FriendlyAtheistMy appearance on the Friendly Atheist podcast with Hemant Mehta and Jessica Bluemke.

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. He is a former National Board Certified high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago, where he taught for seven years.

Jessica Bluemke is a contributor to Friendly Atheist and a graduate of Ball State University. She lives on the north side of Chicago and performs stand-up comedy in her free time.


  1. Charles August 10, 2015 at 6:57 am - Reply

    “If the Church isn’t true, then nothing is.” –Joseph’s last revenge.

    • Deg August 11, 2015 at 11:40 am - Reply

      Love that quote!! :)

  2. Ryan Wimmer August 10, 2015 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    Good interview, my one issue and pet peeve is referring to Joseph Smith as a pedophile or marrying “under age” girls. Smith doesn’t even meet the definition of pedophilia in the 21st century, which is pre-adolescent attraction. Furthermore the magic age of 18 adulthood had not been invented yet. While polygamy was illegal, most state law age of consent for girls was 13. Fourteen year old marriages may have been rare but the fact that it was legal demonstrates cultural acceptance. In fact age was not a big issue during the anti-polygamy campaign of the 1880s like it is of today’s polygamists due to the cultural shift. Even in the 21st century not every culture agrees with Americas designation of 18 being the age of consent. So no, other than being law breakers Warren Jeffs is not like Smith, they both lived in very different cultures.

    • Rio August 11, 2015 at 2:32 pm - Reply

      My great great grandfather had 19 wives. Of them, one was 12, one 14, three 16. I suspect many other Mormons of that era had similar-age wives. Either our cultural values have changed, or the same sort of “youth harvesting” was going on as with the FLDS church today.

  3. B August 11, 2015 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Is Hemant and/or Jessica familiar at all with the skeptiko podcast? If so, what is their take and explanation on the conscious and the scientific research that is discussed there?

  4. Rio August 11, 2015 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    That was an excellent interview, John, and I really appreciate the “Friendly Atheist” website. Scrolling down from your interview is Episode 59 – “Ex-Muslims Muhammad Syed & Heina Dadabhoy.” So many commonalities with Mormons leaving Mormonism, as well as fascinating differences.

  5. Phil August 12, 2015 at 5:46 am - Reply

    Of course the Upton Sinclair quote is a double edged sword.

  6. tropical animal August 13, 2015 at 8:34 am - Reply

    Enjoyed your dialogue. You got it right, John. You probably don’t see it, but you are a pioneer, yourself. I think your podcasts are helping people rethink religion. It is you, more than anyone else, that is motivating the church to respond to what your normal critical thinkers can see, and make changes.

  7. Brent Smith August 21, 2015 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    Sorry to sort of necro this thread but John in the interview I heard you say a few things that were really jarring and shakes your credibility for me.

    I heard you insinuate 1) that the 12 continue to uphold and believe in the status quo for money and (where is the evidence supporting this claim?) 2) Mormons who don’t have serious doubts are asleep and/or lack integrity (very self serving point of view for you.)

    It seems to me you also continue to side step your public broadcast of unbelief in the core doctrines of the church as one of the reasons for your excommunication. I’ve never heard you explain why you think your vocal disbelief was not a significant contributor. Maybe you’ve answered this elsewhere. Please point me to it.

    I am truly grateful for so much of the HARD work you’ve done – but these types of inaccurate, unsupported and generally self serving comments hurt more than help – when those who are still *in* the church but want change hear these types of extreme statements and misrepresentations, I think it really weakens what your message could accomplish as you fall in to the script of angry apostate with a severely distorted perception. Those are a dime a dozen.

    I’m ready for push back =)

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