Podcast #174 – Religious Belief and Hardcore Criminality

We interview Dr. Volkan Topalli, co-author (with Dr. Thomas Brezina and Mindy Bernhardt) of the new research paper “With God on my side: The paradoxical relationship between religious belief and criminality among hardcore street offenders,” just published in the February 2013 issue of the journal Theoretical Criminology. Volkan, an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Georgia State University, isn’t just some tweed-wearing ivory tower intellectual–he’s a dedicated researcher who visits some of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in cities like Atlanta, New Orleans and Saint Louis, interviewing career drug-dealers and car-jackers to find out what makes them tick. For a detailed account of the gritty work this guy does, check out this profile from Creative Loafing.

Plus:

As the Supreme Court tackles gay marriage, we look at two interesting developments in the struggle for LGBTQ rights. First, there’s Republican Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who revealed how he reversed course on gay marriage when his son came out. Second, Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina announces it won’t perform any marriages–period–until their denomination changes its policy of discrimination against homosexuals.

The Baseball Bat of Doubt! In this installment of our new recurring segment, a listener from Finland reveals what led her to reject religion and embrace science and reason.

To listen to this episode click here.

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