Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

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James A Kulacz

I keep writing your show. You are too interesting. Stop. I found the interview with Libbie Hawker interesting, as before I entered the village government business, I was an editor for an erotic Romance E-book publisher. There was an explosion of press interest in the book Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James and the concept of “mommy porn” when her book was published in print. The fact is that sort of story is what my own and several other E-publishers produced for many years. When the genre reached a critical mass, Fifty Shades was picked up by a major… Read more »


Libby’s book sounds a bit like an web show that I made several years ago called Clover Beach. It had atheist characters who moved to a small, religious town in Florida. It’s good to see the theme continuing.

Libbie Hawker

Hi, James! Nice to hear from you again. We discussed the whole Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon/thing at the after-party after the show. The reason why Fifty Shades became huge is because Random House wanted it to become huge. They put a staggering sum of promotional money behind it. Big publishers *can* do that with any book they choose (for the time being, anyway). Why they choose to make some books massive hits and not others is a mystery to people outside the Big Six. My personal opinion is that the Big Six won’t survive the current changes in the… Read more »

James B

A quick correction to a statement made on the show. Haley Barbour is the Governor of Mississippi, not North Carolina. North Carolina’s governor is Nikki Haley. She was raised in the Sikh faith but now is a far right Christian. Governor Haley is both the first non-white and first women elected Governor in South Carolina. She is a favorite of the Tea-Party wing, is strongly pro-choice (only exemption is if the life of the mother is at risk) denies climate change, denies Evolution, is anti-public education and gay-rights and all the other standard policies that the is typical of today’s… Read more »


James B

You wrote of Nikki Haley that she is, “strongly pro-choice (only exemption [sic] is if the life of the mother is at risk)…”. Did you mean pro-life, instead? Your characterization of her would make more sense if you did.

Mike Gillis

James B.! You are correct. I was going from memory, and simply got it wrong!

James Kulacz

A quick correction to James B’s comment above. Nikki Haley is the Governor of South Carolina, not North Carolina.

She has also noted she will not nominate a replacement for Senator Jim DeMint, as she does not wish to undermine a future senator’s service (South Carolina has term limits, and a two-year term to the Senate would shorten that senator’s service).


Cool! Thanks for the link, Steve. I’ll check out Clover Beach. 🙂


Thanks for commenting on my (Gary from upstate NY) email during your show (S10E11). I still think, after your comments, that skeptics ironically put a lot of effort into defining the things they don’t believe in. I wish theists (at least us few progressives) and secular humanists could put their efforts into finding common ground rather than fighting over nativity scenes, which I consider harmless to atheists. Finally, I disagree that the Bible, Koran and Torah define God as supernatural; that’s an interpretation and not a definition.

Mike Gillis

Gary, Again, this is where I think you’re incorrect. I’m not making up definitions for deities. I’m using the popular definitions devised by believers and their holy books. And again, there’s no more evidence for a happy shiny god than there is for the one that Pat Robertson believes in. I don’t know how you use the word “supernatural,” but any being who can break the laws of nature and physics at will is supernatural. But supernatural or not, there isn’t a whit of evidence for any being or force responsible for creating or maintaining the universe. And while nativity… Read more »


Gary, whilst I do agree with Mike in his response to you, I think your call for cooperation between the religious (moderates) and the non-religious is promising. I think you’re missing out on something though: it’s already happening, and it’s actually always happened. Sure, we might disagree on many details, but when it comes to the larger questions, agreement is often easily reached. There are so many secular charities with so many people of all and no religions working and raising money for them, like the Red Cross or Doctors without Borders. Similarly many religious groups donated to Washington United… Read more »

Anne C. Hanna

Just want to comment that although I’m not a WWE fan, I love the idea of having that atheist wrestler you mentioned come on the show. That sounds like a blast.

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