Seth Andrews, of the Thinking Atheist podcast, has done a great full-length program about coming out as an atheist. He interviewed me at the American Atheists convention in Salt Lake City, and we spoke about my new book Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why. We talk about whether people can choose to be believers or atheists; why coming out atheist is different for different people — both because of circumstances and because we have different personalities; why it’s important for us to tell happy stories about coming out as well as the difficult ones; how coming out very often goes much better than we think it will; and more.
The show doesn’t just include my interview. Seth talks about his own experiences with coming out as an atheist — how he made the decision, how it affected his life and his relationships, and why he thinks coming out was right for him and made him happier. He shares his own advice on coming out. And he takes phone calls and reads emails from listeners about their own coming out experiences, and their own advice about it. He takes a call from a listener, who goes by the handle Black Nontheist, about his own take on coming out and why he thinks atheists should not be apologetic about it (a position I heartily agree with). He reads an email from a listener about why she’s afraid to come out as an atheist — even though her best friend was more than fine about it, and was mostly just saddened that she thought she had to hide it. He reads another email from a listener about why, even though he had some painful experiences with his family and friends, he still encourages other atheists to come out, and is happy that he did. He shares advice from one of his listeners, who wishes she’d come out in a different way and wants others to learn from her experience. And there’s more — lots of phone calls and emails, from listeners sharing their stories. It’s a really good program, thoughtful and challenging, with lots of different angles on the question. Enjoy!