On today's episode, I chat with Neil Carter of Godless in Dixie about being an atheist in the Bible Belt. Transcript provided by Marvin: Trav: Hi everyone, this is Trav Mamone, host of the Bi Any Means podcast. With this podcast, I wish to explore the intersection between social justice and secular humanism. I have a small but growing audience, and I want to attract more listeners and also readers to the blog. There’s just one problem, podcasting can cost money. Most of the technology is free but I want to expand my services beyond what I can afford right now. For example, I hired a guy from Fivver.com to do transcripts of my podcast for the deaf and hearing impaired, and I’m also thinking about getting a proper camera to make YouTube videos because right now I’m basically just making videos with iPod Touch. Anyways, I know I have a small audience so I’m not expecting to rank in millions but if you all like what I’m doing, and you want to help out you can pitch in just a buck a month and that will go a long way. Back to the show. Welcome to the Bi Any Means podcast, a place where social justice and humanism meet. Hello and welcome to another episode of the Bi Any Means podcast, the podcast companion to BiAnyMeans.com. I’m Trav Mamone and today’s guest is Neil Carter who writes the Patheos blog Godless in Dixie. In his bio he describes himself as “a school teacher, a tutor, a personal trainer, a supplement pusher, a driving instructor and a father of five.” He also helps moderate a discussion group in Mississippi for atheist. Neil thanks for joining me today. Neil: Thanks, thanks for having me. Trav: First I want to ask you about your background, you were raised Baptist, right? Neil: That’s right, Southern Baptist. Trav: Okay, what was that like growing up? Neil: It was a positive experience. When I was young my family was marginally involved, I would say nominally involved. We attended regularly but it wasn’t a consuming occupation for us. Really the first one to get really deeply involved in church activities was me. I had a conversion experience when I was about 15, and I jumped in with both feet started teaching Sunday school, leading Bible studies, doing ministry trips, preaching tours, things like that. I’m the first one that got involved in the church at that level, and ironically I’m now out of the church and my family is now very involved in ministry, and I have several family members who are either on staff or have leadership positions at the church that I grew up in which was megachurch in Jackson, Mississippi. Trav: You also say you to seminary, and you were a part of the House Church Movement, right? Neil: That’s right and those were two pretty things. My background was Southern Baptist but the seminary that was closed to me was Reformed Theological Seminary, which is more Calvinist and Pr
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