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Speakers About Religion

Fernando Alcántar
  • Born and raised in Mexico under Catholic tradition.
  • Former State Leader of the Foursquare denomination youth in Baja California, Mexico.
  • BA and MA from Azusa Pacific University, the second largest Christian college in the nation.
  • Former globetrotting missionary leader, leading hundreds of churches in Mexico, and thousands of missionaries from all over the US and Canada.
  • Former head of youth and young adult ministries for the almost 400 churches in the Southern California-Hawaii region of the United Methodist Church.
  • Left Christianity and eventually realized my identity as a gay man.
  • Experienced a traumatizing gay-bashing from zealot members of the Mormon church in the state of Utah.
Dan Arel
  • Lives in San Diego, CA
  • Writes Op-Ed's for AlterNet, Salon and The Huffington Post
  • Author of an upcoming book on raising children in a Christian America
  • Has a column in American Atheist Magazine called Danthropology
  • Is the newsletter editor for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science
  • Is the author of Parenting Without God: How to Raise Moral, Ethical and Intelligent Children Free From Religious Dogma
  • Also now the Ethics Expert for the Global Secular Council
  • Twitter: @danarel

Murali Balaji
  • located in Washington, DC
  • Hindu American Foundation's Director of Education and Curriculum Reform
  • former award-winning journalist
  • social activist
  • academic whose research focuses on political economy and media representations of minorities
  • teacher trainer and curriculum specialist for Hindu American Foundation, overseeing education reform efforts
Jeremiah Bannister
  • I live with my wife and four children in Dorr, Michigan, midway between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.
  • I graduated with a degree in journalism and mass communication from Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan. I also minored in political science.
  • I'm the creator and host of PaleoRadio, a talk radio program focused on politics, religion and culture.
  • As a protestant, I was a pastor and advocate for presuppositionalism, theonomy, and postmillennialism--put together, Christian Reconstructionism.
  • As a Roman Catholic, I was a Knight of Columbus, a catechist, and a guest speaker on matters of politics and religion. My final year as a Roman Catholic--and as a Christian--was spent as a sedevacantist.
  • Twitter: @Paleocrat
Dan Barker
  • Located in Madison, WI
  • Former evangelical minister
  • Co-president of Freedom From Religion Foundation
  • Author of Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist
  • Author of Godless: How An Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists (with a foreword by Richard Dawkins)
  • Author of The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God
  • Dynamic Speaker and Debater (and singer!)
  • Frequent media appearances including the Phil Donahue show, Maury Povich, Hannity & Colmes, and Oprah Winfrey
  • Co-host of Freethought Radio
Carlos Bertha
  • Located in Colorado Springs, CO
  • Teaches Ethics, Logic, and Philosophy of Science at the US Air Force Academy
  • Faculty Advisor for the USAFA Cadet Freethinkers Club
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Military Association of Atheists and Freetinkers (MAAF)
  • Have spoken at various atheist conferences, to include AAIC, AHA, and The Amaz!ing Meeting

Rob Boston
  • Located in Washington, D.C.
  • Assistant director of communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State
  • Assistant editor of AU's monthly magazine Church & State
  • Leading writer and researcher on church-state topics
  • Serves as spokesman for AU and has appeared on NBC's Nightly News, CNN's Headline News, Fox News, and other programs.
Cecil Bothwell
  • Located in Asheville, NC
  • One of a small handful of openly non-theist politicians in the U.S., dubbed the most Courageous Elected Official of 2010 by the American Atheists.
  • Author of Whale Falls: An exploration of belief and its consequences, and The Prince of War: Billy Graham's Crusade for a Wholly Christian Empire.
  • Winner of national and regional awards for investigative reporting, criticism, humorous commentary and slam poetry.
  • Author of Geoffrey Wasn't Rash (chapbook and tape) and Can We Have Archaic and Idiot? A collection of fictitious tropes.
Jeremiah Camara
  • Located in Lilburn, GA
  • Has been called the "reverse preacher"
  • Extremely comfortable in front of any sized crowd
  • A stickler for being on time
  • Expert on my subject matter
  • Very creative (author, poet, musician, filmmaker, speaker)
  • Able to speak to any demographic
  • I enjoy what I do immensely

Topics Include:

  • Religion's...
    -Economic implications
    -Deleterious effects on society
    -Historical impact on the world
    -Injurious effects (specifically on African Americans)
    -Racism... why it's not what we think it is
    -American precepts of racial inferiority
    -Constitutional myths
    -Slavery (why it's still relevant)
  • And more!
Adam Chalom
  • Located in Chicago, but travels throughout the US
  • Dean – North America of International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism (IISHJ)
  • Humanist Rabbi for Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation, a member of the Society for Humanistic Judaism
  • Twitter: @hjrabbi
  • Blog: https://hjrabbi.wordpress.com
  • Audio Podcast: The Kol Hadash Podcast
  • IISHJ will cover all speaker costs, including a small stipend for snacks, if your campus is located near the following cities: Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Washington DC, Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia. If your campus is located at a distance from those cities, some travel expenses will be requested.
Greta Christina
Heina Dadabhoy
  • Located in Southern California
  • Blogs at Heinous Dealings (http://freethoughtblogs.com/heinous/)
  • Former Muslim, current atheist
  • Author of A Skeptic's Guide to Islam (forthcoming title from Pitchstone Publishing)
  • Does well both alone and in panels
  • Twitter handle: @heinousdealings
  • Find out more info here.
Jerry DeWitt
  • Located in Rural Louisiana
  • Jerry is a Public Speaker, Author and Celebrant with the Humanist Society
  • Is a board member for The Clergy Project
  • Is a board member for Foundation Beyond Belief
  • He is the author of Hope After Faith
  • His website can be found at jerrydewitt.net or HopeAfterFaith.com
  • Twitter: @jerry_dewitt
Matt Dillahunty
  • Located in Austin, TX
  • President, Atheist Community of Austin
  • Host of The Atheist Experience Live!
  • Co-Host of The Non-Prophets
JT Eberhard
  • Located in Lawrence, KS
  • Blogger
  • Co-Founder of Skepticon
David Fitzgerald
  • Located in San Francisco, CA
  • Writer, Public Speaker, Historical Researcher
  • Director/Co-Founder of both the world's first Atheist Film Festival and Evolutionpalooza!, San Francisco's oldest annual Darwin Day celebration
  • Author of NAILED: Ten Christian Myths that Show Jesus Never Existed at All
  • Has spoken around the country at national conventions such as American Atheists, American Humanist Association, Rapture Day, and Skepticon
Candace Gorham
  • Located in Durham, NC
  • Author of The Ebony Exodus Project: Why Some Black Women are Walking Out on Religion and Others Should, Too
  • Former minister in a charismatic-style church
  • Member of The Clergy Project & The Therapist Project
  • Received Master's degree in counseling from Wake Forest University
  • Twitter: @EbonyExodus
  • Find out more on The Ebony Exodus Project on Facebook and at this website.
Lucien Greaves
Sikivu Hutchinson
  • Located in Los Angeles, CA
  • Sikivu Hutchinson is the author of Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values WarsGodless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels, and the forthcoming White Nights, Black Paradise, a novel on Peoples Temple and the Jonestown Massacre.
  • She is the founder of Black Skeptics Los Angeles, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, and a Senior Fellow for the Institute for Humanist Studies. The Black Skeptics Group sponsors annual First in the Family Humanist scholarship awards.
  • She is also the project director of the Women's Leadership Project feminist humanist mentoring program.
Keith Lowell Jensen
  • Founder and resident atheist on The Coexist? Comedy Tour
  • Host of popular YouTube series Atheist Church
  • Has performed with Robin Williams, Doug Stanhope, Norm Macdonald, and a bunch of other big shots
  • Has four full length comedy albums out including the most recent, Elf Orgy on Stand Up! Records
John Loftus
  • Located in Ft. Wayne, IN
  • Three master's degrees in the area of the Philosophy of Religion
  • Former Christian Minister & Apologist
  • Earned a master’s degree under the infamous Christian apologist William Lane Craig.
  • Author of Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity - named best atheist book of the decade by Common Sense Atheism
  • Editor of The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails, which received the 2010 Atheist/Agnostic About.com Reader’s Choice Award.
  • He has edited three other important books, The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails, The End of Christianity and Christianity is Not Great. He also co-wrote a debate book (with Dr. Randal Rauser) titled, God or Godless published by Baker Books.
  • The only skeptic with a reasonable set of credentials that William Lane Craig refuses to debate! Let's Recap Why William Lane Craig Refuses to Debate Me
David Madison
Steven Martin
  • Located in Ripon, WI
  • Professor of Communication at Ripon College, in Ripon, WI
  • Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Public Address from Penn State University
  • Teaches courses on the rhetoric of social movements, U.S public address, political campaign communication, public speaking, argumentation theory, and metaphor and social problems
  • Advises the Secular Student Alliance at Ripon College
Chuck Miller
  • American Atheists Regional Director of the Year 2014
  • Frequent rally speaker at secular, women's rights, and LGBTQ events
  • Experienced grassroots community organizer
Danielle Muscato
  • Located in Cranford, New Jersey
  • Public Relations Director, American Atheists
  • Former Secular Student Alliance Volunteer Network Coordinator and summer intern
  • Former student group leader (SASHA at University of Missouri)
  • Co-editor of the SSA Group Running Guide, 4th ed.
  • Blogger for Humanist Community at Harvard, muSASHA.org, and SkepticFreethought.com
  • Host of "Atheist Viewpoint", a nationally syndicated weekly TV show, also available on the Atheist TV channel free online at www.atheists.tv
  • Former professional Christian worship musician
  • Also available for debates!
  • Muscato is a trans woman formerly known as Dave
  • Twitter handle: @DanielleMuscato
Nathan Phelps
  • Located in Alberta, CA.
  • Born and raised in the "God Hates Fags" Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.
  • Left home on the night of his 18th birthday and ostracized from my family since.
  • Was married for 23 years and raised four children.
  • After another 20+ years in mainstream Christianity he reasoned his way to atheism.
  • Executive Director of the Centre for Inquiry Canada in Calgary, Alberta.
  • On the board of directors of Recovering From Religion.
Anthony B. Pinn
  • Located in Houston, TX
  • Harvard University PhD (1994)
  • First African American to hold an Endowed Chair at Rice University
  • Author/editor of 28 books - including several on humanism
  • Director of research for the Institute for Humanist Studies
  • Named the Harvard University Humanist Chaplaincy "Humanist of the Year" in 2006
  • Received the African American Humanist Award from the Council for Secular Humanism in 1999
Aron Ra
  • Located in Dallas, TX
  • Producer of the 'Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism' video series
  • Regular co-host of the Magic Sandwich Show on BlogTV
  • Occasional co-host on the Atheist Experience TV show
  • Member of American Atheists and the Fellowship of Freethought
  • Over 80,000 subscribers on Youtube
  • Host of the podcast "Ra-Men"
  • Contributing member of the Global Secular Council
  • Founder of the Philogeny Explorer project
  • Producting educational classroom supplement videos according to Next Generation Science Standards
Darrel Ray
  • Located in Bonner Springs, KS
  • Organizational psychologist with lifelong interest in the psychology of religion
  • Author of three books, two in organizational psychology and one on religious infection
  • Principal researcher on the recent report: Sex and Secularism: What Happens When You Leave Religion, A survey of 10,000 American secularists
  • Founder of Recovering from Religion - "Learning the joy of faith free living" www.recoveringreligionists.com
  • Raised in a fundamentalist home.
  • Professional speaker, trainer and consultant
  • Hobbies include mountain climbing, skiing, gardening, reading and travel
Andre Salais
  • Located in Tempe, AZ
  • Owner of Unbelievers Media LLC
  • Host of Unbelievers Radio (http://unbelieversradio.com)
  • Blogger at The Skeptic Examiner (http://skepticexaminer.com)
  • Former President of Arizona State University and Mesa Community College SSA groups
Justin Schieber
  • Located in Grand Rapids, MI
  • Extensive debate experience.
  • Co-host of the Reasonable Doubts Radio show Podcast.
  • Currently serves as board member of CFI Michigan.
Shelley Segal
  • Singer Song Writer - plays vocals and guitar
  • Released an album called 'An Atheist Album'
  • Speaks about de-conversion from Judaism to becoming an atheist activist
  • Sings about important topics such as atheism, equality, women rights, critical thinking
Andrew L. Seidel
  • Lives in Madison, WI and loves to travel
  • Degrees include:
    • Bachelor of Science in neuroscience and environmental science, cum laude
    • Juris Doctor, magna cum laude
    • Masters of Law, summa cum laude
  • Speaking events:
    • Andrew has given more than 30 talks at universities and law schools across the country.
    • He has given talks and workshops at the last three SSA conferences in Columbus and has debated Bill O'Reilly.
    • He frequently writes for FFRF's blog: http://ffrf.org/new/blog
  • Awards include:
    • FFRF Graduate Student Essay Contest, Second Place 2010
    • Haber J. McCarthy Excellence in Environmental Law Award
    • Outstanding Masters of Law Student, Denver University Law School
  • Forthcoming book on international human rights
  • Attorney, Photographer, Writer, and Former Grand Canyon Tour Guide.
Herb Silverman
  • Located in Charleston, SC
  • Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the College of Charleston
  • Founded and was faculty advisor to the Atheist-Humanist Alliance
  • President of the Secular Coalition for America
  • Former candidate for Governor of South Carolina
  • Founded Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry in South Carolina
Katherine Stewart
  • Located in NY City
James Sutter
  • Located in Seattle, WA.
  • Co-creator of the Pathfinder RPG, currently the best-selling tabletop roleplaying game in the world.
  • Professional author, game designer, and worldbuilder.
  • Author of the novels Death's Heretic and The Redemption Engine, a fantasy series about an atheist in a world where gods are objectively real.
  • Ranked #3 on Barnes & Noble's Best Fantasy Releases of 2011. Finalist for an Origins Award and the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel, and winner of numerous ENnie awards for setting and game design.
  • Regular guest speaker at Gen Con, World Fantasy Convention, Norwescon, Paizocon, Clarion West Writer's Workshop, and more.
  • Twitter: @jameslsutter
Benjamin Zalisko
  • Biochemist at the University of Chicago
  • Founder of SSA chapters at Elmhurst College and the University of Chicago.
  • Former Executive Producer of Sunday Assembly Chicago
  • Secular SafeZone Facilitator
  • Blogs at reasonbound.wordpress.com
Frank R. Zindler
  • Located in Columbus, OH
  • Editor of American Atheist Press
  • Linguist
  • Spent twenty years as a teacher and professor of biology, psychobiology, and geology
  • Outstanding debater and public speaker
Bill Zuersher
  • Based in Southern California
  • Activist for separation of church and state
  • Author of 'Seeing Through Christianity'
Stephanie Zvan
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