Comment Settings Update – UPDATED

Note: The Amazing Atheist has apparently put up a video responding to my recent post excoriating his behavior and calling on the atheist community to shun him. (No, I’m not linking to it.) As a result, I am expecting a temporary influx of TAA fans in this blog. I have therefore changed my commenting settings. For now, and until the influx dies down, comments in this blog will automatically go into comment moderation unless someone has commented here before and has had that comment approved. (Translation: Brand-new commenters go into comment moderation.) Thanks for your patience and understanding.

UPDATE: The majority of All comments from the influx of fans of The Amazing Atheist are being posted here. I don’t want them to derail the thread they’re primarily being posted on, and most of them violate my comment policy; but since this conversation is garnering a certain amount of attention, I’m posting them here for the purpose of documentation.

SECOND UPDATE: The influx of comments from TAA fans has died down, so I have re-set my commenting settings. Commenters still have to register to comment, but comments from first-time commenters no longer have to be moderated before they go onto the site. For now.

Comment Settings Update – UPDATED

#mencallmethings: “feminazi”

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 3.09.14 PM

Me on Twitter, discussing the Richard Dawkins tweets about rape: Our culture has TERRIBLE ideas about rape. So we should speak about it carefully, clearly, and w/ awareness.

Jerk on Twitter: oh shut up. You completely missed the point with his argument. Jumping the gun feminazi.


Really. In answer to the idea that our culture has terrible ideas about rape, so we should speak about it carefully, clearly, and w/ awareness, your response is “shut up, feminazi.”

I’m reminded once again of Lewis’s Law: “Comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.”

Note: The #mencallmethings hashtag does not say #allmencallmethings, or #mostmencallmethings. If you want to learn more about the history of this hashtag and why people started using it, please read But How Do You Know It’s Sexist? The #MenCallMeThings Round-Up and Why Are You In Such A Bad Mood? #MenCallMeThings Responds! on Tiger Beatdown, where the hashtag originated. And please do not start a “but not all men are like that, so the #mencallmethings hashtag is reverse sexism!” argument. That has been addressed, at length, in the comments in the #mencallmethings: “FUCKIN HOE,” “FUCKIN FEMINAZI SLUT” post, as well as elsewhere. Please read Why “Yes, But” Is the Wrong Response to Misogyny if you’re wondering why I will not take kindly that that particular line of conversation.

#mencallmethings: “feminazi”

So You Think You Can Dance Nudity Parity Watch, Season 11, Episode 9

sytycd logo
As regular readers know, I’m watching the current season of So You Think You Can Dance, the mixed-style dance competition show, and am documenting whether the women are generally expected to show more skin than the men. (I give a more detailed explanation of this project, and why I’m doing it, in my first post in the series.)

Before I get into this particular episode, though, I want to address a question that’s been asked a couple of times about this project — namely, whether a lack of nudity parity, even a consistent lack of nudity parity, necessarily implies sexism.

No, the fact that, in any given situation, women are showing more skin than men does not automatically imply that women are expected to show more skin than men — either in general, or in that particular situation. This trope isn’t even universally true: in Islamist theocracies, for instance, women’s subjugation and objectification is marked by the expectation that they cover up, not the expectation that they show skin. And of course, none of this implies that showing skin is bad or wrong.

But when you see a consistent and repeated pattern of women showing more skin than men, it makes you wonder if this isn’t just random chance or a random cultural quirk. That’s even more true given that there are places and situations where this pressure or expectation is made explicit (fashion magazines, dress codes, mothers — other examples welcome in the comments). It’s even more true given all the other evidence we have of the ways that women are routinely expected to be ornamental and to fit conventional standards of attractiveness, and are primarily or largely valued for our value as ornaments and sex objects. And it’s even more true in a situation like SYTYCD, where the dancers’ costume choices are being made for them and are the product of the producers’ and costumers’ conscious choice (influenced by unconscious cultural stuff, of course).

There’s an interesting Catch-22 about talking about sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, etc. If you talk about the phenomenon in general, and talk about broad trends and tropes, people will say, “Give me examples! I don’t see what you’re talking about!” But if you point to specific examples, people will say, “That’s just one example! One example doesn’t prove that there’s a pattern! Besides, that example is special, it’s an exception because (reasons)!”

So no. The fact that on SYTYCD, week after week, the female dancers consistently have more skin shown than the male dancers, with very few instances of nudity parity and virtually no examples (none at all so far this season) of male dancers showing more skin than the women — this does not, by itself, prove that women’s bodies are treated as display objects by our culture.

It’s just one small example of it.

So now, to this week’s data.

so-you-think-you-can-dance-s11-e9 opening group number mandy moore
Opening number, Mandy Moore, jazz (or maybe contemporary — I’m not an expert, and I sometimes have a hard time distinguishing between them)
Women are more naked than men (women have bare legs, bare arms, bare midriffs, mostly bare backs, men have either bare arms or short sleeves, some have scoop necklines).

so-you-think-you-can-dance-s11-e9 valerie ricky
Valerie & Ricky, Bollywood
Woman is more naked than man (woman has bare arms, bare shins, bare midriff, mostly bare back, V-neck, man is completely covered).

so-you-think-you-can-dance-s11-e9 bridget emilio
Bridget & Emilio, contemporary
Technically, they have rough nudity parity (woman has bare legs, man has bare forearms and open-necked shirt). However, her upper body is covered by a skin-tight, mostly flesh-toned leotard/ bodysuit thing that’s intended to look like she’s largely nude, with non-flesh-tone just on her skirt and bosom.

so-you-think-you-can-dance-s11-e9 tanisha rudy
Tanisha & Rudy, hip-hop
Woman is more naked than man (woman has bare back, sheer netting on sides down to sides of calves, midriff, sternum, man is completely covered). Also, her outfit is skin-tight, while his is a regular-fitting suit, maybe somewhat more snug than usual.

so-you-think-you-can-dance-s11-e9 jessica marcquet
Jessica & Marcquet, foxtrot
Woman is more naked than man (woman has bare back, bare sides, arms covered on top and bare on bottom, long skirt that twirls up to show legs, man is completely covered).

so-you-think-you-can-dance-s11-e9 carly serge
Carly & Serge, contemporary
Woman is more naked than man (woman has bare legs, bare arms, deep scoop neckline, man has bare forearms (wrists, really) and slightly dipped neckline).

so-you-think-you-can-dance-s11-e9 emily teddy
Emily & Teddy, salsa
Woman is more naked than man (woman has bare legs, bare arms, bare midriff, bare sternum, largely bare back, man has bare forearms, shirt open to deep V-neck).

so-you-think-you-can-dance-s11-e9 jacque zack
Jacque & Zack, jazz
Woman is more naked than man (woman has mostly bare legs decorated with stockings and garters, bare arms, deep scoop neckline, bare back, man has bare arms, V-neck).

so-you-think-you-can-dance-s11-e9 brooklyn casey
Brooklyn & Casey, hip-hop
Woman is more naked than man, but not much (woman has bare arms, slightly bare midriff, slightly open neckline (more open than his), man has bare arms). However, she has skin-tight leggings, while he has skin-tight leggings covered by loose long shorts.

so-you-think-you-can-dance-s11-e9 group routine 1 sonja
Group routine 1, contemporary (Sonja)
Women are more naked than men (women have bare legs, bare arms, men have bare arms).

so-you-think-you-can-dance-s11-e9 group routine 2 travis
Group routine 2, contemporary (Travis)
Women are slightly more naked than men (women have wide, deep scoop necklines, men have somewhat deep V-necklines). However, women have skin-tight leggings, while men have looser dance slacks.

Just as was the case last week, in all routines but one, the women are more naked than the men. In most cases, that difference is significant. And even in the cases of rough nudity parity or the cases where nudity imbalance is not dramatic, the woman’s body is revealed more than the man’s, with more skin-tight outfits.

So You Think You Can Dance Nudity Parity Watch, Season 11, Episode 9

“Greta spoke for me”: Amazon Customer Review of “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?”

I’ve been reprinting my favorite Amazon customer reviews for Coming Out Atheist, and it occurs to me that I never did this for Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless. So I’m doing that now. Here’s a nice customer review, five stars out of five. (The book has 136 customer reviews, and 111 of them are either 5-star or 4-star.) Here’s what an anonymous Amazon Customer had to say about it:

Greta spoke for me

Reading this book was like exhaling a breath I’ve held inside since I was a child. I’ve pent up all these emotions for so long without a clear succinct voice. Now they are here for all to see in this volume.

While I am an extremely happy and energetic person, on the topic of religion, I can certainly be a vocal and at times “angry” atheist. This book gives voice to how I feel.

Thank you, Greta.

Please read it. Please pass it on. You don’t have to agree, but perhaps it’s a chance to walk a mile, eh? I’ve spent my life in the world of the other 80% (or so), would it be so hard to listen and understand the other side?

Thanks, Amazon Customer! And if any of you have read Why Are You Atheists So Angry?, Coming Out Atheist, or Bending, 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!

Why Are You Atheists So Angry
Ebook editions:

The Kindle edition is available at Amazon.

The Nook edition is available at Barnes & Noble.

Smashwords has the book in multiple formats, including iBooks, Sony Reader, Kobo, Kindle (.mobi), Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, any other reader that takes the Epub format, Palm Doc (PDB), PDF, RTF, Online Reading via HTML, and Plain Text for either downloading or viewing.

All ebook editions and formats cost just $7.99.

Print edition:

The print edition is available at 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 record: Powell’s employees are unionized.) Again, that’s the link for Amazon US — it’s available in other regions as well.

The print edition is available at Last Gasp.

The print edition is $14.95 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 at Audible.

The audiobook version is available on iTunes.

The audiobook version is available on Amazon.

And yes, I did the recording for it!

“Greta spoke for me”: Amazon Customer Review of “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?”

Humanist Foundation Rallying Support for Refugee Children at U.S. Border

See, this is what I’m talking about.

When we talk about the atheist/ humanist community getting involved in humanitarian or social justice issues which disproportionately affect marginalized people — this is what we’re talking about. (Well, one of the things.)

FBB logo

Humanist Foundation Rallying Support for Refugee Children
Campaign to focus on legal advocates for unaccompanied children

(Atlanta, GA) – Foundation Beyond Belief, the nation’s largest humanist charity organization, announced Monday a campaign to raise funds for the legal representation of child refugees who have fled poverty and violence to reach the Southern border of the United States in recent months. The Humanist Crisis Response program is a joint initiative of Foundation Beyond Belief and the American Humanist Association.

FBB has chosen two beneficiaries for the funds raised by this campaign: Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, both of which focus on providing attorneys to represent these children in immigration hearings, which are required by federal law. Legal assistance will help the children navigate an immigration system that they have difficulty understanding. KIND and The Florence Project have offices in Texas, Arizona and California and are already offering this assistance, but they need the resources to handle the sudden influx of new refugees.

While many organizations have focused on the crucial task of providing food, shelter and other basic needs for the refugee children, little attention has been paid to getting the legal help they need to navigate an immigration system they don’t understand. KIND and The Florence Project have offices in Texas, Arizona and California and are already offering their assistance, but they need the resources to handle the sudden influx of new refugees.

The overwhelming majority of these child refugees are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and the conditions they left for their dangerous journey to the United States are marked with violence, poverty, and instability. For young girls, especially, sexual violence is a major driving factor. An estimated 86% of these children face immigration hearings alone, with no adult to advise, protect, or explain the situation to them.

“As this crisis has unfolded, it has become clear that a major need for these children is not food and shelter but legal advocacy to protect their basic rights,” said Dale McGowan, executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief. “No child should meet a national immigration system alone. KIND and The Florence Project are doing brilliant work to ensure that they are not alone, and the humanist community is proud to support them.”

“This campaign is an opportunity for humanists to put into practice our values of justice and human rights and to ensure that vulnerable children receive the legal representation that they need,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.

This will be the first Humanist Crisis Response campaign undertaken since FBB and the American Humanist Association joined their efforts earlier this year.

For more information or to interview Dale McGowan, contact Media Relations Coordinator Ed Brayton at 616-894-3123 or [email protected]. For more information or comment from the American Humanist Association, contact Communications Associate Merrill Miller at 202-238-9088 ext. 105 or [email protected].


Foundation Beyond Belief is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation created to focus, encourage, and demonstrate humanist generosity and compassion. Its members and supporters have raised over $1.6 million for charities around the world and established a network of over 90 humanist volunteer teams in cities across the U.S. For more information, visit

I just donated. Even small amounts help — they really do add up. Please give what you can. Thanks.

Humanist Foundation Rallying Support for Refugee Children at U.S. Border

Joint statement by Ophelia Benson and Richard Dawkins on threats, bullying, bigotry, and harassment

Joint statement by Ophelia Benson and Richard Dawkins:

It’s not news that allies can’t always agree on everything. People who rely on reason rather than dogma to think about the world are bound to disagree about some things.

Disagreement is inevitable, but bullying and harassment are not. If we want secularism and atheism to gain respect, we have to be able to disagree with each other without trying to destroy each other.

In other words we have to be able to manage disagreement ethically, like reasonable adults, as opposed to brawling like enraged children who need a nap. It should go without saying, but this means no death threats, rape threats, attacks on people’s appearance, age, race, sex, size, haircut; no photoshopping people into demeaning images, no vulgar epithets.

Richard adds: I’m told that some people think I tacitly endorse such things even if I don’t indulge in them. Needless to say, I’m horrified by that suggestion. Any person who tries to intimidate members of our community with threats or harassment is in no way my ally and is only weakening the atheist movement by silencing its voices and driving away support.

I am pleased, and cautiously optimistic. This doesn’t erase years of sexist and racist behavior from Dawkins, of course. And it makes me sad that “no death threats, rape threats, attacks on people’s appearance, age, race, sex, size, haircut; no photoshopping people into demeaning images, no vulgar epithets” should be such a controversial issue that a prominent leader has to speak out against it. (Also, I’m not so sure about the “vulgar epithets” part — I reserve the right to call people assholes if I think they’re being assholes.) But I am nevertheless pleased, and cautiously optimistic. I doubt that this will get the worst of the harassers to change their behavior — but I hope that it will get the people saying “There’s wrong on both sides” and “Why do we have to be divisive?” and “I don’t agree with everything they say, but…” to stop and think about what they’re really saying, and to knock it off. And I hope this will get Dawkins himself to speak more carefully about these issues, and to be more careful about whose work he praises and promotes.

Joint statement by Ophelia Benson and Richard Dawkins on threats, bullying, bigotry, and harassment

Is There Any Line You Think Should Not Be Crossed? The Amazing Atheist, and What the Atheist Community Apparently Is Okay With

Content note: rape threats, rape denial, trivialization of rape and rape threats.

An open letter to anyone in the atheist community who takes an attitude of “We don’t have to agree about everything to work together” towards people in the community who make rape threats — or who assault women, harass women in person, or harass women online.

atheist scarlet letter
Dear Atheist,

“He may not be an ally of feminism but he’s still a cool entertainer.”

“Why is agreeing with people always an all or nothing game? There’s a lot of people I hate that I can sometimes find myself agreeing with.”

“The Amazing Atheist usually pisses me off… but this was, as his moniker says, amazing.”

“Long story short: he’s an asshole, to be sure, but, IMO, a harmless one.”

“Aside from being an ass at times (can’t say that I am exempt), has he done anything else since the incident in question?”

That’s what some of you said. When Hemant Mehta of the Friendly Atheist blog recently posted a link to a video by The Amazing Atheist — and when it was pointed out that he had made graphic, brutal rape threats in multiple public forums, including in his book — that’s what some of you said. (Note: Hemant has since said that he didn’t know about the rape threats, and that if he had, he wouldn’t have posted the video.)

In case you missed it, here are some of the things Amazing Atheist has said.

“I will make you a rape victim if you don’t fuck off.”

“I think we should give the guy who raped you a medal. I hope you fucking drown in rape semen, you ugly, mean-spirited cow.”

“BTW, you have to admit, when I told you that I hope you drown in rape semen, you got a little wet, didn’t you?”

“Well, you deserved it. So, fuck you. I hope it happens again soon.”

“Is that kind of like the way that rapists dick went in your pussy? Or did he use your asshole? Or was it both? Maybe you should think about it really hard for the next few hours. Relive it as much as possible. You know? Try to recall: was it my pussy or my ass?”

“Rape isn’t fatal. So imagine my indignation when I saw a chatroom called ‘Rape Survivors.’ Is this supposed to impress me? Someone fucked you when you didn’t want to be fucked and you’re amazed that you survived? Unless he used a chainsaw instead of his dick, what’s the big deal?”

“Just because you got raped, you have to rape the English language? You vindictive bitch! Also, don’t you ever get tired of being the victim? How many failed relationships are you going to blame on a single violation of your personal space?”

“Actually, I don’t believe you were ever raped! What man would be tasteless enough to stick his dick into a human cesspool like you?”

“I told her, ‘You’re lucky it wasn’t me. I’d have busted your fucking nose and raped you.'”

“Go get raped in whatever orifice you have to get fucking raped in.”

“I’m going to rape you with my fist.”

This is what you called “being an ass at times.” This is what you called being “an asshole…but IMO, a harmless one.” This is what you called “not be[ing] an ally of feminism.”

Atheists, I need to ask you: Is there any line that you think should not be crossed?

Is there any line that someone could cross that would make you unwilling to support them or work with them? Is there any line that someone could cross that would make you not link to their videos, not share their blog posts, not upvote them, not post admiring comments about them in public forums, not buy or promote their books? Will you really support the work of absolutely anyone, regardless of how vile their behavior has been, as long as they say one thing you happen to agree with?

Would you support the work of an avowed racist, who has publicly and unapologetically stated their opinion that black people are not fully human? Would you support the work of an avowed homophobe, who has publicly and unapologetically stated their opinion that LGBT people are mentally ill and should be locked into mental hospitals?

If you would — why?

And if you wouldn’t — why would you support the work of an avowed misogynist, who has publicly and unapologetically stated his opinion that women he disagrees with should be raped, and who makes public rape threats against them (visible to other rape victims, I’ll point out), in brutal, graphic detail?

Shunning is an extreme measure. It is a last resort. We are a social species, we need other people, and deliberately pushing someone out of a community is a strong and harsh response to bad behavior. Accepting human imperfection, accepting that everyone screws up and does things we have serious problems with, and being willing to move forward from that, is absolutely necessary if we’re going to live and work together.

Shunning is an extreme measure. But if we are never willing to do it, even in the face of the most despicable behavior, we are saying that we will tolerate anything. Literally anything. We are saying that there is no line that cannot be crossed.

Now, reasonable people can certainly disagree about where that line should be drawn. We can disagree about how bad someone has to be before we’re unwilling to work with them; how consistently bad they have to be; how many times we try to reason with them before we give up.

But whatever our disagreements might be about where that line should be drawn, I would think that “I will make you a rape victim if you don’t fuck off,” “I hope you fucking drown in rape semen,” “I think we should give the guy who raped you a medal,” “I’d have busted your fucking nose and raped you,” and “I’m going to rape you with my fist,” would clearly and unquestionably place someone on the far side of it. The very, very far side.

And it is deeply distressing to realize that this isn’t the case. It is deeply distressing to realize just how many people in the atheist movement don’t consider that to be flatly unacceptable. It is deeply distressing that I have to calmly spell out why we should not accept people into our community who mockingly trivialize rape and make brutal, graphic, public rape threats. It is deeply distressing that this is a controversial issue in our community. It is deeply distressing that we even have to have this conversation.

Is there any line you think should not be crossed?

If you don’t — why not?

And if you do — why not this one? Why does “I hope you fucking drown in rape semen” fall into the category of “Well, I don’t agree with everything he says, but…”

In many instances, of course we can agree about some things while disagreeing about others, and agreeing when someone says (X) doesn’t automatically mean you agree when they say (Y). But when someone crosses a clear line into vile and unacceptable behavior, the community needs to make it clear that this behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We need to show that some lines absolutely should not be crossed, and that if people cross them there will be consequences. Supporting someone’s work when they’ve acted abhorrently means there are no consequences.

And that’s especially true in the case of rape threats, persistent harassment of women, and other misogynist behavior — because in the atheist community, we don’t, unfortunately, currently have a clear ethical standard that this is unacceptable. We have a culture in which it’s depressingly common for people to engage in this behavior, and for other people to defend, rationalize, trivialize, dismiss, or victim-blame it — without consequences, or without serious consequences. Leaders in the movement do this, and remain leaders. We need to change that culture. We need to make it unmistakably clear that we do not tolerate this behavior. Promoting people’s work who engage in this behavior is tolerating it. And tolerating this behavior helps perpetuate it.

I’m sure that you, personally, don’t like rape threats, or approve of them. But the way you personally feel about rape threats is irrelevant. What’s relevant is how you behave when they happen. When you support and promote the work of someone who makes rape threats, you are tolerating rape threats. I agree that with some words and actions, we can agree on some things and disagree on others, and set aside disagreements to work together. Someone who says and does what The Amazing Atheist did does not fall into that category.

I understand that when it comes to the divisions and hostilities in the atheist movement about feminism and sexism, many people want to remain neutral. But there is no way to remain neutral. You cannot welcome people of color into our community, and also welcome racists. You cannot welcome LGBT people, and also welcome homophobes. And you cannot welcome women, and also welcome hateful misogynists who want to rape us.

Neutrality is not neutral. Neutrality supports the status quo. And the status quo, apparently, is one in which people who publicly make brutal graphic rape threats, and who express joy over the fact that someone was raped, still get to be respected members of the community with thousands hundreds of thousands of followers — because they sometimes say clever things about creationists.

Is that the community standard you want to support?

I keep thinking about something Juan Mendez said at the last American Atheists conference (paraphrasing here): “The atheist community is becoming more and more visible. In a few years, the whole world will be watching us. What do we want them to see?”

When the world looks at atheists, is this what you want them to see?

(Back view of teen boys head image by Alex Neman, via Wikimedia Commons)

Is There Any Line You Think Should Not Be Crossed? The Amazing Atheist, and What the Atheist Community Apparently Is Okay With

Greta Interviewed on “Equal Time for Freethought” Radio Show/ Podcast!

Equal Time for Freethought logo

I did a radio interview recently with Barry Seidman of the “Equal Time For Freethought” show on WBAI Radio in New York.

Coming Out Atheist cover 150
We talked about Coming Out Atheist: How to do it, How to Help Each Other, and Why — why coming out as an atheist is important; how believers react to the idea of atheists coming out; the reality of anti-atheist bigotry; why believers resist the very idea of atheists coming out; my own “coming out atheist” story; the flaws in the “born this way” argument for LGBT rights (and why the fact that atheists aren’t “born this way” is no reason to be bigoted against us); whether becoming an atheist in the first place is more of an intellectual process or an emotional one; how coming out about our atheism involves both emotional issues and intellectual ones; some general guidelines on coming out as an atheist; some specific guidelines about coming out in the workplace; atheists’ experiences coming out to friends and family and how (and why) it often turns out better than we think it will; why believers often take it personally when atheists in their lives come out (and how to deal with it when they do); how political differences and religious ones sometimes intersect; why I hate the word “spiritual” with the fire of a thousand suns; and more.

Why Are You Atheists So Angry? cover
And we also talked about Why are You Atheists So Angry: 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless — the view of anger in a “bright-sided” society; anger as a motivator to take action; anger as a sign of compassion; atheist anger and the Hobby Lobby ruling; the Supreme Court and religious contempt for women; progressive and moderate religion and why religious faith itself is inherently harmful; the argument that “science doesn’t explain everything, therefore God exists”; why atheists trying to persuade people that religion is wrong isn’t the same as trying to enforce our beliefs; when to get into arguments about religion (and when not to); pushing back against the force field religion has protecting it from criticism; why I don’t automatically have a problem with religious evangelism; anti-atheist discrimination among progressives; how being out as an atheist is inherently confrontational; why atheists and humanists shouldn’t ignore the value that people do get from religion and religious communities; whether working to persuade the world out of religion is a lost cause; whether truth matters; and more.

It was a really interesting, thought-provoking, challenging conversation. The interview is now available as a podcast. Check it out!

Greta Interviewed on “Equal Time for Freethought” Radio Show/ Podcast!

“Had I known about them ahead of time, I wouldn’t have posted his video”: Hemant Mehta on The Amazing Atheist

Content note: rape threats, rape trivialization

There’s been some discussion and debate over the fact that Hemant Mehta at the Friendly Atheist blog promoted a video by The Amazing Atheist, a persistent and well-known misogynist who has repeatedly made rape threats and trivialized rape. (There’s info about the rape threats and rape trivialization at Dispatches from the Culture Wars and Pharyngula.)

Just so y’all know: Hemant has now said in the comment thread on that post:

To be perfectly honest, I was unaware of the threats he had made online until last night. Whether he was serious or not, I don’t tolerate them. Had I known about them ahead of time, I wouldn’t have posted his video. Sorry, all.

I do wish he would say it more publicly: it doesn’t do a huge amount of good buried in a comment thread where very few people will see it. But further discussion of this issue should continue with an awareness of this fact. So — well, be aware.

“Had I known about them ahead of time, I wouldn’t have posted his video”: Hemant Mehta on The Amazing Atheist

Atheist TV Launches July 29!

Atheist TV logo
There’s going to be an atheist channel on Roku! It launches July 29. If you have Roku (the TV streaming device with a zillion channels), this is awesome news. If you don’t have Roku, this is your excuse to get it.

Here’s a description of what Atheist TV is about, from the press release:

American Atheists President David Silverman announced publicly this week during a speech at Stanford University the launch of the world’s first atheism-dedicated television channel, Atheist TV.

The channel will be available through internet-streaming service Roku, which offers devices similar to cable boxes that hook up to regular televisions. The atheism channel, believed to be the first of its kind, will begin broadcasting this summer. Content will be free.

“We’re going to TV because it’s part of our strategy of going to where we are not,” said Silverman. “There is a lot of potential here. From televangelists to Christmas specials, there is a plethora of religious TV programming to choose from. With Atheist TV, we’re filling a void: There are a lot of atheists and closeted atheists who are curious and want more. We have it, and the next step is bringing it to them.”

When Silverman says American Atheists has it, he’s being literal: The nonprofit organization recently digitized decades’ worth of television appearances from its 51-year history, including everything from mainstream TV appearances of founder Madalyn Murray O’Hair to current and archived episodes of its weekly syndicated TV show, The Atheist Viewpoint.

But the real highlight will be new, exclusive content: Content creators will provide programming for the new channel, which will stream 24 hours a day, 7 days per week in addition to the on-demand content.

More information is available at

And here’s the promo video.

It includes a nice little snippet from me. (Alas, it also includes nice little snippets from Richard Dawkins and Jaclyn Glenn…but the TV channel will probably be pretty darned cool anyway.) The channel launches July 29. Check it out!

Atheist TV Launches July 29!