Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

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Card Sharks

In the light of the upcoming “Ender’s Game” movie and his announced stint as the writer for Superman, Libbie, Mike and Sam talk about Orson Scott Card, his merits as an author, and his flaws as a compassionate human being.   Should Card’s position as a board member of the National Organization for Marriage, and untenable positions on scientific “dogma” matter?

Mike’s new podcasts:  Mike & Pól Save the Universe! and Radio vs. the Martians!

Here’s a link to the PDF we referred to on the show.

NOTE: For a few hours after the live show on Sunday, this post had S11E5 attached to it.   This is now fixed. We’re sorry for the confusion, but this has now been fixed.   By all means, please redownload.  We’ll bump the post date to help out automatic downloaders.

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Yes, political positions and associations should matter when someone is contributing to popular culture. What kind of message does DC Comics send to the world by choosing this backwards biggot to write for them? I suppose they could be trying to pick up marketshare from Marvel after the Northstar gay marriage. I think that time will tell they are on the wrong side of history if that is the case. Superman is supposed to defend “Truth, Justice and the American Way”. What truth will he represent when written by OSC? Which American Way? The American Way that persecutes people for… Read more »


Bigotry has no place in a Superman comic book. I used to read Card’s stuff when I was a teenager, but when I found out what kind of person he was, I trashed all of his books, and will not read another one. I really hope DC isn’t aware that Card is a bigot, because if they are…

My parents are HUGE Superman fans. And I was(not kidding) born within hours of them seeing Superman II when it was released in 1980 so now I share Superman’s name (minus the hyphen), so this one’s kinda personal. 🙂

Andrew Antaro

Hello Ask An Atheist Crew,

Thanks for answering my question about the upcoming Star Wars movies during your TCC live show. I am excited about your new podcasts, but before I give them a listen, I would like to clarify your position on spoilers. Do your new podcasts always contain spoilers, never contain spoilers, do you offer a warning before you say a spoiler, or only spoil dated materials and if so then what is your line of demarcation?

Best regards, Andrew in Calgary, Alberta, Canada!

Mike Gillis

Hey Andrew, On my podcast projects, it’s pretty safe to assume that there will be spoilers, depending on the topic. On “Radio vs. the Martians” panel shows, we’re usually talking about dated material, or speculating about future material. On “Mike and Pol Save the Universe!” we’re of the mindset that we’re talking comics to an audience unfamiliar with them. We’re unlikely to spoil any more than it takes to entice someone to try something out. On both, you can assume that we only spoil to the degree that we think it’s necessary to make a point or convince a listener… Read more »

Kyle Hepworth

Really great episode, guys. Entertaining and thought-provoking. I’ll definitely be using the term “Card line” in future conversations.


All the talk of comic books and superman in particular reminded me of this horrible bit of Christian superman fanfic from internet evangelist Kirk Hastings.

Read at your own risk.

Andrew Antaro

At the end of this episode Libbie Grant mentioned The Life of Pi. I finally saw the film a few days ago. I don’t know about the book, but the movie toggles the Card Line for me. I enjoyed the movie, except for all the spiritual suppositions. Is there a specific name for the argument that life is more meaningful and joyful believing in a loving God versus believing in only a cold universe filled with nothing but atoms? The argument asserted in The Life of Pi has the same faults as Pascal’s Wager with its either/or dichotomy. The argument… Read more »

Mr. Lynne

Hi guys. Meant to get in touch with you last week, but got busy. Just a minor correction. You had mentioned, when talking about Card, about NOM and that it’s ‘huge’. Actually not so much – just rich. There was a lawsuit in Maine trying to get the donations list and they found out that NOM is 90% funded by just five people. They use the money to look larger than they are. Also they grab any opportunity to talk in front of a camera that they can. Ever notices that whenever NOM weighs in on something it’s always the… Read more »

Sam Mulvey

I think I might stand by my description as “huge,” since money in this case is a fair determinant of how large an organization looms on political discussion, and how much attention they’ve managed to gather. They also have the support of even larger organizations, like the Mormons. I certainly can’t say for sure, but the coordination between religions and NOM in the Prop 8 fight seemed very closely stage managed. When things are that close and coordinated, I tend to ignore the lines between organizations unless that information is tactically necessary. That said, I’ll happily accept your correction as… Read more »

Mr. Lynne

Everything NOM does is tightly managed – it has to be since their actual number of bodies is small. In a real way they are more of a small PR outfit than an organization. I do think that any description of them as ‘huge’ should be qualified. One might mistakenly take them for a grass-roots phenomenon, which they most certainly are not. Part of the whole impetus behind the Maine lawsuit was to get a handle on how big they really were. It’d be a shame to have won that information and have it not penetrate the well crafted perception… Read more »

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