Episode 278 – Don’t ignore secular voters

Gary Mitchell is back and we talk about Trump’s attacks on the press, impressive voter numbers, Mississippi senator’s public hanging joke, Ohio’s heartbeat bill, a public school teacher making her students memorize Bible verses, an atheist winning lawsuit over being thrown out of a city council meeting, and more!

Survey – https://htotw.com/survey


Judge orders White House to return Jim Acosta’s press pass

The case CNN v. Trump was filed after CNN’s Jim Acosta was ejected from the White House Briefing Room and his press pass was revoked for asking the President questions the day after the midterm elections. The Trump administration also doctored a video of the exchange to make it look like he reacted violently.

The judge in the case has issued a temporary restraining order that required that Acosta’s press pass be reinstated. Trump’s response in an interview on Fox News was:

“It’s not a big deal. What they said, though, is that we have to create rules and regulations for conduct, etcetera. We’re going to write them up. It’s not a big deal. If he misbehaves, we’ll throw him out or we’ll stop the news conference.”

Turkey says any US attempt to ‘barter’ cleric Gulen to hush the Khashoggi investigation wouldn’t work

On October 2 a Saudi national with residency in the US who was working for the Washington Post was summoned to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul where he was executed, dismembered, and removed from the consulate. Khashoggi was an enemy of the Saudi royal family and the Trump family and was allegedly on an enemy list that Jared Kushner gave to Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman several months back.

Now it is alleged, including by the Turkish government, that the Trump administration is offering to extradite a Turkish cleric living the US as a bribe to get them to call off their investigation of Khashoggi’s murder. Turkey is not willing to take Trump’s bait.

Secular voters are a growing part of the electorate

With the recent midterms there are some interesting trends that politicians should take note of.
* Protestants were not a majority of the electorate for the first time in history.
* White evangelicals continue to decline in their share of the electorate.
* People who identify with no religion have risen to 17% of voters, a 55% increase over 2006’s mere 11%.
* The number of openly nontheist or humanists in office across federal and state levels of government has tripled.
* There are seven new members headed to the House that are religiously unaffiliated.
* Kyrsten Sinema, who “ascribes to no religion” is headed to the Senate.

Mississippi governor defended lynching joke by calling abortion ‘Black genocide’

Mississippi’s Senate race is headed to a runoff and Sen Cindy Hyde-Smith, who is all but guaranteed to win getting some heat for joking about being in the front row if a supporter invited her to a public hanging. In other words if her black opponent was lynched, she’d be there.

Gov Phil Bryant came to her defense with a deflection. He said:

“Absolutely we have been sensitive to race relations in this state. Today, I talked about the genocide of over 20 million African American children. See, in my heart, I am confused about where the outrage is at about 20 million African American children that have been aborted.”

Heartbeat abortion bill passes in Ohio House

Two years ago Ohio’s governor aborted his state’s heartbeat bill with a veto. It’s back in the lame duck session and has passed the state House and is headed to the Ohio Senate. This bill would ban abortions once a heartbeat can be detected, which thanks to modern technology is six weeks into a pregnancy.

Kat Kerr orders East Coast winter storm to put out the California wildfires

Public school teacher brags about forcing 1st graders to memorize Bible verses

Susan Schobel is a 1st grade teacher at Brown Primary School, a public school in Smithville, TX who make the mistake of posting a video of her first grade class reciting Romans 12:9-10, complete with rehearsed hand gestures. Some parents of the students in her class saw this video, saved it before she deleted it, and shared it with the Friendly Atheist. Obviously the parents are outraged.

Schobel has gotten some kudos, to which she responded:

“Girl I’m a rule breaker!!! I decided if I get fired for teaching my children about Jesus then I’m getting fired for a great reason!!”

Wentzville settles with woman removed from meeting after disagreeing with mayor

In episode 247, back in April, we talked about Sally Hunt suing over getting forcibly ejected by the Mayor\ from a town Board of Aldermen meeting in Wentzville, MO because she criticized the “In God We Trust” sign in the chambers.

The town is settling the case. They will pay her legal fees, put policies in place that will make it clear that the public can’t be censored for their beliefs, pass and read a resolution affirming their commitment to the 1st Amendment and acknowledging that members of all religious traditions are welcome to participate in government. Finally, they will be training the town’s police officers in what rights citizens have in meetings and how they are not to interfere unless a crime has taken place, not just because the Mayor wants someone silenced.


Survey – https://htotw.com/survey

Contest winners

Fred M – Most donated for mic upgrades
Rachel B – Randomly selected patron/donor – Patron since March 10, 2016


This episode is brought to you by:

  • Danielle M
  • Darryl G
  • Arthur K
  • Rachel B
  • Jimmy Ninetoes
  • Al from Cestus Three
  • Kim B
  • SoJo
  • Alan M
  • Alexandra T
  • John A
  • Rob C
  • Henry K
  • Levi C
  • Sam E
  • Adam G
  • Janet Y
  • The Flying Skeptic
  • Daniel J
  • George G
  • Freethinker215

You can find us online at www.htotw.com, follow us on Twitter @AtheistNomads, like us on Facebook, email us at [email protected], and leave us a voice mail message at (541) 203-0666.

Theme music is provided by Sturdy Fred.