“Quick-paced irresistible logic”: Valerie Tarico on The Way of the Heathen

Way of the Heathen cover
Some people I like and respect greatly have said some really nice things about my new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Here’s the blurb from Valerie Tarico:

“Quick-paced irresistible logic laced through with Greta Christina’s humor, practical compassion, and love of life. In The Way of the Heathen, Greta Christina tackles topics that should feel like life’s homework — justice, meaning, morality, death, love, struggle and sexuality — and somehow, by working her quirky magic, turns them into chunks of bedtime reading without losing nuance or depth.”
-Valerie Tarico, Ph.D., author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light

The Way of the Heathen is available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and Smashwords for $7.99. The audiobook is at Audible. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore: it’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing. Check it out, and tell your friends!

“Quick-paced irresistible logic”: Valerie Tarico on The Way of the Heathen

“So you’ve decided to be an atheist”: Introduction to The Way of the Heathen

Way of the Heathen cover
This is the introduction to my new book, The Way of the Heathen. It’s available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and on Smashwords for $7.99; the audiobook is at Audible; the print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore.

So you’ve decided to be an atheist.

Okay, that’s silly. No, you didn’t “decide” to be an atheist: you decided to ask questions, look at evidence, prioritize reality over wishful thinking, and quit pushing your doubts to the back burner. And you’ve concluded that there are no gods. We don’t “decide” what to believe: atheists can’t decide whether we believe in God, any more than we can put our hand over a flame and decide whether we believe in heat. But we can ignore doubts and difficult questions — or follow our ideas to their logical conclusion. You’ve done that. And you’ve come to the conclusion that there are no gods — not Jehovah, not Shiva, not Zeus. Zip squat in the “gods” department.

What now?

Living without religion is not always so different from living with it. Atheists and believers are all human: we laugh at jokes, listen to music, care about our loved ones, get angry at injustice, grieve when people die, try to be good.

But there are real differences. When you think the meaning of your life is handed to you by Zeus or whoever, you’re going to live differently than if you think we create our own meaning. When you think God is your co-pilot and your life is planned by this perfect, all-knowing creator (who still gave you sinuses for no apparent reason), you’re going to live differently than if you think nobody’s driving the bus and you’d better grab the wheel. When you think you and your loved ones are going to live forever in a blissful afterlife where everyone somehow magically gets along, you’re going to live differently than if you think this short life is our only one. There are differences between a religious life and a godless one, and they’re not trivial.

These differences can be unsettling, whether you’ve just started questioning religion, or have already rejected it and are grappling with non-belief. Even if you’ve been an atheist for a while, these questions may trouble you. Many atheists were brought up with religion, and were brought up framing life and death in religious terms. Many customs, rituals, and daily habits are rooted in religion, so when atheists reject these, we often don’t know how to replace them. When we’re confronted with a situation that our culture typically handles with religion — birth, death, marriage, coming of age, suffering, gratitude, sneezing — we sometimes feel stymied.

This book may help.

I’ll get this out of the way right now: Yes, the title is a joke. There are approximately 57,852 books titled The Way of the Something: The Way of the Pilgrim, The Way of the Master, The Way of the Warrior, about 57,849 more. This title is a slightly snarky joke at the whole idea of one person telling another, “Here’s the one right way to live your life.” A more accurate title (although a crappier and less funny one) would be Some Ways of Some Heathens. If you disagree with some of this book — awesome. Ten years from now, I probably won’t agree with all of it. I want people to think for themselves, using the best evidence, rationality, and compassion they can muster. There isn’t a right way to be an atheist, and this is not an atheist bible: take what you need, and leave the rest.

This book is aimed at — well, pretty much anyone, atheist or otherwise, who’s interested in atheism. But in particular, it’s aimed at four groups: Continue reading ““So you’ve decided to be an atheist”: Introduction to The Way of the Heathen

“So you’ve decided to be an atheist”: Introduction to The Way of the Heathen

“A glorious celebration”: Dan Barker on The Way of the Heathen

Way of the Heathen cover
Some people I like and respect greatly have said some really nice things about my new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Here’s the blurb from Dan Barker:

“A glorious celebration.”
-Dan Barker, author of Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning

The Way of the Heathen is available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and Smashwords for $7.99. The audiobook is at Audible. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore: it’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing. Check it out, and tell your friends!

“A glorious celebration”: Dan Barker on The Way of the Heathen

“Engaging, conversational, thoughtful, frank, funny”: Phil Zuckerman on The Way of the Heathen

Way of the Heathen cover
Some people I like and respect greatly have said some really nice things about my new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Here’s the blurb from Phil Zuckerman:

“Another bright gem from Greta Christina — an engaging, conversational, thoughtful, frank, funny, and ever timely exploration of life lived well without religion. The array of topics addressed is as impressive as the pervasive insights throughout.”
-Phil Zuckerman, author of Living the Secular Life

The Way of the Heathen is available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and Smashwords for $7.99. The audiobook is at Audible. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore: it’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing. Check it out, and tell your friends!

“Engaging, conversational, thoughtful, frank, funny”: Phil Zuckerman on The Way of the Heathen

“Greta has done it again”: Anthony Pinn on The Way of the Heathen

Way of the Heathen cover
Some people I like and respect greatly have said some really nice things about my new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Here’s the blurb from Anthony Pinn:

“Over the years, and through a variety of publications, Greta Christina has helped us better understand atheism and atheists. With The Way of the Heathen Greta has done it again. Greta’s hallmark insights, biting humor, and straight-talk will lead you through some of the most important issues and practices shaping what it means to be an atheist in the 21st century. But, whether you are an atheist, a theist, or something in between, this book provides ‘aha moments’ that will challenge and inspire. You really should read it. I recommend it highly.”
-Anthony B. Pinn, author of Writing God’s Obituary: How a Good Methodist Became a Better Atheist

The Way of the Heathen is available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and Smashwords for $7.99. The audiobook is at Audible. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore: it’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing. Check it out, and tell your friends!

“Greta has done it again”: Anthony Pinn on The Way of the Heathen

“The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life,” Available Today!

Way of the Heathen cover

My new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life, is available today! You can buy it, plug it on social media, and tell your friends about it! It’s available in ebook, print, and audiobook. The ebook is on Amazon/Kindle and on Smashwords, for $7.99. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore. The audiobook is at Audible. It’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing.

Here’s the description, and some wonderfully flattering blurbs.

*****

So you’re an atheist. Now what?

The way we deal with life — with love and sex, pleasure and death, reality and making stuff up — can change dramatically when we stop believing in gods, souls, and afterlives. When we leave religion — or if we never had it in the first place — where do we go?

With her unique blend of compassion and humor, thoughtfulness and snark, Greta Christina most emphatically does not propose a single path to a good atheist life. She offers questions to think about, ideas that may be useful, and encouragement to choose your own way. She addresses complex issues in an accessible, down-to-earth style, including:

Why we’re here
Sexual transcendence
The meaning of life
The meaning of death
Frivolity
Sensuality
How humanism helps with depression — except when it doesn’t
Stealing stuff from religion
Why atheism demands social justice
Different ways to be a good person
Joy

and much more.

Aimed at new and not-so-new atheists, questioning and curious believers, Christina shines a warm, fresh light on the only life we have.

REVIEWS
“A glorious celebration.”
-Dan Barker, author of Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning

“Over the years, and through a variety of publications, Greta Christina has helped us better understand atheism and atheists. With The Way of the Heathen Greta has done it again. Greta’s hallmark insights, biting humor, and straight-talk will lead you through some of the most important issues and practices shaping what it means to be an atheist in the 21st century. But, whether you are an atheist, a theist, or something in between, this book provides ‘aha moments’ that will challenge and inspire. You really should read it. I recommend it highly.”
-Anthony B. Pinn, author of Writing God’s Obituary: How a Good Methodist Became a Better Atheist Continue reading ““The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life,” Available Today!”

“The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life,” Available Today!

The Way of the Heathen Advance Copies!

I got the advance copies of my upcoming book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Yay!

Way of the Heathen advance copies in box

I am super-excited about this book. I’ve spent many years thinking and writing about what it means to be an atheist: how it affects the meaning of our lives, how it shapes our morality, how we cope with suffering and death without religion, how we form godless communities, how we deal with believers, and how we experience pleasure and joy. The best of that writing is distilled into this book. It’s scheduled for publication June 1, in print, ebook, and audiobook (audiobook might be a little later). You can place an advance order for the print edition now!

And it looks so pretty! Cover designer Casimir Fornalski did an excellent job once again. I especially love how it looks with its companion books, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? and Coming Out Atheist.

Way of the Heathen Coming Out Atheist and Why Are You Atheists So Angry line

Way of the Heathen Coming Out Atheist and Why Are You Atheists So Angry fan

I really do think of these books as a set. They reflect the path that many people take when they become atheists — being angry about religion, deciding how to tell people about their atheism, and getting on with their atheist lives. The covers reflect that connection: you could even look at them as telling a story. So excited for June 1!

The Way of the Heathen Advance Copies!

We Did It!

Comet looking at The Orbit on laptop
The Orbit passed $10,000 in our Kickstarter! Specifically, we raised $10,125, with 247 backers.

We are so happy with our success — clearly, a good number of people want us to do this work, enough to put their money where their mouth is (where their mouths are?), or to spread the word and encourage other people to contribute. We hit our base goal of $5,000 in just over a day, and $10,000 was our second stretch goal.

Because we hit our base goal, we’ll cover our costs to launch and run The Orbit for a year. Because we hit our first stretch goal, we’ll put on an online conference dedicated to the topics we cover. And because we hit our second stretch goal, we’ll release an ebook compilation of some of the best writing The Orbit’s authors have to offer. We’re so happy to be able to do all this!

Many, many thanks to all our backers. Many thanks also go to everyone who spread the word about our Kickstarter on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. And big thanks go to everyone who’s just been spreading the word about The Orbit and sharing our posts. The Orbit is in many ways a community site — we want to be a home for nonbelievers who’ve been harmed by religious culture, who feel estranged from movement atheism and alone among progressives — and it’s amazing that our community sees it that way, to, and is invested in our success. Thanks once again! We’ll do you proud.

We Did It!

Greta Speaking in Flint, MI, Monday April 11 — and Adrian, MI, Tuesday April 12!

Secular Students at Kettering logo
I’m giving a talk in Flint, Michigan on Monday, April 11 — and in Adrian, MI, Tuesday April 12! I’ll be selling and signing books. If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there!

CITY: Flint, MI
DATE: Monday, April 11
TIME: 6:00PM – 8:00PM
TOPIC: Sexuality in a Non-Religious Framework
SUMMARY: The sexual morality of traditional religion tends to be based, not on solid ethical principles, but on a set of taboos about what kinds of sex God does and doesn’t want people to have. And while the sex-positive community offers a more thoughtful view of sexual morality, it still often frames sexuality as positive by seeing it as a spiritual experience. What are some atheist alternatives to these views? How can atheists view sexual ethics without a belief in God? And how can atheists view sexual transcendence without a belief in the supernatural?
LOCATION: Kettering University, 1700 University Ave., Flint, MI 48504 — Room AB 2-225
HOST: Secular Skeptics at Kettering
COST: Free and open to the public. Guests should see Campus Security in the Campus Center for a parking pass and guidance to the room.
EVENT URL: https://www.facebook.com/events/809588292480312/

CITY: Adrian, MI
DATE: Tuesday, April 12
TIME: 3:00 pm
TOPIC: What can the atheist movement learn from the LGBT movement?
SUMMARY: The atheist movement is already modeling itself on the LGBT movement in many ways — most obviously with its focus on coming out of the closet. What else can the atheist movement learn from the LGBT movement… both from its successes and its failures?
LOCATION: Adrian High School, 785 Riverside Dr., Room B-100, Adrian, MI
HOST: Secular Student Alliance at Adrian High School
COST: Free and open to the public.

Greta Speaking in Flint, MI, Monday April 11 — and Adrian, MI, Tuesday April 12!

Greta Speaking in Flint, Michigan, Monday, April 11!

Secular Students at Kettering logo
I’m giving a talk in Flint, Michigan on Monday, April 11! I’ll be selling and signing books. If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there!

CITY: Flint, MI
DATE: Monday, April 11
TIME: 6:00PM – 8:00PM
TOPIC: Sexuality in a Non-Religious Framework
SUMMARY: The sexual morality of traditional religion tends to be based, not on solid ethical principles, but on a set of taboos about what kinds of sex God does and doesn’t want people to have. And while the sex-positive community offers a more thoughtful view of sexual morality, it still often frames sexuality as positive by seeing it as a spiritual experience. What are some atheist alternatives to these views? How can atheists view sexual ethics without a belief in God? And how can atheists view sexual transcendence without a belief in the supernatural?
LOCATION: Kettering University, 1700 University Ave., Flint, MI 48504 — Room AB 2-225
HOST: Secular Skeptics at Kettering
COST: Free and open to the public. Guests should see Campus Security in the Campus Center for a parking pass and guidance to the room.
EVENT URL: https://www.facebook.com/events/809588292480312/

Greta Speaking in Flint, Michigan, Monday, April 11!