Episode 70: CFI Conference Interview featuring Becky and Ruth from the Hub

In this episode of the Secular Hubcast we interview two Secular Hub members to get their perspective on the recent Center for Inquiry’s conference held in Las Vegas. Becky and Ruth describe their experiences, tell us about the different speakers they saw and encourage us to attend such conferences ourselves.

 

HOST, EDITOR:  Paul Schilling

Logo Design: Terry Kirkham

The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
Become a member of the Secular Hub today!
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Follow the Secular Hub on Facebook
Follow the Secular Hub on Twitter: @SecularHub
Email the show at: podcast@secularhub.org
Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)

Episode 53 – Interview With a Noobie

One lovely thing about becoming a Hub member is meeting all the folks who are visiting the Hub for the first time.  It can be refreshing/renewing as an atheist to talk with those for whom atheist community is a new thing.

The fear, confusion, rejection these folks are going through can be new and raw.  Hearing it puts us back in touch with what it was like when we were going through those steps of our own journey.  The freedom, possibility and exhilaration is there, too, and those feelings can be just as powerful.

When you see someone new at the Hub, welcome them.  That’s what we’re here to do.

GUEST:  New visitor, Lainey

HOST, EDITOR:  Jesse Gilbertson

Logo Design: Terry Kirkham

The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
Become a member of the Secular Hub today!
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Follow the Secular Hub on Facebook
Follow the Secular Hub on Twitter: @SecularHub
Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)

Episode 49 – Abortion Rights. Right?

The topic of abortion is never far from the news.  It’s a subject that affects many very deeply and it tends to bring forth strong, powerful emotions and opinions.

For this episode the Secular Hubcast turns to two of its female members to help explain, first the dramatic new law banning abortions in the state of Alabama and then explores pending legislation from across the nation.

This conversation is deep and very real, so enter with that in mind.

Would you like to read the Alabama law for yourself?

Super Freakonomics isn’t paying us to say nice things about them, but they ought to

Hosts:  Jesse Gilbertson, Melissa, Ruth

Editor: Jesse Gilbertson

Logo Design: Terry Kirkham

The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
Become a member of the Secular Hub today!
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Follow the Secular Hub on Facebook
Follow the Secular Hub on Twitter: @SecularHub
Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)

Episode 38 – Ask Me Anything

Atheists need to be more visible in society and it is accomplished by individuals getting out there and making themselves so.  This can be a little awkward at times but is always a good time.  Chauncey, Paul, and Jesse relate some of the weirder stories from past events volunteering.

The discussion flows into the meaning of life, death and everything else.  This is very similar to how some of these Ask An Atheist day discussions can go.

Hosts:  Jesse Gilbertson, Paul Schilling, Chauncey Williams

Editor: Jesse Gilbertson

Logo Design: Terry Kirkham

The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
Become a member of the Secular Hub today!
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Follow the Secular Hub on Facebook
Follow the Secular Hub on Twitter: @SecularHub
Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)

Episode 37 – Coming Out Atheist

Coming Out Atheist:  Why Does it Matter?

Chauncey, Paul, and Jesse discuss their past experiences coming out as atheist, how they did it and why.  It’s a personal choice for each individual as to when they come out and in what manner.  If we’re able, most of us come out to different people at different times, in a way that seems best or safest.  At a certain point we move from a point of fear to one of pride in our authentic identity and volunteer time to spread it to others.

  1. It allows us to interact with believers in a respectful way
  2. It dispels common misconceptions about atheism and what it means to be secular
  3. Helps those who have never experienced it understand secular life
  4. Atheism isn’t a belief system!
  5. Promotes the benefits of secular thinking and morality
  6. Allows us to find other secular folks who don’t know there are others like them out there
  7. Accomplishes outreach to people who believe differently and establishes who we are
  8. Changes the narrative so folks hear the truth about who we are rather than someone else’s talking points
  9. We take pride in who we are and want others to know it
  10. It’s fun to go out and meet people and discuss/share ideas
  11. Be an example to others that it’s ok to be an out atheist

Visit the Secular Student Alliance.  Send them an email and tell them you heard about them on the podcast, even if you already knew about them

Hosts:  Jesse Gilbertson, Paul Schilling, Chauncey Williams

Editor: Jesse Gilbertson

Logo Design: Terry Kirkham

The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
Become a member of the Secular Hub today!
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Follow the Secular Hub on Facebook
Follow the Secular Hub on Twitter: @SecularHub
Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)

Episode 21 – Godless Ethics

Is it even possible to be moral without God and the Bible?  Listen as Chauncey and Paul discuss what it means to have a perfectly sound system for personal morals and ethics based on humanism and logic.
Hosts: Chauncey Williams
Guest: Paul Schilling
The views and opinions expressed are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Secular Hub.
***
The Secular HubCast: The Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub.
Become a member of the Secular Hub today!
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Follow the Secular Hub on Facebook
Follow the Secular Hub on Twitter: @SecularHub
Music: A Himitsu – Adventures (unedited, used under Creative Commons License)
Logo Design: Terry Kirkham
Editor: Jesse Gilbertson

Episode 17 – Queer Secularism

Meet Kim.  Hub founder and leader for years, she recently took the opportunity to visit the Secular Hub and speak about gender identity.  Societal norms on the subject are in the process of a great and substantial shift and it’s thanks to all those who have stood up to fight for basic human rights and dignity for so many years.

The fight is never over, however, and it’s people like Kim who have fought and continue to fight.

Looking for help, support, or just more information?

What does it mean to be intersex?  Kim’s website, AISDSD.org, is there for support and information.

Check out The GLBT Center‘s website, and that of the Gender Identity Center.  Human rights for everybody!

The decisions of the Supreme Court are extremely powerful.  Read the wiki article on the Obergefell decision here.  If you’re a glutton for punishment you can actually look at the decision itself

NSFW! NSFW! Trigger Warning!  It’s from the ’80s!

Please note: this episode was recorded at the Hub and there’s a lot of friendly noise in the background.  Too many happy people hanging around.  It peters out around 1/3 of the way through the interview

The Secular Hubcast:  the Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub

Become a member of the Secular Hub today

Follow the Secular Hub on Facebook and Twitter

Learn more about the American Humanist Association

Music: A Himitsu – Adventures

Guest: Kimberly Saviano

Host: Jesse Gilbertson

Episode 16 – Evidence Based People

On the 14th of April, 2018 marchers once again assembled to take a stand and speak out at this historic moment.  In Denver, the very heart of the city was taken over by marchers and demonstrators. 

The message was clear, “We want our leaders to take an evidence-based approach to policy and our world”.

Mike Baumeester and podcast newcomer AJ participated in the march and conducted during-the-march interviews, and Mike even stuck around the Secular Hub’s volunteer tent to put in even more volunteer hours.

Because this episode was recorded during a march and inside Denver’s beautiful Civic Center Park the noise and energy of the event can be heard in the background as well as in the diverse voices of those.

Recorded April 14, 2018.

Topics covered in this episode, for further consideration:

March For Science Denver  or visit the national organization March for Science

Oasis community in Salt Lake City, you say?  Why yes, indeed.  Check out their upcoming events

Where exactly does Brigham Young U fall in the nation’s colleges and universities least friendly to LGBTQ rights?

Speaking of things unfriendly to LGBTQ, conversion therapy is still practiced in many areas.  The bill in Colorado to prevent its application to minors has been stopped for the 2018 legislative session.  As usual.  Let’s all keep up pressure on our elected officials to do the right thing.  Find your own representatives here

The Secular Hubcast:  the Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub

Become a member of the Secular Hub today

Follow the Secular Hub on Facebook and Twitter

Learn more about the American Humanist Association

Music: A Himitsu – Adventures

Host(s): Mike Baumeester, AJ

Episode 5 – Secular Sisterhood

The cliche that atheists are a bunch of white men has persisted so long because many atheist groups tend to be dominated by them.

Where do freethinking women go for their community?  The Secular Hub is proud of our Secular Sisterhood, a group founded by women to provide a safe place for community, sharing, and support.

In this episode Ruth and Katie discuss what the Secular Sisterhood does, its mission, and what it means to its members.  What was the impetus for forming it in the first place, why was it even needed?

Also discussed in this episode;  the frenzy of sexual assault allegations, denials, and confessions that has dominated the media landscape touches the lives of secular people, too.  Katie and Ruth have a direct and candid discussion on this, and Jesse even gets in on the action to ask a few naive questions.

This is a serious conversation, so strong language and mature conversation occur.  Listen at your own risk.

Learn more about and communicate with the Secular Sisterhood:

Attend an event on Meetup

Reach out of Facebook

Learn more about the topics that helped influence this conversation:

Non-binary gendered individuals

Evolve Fish supports Secular Sisterhood

Axe throwing is the new thing to do.  Here and here’s where we do it in Denver

Women are not nags.  Believe it

The Secular Hubcast:  the Voice of Denver’s Secular Hub

Become a member of the Secular Hub today!

Follow the Secular Hub on Facebook and Twitter

Learn more about the American Humanist Association

Music: A Himitsu – Adventures

Host: Ruth McLeod

Guests: Katie Wolfis, Jesse Gilbertson

Correction: At the time of posting this episode the Meetup page for Secular Sisterhood has 289 members

Lost Without Heathens

Like so many people, I have felt quite lost as of late. It has been very difficult to meet new people, find a date, discuss current events and generally have a good time in the company of like-minded people. This write-up is my attempt to reach anyone feeling the same way and to let you know that there is a welcoming group at the Secular Hub.

Like so many people, I have felt quite lost as of late. It has been very difficult to meet new people, find a date, discuss current events and generally have a good time in the company of like-minded people. This write-up is my attempt to reach anyone feeling the same way and to let you know that there is a welcoming group at the Secular Hub.

Golden Gate Canyon Hiking Trip

Starting off my journey, I became distressed, stuck behind a dump truck on the two lane highway that leads to the trailhead. Thus, I was 15 minutes late to the outing. After making a few frantic phone calls and purchasing a day pass, I embarked on my trip hoping to find my heathen friends somewhere along the trail. Once out on the trail I came across a bridge that stretched over a waterless creek. The water had recently dried up and evidence of its flow spread out from its now barely perceivable banks. I was struck by the beauty and variety of the flora present there and as I paused for a moment to snap a picture an interesting realization came to my mind. At that moment it occurred to me that all these colors and varieties are quite recent. A mere 530 million years ago the only vegetation on land resembled moss. This tiny fraction of time, 11.8% of the total age of the universe to be exact, in our Earth’s history represents the entirety of the flora diversity we see on land today. I once heard that the first flower to bloom on land was an orchid. I cannot be sure of this, I could look it up, but it doesn’t really matter; from those lowly beginnings all the beauty, diversity and grandeur we see here, a full mile plus above sea level has persevered. How amazing life was, is and likely will become. It’s hard to imagine that only 530 million years ago nothing like these flowers existed. So here I am walking on a single track path at 9:30 a.m. completely surrounded by flowers that somehow survived the ages and climbed the mountains to greet me today. As I look further down the path I reckon I’ll turn upward to climb the hillside, amongst the trees, to see if the heathens are in the Frazer meadow shown on the map.

As I mingle betwixt the tall, lanky trees I am reminded of my favorite ‘reason’ for god’s existence given to me as a child. I remember asking many adults why they thought there was a god; most of them would reply, “How else do you explain how every leaf of every tree is completely unique?” or something to that effect. This answer always perplexed me for many obvious reasons, but now as an adult it suggests something inhumane. It suggests that without god there is no way for us to justify our experience of wonder, awe or transcendence. Never mind that to invoke god as the justification of all that is wondrous says absolutely nothing about how we know that every leaf is unique (only observing the evidence provides such justification), it also completely misses the point. Our sense of wonder, awe and transcendence is completely dependent on evidence, not some gift from the celestial overlord. That transcendent feeling didn’t exist in human beings until we started comparing leaves to determine that they were all different. Thus the explanation of our feeling of transcendence, awe and wonder comes only after we evaluate the facts and evidence and are able to make an awe inspiring conclusion. Imagine being the first person to realize that every leaf was completely unique. Thinking of it now; I’m floored. Only after such a concept forms in our brains do some feel the need, and for no good reason whatsoever, to refer it upwards to the heavens and give god ‘his’ unjust due. But not all of us.

To those of you that worry about losing your sense of awe and wonder once the burden of faith is shed; you can all rest your minds. There is nothing that will stop you from feeling this way.

Especially with all the new discoveries we are making in the modern world. I dare you to look at a Hubble galaxy scape and not feel completely lost in your thoughts of amazement. Just imagining all the variety of life that could exist in any small section of M82, Andromeda or the Sombrero Galaxy could keep you awe struck for hours on end. Jesus’s assent into heaven like superman into the sky pales in comparison. As do the accounts of the different levels of heaven and hell and even the infinite ‘nature’ of the so called creator. This critique goes for all the other non-specific entities that humans have either been indoctrinated to believe or been convinced of under their own efforts. The answer to the question, “Do non-believers feel the same sense of wonder and transcendence?” is a resounding yes! All humans do no matter what their belief or lack thereof. The only difference is that the rational amongst us can often explain it, too. Much more so than the incoherent babble offered by conspiracy theorists, spiritualists, and some believers. After all, those of us that believe in the evidential, demonstrable, reproducible and verifiable have a more complete understanding of the wonder that surrounds us every day. We don’t say, “Isn’t it amazing what God has given us?” That says virtually nothing about the grandeur of these flowers or these trees I see here before me. We marvel at the deep-time understanding of how they came to live in these hills, we feel awe at their perseverance and clever cheating of the inevitable death that awaits all life on Earth. We feel kinship, gratitude and mourn the lost lives of the past and every species that didn’t make it; having succumbed to our inevitable extinction. To think that skeptics, secular humanists and atheists don’t feel awe and wonder, have a sense of the transcendence, or feel like they are a part of something vastly greater than themselves is to be dead wrong. Perhaps we feel it even more so and perhaps we see more acutely that there is a need to get up, off our knees and do something about it. Suddenly, out of breath from mulling over my thoughts and walking like a mad man, my train of thought is broken as I reach Frazer meadow.

In the distance ahead I see a large group of people conversing and resting amongst the flowers and trees. Victory! I recognize some of them from the Seth Andrew’s presentation just last weekend. Chauncey, the heathen best known to me, is nowhere to be found, but I know he is likely lounging somewhere. As I approach with a smile I’m reminded of one of the benefits of my gender through a smart ass comment flung my way shrouded in wit from one of the heathens. “Looks like you forgot your shirt!” She said with mild annoyance. Probably wishing she could take the same liberties. After putting my shirt back on bashfully, I retorted with my own personal nudity policy which allows for all to bare their chests. After all, there is nothing to hide of the human form as far as I can tell. Anyway, after some back and forth and a few smiles, we set off together, about 15 of us, to locate the rest of the group. I was both happy and sad in the next moment. As we turned a corner I saw my friend Chauncey standing next to a tree. Finally, I could shake his hand and let him know that I was sorry I had missed the meeting time. I did, we smiled and then he let me know that they were about to head back and that their cars were not in the same direction as mine. Bummed I shook his hand and then turned back down the trail; heading back to my car. From beginning to end this was a great day. I’m still not as active in their group as I’d like to be, but I’m starting to feel like I’m making progress.

To those looking for a sense of community such as myself, this is a great resource for you: if you can only be on time. As I find myself trekking through the woods, I wonder, how I will bridge this gap between where I am now and where I’d like to be in the near future. I see myself conversing with like-minded people about the intricacies of our daily experiences. I hope to add great value to the lives of these new friends and I hope to feel connected to them. I can tell that this won’t be easy. It seems that transitions like this, going from a known group of friends to a new group of friends, never is. First off there are time and money constraints. It’s very difficult for anyone to change their routines and take on new personalities and energies. It’s not like when we were younger and everyone was looking for their next best friend, ally, roommate or lover. These are people that live here, work here, raise their families here and already have networks of people to rely upon and confide in. To them I am just another interested party: potentially a fly-by-night and potentially a mainstay. Too early to tell. So it’s up to me to put in the work and effort and see if I can get somewhere. I encourage anyone reading this that is looking for new friends to keep trying. Don’t give up after the first few attempts fail to yield your new bestie. Keep showing up, on time, and keep offering your hand in friendship. I’ll shake it.

Hiking Prep List (for those that need such a thing):

  1. Water and snacks
  2. Check that I am wearing clothing that is appropriate for hiking:
    • No cotton: polyester, wool or silk only
    • Rain gear
    • Good shoes or boots
  3. Map and Compass

Paul S. is a real estate investor in the Denver area. He also rehabilitates shelter dogs and places them into forever homes. Paul moved to Denver in 1999 and has lived all over the state.

Edited by Chauncey