My friend Todd Stiefel (whom I just mentioned yesterday) is participating in a fun, radical experiment today: He’s co-hosting a radio show with an evangelical Christian.
Here’s how it happened, according to Todd:
Since November, I have been a monthly guest on a North Carolina state-wide Christian radio show. Originally, I reached out to the host, Steve Noble, to see if he was interested in having me on the show to cordially breakdown misconceptions between atheists and Christians. At the time, I saw him as a major local opponent as he had been a leader in repeatedly putting up a nativity scene in a public park and in fighting against marriage equality.
I was surprised to find that he is a kind man who works hard for what he thinks will make the world a better place. He is altruistic, we just very much disagree on many issues. That said, we agree on many things as well and have come to learn that we share many values in common. We have even become friends and started to move closer to one another on some key divides between our communities. For example, in response to an email recently, he said, “It would be like me continuing to say that atheists have no basis for morality — clearly they do, its just not what ‘we’ would call transcendent.” I agree completely; atheists have a non-transcendent basis for morality. Frankly, it is nice to see the discussion moving from if atheists can be moral to evangelicals trying to figure out why we are moral.
Along these lines, Steve has helped me with some new inter-belief work. He introduced me to some of his friends at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. One of the professors, Dr. Bruce Little, invited me to do an ask-an-atheist for as apologist philosophy class yesterday at the seminary. It was very productive and gave me a great deal of hope that we will be able to overcome some of the biases facing atheists, even among future Southern Baptist ministers.
Last month, Steve hosted me for an ask-an-atheist call in show. On Monday, March 25, 4:00p-5:00p (EDT), we are going to switch seats and Steve is going to let me host his evangelical radio show with him as the guest for an ask-an-evangelical hour. Please support this dialogue by calling in live to the show to ask questions: 877-448-7884. Alternatively, you can post questions in the comments and I will use those if there is a lull in live callers.
Our ground rules, regardless of which of us is hosting, are that we will keep things cordial, polite and friendly. You can ask any question you want; his show’s motto is “no sacred cows.” But, we will hang up on rude callers.
You can listen to the show online. You can listen to it in the North Carolina Triangle area on these stations: Raleigh FM 105.7 — Durham FM 105.5 — Chapel Hill AM 1030.
I’m looking forward to this; it is going to be fun.
I am, too. It’s a call-in show, so if you have a good question to ask, get on the air!