Moderated table discussion between CVAAS and New Covenant church at the “Defense of Faith” symposium

In April 2008, the New Covenant Church of Fresno held a debate and symposium they called, “In Defense of Faith”.  This program was created by New Covenant in order to help its membership, “Explore (religious and secular) issues in depth and gain valuable skills in defending your faith in God and His plan for salvation.”

On April 18th, 2008, the New Covenant Church hosted a debate on the question of God.  This debate took place between Dinesh D’Souza and Michael Shermer.  On April 19th, New Covenant hosted a “Defense of Faith Symposium” which included Dinesh D’Souza as their keynote speaker, and included five “breakout sessions”.  

This recording is the result of one of those sessions, labeled in the schedule as, “A Conversation: Views on Christianity & Atheism”.  This was a moderated table discussion presented for “students only” and took place in the New Covenant Student Ministries building.

The participants of this discussion included – 

  • Loren Pancratz – college minister at New Covenant 
  • Dr. Avak Albert Howsepian – Psychiatrist, and member of the 1st Armenian Presbyterian Church

  • Mark Boyd – Cofounder & President of CVAAS – electronic engineer
  • Richard Moore – Cofounder & Vice President of CVAAS – software engineer

  • Scott Hatfield – high school science teacher and evolutionary biologist.  Methodist. 

This was originally produced to be part of the CVAAS monthly podcast series, and the introduction reflects this.  The audio is of good quality, and is due to New Covenant allowing CVAAS to connect our recording equipment directly to their sound system.  CVAAS was granted permission to publish this audio, and it was active on our older website.  Please be aware that due to the date of this recording, some references are no longer timely.

CVAAS is bringing this audio back online for everyone to hear. 


“Religious Philosophy” Mark Boyd interviewed on KVPR

Christianity in the California Central Valley gets a lot of attention.  In this August 2009 program Terry Phillips interviews guests with different perspectives.  

These guests include Reverend Kurt Rye of the Fresno Buddhist Temple; Amanda Peterson, President, Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno; and Mark Boyd, President & Co/Founder of the Central Valley Alliance of Atheists and Skeptics.

During Mark’s interview, Terry asks what is an atheist and what is a skeptic.  And Mark explains the beginnings of the atheist visibility movement, and why the motto “In God We Trust” is exclusive of some citizens, while the motto “E pluribus unum” is inclusive of all Americans.

Terry Phillips is no longer with Valley Public Radio, and his show, “Quality of Life” is off the air.  However, you can listen to archived shows of “Quality of Life” through the Internet Archive.