Thursday, July 16, 2009

Episode 46 The Family with guest Jeff Sharlet

Jeff Sharlet joins us on the show to discuss his disturbing book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. This elite but secretive cult, which some of its own members describe as a “Christian Mafia,” works behind the scenes in Washington to advance “biblical capitalism” and the “totalitarianism of Christ.” But is the Family real or is it just the latest delusion of conspiracy theorists? Also: did the Protestant work ethic fuel the rise of capitalism in Europe? We have our doubts. And RD listener Bart J Helms presents this week’s Gospel of Doubt.

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11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, my itunes hasn't been able to download the last 2 shows and I just tried to listen on the livefeed and that quit after about 10 min.

Anyway else I can listen? Thanks

effie_chan said...

I really liked this weeks entry into the gospel of doubt. This is a very enjoyable new segment that you've thought up and the people who write to you have a very intriguing way with words.

It's interesting to hear the diffrent paths that have led people to disbelief, especially for someone like me who never had to shed my faith.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, great show, very illuminating on the nature of the almost shadowy family.

Doubting Foo said...

Great interview! Thanks!

C.J. said...

Early Christianity was not like 20th century socialism. The difference?

'Socialist' Christian communities were voluntary! No libertarian (and no intelligent conservative) is opposed to groups of people voluntarily choosing to live life in a certain way. That's their choice.

Socialism and communism don't give people choice. d

Jeremy said...

CJ,

"Early Christianity was not like 20th century socialism."

Correct...and we never claimed they were alike. Listen to episode 32 if you'd like to know what our argument is before critiquing it.

Odd said...

Incidentally, speaking of the Norwegian prime minister, he also reportedly used arguments based on his personal Christian faith in diplomacy efforts, most notably with US President Bush, as a way of keeping Norway out of the Iraq war from the start while maintaining a fairly friendly relation with the US Administration.

Although I clearly remember this discussed in the Norwegian media, I wasn't able to dig up a workable English link for this right now.

James said...

About the game show: aren't some Buddhist sects atheist? You could stick to your principles and get a free trip. :)

As for early Christian communes being voluntary -- well, only if (as a believer) you're comfortable with eternal damnation if you leave...

Jeremy said...

I hadn't thought of that. Tibetan Buddhism is not one that I know much about, but Im pretty sure they are non-theistic. And even their devas and Bodhisattvas,I think, are looked at as aspects of the psyche by the higher-ups. I wonder how much you would have to agree with before they let you take the vacation.

Skepoet said...

Tibetan Buddhism is NOT nontheistic. It does not believe in a creator G-d, but Tibetan Buddhism, more than any other sort of Buddhism, DOES believe in omniscient celestial Buddhas. IF Tibetans were actually non-theistic, there would be NO real controversy about Shugden deity nor would there be state-oracles who channel protector deities.

IF you would like to educate yourself on the subject of Buddhism: I suggest the books "Buddhism and Science" by Donald Lopez (which talks about the ways that Dalai Lama and Alan Wallace are continued was is essentially a form of missionary apologetics), Unmasking Buddhism by Bernard Faure, and Prisoners of Shangri-la by Lopez.

As a former Buddhist who actually did take vows in the Theravada tradition, I find this naivete about Buddhism a little frustrating. I love the religion as something to study, but it is a religion.

Stephen said...

great stuff gonna have to go through all of them after finding this podcast.