Caturday: Greta With All Three Kittens

Ahhhhh. So happy to be home again… with KITTENS!



So happy to be snuggling with kittens! So happy to be in my beautiful house, with my beautiful wife. So happy to be sleeping late on the weekend, listening to “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” walking in my neighborhood, buying fresh-baked bread, eating fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, tasting cardamom ice cream, re-reading Harry Potter, watching Project Runway, reading Vogue… So happy to not be traveling, not be desperately trying to write and self-publish a book in time for a ridiculous self-imposed deadline. And so happy to be snuggling with our cute, playful, mischievous, trouble-making, adorable KITTENS!

Can feel rage melting away. “Why Are You Atheists So Snuggly? 99 Things That Calm Down The Godless.” Ahhhhhhhh.

The Reason Rally, and Why It’s Good to Keep Hammering On About Diversity

There’s no way I can do just one Reason Rally report. It was something of a life-changing event, it was almost certainly a history-changing event, and I’m probably going to keep bringing ideas I got from it into my writing for some time.

So here’s the Reason Rally Idea For Today.

Those of us who keep hammering on about diversity in the atheist movement?

We need to keep doing it.

Why?

IT’S WORKING.

There was wonderful diversity at the Reason Rally. It wasn’t ideal; it wasn’t a perfect or even close reflection of the demographics of America or the world. (I don’t think it was, anyway: I was kind of in a distracted, blissed-out haze all day, and I wasn’t out there with a clipboard ticking off demographic boxes.) But I saw lots of women there, and lots of people of color, and lots and lots and lots of young people. As if it were the most natural thing in the world. As if it were obvious that this would be the face of atheism.

This is significantly different from the demographics we were seeing at big atheist events, even a few years ago. It’s so different, I have to assume that our conscious efforts to make ourselves more diverse have been paying off. [Read more…]

If Everyone Does One Thing…

I feel entirely incapable of writing a summary of the Reason Rally. I may take a stab at it at some point: right now, all I have is a generalized cyclone of sensations and impressions. This was a life-changingly stunning event. I am exhausted, and exhilarated. I feel like I could sleep for twelve hours. I feel like I want to bounce out of bed and take on the world. My voice is still raspy. My smile muscles are aching.

All I have right now is a generalized cyclone of sensations and impressions… distilling into one idea.

If everyone who came to the Reason Rally does just one thing for atheism that they haven’t done before?

This movement will be radically changed.

If you came to the Reason Rally, and you do just one thing for atheism that you haven’t done before? If you tell one person that you’re an atheist? If you start wearing atheist T-shirts? If you start crossing “In God We Trust” off your money? If you start hanging out with your local atheist group? If you organize one event with the local atheist group you already hang out with? If you donate money to one atheist organization? If you run for public office as an out atheist? If you start re-tweeting things about atheism?

If you do just one thing for atheism that you haven’t done before… this movement will be radically changed.

If you came to the Reason Rally, and you feel inspired and joyful and raging and touched and motivated to get involved? If you didn’t come to the Reason Rally, but you wish you could have, and you’re reading reports about it and it’s making you want to be part of it?

Think of just one thing that you’re not already doing for atheism. And do it.

According to Park Service reports (or at least, according to rumors I heard about Park Service reports), there were 25,000 people at the Reason Rally. 25,000 atheists who were joyful and inspired and raging and touched and motivated enough to get in a car, get on a bus, get on a plane, get on the D.C. Metro, and stand around in the rain for eight hours, because they care about atheism. And I have no idea how many thousands of people dearly wished they could have come, and are feeling the energy from this event radiating out of D.C. and into their living rooms.

Let’s take that joy and inspirationn, that rage and connection — and let’s use it to drive action.

You don’t have to become a full-time professional atheist to make a difference. You don’t even have to make atheism your primary hobby. If everyone who came to the Reason Rally does just one thing for atheism that they’ve never done before? If everyone who wishes they could have come to the Reason Rally, and who’s feeling like they’re part of it just from reading and hearing about it, does just one thing for atheism that they’ve never done before?

This world will never be the same again.

“Why Are You Atheists So Angry?” Available on Kindle and Nook

My new book, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Thing That Piss Off the Godless, is for sale on Kindle and Nook!



Regular readers of this blog already know all this already. But I suspect that I’ll be getting some new visitors to the blog during/ after the Reason Rally and the American Atheists convention. So I wanted to visitor to have all this information to be right up top.

The book is available now on Kindle and Nook for just $7.99. It’s coming out on Smashwords in a few days. It’ll be available as a physical print book in a few weeks. And yes, it looks like it’ll be published as an audiobook as well — I can’t tell you any details about that until all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed, but it’s looking very good. There’s a fun and informative promo video about it as well, which is on YouTube, and which I’ve also embedded at the end of this post.

Here’s the description, and some wonderfully flattering blurbs.

*

Why are atheists angry?

Is it because they’re selfish, joyless, lacking in meaning, and alienated from God?

Or is it because they have legitimate reasons to be angry — and are ready to do something about it?

Armed with passionate outrage, absurdist humor, and calm intelligence, popular blogger Greta Christina makes a powerful case for outspoken atheist activism, and explains the empathy and justice that drive it.

This accessible, personal, down-to-earth book speaks not only to atheists, but to believers who want to understand the so-called “new atheism.” “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?” drops a bombshell on the destructive force of religious faith — and gives a voice to millions of angry atheists.

“Greta Christina’s analysis of religion is acute and witty, and at the same time fair and compassionate. And I’m jealous: I sure wish I could write as well as she does.”
-Alan Sokal, Professor of Physics, New York University

“Greta has done something truly impressive with this book: She explains in a calm, reasonable, and thoughtful way exactly why she’s a pissed-off, angry atheist. She’s not alone, though, and it’s not only other atheists who will agree with her. In fact, I *dare* religious people to read this book and not come away furious at the often awful impact faith has had on the world, even if they don’t believe they’re responsible for it. I may be a “friendly atheist” online, but Greta definitely speaks for me in this book.”
-Hemant Mehta, Friendly Atheist, author of I Sold My Soul on eBay

“If only more people could channel their anger into something so inspiring! Greta Christina has written the perfect book for anyone who wonders about the true impact of religious dogma on women’s health, gay rights, science education, and the daily lives of those who have no faith. Her concluding chapter, which contains solid advice for how to make a positive change in the world, will ensure that you’ll have an outlet for all that rage you’ll build up by the end of the book. Trust me – you’ll need it.”
-Rebecca Watson, Skepchick.org

“I found this book informative and enraging! Leave it to Greta to inform and elucidate like no other. I highly recommend this book to everyone, everywhere. And I hope never to get Greta angry at me. :)
-David Silverman, President, American Atheists

“Greta Christina’s book offers a passionately lucid explanation of the reasons for atheist anger and its connection to the energy behind all movements for social justice. It is both informative and inspiring.”
-Ophelia Benson, Butterflies and Wheels

“They say if you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention. Well, Greta Christina is definitely paying attention — and in this book, she delivers a clean, bracing blast of atheist anger, like a refreshing cool breeze in a stifling hothouse of faith, that offers compelling reasons why all rational people of conscience should oppose religion and the harm it does.”
-Adam Lee, Daylight Atheism

“Greta Christina is one of the best writers on religion out there, period. I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time.”
-Chris Hallquist, The Uncredible Hallq

“This just became my number-one book to recommend to all believers and new atheists alike. I thought the field of atheist literature was all just rehashing the same stuff by now. But this is an original, visceral, and ultimately complete defense of not just atheist outrage, but atheism itself. Greta sticks to the undeniable facts-on-the-ground and articulates it all correctly and well, heading off every possible rebuttal with brilliant economy. She never gets bogged down in abstract philosophy, yet still hits every key abstract point, leaving you by the end with no rational reason not to agree, and finally kick to the curb that useless old religion, or get off your bum and really do something for the cause.”
-Dr. Richard Carrier, author of Sense and Goodness without God

*

And here are links to reviews of the book, from PZ Myers at Pharyngula, Jen McCreight at BlagHag, JT Eberhard at WWJTD?, Hemant Mehta at Friendly Atheist, Chris Hallquist at The Uncredible Hallq, Stephanie Zvan at Almost Diamonds, Hank Fox at Blue Collar Atheist, Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, and Dana Hunter at En Tequila Es Verdad.

Again, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? is available now on Kindle and Nook. If you read it and like it — please spread the word! Tweet it, Facebook it, tell your friends, write nice reviews on Amazon about it, stop strangers on the street to rave at them about it.

And here’s the promo video.

Enjoy!

“Why Are You Atheists So Angry?” Promo Video!

The promo video for my book, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, is out!

I had more fun than a barrel of monkeys making this video. Especially the part where… well, you’ll see. It was a challenge, trying to distill the essence of a whole book into a 3:16 video, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s a lot like the book in some ways: serious points and stuff, but also entertaining, and with some very funny bits. Especially the bit where… well, you’ll see.

It’s here on YouTube, or you can watch it right here on this blog.



Enjoy! If you like it, send it to your friends, link to it from your blogs, Tweet it and Facebook it and G-plus it, show it to your pastor, screen it at your Easter party. Remember: you can buy the book on Kindle, or on Nook. And many thanks to the video production team for their excellent work!

Atheists’ Existence Is “Controversial,” “Sparks Public Debate”

You really can’t get any clearer than this.

A bus company in Pennsylvania has rejected an atheist ad. I know. You’ve heard this story before. Moderately newsworthy, but unfortunately not that unusual.

This one’s different, though.

The content of the ad?

The word “Atheists.”

Plus, in smaller type, the names and URLs of the sponsoring organizations.

Period.



The transit company says they have a policy of not accepting ads “which could be deemed controversial or otherwise spark public debate.” And apparently, this ad falls into that category.

The word “atheists.” Not, “You know it’s a myth.” Not even, “You can be good without God.” No criticism about religion being mistaken; no assertion about the nature of atheist morality. A simple statement that we exist. This is controversial. This could spark public debate.

You can’t get any clearer than this. The mere fact that we exist is controversial. The mere fact that there are people who do not believe in God — not people trying to persuade believers out of religion, not people trying to get religion out of government, just people existing in the world and thinking to themselves, “I don’t believe in God” — this is controversial. This is a matter for public debate.

To give you an idea of what they don’t consider controversial: This same transit company has been running a bus ad saying, “God bless America.” Not a paid ad, either — a public service ad, at taxpayer expense. (I know, right? It’s like they’re trying to get sued.)

So there’s two things I want to say about this.

First: If there’s any doubt in your mind at all that bigotry against atheists is real — erase it. This is as blunt as it can get. This is a flat statement, from a public, taxpayer-paid utility, that saying our name in public will spark public debate. This is a flat statement — not from some blowhard on Fox News, not from some extreme right-wing fundie picketing a funeral, not from some nimrod in their parents’ basement writing venomous comments on the USA Today website, but from a public, taxpayer-paid utility — that it is controversial for us to even fucking exist.

And second:

If you think there is any possible way for atheists to organize, to create visibility, to create community, to even just come out of the closet, without angering or upsetting or offending people?

Get it out of your head right now.

I do not want to hear another goddamn word about framing, about how all atheists should be nice and sweet and diplomatic so religious believers can hear our message, about how if we’re too blunt or mocking or confrontational people will be offended and won’t listen to us.

You know what atheists have to do to avoid offending people?

NOT EXIST.

“Why Are You Atheists So Angry?” – Answers To Some of Your Questions

So a bunch of you have been asking a bunch of questions about my new book, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless. (Available on Kindle and Nook; soon to be available on Smashwords and in physical print!) So on the theory that for every person asking a question, there are a hundred people also wanting an answer, I thought that instead of answering them one at a time in the comments section, I’d answer them all together here.

First, in the You Didn’t Ask But I’m Telling You Anyway department: Why Are You Atheists So Angry? is, as of this writing, the #1 book on Amazon in the Atheism category. Not just the #1 Kindle book in the Atheism category — although it’s that, too. The #1 book in the category, period. And as of this writing, it’s the #120 best seller among all Kindle books. Yowsa. That doesn’t suck. Thanks so much to everyone who bought a book, and everyone who told their friends about it!

And now, to your questions. [Read more…]

“Why Are You Atheists So Angry?” Now For Sale On Nook!

And the book is now available on Nook!



Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Thing That Piss Off the Godless is now for sale as a Nook book! It’s already for sale on Kindle. It’ll be coming out soon on Smashwords — I’ll announce it as soon as that happens. All ebooks are only $7.99!

And yes, I’ll be doing a physical dead-tree edition as well.

If you read the book and like it — please spread the word! Tell your friends, Tweet it (I’m on Twitter at @Greta Christina , btw), Facebook it, write nice reviews on Amazon or Barnes and Noble about it, let people know about it on Internet forums, bring it up with your family at Easter supper. Help me spread the good news of atheist anger!

And here, for those who missed the Kindle announcement, is the description, and some wonderfully flattering blurbs. [Read more…]

When It’s Not God’s Plan: 8 Things to Say to Grieving Nonbelievers

If you know someone who’s grieving a death, and they don’t believe in a God or in any sort of afterlife… what do you say?

A lot of religious and spiritual believers find themselves stymied, at a loss for words, when the atheists and other non-believers in their lives are grieving. The comforts and consolations they’re used to offering, and that they rely on themselves, don’t do much good with atheists and other non-believers. “It’s all part of a plan.” “I’m sure they’re smiling down on you now.” “You’ll see them in the afterlife.” Etc. At best, these notions are useless for atheists: at worst, they’re actually upsetting.

Some believers behave very badly at these times. It’s all too common for religious believers to use death and grief, and the heightened vulnerability that comes with it, as an opportunity for proselytizing. And when confronted with the reality that non-believers usually aren’t comforted by religious sentiments, believers often get churlish and defensive: insisting that grieving non-believers should be comforted when believers offer religious platitudes, and getting irritated or even outright hostile when we don’t.

But many believers are entirely sincere in their desire to console the non-believers in their life. They care, they sympathize, they mean well. They genuinely want to help. They just don’t know how.

Which is understandable. Even some non-believers have a hard time knowing what to say to the grieving non-believers in their life. Many atheists were brought up in religion: they’ve been brought up framing death and grief in religious terms, and dealing with it with religious customs. And in American culture particularly, our social customs around death are very much rooted in religion. So when atheists reject those customs, they often don’t know what to replace them with.

So what, specifically, can people say — or do — to comfort and console the non-believers in their lives who are grieving?

*

Thus begins my latest piece on AlterNet, When It’s Not God’s Plan: 8 Things to Say to Grieving Nonbelievers. To read more, read the rest of the piece.

“Why Are You Atheists So Angry?” Now For Sale On Kindle!

The book is out on Kindle!

Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Thing That Piss Off the Godless is now for sale as a Kindle book! Yes, I’ll be selling it soon in other formats, including Nook, Smashmouth, and physical dead-tree books. But right now, if you want the Kindle edition, you can have it, for only $7.99!

And here’s a nifty, easy-to-remember URL if you want to pass it on:

tinyurl.com/angryatheist

Here’s the description, and some wonderfully flattering blurbs.

*

Why are atheists angry?

Is it because they’re selfish, joyless, lacking in meaning, and alienated from God?

Or is it because they have legitimate reasons to be angry — and are ready to do something about it?

Armed with passionate outrage, absurdist humor, and calm intelligence, popular blogger Greta Christina makes a powerful case for outspoken atheist activism, and explains the empathy and justice that drive it.

This accessible, personal, down-to-earth book speaks not only to atheists, but to believers who want to understand the so-called “new atheism.” “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?” drops a bombshell on the destructive force of religious faith — and gives a voice to millions of angry atheists.

“Greta Christina’s analysis of religion is acute and witty, and at the same time fair and compassionate. And I’m jealous: I sure wish I could write as well as she does.”
-Alan Sokal, Professor of Physics, New York University

“Greta has done something truly impressive with this book: She explains in a calm, reasonable, and thoughtful way exactly why she’s a pissed-off, angry atheist. She’s not alone, though, and it’s not only other atheists who will agree with her. In fact, I *dare* religious people to read this book and not come away furious at the often awful impact faith has had on the world, even if they don’t believe they’re responsible for it. I may be a “friendly atheist” online, but Greta definitely speaks for me in this book.”
-Hemant Mehta, Friendly Atheist, author of I Sold My Soul on eBay

“If only more people could channel their anger into something so inspiring! Greta Christina has written the perfect book for anyone who wonders about the true impact of religious dogma on women’s health, gay rights, science education, and the daily lives of those who have no faith. Her concluding chapter, which contains solid advice for how to make a positive change in the world, will ensure that you’ll have an outlet for all that rage you’ll build up by the end of the book. Trust me – you’ll need it.”
-Rebecca Watson, Skepchick.org

“I found this book informative and enraging! Leave it to Greta to inform and elucidate like no other. I highly recommend this book to everyone, everywhere. And I hope never to get Greta angry at me. :)”
-David Silverman, President, American Atheists

“Greta Christina’s book offers a passionately lucid explanation of the reasons for atheist anger and its connection to the energy behind all movements for social justice. It is both informative and inspiring.”
-Ophelia Benson, Butterflies and Wheels

“They say if you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention. Well, Greta Christina is definitely paying attention — and in this book, she delivers a clean, bracing blast of atheist anger, like a refreshing cool breeze in a stifling hothouse of faith, that offers compelling reasons why all rational people of conscience should oppose religion and the harm it does.”
-Adam Lee, Daylight Atheism

“Greta Christina is one of the best writers on religion out there, period. I’ve been waiting for this book for a long time.”
-Chris Hallquist, The Uncredible Hallq

“This just became my number-one book to recommend to all believers and new atheists alike. I thought the field of atheist literature was all just rehashing the same stuff by now. But this is an original, visceral, and ultimately complete defense of not just atheist outrage, but atheism itself. Greta sticks to the undeniable facts-on-the-ground and articulates it all correctly and well, heading off every possible rebuttal with brilliant economy. She never gets bogged down in abstract philosophy, yet still hits every key abstract point, leaving you by the end with no rational reason not to agree, and finally kick to the curb that useless old religion, or get off your bum and really do something for the cause.”
-Dr. Richard Carrier, author of Sense and Goodness without God

*

If you read the book and like it — please spread the word! Tell your friends, Tweet it, Facebook it, write nice reviews on Amazon about it, make upo excuses to mention it at cocktail parties.

And thanks so much to all of you for your patience and support. I know my blogging hasn’t been as regular in the past few weeks, and y’all have been very patient about that. I’ll probably still be crazed until after the Reason Rally and the American Atheists convention, and a fair amount of my blogging focus for the next few weeks will probably be very book-focused. But I should be able to return to something resembling normal in something resembling soon. I hope you think it was worth it! Enjoy!