Greta’s Podcast Interview with Atheist Airwaves!

Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 200 JPGPodcast fans — I have a podcast interview up with Atheist Airwaves! We talk about my new book, Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing To Do With God — including ways that atheists can cope with religion at funerals, why religious approaches to death are less comforting than they seem, and more. Also on the show: the first legal gay marriage in Texas and the future of marriage equality, a Christian pastor in the UK claims god will send you to hell for any sexual position, an ex-Scientologist turns to pushing a ‘miracle’ autism cure in the form of bleach enemas, the Pope compares transgender people to nuclear weapons because he’s a full-on bigot, and more. Good times! Enjoy!

Greta Speaking in Houston, Austin, Reno, San Francisco, and Memphis!

UPDATE: The San Francisco talk on Sunday March 8 has been cancelled.

Hi, all! I have some speaking gigs coming up in Houston, Austin, Reno, San Francisco, and Memphis. If you’re in or near any of these cities, I hope to see you there!

CITY: Houston, TX
DATE: Thursday, February 26
TIME: 6:30 pm
LOCATION: Fox and Hound, 11470 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX
HOSTS: Humanists of Houston
TOPIC: Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God
SUMMARY: If you don’t believe in God or an afterlife — how do you cope with death? Accepting death is never easy, and one of the most difficult things about
leaving religion can be letting go of belief in the afterlife. But we don’t
need religion to find peace, comfort, solace, and meaning in the face of
death. What are some secular ways that atheists can handle our own
mortality and the death of those we love?
COST: Free and open to the public. The venue is open to all ages (minors allowed with parent) until 10 PM, after which it becomes 21+.
EVENT URL: http://www.meetup.com/humanism-177/events/219950949/

CITY: Austin, TX (Texas Secular Convention)
DATES: Friday February 27 – Sunday March 1 (I’m speaking Saturday, February 28 at 2:15pm)
LOCATION: Sheraton’s Hotel and the Capitol, Austin, TX
EVENT: Texas Secular Convention
OTHER SPEAKERS: Annie Laurie Gaylor, Jamila Bey, Matt Dillahunty, Katherine McCutchan, Ron Lindsay, Alix Jules, David Smalley, Barry Lynn, Kathy Miller, Rep. Donna Howard, Amanda Knief, Amanda Hernandez, Daniel Moran, Chris Johnson, Dr. David Wiley, Kelly Damerow
TOPIC: Activism Burnout: Prevention and Treatment
SUMMARY: One of the most important keys to the success of the atheist movement is keeping activists engaged for the long haul. But the most inspired and motivated activists are often the ones most likely to eventually burn out. What are some practical strategies for preventing burnout — and for managing it when it happens? And how can activists support each other in not burning out?
COST: $50 – $125
EVENT URL: http://www.texassecularconvention.org/

CITY: Reno, NV
DATE: Monday, March 2
TIME: 7:00 pm
LOCATION: Room 106, Ansari Business Building, University of Nevada, Reno
HOSTS: Secular Student Alliance (SSA) of UNR and Reno Freethinkers
TOPIC: Secular Diversity & The Role of Women in Atheism
SUMMARY: The most visible representatives of the atheist movement tend to be white men. Is this a problem? If so, should the atheist movement be doing something about it — and if so, what?
COST: Free and open to the public
EVENT URL: https://www.facebook.com/events/418720641617982/

CITY: San Francisco, CA
DATE: Sunday, March 8
TIME: 3:00 pm
LOCATION: Women’s Building, 3543 18th St. (at Valencia), San Francisco
HOSTS: Atheist Advocates of San Francisco
TOPIC: Comforting Thoughts About Death Have Have Nothing to Do with God
SUMMARY: See above
COST: $6

The San Francisco talk has been cancelled.

CITY: Memphis, TN (American Atheists National Convention)
DATES: Thursday, April 2 – Sunday, April 5 (my workshop will be Thursday, April 2, with Sarah Morehead and Muhammad Syed)
LOCATION:
EVENT: American Atheists National Convention
OTHER SPEAKERS/ PRESENTERS: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Susan Blackmore, Marshall Brain, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Jamila Bey, Tony Pinn, Mandisa Thomas, Lindsay Beyerstein, Heina Dadabhoy, Keith Lowell Jensen, Matt Dillahunty, James Croft, David Fitzgerald, Vyckie Garrison, Fade Zu Grau, Steve Hill, Leighann Lord, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Miri Mogilevsky, Sarah Haider, Asif Mohiuddin, more
TOPIC: Coming Out Atheist: How To Do It, How to Help Each Other Do It, And Why (workshop, with Sarah Morehead and Muhammad Syed)
SUMMARY: Coming out is the most powerful political act atheists can take. But coming out can be difficult and risky. What are some specific, practical, nuts-and-bolts strategies we can use: to come out of the closet, to support each other in coming out, and to make the atheist community a safer place to come out into? What can atheists learn about coming out from the LGBT community and their decades of coming-out experience — and what can we learn from the important differences between coming out atheist and coming out queer?
COST: $50 – $329; workshops are $99
EVENT URL: http://atheists.org/convention2015

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.

Taking a break

Hi. Some readers have noticed that I haven’t blogged in a little while, and they’ve been asking where I am. Don’t worry — I’m fine. But I am on a leave of absence of sorts. There’s some stuff happening in my personal life: again, nothing bad, but there are some projects I’m working on in my personal life that are pretty all-absorbing, and they’ll continue to be all-absorbing for probably about another month. And rather than drive myself up a tree trying to do the intense personal projects AND keep up the blogging, I’m giving myself permission to actually take a freaking break.

I’m actually realizing that, not counting the time I had surgery for the cancer (which hardly counts), I haven’t taken a real break from my work in many, many years. And I’m also realizing that breaks are good things. If this were a regular job, I’d be taking vacations. I think I need to start treating writing as a regular job, and start building vacations into my schedule. Anyway. I’m fine, I’m just taking a break. I may do a little blogging here and there, but mostly you probably won’t see me until late February/ early March. Thanks for your patience!


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.

“Very Hot!”: Amazon Customer Review of “Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More”

I’ve gotten some nice Amazon customer reviews for my book Bending: Dirty Kinky Stories About Pain, Power, Religion, Unicorns, & More, and I thought I’d repost some of them. Here’s a good one, five stars out of five. (As of this writing, the book has nine customer reviews, and eight are 5-star reviews, with one 4-star.) Here’s what SEB had to say:

Very Hot!

Living on the s side of the slash in a 24/7 TPE relationship, I loved this book. Read it and passed it on to my partner, perhaps it will give her a few ideas!

Thanks, SEB! And if any of you have read Bending, it’d be awesome if you’d post a review.

***

Here, by the way, is ordering info for the book! [Read more…]

The “Coming Out Atheist” Donation Recipient for December 2014: Ex-Muslims of North America!

Sorry this is late this month: January has been a bear.

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.

exmna 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 December 2014, chosen by Ingrid Nelson, is the Ex-Muslims of North America.

The Ex-Muslims of North America are a group of people dedicated to supporting and helping ex-Muslims. The primary reason for our group’s existence is to build a community and provide a sense of solidarity for ‘ex-Muslims’ -– people who used to follow Islam or identify as Muslim, and who no longer do so. As such, this group is only for ex-Muslims, primarily those located in or from North America. They are largely composed of smaller regional groups, who have a great degree of structural autonomy. The regional groups are united organizationally as the Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA).

There are Ex-Muslims in all disciplines and geographies of the world. Due to the risk inherent in declaring apostasy, the majority has kept silent and are isolated. Ex-Muslims of North America aims to change that.

The Ex-Muslims of North America are a 501(c) nonprofit, and donations to them are tax-deductible. If you want to support them too, here’s their donation page!



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.

“Droll, incisive, personal and compassionate”: Amazon Customer Review of “Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God”

Got a really nice customer review on Amazon of Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God. Five stars out of five. (In fact, the book now has eight Amazon customer reviews, and seven are five stars, with one four-star review.) Here’s what remembertobreathe had to say:

I’d been dying to read this book…

Have you ever read a book, or an essay or op-ed piece, on a subject of great importance to you and wondered, how did the author get inside my head, and what can I do (make her a cup of tea? Offer a foot rub?) to get her to stay? Greta Christina has done it again, this time, on a subject considered to be dicey territory for both those who are religion-free and religious believers.

I would invite the latter to read the book, even though you may not consider yourself to be among its targeted audience, in hopes that you might gain at least a partial understanding of why the concerns and fears about death religionists attempt to foist upon the non-religious (yeah, not you, of course, but you’ve seen others of your mindset do it, right?) are…unappreciated, to put it mildly, and nonsensical upon rational examination.

For fellow Brights, Freethinkers, Atheists, Agnostics and others who are religion-free: have you ever read the religious party line on death, and thought, “But no, there’s ___! And what about ___ and ___ and ___?” Greta Christina collects all the but-nos and what-abouts, and more, organizing, distilling and presenting them in her usual droll, incisive, personal and compassionate way. It is a “light” read (I refer to tone, not intellectual content) for such a “heavy” subject, and a wonderful addition to the growing collection of books that affirm the logic, value and comfort of humanistic principles.

Thanks, remembertobreathe! And if any of you have read Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God, it’d be awesome if you’d post a review.

Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 200 JPGThe Kindle ebook 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; and the Smashwords edition is available on Smashwords. All ebook editions are $2.99. You can get the audiobook on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. The audiobook is $2.99 (discounted slightly on Amazon, of course). (Plans for a print edition are in the works.)

Here’s the description of the book: [Read more…]

PZ Myers on Death, Evolution, and “Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God”

If we’re thinking about mortality and death with no belief in an afterlife — how does evolution play into it?

PZ Myers has written a really nice, thoughtful review of my new book, Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God. But it’s more than a review. He uses the book as a jumping-off point to talk about death and mortality from the perspective of evolutionary biology. Here’s what he says about the book:

I finally got around to finishing Greta Christina’s Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God. It’s good! This book is the sort of thing atheism needs more of: an acknowledgment that the phenomena most important to human beings can be addressed effectively without imagining fantastic supernatural creatures. Atheists have this reputation of being nerds all wrapped up in abstract concepts and making arguments against the superstitious props that people claim to find useful in day-to-day life, and it’s good that some of us make the effort to show that no, we do deal with real-world concerns, and no, your myth is actually a terribly ineffective way of handling that problem.

He then goes on to talk about how he views death as an evolutionary biologist — and why, exactly, we die. The whole piece is well worth reading: the tl;dr is that dying is, quite literally, a necessary and inevitable consequence of being alive and multi-cellular. If you want to not die, and you want the people in your life to not die, the only option is for us to not be born. I really wish I’d read this before I wrote the book: if I ever do a revised and expanded edition, I’ll definitely be citing this piece and using some of the ideas in it.

Comforting Thoughts book cover oblong 200 JPGThe 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. (Plans for a print edition are in the works, but there’s currently no publication date scheduled.)

Here is the description of the book: [Read more…]

“A MUST read for all atheists”: Amazon Customer Review of “Coming Out Atheist”

Got a nice customer review on Amazon for Coming Out Atheist: How To Do It, How to Help Each Other Do It, And Why! Five stars out of five. (In fact, the book now has 36 customer reviews — and 31 of them are either four- or five-star!) Here’s what Puckman007 had to say:

A MUST Read for ALL Atheists!

An absolutely amazing book! I was already an out Atheist when I read this book, but it was still very beneficial to my life. It provided advice I can use helping other in the closet Atheists as well as advice on improving diversity among Atheist groups. This book also shined light on the troubles Atheists in other demographic groups from mine have that I may not have had as I was coming out. The book is written in a down to earth style for the common Atheist. Nothing against Dawkins or Hitchens, but it’s nice to not need a dictionary while reading a book on Atheism. :-) The book contains an excellent resource guide of Atheist communities (both on-line and in-person). This is definitely a MUST read for all atheists, whether you are in the closet or out of the closet.

Thanks, Puckman007! 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!

Coming Out Atheist cover 150Ebook 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. 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.

Print edition: [Read more…]

“Depth and intelligence… honesty and care”: Dale McGowan on “Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God”

The question of god is a nattering bit of trivia compared to Death. For mortals who look their mortality in the eye, it’s Death that deserves the capital. Greta Christina brings depth and intelligence to the consideration of this biggest reality of all, and she does it with honesty and care. I’m still not giddy about the fact that we die, and neither is she. But there are ways to feel better about the terminal hand we’ve been dealt, and Greta shares them all in this remarkable book.

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 -Dale McGowan, author of In Faith and In Doubt, Parenting Beyond Belief, and Atheism For Dummies Thanks so much, Dale!

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

Here is the description of the book: [Read more…]