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God / No God Debate

Rev. William Devlin
Dave Silverman

THE GOD/NO GOD DEBATE: DAVE SILVERMAN vs. REVEREND WILLIAM DEVLIN

BACKGROUND:
How often has it happend to you? You’re flipping through the channels on your TV and you come upon a talk show where by sheer coincidence, they are discussing a subject that interests you (i.e. religion). So you pause for a moment, only to watch the debate evolve into a scream fest, with people calling each other names, interrupting instead of actually allowing their opponent to make a point with respect and dignity. Frustrated, you get a headache and change the channel to something else.

That’s not productive. Debates aren’t for screaming, they are for presenting two disparate sides of an issue before allowing the listeners to make up their minds.

God/No God is two people who hold vastly differing views on religion. Reverend William Devlin is an Evangelical Christian and founder of the Urban Family Council and Dave Silverman is the National Spokesperson for American Atheists.

Together, using your moderator or their unique format (see below) in which the audience chooses the subjects, they debate current issues–always in a respectful manner.

No screaming (well, not much), no raised fists, no chair–throwing. Just open and honest fast-paced debates that are different and relevant every time.

FORMAT:
Dave and Devlin will shape the event to meet your needs. If you have a specific issue that you wish them to address, or if you wish to provide a moderator, that is OK.

However, there is a unique format that can be used if you have no such moderator or specific needs . It is designed to keep the debate current, fast-paced and interesting. In short, the two gentlemen will debate what you tell them to debate, with no advance warning or notice.

The suggested “stages” of the debate are as follows:

  1. As the audience filters in, they are given cards on which to write questions for the debaters.
  2. A volunteer from the audience is selected (or a moderator is pre-selected) to be the “timer” and “topic-picker”. He or she is given a stopwatch, the container of suggestions, and one instruction: Limit the topic discussion to 7 minutes. The volunteer picks a card, reads it and starts the stopwatch.
  3. The combatants debate the issue in a respectful but forceful manner until they reach an impasse or the volunteer announces that 7 minutes have passed. At that time, the next topic is chosen from the container, read aloud, and the stopwatch is reset.
  4. After one hour of debating, Devlin and Silverman summarize, shake hands and smile.

ISSUES:
Dave is an Atheist, Devlin is an Evangelical Christian. The suggested topics up for discussion certainly vary, but mostly involve religion and can include:

  • Creationism/Intelligent Design
  • Posting the 10 Commandments
  • School Prayer
  • “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance
  • Faith-based initiatives
  • Is the USA a “Christian Nation”?
  • Why did God give us hurricanes?
  • Does God exist?
  • Did Jesus walk the Earth?
  • Gay Rights
  • Abortion Rights
  • Women’s Rights
  • Same-Sex Marriage

...or anything else audience members can dream up!

The God/No God debate between Dave Silverman and the Reverend William Devlin is available exclusively through the MasterMedia Speakers Bureau.

For further information, go to www.godnogod.com.

Below are the biographies of both participants:

 

William DevlinABOUT WILLIAM DEVLIN

…minister, founder, Urban Family Council, debate partner of Dave Silverman

William Devlin (he prefers to be called Devlin not Bill) is an Evangelical Orthodox Christian and ordained Presbyterian minister. He founded the Urban Family Council Philadelphia/NYC. A pioneer in urban ministry, his quick wit and kind demeanor has earned him recognition on a national scale, speaking on issues of popular culture on college campuses, high schools, at churches, conventions and medical and law schools.

He is a regular guest on Comcast’s Emmy award-winning program, “It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle”, and has been a guest on “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart, “Hannity and Colmes”, ABC News, ESPN Hollywood, NBC News, CBS News and FOX News. Devlin writes regularly for the The Philadelphia Inquirer and has been featured in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Gay News, and The Advocate.

William Devlin is a vice president of a Wall Street firm, www.ipgroup.info. A registered Democrat, he is married to Nancy and has five urban-raised children-Naomi, Sarah, Luke, Zach and Liddy.

He is a combat-decorated Vietnam veteran who was awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action and Meritorious Unit Award. He has an undergraduate degree in nursing and a graduate degree in religion from the Westminster Theological Seminary.

Reverend William Devlin is available to debate Dave Silverman exclusively through the MasterMedia Speakers Bureau.

For further information, go to www.godnogod.com.

 

ABOUT DAVE SILVERMAN

…National Spokesperson for American Atheists, debate partner of William Devlin

Dave Silverman has been an Atheist since he was six years old and began debating religion in high school. When he was thirty, his mother realized that it was more than “just a phase”.

After attending a protest in 1997, Dave decided to become an activist and soon thereafter was appointed the New Jersey State Director of American Atheists. After four years of service, he was asked to take on the role he assumes today, that of National Spokesperson. In this capacity, Dave has appeared on programs such as “Paula Zahn Now”, “The O’Reilly Factor”, “Hannity and Colmes”, FOX News, “Scarborough Country”, Nick News and “It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle”. It was on the latter show where he met Reverend William Devlin for the first time. He also regularly appears in major newspapers and runs the No God Blog for American Atheists.

Dave is also an accomplished inventor with seventy-four patents, holds degrees in Marketing and Computer Science, and has published several articles in the American Atheists magazine, as well as a cover story for Inventors’ Digest.

Dave has been married to a religious Jewish woman for fifteen years and has an eight-year old daughter who has already beaten him in a fair-and-square debate!

Dave Silverman is available to debate William Devlin exclusively through the MasterMedia Speakers Bureau.

For further information, go to www.godnogod.com.

Call for further information: 800-453-2887

 


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