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