Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

This Week: Gaytheism

Join us this week as Deanna, Keight and Mike discuss the interplay between the gay rights movement and the atheist visibility movement, and why equal rights and protection for gay people tends tends to be important to atheists.

About the Author: Sam Mulvey

Sam Mulvey is a producer and the technical brain behind Ask an Atheist. He is a collector of vinegar varieties, vintage computers, antique radios, and propaganda.

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Henry (from San Jose)

We’re here,
We’re free of existential fear
Get used to it!

David McNerney

Just listening to the podcast at the moment.

WRT the idea that there is an N-word for atheist:

What about “Agnostic”? Personally, I consider myself to be an agnostic atheist (I don’t “know” there is no god, I can’t, but I’m pretty confident that there isn’t), but often you hear the strong atheist types using “Agnostic” as a derisory way of describing someone who’s “not a real atheist”, while at the same time theists use it as “You don’t know, therefore I’m right” term.

I seem to remember Christopher Hitchens lamenting that Thomas Huxley ever coined the phrase.


“Gaytheism” has a nice ring to it but separate the words out and they really say gay theism, the opposite of where you’re going with all of this – you think?


Hey Jim,

The term was selected (1) because it has a sing-songy turn-of-phrase quality to it, and (2) because I’ve been fond of the portmanteau word ever since I saw some non-hetero folks amongst Seattle Atheists 501(c)3 proudly wearing buttons with the word at streetfairs.

I like to use the cutesy term “Jewmanist” for myself, as a combo of Jewish Humanist, and I don’t feel like I’m saying I’m Jew + “Man”ist…


I think that the “ick” factor may be fueling things to some degree, but many of the organizations actively campaigning against gay rights seem to have the enforcement of mosaic law as their end goal. These groups, or ones related to them, often seem intent on combating the separation of church and state, divorce, contraception, and other things that don’t inspire as much “squick” from as many in the general public.


Becky –

Ah hah. Oui, “portmanteau.” Une bonne réponse. 🙂

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