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Atheism, Sex, and Sexuality – Greta Interviewed by Gay Calgary Magazine

Gay calgary magazine_mar11 There’s a really cool interview with me in the most recent issue of Gay Calgary magazine! I’m going to be giving a talk on “Atheism and Sexuality” at CFI Calgary on March 12 (as part of a speaking tour that also includes Edmonton and Urbana-Champaign in Illinois), and Evan Kayne at Gay Calgary Magazine invited me to do an interview to promote the talk. We spoke about atheism, sexuality, how religion and atheism intersect with the LGBT community, what it’s like to be a queer atheist in both the atheist and the queer movements, and lots of other interesting topics. Here’s how it starts:

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This month, the Center for Inquiry will bring in a speaker who is both atheist and queer. What she has to say is just as important to the LGBTQ community as it is to the atheist community.

Greta Christina was recently ranked by an independent analyst as one of the Top Ten most popular atheist bloggers. As a regular atheist correspondent for AlterNet, the online political magazine, she has been writing about atheism and skepticism since 2005. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and anthologies, including Ms., Skeptical Inquirer, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the anthology Everything You Know About God Is Wrong.

As well, Greta has written for years on topics including sexuality and sex-positivity, LGBTQ issues, politics, culture, and whatever crosses her mind. On March 12th, that will be atheism and how it can impact sex and sexuality.

This is important as most of us with a religious background contend with traditional religion’s sexual morality, which tends to be based on a set of taboos about what kinds of sex God does and doesn’t want people to have, rather than being based on solid ethical principles. While the sex-positive community offers a more thoughtful view of sexual morality, it often still frames sexuality as positive by seeing it as a spiritual experience.

However, according to Greta it still shouldn’t be. Instead, as she told me, “our sexuality and our sexual ethics need to be reality based.” It’s similar to, but an expansion on sex columnist Dan Savage’s concept that sexuality between two (or more) consenting partners need be “good, giving, and game”. It speaks towards our core ethical values and how it impacts our sex life.

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To read more, read the rest of the interview. Enjoy! And if you want to hear more of my ideas on atheism and sexuality — and you’re in/near Calgary, Edmonton, or Urbana-Champaign in Illinois — come hear me on my upcoming speaking tour, March 10-13!

Comments

  1. Nathaniel says

    Next to the article on the magazine scan was a full horoscope for all the signs.
    Seems we have a long way to go.
    I’m just a grump Gus though. You pretty much said all the good stuff that you have written on your blog. Kudos for getting it out there.

  2. Maria says

    Just what I was thinking too. Such a great article, about basing our lives on reality… next to the horoscopes…

  3. John the Drunkard says

    The horoscope speaks volumes about a recurring theme here: the underrepresentation of blacks/queers/women in atheist/humanist/freethinking circles.
    One reason why: these people are the most targeted victims of religion/counterfeit ‘spirituality’/Newage (rhymes with ‘sewage’).
    It sometimes feels as though we were complaining about the lack of tenured black professors…back in 1850 when it was illegal for blacks to learn to read.

  4. Sean says

    Actually, I was under the impression that queer people were not underrepresented among atheists. In my local social circles, at least, we’re overrepresented in atheist groups, particularly among younger people.
    Is this different in the wider atheist community?

  5. Rieux says

    Sean, that’s my experience as well. The atheist events I’ve attended have included large numbers of GLBTs. Which is great.
    I can’t say I’m impressed with Evan Kayne’s writing chops (a large proportion of that article seems to have been clumsily cribbed directly from certain Greta blog posts), but the publicity can’t hurt. You tell ‘em, Greta!

  6. Mike says

    I came to mention the horoscopes too! Too funny.
    But I’ll stay to agree that I’ve see a LOT of queer people in young atheist/politically progressive circles. If this is the trend, could it be that atheist queers are joining atheist communities for their support network while religious queers are congregating in the “traditional” queer community? If so it’s an unfortunate self-reinforcing division between groups that otherwise have a lot in common.

  7. John the Drunkard says

    Who is Zinnia talking about? Anonymous online trolls? drunken jerks at Atheist group meetings?
    Greta, have you any ideas or experience to add here?
    My own experience, in a slantendicularly atheist atmosphere, is that a goodly chunk of gay folks flock to opportunities for god-free community, while the ‘official’ gay media is solidly woo-dominated.

  8. Eclectic says

    John, what does “slantendicular” mean in that context? I thought it meant pretty much the same thing as “oblique”, although the word is used more to refer to shy or askance glances, and isn’t generally used metaphorically.

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