Godless Perverts Social Club in Oakland, Thursday Sept. 17! Discussion Topic: Sex Work and the Law

The Godless Perverts Social Club is in Oakland at Telegraph Beer Garden (2318 Telegraph Ave.) on Thursday, September 17! And for this meetup, we have a specific discussion topic: Sex Work and the Law.

With the recent shutdown of Rentboy.com by the Department of Homeland Security, and with Amnesty International’s recent statements that sex workers’ right are human rights and that sex work should be decriminalized, legal and ethical issues about sex work are being hotly debated. Do laws against sex work protect sex workers — or hurt them? What’s the result when laws and policies about sex work are written without the participation of sex workers themselves? How can laws and policies about sex work be written in a way that’s actually effective in shutting down down non-consensual sex trafficking, while protecting adults’ right to engage in consensual sexual activity? What role does religion play in these conversations — and what can the secular community bring to the table?

Kristina DolginThe discussion will be led by Kristina Dolgin, a long-time sex worker and lawyer. She is the founder of Red Light Legal, a new Oakland-based nonprofit that provides direct legal services, legal representation, community education, and policy advocacy to people working in the sex industry. Kristina advocates to reduce the stigma, discrimination, and violence associated with the sex industry, particularly for those who face intersectional oppressions due to racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and classism.

We are very excited that the Godless Perverts empire is stretching its tendrils into the East Bay! This Godless Perverts Social Club will be on Thursday, September 17, 7-9 pm, at Telegraph Beer Garden. Telegraph is located at 2318 Telegraph Ave., between 23rd St & 24th Streets in Oakland: it’s about a ten-minute walk from the 19th Street Oakland BART station, and is close to several bus lines.

We’ll be meeting in the back room behind the bar, so we’ll have a separate, somewhat private-ish space to talk about sex and blasphemy and whatnot. Telegraph has lots of food options, mostly in the sandwich/ sausage/ burger family, and including many vegetarian and vegan options. They have a wide selection of beers, and they also have soft drinks for those who don’t drink alcohol. (It is a bar, which means you need to be at least 21 to attend.) Admission is free, but we ask that you buy food and/or drink if you can. [Read more…]

“Should be in the hands of every hospital and military chaplain”: Darrel Ray on “Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God” (Now In Paper/Print!)

Greta Christina continues to provide unique advice and information to the growing community of seculars. We all need to consider our mortality and learn positive and productive ways to deal with our inevitable deadline. Thanks for this little book of wisdom. Christina has written a handbook we can all use. But it should be in the hands of every hospital and military chaplain, every hospice care giver, even ministers, etc. No secular person should be subjected to supernatural ideas and wishful thinking when they are dealing with death, dying and grief.

Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 200 JPGGot a really nice blurb about my new book, Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, from Darrel Ray, founder of Recovering from Religion. Thanks so much, Darrel!

The print/ paper edition of the book is now available! You can get it at Powell’s or Amazon, or order it from your local bookstore (if they don’t already have it)! The cover price is $9.95. The ebook is available at Kindle/Amazon (that’s the link for Amazon US — it’s available in other regions as well), Nook/Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. The audiobook is available at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. All ebook and audiobook editions are just $2.99. And yes, I did the recording for the audiobook.

Here is the description of the book, and some other very kind blurbs:

*

If you don’t believe in God or an afterlife — how do you cope with death?

Accepting death is never easy. But we don’t need religion to find peace, comfort, and solace in the face of death. In this mini-book collection of essays, prominent atheist author Greta Christina offers secular ways to handle your own mortality and the death of those you love.

Blending intensely personal experience with compassionate, down-to-earth wisdom, Christina (“Coming Out Atheist” and “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?”) explores a variety of natural philosophies of death. She shows how reality can be more comforting than illusion, shatters the myth that there are no atheists in foxholes — and tells how humanism got her through one of the grimmest times of her life.

“In this book Greta Christina tackles the subject of death with the insight of a philosopher and the relaxed candor of a friend — that really cool, intelligent friend who understands and cares.”
-David Niose, author of Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason [Read more…]

“Clear-eyed conversation about death and grief”: Valerie Tarico on “Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God” (Now In Paper/Print!)

From the time our daughters were little, one of my husband’s goals and mine has been to help them deal with grief without resorting to false hope or superstition. When small pets died, we created a simple family ritual about the natural cycle of birth and death — and we celebrated the life, however brief. When a friend’s suicide left them in anguish, we talked through the pain that can make living unbearable. When a companion animal’s suffering became obvious, we released that life together. We talk together often about the relationships, wonders, and sense of purpose that make life meaningful to us. When Greta Christina’s small, thoughtful book of musings about death becomes available, each of our girls will receive a copy.

Cheeky, smart, unflinchingly honest, and deeply personal (as always) — Greta Christina is a perfect guide for nontheists who are looking for clear-eyed conversation about death and grief. The comforts she offers are powerful because they require no denial or self-delusion and instead are rooted in gratitude and wonder at the gift of life — and the precious opportunities made all the more acute by their transience.

Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 200 JPGGot a really nice blurb about my new book, Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, from Valerie Tarico, Ph.D., psychologist, and author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light. Thanks so much, Valerie!

The print/ paper edition of the book is now available! You can get it at Powell’s or Amazon, or order it from your local bookstore (if they don’t already have it)! The cover price is $9.95. The ebook is available at Kindle/Amazon (that’s the link for Amazon US — it’s available in other regions as well), Nook/Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. The audiobook is available at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. All ebook and audiobook editions are just $2.99. And yes, I did the recording for the audiobook.

Here is the description of the book, and some other very kind blurbs:

*

If you don’t believe in God or an afterlife — how do you cope with death?

Accepting death is never easy. But we don’t need religion to find peace, comfort, and solace in the face of death. In this mini-book collection of essays, prominent atheist author Greta Christina offers secular ways to handle your own mortality and the death of those you love.

Blending intensely personal experience with compassionate, down-to-earth wisdom, Christina (“Coming Out Atheist” and “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?”) explores a variety of natural philosophies of death. She shows how reality can be more comforting than illusion, shatters the myth that there are no atheists in foxholes — and tells how humanism got her through one of the grimmest times of her life.

“In this book Greta Christina tackles the subject of death with the insight of a philosopher and the relaxed candor of a friend — that really cool, intelligent friend who understands and cares.”
-David Niose, author of Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason [Read more…]

“Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God” — Print/ Paper Edition Out Today!

Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 300 JPGThe print/ paper edition of my new book, Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, is available today! You can get it from Powell’s or Amazon, or order it from your local bookstore (if they don’t already have it)! The cover price is $9.95.

The book is also available as an ebook, at Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. All ebook editions and formats cost just $2.99.

It’s also available in audiobook, at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. The audiobook price is $2.99 (discounted slightly on Amazon, of course). And yes, I did the recording for it!

Here is the description of the book, and blurbs for it.

*

If you don’t believe in God or an afterlife — how do you cope with death?

Accepting death is never easy. But we don’t need religion to find peace, comfort, and solace in the face of death. In this mini-book collection of essays, prominent atheist author Greta Christina offers secular ways to handle your own mortality and the death of those you love.

Blending intensely personal experience with compassionate, down-to-earth wisdom, Christina (“Coming Out Atheist” and “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?”) explores a variety of natural philosophies of death. She shows how reality can be more comforting than illusion, shatters the myth that there are no atheists in foxholes — and tells how humanism got her through one of the grimmest times of her life.

“In this book Greta Christina tackles the subject of death with the insight of a philosopher and the relaxed candor of a friend — that really cool, intelligent friend who understands and cares.”
-David Niose, author of Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason

“This is a book about the philosophy of death that actually confronts the practical reality of it, and helps you come to practical terms with it… The best book on the atheist philosophy of death you are likely ever to read.”
-Richard Carrier, author of On the Historicity of Jesus and Sense and Goodness without God

“When I was very young, I lost someone close to me in a car accident. Almost more painful than the loss was the way by which those around me attempted to find meaning in the senseless death of a young person. This is the book that seven-year-old me needed instead of the endless religious tracts that assured me that everything happens for a reason.”
-Heina Dadabhoy, Heinous Dealings blog [Read more…]

More Atheist Leaders Who Aren’t Dawkins or Harris: Jennifer Goulet

In June, I wrote a piece for AlterNet, titled 8 Awesome Atheist Leaders Who Aren’t Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris. The gist: When a media outlet decides that atheism is important, they all too often turn to Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris. Then, when Dawkins or Harris puts their foot in their mouth about race or gender — again — the reporter cries out, “Atheism needs better leadership! Why doesn’t atheism have better leaders?” Atheism does have better leaders — so I profiled eight of them, to bring just a small fragment of the range and variety of atheist leadership to more people’s attention.

At the end of that piece, I wrote, “And these eight are the tip of the iceberg… I could write a new profile of a different atheist leader every week, and still be at it ten years from now.”

So I decided: Why not do that?

I don’t know if I’ll do it for ten years. But for at least a while, once a week I’ll be profiling and interviewing a different leader in organized atheism.

This week’s profile: Jennifer Goulet.

GC: Tell me briefly what your organization does and what you do for them. (If you’re in a leadership position with more than one atheist organization, feel free to tell me about more than one.)

Jennifer GouletI’m a co-founder and current president of the Tri-City Freethinkers, located in the religiously-conservative southeastern corner of Washington State. We bring religion-free community members together in person and online to develop the social support network that is often missing when one isn’t a member of a religious group. We have monthly meetups and several special events throughout the year that include picnics, parties, field trips, and a variety of guest speakers, authors, and performers. We often partner with other local organizations whose goals intersect with ours, such as the local LGBTQ groups, and when necessary, we put pressure on our elected officials.

We have a very active Facebook community with roughly 400 local members. It is a safe space where we can interact 24/7 to ask questions of each other, request and offer help, plan activities, make each other laugh, and vent about issues we are facing as atheists without religious family and friends seeing it.

I am also the coordinator for the Mid-Columbia Coalition of Reason and a co-chair of the Secular Coalition for Washington.

Tell me about a specific project or projects your organization is working on.

We are currently intervening in two of our city councils where “freedom to discriminate” resolutions, drafted by an out-of-state ultraconservative Christian organization, have been proposed. This winter we hope to erect an irreverent display in a local public park near a nativity that has been put up for years. We are in a perpetual state of planning for the next big event, guest speaker, or author.

Where would you like to see organized atheism go in the next 10 to 20 years?

I hope that atheism will become so widely accepted that no one in America feels the need to hide their freedom from belief. I want even more atheists out there doing good for good’s sake when the burden of constantly fighting for our rights is finally lifted. We will be free to fully turn our attention to social and economic justice issues, human rights, and environmentalism on a global scale.

I anticipate that we will become a more organized political bloc that politicians actively court. I expect to have more openly-atheist elected officials to more accurately represent our numbers (which I expect to be much larger in 10 to 20 years!). Once we are no longer a marginalized population fighting for our place at the table, look out world because we are going to do some amazing things!

What do you think are the main challenges facing organized atheism now?

Having sufficient financial and human resources is an ongoing struggle for mid-sized, locally-focused nonprofits like ours, though it has gotten better for us as we’ve grown. Our members have so many great ideas of what we’d like to do, but the question is always, “Okay, so where are we going to get the money and who has the time to roll up their sleeves and do it?” I expect a lot of groups around the country are facing these same obstacles. The national organizations understand the power of grassroots activism on the local level, and some are reaching out to offer assistance with their own limited resources, but as far as I know there aren’t any that are helping groups with two key undertakings — obtaining 501(c)(3) status and writing effective grant requests.

It can be overwhelmingly challenging and time consuming to achieve these two basic objectives when you don’t have people who know how to do it. Those barriers, when overcome, can be the key to launching a thriving, effective organization. Assistance in the form of consulting services provided by one of the national organizations or access to a network of volunteers who have successfully navigated through the process or even a “So you want to start an atheist nonprofit?” how-to guide compiled to specifically meet the unique needs of atheist nonprofits would allow group leaders to spend less time re-creating the wheel and skip ahead to the part where we get to work on all those awesome ideas that can have a direct impact on people in our communities when implemented.

Do you consider yourself a “new atheist”? Why or why not?

Jennifer Goulet Pride Parade with Flying Spaghetti Monster“New Atheist” seems to be defined in many different ways depending on who you ask or what you read. I will say that I am an anti-theistic Secular Humanist atheist whose ambitions intersect with feminism, racism, economic and political justice, and environmentalism. So no, I haven’t used the term to define myself. It doesn’t say anything about who I am, what is meaningful to me, or what I do.

Any questions you wish I’d asked, or anything else you’d like to add?

I’d add that I encourage people to get involved in their local atheist communities, and if there aren’t any, to consider starting one. When three of us first met for coffee almost eight years ago, I never dreamed we’d grow to 500+ people or that we’d be so active, organized, and visible. If you live in a conservative religious town, you may think you are the only atheist. I thought that, too, but I guarantee you aren’t alone. Build it and they will come.


Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 100 JPGComing Out Atheist Bendingwhy are you atheists so angryGreta Christina is author of four books: Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, and Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.

“Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God” — Print Edition Coming September 1!

The print/ paper edition of my new book, Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, is scheduled for publication September 1! And you can pre-order it now, from Amazon or Powell’s! The cover price is $9.95.

Comforting Thoughts print books in box

The book is also available as an ebook, at Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. All ebook editions and formats cost just $2.99.

It’s also available in audiobook, at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. The audiobook price is $2.99 (discounted slightly on Amazon, of course). And yes, I did the recording for it!

Here is the description of the book, and blurbs for it.

*

If you don’t believe in God or an afterlife — how do you cope with death?

Accepting death is never easy. But we don’t need religion to find peace, comfort, and solace in the face of death. In this mini-book collection of essays, prominent atheist author Greta Christina offers secular ways to handle your own mortality and the death of those you love.

Blending intensely personal experience with compassionate, down-to-earth wisdom, Christina (“Coming Out Atheist” and “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?”) explores a variety of natural philosophies of death. She shows how reality can be more comforting than illusion, shatters the myth that there are no atheists in foxholes — and tells how humanism got her through one of the grimmest times of her life.

“In this book Greta Christina tackles the subject of death with the insight of a philosopher and the relaxed candor of a friend — that really cool, intelligent friend who understands and cares.”
-David Niose, author of Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason

“This is a book about the philosophy of death that actually confronts the practical reality of it, and helps you come to practical terms with it… The best book on the atheist philosophy of death you are likely ever to read.”
-Richard Carrier, author of On the Historicity of Jesus and Sense and Goodness without God

“When I was very young, I lost someone close to me in a car accident. Almost more painful than the loss was the way by which those around me attempted to find meaning in the senseless death of a young person. This is the book that seven-year-old me needed instead of the endless religious tracts that assured me that everything happens for a reason.”
-Heina Dadabhoy, Heinous Dealings blog [Read more…]

Godless Perverts Story Hour — and Bridget Crutchfield Speaking in SF — Saturday August 29!

SF Atheists and Godless Perverts team up to bring you back-to-back events!

We have a Godless Perverts Story Hour coming up in San Francisco on Saturday, August 29! The Story Hour is the performance/ entertainment/ literary reading branch of the Godless Perverts empire — we’ll be bringing you depictions, explorations, and celebrations of godless sexualities, as well as critical, mocking, and blasphemous views of sex and religion. And we’re very excited to be bringing in an out-of-town performer — Bridgett Crutchfield, President of Black Nonbelievers of Detroit! Bridget is speaking to San Francisco Atheists in the afternoon (3:30 pm), and participating in the Godless Perverts Story Hour in the evening (7:00 pm). Both events are at the Women’s Building in the Audre Lorde room, 3543 18th St. in San Francisco (between Valencia and Guerrero), near the 16th & Mission BART station.

Bridgett Crutchfield

Bridgett Crutchfield

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Bridgett (known as ‘Bria’) was raised, baptized and disfellowshipped from Jehovah’s Witness faith. She segued to Pentecostal Christianity and assumed leadership roles as Prophetess, Intercessory Prayer Warrior and Evangelist. After thoughtful reflection and finally being honest with herself, Bria realized she was an Atheist. In 2011, she Founded Minority Atheists of MI, and founded Detroit affiliate of Black Nonbelievers in 2013. Bridgett has a heart for newly identified Atheists and those who’ve been hurt within the secular community.

Juba Kalamka

Juba Kalamka

Maggie Mayhem 150 square

Maggie Mayhem



statue-of-liberty

Liberty N. Justice

Anthony O'Con

Anthony O’Con



Chris Hall

Chris Hall

Greta Christina

Greta Christina


Our other readers and performers for the evening include Juba Kalamka, Maggie Mayhem, Liberty N. Justice, Anthony O’Con, and co-hosts Greta Christina and Chris Hall. So please join us at the Women’s Building for an evening about how to have good sex without having any gods, goddesses, spirits, or their earthly representatives hanging over your shoulder and telling you that you’re doing it wrong. The evening’s entertainment will have a range of voices — sexy and serious, passionate and funny, and all of the above — talking about how our sexualities can not only exist, but even thrive, without the supernatural.

This is a joint event, co-sponsored by Godless Perverts and San Francisco Atheists. Bridgett Crutchfield will be speaking to San Francisco Atheists in the afternoon (3:30 pm), on “So You Wanna Be An Ally? How to engage the African American community with sensitivity, forethought, and compassion in the face of opposition, oppression and racism.” The Godless Perverts Story Hour is happening in the evening (7:00 pm). Both events are at the Women’s Building in the Audre Lorde room, 3543 18th St. in San Francisco (between Valencia and Guerrero), near the 16th & Mission BART station. (Yes, that’s right — we’re NOT at the Center for Sex and Culture this time, we ARE at the Women’s Building.) Suggested donation for the afternoon San Francisco Atheists event is $5, with no-one turned away for lack of funds. Suggested donation for the Godless Perverts Story Hour is $10-20 — again with no-one turned away for lack of funds. We hope to see you there!


Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 100 JPGComing Out Atheist Bendingwhy are you atheists so angryGreta Christina is author of four books: Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, and Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.

The Problem of Nuance in a Wonderful and Terrible World

Content note: passing reference to sexual assault of minors. This piece was originally published in Free Inquiry.

slashed circle sign“Fundamentalist believers want everything to be simple. They want their moral choices to be straightforward: they want a clear rulebook that outlines their choices, written for them by a perfect god. They want the world divided up into clearly labeled categories, with good people in one box and evil people in another. It’s so childish. The world isn’t like that. And the world shouldn’t be like that. It would be horrible. Why would they even want that?”

Lots of atheists I know say stuff like this. I say it myself. And then I have one of those days, when I’m hit with a barrage of difficult, complicated choices with no clear answer, and by the end of the day I’m exhausted with decision fatigue and couldn’t even tell you what kind of ice cream I wanted. I have one of those days, when someone I thought I knew well does something that’s not just appalling but completely out of character, unlike anything I’ve ever seen them do, and the ground starts to crack under my feet as I wonder how many of my other friends are hiding crucial parts of their faces and their characters and their lives. I have one of those days, when the sun is shining and our backyard is beautiful and tranquil, and people on the other side of the globe are kidnapping schoolgirls and selling them into sex slavery, and I don’t know how to live in the world with it being so astonishingly wonderful and at the same time so deeply terrible. I have one of those days, or weeks, or months, or years. Or the world has one of those days, or weeks, or months, or years. And I suddenly get a lot more sympathy for the desire for an either/or world.

I don’t agree with it, of course. I’ll get to that in a minute. I don’t think it’s an accurate view of the world, and ultimately I don’t think it’s a desirable one. I’m just saying that I get why some people yearn for it.

Nuance is hard. [Read more…]

Starting with the Assumption that I’m Wrong

So I’ve been trying this thing. If I’m contemplating a change in my thinking or my life—especially for ethical reasons—I shift my perspective for a bit, and start with the assumption that I’m wrong.

I don’t mean this in a “proof by contradiction” sort of way, like in logic or math, where you assume that the thing you’re trying to prove is wrong so you can come to a paradox and thus find out that it’s really right. I mean it in a more practical way. I mean actually living and thinking, temporarily, as if my old ideas are wrong and the new ones I’m considering are right. I mean living with the new ideas for a little while, to see if my thinking gets clearer. And I mean experimenting to find out: If I were wrong, if I had to change—what would my life look like?

We all have a tendency to start with the assumption that we’re right. It’s just how our human brains work. We start with the assumption that we’re right, that we’re smart, that we’re good—and we work backwards from there. We come up with rationalizations for why the things we do, and the things we want to do, are right, smart, and good. (In fact, unusually intelligent people can be unusually good at this.) And when we’re challenged on our rightness and smartness and goodness, we get defensive. No matter how skeptical we are, no matter how conscious we are of cognitive biases—including this one—we still do this. It doesn’t make us bad people; in fact, there are very good reasons for why our brains work this way (among other things, if we constantly questioned every decision large or small, we’d become frozen, unable to do anything). This is just part of the unconscious background machinery of our minds.

But when it comes to important questions that I really want to look at clearly, rationalization can be a real problem. I’ve been looking at ways to hijack it. And it’s helped to start with the assumption that I’m wrong, to temporarily live as if I’m wrong and need to change.

Let me give you two examples.

*****

Humanist Cover Sept Oct 2015Thus begins my latest “Fierce Humanism” column for The Humanist magazine, Starting with the Assumption that I’m Wrong. To read more, read the rest of the piece. Enjoy!


Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 100 JPGComing Out Atheist Bendingwhy are you atheists so angryGreta Christina is author of four books: Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, and Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.

More Atheist Leaders Who Aren’t Dawkins or Harris: Lauren Lane

In June, I wrote a piece for AlterNet, titled 8 Awesome Atheist Leaders Who Aren’t Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris. The gist: When a media outlet decides that atheism is important, they all too often turn to Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris. Then, when Dawkins or Harris puts their foot in their mouth about race or gender — again — the reporter cries out, “Atheism needs better leadership! Why doesn’t atheism have better leaders?” Atheism does have better leaders — so I profiled eight of them, to bring just a small fragment of the range and variety of atheist leadership to more people’s attention.

At the end of that piece, I wrote, “And these eight are the tip of the iceberg… I could write a new profile of a different atheist leader every week, and still be at it ten years from now.”

So I decided: Why not do that?

I don’t know if I’ll do it for ten years. But for at least a while, once a week I’ll be profiling and interviewing a different leader in organized atheism.

This week’s profile: Lauren Lane.

GC: Tell me briefly what your organization does and what you do for them. (If you’re in a leadership position with more than one atheist organization, feel free to tell me about more than one.)

Lauren LaneLL: I am the co-founder and current Executive Director of Skepticon, the universe’s largest skeptic convention located annually in Springfield, MO. It is the mission of Skepticon to support, promote, and develop free-thought skeptic, and scientific communities through inclusive educational programming… which is just a fancy way of saying we all get together to share ideas, knowledge, and high fives. Skepticon is a non-profit organization that is run entirely by volunteer organizers — all the money we raise goes directly to funding the conference. Donate today and help us spread the awesome!

This year Skepticon 8 will be held the weekend of November 13th–15th, 2015 at the Ramada Oasis Hotel and Convention Center. Come hang out! We’re cool!

Tell me about a specific project or projects your organization is working on.

Our nonprofit revolves around the planning and execution of our conference. We spend all year fundraising, building, and organizing the best possible conference we can manage in all of our collective spare time. Over the past eight years, we’ve seen our con grow from a small student run affair to a wicked awesome con that spans three days and includes a dance, workshops, and as many dinosaurs as one can handle.

Where would you like to see organized atheism go in the next 10 to 20 years?

In a perfect world, organized atheism will fully embrace social activism and it will have propelled us into a bigger and brighter future.

What do you think are the main challenges facing organized atheism now?

The challenges facing the atheist movement are many: infighting, apathy, burnout, douchebags, diversity, sexism… the list goes on and on. I don’t think there’s one issue that is bigger than the others but there does seem to be some sort of cycle where one becomes more prominent for a while. For the record, I despise them all equally.

Do you consider yourself a “new atheist”? Why or why not?

If your definition of “new atheist” is one that means a godless person who values intersectional justice and activism — then absolutely. I’ve never seen my work in the secular movement to be insular or devoid of intersectionality with issues such as feminism, LGBTQ activism, racism, politics, etc. In my mind, these issues are all inherently linked and I have done my best in my activism as a heathen to reflect that.

Besides, if all this movement was about was whether or not a sky daddy existed it would be super boring.

Any questions you wish I’d asked, or anything else you’d like to add?

Skepticon organizersYes, I’d like to take a moment to encourage more people to do more things. This movement needs everyone at all skill levels to step in and help out in whatever capacity they are able. Don’t let the jerks scare you or keep you down — there are plenty more non-jerks waiting to be your friend.


Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 100 JPGComing Out Atheist Bendingwhy are you atheists so angryGreta Christina is author of four books: Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, and Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More.