“Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God” Ordering Info

Where can you buy my book, Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God?

Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 300This page has the most current ordering info for my new book, Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God — in ebook, audiobook, and print editions. The page will be updated as ordering info changes.

Ebook edition:

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.
All ebook editions and formats cost just $2.99.

Audiobook edition:

The audiobook version is scheduled for publication on December 30. It will be available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. And yes, I did the recording for it!

Print edition:

Plans for a print edition are in the works, but there’s currently no publication date scheduled.

Here is the description of the book. Watch this space for future announcements! [Read more…]

Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God – Mini-Book Scheduled for Publication in December!

I’ve put together a mini-book collection of my essays about death and mortality, Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God. It’s scheduled for publication in audiobook and ebook in December!

Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong copy

Here’s the description:


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-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 naturalistic philosophies of death. She shows how reality can be more comforting than wishful thinking, 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.


The artwork is by Alex Gabriel, of the Godlessness in Theory blog. He writes here about his thought process in designing the cover art. Alex also did major copy editing work on Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why. If you’re looking for a graphic designer or a copy editor, I can recommend him unequivocally.

Coming Out Atheist Bendingwhy are you atheists so angryGreta Christina’s books, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why and Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless, are available in print, ebook, and audiobook. Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More is available in ebook and audiobook.

Support Grief Beyond Belief, and Help it Expand to Offline, In-the-flesh Secular Grief Support

This is a guest post from Rebecca Hensler.

grief beyond beliefSince I founded Grief Beyond Belief three-and-a-half years ago, members of the community have asked for referrals to in-person secular support groups, somewhere to talk about their grief and sorrow face-to-face, without risking responses about heaven or “God’s plan.” The longing for a real-life secular grief support group is both our community’s most frequently-voiced need and the one that plagues me most in its difficulty to meet.

The problem is that the places in which secular support is most needed are the very places where it is hardest for grieving nonbelievers to find each other. In cities, on the coasts, and outside the US, a grieving freethinker is likely to already have a support network made up at least partially of other nonbelievers; in the southern and midwestern US, a grieving freethinker is likely to be surrounded by believers who — however caring and well-intentioned — cannot understand the way a nonbeliever grieves. And while members in urban areas may be made uncomfortable by periodic references to heaven or psychics at mainstream grief-support groups, members in the bible belt and rural areas are way more likely to find that the in-person grief support group in their area is faith-based, provided by a church, or held at a church, and thus cannot be a place of comfort.

Online grief support for nonbelievers solves the problem of a low concentration of secularity in certain geographic areas by taking physical proximity out of the equation. But that is only one of its advantages; the other is that it is easy to provide for free.

Grief Beyond Belief is a labor of love, and one that is remarkably inexpensive, as long as our compassionate, rational, and devoted volunteers are willing to contribute substantial time and effort to maintaining the safety and secularity of the online spaces. I have so far been able to pay the minimal web-hosting costs out of pocket with help from a few donors. The Facebook-based Grief Beyond Belief public page and GBBGroup (the confidential group where most community members seek support), cost nothing but time.

But when it comes to emotional support, there is really nothing like meeting face-to-face. So bringing Grief Beyond Belief from the internet into the real world — particularly in places where it is difficult for grieving atheists and other nonbelievers to find grief support — is one of my long-term goals.

I took the first step last year at Skepticon, a free secular conference in Springfield Missouri, by running a grief support workshop for conference attendees and others who traveled to the conference site for the workshop itself. So many participated in the workshop that we could barely seat everyone in a circle. It was a moving experience to be able to talk about our grief with other freethinkers and share comfort face-to-face for the first time with the Grief Beyond Belief community. I would like to hold this kind of grief support workshop at more conferences and events, especially in the midwest and southern states where the need seems particularly great. Eventually I would like to train others to facilitate similar meetings, creating even more opportunity for grieving nonbelievers to share support in person.

I will be facilitating another grief support workshop at Skepticon on November 21 and I am very happy to have the opportunity. But the travel costs verge on prohibitive, even without factoring in the missed days of work. I have never expected to make a living from providing secular grief support, but it is currently costing me more than I can afford to expand Grief Beyond Belief offline. I need to suck it up and ask for help.

So I am requesting donations to Grief Beyond Belief. Absolutely anything will help bring secular support to more grieving atheists and other freethinkers. So if you can afford to give a little – or even a lot – please click here to donate.

I’m also looking for additional opportunities to lead grief support circles wherever they are needed. If your secular organization, Humanist society, Sunday Assembly, or other group of freethinkers would like to host a Grief Beyond Belief Workshop, and are either in the SF Bay Area or can provide for travel, please contact me at griefbeyondbelief@gmail.com.

Peter Boghossian “Responds” About Gay Pride

So Peter Boghossian has responded to the criticism of his comment about gay pride, the one where he said on Twitter and Facebook:

I’ve never understood how someone could be proud of being gay. How can one be proud of something one didn’t work for?

Well, okay. “Respond” is putting it strongly. Peter Boghossian has, airquotes, “responded” to the criticism of his comment about gay pride. On Twitter and Facebook, he’s said (among a few other similar things):

Questioning that one can be proud to be gay is a leftist blasphemy. #justbornthatway

and this:

I’m looking for an entirely new group of ideologues to enrage. What word should I disambiguate next?

It’s hard not to notice that Boghossian isn’t actually responding to the criticism. A lot of smart, thoughtful people have explained in some detail exactly why what he said was both mistaken and harmful (here’s my response), and his response is essentially, “Yeah, well, you’re poopyheads.”


The “Coming Out Atheist” Donation Recipient for October 2014: Foundation Beyond Belief!

Coming Out Atheist coverAs some of you may already know, I’ve pledged to donate 10% of my income from my new book, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why, to atheist organizations, charities, and projects.

Here’s why. I got lots of help with this book, and working on it felt very much like a collaboration, a community effort. (To some extent that’s true with any book, but it was even more true with this one.) Because coming out is really different for different atheists, it was hugely important to get detailed feedback on the book, so my personal perspective wasn’t completely skewing my depiction of other people’s experiences. So I asked lots of friends and colleagues to give me detailed feedback on the book: either on the book as a whole, or on particular chapters about atheists with very different experiences from mine (such as the chapters on parents, students, clergy, people in the U.S. military, and people in theocracies). Many people were very generous with their time helping out: they put a whole lot of time and work and thought into a project that wasn’t theirs, because they thought it would benefit the community. And, of course, I had the help of the hundreds of people who wrote in with their coming-out story, or who told their coming-out story in one of the books or websites I cited, or who just told me your coming-out story in person.

Foundation Beyond Belief logoI want to give some of that back. So I’m donating 10% of my income from this book to atheist organizations, charities, and projects: a different one each month. Each month, one of the people who helped with the book gets to pick the recipient. The recipient for September 2014, chosen by Catherine Dunphy, is the Foundation Beyond Belief. [Read more…]

Godless Perverts Social Club, Nov. 4 and Nov. 20!

Godless Perverts Banner

The Godless Perverts Social Club is now meeting in San Francisco twice a month — first Tuesdays, and third Thursdays! In November, we’ll be meeting Tuesday November 4, and Thursday November 20.

The Godless Perverts Social Club is the socializing/ hanging out branch of the Godless Perverts. Community is one of the reasons we started the organization. There are few enough places to land when you decide that you’re an atheist; far fewer if you’re also LGBT, queer, kinky, poly, trans, or are just interested in sexuality. And the sex-positive/ alt-sex/ whatever- you- want- to- call- it community isn’t always the most welcoming place for non-believers. So please join us — on Tuesday November 4, and/or on Thursday November 20! [Read more…]

Is It Ethical to Conceal Your Atheism?

This piece was originally published in Free Inquiry magazine.

Let’s say you’re an atheist. Let’s say you’re a college student. Let’s say your parents are supporting you, including paying your tuition. And let’s say your parents are adamantly opposed to atheism — so much so that if they learned about your atheism, they would stop paying your tuition, cut off all financial support, and cut you out of the family. (Not a hypothetical situation, unfortunately.)

Is it ethical to conceal your atheism?

Coming Out AtheistWe often treat this question, and questions like it, as a no-brainer. In my book, Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why, I repeatedly counsel atheists to hold off on coming out if they don’t think it’s safe — if they think it will get them fired from their jobs, cut off by their parents, kicked out of their homes. I do think coming out is ultimately the right choice for most people — overwhelmingly, most atheists who have come out say it made their lives better and they’re glad they did it — but I think it makes sense to hold off if the timing is bad. As I delicately phrased it in the book, “Don’t screw up your life.” I give this advice without hesitation, and it’s mostly accepted without hesitation.

But I’ve gotten some questions about this — yes, from atheists — that have made me look at this question more carefully. I’m still coming to the same conclusion — but I think it’s more difficult than I’d originally thought, with a more nuanced answer.

The issue at hand: If people are giving you something, and they wouldn’t give it to you if they knew something about you, is it ethical to lie about that information, or even simply to withhold it? If a boss were considering hiring you, and you knew they wouldn’t if they knew about your embezzlement conviction, is it ethical for you to conceal that? If someone you were dating were considering marrying you, and you knew they wouldn’t if they knew you were a Republican, is it ethical for you to conceal that? I think most people would say No.

So by the same token, if your parents wouldn’t pay your tuition if they knew you were an atheist — don’t they have the right to make that decision? Isn’t it their money, and their right to decide what to do with it? Isn’t honesty a core ethical value — especially when people are making decisions that would be affected by your information? [Read more…]

Why, Despite the Incredibly Discouraging Crap That’s Been Going On in Recent Weeks and Months and Years, I Still Have Hope for Organized Atheism

Cologne_Germany_Cologne-Gay-Pride-cheerleadersI know. Here comes Greta, the eternal optimist, the relentless Pollyanna cheerleader, always holding out for hope. Stay with me. I really think I’m right about this.

Yes, the recent weeks in organized atheism have been incredibly discouraging, disheartening, disillusioning, demoralizing, dis- and de- just about every good thing that keeps people engaged in activism. Heck, the recent months and years in organized atheism have often been discouraging. Our most visible representatives are saying and doing horrible things: they’re perpetuating horrible sexist and racist ideas, they’re trivializing rape and making excuses for it and blaming the victims of it, they’re apparently committing sexual assault. The online hatred and harassment squad has been in full force. The defenses, denials, rationalizations, trivializations, and victim-blaming about all of this have been in full force. And in the last few weeks, all of this has been in overdrive. I can totally understand why some people, even people who have been in organized atheism for years — strike that, especially people who have been in organized atheism for years — would be losing hope. I’m feeling it, too.

And I’m not going to say for a second that the awful shit isn’t awful. I’m certainly not going to say that we shouldn’t talk about it just because it’s giving people a sad. I’m not going to tell anyone else that they’re bad or wrong for being disheartened — or even that they have any obligation to stay in organized atheism.

What I’m going to say is that I have hope. And I’m going to explain why. [Read more…]