Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

Sometimes an Email Makes You All Warm Inside

Despite our brief presence in the online atheist realm, we’re elated to be getting response from the Internets. We also quickly learned that not all (in fact, A LOT) of the feedback is negative; we expected as much. But one criticism that has been pervasive, and been lobbed at us since our very first episode, is that we’ve been derided for being too much like the Atheist Experience.

This too is a critique which we anticipated, but in our discussions last year we mulled over this fact and determined that it wasn’t enough to stop us. We talked with members of AETV and made them aware of our intentions and we received nothing but encouragement. In fact, we prize our unique Northwest perspective: coming from a very liberal, “tolerant” locale, where we think the worst kind of naive theism thrives and lends cover to extremism. We also thought that since a few very large entities, like the Mars Hill Church and the Discovery Institute, lie right on our doorstep that we’d be uniquely positioned to mount a rebuttal. In short, we’ve got game that they don’t… and we’d also have the advantage as the “scrappy upstarts” to quote Pete Campbell.

All that aside, our viewers do act as a sort of barometer for our performance, which is why we take them seriously. We already have our token ALL CAPS TYPING THEISTMILITANT ATHEIST AVENGER(Edit: Sorry, Garry, we now know who you are), and plenty of other nearly incomprehensible rants slung at us. But given the amount of introspection we try to do to measure if we’re “doin’ it rite” (as Libbie would say), I get a great deal of heart when we receive things like this in correspondence:

And, also, thank you for your show. Yes, I’m an AETV fan. But, you’ve demonstrated something that they could never do on their own – you’ve demonstrated that the snowball of reason isn’t just getting bigger, it’s actually moving. Thanks again.

May that snowball become an abominable snowman of Godzillaesque proportions.

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I agree with the snowball analogy, and it is a good thing. When there are as many AE type shows around as Christian shows, then we can criticize. Until that point keep growing and finding your way as a show. Try new things and your experimentation and innovation should pay off. Maybe have a small series where you spend a few minutes talking about a narrow sect of Christianity or a less known religion. Sometimes the best thing to do with a bad idea or argument is just to underline it. Like reading from the bible, the more details you… Read more »


Thanks to the emailer and to Chase as well. We’re all really enjoying working on the show, and the mostly-positive feedback we’ve received from the community at large, too, which has been very heartening. I think it’s awesome that AETV has been supportive and friendly toward us…but I wouldn’t expect anything else from such a fine group of people.


I swear people invent things to complain about.

I wish there were 10 shows like this, though, not much more than that, else I’ll have a hard time getting anything done.


Too much like The Atheist Experience? What kind of ridiculous comment is that? Who would say that? You’re an atheist show serving a different market than AETV. Would a church-goer in Florida criticise their church for being too much like another one in Delaware? I don’t care if you’re EXACTLY like AETV, we need more shows to reach more people! One in each market would be great. It would only be too many shows if they were all broadcast into the same market (ie. nationally).

Keep up the good work guys and girl!


Thanks, Jeff! 🙂

We do have more ladies on the crew than just me, too. So far they have been reluctant to step in front of the camera, but they do an awesome job running the behind-the-scenes stuff, as do the guys who work crew. We’re a bunch of smart cookies and we love what we’re doing!

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