Podcast #61 – Adventures in Cobb County

“Ufologist” and Young Earth Creationist Gary Bates of Creation Ministries International presented “Aliens, UFOs and the Bible” on July 18th at the Sewell Mill Baptist Church in Marietta, GA.  We (John and Allison) were there, but the building did not spontaneously burst into flame, nor were there any clear-skies lightning strikes to manifest the ire of YHWH at the presence of infidels.  As for Bates…thanks a LOT, Australia!  For general creationist debunkage visit TalkOrigins.org.  [Late-breaking Bonus:  If you can stomach it, you can listen to Bates’s entire baloneython in podcast format at the church’s website–including the very session we sat in on!]

American Atheists president Ed Buckner delivers the invocation before a meeting of the Cobb County (Georgia) Board of Commissioners in Marietta.  Yes, we know that “atheist invocation” is an oxymoron, but Ed used the opportunity to go meta, delivering a four-minute invocation on the idiocy of invocations.  Go get ’em, Ed!

More Cobb Craziness:

  • Pelphry v Cobb – The ACLU (with Ed Buckner among the plaintiffs) sued the county over sectarian invocations before meetings of the BOC.  The ACLU lost, but the BOC has loosened up on who may deliver the invocation.
  • Evolution Stickers – The county was sued–and lost–over stickers placed in school biology texts that read “Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things.  The material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.”
  • Olympic Scandal – In the mid-1990s the BOC passed a resolution declaring that homosexuality was “incompatible with the standards to which this community subscribes.”  After gay rights activists threatened to disrupt the Olympic Torch Relay (which was scheduled to go through Cobb on its way to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta), the Olympic organizers rerouted the torch.  Cobb rescinded the anti-gay resolution in 1997.
  • Annette Kesting – Cobb’s first black Commissioner got in hot water for stating, while speaking at a black church, “I love my enemies.  I pray every day with my enemies because I have to go up on the third floor and work with white women,” and “You would be amazed seeing the people I work with at the county.  They are not Christian people.”  Kesting lost the next election to Woody Thompson; to exact revenge, Kesting hired a South Carolina voodoo priestess to put a curse on Thompson that would kill him.  The curse failed; actually, it was never cast, since both of Kesting’s checks bounced.  In July 2009 Kesting and her husband were arrested for allegedly stealing a truck they had borrowed from a friend and failed to return.


Dragon*Con is only a month away!  Four day memberships are $90 (plus Ticketmaster charges) through August 15th.  After that, you’ll have to buy tickets at the door ($100 for four days, less for other packages).   American Freethought will record a live podcast at 11:30AM, Saturday, September 5th with the Skeptics Track.

We (meaning John and David and respective redheads) will also be attending the Star Party at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA on Thursday, September 3rd.  The Star Party is organized by the Atlanta Skeptics, will feature dinner, drinks, an opportunity to chat with Phil Plait (Bad Astronomy) and Pamela Gay (Astronomy Cast podcast), and stargazing through the Bradley Observatory telescope.  Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society in honor of the late Jeff Medkeff (Blue Collar Scientist).

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Visit us online at AmericanFreethought.com.  We post new content (nearly) every day!

David will podcast new episodes of Secular Nation soon.  AtheistAlliance.org/podcast.

Interested in science fiction?  Then check out John’s other online project, SciFiDimensions.com.

Theme music by Body Found.

Recorded July 30, 2009.  Hosted by John C. Snider and David Driscoll.

To listen to this episode click here.

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