HNN 12: Julia Sweeney – Letting Go of God

In HNN Audio Podcast #12 we have two, count ’em two celebrity interviews. We speak with singer Holly Near about her music and activism, and then we speak with comedian Julia Sweeney (of Saturday Night Live fame) about her show “Letting Go of God.” We also talk to cartoonist Matt Bors about his recent visit to a “Hell House” and Matt Cherry reads an essay about the origins of Halloween.

Segment 1: Holly Near Ain’t Afraid

Holly Near talks with HNN

Holly Near is a life long activist for human rights. She’s also an actress and a singer/songwriter. Near tells us about her song “I Ain’t Afraid” and about her work promoting human rights.

End 12:05

Segment 2: Julia Sweeney Let’s Go of God

Julia Sweeney Talks With HNN

Photo by Cal CraryJulia Sweeney’s one-woman show, “Letting Go of God” is currently playing at the Ars Nova Theater in New York City until Oct. 29. Sweeney talks with us about the difference performing her show before atheist audiences and audiences of mixed religious beliefs. She also talks about her experiences as a secular parent.End 32:33

Segment 3: Listener Comments

HNN listeners call in to share their thoughts. One listener asks about if there are any humanists in politics. Another listener thinks there’s too much God talk among atheists.

End 35:25

Segment 4: Atheist Cartoonist Gets “Judged”

Since the 1970s religious organizations have been hosting “Hell Houses” or “Judgment Houses” in the place of traditional Halloween haunted houses. Matt Bors, creator of the cartoon “Idiot Box” did some undercover investigative cartooning to find out what goes on in hell.

End 42:39

Segment 5: Is Halloween Sacred, Secular, or Satanic?

Matt Cherry, executive director of the Institute for Humanist Studies, reads his essay on the origins of Halloween.

End 54:09


“Singing For Our Lives” by Holly Near
“You’ve Destroyed Everything” by Final Boss*
“The Mormon Boys” by Julia Sweeney
“Mom and Dad Freak Out” by Julia Sweeney
“Monster Symphony – 1st Movement” by Devin Anderson*
“Moon Strobe” by Tripudio*
“Inspiration of Love” by Joe Sibol*
“Creepers Jeepers” by Seraphic Panoply*

(* These songs are available at


Holly NearJulia SweeneyMassimo Pigliucci, Ph.D.Matt Bors’ “Idiot Box”Cal Crary

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