Home / History, Perspectives & Interesting Stuff / This Week on God Discussion Radio: Voting for the Wall of Separation — A look at extremism, with Bruce Wilson, Chris Rodda, Leah Burton and Ilene Proctor

This Week on God Discussion Radio: Voting for the Wall of Separation — A look at extremism, with Bruce Wilson, Chris Rodda, Leah Burton and Ilene Proctor

With the midterm elections coming up next week, we’re hearing a lot of talk about the wall of separation between church and state. We’re going to take a look at extremism and how it is seeping into politics during our show scheduled for Thursday, October 28, 2010. To accommodate our guests and listeners on the East coast, we have bumped the show an hour back so that it will go live at 6:00 p.m. Pacific, 7:00 p.m. Mountain, 8:00 p.m. Central and 9:00 p.m. Eastern times. You can hear it live and participate in our web-based chatroom at:


(Time clocks and access details follow).

chuch and state

Our Panel and Guests.

This week’s God Discussion podcast will feature a panel of the movers and shakers in investigative reporting on Christian dominionism, an umbrella term that we use to describe the Dominionist, New Apostolic Reformation, Reconstructionist and other movements. And we’re also going to reveal some explosive and shocking news in the mix. Here’s the guest lineup:

Bruce Wilson

Bruce Wilson

Bruce Wilson writes for Talk2Action and AlterNet. His reporting has exposed the role that American evangelicals played in the “kill the gays” bill in Uganda and how Hawaii’s politics have been influenced by Christian extremism. We’ll be focusing on the developments in Hawaii and other states … developments that involve witch-fighting evangelicals, Lou Engle and more.

Bruce is Co-Founder, with journalist Frederick Clarkson, of the website Talk To Action, which covers the intersection of religion and politics.

In May 2008, Wilson posted a 3 and 1/2 minute video widely credited in mainstream media with precipitating then-GOP presidential candidate John McCain's decision to reject his long-sought political endorsement from influential Christian evangelist, Texas megachurch pastor and Christians United For Israel founder John Hagee. The video featured an audio excerpt from a late 2005 Hagee sermon (broadcast internationally on Christian networks) in which pastor Hagee claimed that God sent Hitler and the Nazis to force Europe's Jews to Palestine. The audio excerpt from Wilson' video was broadcast widely both by domestic US media and also foreign media.

In Fall 2008, as part of a two-person research team, Wilson and researcher Rachel Tabachnick correctly identified the specific religious tendency which then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is most closely associated with, the New Apostolic Reformation. Wilson's effort was the first to publicize Palin's association with Kenyan evangelist Thomas Muthee, a professed witch hunter, and also Palin's personal friendship with Alaska evangelist Mary Glazier, who heads Sarah Palin's personal prayer group and also claims, like Muthee, to have used prayer to fight a witch. Muthee and Glazier are top leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation movement, which purports to be the most radical change in Christianity since the Protestant Reformation. NAR leaders advocate forced wealth transfer and the the driving unbelievers from "the land."

Chris Rodda

Chris Rodda

Chris Rodda, author of Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History and blogger at The Huffington Post, is about to publish an  article this week on Huffington that reveals why Glenn Beck should – and might – be ousted as a radio personality on Armed Services television. Chris is Senior Research Director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.  Chris is well known for her work in revealing the lies and misrepresentations of David Barton.

Leah Burton

Leah Burton

Leah Burton, consultant to the California Council of Churches, board member of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and author of the forthcoming book, Palin’s America: God, Guns & Greed, will share her personal experience with "curbing," a term that has come to light with news of the violence inflicted upon Lauren Valle by Rand Paul supporters. After leaving a meeting in which she had shared her views about Sarah Palin’s extreme religious views, Leah was “curbed” two years ago by “Christian Patriots” – resulting in injuries that she suffers from to this day, including symptoms associated with a shattered cheekbone that required surgery and a metal plate.  Leah will also share her expertise on Christian dominionism as it plays out in politics.

Ilene Proctor

Ilene Proctor

Imagine that you're at home at dinner, or maybe watching TV, or a bit tipsy from having some drinks with your friends who are visiting.  The phone rings.  You pick it up and someone says he's with the FBI and asks you a question.  You think it's a prank call and give a lame answer, thinking nothing of it again until the police show up at your door two weeks later for lying and perjury.

This type of thing does happen in post 9/11 America today.  It happened to John McTiernam.

Internationally-acclaimed publicist Ilene Proctor will tell us about the abuse of justice inflicted on John McTiernan, famous for directing such action films as Predator, Die Hard, and The Hunt for Red October.

This is a shocking story that you will not want to miss.  It's a story about abuse of power.  It's a story about how any American, from the high and mighty to the poorest of the poor, to the most liberal to the most conservative, is just one person against a huge system, in a rigged game, that raises fundamental questions about civil liberties and justice in America. It's a story that should alert us as to why we do not need extremists involved in government.

Show Details:  How to Tune In and Participate in the Live Broadcast; Archives Info.

Tune in to the live God Discussion show on Thursday, October 28, 2010, at 6:00 PM Pacific time (time conversions below). The show is scheduled for two hours, but we've reserved 3 hours in case callers and chat room participants want to keep talking (as is often the case).  As always, calls are welcome and the web-based chat room will be open, which we will monitor as best as we can in order to forward your questions and comments to our guests.

Time: Thursday, October 28, 2010 @ 6:00 p.m. PACIFIC (see time conversions below)

God Discussion on Blog Talk Radio:


How to Hear the Show Live and How to Join the Discussion.

When you visit the show page (linked immediately below this paragraph), nothing will happen until we go live.  As soon as the show starts, you'll see an ON AIR button.  The show will play out of your computer speakers.


Call-In Number: (914) 338-0452


During the show, we run a web-based chat room that's quite entertaining, with spirited conversations and some interesting comments from listeners who can't call in. In the event that the phone lines are full and you are unable to dial in, you might want to post your questions or comments in the chat room and Deborah, the host, will read as many on the air as possible so the guest can respond. To participate in the chat room, you need to register a username first. You might want to do this now, so you're ready to join the conversation. Registration is free, but BlogTalkRadio requires email confirmation.  How to register:


Missed the Show? You can hear the archives, accessible via the Blog Talk Radio player on the bottom of this page.  We have an iTunes page which offers free downloads of the show and have some of the shows available on our YouTube channel.

Time Zones: The clock below is set for Pacific time.  Compare it with your current time.

Pacific: 6:00 p.m. | Mountain: 7:00 p.m. | Central: 8:00 p.m. | Eastern: 9:00 p.m. (see time zone map)

Current PACIFIC Time

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  • Hardcore

    Just finished listening to your "Voting for the wall" episode. Very good discussion overall. Leah's story was very moving (and frightening!).

    What prompted my post though, is your responses to togetherforpeace's chatroom comment at about 2:17:23 where he infers that some atheists are also guilty of incitement and you simply concede the point.

    Now, I don't know whether you were just being conciliatory in an effort to keep the discussion from derailing, or whether you've fallen into a trap commonly laid by the religious (and occasionally the non-religious). I'm talking about the myth of the "militant" atheist.

    This is the most devious form of false dichotomy. On one hand, you have incitements to ACTUAL VIOLENCE or, as you put it, "trolling for assassins", which often results in vitriol, vandalism, threats, and violence (lots of v-words). Contrast this with "militant atheism" where the most you're dealing with is some harsh language.

    I'm not saying a more radical atheist element does not exist (hell, I won't even say with certainty that GOD doesn't exist), but I'm not aware of it. Admittedly, I find it difficult to envision what the "darker version of Dawkishness" Adam mentions would even consist of. Even at their most confrontational, Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, and others don't attack people. They attack their ideas. This is a very important distinction that many people neglect. We're talking about people responding to criticism of their beliefs with violence or threats of violence. I doubt there's been any of that from the atheist side.

    If it seems like I'm overreacting here it's just that I often see this false dichotomy used to distract from ACTUAL acts of barbarism and it makes me sick.

    Below I've included the link to an image which I think illustrates this dichotomy very well.


    Keep up the great discussions!

  • Hi Hardcore!

    Great image! I love it.

    At that point, I was multi-tasking with the guests on the phone and trying to respond to the chat that was scrolling through too fast for me to keep up with, so it was more conciliatory to keep the discussion going. I think (this is from memory without listening or opening up the chat transcript right now) part of what was going on in the chatroom was that TogetherForPeace had an issue with YouTube videos and discussions where he was trying to find common ground but got basically "f-you," and sky daddy talk. He is religious but respects separation of church and state and was looking for actual discussions, not online fights. I'll have it on YouTube at some point, and it will show the chat transcript so the discussion will be more in context.

    That said, I totally agree with you that "militant atheists" — even if they use a lot of expletives — cannot possibly be compared with the "militant Christians" that we were talking about who resort to vandalism and physical violence. Atheists and freethinkers do not share the same sense of entitlement that I'm seeing the religious right claim that they have. The latter seem to think that just because they are believers in a deity and a holy book, they are entitled to dictate how everyone else should behave and entitled to a presumption of moral superiority. The extremists in the religious right resort to nasty and sometimes criminal behavior when their sense of entitlement is threatened by opposing and generally logical viewpoints.

    You raise excellent points, Hardcore, and I appreciate your listening to the archive. Also, this raises some self-criticism for future shows … When I address things being discussed in the chat room, I should read more of the context on air.

    Attacking ideas is the cornerstone of free thought, and what you are saying is absolutely on target.


  • Hardcore

    Hi Deb.

    Looking back on my earlier post, I should probably apologize for my lazy usage of a generic "you" instead of aiming my criticism specifically at the actual involved parties. That was unfair of me. I forget how distracting it must be to monitor the call board and the chat room in addition to hosting a show with multiple guests. I'm surprised you're able to keep track of the discussion at all.

    Like Christopher Hitchens, if I were to label myself, I would be an anti-theist (religions are not only false and man-made, but are actually harmful to society). This puts me squarely in the camp of the loud, confrontational atheists that TogetherForPeace was referring to, and I resented his implication that there is some kind of equivalency between my "militant atheism" and the more militant religious groups.

    I'm sure this is a bit of an overreaction, but the militancy (tone-trolling) argument along with others like "atheists have no morals" and "atheism leads to the likes of Hitler and Stalin" are constantly leveled at atheists by the religious, no matter how many times they are refuted.

    Even more troubling is the recent trend in the skeptic/humanist community to concede or even agree with those arguments in an attempt to present a nicer, more accommodating face to theists. Often at the expense of those fighting in the proverbial trenches. So any time I hear them my ears perk up and I feel compelled to open my big mouth.

    I love your show, and this has in no way altered my opinion of it, but I feel compelled to chime in any time I feel so-called "militant atheists" like myself are being thrown under the bus.

  • Thanks for this useful information. Kind regards!

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