Show 565: Feminist, Atheist Comedienne, Kate Smurthwaite

Feminist, Atheist Comedienne, Kate Smurthwaite

Kate Smurthwaite is a left-wing feminist & atheist stand-up comedian and political activist. She preforms all over the UK, and around the world at major clubs including The Comedy Store, Soho Comedy Club, and The Stand, and she also writes for publications from Cosmopolitan to both The Guardian and The Independent and is the Vice Chair and Media Spokesperson for campaign group Abortion Rights UK.

Kate is often a guest on news and debate shows and is well known for her forthright opinions and campaigning work. Appearances include the BBC’s flagship political debate show Question Time as well as BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, and BBC Radio 4 The Moral Maze. In 2012 Radio 4’s Four Thought series included a 15-minute program written and performed entirely by Kate about sexist humour and sexism in comedy.

Audio can be found here!

Show 351: Secular Art W/ Global Perspective w/ Aladdin Ullah

Audio here!

This week, Aladdin Ullah will perform excerpts of his one-man show, Indio, which follows his travels from his childhood home in the projects of Harlem to the childhood home of his parents in Bangladesh.  This surprisingly hilarious show deals with the ache of displacement, the contrasts as well as the commonalities of oppressed people on different sides of the globe, and a unique perspective on religion as it takes shape in different cultures.

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Show 280: The Best Church of God!

The Best Church of God!

Audio here!

Without church, many have asked for more community and fun in the atheist and freethinking community. This void is being filled in a unique and hilarious way by the Chicago based satirical performance group, “The Best Church of God.”  Join us for performance sketches and an interview by Sunsara Taylor with cast members of the group.

From the Best Church of God website:

“Historians will say the Best Church of God was founded in early 2008. The truth is, the BCOG started some 6,000 years ago when the Almighty created the earth (see the book of Genesis for accurate, irrefutable details). And while we are not the first to worship, fear, and consume the Lord, we are the first to do it correctly.

“We are a unique denomination of Christ-followers who believe in the absolute, literal, and unerring word of the Bible as set forth in the original English. The Lord has chosen the Best Church of God as His only official assembly of worship. Being the true Crusaders for Christ, we will stop at nothing to prove to the unbelievers that true faith requires no proof, convert the sinners to the morality only Christianity can provide, and smite those who stand in the way our blessed mission. In the war of religions, God is only on one side: ours. He told us so.”

Show 252: One-Hour Fund Drive Special: Celebrating Carlin!

One-Hour Fund Drive Special: Celebrating Carlin!

Audio here!

George Carlin is famous in atheist circles for his outspoken critique of religion and religious faith. Overall, he seemed to view religion not only as pertaining to its false claims of the human condition – and of reality itself – but as Marx also viewed religion … ‘as the opiod of the masses.’ He viewed strong religious convictions, at least in regards to their affect on public policy, as one major reason so many Americans are apathetic to the real injustices done in our name by the State.

What fueled Carlin was his keen, if cynical, perspective on the power of power itself, and how we the people need to wake up to what is being done in our name and use critical thinking to bring about a more just society. With whatever one can say about Carlin’s take on human nature (it isn’t our best attribute, he might argue ;)), underneath the sardonic humor was at least a call to arms for the end of our class-based society and all the inequity within.

Carlin attacked conservatives and centrists (liberals) equally, and tried to take his audience a little to the left with every performance. Tonight we celebrate his legacy.


Show 250: Actress/Comedienne Julia Sweeney!

Audio here!


Best known to audiences as the androgynous, nerdy “Pat” from Saturday Night Live, where she was a cast member from 1990 to 1994, Julia Sweeney actually began her comedy career as an accountant, of all things. Working as a numbers-cruncher for Columbia Pictures in the mid-’80s, Sweeney ignored her degree in economics to pursue comedy. In 1986, she joined the Groundlings, the famous L.A. improvisational troupe that also produced success stories like Conan O’Brien and Lisa Kudrow.

Quentin Tarantino cast her in 1994 in a small role opposite Harvey Keitel in his Oscar-winning film Pulp Fiction. Tarantino then executive-produced what was arguably the most important work of Sweeney’s career: “God Said, Ha!,” a film version of her one-woman Broadway show detailing her “cancer year,” in which she and her now-deceased brother Mike battled the deadly disease. Sweeney has also appeared on the big screen in Clockstoppers, Whatever It Takes, and Stuart Little. In 2004, Sweeney co-starred in two episodes of Frasier and had a guest role on Sex and the City. Sweeney’s 1993 impression of Chelsea Clinton caused somewhat of a stir when Hillary Clinton found it offensive and sent an angry letter to Studio 8H.

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Show 221: Fund Drive Special with Rev. Billy and Alyson Cole

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Our 2007 Fall Fund Drive Special featured Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping and social scientist Allyson Cole, author of The Cult of True Victimhood: From the War on Welfare to the War on Terror. Here is a bit about/from the guests!

Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir believe that Consumerism is overwhelming our lives. The corporations want us to have experiences only through their products. Our neighborhoods, “commons” places like stoops and parks and streets and libraries, are disappearing into the corporatized world of big boxes and chain stores. But if we “back away from the product” – even a little bit, well then we Put The Odd Back In God! The supermodels fly away and we’re left with our original sensuality. So we are singing and preaching for local economies and real – not mediated through products — experience. We like independent shops where you know the person behind the counter or at least – you like them enough to share a story.We ask that local activists who are defending themselves against supermalls, nuke plants, gentrification — call us and we’ll come and put on our “Fabulous Worship!” Remember children… Love is a Gift Economy! “— The Rev

Allyson Cole: According to the publisher, “Condemnations of ‘victim politics’ are a familiar feature of American public life. Politicians and journalists across the ideological spectrum eagerly denounce “victimism.” Accusations of “playing the victim” have become a convenient way to ridicule or condemn. President George W. Bush even blamed an Islamic “culture of victimization” for 9/11 … Cole investigates the ideological underpinnings, cultural manifestations, and political consequences of anti-victimism in an array of contexts, including race relations, the feminist movement, conservative punditry, and the U.S. legal system. Being a victim, she contends, is no longer a matter of injuries or injustices endured, but a stigmatizing judgment of individual character. Those who claim victim status are cast as shamefully passive or cynically manipulative.”

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