TBJE 27: What is DACA and why it Matters

Today’s episode is the audio of Juhem’s talk at the American Humanist Association (Washington, DC) on October 12, 2017.


Key facts about unauthorized immigrants enrolled in DACA (Pew Research Center)

The Dream Act, DACA, and Other Policies Designed to Protect Dreamers (American Immigration Council)

Public Support for Basic Policies of DACA Program Edges Up (PRRI)

LEBJ 3: Mes de la Herencia Hispana

En el tercer episodio de La Experiencia de Benito Juárez Juhem y Luciano hablan sobre el secularismo y laicismo hispanos en el mes de la herencia hispana. El primer segmento se trata de una discusión del crecimiento del secularismo entre las comunidades Latinas en los Estados Unidos y el por qué a pesar de ser una quinta parte de la población, no escuchamos más en los medios. El segundo segmento se enfoca en el crecimineto de las comunidades digitales de latinos y latinas sin religión y el crecimiento del secularismo en América Latina. Finalmente cerramos con una discusión de la historia laica y secular en las Américas, España y los Estados Unidos con la politóloga Dra. Yazmín Trejo.

Episode 24: Secular Latinx Communities

Luciano and Juhem continue their discussion of Latinx secularism as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. They mention the importance of online communities in creating a safe space for Latinx people who doubt religion and to meet others with similar doubts. They also discuss how irreligion is spreading in Latin America and why religious identification varies so much across the region.


Secular Latino Alliance

Hispanic American Freethinkers

Religion in Latin America (Pew Research)

What I’m Reading

A Requiem for Florida, the Paradise That Should Never Have Been (Michael Grunwald, Politico.com) Interesting story of urban development, water management, and human hubris in the creation of modern Florida.

Can You Be Good Without God? (Brandon Withrow, TheDailyBeast.com) An article about negative stereotypes about atheists that goes beyond the usual Angry White Dudes (you know who they are) and interviews some fresh and reasonable atheist voices.

The First White President (Ta-Nehisi Coates, TheAtlantic.com) Long-ish read about white rage and the rise of Trump.

The March of the Nones Continue

PRRI released yesterday a new ginormous poll of religious identification in the United States. At 101,000-ish cases the largest this century and its scope is so large that it is really unprecedented. Of course, I am interested in what it says about the religious nones. And I may say, many things are good news.

Take, for example, this pretty line chart tracing the growth of the nones back 40 years. Up to the 1990s, roughly 1-in-10 Americans were non religious. Then, by the 2000s the population started growing and was famously captured and highlighted by the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey nearly a decade ago. Back then people considered that 15 percent of Americans being non religious was a pretty big deal. In the crazy days following the release of the 2008 ARIS those of us in that team did a lot of media. My friend Ryan Cragun did an interview (I can’t recall where) predicting that the nones soon will be 25 percent of the country. I thought that was optimistic, time has proved me wrong.

Today, about one-quarter of Americans are religious nones. What does that mean for the country and its future? I don’t really know, but I will explore several questions regarding the growth of the nones in the next few posts using the PRRI report. I will explore the demographics of the nones, the politics of the nones, and likely engage with some of the pieces that have been, are being, and will be written about this report.

TBJE 21: Charlottesville

Luciano and Juhem recap the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia last month. They argue about what to do with Confederate monuments and disagree about what’s the best way of contextualizing those artifacts. They also discuss President Trump’s response. The show closes with observations about weaponizing vehicles and the GOP enablers of this practice.


After Charlottesville Rally Ends in Violence, Alt-Right Vows to Return (Sarah Posner, Rolling Stone)

Update: US President Trump’s Response to Charlottesville Events (Human Rights Watch)

Legislation, Cars, And Protesters: How Laws Can Be Affected By Tragedy (Luciano GonzalezSin/God)

Be Not Constrained: James Croft on Humanists’ Responsibility to Fight Oppression (Point of Inquiry)

TBJE 20: Secular Family Values

In this belated episode Luciano and Juhem discuss ways of appropriating the term “family values” from the Christian Right. They explain what they mean by family values and why they think these are issues that progressive secularists can lead on.


Modern Family Values Could And Should Define Future Democrats (Luciano Gonzalez Sin/God)

Democrats Need To Stop Considering Backing Anti-Choice Politicians (Luciano Gonzalez Sin/God)

Representing Secular Family Values (Juhem Navarro-Rivera The LatiNone)

Anti-abortion Democrats fading from the scene (Reid Wilson The Hill)

“A date which will live in infamy”

August 29 is the date when two of my best buddies from high school were born, so it used to be a happy day and to some extent it is. But on this day 9 years ago, the day Michael Jackson celebrated his last birthday on Earth, the 2008 Republican candidate for President of the United States, Arizona Senator John McCain decided to celebrate his 72nd birthday by introducing his running-mate: then-governor of Alaska Sarah Palin.

She has now faded from memory, a political has-been that should’ve been a never was. But she’s not gone because our country became wiser and realized the horror that would’ve been having the most ignorant person to have a real shot at national office in recent memory a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

No, the country didn’t get wiser. It decided that it needed someone who was even more ignorant, someone who had less finesse, someone who didn’t even have the semblance of experience. They voted for Donald Trump. A man with Palinesque levels of ignorance but with money and name recognition.

Like Palin, he didn’t even fake having any interest in policy, at least Paul Ryan plays a policy wonk on TV. Like Palin, Trump weaponized resentment toward people of color and immigrants. She used her “real America” phrase to convey the sentiment that Trump converted into “make America great again.” And like Palin, Trump seems uninterested in the process of governing considering public service a moneymaking scheme. After her and McCain’s unsuccessful bid to run the Executive Branch, she quit the position of Governor halfway through her term to try a career in reality television, leveraging her new national profile. She failed to become Donald Trump, while Trump was able to become and exceed Sarah Palin.

When my friends ask why I don’t like the “maverick” McCain, this is why. At some point in the 2000s I bought the maverick image. Frustrated with the G.W. Bush years I wondered what would have been if John McCain had won that primary in early 2000. Never mind that his maverick schtick is all pose and no substance. Even after derailing the whatever the name of the last Republican health care plan earlier this summer I still can’t forgive him for his recklessness. He ruined my memory of 8/29 as the happy day when tow of my best buddies from my school days get temporarily older than me. I hope it did the same to his. Nine years ago a Donald Trump wannabe became potentially the Vice-President of the U.S., today her image mentor is the President. Thanks for nothing John McCain.

Image: Left to right: Todd Palin, Sarah Palin, Cindy McCain, and John McCain. Rally in Fairfax, Virginia on September 10, 2008. Photo by Rachael Dickson. CC license Wikimedia Commons

The Benito Juárez Experience 19

In this episode Juhem and Luciano discuss the Democrats’ reboot, also known as “A Better Deal.” They focus on three articles with different takes on the future of the Democratic Party.


Everything That’s Wrong with the Democratic ‘Reboot’ in One Lousy Op-Ed (Ian Haney López, Moyers & Company)

The Democratic Party Is in Worse Shape Than You Thought (Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times)

Democrats Are Trying to Win the 2018 Midterms in All the Wrong Ways (Steve Phillips, The Nation)

America Has a Long and Storied Socialist Tradition. DSA Is Reviving It (John Nichols, The Nation)