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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
  • Author of GOD: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction
  • 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
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
  • Twitter: @Matt_Dillahunty
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
Russell Glasser
  • Located in Austin, TX.
  • Professional software engineer with a Master's Degree from the University of Texas.
  • Raised as an atheist with a Jewish cultural background, by two Ph.D physicists.
  • Has been participating in the Atheist Experience TV show since 2000.
  • Founding member of The Non-Prophets radio show in 2002.
  • Active blogger on Freethoughtblogs.com.
  • Has been in dialogues with Ray Comfort, Matt Slick, and Charles Colson.
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 Wars; Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels;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.
  • Writer and director of White Nights, Black Paradise: The Film
  • Recipient of the SSA Backbone Award in 2016
  • Recipient of the Foundation Beyond Belief "Humanist Innovator" Award
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 Columbia, Missouri
  • Civil Rights Activist, Writer, Debater, and Trans Woman
  • Former 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
  • Former 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 transwoman who uses she/her pronouns
  • 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
  • President of American Atheists
  • Author of Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism
  • Host of the Ra-Men podcast
  • Author of Reason Advocates on Patheos
  • Over 140,000 subscribers on YouTube
  • Founder of the Philogeny Explorer Project
  • Producer of the Living Science series of classroom supplement biology videos
  • Former Texas State Director of American Atheists
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
Sam Singleton, Atheist Evangelist
  • Located in West Virginia
  • Sam Singleton is the world's first and only full-time Atheist Evangelist, so far as we know.
  • Brother Sam is a fictional character created and portrayed onstage by Roger Scott Jackson.
  • He is the author of PATRIARCHS AND PENISES, A Comedy in Two Acts, (2008) TOO BIG FOR GOD, (2009) and IF THE OCEAN WAS WHISKEY AND GOD WAS A DUCK, The Humorous Tale of a Child Evangelist (2010).
  • He has performed his comedic works in more than a hundred venues and towns in the US and Canada, in saloons, theaters, universities and at conferences.
  • Brother Sam has frequently and favorably been compared to Mark Twain, Clarence Darrow, George Carlin, and Foghorn Leghorn.
  • Brother Sam, or his creator, Roger Scott Jackson, is also available for extemporaneous discussions, question and answer sessions, interviews and debates on many subjects, but neither one will debate the existence of god.
Katherine Stewart
  • Located in NY City
  • Located in New York, NY
  • Author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right's Stealth Assault on America's Children (PublicAffairs)
  • She has written for the Guardian, the New York Times, the Atlantic, and Reuters.
  • Awarded 2014 Person of the Year by Americans United for Separation of Church and State
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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