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Jul 25 2014

Is There Any Line You Think Should Not Be Crossed? The Amazing Atheist, and What the Atheist Community Apparently Is Okay With

Content note: rape threats, rape denial, trivialization of rape and rape threats.

An open letter to anyone in the atheist community who takes an attitude of “We don’t have to agree about everything to work together” towards people in the community who make rape threats — or who assault women, harass women in person, or harass women online.

atheist scarlet letterDear Atheist,

“He may not be an ally of feminism but he’s still a cool entertainer.”

“Why is agreeing with people always an all or nothing game? There’s a lot of people I hate that I can sometimes find myself agreeing with.”

“The Amazing Atheist usually pisses me off… but this was, as his moniker says, amazing.”

“Long story short: he’s an asshole, to be sure, but, IMO, a harmless one.”

“Aside from being an ass at times (can’t say that I am exempt), has he done anything else since the incident in question?”

That’s what some of you said. When Hemant Mehta of the Friendly Atheist blog recently posted a link to a video by The Amazing Atheist — and when it was pointed out that he had made graphic, brutal rape threats in multiple public forums, including in his book — that’s what some of you said. (Note: Hemant has since said that he didn’t know about the rape threats, and that if he had, he wouldn’t have posted the video.)

In case you missed it, here are some of the things Amazing Atheist has said.

“I will make you a rape victim if you don’t fuck off.”

“I think we should give the guy who raped you a medal. I hope you fucking drown in rape semen, you ugly, mean-spirited cow.”

“BTW, you have to admit, when I told you that I hope you drown in rape semen, you got a little wet, didn’t you?”

“Well, you deserved it. So, fuck you. I hope it happens again soon.”

“Is that kind of like the way that rapists dick went in your pussy? Or did he use your asshole? Or was it both? Maybe you should think about it really hard for the next few hours. Relive it as much as possible. You know? Try to recall: was it my pussy or my ass?”

“Rape isn’t fatal. So imagine my indignation when I saw a chatroom called ‘Rape Survivors.’ Is this supposed to impress me? Someone fucked you when you didn’t want to be fucked and you’re amazed that you survived? Unless he used a chainsaw instead of his dick, what’s the big deal?”

“Just because you got raped, you have to rape the English language? You vindictive bitch! Also, don’t you ever get tired of being the victim? How many failed relationships are you going to blame on a single violation of your personal space?”

“Actually, I don’t believe you were ever raped! What man would be tasteless enough to stick his dick into a human cesspool like you?”

“I told her, ‘You’re lucky it wasn’t me. I’d have busted your fucking nose and raped you.’”

“Go get raped in whatever orifice you have to get fucking raped in.”

“I’m going to rape you with my fist.”

This is what you called “being an ass at times.” This is what you called being “an asshole…but IMO, a harmless one.” This is what you called “not be[ing] an ally of feminism.”

Atheists, I need to ask you: Is there any line that you think should not be crossed?

Is there any line that someone could cross that would make you unwilling to support them or work with them? Is there any line that someone could cross that would make you not link to their videos, not share their blog posts, not upvote them, not post admiring comments about them in public forums, not buy or promote their books? Will you really support the work of absolutely anyone, regardless of how vile their behavior has been, as long as they say one thing you happen to agree with?

Would you support the work of an avowed racist, who has publicly and unapologetically stated their opinion that black people are not fully human? Would you support the work of an avowed homophobe, who has publicly and unapologetically stated their opinion that LGBT people are mentally ill and should be locked into mental hospitals?

If you would — why?

And if you wouldn’t — why would you support the work of an avowed misogynist, who has publicly and unapologetically stated his opinion that women he disagrees with should be raped, and who makes public rape threats against them (visible to other rape victims, I’ll point out), in brutal, graphic detail?

Back_view_of_teen_boys_headShunning is an extreme measure. It is a last resort. We are a social species, we need other people, and deliberately pushing someone out of a community is a strong and harsh response to bad behavior. Accepting human imperfection, accepting that everyone screws up and does things we have serious problems with, and being willing to move forward from that, is absolutely necessary if we’re going to live and work together.

Shunning is an extreme measure. But if we are never willing to do it, even in the face of the most despicable behavior, we are saying that we will tolerate anything. Literally anything. We are saying that there is no line that cannot be crossed.

Now, reasonable people can certainly disagree about where that line should be drawn. We can disagree about how bad someone has to be before we’re unwilling to work with them; how consistently bad they have to be; how many times we try to reason with them before we give up.

But whatever our disagreements might be about where that line should be drawn, I would think that “I will make you a rape victim if you don’t fuck off,” “I hope you fucking drown in rape semen,” “I think we should give the guy who raped you a medal,” “I’d have busted your fucking nose and raped you,” and “I’m going to rape you with my fist,” would clearly and unquestionably place someone on the far side of it. The very, very far side.

And it is deeply distressing to realize that this isn’t the case. It is deeply distressing to realize just how many people in the atheist movement don’t consider that to be flatly unacceptable. It is deeply distressing that I have to calmly spell out why we should not accept people into our community who mockingly trivialize rape and make brutal, graphic, public rape threats. It is deeply distressing that this is a controversial issue in our community. It is deeply distressing that we even have to have this conversation.

Is there any line you think should not be crossed?

If you don’t — why not?

And if you do — why not this one? Why does “I hope you fucking drown in rape semen” fall into the category of “Well, I don’t agree with everything he says, but…”

In many instances, of course we can agree about some things while disagreeing about others, and agreeing when someone says (X) doesn’t automatically mean you agree when they say (Y). But when someone crosses a clear line into vile and unacceptable behavior, the community needs to make it clear that this behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We need to show that some lines absolutely should not be crossed, and that if people cross them there will be consequences. Supporting someone’s work when they’ve acted abhorrently means there are no consequences.

And that’s especially true in the case of rape threats, persistent harassment of women, and other misogynist behavior — because in the atheist community, we don’t, unfortunately, currently have a clear ethical standard that this is unacceptable. We have a culture in which it’s depressingly common for people to engage in this behavior, and for other people to defend, rationalize, trivialize, dismiss, or victim-blame it — without consequences, or without serious consequences. Leaders in the movement do this, and remain leaders. We need to change that culture. We need to make it unmistakably clear that we do not tolerate this behavior. Promoting people’s work who engage in this behavior is tolerating it. And tolerating this behavior helps perpetuate it.

I’m sure that you, personally, don’t like rape threats, or approve of them. But the way you personally feel about rape threats is irrelevant. What’s relevant is how you behave when they happen. When you support and promote the work of someone who makes rape threats, you are tolerating rape threats. I agree that with some words and actions, we can agree on some things and disagree on others, and set aside disagreements to work together. Someone who says and does what The Amazing Atheist did does not fall into that category.

I understand that when it comes to the divisions and hostilities in the atheist movement about feminism and sexism, many people want to remain neutral. But there is no way to remain neutral. You cannot welcome people of color into our community, and also welcome racists. You cannot welcome LGBT people, and also welcome homophobes. And you cannot welcome women, and also welcome hateful misogynists who want to rape us.

Emoticon_Face_NeutraNeutrality is not neutral. Neutrality supports the status quo. And the status quo, apparently, is one in which people who publicly make brutal graphic rape threats, and who express joy over the fact that someone was raped, still get to be respected members of the community with thousands hundreds of thousands of followers — because they sometimes say clever things about creationists.

Is that the community standard you want to support?

I keep thinking about something Juan Mendez said at the last American Atheists conference (paraphrasing here): “The atheist community is becoming more and more visible. In a few years, the whole world will be watching us. What do we want them to see?”

When the world looks at atheists, is this what you want them to see?

(Back view of teen boys head image by Alex Neman, via Wikimedia Commons)

Jul 25 2014

Greta Interviewed on “Equal Time for Freethought” Radio Show/ Podcast!

Equal Time for Freethought logo

I did a radio interview recently with Barry Seidman of the “Equal Time For Freethought” show on WBAI Radio in New York.

Coming Out Atheist cover 150We talked about Coming Out Atheist: How to do it, How to Help Each Other, and Why — why coming out as an atheist is important; how believers react to the idea of atheists coming out; the reality of anti-atheist bigotry; why believers resist the very idea of atheists coming out; my own “coming out atheist” story; the flaws in the “born this way” argument for LGBT rights (and why the fact that atheists aren’t “born this way” is no reason to be bigoted against us); whether becoming an atheist in the first place is more of an intellectual process or an emotional one; how coming out about our atheism involves both emotional issues and intellectual ones; some general guidelines on coming out as an atheist; some specific guidelines about coming out in the workplace; atheists’ experiences coming out to friends and family and how (and why) it often turns out better than we think it will; why believers often take it personally when atheists in their lives come out (and how to deal with it when they do); how political differences and religious ones sometimes intersect; why I hate the word “spiritual” with the fire of a thousand suns; and more.

Why Are You Atheists So Angry? coverAnd we also talked about Why are You Atheists So Angry: 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless — the view of anger in a “bright-sided” society; anger as a motivator to take action; anger as a sign of compassion; atheist anger and the Hobby Lobby ruling; the Supreme Court and religious contempt for women; progressive and moderate religion and why religious faith itself is inherently harmful; the argument that “science doesn’t explain everything, therefore God exists”; why atheists trying to persuade people that religion is wrong isn’t the same as trying to enforce our beliefs; when to get into arguments about religion (and when not to); pushing back against the force field religion has protecting it from criticism; why I don’t automatically have a problem with religious evangelism; anti-atheist discrimination among progressives; how being out as an atheist is inherently confrontational; why atheists and humanists shouldn’t ignore the value that people do get from religion and religious communities; whether working to persuade the world out of religion is a lost cause; whether truth matters; and more.

It was a really interesting, thought-provoking, challenging conversation. The interview is now available as a podcast. Check it out!

Jul 24 2014

“Had I known about them ahead of time, I wouldn’t have posted his video”: Hemant Mehta on The Amazing Atheist

Content note: rape threats, rape trivialization

There’s been some discussion and debate over the fact that Hemant Mehta at the Friendly Atheist blog promoted a video by The Amazing Atheist, a persistent and well-known misogynist who has repeatedly made rape threats and trivialized rape. (There’s info about the rape threats and rape trivialization at Dispatches from the Culture Wars and Pharyngula.)

Just so y’all know: Hemant has now said in the comment thread on that post:

To be perfectly honest, I was unaware of the threats he had made online until last night. Whether he was serious or not, I don’t tolerate them. Had I known about them ahead of time, I wouldn’t have posted his video. Sorry, all.

I do wish he would say it more publicly: it doesn’t do a huge amount of good buried in a comment thread where very few people will see it. But further discussion of this issue should continue with an awareness of this fact. So — well, be aware.

Jul 24 2014

Atheist TV Launches July 29!

Atheist TV logoThere’s going to be an atheist channel on Roku! It launches July 29. If you have Roku (the TV streaming device with a zillion channels), this is awesome news. If you don’t have Roku, this is your excuse to get it.

Here’s a description of what Atheist TV is about, from the press release:

American Atheists President David Silverman announced publicly this week during a speech at Stanford University the launch of the world’s first atheism-dedicated television channel, Atheist TV.

The channel will be available through internet-streaming service Roku, which offers devices similar to cable boxes that hook up to regular televisions. The atheism channel, believed to be the first of its kind, will begin broadcasting this summer. Content will be free.

“We’re going to TV because it’s part of our strategy of going to where we are not,” said Silverman. “There is a lot of potential here. From televangelists to Christmas specials, there is a plethora of religious TV programming to choose from. With Atheist TV, we’re filling a void: There are a lot of atheists and closeted atheists who are curious and want more. We have it, and the next step is bringing it to them.”

When Silverman says American Atheists has it, he’s being literal: The nonprofit organization recently digitized decades’ worth of television appearances from its 51-year history, including everything from mainstream TV appearances of founder Madalyn Murray O’Hair to current and archived episodes of its weekly syndicated TV show, The Atheist Viewpoint.

But the real highlight will be new, exclusive content: Content creators will provide programming for the new channel, which will stream 24 hours a day, 7 days per week in addition to the on-demand content.

More information is available at http://www.atheists.org/atheistTV

And here’s the promo video.

It includes a nice little snippet from me. (Alas, it also includes nice little snippets from Richard Dawkins and Jaclyn Glenn…but the TV channel will probably be pretty darned cool anyway.) The channel launches July 29. Check it out!

Jul 24 2014

“A powerful motivational tool”: Amazon Customer Review of “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?”

I’ve been reprinting my favorite Amazon customer reviews for Coming Out Atheist, and it occurs to me that I never did this for Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless. So I’m doing that now. Here’s a nice customer review, five stars out of five. (The book has 135 customer reviews, and 109 of them are either 5-star or 4-star.) Here’s what Bert56 had to say about it:

Good reasons to be angry!

This was the first book I downloaed to my new Kindle. It is full of great resources and is a powerful motivational tool. This book helped me understand my own anger. I rejected Christianity at the age of 55 after spending decades trying to hear the voice of god and feeling like a miserable failure. Now I`m as pissed off as Greta at the blatant injustices and cognitive dissonance of christians around me. Buy this book. The kindle version will even read it to you out loud!

Thanks, Bert56! And if any of you have read Why Are You Atheists So Angry?, Coming Out Atheist, or Bending, it’d be awesome if you’d post a review.

***

Here, by the way, is ordering info for the book in all three formats — print, ebook, and audiobook!

Why Are You Atheists So AngryEbook editions:

The Kindle edition is available at Amazon.

The Nook edition is available at Barnes & Noble.

Smashwords has the book in multiple formats, including iBooks, Sony Reader, Kobo, Kindle (.mobi), Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, any other reader that takes the Epub format, Palm Doc (PDB), PDF, RTF, Online Reading via HTML, and Plain Text for either downloading or viewing.

All ebook editions and formats cost just $7.99.

Print edition:

The print edition is available at Powell’s Books.

The print edition is also available at Amazon. However, be advised (if you haven’t been already) that seriously abusive labor practices have been reported at Amazon warehouses. Please bear that in mind when you’re deciding where to buy my book — or indeed, where to buy anything. (For the record: Powell’s employees are unionized.) Again, that’s the link for Amazon US — it’s available in other regions as well.

The print edition is available at Last Gasp.

The print edition is $14.95 USD. It is published by Pitchstone Publishing.

Wholesale sales of the print edition:

Bookstores and other retailers can get the book from Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and other standard wholesale distributors. It can also be purchased directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing.

Audiobook edition:

The audiobook version is available at Audible.

The audiobook version is available on iTunes.

The audiobook version is available on Amazon.

And yes, I did the recording for it!

Jul 23 2014

#KnitABrick Knits the Secular Community Together in Response to Hobby Lobby: Guest Post from Amanda Metskas

This is a guest post from Amanda K. Metskas, President of the Secular Coalition for America.

When I learned to knit more than 10 years ago, I never envisioned it would be relevant in my professional life. But with the results of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, now I am knitting to make a difference.

The #KnitABrick campaign came to us at the Secular Coalition for America in a staff meeting as we were brainstorming ways to raise awareness. We wanted to encourage people to do something productive, and since Hobby Lobby is a chain of craft stores, we soon had the idea to encourage “secular craftivism.” You can join us on our Facebook event, and craft and mail bricks to our office.

Secular craftivism includes buying your craft supplies somewhere other than Hobby Lobby and putting your needles and yarn to use to make a statement about real religious freedom: health care shouldn’t be based on an employer’s religious beliefs. We needed a clever hashtag to get attention for our campaign on social media and with that, #KnitABrick was born.

Since, our little campaign has burgeoned into a real movement. We’ve been mentioned in the Washington Post and the National Review, among other publications. People have responded in droves with bricks pouring into our office from all over the world – from places as far away as South Korea and Switzerland.

It has been incredibly touching and exciting to see who is sending in the bricks and why. We’ve gotten heartfelt letters from women and men all over the globe about why reproductive rights and true religious freedom are important to them and their partners.

We’ve gotten bricks knitted by 9-year-old boys. The Secular Coalition for Rhode Island came together and sent us 30 bricks. We’ve received bricks that are quilted, crocheted, and made from yarn that is every color in the rainbow. We’ve gotten bricks from people who learned to knit just so they could #KnitABrick, and we’ve gotten bricks with amazing detail work from expert craftivists.

It has gotten so that our favorite time of day at the office is when the mail arrives and we open up the packages of bricks—we’ve had days where we received more than 75 at a time. And as of yesterday we’ve officially surpassed our first goal of 400 bricks.

People of the less fibre-arts-oriented persuasion have been sponsoring bricks – including 11 awesome people who sponsored me to knit a brick for $100 each, and many more who sponsored interns and staff members to knit bricks for $10 or $25.

Our campaign goes until August 5th, 2014, which happens to be my birthday. For my birthday, please make me #KnitABrick for you. We’ll post a picture with your brick to our Facebook event.

Once we have the bricks in, we’re going to invite people to our office to seam them together – we’re joining as a secular community to rebuild the wall of separation between church and state, one knitted brick at a time.

Some people may say this is silly, and that knitting is not going to change anything, but they are wrong. It’s easy to feel powerless and disillusioned as we browse Facebook and feel outraged about problems that seem beyond our ability to influence. The #KnitABrick campaign is a way to creatively come together and fight that feeling of powerlessness. This campaign concretely demonstrates the ability of regular people all over this country to come together and send a message to our government.

So join us – #KnitABrick, sponsor a brick, share your #KnitABrick story online. You can knit the secular community together with your craftivism. Send bricks to 1012 14th St. NW, Suite 205, Washington, DC 20005.

Amanda Metskas #Knitabrick 1

#knitabrick map 1

#knitabrick map 2

Amanda K. Metskas is the President of the Secular Coalition for America and currently serves as the acting chief executive, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Coalition on an interim basis. Metskas has served on the Secular Coalition Board of Directors since 2009, including in roles as Vice President (2013) and President beginning in January of 2014. Metskas has served as the Executive Director of Camp Quest, one of the Secular Coalition’s voting member organizations, and Vice President of the Humanist Community of Central Ohio. In 2009, Metskas co-authored “Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief”, with Dale McGowan, Molleen Matsumura and Jan Devor. She holds an M.A. in political science from The Ohio State University, and a B.A. in international relations and psychology from Brown University.

Jul 23 2014

“If you only want to read one book on atheism, read this one”: Amazon Customer Review of “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?”

I’ve been reprinting my favorite Amazon customer reviews for Coming Out Atheist, and it occurs to me that I never did this for Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless. So I’m doing that now. Here’s a nice customer review, five stars out of five. (The book has 135 customer reviews, and 109 of them are either 5-star or 4-star.) Here’s what Marcelo Staudt had to say about it:

THE book on the subject

If you only want to read one book on atheism, read this one.

If you are a believer, it will explain you why atheists have a problem with religion. If you are not you will read a lot of what you already thought with a much better presentation.

A lot of the books on atheism have, like the guys from South Park said, a “whiny tone” to it, but not this one. The anger it carries just makes it be blunt and to the point.

Thanks, Marcelo! And if any of you have read Why Are You Atheists So Angry?, Coming Out Atheist, or Bending, it’d be awesome if you’d post a review.

***

Here, by the way, is ordering info for the book in all three formats — print, ebook, and audiobook!

Why Are You Atheists So AngryEbook editions:

The Kindle edition is available at Amazon.

The Nook edition is available at Barnes & Noble.

Smashwords has the book in multiple formats, including iBooks, Sony Reader, Kobo, Kindle (.mobi), Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, any other reader that takes the Epub format, Palm Doc (PDB), PDF, RTF, Online Reading via HTML, and Plain Text for either downloading or viewing.

All ebook editions and formats cost just $7.99.

Print edition:

The print edition is available at Powell’s Books.

The print edition is also available at Amazon. However, be advised (if you haven’t been already) that seriously abusive labor practices have been reported at Amazon warehouses. Please bear that in mind when you’re deciding where to buy my book — or indeed, where to buy anything. (For the record: Powell’s employees are unionized.) Again, that’s the link for Amazon US — it’s available in other regions as well.

The print edition is available at Last Gasp.

The print edition is $14.95 USD. It is published by Pitchstone Publishing.

Wholesale sales of the print edition:

Bookstores and other retailers can get the book from Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and other standard wholesale distributors. It can also be purchased directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing.

Audiobook edition:

The audiobook version is available at Audible.

The audiobook version is available on iTunes.

The audiobook version is available on Amazon.

And yes, I did the recording for it!

Jul 21 2014

So You Think You Can Dance, Nudity Parity Watch: Season 11, Episode 8

sytycd logoAs regular readers know, I’m watching the current season of So You Think You Can Dance, the mixed-style dance competition show, and am documenting whether the women are generally expected to show more skin than the men. (I give a more detailed explanation of this project, and why I’m doing it, in my first post in the series.)

I don’t have much analysis of this episode, except to point this out: There was literally just one routine tonight in which there was nudity parity. Every other routine had women more naked than men. And in all but one of those routines, the nudity imbalance was dramatic, with the women very noticeably more naked than the men.

All but one.

I’m just sayin’, is all.

(Also, apologies for the lateness — I was traveling, and only just saw the episode Sunday night.)

so you think you can dance s11e8 opening group numberOpening routine, all 18 dancers, hip-hop
Women are more naked than men, although not dramatically (some women have low necklines and backs, some women are completely covered, all men are completely covered).

so you think you can dance s11e8 jacque zackJacque & Zack, hip-hop
Woman is more naked than man (she has bare legs and short sleeves, he has bare forearms).

so you think you can dance s11e8 jordan marquetJordan & Marcquet, contemporary
Woman is more naked than man (she has bare legs, bare arms, deep scoop neckline, he has bare arms, deep scoop neckline).

so you think you can dance s11e8 jessica stanleyJessica & Stanley, jazz
Woman is more naked than man (she has bare legs, bare arms, scoop neckline, deep scoop back, he has bare arms, open back).

so you think you can dance s11e8 Bridget EmilioBridget & Emilio, jive
Woman is more naked than man (she has mostly bare legs, bare arms, somewhat low neckline, mostly bare back, he has bare forearms).

so you think you can dance s11e8 Emily TeddyEmily & Teddy, contemporary
Woman is more naked than man (she has bare legs, short sleeves, deep scoop neckline, deep scoop back, he has short sleeves).

so you think you can dance s11e8 Brookyln CaseyBrooklyn & Casey, jazz
Woman is more naked than man (she has mostly bare legs, bare arms, low neckline, low back, he has bare forearms, shirt open at neck).

so you think you can dance s11e8 valerie rickyValerie & Ricky, Viennese waltz
Woman is more naked than man (she has bare arms, low neckline slightly covered with flowers, low back, long skirt that covers legs but swirls up in twirls to reveal bare legs, he is completely covered).

so you think you can dance s11e8 carly sergeCarly & Serge, hip-hop
Complete nudity parity (both dancers wearing essentially identical skeleton costumes, both completely covered).

so you think you can dance s11e8 tanisha rudyTanisha & Rudy, Broadway
Woman is more naked than man (she has mostly bare legs, bare arms, low neckline, he is completely covered).

Summary:
See above. In all routines but one, the women are more naked than the men, and in almost all of those routines, that difference was significant.

All but one.

I’m just sayin’.

Jul 18 2014

Greta Speaking in Chicago This Weekend! Also San Francisco, Denver, Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, Charlotte NC, Sacramento, and Springfield MO

I’m going to be speaking in Chicago this weekend, at the Humanism at Work conference! It’s a great idea for a conference — hosted by the Foundation Beyond Belief, it’s centering on how nontheists can put their compassionate humanism to work for a better world, with presentations on philanthropy, volunteering, and community building, as well as practical workshops, panels, and hands-on volunteer opportunities. Other speakers include Leo Igwe, Rebecca Vitsmun, Alix Jules, Hemant Mehta, David Smalley, Caroline Fiennes, Brittany Shoots-Reinhard, Hemley Gonzalez, Pathfinders Panel (Conor Robinson, Ben Blanchard, Michelle Huey, Wendy Webber), and more. If you’re in the Chicago area, check it out!

Here are details about this and my other upcoming speaking gigs — including San Francisco, Denver, Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, Charlotte NC, Sacramento, and Springfield MO. If you’re in any of these places, I hope to see you there!

CITY: Chicago, IL (Humanism At Work, the Foundation Beyond Belief conference)
DATE: Friday July 18 – Sunday July 20
LOCATION: Hilton Rosemont/ O’Hare, Chicago, IL
HOSTS/SPONSORS: Foundation Beyond Belief
TOPIC: Coming Out Atheist — How It Helps the World
SUMMARY: Coming out is the most powerful political act atheists can take, and one of the most powerful acts we can take to make life better for ourselves and other atheists. But are there ways that coming out makes life better, not just for atheists, but for believers and the rest of the world?
OTHER SPEAKERS: Leo Igwe, Rebecca Vitsmun, Alix Jules, Hemant Mehta, David Smalley, Caroline Fiennes, Brittany Shoots-Reinhard, Hemley Gonzalez, Pathfinders Panel (Conor Robinson, Ben Blanchard, Michelle Huey, Wendy Webber), and more
COST: $149 — you can also attend just part of the conference for only $40
EVENT URL: http://humanismatwork.org/

CITY: San Francisco, CA (Perverts Put Out!)
DATE: Saturday July 26
TIME: 8:00
LOCATION: The Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission Street, San Francisco (near Civic Center BART)
EVENT: Perverts Put Out!, San Francisco’s long-running pansexual performance series, has featured stellar line-ups of truly twisted, mega-talented artistes — even an occasional naked mayoral candidate — since way back in 1998.
OTHER READERS/PERFORMERS: Princess Cream Pie, horehound stillpoint, Na’amen Tilahun, hosts Simon Sheppard and Dr. Carol Queen, and more.
COST: $10-25 sliding scale
EVENT URL: http://www.simonsheppard.com/simonsheppard%27su.html

CITY: Denver, CO (Colorado Secular Conference)
DATES: Friday August 15 – Sunday August 17
LOCATION: Radisson Hotel Denver Southeast, Aurora, CO
HOSTS/SPONSOR: Colorado Coalition of Reason, with other local groups
TOPIC: Celebrating Secular Diversity
SUMMARY: Making organized atheism more diverse will help make our movement larger and stronger. And it’s also the right thing to do. What are some of the obstacles to diversity? What are some practical steps we can take to become more diverse? And why is this issue so important?
OTHER SPEAKERS: Jamila Bey, Candace Gorham, Seth Andrews, Matt Dillahunty, Hemant Mehta, Mandisa Thomas, Rebecca Hale, Steve Hill, Raúl Martínez, Mikey Weinstein, Amanda Metskas, August Brunsman, David Tamayo, and more.
COST: $35 – $175
EVENT URL: http://www.cosecularconference.org/

CITY: Los Angeles, CA
DATE: Sunday, August 17
TIME: 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
LOCATION: Center for Inquiry-L.A., 4773 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA
HOSTS/SPONSORS: Center for Inquiry-L.A
TOPIC: Coming Out Atheist: How To Do It, How to Help Each Other, And Why
SUMMARY: See above
COST: Free for Friends of the Center: $8 for the public: $4 for students (with ID)
EVENT URL: http://www.centerforinquiry.net/la/events/coming_out_atheist/

CITY: Costa Mesa, CA
DATE: Sunday, August 17
TIME: 4:30 pm
LOCATION: Costa Mesa Community Center, 1845 Park Ave. Costa Mesa, CA
HOSTS/SPONSORS: Center for Inquiry-L.A/Community of Orange County
TOPIC: Coming Out Atheist: How To Do It, How to Help Each Other, And Why
SUMMARY: See above
COST: Free for Friends of the Center: $8 for the public: $4 for students (with ID)
EVENT URL: http://www.centerforinquiry.net/oc/events/feed_your_brain_lecture_series1/

CITY: Charlotte, NC (Carolinas Secular Conference)
DATES: Friday September 26 – Sunday September 28
LOCATION: Hilton Charlotte Executive Park, 5624 Westpark Dr, Charlotte, NC
HOSTS/SPONSORS: Carolinas Secular Association
TOPIC: TBA
OTHER SPEAKERS: Mandisa Thomas; Bria Crutchfield; Steve Ahlquist; Greydon Square; Harry Shaughnessy; Faisal Saeed Al Mutar; and DJ Alex Zygmunt
COST: $125. Includes the Meet and Greet which is also a costume party (costumes optional); all speaking events and workshops; and the Awards Dinner Banquet.
EVENT URL: http://www.carolinassecularassociation.org/conference/

CITY: Sacramento, CA (Sacramento Freethought Day)
DATE: Saturday, October 11
LOCATION: TBA
HOSTS/SPONSOR: Sacramento Atheists and Other Freethinkers
OTHER SPEAKERS: Annie Laurie Gaylor, Heina Dadabhoy, Neil Wehneman, Jason Frye, Sean Faircloth, and more TBA.
TOPIC: I’m not giving a talk at this event, but I’m going to be on their Authors’ Panel.
COST: Free
EVENT URL: http://freethoughtday.org/

CITY: Springfield, MO (Skepticon)
DATES: Friday November 21 – Sunday November 23
LOCATION: Ramada Oasis, Springfield, MO!
OTHER SPEAKERS: PZ Myers, Cara Santa Maria, Hemant Mehta, Dr. Nicole Gugliucci, Ben Blanchard, Melanie Brewster, JT Eberhard, and more.
TOPIC: TBA
COST: Free
EVENT URL: http://skepticon.org/

Jul 18 2014

“Clear, cogent, articulate”: Amazon Customer Review of “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?”

I’ve been reprinting my favorite Amazon customer reviews for Coming Out Atheist, and it occurs to me that I never did this for Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless. So I’m doing that now. Here’s a nice customer review, five stars out of five. (The book has 135 customer reviews, and 109 of them are either 5-star or 4-star.) Here’s what Mara R. Greengrass had to say about it:

I loved this book so much I’m already reading it for the second time

I’ve been hoping Greta would write a book about atheism ever since I first discovered her blog and she didn’t disappoint! This is a clear, cogent, articulate explanation of why atheists (like me!) are so angry, why that anger is important and useful, and what we should do about it.

This book is great for both atheists and the theists who wonder what in the world we’re talking about. But theists beware: Greta doesn’t pull any punches. (Nor should she.)

I can’t wait until there’s a dead tree edition I can send to my parents… [Note from GC - there is now a dead tree edition!]

Read this book. Now. Really.

Thanks, Mara! And if any of you have read Why Are You Atheists So Angry?, Coming Out Atheist, or Bending, it’d be awesome if you’d post a review.

***

Here, by the way, is ordering info for the book in all three formats — print, ebook, and audiobook!

Why Are You Atheists So AngryEbook editions:

The Kindle edition is available at Amazon.

The Nook edition is available at Barnes & Noble.

Smashwords has the book in multiple formats, including iBooks, Sony Reader, Kobo, Kindle (.mobi), Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, any other reader that takes the Epub format, Palm Doc (PDB), PDF, RTF, Online Reading via HTML, and Plain Text for either downloading or viewing.

All ebook editions and formats cost just $7.99.

Print edition:

The print edition is available at Powell’s Books.

The print edition is also available at Amazon. However, be advised (if you haven’t been already) that seriously abusive labor practices have been reported at Amazon warehouses. Please bear that in mind when you’re deciding where to buy my book — or indeed, where to buy anything. (For the record: Powell’s employees are unionized.) Again, that’s the link for Amazon US — it’s available in other regions as well.

The print edition is available at Last Gasp.

The print edition is $14.95 USD. It is published by Pitchstone Publishing.

Wholesale sales of the print edition:

Bookstores and other retailers can get the book from Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and other standard wholesale distributors. It can also be purchased directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing.

Audiobook edition:

The audiobook version is available at Audible.

The audiobook version is available on iTunes.

The audiobook version is available on Amazon.

And yes, I did the recording for it!

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