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Jul 02 2014

“Helpful, compassionate, practical advice”: 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 24 customer reviews — and 21 of them are five stars out of five, with one four-star review!) Here’s what an anonymous Amazon Customer had to say:

Very helpful and practical

Very helpful to the person who has realized they don’t believe in God anymore, but are existing alone with their secret awareness. She gives helpful, compassionate, practical advice for telling your family, friends, work colleagues, etc. We humans are social animals and need others and Greta Christina provides ways to be true to yourself plus find a social network to live fully in your social world.

Thanks, Amazon Customer! 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:

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.

Audiobook edition:

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!

Jul 01 2014

The Power to Name Ourselves: Why I Don’t Give a Damn If You Call Yourself Atheist, Agnostic, Humanist, Freethinker, or What

Of all the assorted fights and squabbles in the atheist/ humanist/ freethinker/ secular/ godless/ whatever movement, I’ve tended to stay away from the one about which of these “whatever”s we should call ourselves. A lot of this has to do with my own personal and philosophical views on naming and language — and a lot of it has to do with my experience in the LGBT community, and my experience with the squabbles we went through about what to call ourselves.

I recently got an email about this question from Kaylie Johnson, who’s working on a project about secular self-identification for the Secular Student Alliance and the new Openly Secular project. Here’s what she said:

My hope is that I can produce a resource to help people understand that is important for individuals to be able to identify and label themselves as they see fit. I also will probably end up making a list/glossary of possible labels within the secular community.

It would be awesome to have your input on things like:

-Why is it important to be able to define yourself/choose your own label?
-Why should you allow others to choose their own label?
-How does self identification within the secular community help people feel more comfortable?

These are just some topics off the top of my head. I know you like to relate things to the LGBT community, so that may be a good way for me to help others understand the importance of self identity.

Here’s my reply.

*****

The answer to all these questions is the same. The power to name ourselves is hugely important for anyone. It’s especially important for marginalized people. I’ll use LGBT culture in my examples — but these translate to other marginalizations as well, including non-belief.

headline inquiry by senate on perverts askedThroughout history, other people have gotten to name us. For decades and indeed centuries, straight people were the ones who chose the language commonly used for LGBT people. Because being out was dangerous, we couldn’t speak up publicly and use our own language, so outside of our private conversations with one another, we had to accept straight people’s words for us. And to this day, homophobic or transphobic slurs being hurled at us are often among our earliest experiences of forming our understanding of our identity.

Throughout history, other people have not just gotten to name us — they have gotten to define our names. For decades, straight people were the ones to define what exactly it meant to be homosexual, bisexual, transgender, transvestite, etc. — and they typically insisted that they knew what those words meant better than we did ourselves.

plain talk about homosexualsAnd throughout history, other people have gotten to decide which names were the polite ones, and which were the insulting ones. A classic example of this is the word “homosexual.” Most LGBT people don’t like it: we find it too clinical, and it has connections with an ugly history of our sexual orientation being medicalized. But for decades, this was the “polite” word many straight people continued to use, especially in medical or other scientific contexts.

When marginalized people begin to push back against our marginalization, part of that process involves saying, “We are not who you say we are. We are who we say we are.” Naming is a big part of that. That’s true on a larger community level, and it’s true for individuals.

And when people respect this — when people with privilege stop to think, “What is the polite word?” and work to remember which the current polite words are — it’s a sign of respect. It shows that they recognize the reality of our marginalization; it shows that they understand that we know ourselves better than they do; and it shows that they care enough about all this to undergo the slight inconvenience of keeping track of the language. (Conversely, when people don’t do this, it’s a sign that they either don’t understand any of this, or don’t care. Or both.)

lgbtqBecause of all this, it’s important to be able to name ourselves. It’s important to choose our own names, and to decide what those names mean. Example: “Bisexual” means somewhat different things to different self-identified bisexuals. How many partners of both sexes we’ve had, or how recently we had those experiences, or how important those experiences were to us, or whether those experiences were romantic or simply sexual, or how many people of both sexes we’re attracted to and how important that is to us regardless of who we’ve had sex with… all of these get weighed differently by different people when we’re deciding whether we’re bisexual, gay or lesbian, straight, pansexual, or some other words.

And because of all this, it’s important to support other people in naming themselves. Example: When gay men and lesbians insist that they know better than bisexuals do what it means to be bisexual, and tell other people that they’re “really” bisexual or “really” gay or lesbian or straight, it just perpetuates that same disempowerment we resist when we get it from straight culture.

Yes, this can lead to some confusion — especially in the earlier days of a community coming into its own, when a rough consensus about language is still being formed. It means that not everyone uses the language exactly the same way: that’s sometimes confusing, and it sometimes means we have to clarify and define our terms. (Not to mention the whole thing about how “we get to decide for ourselves which slurs we’re reclaiming and which ones we aren’t, and we get to use our reclaimed slurs but you don’t,” which outsiders can find very confusing.) But the power to name ourselves is too important. It far outweighs any inconvenience we might experience when we have to take ten seconds to spell out what exactly we mean.

So, similarly, non-believers shouldn’t insist that we all call ourselves atheists, or humanists, or agnostics, or whatever. And we shouldn’t insist that other non-believers define these words exactly the way we ourselves do. Example: I’m personally a little puzzled by self-identified agnostics, since most of them have about the same level of disbelief in God that they do about unicorns or leprechauns, and they don’t usually say they’re agnostic about those myths. But if that .0001% of doubt they have about God is important to them, so important that they feel “agnostic” describes them more accurately than “atheist” — or if they have other reasons to use the word “agnostic,” such as it going over better with family — I’m not going to press them to give the word up. I might debate with them over the actual epistemological question of whether religion should be in a different knowledge category than other things — but I’m not going to insist that they’re “really” an atheist. And I’ll ask them to extend the same respect to me, and not insist that my .0001% of doubt means I’m “really” an agnostic.

The power to name ourselves is too important. We shouldn’t try to take it away from each other.

Jul 01 2014

The “Coming Out Atheist” Donation Recipient for June 2014: Black Skeptics of Los Angeles “First in the Family” Humanist Scholarship Fund

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.

I 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.

The recipient for June 2014: Black Skeptics of Los Angeles “First in the Family” Humanist Scholarship Fund, awarding scholarships to South Los Angeles LAUSD students who are going to be the first in their immediate families to go to college, giving preference to students who are (or have been) in foster care, homeless, undocumented and/ or LGBTQ. If you want to support them too, here’s their donation page!

Jun 30 2014

Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court, and the Toxic Notion of Corporate Personhood

Do you remember back in 2008, when Sarah Palin was asked which Supreme Court decisions she didn’t agree with other than Roe v. Wade, and she couldn’t think of any? I remember it became sort of a game among some of us: as ordinary citizens who were not running for the second highest public office in the country, how many Supreme Court decisions could we think of that we didn’t agree with? I came up with about half a dozen right off the top of my head. Dred Scott, obviously. Plessy v. Ferguson. Bowers v. Hardwick. Bush v. Gore. (Chime in with your own in the comments!)

And — very importantly, so important that I would rank it as one of the most disastrous events in our country’s history, with profound and far-reaching toxic effects touching every aspect of everyone’s lives on a day-to-day basis — Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, in which the Court determined that corporations are legally people, with constitutional rights comparable to those of actual people.

the-corporation-book coverIt’s been pointed out, by many people before me, that if for-profit corporations really were human beings, they would be sociopaths. Their primary motivation is entirely self-serving — in fact, they’re legally required to prioritize maximizing profit over all other concerns. As Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in his Citizens United dissent, “Corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires.” And it’s been pointed out, by many people before me, that corporate personhood tips the balance of power in the U.S. — since corporations have Constitutional rights that actual people have, and they have enormous amounts of wealth that most actual people don’t, they can effectively control the entire political process. Corporate personhood doesn’t just tip the balance of power. It plants a giant Godzilla foot on one side of the balance of power. It crushes the entire scale of justice. Again, to quote Justice Stevens’ Citizens United dissent: “A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold.”

And now, corporations don’t just have the right to donate as much money to political campaigns as they want to, thus entirely controlling the political process, because money equals free speech and corporations are people with the right to free speech.

They now have the right to religious freedom. With the Hobby Lobby decision, corporations don’t have to obey the law and cover birth control in their health insurance plans, if the corporation’s religious beliefs oppose it.

“The corporation’s religious beliefs.” Roll that phrase over in your head a few times.

Now, here’s the thing. An actual individual person’s right to religious freedom mostly just affects their own actions. They can wear a cross, avoid pork and shellfish, pray to Mecca five times a day. Their religious freedom doesn’t give them the right to control other people’s actions. The only exception I can think of is a parent’s rights to determine their children’s religious upbringing — and even that has limits in most states. It’s true that actual religious organizations, such as churches or synagogues or religious schools, have some rights to control what their employees and participants in their programs can do: they can hire and fire on the basis of religious ideology, demand that students adhere to a religious moral code, etc. But religious organizations have special limits and responsibilities. They can’t endorse political candidates, for one thing (not if they want to stay tax-exempt). And very importantly, they’re expected to have religion as their primary motivation — not the maximization of profit.

But a corporation’s “right” to religious freedom doesn’t only affect their own practices. A corporation’s “right” to religious freedom gives them the right to control, not only their own decisions, but the decisions of the people who work for them. The owners of Hobby Lobby now not only have the right to choose for themselves whether to use birth control — they have the right to make that decision for their employees. The Hobby Lobby decision essentially gives corporations the same rights as religious organizations — with none of the special limits or responsibilities.

You might argue that people don’t have to work for Hobby Lobby if they don’t like their policies. You might argue that Hobby Lobby employees can pay for their own birth control, separate from the health insurance provided by their employers. The problem with that is that we have a shitty economy, in which huge numbers of people are financially unstable and insecure at best. We have an antiquated health insurance system in which health care is tied, for absurd reasons rooted in obsolete historical quirks, to employment. We have a country in which “take this job and shove it” is, for huge numbers of people, simply not an option. And we have all this, again, largely because of laws and policies controlled by corporate money.

Lt. Angela Banks draws blood from a mannequin during training for antilogous blood transfusionThere are religions that permit, and even demand, discrimination on the basis of race. Can corporations now fire black employees, or refuse to serve black customers, if they claim that it’s part of their religion? There are religions that permit, and even demand, segregation by gender. Can corporations now fire women, or refuse to serve women customers, or demand that women employees and customers work and shop separately from men, if they claim that it’s part of their religion? Can corporations now fire employees, or refuse to serve customers, based on their religion — or lack thereof? As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissent, “Would the exemption… extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah’s Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]… Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today’s decision.”

Corporations in the United States have nearly unlimited power. And with today’s Hobby Lobby ruling, corporations now have the rights of individuals, and the rights of religious organizations, and the rights of… well, of corporations. Plus they have massive wealth. And because they control the political process, they have the power to keep expanding that power. (If you think the Supreme Court is beyond the reach of corporations — think about who appoints and approves them.) They have nearly unlimited power. They have the power to keep expanding that power. And they are required by law to maximize their self-interest over all other concerns.

Does that seem like a good idea?

There is a serious movement happening to amend the Constitution and overturn corporate personhood. Please support Move to Amend and Wolf PAC: sign their petitions, support the organizations, and spread the word. And obviously: Boycott Hobby Lobby.

Jun 30 2014

Seeking Atheist Grief Stories for “Grief Beyond Belief” Book

UPDATE/ CLARIFICATION: Some questions we’ve gotten about this project have made us realize that we need to clarify. We’re looking for grief stories from non-believers — but we’re not seeking submissions for an anthology that we’re editing. We’re seeking personal accounts that we’ll be using for our research, and that we’ll be quoting from in the book. People sending in stories don’t have to be professional or even semi-professional writers, and stories will probably not be printed in their entirety (unless they’re very short): we’ll be excerpting them/ quoting from them.

If you’re an atheist. agnostic, humanist, skeptic, freethinker, or any other sort of non-believer in God and the supernatural — and you have an experience (or experiences) with grief — we want to hear about it.

I’m going to be collaborating on a book about faith-free grief with Rebecca Hensler, founder and co-moderator of Grief Beyond Belief, the online grief support group for non-believers. (Working title: Grief Beyond Belief: Living With Loss as Atheists and Other Non-Believers.) We’re looking for stories from non-believers about their experiences with grief. We want to hear from you if you:

* were a non-believer at the time you experienced the loss/grief;
* became a non-believer while you were acutely grieving;
* re-experienced old griefs or losses when you became a non-believer;
* have any other experience related to faith-free grief that you want to tell us about.

We want to hear all stories — positive, negative, mixed, complex, changing over time. And we want to hear both the parts that relate to your secularism and the parts that are just about grief — who you lost, how it affected you, what comforted you, and how you have or have not learned to live with your grief.

The following questions may help you get started, but please don’t take them as either limits or requirements. You are not expected to answer every question or touch on every topic. If you have something to say about your experience of faith-free grief, whether or not it fits one of these categories, we want to hear it. Stories can be of any length.

* What has your experience of grief been like? What have been some of your feelings, thoughts, actions?
* Do you think you experience grief differently than believers? If you were once a believer, do you experience grief differently as a non-believer than you did as a believer?
* Are there experiences of grief that you think are the same or similar for everyone — religious or not?
* How has it been dealing with religious believers — in your family, friends, or the world in general?
* What kind of successes or difficulties have you encountered in seeking grief support that felt appropriate for your needs?
* Have caregivers (therapists, support groups, doctors or other medical providers) assumed that you were religious, or pressed religion on you? If so, what was your experience of that?
* How do you feel about religion generally when it comes to your grief? For instance: Has grief made you wish that you believed? Has grief made you angry about religion? Has grief made you more sympathetic with believers? Are there other feelings you’ve had about religion related to grief?
* Was death or grief part of why you became an atheist? If so, what was that experience like?
* If you have mental health issues (such as depression), how has grief affected that?
* Has your experience of grief has changed over time — and if so, how?
* What have other people done or said (family, friends, or anyone) that’s helped you with your grief? What have other people done or said that’s been unhelpful?
* Have you gotten support from atheist communities — either online or in-person, either grief-specific support or more general community support? What was your experience of that?
* Are there secular ideas about death and grief that you’ve found helpful? (This can include songs, poems, quotations, philosophies, books, movies, TV shows, or anything else.)

Again — please don’t feel limited by these categories, and don’t feel that you have to respond to all of them. If you have something to say about your experience of faith-free grief, we want to hear it.

You can post your stories here, or email them privately to griefbeyondbelief (at) gmail (dot) com. Please let us know how you would prefer to be quoted: by your full name, your first name only, your online handle, or a made-up name. (If you don’t tell us, we’ll err on the side of caution, and will use a made-up name.) Thank you so much — we know these can be difficult experiences to write about, and we intensely appreciate you doing this to help other people.

-Greta Christina and Rebecca Hensler

Jun 26 2014

Depression, and Mental Health as a Balance Beam Over a Pit

Content note: Depression. Obviously. (Also note that this post has a somewhat different comment policy than usual: it’s at the end of the post.)

There’s this analogy I’ve been using lately to think about my depression and my mental health care. I’m finding it useful, so I thought I’d share it with the rest of the class.

I’m not the first person to describe depression as feeling like being in a pit. And as my depression has been getting better (in the classic “two steps forward, one step back” fits and starts), I’m not the first person to describe that process as feeling like clawing my way out of the pit. But there’s another stage of mental health recovery, the stage I’m in now, that feels somewhat different.

feet on balance beamI feel like I’m out of the pit. But I feel like the ground I’m standing on is very narrow. I feel like I’m walking on a balance beam that’s suspended over the pit.

For some months now, I’ve felt more or less okay most of the time. But that okayness has felt somewhat shaky. Easily disturbed. Fairly small things make me feel bad out of all proportion to the badness; large things, or even medium-to-large things, can trigger a recurrence of the depression, or of some of the depressive symptoms.

And my mental health care has to be very carefully managed; my mental state rigorously monitored, my self-care precisely titrated. I need exactly the right amount of rest and sleep — not so much that I get torpid, not so little that I get exhausted. I need exactly the right amount of socializing — not so much that I get exhausted, not so little that I feel isolated. I need exactly the right amount of alone time — not so much that I feel isolated, not so little that I get overwhelmed. I need to spend exactly the right amount of time on work, exercise, meditation, pleasure, so I feel calm and engaged rather than overwhelmed, or aimless, or both. Small excesses in any direction have to be adjusted for immediately, or they can easily push me into the bad place.

This is not what I’m like most of the time. Of course I’m made happy or sad by external events; of course I try to keep work and pleasure and rest in a healthy balance. But when I’m not in the middle of (or recovering from) a serious depressive episode, I’m generally on a pretty even emotional keel. My basic outlook on life is not only steady, but is largely self-generated. And I can have stretches where my work and pleasure and rest, my time alone and my social time, are temporarily out of whack. I want them to balance out in the long run, but I can have longish stretches where I’m busting my ass to finish a project, or am running around being a social butterfly, or am lying around being lazy, without it risking my mental health.

It hasn’t felt like that lately. I feel like every step I take has to be small, and careful, and intensely conscious. And I feel like even if my steps are small and careful, I could easily be knocked off balance by a stiff breeze. I feel like I’m walking on a balance beam that’s suspended over the pit.

A few weeks ago, a couple of crises arose. (That’s generally what triggers a depressive episode: I can usually handle one bad thing in my life, but multiple serious stressors are what knock me into the pit.) So a few weeks ago, a couple of crises arose — and it felt like I’d been knocked off the balance beam. It didn’t feel like I’d fallen back into the pit, exactly. But it felt like I was clutching onto the balance beam with my fingertips, dangling over the pit, scrambling to pull myself back up. I got back on the beam again — but I felt wobbly, and my footing was shaky. And then another crisis came along, and I got knocked over again. I’m just now hoisting myself back up, and am trying to regain my footing.

catwalk FEMA_Mitigation_Team_Inspects_Raw_Water_Intake_TowerSo when it comes to mental health care, I feel like my job now… well, right now, today, my job is to hoist myself back onto the beam. But once I’m back on the beam, and my footing is steady and I’m not wobbling or flailing, I feel like my job is to widen the balance beam — so it’s more like a catwalk, or a bridge, or a platform. I’m doing carefully managed, rigorously monitored, precisely titrated self-care, partly because in the short run it keeps me on the balance beam, but also because in the long run it widens the balance beam, and makes it more stable.

I want to get to a place, not just where I don’t feel depressed, but where I can get bad news or have a bad day without it making me depressed. I want to get to a place where I’m not being knocked about by every gust of wind that comes along; where my mood isn’t totally shaped by whether the last thing I saw on Facebook was happy or sad. I want to get to a place where my mood is shaped by my fundamental optimism and empathy and high energy and general good nature, as much as (or more than) it is by the crisis of the week. I want to get to a place where I’m not constantly thinking, “What would be best for my depression now? Would it be better to finish that blog post? To go to the gym? To go to the cafe? To masturbate? To meditate?” I want to get to a place where I don’t have to drop everything and do self-care the moment I feel inspired to, because I don’t know when that window is going to open again.

The pit is always going to be there. That’s what it means to have chronic depression, even with infrequent episodes. I’ll never be able to ignore it entirely; I’ll always have to do some degree of mental health self-care to keep from falling into it. But I want to get back to a place where I don’t have to devote rigorous attention every waking minute to my mental health care, and can just get on with my life.

Comment policy for this post: It sucks that I should have to spell this out, but past experience has taught me that I do: Please do not give unsolicited amateur medical advice, to me or to anyone else with mental illness, in the comments. Or anywhere, for that matter. Talk about your own experiences until the cows come home; ask questions until you’re blue in the face (except for douchy passive-aggressive question like “Why don’t you understand that psych meds are poison?” or “Will you read this article explaining why psych meds are poison?”). If you need this spelled out in more detail, please read Why You Really, Seriously, No Fooling, Should Not Give Unsolicited Amateur Medical Advice to People with Mental Illness (Or to Anyone, Really), Episode 563,305. Thanks.

Related post:
On Being on Anti-Depressants Indefinitely, Very Likely for the Rest of My Life

Jun 26 2014

Godless Perverts Social Club Tuesday July 1, and Thursday July 17!

Godless Perverts Banner

The Godless Perverts are so excited! The Godless Perverts Social Club is now meeting twice a month — first Tuesdays, and third Thursdays. In July, we’ll be meeting Tuesday July 1, and Thursday July 17.

The Godless Perverts Social Club is the socializing/ hanging out branch of Godless Perverts. Community is one of the reasons we started Godless Perverts. 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 July 1, and/or on Thursday July 17!

We’re going to do slightly different formats for the two clubs. The first Tuesday Social Clubs have been loosely-structured casual affairs: we typically start with a check-in question and do a little moderating to make sure everyone gets to talk who wants to, but mostly we just nosh and sit around schmoozing about whatever topics happen to come up. On First Tuesdays, we’ll keep doing that. In July, that’ll be Tuesday July 1.

Our Third Thursday Social Clubs are a little more structured — we’ll pick a topic, let people know what it is ahead of time, have a moderator/ host who leads the discussion, maybe even get in special guests to guide discussions on particular topics. In June, that’ll be Thursday July 17. (We haven’t yet picked a topic — we’ll announce when we do.)

All Social Clubs are at Wicked Grounds, San Francisco’s renowned BDSM-themed coffee house — 289 8th St in San Francisco, near Civic Center BART — for an evening of conversation and socializing. All orientations, genders, and kinks (or lack thereof) welcome. 7:00 – 9:00 pm. There’s no admission, but we ask that you buy food and drink at the counter, and/or make a donation to the venue. (Their food is quite yummy, with both full dinners and lighter snacks/ beverages, and they have the best milkshakes in town.)

If you want to be notified about all our Godless Perverts events, sign up for our email mailing list, or follow us on Twitter at @GodlessPerverts. You can also sign up for the Bay Area Atheists/ Agnostics/ Humanists/ Freethinkers/ Skeptics Meetup page, and be notified of all sorts of godless Bay Area events — including the Godless Perverts. And of course, you can always visit our Website to find out what we’re up to, godlessperverts.com. Hope to see you soon!

Jun 26 2014

“A very positive and practical guide from a great writer”: Amazon Customer Review for “Coming Out Atheist”

Hey, apparently I’m the cool aunt people wish they had!

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 22 customer reviews — and 20 of them are five stars out of five, with one four-star review!) Here’s what GeorgeWiman had to say:

A very positive and practical guide from a great writer.

Greta seems immediately like family, and many have described her as the cool aunt they wish they had. Her guide on coming out recognizes that everyone’s situation is different. Some people live in very accepting families and have accepting workplaces. Some people are in college or otherwise financially dependent. High school students, soldiers, and people who live in theocratic countries where it is very dangerous to come out as an atheist. Even ministers who have stopped believing and are looking for an exit that doesn’t pass through isolation and poverty.

She relates dozens of stories from her readers, to give us a sense of what we might encounter. And with a few notable exceptions (see “theocracy”), life is actually better after coming out. For one thing many people discover previously unknown atheists around them, and begin to enjoy the self-confidence of no longer watching every word and gesture.

When I started to come out as an atheist, I made a few mistakes and was told by a close relative to just stay in the closet. But I’m very glad I came out, and wish I’d had this book when I did. Highly recommended.

Thanks, George! (I especially love the part about being the cool aunt — that makes me really happy.) 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:

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.

Audiobook edition:

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!

Jun 25 2014

“MUST READ if you are closeted about your godlessness!”: Amazon 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 21 customer reviews — and 19 of them are five stars out of five, with one four-star review!) Here’s what Lori Fazzino had to say:

MUST READ if you are closeted about your godlessness!

Greta does an amazing job of outlining the importance of coming out about being a non-believer. This book is wonderful in giving tips about coming out to different audiences. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to come out and even to people who have had friends/loved ones come out about their godlessness to them!

Thanks, Lori! (For the sake of full disclosure, Lori is a friend and colleague of mine.) 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:

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.

Audiobook edition:

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!

Jun 24 2014

Atheist Contingent in SF LGBT Pride Parade, This Sunday June 29!

The atheists will be marching in the San Francisco LGBT Pride Parade, this Sunday, June 29! This is always a fun time — being in the parade is a blast. Here are some pics from previous years, if you don’t believe me.

atheists in pride parade 1

atheists in pride parade 4

atheists in pride parade 01

atheists in pride parade 06

atheists in pride parade 21

atheists in pride parade 2

atheists in pride parade 5

Here’s the link to the Meetup page, which has all the info. Check it out!

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