Coming Out Atheist

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Coming Out Atheist

Coming Out Atheist - Paperback - USA.jpg

Paperback - USA - 1st edition.

Author Greta Christina
Published 2014-04-14
Type Non-fiction
Genre Self-Help
Themes Atheism, Blasphemy, Religion
Age Group Adult

Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why is a book about atheism by Greta Christina, published on 2014-04-14. As the title suggests, it discusses how to come out as an atheist, why you should come out, and how to help others who can't easily come out. Her book is pretty in-depth and discusses many different complications at length.

Personal

Own?Paperback, USA, 1st edition. Signed by the author.
Read?Paperback, USA, 1st edition.
Finished2022-12-09.

Having read and enjoyed two of Greta Christina's other books, I was inclined to read this one as well. I got it for free when CFI Michigan was downsizing their library, and started reading it shortly thereafter.

Review

Overall:

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— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • This book is invaluable to anyone who either hasn't yet come out about their atheism or wants to help others come out. There are entire chapters for how to safely come out to parents, other family members, friends, co-workers, bosses, teachers, in the military, as clergy members, and several other scenarios, with a multitude of different ways to come out for each (face-to-face, letters, Internet, etc.). Christina also discusses the unique difficulties faced by oppressed people trying to come out like women, people of color, and people living in theocracies.
  • While researching the book, Christina interviewed many atheists about their coming out stories to gather information about what they think they did right, what they wish they had handled better, and if they were happier after they came out.
  • Christina explains why it's much harder to agree to disagree about religion, because it's not just a preference, atheists are, even if only through inference, saying the religious person is wrong. For example, Christina points out the similarities between coming out LGBT and coming out atheist, but points out how, when you come out LGBT, you aren't implying that straight people are wrong to be straight, but, when you come out atheist, you are implying that religious people are wrong.
  • There is helpful advice for how to foster a stronger atheist community, not by focusing on what religions offer, rather by focusing on what people need.

Bad

  • In an effort to push the atheist movement toward Liberal politics, Christina argues that feminist issues, racial issues, and LGBT issues are also atheist issues because atheists include women, people of color, and the LGBT. I prefer atheists who also support social justice, and fight for social justice issues myself, but I don't agree that these are atheist issues. Just because issues apply to some people in a group, it doesn't mean that those issues are part of the group; case in point, some white supremacists are atheists, but that doesn't mean white supremacism is an atheist issue. To me, social justice issues are the purview of secular humanism, not atheism. That being said, I still applaud Christina for pushing her fellow atheists in an ethical direction.
  • There is a fair amount of overlap between the chapters. This is to be expected because it's laid out more so that people will read the chapters relevant to them rather than cover-to-cover. Thus, if you do read it cover-to-cover like I did, you will hear the same idea a couple times, though it's often worded differently each time.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Media

The cover, designed by Casimir Fornalski, has Greta Christina in comic book style kicking open a door with an atheist logo on the treads of her shoe. It's great action art, and I love how Greta has bags under her eyes. The green and black palette on a white base is nice and the style matches her other atheist books.

Links

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