: Why Some Black Women Are Walking Out on Religion—and Others Should Too.”

Of Death, Dying, and Disbelief on Amazon.

TPPP Episode 105 : A Woman Beyond Faith

This week on The Triple Po we spoke to Leah Helbling. She is co-host of the Women of Faith Podcast and a former evangelical Christian. We talk about her journey from ‘finding Jesus’ when she was a teenager and becoming an Evangelical Christian to deconverting and becoming an atheist activist. It really is a fascinating story filled with twists and turns, including going to the Creation Museum with her son, and how that trip and her son’s questions was the catalyst for leaving religion. I hope y’all enjoy it.

Download the show here.

Women Beyond Faith website

Women Beyond Faith on Facebook

Women Beyond Faith on Instagram

Leah Helbling on Facebook

TPPP Episode 94 : Dying Out Loud

I had the opportunity to go to the abode of Cass Midgley, co-host of Everyone’s Agnostic podcast, to interview Dave Warnock. Dave is an ex-pastor who deconverted to atheism. He was diagnosed with ALS fairly recently, and he made the decision not to just sit around and wait for death, but instead he is, what he calls ‘dying out loud’. We talked about his past life as a pastor; his deconversion and the ensuing consequences; and his diagnosis. He has been traveling the country talking about his experience, and he is inspiring people on the way. I was really honored to speak with Dave. He is helped so many people with his words, and that is a rare trait nowadays. I hope y’all find him as amazing as I did.

Download the show here.

Dave Warnock, ‘Dying Out Loud’ on Facebook.

TPPP Episode 93 : A Shitty Phoenix

Well The Triple Po is back once again after two months. Hopefully I will be around a while, but who call tell?

My good friend and beer provider Zach Law comes on to the show again. We talk about beer, of course, but mostly David Silverman and his re-emergence as a shitty phoenix on to the atheist scene. He’s suing Beth Pressman, Matt Dillahunty, and American Atheists because he was wronged! And he is making the rounds on all the douchebag podcast/YouTube circuit to decry those damn Third Wave Feminists. What a guy!

We also talk about politics and the general state of the world. Zach was fun to have on as always. Enjoy!

Download the show here.

TPPP Episode 88 : Mr. Smith Goes to Podunk

Welcome to another episode of The Podunk Polymath Podcast! On this installment of everyone’s favorite Southern podcast, I speak with newly minted friend Lyman Smith. We first talk about our meeting, along with his lovely fiancé and friend of the show Natalie Newell, at the American Atheists Convention 2019 in Cincinnati, and our experiences at the convention, including how his Backpack Old Fashioned becoming the Official Drink of the American Atheists Convention 2019.

We then talk about his approach to parenting as an atheist and freethinker. He mentions the importance of teaching his son empathy and kindness, as well as being honest and forthright when answering difficult questions, including those pertaining to the existence of God. Lyman is a great guy, and this was an enlightening conversation. Hopefully any current or prospective parents who are listening will gain some insight from this interview.

Download the show here.

Lyman Smith on Twitter

TPPP Episode 83 : Don’t Mess With Texas

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? This episode was done live on YouTube two months ago, but I”m just getting around to posting it! Bad Chris! I am going to try to pick things up, so hopefully this won’t happen anymore. 

I talked to Nathaniel Walters, an activist who is passionate about atheism and social democracy. I had a great time talking to him and the challenges he faces as an activist in Texas. Give it a listen!

Download the show here.

TPPP Episode 78 : An Atheist In Pittsburgh

This week on The Triple Po I am joined by logo enhancer and Facebook friend Jeff Prebeg. We talk about his activism, his work with charity, and his poor choice in hockey teams. We also rip on Trump, as well as discuss the difference between atheism and secular humanism, and the increasing gap between the two groups. Oh and cats. His cat has his own Facebook and Instagram! We had a great chat, and I enjoyed having him on even if he is a Pens fan. Enjoy!

Download the show here.

Jeff Prebeg’s website

Jeff Prebeg on Twitter

Jojo The Wonder Puss on Facebook

Jojo The Wonder Puss on Instagram

TPPP Episode 22 : Adamantly Atheist 

Welcome to another episode of everybody’s favorite Southern podcast! This week on the pre-ramble, I start the long-delayed Twitter follower roundup. I also mention that I will be on an upcoming episode of Inciting Incident Podcast. Finally, I talk about a tweet I sent out that kicked up a little controversy.

On the palaver, I talk to atheist activist and all-around awesome human being Adam Collins. We talk about his journey to atheism; his controversial exploits that have made him infamous; the Atheists of Facebook Online Convention; his run for Cincinnati City Council; as well as other interesting and cringe worthy topics. Adam is honest, kind, charismatic, and gives zero fucks, and I really enjoyed talking to him. I hope y’all enjoy listening to the conversation.

In the outro I mention that the episode with Bryce Blankenagel is really popular and has already jumped to number two in total episode downloads behind the inaugural episode. The show got the Blankenagel Bump! I hope y’all enjoy the show!

Download the show here.

Inciting Incident #74 – Chris Watson, Podunk Polymath on Patreon

I’m so tired of liberal calls for reaching across the aisle

Facebook Karaoke Event Page 

Adam Collins on Facebook

Adamant Atheism on Facebook

Adamant Atheism on Spreaker

Atheists of Facebook Online Convention on Facebook

Atheists of Facebook Online Convention on YouTube





TPPP Episode 8 :YouTube Warrior

It’s time for another installment of everyone’s favorite Tennessee SJW podcast! On the pre-ramble, I read a great new iTunes review from my first interviewee, Jeanne Ikerd. I also talk about the cultural impact and sheer awesomeness of Netflix’s newest original series, Luke Cage.

On the palaver, I talk to YouTuber and activist Steve Shives. We talk about his battles against the toxic racism and misogyny put out by a certain coterie of YouTube atheists. We also talked about the importance of spreading social justice in the secular community. We also talk about his interview with blogger Martin Hughes, and the blog posts Hughes wrote that raised the ire of a certain YouTube atheist. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the latest episode of The Podunk Polymath Podcast!

Download the show here.

Luke Cage: A Bulletproof Black Man in the Black Lives Matter Era

Steve Shives’ YouTube Channel

Martin Hughes and Steve Shives Talk About Atheism and Racism

The Amazing Atheist’s Racism

The Amazing Atheist Denies He’s Racist…By Being Racist


A Handbook for Heathens : J.D. Brucker’s “Improbable : Issues With The God Hypothesis”

I became acquainted with the writing of J.D. Brucker about a month ago when I came across a post of his on Dan Arel’s Patheos blog, Danthropology. It was a bittersweet vignette about the death of a mentor and friend that he had lost contact with. When he tried to reconnect some time later, he found it out that in the intervening time, his friend had died in an accident. Rather than this story being one of despair and hopelessness, however, he told of his realization that death was just a word, and that what was truly important was to remember those who have died, and to live your own life fully.

This sentiment touched me and I started to converse with him via Twitter and e-mail. I spoke about him as the inaugural subject of a segment that debuted on our podcast, Unbuckling The Bible Belt, which highlights secular/atheist writers and journalists. He was kind enough to provide me with a copy of his first book, Improbable : Issues With The God Hypothesis, which I immediately read and thoroughly enjoyed.

One does not need to read far to find the purpose of his book. Indeed, the first sentence in the preface lays it out quite nicely.

This work has found its way into being based solely on the idea that the Abrahamic deity – known by the Muslim as Allah, by the Jew as Yahweh, and by the Christian as God – is the creator of all living and inanimate matter inside the known universe.

And then a simple question : “Does the god of Abraham exist?”

Thus begins a relatively short (Improbable only comes in at some 164 pages) but fact-filled, incisive, and at times scathing deconstruction of the arguments given by theists for the existence of God.

Mr. Brucker puts forth his plan of attack against the cultural behemoth that is the belief in a Supreme Being. There are seven chapters, each addressing a specific claim in his overall thesis. Unlike many theists such as Ken Ham who simply says “I have a book”, and considers that sufficient proof for any and all of claims they might make, Brucker includes citations for sources that bolster his argument. Such is the approach of a rationalist dedicated to the scientific method of inquiry.

The first chapter covers how the evolutionary history of our species, Homo Sapiens. The chapter opens with the Biblical version of the creation myth, with the apex of that story being the penultimate fairy tale of our Judeo-Christian culture: The story of Adam and Eve and their fall from grace. Brucker than tells the true history of human evolution, as it is known by scientists, and which is backed up by plentiful evidence gathered over centuries. He tells the complete story, from our origins in pre-human ancestors to the way our species came to be in Africa and dispersed across the globe. This is a story that is far more interesting and intricate than some tall tale invented by Bronze Age sheep herders.

In the second chapter Brucker takes Intelligent Design (a euphemism for Creationism) head-on, poking holes in the already flimsy theories put forth by Creationists as to how their God  was perfect, thus his creations must be perfect. Countless examples of imperfection in humans and other species are given that easily disprove this theory. Brucker instead offers the scientific theory of transitional species and evolution by natural selection. The theories are far more satisfactory, deriving as they have from observable phenomena as well as concrete examples in the fossil record. While the idea that our species is perfect in every way might be soothing to some, I find hard truth to be far more satisfying.

Chapter three covers biological explanations as to why humans seem so susceptible to belief in the supernatural, including religion. He looks at the example of near death experiences as to how our brains can trick us into believing we are experiencing a supernatural event, when really this is simply a defense mechanism to soothe us prior to impeding death. He also addresses the questionable morality of the various psychological rationalizations humans use to justify things they do in the name of faith, even actions that would be considered unthinkable in normal circumstances. We ultimately must conclude the human brain is very capable of altering perceptions and causing self-delusion. Thus God is of our own creation, not vice versa.

The fourth chapter covers the age-old question believers always ask non-believers : How can you be moral without religion? The answer is, of course, is that morality does not derive from religion, and it certainly doesn’t emerge from the Abrahamic tradition. If anything, people are moral DESPITE those blood-soaked works. Brucker offers up several verses from the Bible and Qur’an that shows the so-called “moral” prescriptions offered up were anything but moral, but instead can only be understood in the context of an existence where life was, as Hobbes put it, “nasty, brutish, and short” More often than not, these books tells its adherents to kill in the name of their God and permits terrible punishments for even the smallest transgressions. In contrast to this religious origin of morality, the scientific theory of our species acquiring morality through evolution is put forth by Brucker as the more sensible approach as well as the one with more evidence to support its claims. Again, Brucker puts forth the religious explanation and then presents the scientific theory, and the scientific theory wins out, at least to a rationally minded person.

Chapter five speaks to the creation of the Universe from both the Biblical and scientific perspective. Of course, the religious claim of an anthropocentric universe made with humans in mind is the one put forth by theists. Even those more moderate types who concede that the universe is probably more than 6000 years old try to use the Kalam Cosmological Argument to prove the universe must have been created, thus there must have been a Creator. In contrast, Mr. Brucker gives the scientific explanation that has been developed so far involving the Big Bang and the overwhelming evidence for this theory of how the Universe itself was created, and why a God isn’t necessary in order for this to happen.

In chapter six Brucker explores the area of the Middle East where the Abrahamic traditions developed, and how these religions were not unique in their beliefs. Indeed, Mr. Brucker gives several examples of traits and trappings of other religions that were almost certainly expropriated with little or no alteration from earlier traditions. We also see how the events in the Bible and the Qur’an have little to do with actual history and more to do with attempts to twist timelines to make their actions to appear more meaningful in a historical context than they actually were. Examples are given from both the Qur’an and the Bible of how things that are presented as historical fact cannot, in fact, be proved to have actually occurred. The argument is put forth by theists that these texts are not to be taken literally. This is, of course, until it is convenient for them to do so.

In the final chapter, Brucker drops the final bombshell : Moses and Jesus probably didn’t exist. Here we see perhaps Brucker’s greatest effort at disproving biblical accounts, as he points out inconsistencies and flaws in the historical record regarding these two Biblical heroes. Nowhere in Egyptian hieroglyphs is any mention found of any sort of mass exodus of Jews, nor is there any mention of mass deaths of Egyptians of plagues. Lest theists think that the general history of Egypt of that period is not very well-known, the reigns of the Pharaohs are very well documented, and calamities of the magnitude demonstrated in the Bible would surely have been mentioned. As to Jesus, he supposedly lived during the era of the Roman Empire, which is even more well-documented. The only mention of note, that of Josephus in “Antiquities” has been proven by scholars to be a forgery ; a reference to Christ later inserted by a Church anxious to mask the truth that its entire reason for existence never actually existed. Of course, these are a few of the many arguments put forth, but the preponderance of evidence cannot be ignored.

In his Afterword, J.D. Brucker tells why he decided to write this book. He speaks of a journey from doubt to his current stopover as an atheist and anti-theist. Towards the end, he speaks to the type of person he hopes to reach the most.

I wrote this book for the fence-rider in order to present the truth as we understand today. Along with most atheists, I can recall a time in which such information would have proved beneficial because having doubt in something – particularly religious teaching – is quite normal, and questioning the veracity of religious faith is a common occurrence.

Of course, this book is for anyone who is anyone interested in what arguments are out there to disprove the claims that theists make as to why their God exists, be they hardcore atheists or newcomers to disbelief. This is the greatest contribution J.D. Brucker has made with this work. He’s given us a handbook to debate those who would use fairy tales and fear to convince us to follow their God, and I for one am glad that such a book has been written.