Mathematician, author and self-proclaimed Jewish-Atheist Herb Silverman recently appeared on the Bad Christian Podcast where he discussed his views on various topics such as the war on drugs and America's perception of Atheists.
Both Silverman and Christian host Matt Carter agreed that the war on drugs failed to do any good for America and that most substances should be legalized. However, they also confessed to not using them.
"I am pretty abstaining [with most drugs]," said Silverman. "I live probably what you would call a good Christian life, except that I don't believe in God."
Carter admitted to being fine with the legalization of prostitution and drugs and believes that the decision to engage in such activity should be left up to the individual.
"I agree with you from a legal standpoint," said Carter to Silverman. I think both of those things should be legal. I don't know if a lot of Christians think that. Then I'm free to have my own opinion which would be to abstain [from those activities]."
Silverman also discussed the Christian perception of Atheists being "bad" or "immoral" people and says that he is not out to convert believers to be non-believers, but rather to encourage them to think for themselves.
"I don't want to go out and proselytize for Atheism," he said. If I do any proselytizing it's to say [Atheists] are kind and decent people, this is why we believe as we do, just because we don't believe in a judging God doesn't mean we're immoral, as many people in the [U.S.] think we are."
Even though Silverman doesn't believe in a supernatural God, he does think some of the things that Jesus taught regarding his followers treating other people with love were good and worth following.
"There's a lot that Jesus says that makes sense to me," he said.
He also admitted to not believing that the world would be better off without faith, as some militant Atheists do.
"For a lot of [Christians], I think their beliefs are wrong, but I can still respect them as human beings," he said. "I look at them based on their works, rather than what their religious beliefs are. I really don't know if [the world] would be better off without religion. It really depends on what takes its place."
In 1990, Silverman ran for Governor of South Carolina in an effort to take a stand against the state's law that prohibits atheists from holding the public office. He went on to pen Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt which was released in 2012. He was raised as an orthodox Jew, but eventually became an atheist.
Bad Christian is a podcast that tends to focus on building bridges and having conversations with men and women who hold opposing views to orthodox or biblical Christianity. The show is run by two Christian rockers, Matt Carter and Toby Morrell from the band Emery, along with Pastor Joey Svendson; they aim to have conversations with people who believe differently in order to understand where they are coming from.
The hosts profess biblical Christianity, but aren't afraid to have their beliefs challenged during the podcast. They've interviewed controversial figures such as gay-affirming pastors, ex-porn stars, and Christian musicians who left the industry after being disillusioned with it.