HNN #23: Government without God

In this month’s audio podcast we interview U.S. Representative Pete Stark, the highest elected official in the United States to openly acknowledge that he does not believe in a supreme being. We hear from Tom, an atheist volunteer working to make the world a better place. Some humanist university students in Edinburgh, Scotland tell us about their new campus group. Norwegian journalist Evan Gran observed us recording this show for an article in Fri Tanke Magazine. Gran tell us a little about humanism in the media in Norway.

Segment 1: U.S. Rep. Pete Stark, Nontheist

Interview: Rep. Pete Stark (D-California) is the highest elected official in the United States to acknowledge openly that he is a nontheist. Congressman Stark is a Unitarian who does not believe in a supreme being. Duncan Crary interviews Rep. Stark at Harvard University, where the congressman was honored as the “Harvard Humanist of the Year” Lincoln Lecturer. The event was sponsored by the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard. This segment also includes excerpts from Stark’s talk and interview reactions from Woody Kaplan, chair of the Secular Coalition for America Advisory board, and Amanda Philips, third year law student at Harvard and co-founder of the Harvard Law School Heathen Society.

End 23:34

Segment 2: Atheist Volunteers

Interview: Though atheists are the most distrusted minority group in the U.S., many atheists are moral upstanding citizens willing and eager to help the community. This segment features a young man who organized a project called His name is Tom, but he asked not to use his last name in our show because he has not come out fully about his atheism.

End: 37:55

Humanist Students in Scotland

Interview: Brendan Dieffenbach, intern of the Secular Student Alliance, interviews Roger Redondo and Stuart Ritchie, members of the The Edinburgh University Humanist Society. This is a newly formed humanist student organization in Scotland.

End: 52:19

Segment 4: The Norwegian Press

Interview: Even Gran, journalist for the Norwegian magazine Fri Tanke, joins Jes and Duncan in the recording room. Even is writing a story about the HNN podcast, but we won’t know what he has to say unless someone helps us translate the article from Norwegian to English!

End: 58:58


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Harvard Law School Heathens SocietySecular Coalition for AmericaU.S. Rep. Pete StarkHumanist Chaplaincy at HarvardJesse “The Body” VenturaAtheist VolunteersEdinburgh University Humanist SocietyFri Tanke Magazine