an Unbelievable? experience

Earlier this morning I taped an interview for the UK Christian radio show, Unbelievable?.  It was a cool experience, really. I’ve been a longtime fan of the show, and listen to its podcast nearly every week (I call it my atheist “guilty pleasure”).  The show is about opening up dialogue/debate between Christians and nonbelievers, and I’ve always appreciated the fair hearing (for the most part) that the show gives to the atheistic side of the arguments.

I contacted the host, Justin Brierley, a few weeks ago and proposed a show where they could discuss Christian apostacy, and in particular, how believers should treat the apostates they may encounter in their lives (be it family or friends who reject their faith).  I wasn’t necessarily looking to be on the show, but when he offered, of course I couldn’t resist! 🙂

I’ve spent the last few days thinking about what I wanted to say on the show, and now that it’s all said and done, I’m now spending time thinking about what I was able to say, and what I wished I could have said.  Overall, I’m pretty happy with how the interview/conversation went.  I was in dialogue with the show’s host, Justin, and also with the Australian Christian broadcaster, Sheridan Voysey. (and yes, it is intimidating having your first-ever long radio interview be with 2 experienced broadcasters!)

The first part of the show was discussion about some of my personal history — I talked about growing up as a believer, being an active part of the church, and later coming to reject my Christian beliefs. The rest of the show touched on several other topics: such as the notion of cosmic justice and ultimate morality, the basis for morality, Jesus as a moral example (and my issues with the Jesus of the gospels), humanity as divine creation vs. natural collection of matter/atoms/impulses, assumptions believers have about atheists, and ideas for encouraging conversation between people of differing ideologies/belief systems.

I have a feeling I’m going to dedicate a couple posts to my experience on the podcast — if only to help clarify my thoughts of how it went, and to hopefully give some insight for others about who I am.

17 thoughts on “an Unbelievable? experience”

  1. Wow chick. I’m looking forward to hearing this. I’m really proud of you and while we don’t always agree, I love listening to your perspective. You always come across elegantly. I really admire your brave spirit! Miss you!

  2. Suzy, you’re really proud of her? Really? This is your sister, someone you may not get to spend Eternity with and you’re proud of this? That’s pretty shocking. Suzy, how is this elegant? It’s straight up Genesis 3. This isn’t Becky. It’s the enemy who has taken over Becky’s brain, heart, and will. He has brought about confusion and somewhere along the way, he convinced her that she, too, could be like God. Suzy, we’re called to be peacemakers, not peacekeepers and that’s not passive. It’s proactive. We need to pray for Becky to receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation from the Holy Spirit. How can this be called “brave”? You and I have the “Isaiah 61” anointing and there’s nothing passive about it. This is who we are as “Daughters of the Most High”. Don’t agree with the enemy in allowing him to have her. We pray Jesus uses us to set her heart free. She is being held captive and has been for quite some time now. We must speak TRUTH.

    Becky, I’d love it if you would stop spreading hate/dislike for others’ beliefs, mainly Christianity since it’s your target. I have other atheistic/agnostic friends who are busy making a difference in the lives of young people who were abused/neglected by speaking life over them and into their hearts. Why is it your goal to spread hate/dislike? How are you contributing positively to society when abortion, murder outside the womb, and suicide are on the rise, when we’re on the verge of an economic collapse, and natural disasters are happening left and right?

    Regarding abortion, are you aware that 50,000,000 babies are aborted each year in the US? In Korea, 1 out of 2 babies are aborted; that’s 1 baby dying every 20 seconds. In China, female babies are killed or aborted before they’re born. Are you aware that the African American race has more babies being aborted than being born today? Are you aware that this race is on its way to extinction and that this was exactly Margaret Sanger’s goal when she founded Planned Parenthood? Are you aware that she studied eugenics, which is the same thing Hitler studied when he tried to annihilate the Jewish race?

    In addition, in a previous post you said you were raising a freethinker. I’d say you are mistaken. I believe you are actually raising a very confused little girl. Read Genesis 3. Who’s the author of confusion? Remember, Satan didn’t force them to eat the fruit. He confused them into thinking that they’d be like God. He led them to believe that they could be smarter than God or at least as smart as God. He lied to them and he deceived them and he used confusion to do it, so no, I do not believe that Emma will grow up to be a freethinker. I believe she’s going to be very confused. Think about it, everyone in your family believes one way, but you and Jerry believe something totally different. It’s the perfect breeding ground for confusion.

  3. Just listened to the Unbelievable podcast of your interview — very stimulating and engaging exchange. As I listened, I wondered, “Has Rebekah heard of or met Jim & Angellah Brayshaw?” Jim & Angellah host an online radio show as well. They are decidedly Christian, however, they are also “black sheep” in the Christian community because of what most Christians would describe as unorthodox beliefs, namely, a Biblical case for a non-belief in Satan and hell. They make the case that Satan and hell have no place in the Old Testament and that New Testament references to “Satan” and “hell” had quite different meanings to the people of Jesus’ day than the meanings Western 20th Century Christians have placed on them today. You can check out their blog at Who knows, maybe you could be a guest on their show as well.

  4. LOL.. 50 million abortions in the US each year? That would be 1 for every 6 people in the US. Just assuming 50 % women, that would be 1 for every 3 women in the US, whether they are 5 or 95. Hahaha… whack job.

  5. Hey Waldo, I think I met James at a screening of “The God Who Wasn’t There” a couple years ago here in Saskatoon. I quite liked him, and he gave me a copy of his book, Satan: Christianity’s Other God. He’d be interesting to talk to, for sure.

    I think he’s scheduled to give a talk for the local atheist/freethinker group in town this fall.

  6. Ali, your abortion statistics are way off. The 50 million is a total sum since 1973 ( To make it more interesting, the yearly numbers are trending down. Looks like planned parenting is slowly working…

    As far as China goes, they have a massive population issue there. Most areas only allow families to have one child unless they buy a permit for a second child. It is costly and most families can not afford it. You can imagine the fine/punishment for violating the laws like this in China. Without these measures, they would have massive starvation and unemployment. Basically dooming themselves to be a 3rd world country.

    I couldn’t find any good South Korea stats on abortion. Last useful stats from 1999 show about 200k abortions a year. That figures to be about 25% of possible birth if my math is right. They have similar problems that China has in rural areas, but with out the birth license requirements. If you have ever been to Asia, you get a good sense of just how many people are there.

    What concerns me more is source of problems like these. Starvation and poor living conditions kill millions of people and children every year. Here we are in our ultra clean cities glutting ourselves on a daily basis. I don’t care if your Christian or anything else, you should want to do something about that. I could get into how to best go about that, but I’m already off topic 🙂

    Cheers and keep the posts coming. Long time reader, first time poster 🙂

  7. Ali,
    Do you have any source information for those statistics? I’d find them *very* hard to believe, especially the claim that more African Americans are aborted than born every year. Also, 50,000,000 abortions…there’s only about 310,000,000 living in the U.S. right now. If you reduce that proportionately for the number of women somewhere in child-bearing age, that means that almost every women in the United States has at least one abortion every year. I’m sure it’s just a simple misunderstanding.

    As far as Margaret Sanger goes, my graduate studies in history are concentrated on the 1890-1930 period, so I run into her all the time. You’ve got her work a bit distorted. I won’t get into all the details, but the majority of her work was focused on urban immigrant women. Was there some eugenic element to her work? Sure, later on, but not the way you’re implying. I’ve *NEVER* heard anyone claim that she was trying to extinguish the African American race, and like I said, I run into Sanger in historical texts all the time. Do you have some primary source information to support that claim? I’m not saying that you’re lying or anything, but you can’t really ask anyone to just take your word for something like that.

  8. Oh please Ali. Get your statistics correct. The human race is hardly on the way to extinction b/c of abortion. We currently have approximately 7 billion people on Earth. if nothing is done to slow pop. growth, we will have 9 billion in 2050. This is probably beyond carrying capacity of the planet, according to those who actually do science. We are far more likely to kill ourselves by continuing to poison the air, water, and soil. Spend some energy on those who refuse to stop polluting. It’ll be better spent.

  9. Also, if you care so much about children Ali, start a crusade against poverty. That will stop millions of unnecessary deaths.

  10. That was an incredible tirade of misinformation and misrepresentation, Ali.

    If there is a Satan, and I don’t think there is, ignorance is undoubtedly his greatest weapon.

  11. I listened to your interview and have to say it was so much like an echo of my own deconstruction. Some circumstances were very different, but our upbringing and current status of ‘black sheep’ in our families is very interesting. Much respect to you for doing this thoughfully, sensitively and publically. My own family would also prefer I kept my crazy atheist ideas to myself, but I won’t live my life in a closet. And I will speak out of the depth of my perspective as a non-believer, rather than hide that perspective.

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