Atheist Interviews with Andrew Rogers | The Preaching Humanist 01.30.1


Welcome back viewers to the Preaching Humanist with David Oliverio that is I. Where no God is required for life of
gun is required for life of love joy peace fulfillment meeting person meaning
and purpose in life and the good life is guided by reason and motivated by love I
have a friend of mine with me to the studio this is aimed at Rogers and I’m
gonna continue along the lines of my eightieth interviews allowing you might
dare magical believers you Christians and other is a belief in the
supernatural to see that we come in all shapes and sizes all different
backgrounds those Russia had once been involved in religion and we are now free
from that so I want you to hear the stories others besides me their story
and how they saw the light of reason and the enlightenment of humanism so today
we’re going to discuss a nice topic once I turn the shoulder to my friend Andrew
here and we’re going to discuss activism let me give you a brief definition and
something I failed to memorize memorize that this like when I was a nice to
memorize Scripture activism is the action of using vigorous campaigning to
bring about political or social change my training and you and I are activist
humanism where activists reiki is a man who’s done activism he’ll talk about
that the moment for political change for progressivism as well so that’s what
we’re gonna discuss today so we’re just gonna kinda chill out today relax I got
my shorts on today we had our t-shirts on here we are in Austin in mid December
and it’s going to be the seventies beautiful so Andrew and I before it turned over to
Andrew he’s kind of my cohort of my partner in crime and Sunday mornings we
go under the bridge downtown Austin and you might have heard me talk about eight
years helping the homeless as you can see my t-shirt so we’re kind of part of
the eighties helping the homeless the sunday’s that we are not with the main
group we have met together under the bridge to pass out food and clothing to
the home of sorrow and also to do something else we go out to different
areas and even churches and visit people talk to people and some of your wonder
why we do that so we have talked about that in a minute so Andrew Rogers good
to have you here today thanks Dave and I want you to tell my viewers you
basically your upbringing your childhood in your religious property so to tell
the viewers are basically how are your ways that we get to the next question
you sure I like most people in america was raised Christian and my my mom
wasn’t particularly devout but my my dad was and and and when I live with my dad
they got divorced when I was very small but when I live with my dad we went to
Baptist churches and I consider myself a baptist and that changed when I was
about 13 and my dad and I we we were already very interested in Bible
prophecy you know I was I was fast is it is a kid I was fascinated with you know
Bible prophecy as you see the fantastic you know stories of what’s going to
happen and you know I thought was that there is a very intriguing so we saw an
ad for an event a lecture that some Christian group was putting on you know
about Bible prophecy so we both went and and it turns out it was a seventh-day
Adventist group that was put in this event on and
we both my dad and myself independently you know I wasn’t really
he didn’t have to force me i i independently was like yeah you know
that I like these guys and we both became seventh-day Adventists and so
from 813 215 213 216 I went to seven day Adventist Church is on a regular basis
and was very devout I believe wholeheartedly that basically
seventh-day Adventists are they go to church on Saturdays because you know
when you when I look back on it you know they were if your gonna be Christian
they they kinda were more accurate and how they did it the most Christians are
his yes saturday is the status on these not the sad you know that that was
Emperor Constantine I believe you changed it to Sunday artificially so and
and there’s other did they tended to be kind of Bible literally lists where you
know they most of them were vegetarian is so unlike their very health conscious
and what’s interesting is that while most Christians tend to be among the
least healthy seventh-day Adventist tend to be very healthy some of the some of
the healthiest communities in the country are 78 mins communities like the
Loma Linda California area but anyway so I was pretty developed and I read the
entire Bible most of it I seem to have missed some of the worst stuff until
later what’s interesting though is that I looking back on it I didn’t I wouldn’t
live a very Christlike life at least not in my teenage years even though I
believe wholeheartedly I still I fell in with a bad crowd you know in high school
and you know in drank you know drank heavily binge drink
and experiment with drugs in I would go to church on Saturday and then I’d go
you know hang out with my you know stoner friends and he’s looking back on
it I guess subconsciously I was thinking about it I wasn’t consciously thinking
this but I guess subconsciously I can send all I want design just ask
forgiveness you know what the Bible says its efficacy and and in most religious
most Christian denominations are are explicit about that you get into heaven
not by works but by faith you know you can be the best person in
the world and if you don’t believe you’re going to hell you know what’s up
their sleeve an eternal death they don’t believe that you’ll be tortured for
everyday use believe you’ll you’ll be killed yeah yeah so yeah we’re gonna tell us
basically I’m learning how to be a good interview people so tell us what changed
your mind reviewer a very strong Christian you were I guess as we once a
born again accepted Christ as I want my viewers to
understand that those of us that were Christians were real Christians israel’s
you can be very serious about it so what begin what made you change your mind
with their moment did you have your personal company was just something that
just the light turned on you said you know I can’t believe this anymore well what’s interesting you know before
I get to that you know you reminded me is is that the whole time I was devout I
i I still was I think I was relatively relatively rational I never had any
visions I never had the feeling like God was talking to me like I was hearing his
voice I wanted that I desperately wanted to have that you know that kind of
deeper experience with God that Christians say you have when when you
believe and so you know sometimes I would would you know in my desperation
22 had to see things that would would that would prove God’s existence
to me I would interpret things like a lot of Christians do I would interpret
mundane things as being miraculous for example remember one time I was sitting
at a bus stop and you know it was after school and I was waiting there is it was
late I miss the bus I’m sitting there bored and I’m like man I wish I had
something to do right now as soon as I thought that plus like a tennis ball
came down the hill and and and and broke down the hill and then is basically my
feet my god damn America must be proof got hurt I was bored he gave it to you
when you believe you you interpret things that won’t happen by chance
usually you interpret them this is you know you want to interpret them as
miraculous so that’s how you see them so a lot of Christians when they did that
you know their testimony about how you know that I’ve experienced miracles
usually it’s something mundane like that they that they just thought was a
miracle there they really wasn’t yeah but so what happened I guess as far as
what changed my made with how I lost my faith I think it
started when I was in I went to community college and kinda like a good
friend of mine hung out with quite a bit I didn’t know
this about him and he basically we started talking religion the subject of
religion came up and I told him I was Christian and he’s and he’s he basically
he’s like that’s crazy that’s that’s the Christian Bible is terrible i mean
there’s all this awful stuff in there how can you believe that stuff in each
year a couple of verses with me he knew his stuff and I was surprised I you know he mentioned vs like I think what was
the one as you can tell I’m a little rusty I used to be really really
knowledgeable about the Bible that I was gonna rest your last 20 years David
probably recalled the one I think it was busy key or where the kids were making
fun of them and then he had he had God smite them both at 42 she bares y a tour
of the children part because they were making fun of one of the problems I
don’t recall it was like Jerry live show you all had in 42 she bears came out of
the woods to tear these children so yeah that was that was the first one I
remember him sharing with me but says insert got me curious I mean obviously
you know I didn’t just suddenly say oh ok well you’re right now should be an
atheist now I was resistant I’m like hey what are you talking about you know your
your blessing God you know hey stop it you know so but over the course of the
next couple of years I started thinking about the conversation I had with him I
lost contact with him but I started thinking about it and I researched it a
little more and I and I’m like oh my god there’s no pun intended there is there
stuff here is even worse than that I mean there’s some horrible stuff in here
about you know God commanding genocide and and murdering you know entire
villages of innocent people including babies and just slaughtering them but
take this version girls for yourself you know everybody else but you can keep
those virgin girls for you so you can get any creepier than that you know so
so the thing is I like like most Christians who are going through that
stage where they’re starting to have doubts I desperately wanted to hold onto
my face you know of course because because you know nobody wants to change
their mind you know you know you know nobody wakes up one day and said I think
I’ll change my mind today you know you you’re obviously going to
be resistant few if it’s if it’s a belief that you base your identity
around you don’t want to change it so of course you’re gonna be resistant so I so
I think somebody recommended to me a Christian and I i thought counsel with
he recommended you know some of the apologist literature it was popular back
in those days I’m talking about the early nineties and for example Josh
McDowell was very you know big evidence that demands a verdict and what was the
other one yes Lewis possibly I didn’t read Mere Christianity vs Lewis I read
the more current stuff like Josh McDowell was getting pretty current yes
and and I’m reading this stuff out and and and I’m wanting to morning to find
something good in there and I’m thinking this week is kinda obvious to me even in
my state of wanting to continue believing that he was using really bad
circular logic and it’s in ever since then I mean Christians it’s like they
can’t help it they can’t help using circular logic I mean like the folks we
talked to at that church a couple weeks ago they they they every argument is
made with circular will be no it’s true because the Bible here of course it must
be true is it not solely 12 says they don’t even realize how illogical they’re
being and and some of the other arguments he was using real really week
so I compared it with some of the atheists books are out at the time I I
went to public library was a little back then as long before the new atheism you
know movement and revival you know that Dawkins and Hitchens Harris the library
had a little section about 45 atheist looks nice checked out a couple of those
and and and I’m like ok he’s geyser because I can’t tonight they’re making
really strong arguments and the religious apologists are making
really weak arguments so I kind of had to kinda had to overtime win over the
course of a couple years ago you know what I guess somebody you know
there there was no you know and usually there never is this one late road to
Damascus moment where where you know you know atheist yeah it’s a process over
time and in a painful process you know it’s kinda like an analogy to be like
when you know let’s say there’s a girl in high school you have a crush on you
ask her out and she rejects you it feels like someone punched you in the gut yeah
I know that feeling the same way when you’ve had a lifelong you know devout
believer and then you realize your time it literally literally painful so course
people will be resistant to that and but it eventually over time you know i i
realize hey you know I was lied to all this time this book is ridiculous Bible is nonsense that yes there is a
few nice vs in there you can cherry pick out and the whole yeah you know this you
know love each other in peace and you know it to materialism yeah there’s a
but for every one verse you can find like that you know you can find five or
six you know the saying the opposite horrible yeah yeah the cherry picking up
to say for every year that you’re trying to pick sweet kind loving messages that
we actually agree with the Bible there for you every cheered as you want to
take their pictures for individuals to go to carry out there are some things we all know that as humans I love you
tell basically I’m not really good storyteller I tend to embellish a little
bit too much because I used to be a preacher but entered I went to a
particular church I think was the Baptist Church a couple weeks ago Sunday
after we went down to help the homeless and we got into really nice conversation
with couple sweet elderly women and we’re very nice to people but we do try
to get these short people people that believe in the supernatural to start
thinking right now we’re going to go into talking about activism she made a
comment about our founding fathers and what they said so would you like to
elaborate on that a little bit sure sure yes she said we were talking about I
don’t know how it got into that topic but she started you know saying you know
she started using the founding fathers is kind of a kind of like to give
credibility to her faith well you know the founding fathers our country was
founded to be Christian of course you know they said in God We Trust effect and you know you know if nothing
else you know this was a it was a great opportunity for us to correct her on
that factual error you know and that’s what it was an
opportunity of planting seeds know it was an opportunity to plan to see their
I don’t expect to turn her into an atheist you know maybe maybe she will
someday but if you could just correct some of the factual errors about our own
country’s history that so many Christians believe that’s a start that
something that at least we’ll get them to be less militant in their desire to
to make us more theocratic you know if they realized that that was never the
intention of the founding fathers in God We Trust wasn’t even added to the money
until 1957 and the phrase didn’t even exist until
1814 the original model in the us- was he pluribus unum out of many one and you
know it’s explaining this to her and I hope she remembers it hope it sunk in
little bit did you see at least got that little bit out of our conversation
that’s so that’s why i think it’s important for us is a tease to take
these opportunities you don’t have to do like David and I did and they walk into
a church you know but you know you can you can you know I think a lot of
atheists we we neglect to even take the opportunity to you know to counter the
bad the the disinformation that is so common in our society and i thought i
would tell people you know that people will believe the messages they hear the
most often you know if that’s why most people in this country are Christian and
most people in the Middle East are Muslim that’s what they hear most often
that’s what that’s what’s around them so there is it’s up to us if we do if we
want to dispel these notions these these ridiculous ideas we gotta see god yes we
gotta get our message out there is well most most Christians if they’re even
aware like we always easiest we know about you know the Richard Dawkins in
the same harris’s and and and those guys most Christians if they even know who
those guys are even those guys the most famouse even heard their name is only
you know from their preacher telling him don’t let those guys this terrible they
don’t read that stuff they don’t know the arguments today to make and so every
time you get a chance at a conversation with nine times out of ten you’re
introducing something that they’ve never heard before you know and that’s a positive thing you know if
we can make our society a little more rational logical a little less
superstitions that’s good for everybody I mean you hear it from entry here I’m
not the only human rights activists around there are several of us literally
will call ourselves and tight Theus opposition to any gains you’ve heard my
opinion why I’m an anti theist I’m not anti personnel not anti human eye pro
him because I’m humanist by I and others like me literally see religion not just
christianity all the magical belief systems would you like to call magic
right cuz we choose a reason people religion tend to choose magical reason
so I do see this as a major impediment to human progress not only christianity
i mean the other religions as well and so some of us tend to be more activism
we like dialogue we like even debate though i’m not the best indicator the
Icebreaker of the group here but we do see that need to encourage more than a
thing educate our Christian friends out there
and others that do believe in the supernatural and believe that you need
some kind of deity some kind of Angel Respir watching over you or to get his
substance and so forth in life and I think we care about people and there may
be some of our fellow free thinkers out there that would disagree with us so I
like to encourage as I’ve said before my message on anti theist there’s a whole
messages sermon few weeks ago that I spoke on why are
you trying to encourage other a humanist and secularists and agnostics when you get a chance to talk to these
people they will never know that you can be good without God they will never know
that there is an alternative to Christianity so I want you to pound at
all that and you tell people why you are typing test and tell our free kick your
friends out there why maybe we should be a little more local and not ashamed
ashamed of the gospel of Christ more star power of God in celebration well I’m not ashamed to tell people
right away I don’t believe in God and we could find love in purpose and meaning
of life without it dnt so yeah there’s there’s several different things to
address in there so if i if i if I forget one remind me and I’ll now is
further morality you know a lot you know one of the most common myths amongst
Christians is that you know they get their morality from the Bible they get
their morality from God if you want for their belief in God they wouldn’t have
any morality well my own experience you know contradicts that I mean it was
interesting what’s ironic is that I’ve actually behaved in a in a much more
moral way since I became an atheist you know for one thing is an atheist I know
that there’s no magic eye in the sky who’s going to forgive me if I do
something wrong I don’t think I got it to myself you know and to and to society
that here in the real world you know and there’s there’s no magic sky god is
gonna forgive me so that I have even more incentive to do the right thing and
to care about others because God is not gonna save them either gods not gonna you know it’s bad things
are happening to other people there’s not going to be some magic karma that’s
gonna fix everything it’s up to us as humans to take you know to take action
ourselves to make the world better got something to do it you know karma’s
not gonna do it you know we gotta beat we gotta be the
Karma know and that is when I went christians ask me you know where do you
get your morals from how can you be moral well one it’s just you know that
the golden rule predates Christianity it’s in almost every you know cultural
tradition you do unto others as you would have them do unto you you know I don’t want people being mean
to me is treating me bad so why would I do that others it comes back and it affects me
and the people who love if if I’m a terrible person to others and also you
know as Christians you know do you think slavery is ok and of course everyone of
course not slavery is also do you think genocide of innocent children is ok no
of course not that’s awful do you think it what about sexism you think it’s ok
to that women are inferior and they should they should be silent and and
never teach men and men should roll over women do you think that’s ok no no no well then I tell them okay you are
already more moral than your Bible you have just naturally on your own Europe
you have better morality and your Christian God does because he was you
know he didn’t condemn slavery in fact he condoned it you know he ordered you
know his people to slaughter innocent men women and children non-combatants I
mean think about it is it the story just doesn’t make sense not only is it a
horrifying morally that doesn’t make sense logically why would this
all-knowing all-powerful fatherly create all these people just to have his chosen
people you know you know nevermind that racism inherent in that was my only
create all these people just have his children or people who slaughtered in
advance that was gonna why would he do that and it makes no sense and it
gave well as Christians might say well he he he knew that they were going to
convert anyway so he ordered the you know that’s why he committed his the
Jews to slaughter even the little babies well okay well why would he force people
to do such commit such a horrific act if he couldn’t he just snapped his fingers
and dismayed that those people disappeared while I like to a crawl
horrific death violence painful death when he could just making disappeared
while I P so brutal snow said you know morally or logically it just doesn’t add
up and sometimes I told people that there is no more you could rationalize
believe in Santa Claus easier than you could rationalize daily in the Christian
God as you know I guess how does he how did he get to every house in the world
in one night was ok maybe maybe you can sense of power to stop time ok we’ll let you know how does he get
into the houses that they don’t have chimneys maybe he can like Nike do like
that I Dream of Jeannie thing where you just can liken me materialize well what
about the chimneys that he won’t fit in or maybe you can you can kind of make
yourself rationalize Santa Claus you can’t rationalize how all-knowing
all-powerful loving God would do the ridiculous stuff is attributed to him in
the Bible Old and New Testaments you know like he sent His Son to die for our
sins the sacrifice wait a minute if he throws after three days and gets to live
forever wears a sacrifice you know it doesn’t make any sense you can’t
rationalize it and you know and I don’t know you know I’ve had some discussions
with questions about this and if there’s christians watching this and they want
to comment in the in in the comment section and tell me what about this one
that I will try to those comments on TV channel myself if David can get to it I
I will try to respond to your Christian rebuttal if you have 1 I’d be happy to
but so so yes so as far as morality you don’t get your morality from God you
already intrinsically kind of habit you know and then you just attributed to a
guy so if you lost your faith in God you wouldn’t just start murdering people if
you if you if you believe that you would then you need help so now the couple
other topics you you ask me about in that less from from that 20 yeah
activism why it’s important and I want to get to address the atheists who are
kind of closet atheists as well but first off the Christians often asked you
ok so you’re an atheist but why do you care about this we happen to believe we
happen to have faith in God why do why do you wanna bothers about it why do you
can adjust my own business that you know there is a several things wrong with
this first first off is the rampant hypocrisy there i mean it don’t you as
Christians isn’t it part of your mission to you know to save souls 2222 convert
everybody else that’s what the Bible tells you to do you got to go out and
you gotta go out and and tell everybody the good news make
everybody else so if you’re gonna do you should expect you should expect
nonbelievers are going to say hey wait a minute we don’t like what you’re saying
we’re bad people than that we’re we’re here we’re gonna burn in hell wait a minute now you should expect a
theist supposed back but not all of them do a lot of them don’t so if you’re if
you’re gonna push your nonsense on us don’t get upset when we pushed so yeah a
lot of this a lot of us do an unfortunate but before I get to that the
is far as I’m concerned there’s a lot of reason good good reasons that why an anti
theist like David and myself would would want to be public about challenging
religion challenging religious faith debunking religious arguments because
there’s a reason for that is the most important one and not to sound
hyperbolic but the most important reason that I think it’s important to challenge
religion is that the survival of the human species is literally at stake and
I’m referring of course to man-made global warming man-made climate change a
lot of the denial of the science is is is religious based you know Christian denominations deny climate
science if not all of them a lot of their lot of their big names denied that
we have we have a one of the two major political parties right now we’re almost
every elected official in that party denies the scientist claims to be
speaking for you know Christian faith so this is hugely important and nope no
liberal Christians might say well hey wait a minute you know we we accept the
climate science that man-made climate change is really need to do something
about it some Christians do accept but even then
just a fact that you believe there’s that some savior is going to come back
and save us that’s very that’s dangerous because that’s that promotes in action
when it comes to climate change because I mean yeah if I think jesus christ is
going to come back into my life time in almost every Christian throughout
history always thought Jesus Christ Jesus Christ coming back in my lifetime
why should I worry too much about the devastation were doing to the earth and
to our future generations and I have a couple of kids I do not live to see it
they will live to see the devastation and the hardship that will be caused in
their lifetime by what we’re doing to the climate humanistic manifesto there’s been three
humanistic manifestos its third one is God will not save us God will not help
us because we don’t believe in God we must savor help us help ourselves humans
doing things to repair and fix things we can also other reasons that cause so
we’re going to continue on that so so when you when you know when you
understand it that there’s no higher power is going to come along and rescue
the planet before we destroy ourselves then you understand the urgency of
addressing climate change and its resting and and combating those
religious beliefs that would promote action on that issue whether their day explicitly promote interaction the
inaction your climate science denial or whether they promoted through just
simply not worried about it because Christ will fix it you know God will fix
it somehow now now that’s a perfect opportunity segue into you know it’s not
an activist atheists because this it’s the same principle that work in that i
would tell atheists who say are not comfortable being vocal about it I got
in the closet or don’t wanna who don’t want to get you know don’t look like a
jerk but you know you know you know bothering the Christians well here’s why
it’s important to know that the same reason you know if we don’t address if
we don’t do the best weekend to minimize people’s faith in these ridiculous you
know you know savior sky gods yeah we are basically you know I hate to say
we’re basically what’s the word I’m looking for derelict in our duty to know as as as
human beings you know it simple so yeah I mean a lot of it so it’s it’s it’s
been distressing to me how high percentage of the eighties community
just has no interest at all in reaching out to theists in and and believers end
in dialogue with them and helping them understand how reality works and how why
their stories are mythological and how they should they don’t get their
morality from there and talk to them you know you need to do that and so many
atheists is who cares and sometimes I just heard it a couple weeks ago they’ll
never change their mind I love her too cliched they’ll never change their mind
changed a lot of you change your high did not used to be a Christian and you
change so of course people will change their mind it’s just it just doesn’t happen like I
did like I mentioned earlier just doesn’t happen immediately you can’t
you’re expecting too much if you think that the first time you talked about
Christian though certainly agree with you of course that doesn’t happen you
have to put in the work you have to plant the seeds and if enough of us are
doing that then eventually we might start to make some progress in maybe get
rid of get might start for example get rid of some of these awful far right you
know the aquatic science deniers that are in elected office in our house or
senate you know which some people love to how logic works we might be able to
devote some of these idiots out and see some progress in our country again let
me in here real quick we’ve got just a couple more minutes
were closed up I think we’re probably have to continue all have and reaction
time as we can talk and talk for hours on this stuff I didn’t even get half of
my notes you know what we will do that next time we have to do our part to a
lot of talk about real quick and just will end about two minutes not been
Carson wonderful guy I’m sure he’s a nice person seventh-day Adventist like I well I
don’t know I don’t know so I saw you to talk with ben Carson I was probably saw
it happened a couple of years ago I thought recently and he was speaking at
university he literally said that he believes that feels above or the devil
right safe place the theory of evolution into charles Darwin’s mind that say it
was responsible for placing this now by definition explanation of scientifically
observed stocks scientifically need thirteen improving with over one of its
we know that there is overwhelming evolution the down hole put the thought
into here and there was a deception to deceive a large portion of the human
population cannot believe in the Bible but we have to believe in real life evidence in reality so and that’s why
people like alan and I really valid Akali a linear you call me crazy but yeah so that’s why
we get out there we talk to people keep in mind you that our our fellow atheists
and humanists friends watching my show appreciate your watching but I would
just encourage you to let people know you know we don’t let them down even get
their information from Fox News they had information from their preachers and so
far they don’t know that there are those of us out there that are trying to make
changes policy changes and we’re actually moral and ethical or far from
perfect but we’re very moral and ethical people we care about other people so if
we don’t tell them they will never know it reminds me of the song nice to play
back in the seventies before I preach it was a song written by Christian singer
back in the nineteen seventies tell them I remember playing the song and hate
singers the words were tell them even if they don’t believe you tell them even if
they don’t receive you tell them my friends that I loved it it was supposed
to be a song of Jesus singing to his beloved christians about telling the
world about the little Jesus right I could say the same thing about us if we
don’t tell people that believe in magical beings that you don’t need that
have a good life and that is is an impediment to human progress in many
ways they don’t know so I think many decreases that are watching her on the
fringe and you’re thinking about what we’re talking about what we’re here to
encourage you and tell you there is an alternative so I want to end right now
so angry thanks a lot for coming so I had to cut and he’s got a lot of good
information learn a lot from him from here with our
dialogue and we will have another episode with Andrew I yakking away talk about whatever comes
to mind so thank you for watching sounds good to me back so thank you for
watching to preaching humanist with David overrule that is I we will see

1 comment

  1. Did America's Founding Fathers Want Us to Be a Christian Nation?
    http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/4/9/1513246/-Did-America-s-Founding-Fathers-Want-Us-to-Be-a-Christian-Nation

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