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Irshad Manji is an author, speaker and founder of the Moral Courage Project, espousing a ‘reformist’ interpretation of Islam. She’s featured in all kinds of media to speak out when others have wanted to shut her up, and chats with Bart here about a wide range of relevant and interesting subjects. Her books, The Trouble With Islam Today and Allah, Liberty and Love, have been translated into many languages and read around the world.
Last week’s episode hit a nerve, or perhaps that should be many nerves. It’s late at night in his apartment in Los Angeles and Bart takes a few minutes to touch upon the many responses to the episode with his wife Marty about whether he’s being ‘too nice’ about Christianity.
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If it were up to Bart’s wife Marty, the rest of the world probably still wouldn’t know about their deconversion and this podcast wouldn’t exist, so her joining him for this episode is a pretty big deal.
Rather than focusing on their marriage per se, however, Bart and Marty open up to each other about an immediate and excruciating question that every former believer must face sooner or later: How long do we hold our tongues once we realize that what we used to believe – and that many of our loved ones still do – is not just untrue, but also genuinely harmful?
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On this episode of Humanize Me, Bart’s friend Peter Montoya talks about his attempts to start a new community of secular ‘freethinkers’ from the ground up, how he began with the idea of a real, physical intentional community and didn’t get there, and ended up with a large online community to show for it instead. Bart asks Peter about his first attempts at secular community building, what he thinks didn’t work and why, and what the two of them believe to be the factors that set apart real communities from online ones, or from mere ‘events’ or ‘meetings’.
Bart talks about the attempt to create a new humanist community, one that listeners of this podcast can be part of. What’s the difference between having a group of friends and having a community? Listen to this episode to find out.
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Can documentary filmmaking tell us anything useful about how to live our lives? Are people worth listening to for their own sake? And when is that film about Bart and his dad Tony going to be released?
These questions and others came up during Bart’s chat with his friend John Wright, the Northern Irish filmmaker working on the documentary With Whom I Am Well Pleased. The upcoming film is about Bart’s transition out of Christian faith, and his father’s response to it as a well-known Christian evangelist.
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