Got a nice customer review on Amazon for Coming Out Atheist: How To Do It, How to Help Each Other Do It, And Why! Four stars out of five. (The book now has 14 customer reviews — and twelve of them are five stars out of five, with one four-star review!) Here’s what David K. Chivers “fidchivers” had to say:
A readable, helpful guide,
In “Coming Out Atheist” Greta Christina provides a highly readable, helpful guide to the issues atheists face on whether and how to come out as an Atheist. While seemingly narrow in scope, the book’s audience is actually wider than you might think. For as Christina points out, coming out is a process that never ends for atheists, as even those who already consider themselves out are constantly entering new situations where the suggestions and examples in this book can be applied.
The book is basically segmented into three broad areas. The first question addressed is Why Come Out as an atheist. Generally she argues for coming out for noth personal clarity and peace of mind, and for the gmore general good of increasing the visibility of atheists in society, which helps make atheism more accepted. But she qualifies this with consideration of special circumstances, such as financial considerations, family considerations, and timing.
The bulk of the book then addresses the question of how to come out. Here, her chapter on “The Basics” outlines 18 general considerations that have to be given thought by everyone who is an atheist. Then, in in chapter after chapter, Christina explores and expands those basics while coming out in a variety of specific settings, from spouses to family, to friends, to co-workers, to the community at large. She discusses considerations as to the best order to address them, timing, and special considerations in certain situations. There are also special chapters for coming out in the military, in high school, as a clergy person, in highly conservative communities and in highly religious families. While some might be tempted to read only those Chapters that would apply directly to them (and this would work) all the Chapters have points that are applicable to a myriad of situations, and would be valuable to those coming out in any situation.
While many there are many variations of coming out, the two general categories are The Big Announcement and the slower, No Big Deal I Mention It When It Comes Up method. She does a good job of exploring how these work in the various situations above. In either situation she stresses one point – as much as you may try to control the timing to different groups, or even keep it hidden from particular groups, once you start coming out, be prepared for anyone in your life to find out.
The third and final part of the book addresses the need to build communities of atheists to support each other in coming out and living an openly atheistic life. The more people that do so, the easier it is for others to do so, both because of the ease of finding support, and the more general acceptance in society that sheer numbers bring. Also, a resource guide at the end is very helpful, with references and websites that even long term atheists may not know of. (I found several fascinating ones I did not know about.)
Christina is an excellent writer and journalist. Her style is breezy andeasy to read, and she follows up general points with specific, real-life, coming out stories and experiences that are
illustrative of the larger point she is making. She has a good ear for the telling story or comment from people who have come out, and how they dealt with specific situations.
Another point she emphasizes that far too few atheists pay cognizance to, is that the simple affirmation of “I am an Atheist” can seem to be (and actually is) a direct attack on people’s own beliefs. It’s not a case of “I like oranges and you like apples” but rather “You like apples, I don’t think they exist.” It’s more than a simple difference of opinion, and one has to be cognizant of that when coming out.
Another point Christina makes over and over is that coming out usually (and she does emphasize usually, and not always) goes much more smoothly and with much less trauma than people think it will. Again she follows up with real life examples of how it does and doesn’t go as well as people thought. But no matter how the coming out goes, Christina also emphasizes that in all but one case she can cite, every atheist she interviewed is glad that came out. The only regrets some have is the way that it came out, and that is where Christina’s book can provide a useful blueprint and life guide for any atheist.
Thanks, David! And if any of you have read Coming Out Atheist, 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!
The Kindle edition is available on Amazon. (That’s the link for Amazon US, btw — it’s available in other regions as well.)
The Nook edition is available at Barnes & Noble.
The Smashwords edition is available on Smashwords. Right now, it’s only available on Smashwords in epub format: I’m working to make it available in other formats.
All ebook editions and formats cost just $9.99.
The print edition is now available through 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 records: Powell’s employees are unionized.) Again, that’s the link for Amazon US — it’s available in other regions as well.
You can also buy the print edition at your local bookstore. If they don’t currently carry it, you can special order it. (Bookstores can get it from standard wholesalers; wholesale info is below.) Support your local bookstore!
The print edition is $17.95 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.
The audiobook version is available on Audible.
The audiobook is also available through Amazon.
The audiobook is also available through iTunes.
And yes, I did the recording for it!