I was really embarrassed at having been so certain that God didn’t exist, and at first was very apologetic to him about it. But he was cool with it. In fact, he insisted very firmly that even though he existed, it was important that I remain an atheist — and not just an atheist but an atheist activist. It wasn’t at all clear why, though. Dream-reasons.
I woke up at first still feeling embarrassed about how wrong I’d been, and feeling very confused about why God wanted me to be an atheist. Once I started realizing it was a dream, I was mostly baffled at my dream-logic, and was still trying to figure out why my dream-God wanted me to be an atheist.
UPDATE: The San Francisco talk on Sunday March 8 has been cancelled.
Hi, all! I have some speaking gigs coming up in Houston, Austin, Reno, San Francisco, and Memphis. If you’re in or near any of these cities, I hope to see you there!
CITY: Houston, TX
DATE: Thursday, February 26
TIME: 6:30 pm
LOCATION: Fox and Hound, 11470 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX
HOSTS: Humanists of Houston
TOPIC: Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing to Do with God
SUMMARY: If you don’t believe in God or an afterlife — how do you cope with death? Accepting death is never easy, and one of the most difficult things about
leaving religion can be letting go of belief in the afterlife. But we don’t
need religion to find peace, comfort, solace, and meaning in the face of
death. What are some secular ways that atheists can handle our own
mortality and the death of those we love?
COST: Free and open to the public. The venue is open to all ages (minors allowed with parent) until 10 PM, after which it becomes 21+.
EVENT URL: http://www.meetup.com/humanism-177/events/219950949/
CITY: Austin, TX (Texas Secular Convention)
DATES: Friday February 27 – Sunday March 1 (I’m speaking Saturday, February 28 at 2:15pm)
LOCATION: Sheraton’s Hotel and the Capitol, Austin, TX
EVENT: Texas Secular Convention
OTHER SPEAKERS: Annie Laurie Gaylor, Jamila Bey, Matt Dillahunty, Katherine McCutchan, Ron Lindsay, Alix Jules, David Smalley, Barry Lynn, Kathy Miller, Rep. Donna Howard, Amanda Knief, Amanda Hernandez, Daniel Moran, Chris Johnson, Dr. David Wiley, Kelly Damerow
TOPIC: Activism Burnout: Prevention and Treatment
SUMMARY: One of the most important keys to the success of the atheist movement is keeping activists engaged for the long haul. But the most inspired and motivated activists are often the ones most likely to eventually burn out. What are some practical strategies for preventing burnout — and for managing it when it happens? And how can activists support each other in not burning out?
COST: $50 – $125
EVENT URL: http://www.texassecularconvention.org/
CITY: Reno, NV
DATE: Monday, March 2
TIME: 7:00 pm
LOCATION: Room 106, Ansari Business Building, University of Nevada, Reno
HOSTS: Secular Student Alliance (SSA) of UNR and Reno Freethinkers
TOPIC: Secular Diversity & The Role of Women in Atheism
SUMMARY: The most visible representatives of the atheist movement tend to be white men. Is this a problem? If so, should the atheist movement be doing something about it — and if so, what?
COST: Free and open to the public
EVENT URL: https://www.facebook.com/events/418720641617982/
CITY: San Francisco, CA
DATE: Sunday, March 8
TIME: 3:00 pm
LOCATION: Women’s Building, 3543 18th St. (at Valencia), San Francisco
HOSTS: Atheist Advocates of San Francisco
TOPIC: Comforting Thoughts About Death Have Have Nothing to Do with God
SUMMARY: See above
The San Francisco talk has been cancelled.
CITY: Memphis, TN (American Atheists National Convention)
DATES: Thursday, April 2 – Sunday, April 5 (my workshop will be Thursday, April 2, with Sarah Morehead and Muhammad Syed)
EVENT: American Atheists National Convention
OTHER SPEAKERS/ PRESENTERS: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Susan Blackmore, Marshall Brain, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Jamila Bey, Tony Pinn, Mandisa Thomas, Lindsay Beyerstein, Heina Dadabhoy, Keith Lowell Jensen, Matt Dillahunty, James Croft, David Fitzgerald, Vyckie Garrison, Fade Zu Grau, Steve Hill, Leighann Lord, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Miri Mogilevsky, Sarah Haider, Asif Mohiuddin, more
TOPIC: Coming Out Atheist: How To Do It, How to Help Each Other Do It, And Why (workshop, with Sarah Morehead and Muhammad Syed)
SUMMARY: Coming out is the most powerful political act atheists can take. But coming out can be difficult and risky. What are some specific, practical, nuts-and-bolts strategies we can use: to come out of the closet, to support each other in coming out, and to make the atheist community a safer place to come out into? What can atheists learn about coming out from the LGBT community and their decades of coming-out experience — and what can we learn from the important differences between coming out atheist and coming out queer?
COST: $50 – $329; workshops are $99
EVENT URL: http://atheists.org/convention2015
The next Godless Perverts Social Club is this Thursday, February 19! The discussion topic: Building Consent Culture. What would a consent culture look like? How are we, as a community, getting it right, and how are we getting it wrong? Kitty Stryker asks questions about what consent means, from a legal and ethical standpoint, and how we can practically encourage it in our everyday lives.
The discussion will be led by Kitty Stryker. Stryker is the co-editor of ConsentCulture.com, where she discusses alternatives to rape culture and explores how consent works under capitalistic patriarchy.
Godless Perverts presents and promotes a positive view of sexuality without religion, by and for sex-positive atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other non-believers — and the Godless Perverts Social Club is our socializing/ hanging out branch. 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 — we meet at Wicked Grounds, San Francisco’s renowned BDSM-themed coffee house, 289 8th Street in San Francisco (near Civic Center BART), the first Tuesday and third Thursday of every month. All orientations, genders, and kinks (or lack thereof) are welcome. We meet from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. There’s no admission, but we ask that you buy food and drink at the counter if you can. (Their food is quite yummy, with both full dinners and lighter snacks/ beverages, and they have the best milkshakes in town.)
We’re doing slightly different formats for the two clubs. Our Third Thursday Social Clubs are Topical Thursdays — we pick a topic ahead of time, have a moderator/ host who leads the discussion, maybe even get special guests to guide discussions on particular topics. In February, that’ll be Thursday February 19. Continue reading “Godless Perverts Social Club Thur. 2/19! Discussion Topic: Building Consent Culture, Led By Kitty Stryker”
The Foundation Beyond Belief is doing a fundraising drive to honor the Chapel Hill murder victims: Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. The man arrested for the murders, Craig Stephen Hicks, is a self-described atheist and opponent of religion, who had been bullying the victims for some time before he killed them. Please donate what you can — even small amounts add up — and please spread the word.
All donated funds will go directly to the Syrian American Medical Society Foundation — a charity supported by Barakat, a doctoral student in dentistry who planned to travel to Syrian refugee camps this summer to perform emergency dentistry for refugee children through SAMS. Please give as generously as you can. Thanks.
It horrifies me that we should have to say this. But I will say it anyway:
DO NOT FUCKING WELL KILL PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU DON’T LIKE RELIGION.
I will quote myself from Why Are You Atheists So Angry?:
So yes, I would like to see religion eventually disappear. I would not, however, like to see this disappearance happen in any sort of coerced or enforced way. I would not, for instance, like to see laws passed against religious beliefs or practices. I absolutely don’t want violence done to people because of their religion. I don’t even want social pressure exerted against religion or religious believers, except to the degree that arguments constitute social pressure. I want believers to be free to practice their beliefs however they choose, as long as that practice doesn’t unreasonably impinge on my life or the lives of others.
Context, in case you haven’t heard: Three young Muslims were murdered in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The man arrested for the murders, Craig Stephen Hicks, is a self-described atheist and opponent of religion. So I will spell this out, as clearly as I can: I unequivocally condemn the Chapel Hill murders. They were unspeakably vile. Killing people because you oppose the harm done in religion’s name — do I even need to explain how repugnant that is, and why? It is repugnant. I unequivocally condemn it.
Hi. Some readers have noticed that I haven’t blogged in a little while, and they’ve been asking where I am. Don’t worry — I’m fine. But I am on a leave of absence of sorts. There’s some stuff happening in my personal life: again, nothing bad, but there are some projects I’m working on in my personal life that are pretty all-absorbing, and they’ll continue to be all-absorbing for probably about another month. And rather than drive myself up a tree trying to do the intense personal projects AND keep up the blogging, I’m giving myself permission to actually take a freaking break.
I’m actually realizing that, not counting the time I had surgery for the cancer (which hardly counts), I haven’t taken a real break from my work in many, many years. And I’m also realizing that breaks are good things. If this were a regular job, I’d be taking vacations. I think I need to start treating writing as a regular job, and start building vacations into my schedule. Anyway. I’m fine, I’m just taking a break. I may do a little blogging here and there, but mostly you probably won’t see me until late February/ early March. Thanks for your patience!