SIO195: A Mormon #metoo Reckoning, with Colleen Dietz

This week my guest is Colleen Dietz, who is the host of the Mormon Happy Hour podcast. On her show, Colleen does a great job discussing important and sometimes heavy topics while still maintaining laughter and good spirits. She’ll need that skill today because unfortunately we’re here to discuss a traumatic assault that happened years ago when she was a new student at BYU, and the woefully inadequate response by the school and the church. We don’t into too much gory detail, but if you want the full weight of her awful experience she has written more about it here. BYU’s victim blaming response was in her opinion almost worse than the assault itself. It took her a long time to come to terms with what happened and why her Mormon faith was not just wrong but how their unhealthy and repressive relationship to sex actually made her more vulnerable to her attacker. However, she’s in a much better place now, and she’s doing amazing work trying to reform the church from without, and helping others reform it from within.

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SIO194: Milkshaking with Eli Bosnick

When Eli Bosnick asks to come on your show and give his lava hot milkshake take you say YES. So that’s what I’ve done. If you’ve wondered how liberals ought to respond to things like the milkshaking or Nazi punching controversies, listen to this episode and wonder no more!

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SIO193: The JV IDW, and More – with Eiynah

Eiynah returns to the show for the first time in probably way too long! She is a Pakistani-Canadian podcaster/illustrator/blogger who also has dealt with a lot of the same Rational(tm) Intellectual Dark Web types that I have talked about on this show a lot. We talk about that, delusional centrism, unexamined white identity and false objectivity, before venturing on in the second half to talk about Islam. As an ex-Muslim, Eiynah has unique insight into the balancing act of criticizing the bad ideas of Islam without feeding into disgusting anti-Muslim bigotry.

As promised, here is a list of some people/events we referenced with links:

Intellectual Dark Web and NYT Photo Shoot; James Lindsay, JV IDW, past guest on the show, former friend but current warrior against the Humanities for.. not good reasons; Michael Shermer – past guest on the show, never will be again, very credibly accused of being a creep; Carl Benjamin – the douchebag I debated who calls himself Sargon, running for MP and can’t stop getting hit with stuff; Sam Harris interview we referenced; Claire Lehmann head of Quillette; Steven Pinker – guy who is super smart in his field but feels the need to venture into lots of other fields and do them badly; Jerry Coyne – minor new atheist who has an angry old man yelling at clouds blog, turned down half a dozen respectful requests WAY back in the day to have conversations on social justice despite claiming to be all about debate; Rashida Tlaib NYT Daily Interview; Secular Jihadist Ali Rizvi Armin discussion.

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SIO192: Some Punditry, with Andrew Torrez

Andrew Torrez joins me to discuss the Democratic Primary — Buttigieg, Warren, and whether or not we should be trying to determine who can best beat Trump. As Opening Arguments listeners well know, Andrew always brings insight, history, legal brilliance, and plain charm!

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SIO191: Why I Changed My Mind

With the birth of our second child, Arlo, I was faced with a decision that many parents have to make… and I fundamentally changed my mind from where I was several years ago. That, plus other voicemail! Old AS episode on the subject; good Vice article.

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SIO190: Dating Economy Inequality? with Kristi Winters

Are women “creating an unequal dating environment for men?” Quillette recently published an article that made alarming claims about the dating economy on the basis of some online dating studies. Dr. Kristi Winters is here to bring some social science understanding to it and help us separate fact from fiction! Here’s the NYT article I mention.

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SIO189: Impeach the Motherf*cker

This episode was delayed due to a new baby in the Smith house! However, it worked out great, since the redacted Mueller report was released on Thursday. Of course, check out Opening Arguments for some in-depth legal analysis, but I’ve been brewing a ton of thoughts about the report and what Democrats should do in response. I talk about what an insult Barr is to the position of AG, why we don’t need to listen to Republicans anymore, and why we should impeach Trump. I think a lot of the arguments against impeachment are worth considering, but ultimately I argue they are based on outdated political conceptions and misused analogy.

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SIO188: Voicemail 2! AIPAC, Omar, and the 2020 Dem Primary

Listeners had so many great voicemail messages this month, it demanded a second episode! Also I am a talker, so it could be that. Lots of a great discussion here, starting with a very appropriate callout of a mistake I made on a previous show. After that, I discuss the right wing attacks on Congresswoman Omar and the fact that we never have to listen to Republicans ever again. Then, I clarify some thoughts on the 2020 Democratic candidates thus far, and the difference between token representation, and fighting systemic bias in what kinds of candidates we value.

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SIO187: Voicemail! Anti-Vaxers, Christchurch, White Fragility, and Other Topics

It’s time for a listener voicemail episode! We’ve got some really good topics/questions/critiques, so much so that I had to split this into a couple episodes. Topics include changing minds on things like anti-vax and white fragility, and how to be an atheist critical of Islam white not contributing to problematic anti-Muslim bigotry, and voting rights! Here’s a good article on what changes anti-vaxxers’ minds.

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SIO186: (Not) Defending Cardinal Pell, with Jake Farr-Wharton

Longtime friend of the show Jake Farr-Wharton is here to take us through the unpleasant story of Cardinal Pell. He is yet another Catholic priest in a long list who have been accused (and now found guilty) of serious sexual misconduct with minors. This story has a few wrinkles, though, as many high profile, powerful people supported Pell with character references. As it turns out, when Jake was in high school, he was asked to be a character witness for his priest, who was a very valued friend and mentor. Jake takes us through all this and we talk about the ethics involved.

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