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Dogma Debate is a Classical liberal radio show and podcast on the PodCastOne Network that features discussions and debates about politics, civil rights, religion, and equality. It has a largely secular listener base, and currently has more than 5.5 million downloads and plays and over 30,000 weekly subscribers. The show is hosted by David C. Smalley, who calls himself a comedian. The show broadcasts live each week and is available as a podcast on many media outlets.
The 4th Listener
The 4th listener is a moniker for the regular listeners and fans of the show. According to the Dogma Debate press kit: “The 4th Listener is that one person that really gets the show. The truth is, Dogma Debate only has 3 regular listeners, and thousands of 4th Listeners. What started as a random comment, The 4th Listener has now become a badge of honor for those dedicated fans of the show, and we're happy to welcome even more into our 4th Listener family.”
While Smalley likes to portray himself as a calm, respectful debater who will engage with anyone of any worldview or political stance, this is usually only limited to his discussions with religious figures. When engaging with other people he disagrees with, particularly on the political left, Smalley has been known to get far more upset.
On one episode of Dogma Debate, he engaged with comedian Eli Bosnick to debate social justice issues, where he was also confronted with his cohost Alix Jules. In the episode, Smalley argued that if a black speaker on stage is making generalizations about white people, then he should be able to shout back at the speaker that the speaker is being unfair. He has frequently claimed that he knows what it feels like to be discriminated against, because he went to an all-black school. In the same episode, he said that Black Lives Matter protests shouldn't be allowed to shut down roads, on the off chance that an emergency vehicle needs to get to the airport.
This episode, like many episodes, are unavailable as unpaid content as old Dogma Debate episodes are archived over time, available only for special patrons of the show. This puts Smalley as the butt of the joke frequently, since other much larger atheist podcasts are able to be funded without setting up a paywall. It's also public knowledge that when patrons cancelled their membership, Dogma Debate volunteers would email the former patrons to ask why they left.
Smalley found himself in a major public dispute with fellow atheist podcasters Thomas Smith and Andrew Torrez in 2016. Despite claiming to be pro social justice, Smalley frequently stands against laws that prevent bakeries from discriminating against gay customers, on the basis that he doesn't want to record audio for Benny Hinn. Andrew Torrez, a lawyer, corrected a legal statement on a legal statement regarding gay discrimination by ChristianMingle that Smalley made on Facebook noting that Smalley was an amateur and not a legal expert. Smalley responded "Armature (sic)? Fuck you!", later calling Torrez the amateur because Smalley was the one who debates for a living. Smith invited Smalley onto an episode of his show Atheistically Speaking to mend any bad blood between them. Smalley used that time to concern troll to the two, and made demands that Smith apologize for being flippant in previous criticisms. Among Smalley's complaints were that Smith accused him of being drunk on a previous episode, though in that criticism Smith was trying to be charitable and came up with being drunk as a possible excuse for his curious behavior. Smalley ended the episode by hanging up after Smith didn't apologize to him.
After Smalley moved to California to join the PodcastOne network, his views shifted rightward. He has been more critical of what he deems as the regressive left and social justice warriors. He appeared on The Rubin Report, where the two bashed the regressive left and identity politics.
- Seth Andrews
- Peter Boghossian
- Greta Christina
- John Christy, Christian film maker
- Dr. Barry Creamer, Christian radio host
- Daniel Dennett
- Destiny Lab, Christian rapper
- Jerry DeWitt, author of Hope After Faith
- Matt Dillahunty
- JT Eberhard
- Sean Faircloth, author of Attack of the Theocrats!
- David Fitzgerald, author of Nailed: Ten Christian Myths that Show Jesus Never Existed at All and The Mormons: The Complete Heretic’s Guide to Western Religion
- Blake Giunta, founder of Treesearch.org
- Rebecca Hale, president of the American Humanist Association
- Eric Hovind
- John Karpf
- Lawrence Krauss
- Eric Lounsbery
- Keith Lowell Jensen, atheist comedian
- David McAfee, author of Mom, Dad, I'm an Atheist
- PZ Myers
- David Niose, author of Nonbeliever Nation
- Penn & Teller
- Nate Phelps
- Sam Phelps, Westboro Baptist Church
- Dr. Darrel Ray, author of Sex & God
- Cara Santa Maria
- National Secular Party
- Shelley Segal, atheist musician
- Dave Silverman, President of American Atheists
- Sam Singleton, atheist evangelist
- Andrew Skegg
- Jon Sorensen, Catholic apologist
- Todd Stiefel, Stiefel Freethought Foundation
- Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club
- Les Stroud, Survivorman
- David Tamayo, Hispanic American Freethinkers
- Sye Ten Bruggencate
- Neil deGrasse Tyson
- Frank Zindler
- AS274: David Smalley of Dogma Debate and Andrew Torrez. atheisticallyspeaking.com, 7 September 2016.
- David Smalley, How the Left is Killing Language. patheos.com, 2 October 2017.
- David Smalley, Reasonably Controversial: How the Regressive Left Is Killing the Atheist Movement. patheos.com, 19 June 2017.
- David Smalley and Dave Rubin: Atheism, Belief, and Political Division (Full Interview). The Rubin Report, YouTube, 2 October 2017.