Episode 6: 40 Days of Johnny Mendez

May 24, 2017

Puerto Rico Speaker of the House Carlos "Johnny" Méndez led 40 days of prayer and fasting to "help" the island get out of its current crises despite obvious legal concerns regarding church-state separation (and the fact that prayer doesn't solve anything). Luciano tells the story of what happened and who opposed the government-led religious activity. Juhem provides some historical and anecdotal evidence of why these acts by politicians are commonplace in Puerto Rico.

 

Resources:

Luciano's blog post "Secular Humanists Of Puerto Rico Move To Challenge Carlos “Johnny” Mendez." at Sin/God.

Fox News article

India.com article

Pasquines.us article

IHEU article

Metro Puerto Rico article (en español)

 

Johnny Mendez image source: Twitter

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Episode 5: Telenovelas Pt. 2

May 17, 2017

This week Juhem and Luciano continue their conversation with Dr. Melixa Abad-Izquierdo about Telenovelas, the Latin American cultural phenomenon. In part 2 Dr. Abad-Izquierdo discusses telenovelas outside of Mexico, Non-Catholic representations of religion, and the future of telenovelas in the era of streaming media.

 

About the guest

Dr. Melixa Abad-Izquierdo is an Assistant Professor of History at Farmingdale State College. She is also the author of “A Melodramatic Miracle: The Cultural and Political Economy of the Mexican Telenovela, 1950-1980” an essay in Soap Operas and Telenovelas in the Digital Age: Global Industries, Hybrid Content, and New Audience,edited by Diana I. Rios and Mari Castañeda. Also by her, “A Lachrymose Heroine For the Masses: The Origins of the Cinderella Plotline in Mexican Telenovelas, 1968-1973.” In Modernization, Nation-Building, and Television History. Edited by Melissa Chakars and Stewart Anderson. New York: Routledge, 2014. Her research interests are Latin American popular culture and its connections to politics.

izquierdo_melixa.jpg

 

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Episode 4: Telenovelas Pt 1

May 10, 2017

This week Juhem and Luciano talk to Dr. Melixa Abad-Izquierdo about Telenovelas, the Latin American cultural phenomenon in the first of two episodes exploring the concept. In part 1 Dr. Abad-Izquierdo looks at the history of telenovelas in Mexico and how interest groups helped shape the religious content in the genre.

 

About the guest

Dr. Melixa Abad-Izquierdo is an Assistant Professor of History at Farmingdale State College. She is also the author of “A Melodramatic Miracle: The Cultural and Political Economy of the Mexican Telenovela, 1950-1980” an essay in Soap Operas and Telenovelas in the Digital Age: Global Industries, Hybrid Content, and New Audience,edited by Diana I. Rios and Mari Castañeda. Also by her, “A Lachrymose Heroine For the Masses: The Origins of the Cinderella Plotline in Mexican Telenovelas, 1968-1973.” In Modernization, Nation-Building, and Television History. Edited by Melissa Chakars and Stewart Anderson. New York: Routledge, 2014. Her research interests are Latin American popular culture and its connections to politics.

izquierdo_melixa.jpg

 

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Episode 3: The Johnson Amendment Pt 2

May 3, 2017

Luciano and Juhem talk about the Johnson Amendment, the law regulating political spending by churches and other nonprofit organizations. President Trump promised to "destroy" the law to please his religious conservative base. In Part 2, Luciano and Juhem discuss how churches get involved in other countries and views about separation of church and state.

 

Links of interest:

Survey about support of Johnson Amendment

NPR pimer on Johnson Amendment

Trump vows to destroy Johnson Amendment

Luciano on the Johnson Amendment at Sin/God.

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Episode 2: The Johnson Amendment Part 1

April 26, 2017

Luciano and Juhem talk about the Johnson Amendment, the law regulating political spending by churches and other nonprofit organizations. President Trump promised to "destroy" the law to please his religious conservative base. In Part 1, Luciano and Juhem focus on what is the Johnson Amendment and its role in the separation of church and state.

 

Links of interest:

Survey about support of Johnson Amendment

NPR pimer on Johnson Amendment

Trump vows to destroy Johnson Amendment

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Episode 1: The Benito Juarez Experience/The Secular Left

April 19, 2017

In the first episode of The Benito Juárez Experience Juhem and Luciano discuss their paths to atheism and activism, why we named the podcast "The Benito Juárez Experience." We also talk about how the American religious left gets too much attention compared to the nascent secular left, and the racial bias in the discussion of the religious left.

Links of interest:

'Religious left' emerging as U.S. political force in Trump era (Scott Malone, Reuters.com)

Pew Religious Landscape Survey

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