Ep 164 – The Atheist Bible Salesman

Written by on March 15, 2015

Bob, Jake, and Randy are joined by special guest Trevor McKendrick aka “The Atheist Bible Salesman.” Listen in as they discuss his story of growing up Mormon, leaving the Church, getting married in the temple, and making money from selling Bibles… not necessarily in that order.
Also discussed: what it’s like to have Fox News cover your story without your involvement.

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  1. SantoAtheos   On   March 16, 2015 at 6:58 am

    Trevor has little to feel guilty about his business. Accessibility to the Bible was a huge threat to Catholic Church when it was only in Latin to maintaining their status quo.
    I left BYU to attend school elsewhere and minored in Religion with a focus on Early Christianity as a way to use those BYU religious class credits. Reading the Bible hardcore in a serious scholarly manner (i.e. not in the manner of piecemeal verses and not the joke BYU religion classes were in comparison) was the death knell of my belief in Christianity. Trevor is helping create more unbelievers with increased access to the Bible. Many famous unbelievers were created by studying the Bible, like Matt Dillahunty, Dan Barber, Julia Sweeney, Bart Ehrmann, etc.
    Funny that Fox News focused on the money aspect. I can guess what they worship.
    P.S. Still voting ‘religiously’ for your Podcast Award!

    • Bob Caswell   On   March 16, 2015 at 5:30 pm

      Interesting take/theory… I wonder, though, this isn’t as binary as it was way back when it was Catholicism vs. accessibility. Meaning, I’m pretty sure most (if not all) of Trevor’s customers already had access to the Bible, and this is just a more convenient version of it. That is to say, I’m not convinced this added convenience is incrementally going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for all these readers to eventually become disbelievers. But I suppose it could happen that way in some cases.

      • SantoAtheos   On   March 16, 2015 at 7:42 pm

        You are right, Bob. I wasn’t clear on how obviously most of Trevor’s customers already have access to a Bible and Middle Ages Catholicism was too binary an example on more accessibilty.
        With the audio version Trevor offers, a reader can’t skip around easily and miss some of the more shocking stuff and contradictions one stumbles upon when reading the Bible straight through. Like myself and those I cited, the added exposure of the Bible made it flaws apparent. Granted of all of Trevor’s customers, it might help a tiny few realize that the Bible is not a holy book, but those few are better than none to me anyday.

      • Bob Caswell   On   March 17, 2015 at 3:33 am

        You know, there’s a part of me that could have a lot of fun making up belief/non-belief projections based on probabilities of Trevor strengthening belief vs. weakening it… and then seeing where it nets out. But I’m weird like that. But I take your larger point: there’s a chance weakening is happening similar to strengthening.

  2. Heather_ME   On   March 16, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    What are the odds that there are believers who work at the publishing houses that put out books by Dawkins, Hitchens, etc? Or support the network systems that put out their content on the internet? I’d wager the odds are good. I don’t see how this is any different.
    But, I’m super jealous of the people who came up with the idea to sell post-rapture pet care to Evangelicals. So perhaps my moral compass is compromised. ;^)

    • Bob Caswell   On   March 17, 2015 at 3:39 am

      Yeah, I get the temptation to go with the reductive argument and say this is the same thing as working for Apple and wondering if you should feel bad for labor in China… But I think that example and what you said in your first paragraph are more Apples to Oranges as compared to Trevor’s actual circumstances. But then, your second paragraph makes it all better. 🙂

  3. Breanna McKendrick   On   March 16, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Haha. Enjoyed the episode guys! I technically don’t listened to Infant on Thrones, but I do listen when my husband on it. As for being “brutally honest, I think both of us are ok with that at this point in life, for better or for worse. It is probably healthier than denial or avoidance. 🙂

    • Randy_Snyder   On   March 18, 2015 at 5:20 am

      Breanna, I’m the one that asked if “you listen” which was erroneously interpreted by the guys as a question of whether you’re a “good listener.” I think your post proves that you are a good listener. And I agree that being honest in a relationship is the best way to go (with obvious exceptions) for better or for worse.

  4. Craig Keeling   On   March 17, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Trevor, I think the fact that you’re publicly acknowledging your atheism zeroes out any negative aspect to selling the app. You’re out there being honest about it, that’s cool.
    Also, as the holy app Creator, will you please pray for me to win the lottery? 😉
    Congrats on the success and the Fox News feature. Their discussion was priceless.

  5. Brenda   On   March 18, 2015 at 3:47 am

    The best and easiest way to leave the church is to move to a new ward and then leave… that’s what we did too.

  6. kc   On   March 23, 2015 at 4:02 am

    I dont get the continued dissing of Fox News on your show. I havent heard Glenn or Tom do this, but all the other hosts seem to use Fox as some kind of straw man for all things wrong, all things you disagree with. Sounds alot like when TBM’s call anyone or anything critical of the orthodoxy, Anti-Mormon. Even when Fox was quite fair to the bible salesman you all still criticized them. ala the Harry Potter and Atheist references on their blog site. Wasn’t this how the guest described himself?
    Anyway, Ive listed to Infants since the beginning and like the production. If Ive learned anything from my own TBM days its to keep an open mind, consider both sides, dont discount something just because I dont like the source, be skeptical of anyone in leadership no matter what side they are on, dont ad hominem attack, and gather the facts before proclaiming anything as the truth.

    • Bob Caswell   On   March 23, 2015 at 5:21 am

      We actually made mention of how Fox News was pretty benign in this case. But it seems like you might have missed the larger point (independent of Fox News): a supposed news source (really just a commentary source) edited together a sound bite from another source, which itself edited Trevor (our guest) quite a bit from the original interview. The point was that a story is often much more than whichever two-times-removed bit is used to fuel commentators.
      As for Fox News, aka bullshit mountain, I unapologetically do discount them as a source from years of seeing them get so much so wrong. The “consider both sides” approach is a red herring which more often than not is used to take advantage of the good will of well-intentioned people who like to think there’s an equally weighted other side to everything.

      • Gabriel von Himmel   On   March 26, 2015 at 7:29 pm

        Yes, a panoply of deities engaged in moral hazard makes for a mysterious brew.
        Selling the apocalypse because apocalypse is beauty to the believer is not an atheist undertaking unless there is a moral disjuncture in the fabric of reality.
        Trevor McKendrick aka “The Atheist Bible Salesman could insert, for the sake of integrity, a caveat, stating his personal need to make bucks, the moral fabric for selling while he, Trevor, holds no solidarity is indeed quite Mormon.
        I’m not sure where one could go with this ethical creep? Seems the Saints are ethically tone-deaf, the possibilities are endless. When shaping a philosophy around the duplicity, once the rubicon is crossed, why not expand the APP to include material for Scientologists, Muslims, Mormons, Ultra Orthodox Jews and Satanists?
        From there a MLM scheme the next step is to expand the empire. Trevor’s empire could include bobble-head dolls too.
        Glenn Beck has no problems, Trevor is yet another marketing minion too.

      • Brother Jake   On   March 27, 2015 at 2:10 pm

        Inscrutable, frenzied, and vaguely antagonistic.
        That’s some classic von Himmel right there.

      • Gabriel von Himmel   On   March 27, 2015 at 10:57 pm

        Brother Jake, painting me as Inscrutable,
        frenzied, and vaguely antagonistic –– Yet you can fly above the fray with your calling?

        Please how much less inscrutable, frenzied and vaguely antagonistic is the persistence of doubt you broadcast as Brother Jake?
        Is it in the degrees of glory or that I’m less of a human and too much of a gentile to engage in mormon intrigue.
        Please explain?
        I am a Constitutional Humanist, a pantheist and a believing agnostic, another charter strutting and fretting as you do. This hour upon the stage is cluttered with much divisive skree and debris.
        I love your podcasts, I love your Brother Jake series of snippets.
        They for me are pure genius.
        Please Jake, one of my sister-wives (Ephima Morphew) went to the mat for you on your mormon stories podcast.
        She’s my main sweeze and defender of the american way.
        PAX, Gabriel von Himmel

    • Randy_Snyder   On   April 17, 2015 at 7:57 am

      Jesus Christ KC, I have as much interest defending my dismissal of Fox News to you as I do explaining the stupidity of homeopathy or explaining the immorality of shariah law. The false notion, in my opinion, of the “integrity” of keeping an unconditional open mind in all things is really annoying to me and naive in my opinion. Read the book The Loudest Voice in the Room and let me know what you think.

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