Greta’s Interview with “Atheistically Speaking” Podcast – On Coming Out Atheist, and on Atheist Misogyny

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I have a cool podcast interview up with Thomas Smith of the “Atheistically Speaking” podcast! It’s a twopart interview, actually — both parts work independently, you can listen to one or the other alone, or you can listen to both.

In the first part of the interview, we talk about Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why — how atheists can encourage each other to come out without guilt-tripping or pressuring; ways that coming out atheist is different for different people; dealing with anti-atheist discrimination on the job; how out atheists can have some sort of fairness in relationships with religious believers; how coming out atheist intertwines with politics and political differences; the challenges of coming out atheist when religion is intertwined with everyday culture; romantic relationships between believers and non-believers; how, even with all its challenges, coming out usually turns out well and makes us happier; and more.

In the second part of the interview, we talk about misogyny in the atheist community. We talk about losing respect for people we once admired; whether debates about sexism and misogyny go too far or create an “in group/out group” dynamic; why I’m more afraid of atheists who hate me because I’m a feminist than I am of religious believers who hate me because I’m an atheist; the atheists who love my atheist anger but want to stifle my feminist anger; how privileged people not being able to control the conversation is different from not having a voice; how being willing to acknowledge our privilege and work on own biases opens us up to a wider, more interesting world; how speaking out about -isms in our movement is how things are getting better; and more.

They’re both good conversations, with lots of back-and-forth, and we explore some complicated, difficult, interesting ideas. (Again, both parts work independently, so you can listen to one or the other alone, or you can listen to both.) “Atheistically Speaking” is a relatively new podcast that people may not be familiar with, but at least based on my experience, I definitely recommend that people check it out. Again, here’s part one of the interview, and here’s part two. Enjoy!


Here, by the way, is ordering info for Coming Out Atheist in all three formats — print, ebook, and audiobook!

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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. 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!

Greta’s Interview with “Atheistically Speaking” Podcast – On Coming Out Atheist, and on Atheist Misogyny
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7 thoughts on “Greta’s Interview with “Atheistically Speaking” Podcast – On Coming Out Atheist, and on Atheist Misogyny

  1. 1

    I just heard your too brief interview on BBC World Service and haven’t read your book yet which sounds intriguing. However, as a Brit, I find it hard to believe that such a book would be necessary in the 21st century. I know a couple of people who have a faith but virtually everyone I know is an atheist. If anything, believers are somewhat embarrassed to admit that they do believe in god and the prime minister caused a row recently when he claimed that Britain is a Christian country. It’s true in as far as there’s no separation between church and state, and the monarch is head of the Church of England and defender of the faith, but in practice, god is simply not part of most people’s lives. And I gather that the Sunday Assembly – sort of church for non-believers – which started in London a couple of years ago, is now taking off in the US and elsewhere. Your interview seems to suggest that freedom of worship in the US doesn’t extend to freedom not to worship. As Alastair Campbell famously said in TV interview with Tony Blair, ‘we don’t do god.’

  2. 2

    Molesworth: Believe it. The US is not like the UK.

    Greta: While listening to the interview, I found it interesting that the host sounded surprised that there were no federal-level LGBT employment protections…that was a fact of life I was painfully aware of for years as a closeted gay atheist in West Virginia. It also may explain why ENDA has made so little headway over the years in spite of super-majority support: Too many people mistakenly assume that something like it already exists!

    Thanks also for not shying away from discussing the harassment/misogyny problem at length. I want to think that the more and more this becomes common knowledge, the more the harassers and enablers will be shunned, and the more we’ll have an effective social movement worth being proud about. I don’t know how long it’s going to take, though…and the rot has set in high.

  3. 3

    molesworth @ #1: You actually make one of the best cases there is for being an out atheist — even in the UK. There isn’t separation of church and state there, and in fact there are a number of serious religious incursions into government life — especially in the state schools. Speaking up as atheists and making ourselves visible, as opposed to not saying anything and just assuming that everyone is a non-believer, is an important way to push back against these incursions.

    As for the U.S.: Yes, in theory, we have separation of church and state. In practice, there is a metric shitload of state-sponsored religion, especially on the local level. Enforcing church/state separation here is like a long, exhausting game of Whack-A-Mole. (Do you have that in the UK? If not: It’s a game where plastic moles keep popping up randomly through holes in a board, and you have to keep whacking them with a mallet.) And our Supreme Court, who is supposed to be defending the Constitution, often seriously sucks on church/state separation.

    Also, while anti-atheist discrimination is illegal, it still goes on — A LOT. Discrimination is often hard to prove, especially in the workplace.

    And very importantly: These laws don’t help atheists who are having problems with their religious families or communities, or are even being cut off by them. There’s no law that says you have to be nice to your atheist friends and relatives.

    So yeah. This book is necessary. For a lot of atheists, coming out can be really difficult. Most atheists say they’re glad they did it — but they often run into difficulty, sometimes serious difficulty.

  4. 4

    Thanks for very prompt and detailed response. There’s no doubt that religion has influence in the UK. I find it shameful that there are still 26 or so Lords Spiritual in the Upper Chamber of Parliament. And yes, I clearly remember school assembly at the start of each day, and parroting the Lord’s Prayer, though I don’t know how far that’s changed. The Humanist and the Atheist societies are battling against such disproportionate influence in schools and the poltical realm. I’m writing somewhat in the dark since I haven’t read your book and was inspired to write after you were cut off in the interview! However, I felt compelled to join the debate as the notion of having to ‘come out’ as an atheist seems so extraordinary, so I suppose I’m speaking about faith at a day to day level rather than political or constitutional. It’s such a contrast to my own experience: for example, I know the family of a Tory politician who can’t wait for their young adult son to ‘grow out’of his religious phase. (Let me just make it clear that I’m NOT a Tory! That would be even more embarrassing than being mistaken for a god botherer.) As far as I’m aware, the percentage of Christians who attend church is at around 2% and falling, and churches are being sold off for conversion to flats.

    Yes I have heard of Whack-a-Mole, just never played it! I look forward to reading your book. Keep the faith (or not as the case may be.).

  5. 5

    Andrew T: I suspect you’re right. Having dinner with friends once in Los Angeles, I was perturbed to find that we had to say grace. Very weird.

  6. 6

    Hi all,

    This is my first time to post on FTB but I had to register so I could comment here. The second half of the interview dealing with misogyny in the atheist community really moved me (although I found the interviewer to be a little obtuse). My wife sat next to me while I played it on my laptop and she kept chiming in to say, fuck yeah! That is so right.

    As a father of a small girl (in ultra-conservative Utah, no less) I have been really disheartened to see feminism rejected or minimized at best and actively attacked at worst in many skeptic communities. I made the decision to keep my daughter away from the marginalizing effect religion would have over her but find myself deeply disturbed that so many skeptics would seek to classify my wife and daughter in much the same way.

    Thank you Greta for discussing such an important issue so candidly! You mentioned in the interview that people like RD will fall away and be replaced by better spokespeople in the free thought movement. Gratefully we have you.

  7. 7

    The second half of the interview dealing with misogyny in the atheist community really moved me (although I found the interviewer to be a little obtuse).

    pascalspager @ #6: Thanks so much. I’m really glad you found the interview moving. I do think you can give the interviewer some credit, though. I don’t think he was being obtuse — I think we was deliberately asking questions he knew his listeners, including people who haven’t been following the feminism wars closely and have been getting a half-assed view of them, would want answered.

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