2015 Speakers

Seth-AndrewsSeth Andrews

Seth Andrews is the host and producer of The Thinking Atheist. He is a former Christian radio broadcaster (explains the production quality being so absurdly good) and currently works in video production. He lives somewhere outside Tulsa, Oklahoma and went to a private Christian school for most of his time. He eventually deconverted at the age of 37.

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMatt Dillahunty

Matt Dillahunty is the current host of the webcast and cable access television show “The Atheist Experience”, and from 2006 to 2013 served as the president of the Atheist Community of Austin. He is also a founder of the comprehensive counter-apologetics Wiki “Iron Chariots”. Dillahunty is an outspoken atheist and fierce advocate of the concept of separation of church and state.

 


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AronRa

AronRa is an atheist vlogger and activist. His videos focus on biology, with an emphasis on countering creationist claims, and advocating rationalism in science education. He also posts written material on his website LocoLobo. He is the Texas State Director of American Atheists.

Aron Ra currently presents the ‘Ra-men’ podcast with Mark Nebo.

 

 

timthumbRebecca Vitsmun

Many remember Rebecca Vitsmun coming out of her atheist closet on CNN after saving her and her son’s lives from a tornado that destroyed their home. While standing in the rubble of her home and being proselytized to by volunteers, Rebecca made the decision to look for a humanist disaster recovery program to become involved with, only to discover none existed. During FreeOK 2013, Rebecca approached Dale McGowan of Foundation Beyond Belief to collaborate on the development of a disaster recovery volunteer program for the humanist community, and was brought on as a volunteer by FBB to develop the HDR Teams program. As HDR Teams Development Coordinator, Rebecca has collaborated with secular groups leaders, potential volunteers, and experts in various areas of disaster recovery, to develop the first national disaster recovery volunteer program for the humanist community.

 

Vyckie-GarrisonVyckie Garrison

Vyckie Garrison is the founder of No Longer Quivering, a support group for those escaping from the spiritual abuse of the Quiverfull lifestyle, practiced by many Christians of varying denominations, whereby they cede all family planning to the will of God and are vehemently pro-life.

 

 

 

 

Ryan-Bell_YWGRyan Bell

For 19 years Ryan Bell was a pastor, most recently the senior pastor of the Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church. In March 2013 he resigned his position due to theological and practical differences. As an adjunct professor he has taught subjects ranging from intercultural communication to bioethics.

Currently he is an educator, writer and speaker on the topic of religion, irreligion and humanism in America. In January 2014, Ryan began a yearlong journey exploring the limits of theism and the atheist landscape in the United States and blogs about that experience at Year Without God.

He received a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan and a Doctor of Ministry in Missional Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

 

Dr_Darrel_W_RayDr. Darrel W. Ray

Dr. Darrel W. Ray is author of The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture, and, Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality and is host of the podcast, Secular Sexuality. A psychologist for over 35 years and student of religion, he holds an MA in religion, a BA in Sociology/Anthropology and a Doctorate in psychology. Dr. Ray is interested in the intersection of religious infection and sexuality. His recent article on Male Shame, in American Atheist Magazine challenges some notions of shame and suggests new ways of thinking about shame in men and women. He also challenges such myths as sex and porn addiction, showing how these play into religious notions of sexuality.

 

Jason_HeapJason Heap

Jase (Jason) is the current applicant to become the first Humanist Chaplain in the history of the United States armed forces. After being away from America for nearly 15 years, he has recently returned to serve as the Executive Director for the United Coalition of Reason, based in Washington, DC. Through his work with UnitedCoR, Jase nurtures almost 80 local Coalitions of Reason, in addition to supporting over 700 cooperating and affiliated groups within these local coalitions.
Jase took double majors in philosophy and practical theology at Howard Payne University before attending Brite Divinity School (Texas Christian University) for an MDiv. He then studied for an additional Master’s in history and religion at The University of Oxford before completing further post-graduate certification from Sheffield Hallam University that allowed him to teach in the UK’s state-maintained schools. Among the 9 subjects that Jase teaches, philosophy, psychology, religious studies, and personal/social/health education have been his favorites. After working in the UK schools for 5 years, Jase went on to give 6 years of experience as the Headteacher (the UK equivalent of a “Teaching Co-Principal” in the US) of UK-curriculum “international” schools, and throughout his work, he has lived in and visited nearly 40 countries. He has recently completed a Doctor of Education in administrator leadership and his dissertation focused on empowering non-Western grassroots schools and teachers.