Greta Christina on “The Atheist Condition”

On ETFF we have discussed religion, supernatural beliefs and atheism from a philosophical and political perspective. We have asked why people believe without evidence, what role religion plays in our political landscape, and what role does our political natures play in the sorts of religious teachings we accept or reject. And we have asked what the relationship is between religion and science.

But what we may not have talked about well enough may be the more personal aspects of atheism for the non-believer. Why is it so hard, even in 2014, for atheists in some parts of this country to discuss their belief — and not just in public, but even with friends and family? How does one “come out” as an atheist in perhaps the most religious nation in the developed world? Why is it important that atheists do come out, just as the LBGT community has learned over the last several decades? And when atheists DO come out and discuss their beliefs and express their ideas with the general public, why does it seem many believers find us to be obnoxious, arrogant, stubborn, and angry?

Greta Christina will discuss these questions and more with us in just a few moments.  Greta is a regular atheist correspondent for AlterNet, Free Inquiry, and The Humanist, and has been writing about atheism in her own “Greta Christina’s blog” since 2005. As a public speaker, she is part of the Speakers Bureau for the Secular Student Alliance and the Center for Inquiry.  Greta was a speaker on the Diversity in Skepticism panel at The Amaz!ng Meeting in July, 2011, the Reason Rally in 2012, and the 50th annual convention of American Atheists in 2013.

In that same year, she was named the International Team Honored Hero of the Foundation Beyond Belief (FBB). The Foundation’s teams raise money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Greta received the 2013 LGBT Humanist Pride Award from the American Humanist Association.

Her two books we will be discussing with her today are Coming Out Atheist: How to do it, How to Held Each Other, and Why, and Why are you Atheists so Angry: 99 Things that Piss off the Godless.

Hobby Lobby Goes to Washington

Are Corporations “persons” that can have their religious liberty taken away? Does the Supreme Court ruling on the Hobby Lobby case set ignore the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment? Was this ruling really just about contraception and sexuality, or was it more about a growing anti-women sentiment in America? Or perhaps, was this the Right’s attempts to pull the teeth out of Obamacare? And are there far reaching potential consequences to this ruling which go beyond religion, health insurance, and a promotion of gender inequality?

Or does this ruling actually respect the Separation of Church and State, bring a much needed sense of morality back to America, protects religious freedom of employers (not the corporation itself), and is respectful not only to women, but to the rights of the unborn who would face possible (and legal) abortion should more women have sex relying on methods of protection which are not full pr0of?

Matthew LaClair will host a discussion on these questions and others along with two women from the secular perspective: Carol Price and Abby Davenport. He will also speak to corporate lawyer, Anne Tucker about the case.

Anne Tucker is an associate professor at Georgia State University where she teaches and research corporate law and corporate constitutional rights. She participated in an amicus brief on the Hobby Lobby case and was fortunate enough to attend the oral argument. She formerly practiced corporate law with Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, which ranked first in The American Lawyer’s 2014 list of most successful law firms in America. She received her JD magna cum laude at Indiana University’s Bloomington-Maurer school of law.

Carol Price is the author of Mystic Rhythms: The Philosophical Vision of RUSH. She received the BA in Philosophy from Montclair State University and studied with Matthew Lipmann at the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children. With her husband Robert M. Price, she has hosted Heretics Anonymous and Skeptic Tank discussion groups in their home over 25 years. She has created the Mindvendor website and has recently founded Mindvendor Books. She has taught philosophy in area elementary schools and is now teaching kindergarteners and first graders in rural North Carolina.

Abby Davenport is a Freethought activist, an open atheist in the religious backwater of Oklahoma, a staunch opponent of magical thinking and “woo,” a political leftist, and supports logic, reason, and compassion in all activities. Abigail is looking to go back to university for Library Science in the near future.

Naturalistic Support Workshop