church – The Wayward Willis Podcast

What Even Are Altar Calls?

Jon and Logan talk about altar calls, salvation, guilt, and shame! And what you could do if your Sunday isn’t spent in church.

Jon talks about the podcast listener survey responses, potential changes and updates for the podcast, and merchandise! Who wants a shirt?
http://survey.waywardwillis.com

Logan talks about quantum computing and teaches Jon how to practice safe entanglement.

Intro music by Austin Colón:
http://austincolon.wixsite.com/music
https://austincolonmusic.bandcamp.com/album/the-path-ahead

We have a Patreon page!
http://www.patreon.com/wayward/
http://www.facebook.com/thewaywardwillis
Twitter: @waywardwillis

What Even Is Church?

Jon and Logan talk about lowercase C church, uppercase C Church, and the fleecing of the flock in megachurches.

Jon talks about his trip to the American Atheists Conference in Oklahoma City and the fellowship of heathens.

Home

Logan talks about the history of AI and the difficulties of bringing it to life – especially if it ends up destroying all life in the end!

Intro music by Austin Colón:
http://austincolon.wixsite.com/music
https://austincolonmusic.bandcamp.com/album/the-path-ahead

We have a Patreon page!
http://www.patreon.com/wayward/
http://www.facebook.com/thewaywardwillis
Twitter: @waywardwillis

What Even Is Deconversion?

Apologies for poor audio quality. We switched equipment this week and didn’t have a flawless recording.

Jon and Logan talk about outgrowing invisible friends and, basically, Jon’s life story.

Jon talks to his girlfriend, Dawn, about growing up in a religiously “meh” family and her move away from her childhood views and beliefs.

Logan and Jon talk about the sitcom, Friends, and its 90s mentality. Is it OK to watch old shows with misogyny, homophobia, and toxic masculinity?

Intro music by Austin Colón:
http://austincolon.wixsite.com/music
https://austincolonmusic.bandcamp.com/album/the-path-ahead

We have a Patreon page!
http://www.patreon.com/wayward/
http://www.facebook.com/thewaywardwillis
Twitter: @waywardwillis

What Even Is Scientology?

Show Notes

Jon and Logan talk about Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard’s shady life.

Jon talks to YouTuber/author Chris Shelton about his ex-Scientologist and critical thinking projects!
https://mncriticalthinking.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF326xyA0QHI7Z5xAwKQDJg
http://patreon.com/chrisshelton
http://facebook.com/chris.shelton.3914
Twitter: @sheltondesigner

Jon goes off on some rant about stupid men and their stupid behavior.

Jon and Logan break down a verse from the Bible and discuss detachable penises.

Intro music by Austin Colón: http://austincolon.wixsite.com/music
We have a Patreon page!
http://www.patreon.com/wayward/
http://www.facebook.com/thewaywardwillis
Twitter: @waywardwillis
http://willisweb.com

S1E10: What Even Is Evangelism?

Show Notes

Jon and Logan discuss evangelists and decide Voltron is more interesting than religion.

Jon talks to Rosco Jackson, aka Brother Sam, about atheist evangelism!
https://www.samsingleton.com
https://www.amazon.com/Sam-Singleton/e/B006OE8MBK
https://www.facebook.com/atheistevangelist/
Twitter: @samsingleton

Jon talks about how the line between evangelism and proselytising is non-existent.

Jon and Logan break down a verse from the Qu’ran and learn that every religion is equally wrong.

Intro music by Austin Colón: http://austincolon.wixsite.com/music
We have a Patreon page!
http://www.patreon.com/wayward/
http://www.facebook.com/thewaywardwillis
Twitter: @waywardwillis
http://willisweb.com

Dear Catholic League

JT Eberhard recently posted a story about an “Adopt-an-Atheist” program proposed by Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. I, like many others, think this is a great idea! I’d love to have the Catholic Church send a few unsuspecting saps my way to try to justify the behavior and beliefs of the Catholic Church, its clergy, and the whole of Christianity. If you’re an atheist and you want to be adopted by the Catholic Church, you can fill out this contact form and let them know.

Come at me, bro
Seriously, Bring It!

Here’s my invitation:

Dear sirs,

I recently got wind of the “Adopt-an-Atheist” program proposed by Bill Donohue and want to congratulate you on such a wonderful idea! As an atheist activist myself, I’d like to let you know that I’m effectively orphaned from gods and as such up for adoption. Since no gods have contacted me as yet, I avail myself to humans to rescue me from my spiritual broken home and make me feel wanted again.

You see, I’ve personally been guilty of anti-Catholic bias. More accurately, I’m biased against all untestable, unfalsifiable claims to the supernatural and the people in leadership positions who exploit the gullibility of other human beings. It’s not just Catholicism, if you want to know the truth. It’s all forms of manipulation, greed, abuse, oppression, ignorance, violence, intolerance, and bigotry. It’s a bias against people who enable others to harm children by looking the other way. It’s a bias against those who avoid responsibility for their actions by claiming that a cosmic “good guy” forgives them unconditionally so long as they apologize telepathically. I’m most certainly biased and I think the only way for you to show me the light is to adopt me and put some real time and effort into helping me see exactly why all of this is OK. You certainly have your work cut out for you.

I suppose the worst that could happen is that I talk some sense into whomever you send my way and you lose a tither. In that case, you shouldn’t look at it so much as the Church losing money but as the world gaining one more rational, responsible, compassionate human being. I said before that your idea is wonderful and I mean it. Send us some Catholics! We love the challenge.

You can reach me any time at jon(at)willisweb(dot)com or via my contact form on The Wayward Willis, http://willisweb.com.

Yours truly,
Jon

If they get back to me (their contact form says they have a high volume of requests so they may not answer all e-mails), I’ll most certainly be posting up the results here. I doubt anything will come of this because the religious community seems to be all talk and no action but you’ll hear it here first. Stay tuned!

The Tithe That Binds

There’s a very strange movement in some Christian circles called “The Prosperity Gospel” that posits some kind of supernatural investment scheme where the more money you give to god (read: churches and/or pastors) the more material wealth god will give to you.  While most Christian denominations denounce this theology as false or even blasphemous most of them also have their own, more subtle versions of the prosperity gospel whether they know it or not.

 

Becoming a Millionaire God's Way
God wants you to be rich!

The churches in which I grew up always passed the offering plate/basket around during services expecting members to give at least 10% of whatever they had.  This is standard practice for Protestant churches under a doctrine of tithing.  Some churches go as far as asking (“asking” is a funny word since the whole thing is done with an air of, “if you don’t, god will know”) the congregation to make pledges as to how much they’ll give for the year.  This helps the church make a budget but it also very clearly shows the churches are just businesses.

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Who Do You Believe?

Sitting in Sunday School and church, you’re constantly confronted with the idea that man’s knowledge is not only flawed (a point with which I wouldn’t necessarily argue) but foolish.  For example, 1 Corinthians 3:19 states:

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”

Whenever this comes up in a lesson or a sermon you always hear a resounding, “AMEN!” from the congregation.  While I was a believer I never really thought about the implications and I doubt that many believers really do.  In the light of debates over evolution, the Big Bang, and the ever-narrowing god-shaped gap in our knowledge it’s nice to be able to point to a verse and say, “See?  The things you think you know are utter nonsense in the face of god’s wisdom!”  The Bible is a never-ending source of derisive rebuttal to anything even remotely logical.  That’s why I loved it so much as a kid.  No matter with whom I was talking, I could always feel confident that my god considered them fools and I was right.

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You Don’t “Have” to Go to Church

As soon as I was old enough to figure out how much fun weekends were and how much shorter they seemed when you have to spend more than half of Sunday sitting in church I began to ask my parents if we really had to go to church. The conversations usually went something like this:

Jon: Do we have to go to church today?
Parent: No, you don’t have to go to church today. You get to go to church today.
Jon: But I don’t want to go to church.
Parent: You ought to be happy we have such a nice church to go to. Besides, you’re not staying home alone. Now get a move on!

This was exasperating every single time. I’m sure it was frustrating for my parents as well. They wanted to raise their children in the church with good, Christian values and their children seemed to want to be little unwashed heathens. What irritated me the most about this exchange was the unreasonable nature of the argument. I, as an autonomous human being, didn’t have the desire to spend most of my day cooped up in a building listening to people talk when I could be running around the woods with a toy gun, saving the world. My parents, as dictatorial heads of the family, didn’t acknowledge my autonomy. How unfair.

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