Cellar Door Skeptics 161: Hugs or High Fives with Sara Cunningham of Free Mom Hugs

Cellar Door Skeptics is bringing you not one, but two charities of the week. Their segment talking about local charities is extended this week as they interview Sara Cunningham of Free Mom Hugs, an organization dedicated to help other parents realize the having children whom are LGBTQ is wonderful and normal. Sara tells her story about how she left conservative christian beliefs and came to the understanding that her beliefs should never dictate who she loves. She talks about her organization Free Mom Hugs, how it started, and the desire to help make an impact on society to shed the ridiculous idea that LGBTQ people are not deserving of love.

Check out our full unedited interview on Patreon for a longer version of our discussion.

After talking about the different charities, the duo tackle the highly controversial video of the MAGA hat wearing youth, their confrontation with a Native American Elder, and why even with the longer video we need to stop and examine the evidence before letting these children off the hook. Chris Squared take a deep dive into an emotional subject and look at some of the reasons they feel the situation should be given a second look without just accepting what the media said. This segment is full of passion, as both of the Chris’ wade through how the situation could have been handled better by the children, and how even if they were screaming, how their MAGA hats represent the hate and racism embodied within our society.

The show ends as always with Hanna’s and Tanner’s Infamous Quick Saves of the week.

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Intro Segment: RIP Heretic Women
Segment Local Charity of the Week: VFW National Home for Children
Segment: Interview with Sara Cunningham founder of Free Mom Hugs
Segment: MAGA Hat Kid Inspiring Racism
Segment: Quick Saves of the Week
Tanner: BagMan Podcast by Rachel Maddow
Hanna: How Tax Brackets Work

The Blind Facebook Algorithm is Eating Anti-Racism

An old post where I was disparaging racism and white nationalists was flagged on Facebook and I was banned for a day today and tomorrow… The following is a paraphrase of what was in the post…


Tucker Carlson recently espoused something frighteningly close to blatant white nationalism; he said: “Their goal is to change your country forever and they are succeeding by the way.”


That statement — “Their goal is to change your country forever” — is hideously close to the 14 words white supremacists and little Nazis like Stephen Miller like to spout.


14 words: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”


If this is the country they want, I would agree with Tucker. My goal is to change this country forever to one where bitter old men don’t decide it’s fine to abuse brown people and children. If that’s what he means, then fine. And let’s consign Fox News to the garbage bin of history while we’re at it too.


Credit to the following site for the great thoughts.



So the zuckerberg algorithm just assumes that if those words are in a group that its racism? The AI apocalypse is hardly in danger if simple context is simply impossible…


Just another reason I don’t see a long future with Facebook for me.

-Chris Hanna

#6: Through the Attic Window – Mothers Day Story

In this side tangent from the duo that brings you Cellar Door Skeptics, comes a heart felt tale of Tanner’s experience on Mother’s Day. The hosts talk with about the big day celebration with a little lesson Tanner learned during the process.

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For the Sake of Your Children…

I begin this entry with a metaphor that I recognize as clumsy but that seems to be the best I can muster: sometimes when I’m thinking about my 30-year-old son Jim, my mind does something that I could almost describe as throwing up two projection screens side-by-side before its own gaze. On one of those screens I view vignettes from the years that Jim and I have known each other and spent together. On the other I view snippets of my own childhood and the role my father played in it. Those two sets of vignettes always present themselves in such a way as to suggest complementarity and invite comparison. It’s invariably a cathartic experience, as deeply honest moments almost always are. I never fail to emerge from such experiences sobered by the resulting insights and wrung-out from the effort that the attaining of them cost me.


The relationship that Jim and I enjoy is thoroughly good. We have the deepest respect and admiration for each other. We understand each other on a level that I think might be far rarer among parents and their children than one might wish, and our conversations are accordingly deep and meaningful. Despite his having avoided some of my mistakes and charted a more reasonable and promising course in life than I ever did, we’re very much alike in many ways: we’re both possessed of a native curiosity that drives us to distraction and gives us no peace; we’re both musically talented and we both love language (these two traits are often bound up together); we both derive great joy from writing and from reading what others have written; we’re both pretty well aware of the way the big game is played and have equal (although not always openly-expressed) contempt for the “playas” and we both recognize how hopeless the human condition is; we both have a well-developed sense of irony, which is another name for a sense of humor; we’re both adept at sarcasm, but we tend to be restrained in its use by our humane instincts – which we also share. We both have a finely-calibrated ethical sense. We’re both atheists, but he wears his atheism much more lightly and comfortably than I do mine, probably because unlike me, he didn’t have to fight his way to it. And when I look at him I see the man I might have become had my relationship with my father been like Jim’s with me.
Continue reading “For the Sake of Your Children…”

“New” Atheism?

In my daily searching of atheist news and tidbits, I see the phrase “new” atheists pretty often. I find it interesting. The article below is a critique of this group of non-believers. However, I offer this opinion. I think that this is more of a critique of the modern Internet culture where extreme views (one way or the other), get all of the attention. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The most vocal and divisive voices are heard. Live and let live, I say. Do I find the concept of organized religion or the existence of a white bearded man in the sky ridiculous? You bet. But if some people need that belief to get them by everyday, I say more power to them. Do I poke fun? Sure I do, that is the lens in which I view most things…with a sense of humor. I humbly offer you the article below as yet another point of view about modern atheism.

Why self-respecting atheists should ditch the New Atheists

Ryan Cooper
February 25, 2015

Courtesy of The Week


I grew up in a conservative small town, where there was the strong belief that evangelical Protestantism was the only route to the good life, and that I was going to be tortured for eternity for not signing up. It’s no surprise, then, that I was often attracted to the “anti-theist” diatribes of Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, otherwise known as the New Atheists.


But time changes all things. Though still far from religious, I no longer accept the more extreme narratives of the New Atheists, the certainty of their religious claims, and their historical view of religion. The atheist community would be well advised to chill out.
Continue reading ““New” Atheism?”

An Open Letter to Ben Affleck

Dear Ben Affleck,


I recently watched the video of your appearance on the show Real Time with Bill Maher, with guests Sam Harris, Nicholas Kristof, and Michael Steele. It was Maher’s show though, right? Couldn’t really tell from the video. Honestly Ben, I think there is a lot for everyone to learn from this encounter, which is why I am spending my time writing this open letter to you. Let’s get right to it, because too many human lives are at stake.


I am going to be very critical of you in this letter, because like many other people in our society, you are looking at this issue completely backwards. Before I start with that though, I want to make sure to say I believe your heart is in the right place. It is clear to anyone who watches the video that you truly care about people. You are deeply concerned about how we homo sapiens treat one another, but what you are failing to understand is so are Maher and Harris. Having your heart in the right place is not enough, and if you can keep an open mind while reading this, I think you will understand why.


What was your mindset going into this discussion? Based on your non-verbals, voice tone, and overall defensive demeanor, which was neither provoked nor warranted, it appeared as though you came into this with some preconceived beliefs about Harris and/or the issue at hand. I’m not completely familiar with the structure of Bill Maher’s show, so correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the new guest supposed to get a couple of minutes of uninterrupted air time before the other guests join in?


Harris only had thirty seconds before you blurted out,


“Thank god you’re here.”

Continue reading “An Open Letter to Ben Affleck”