94: Thomas Sheedy with Atheists For Liberty

Thomas Sheedy joins me to talk about his group which welcomes libertarians and conservatives championing individual liberty and secular government.

Sheedy is the President and Founder of Atheists For Liberty – a 501 (c) 3 non-profit educational organization. Atheists For Liberty’s principles include individual liberty, religious freedom, a free exchange of ideas, the Constitution, and secular government. Unlike other atheist groups, Atheists For Liberty openly welcomes libertarians, conservatives, and centrists largely ignored and often stigmatized. Atheists For Liberty is also explicitly against social justice and wokeness championed by many on the political left.

I invited Thomas to join me to continue the discussion about injustice from episode 92 with David Silverman and episode 89 with Peter Boghossian. Thomas, Peter, and David show a high degree of courage speaking out against popular opinion and all warn us – as Stoic authors do – about the dangers of crowds and unexamined popular ideas.

We recorded our conversation at the end of May 2020. Since then, I’ve become the Public Relations Manager of Atheists for Liberty and am happy to support their cause!

Visit Atheists for Liberty’s website and become a member today!

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‘Atheists’ bus ad lawsuit continues, trial approaches

A court date concerning the NEPA Freethought Society’s rejected ‘Atheists’ bus ad is approaching following new court documents released on April 10, 2017.

In April of 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP representing the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) Freethought Society filed a free speech lawsuit against the County of Lackawanna Transit System (COLTS) following COLTS’ refusal to display a bus advertisement with the word ‘atheists.’ In July of 2015, COLTS filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit to which ACLU and Schnader responded. The motion to dismiss was denied in January of 2016. COLTS has since responded in February of 2016, and depositions took place in 2016.

Most recently — on April 10, 2017 — United States District Judge Malachy E. Mannion signed documents denying both parties’ summary judgments to resolve the issue outside of court. There will be a pre-trial conference and a trial date will be set.

Stay tuned for more updates and see past information concerning the lawsuit, some of which was linked above, here.

New documents are available below:

COLTS Summary Judgment Opinion

COLTS Summary Judgment Order

 

Conversation with Escaping Atheism

I recently spoke with Max Kolbe, formerly known as Dean Esmay, of the Escaping Atheism project and recorded the discussion for public consumption. I hoped to host a discussion to discuss outright contempt Kolbe has for atheists, misconceptions I believe he has about atheists/atheism, and our philosophical differences.

For instance, Kolbe has a strong distrust of atheists. He says he would not vote for an atheist running for public office and claims that atheists have no morals or firm ethical base, thus they should not be trusted and Christians should ‘assume betrayal is in the cards.’ Kolbe paints atheist groups as a toxic hate cult, dangerous, and having contempt for Christians stating “Christians are nothing but ni**ers to atheists.” Kolbe sees strong arguments for belief in God. We discuss some of this and more in our close to 45-minute discussion presented below.

I won’t offer much comment in this piece, but may respond at greater length to some points in the video beyond responses I had to Kolbe in the discussion itself. Sadly, much of the conversation from Kolbe was filled with personal attacks and strong language rather than inquiry into issues. However, I was extremely patient and did not respond in kind. As I said in the video, I do not prefer a caustic approach and treat others by standards of how I would like to be treated even if I believe others are behaving in a nasty manner. I’m generally not one to take offense, but it’s worth noting here — as I did in the discussion itself — that lamenting others’ poor behavior while behaving in a disrespectful manner is not advisable.

Atheist YouTube personality NoelPlum99 has responded to some content from Escaping Atheism which you can find here, here, and here.

Future content on my YouTube channel will likely be focused on Stoic Philosophy as has been the recent trend — mentioned in the conversation with Kolbe — talk about applying a practical philosophy to enrich everyday life.