Is Amber Heard an Atheist? Not Quite…

This is Amber Heard:

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She’s yummy.

And she becomes even hotter when you find out she’s an atheist.

(Hey, USA Today said she was. It must be true.)

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Brent Rasmussen agrees with me on her scrumptiousness. Which is why he made a plea for her to become our spokesperson.

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Amber is starring in a slew of movies this year, including Never Back Down (with Djimon Honsou), Pineapple Express (with Seth Rogen), and The Informers (with Winona Ryder).

(Ok, just one more gratuitous pic:)

Amber Heard

*drool*

Why do I bring her up?

In a recent interview with Rob Brink for Missbehave magazine, the subject of religion came up…:

What are you reading right now?
A really great book by Christopher Hitchens called The Portable Atheist, US News about some discoveries on some secrets of Christianity, and a book about Pakistan.

I saw your profile on the website “Friendly Atheist.” So, that’s your thing huh? I mean, that you’re um… practicing atheism?

Ha. Yeah, that’s a great oxymoron. No, I’m not a practicing atheist. I’m a practicing human and I know how that sounds but I’m learning everything I can about being human. I was raised in a strict Catholic environment but the only thing I feel comfortable saying that I know is that I can’t know. I will never prescribe to an organization that claims to tell me how to do anything. I’m not anti “higher power” so you could call me agnostic. Whatever, call me anything but I will never be a “religious” person.

There was an open letter on the site asking you to be the Atheist spokeswoman. Pretty goddamn funny.

You have to love the irony — an organization based on the belief system of telling you not to believe in any organization based on belief systems…

Do you think if you weren’t raised in that crazy Catholic environment you’d feel the same? Anyone I know that grew up Catholic is so against it now.

I’d like to thank the way I was raised for giving me enough knowledge about organized religion to make the adult decision to live the rest of my life without it. I don’t think you can believe or not believe in anything unless you know a lot about it. I know Christianity, especially Catholicism, like the back of my hand. And my education has given me the freedom to know that it is completely absurd for me to believe it.

A few things:

  • “Friendly Atheist” is not an oxymoron! [Thanks to those who pointed out that "friendly atheist" is not what she was referring to. You win!]
  • The “open letter” was on Brent’s site, not mine.
  • Atheism is not an organization. We don’t tell you anything. Individuals, however, may try to persuade you against religion.
  • Amber, I still love you. Marry me?
  • Pretty please?

Oh, to be Amber’s Heard’s personal Portable Atheist…


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • http://unorthodoxatheism.blogspot.com Reed Braden

    Why do I bring her up?

    Because you’re a single math teacher driven by hormones?
    Maybe?

    I dunno…

    Why do I bring up Katharine Hepburn (Atheist) all the time? Oh yeah… I’m gay.

  • http://keenabean.blogspot.com Kaleena

    Hemant, as for the oxymoron…I thought she was referring to “practicing atheist” (but, maybe that’s just how I read it.)

  • http://wherewemakeourstand.wordpress.com jjberg

    I think Hemant was being sarcastic? But I could be wrong?

  • http://amiable-atheist.blogspot.com amiable

    i agree with kaleena, i thought she meant practicing atheist was an oxymoron.
    that would be pretty strange for her to sit there and say she was an atheist, then say a friendly atheist is an oxymoron. maybe she’s reading too much hitchens ;)

    when i came here on my blog reader i wasn’t sure what site i was on with all of these girly pics up!

  • Ron in Houston

    I’m sure Amber won’t take offense but her beauty and sexuality would probably not make her a good spokesperson. If anything she’s what a lot of those tight assed religious people shake their fingers at.

    Besides Hemant, you underestimate your spokesperson ability. In many ways people need to realize that the nice normal guy next door might be an atheist.

  • http://josemonkey.com JoseMonkey

    Hemant, as for the oxymoron…I thought she was referring to “practicing atheist” (but, maybe that’s just how I read it.)

    That’s how I read it, too, FWIW.

  • Alycia

    Yeah, nothing says postive role model/spokesperson like being half dressed and bent backwards over a beach ball whilst looking lustily into the camera.

  • Kate

    Hemant…you’re not going to start an atheist p0rn site, are you?!?!

    From a female perspective, I think she’d make a pretty crappy spokesperson. I second Alycia’s sentiments!!!!

  • JB

    I also read the oxymoron comment as referring to being a practicing atheist. But I could be wrong.

    Anyway, thanks for the morning titilation. I adore smart women. (Oh, and she isn’t too hard to look at either :D )

  • Kate’s mom

    Hemant, your testosterone is showing. A spokesman like this is just what the fundies would expect. No moral sense.

  • Viggo the Carpathian

    Alycia/Kate,

    Part of being a humanist is recognizing and accepting what it is to be human and part of being a male human (with notable exceptions – Oh look its Katharine Hepburn) is lusting after female humans that look like Amber Heard.

  • Kate

    Okay then – how about some equality. Let’s get a shockingly handsome, ripped, half-nekkid male spokesperson to make the female Christians swoon and convert. ;)

    Hemant, is that you I hear volunteering?

  • Alycia

    My vote is for Henry Rollins. No beach ball humping needed.

  • http://www.fireandknowledge.org Josh S.

    I agree she was referring to “practicing atheism” not “Friendly Atheist.”

  • http://brownjs.wordpress.com/ J.S.Brown

    She’s hot?

  • http://heathendad.blogspot.com/ HappyNat

    She’s hot?

    I don’t think so, but I’ve never been a fan of the “anorexic tramp” look.

  • sabrina

    Okay then – how about some equality. Let’s get a shockingly handsome, ripped, half-nekkid male spokesperson to make the female Christians swoon and convert. ;)

    I think that is in order, and only fair. We don’t want to be practicing a patriarchal non-religion here, do we? I vote for Henry Rollins as well, and, he comes with an added bonus. He is shockingly well read and well spoken, as well as being HAWT!!

  • Alycia

    Is that last pic of her a promo for “Pineapple Express”, because she looks totally baked.

    Oh, wait- those must be her “bedroom eyes”.

    Two votes for Henry! I nominate David Cross as his vice spokesperson, but I have a thing for nerds of Jewish descent.

  • sabrina

    but I have a thing for nerds of Jewish descent.

    Don’t mean to brag, but my boyfriend is so totally a nerd of jewish descent.
    *swoon*

  • ash

    i agree with her – secularism needs a spokesperson, humanitarianism needs a spokesperson, atheism…nah. 2 reasons –

    #1 – what are they gonna say? ‘it’s reasonable + rational to be an atheist, i promise i won’t eat your baby’ (repeat ad naseum)

    #2 if secularism + humanitarianism (i.e. positions that are ‘for’ something, rather than a position that just states what you’re not into) were accepted widescale, atheism and religion could both be private matters.

    gotta add that for me, atheism is only part of my identity, and primarily only addresses the fact i don’t believe in god/s. yes, like most, i decorate that belief with add-ons, but as my add-ons are not necessarily the same as anyone else’s, i’d be unhappy with anyone claiming to speak on my behalf. it’s enough that the occasional high-profiler’s out there, wish there were more, but hey…

    @ HappyNat – rofl!

  • http://blackskeptic.wordpress.com blackskeptic

    We need to be as critical with ourselves as we are of Christians.

    I understand that the gist of this post is that we need more publicly out atheists, esp. ones that are young and mainstream, but the execution of this post screams horny frat boy. And calling her an anorexic tramp (one of the comments. WOW. Luckily this isn’t as bad as the “is negro a slur” post.)

    What ever happened to atheists being more progressive than the average Joe?

  • Claire

    I have to agree with blackskeptic’s point. While I do realize the post was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, the comments give me pause.

    There is a problem and a danger with pushing sexuality to younger and younger girls, and I do believe that kids should be allowed to be kids. But this is an adult woman, not a child. If she wants to pose for some slightly sexy photos, that is her perogative.

    Religion is all about repressing female sexuality – what on earth are we jumping on that bandwagon?

  • Alycia

    She can pose for photos all she wants, but it’s hard to take someone seriously when she has mounted a beach ball in a bikini top and high heels. I do not equate that to “repressing female sexuality”. Instead, I think it’s repressing female intellect.

  • cautious

    claire said:

    Religion is all about repressing female sexuality – what on earth are we jumping on that bandwagon?

    I agree with this completely.

  • Sudo

    She seems high maintenance to me.

  • Claire

    Alycia, if people had confined themselves to “inappropriate spokesperson” I would be with you 100%, but they didn’t. One person used the word tramp, and as for your comments about her, they are definitely critical of her on-display sexuality and not of her (theoretical) lack of intellect.

    While I will save my personal respect for the Danica McKellars of this world, not everyone has to be the same.

    If Amber Heard wants to be the modern equivalent of a pin-up girl, I see no reason to criticize her for that. When she says or does something stupid or wrong, then that is a legitimate target for scorn, but until then, censuring her for these photos is just playing religion’s “female sexuality is dangerous and wrong” game.

  • JT

    I think this is great – right now the top female role models are:
    Ayaan Hirsi Ali (hot and smart)
    Susan Blackmore (smart and cool)
    Julia Sweeney (funny and smart)
    Eugenie Scott (smart)
    wow… they are all smart!!!

    Amber Heard is definitely easy on the eyes – it’s nice to have a representative who isn’t an old scientist or comedian (you know who you are). I say milk it for all it’s worth.

    JT

  • sabrina

    Religion is all about repressing female sexuality – what on earth are we jumping on that bandwagon?

    I agree. I don’t like that she has to “tramp” it up, and hump a beach ball, but, I don’t think we should look down on her for it or insult her. I read the interview she did, and she seems to be very articulate and intelligent. I like the fact that she is interested in reading and seeks to promote that. How many times do we read interviews with young stars and they talk about how much they love shopping, or friends, or “hanging out”, etc.
    The problem is not with her, its with our society that promotes that this is what is important, this is what sells. Its a little unfair to ask a twenty year old to change the entire patriarchy. Maybe once she “makes it”, she can dictate the photo shoots and interviews, but I think at this point in her career she really can’t be too fussy.
    Do I think its sad that Hemant has chosen her as his spokesperson, as opposed to Jessica Valenti, Amanda Marcotte, Jill Filipovic, or Naomi Wolfe? A little. Do I think he’s joking? Yes. Is it horny frat boy humor? Yes
    Do I think Hemant thinks women should be skinny, made up, and humping beach balls in high heels? No.
    I don’t think she’s repressing female intellect, as much as the society we live in does. I think a sexier picture would be her studying at the library (and not in a school girl outfit!). Or promoting charity work, advocating for world poverty, etc. I think she’s doing the best she can in the social construct she lives in.

  • Alycia

    I think you’re taking it to the extreme, Claire. Some lighthearted comments now become compared to religion’s (which not all do, btw) repressing of female sexuality? Please. If anything, she taking feminism a few steps back by objectifying herself in such a way. Why not comment on the exploitation of the female image in a male dominated culture if we’re going to turn this humorous post into an outcry against oppression?

  • http://heathendad.blogspot.com/ HappyNat

    One person used the word tramp, and as for your comments about her, they are definitely critical of her on-display sexuality and not of her (theoretical) lack of intellect.

    If Amber Heard wants to be the modern equivalent of a pin-up girl, I see no reason to criticize her for that. When she says or does something stupid or wrong, then that is a legitimate target for scorn, but until then, censuring her for these photos is just playing religion’s “female sexuality is dangerous and wrong” game.

    I didn’t mean my comment calling her a tramp to equate to female sexuality being dangerous. I like women who are confident enough to show their sexuality. I just think in the first three pictures she looks like a tramp. She has on enough eye makeup to paint a room in my house, while wearing ridiculously short shorts while humping a beach ball.

    Not to mention she looks like she hasn’t eaten in a week (probably with some photoshop help) and this perpetuates the idea to young girls that they should look like her. What the media presents as attractive and sexy is unattainable by a large percentage of society. Images like this cause girls to starve themselves or hate the way they look and this aspect of it bothers me more than the “trampiness”.

    I never said she shouldn’t be in the photos or we should wrap her in a burka. The pictures struck me as trampy and not at all attractive and I stated as much. She has the right to pose for them and I would never take that away from her or anyone.

  • Claire

    Those comments didn’t sound all that ‘light-hearted’ to me, Alycia – they sounded judgemental and dismissive, so I took issue with them.

    I will never understand why so many people think feminism should prohibit women from being sexy if they want to be. Might as well be wearing a chadoor as that attitude…

  • Claire

    HappyNat said:

    I didn’t mean my comment calling her a tramp to equate to female sexuality being dangerous.

    I got that, and you didn’t call her a tramp, and I did appreciate the difference. I just said that the word was used in reference to her look and added to the general tone of criticism. But you didn’t criticize her so much as a modern social trend, so I probably shouldn’t have used your comment as an example, and I apologize for that.

    I have to say, I do know (and like) that not every guy thinks that that is the height of female attractiveness, and I have noticed that Angelina Jolie’s stock hasn’t dropped despite the fact that she keeps getting photographed in baggy khakis.

    It’s just human nature – beautiful people get noticed, photographed, and a lot of attention. That won’t go away anytime soon.

  • http://ethicalfreethought.blogspot.com Will

    Maybe that could be Hemant’s next contest: what male atheist can send in the hottest picture to be the future atheist spokesperson. You’d have to set some ground rules of course (must be wearing underwear . . . at least – preferably Calvin Klein, must be home calender appropriate, etc.). I wouldn’t be too upset with a female version either ;) .

    It’s just human nature – beautiful people get noticed, photographed, and a lot of attention. That won’t go away anytime soon.

    Ever since the dawn of biology. haha.

  • sabrina

    Maybe that could be Hemant’s next contest: what male atheist can send in the hottest picture to be the future atheist spokesperson.

    Are you volunteering? I think we may be able to get a calendar going. You in, Hemant? Oooohh, I wonder if we could get PZ and Dawkins in it too?

  • Jen

    Yes, I am really disliking all these judgemental comments about her sexuality. Her career, which is going to be helped by sexy pictures, is in no way a reflection on her personally. Christ almighty, people.

    While I will save my personal respect for the Danica McKellars of this world, not everyone has to be the same.

    She posed for some steamy pictures two or so years ago as well.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta
    Maybe that could be Hemant’s next contest: what male atheist can send in the hottest picture to be the future atheist spokesperson.

    Are you volunteering? I think we may be able to get a calendar going. You in, Hemant? Oooohh, I wonder if we could get PZ and Dawkins in it too?

    What?! I don’t want to be the judge of that! :)

    But the Skepchick/Skepdude calendars are coming out soon…

    And you’re all right; she was referring to “practicing atheist” with her oxymoron comment. I changed it above.

    My bad.

  • Claire

    Jen said:

    She posed for some steamy pictures two or so years ago as well.

    Really? I didn’t know that. It doesn’t make any difference, though, since what I respect her for is for getting a good education and for doing a book for teenage girls on how math is cool. A couple of steamy pictures wouldn’t change that even if I did have a problem with it.

  • alice

    Great. Hemant is the new Perez.

  • Milena

    Me, I think Jodie Foster’s pretty damn hot (not to mention incredibly intelligent). And isn’t Angelina “Sexy Lips” Jolie an atheist? However, if we were to have Amber Heard as our spokesperson, I’ll have to agree with previous posters and demand an equally sexy, male spokesperson.

  • Siamang

    She posed for some steamy pictures two or so years ago as well.

    Link please.

    (KIDDING!)

  • Aj

    HappyNat,

    Not to mention she looks like she hasn’t eaten in a week (probably with some photoshop help) and this perpetuates the idea to young girls that they should look like her. What the media presents as attractive and sexy is unattainable by a large percentage of society. Images like this cause girls to starve themselves or hate the way they look and this aspect of it bothers me more than the “trampiness”.

    It must be cool to hate on skinny people now, because I see it an awful lot. How do you know she has an eating disorder? I guess she’s at fault for existing since her figure isn’t attainable by a large percentage of society. Her being alive makes others starve themselves and hate the way they look.

  • Milena

    It must be cool to hate on skinny people now, because I see it an awful lot. How do you know she has an eating disorder? I guess she’s at fault for existing since her figure isn’t attainable by a large percentage of society. Her being alive makes others starve themselves and hate the way they look.

    I don’t think it’s so much her existance as it is society’s obsession with her particular body-type that is the problem to which HapyNat is refering. As a young woman, I can tell you that seeing those pictures of her would have made me hate myself too, a few months ago. It can be very difficult for teenage girls to develop proper self-esteem when we are constantly bombarded with images like these and told that that’s the beauty standard.

  • http://suitablydark.livejournal.com/ Dark

    Yeah, we totally need a scantily clad hot chick to objectify! That’s just the right thing for a movement based on treating every human with dignity. And I’m sure it won’t alienate anyone. After all, it’s working so well for the animal rights movement.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Personally, I’d rather prefer to see the writings of a female contributor (someone with posting privileges) to Friendly Atheist to complement the male perspective given by Hemant, Richard, and Mike regardless of what she looks like. BTW, where has Richard been lately?

    If you want to look at pretty scantily clad women (or men), there are plenty of other opportunities on-line. And yes, Amber is pretty and apparently smart as well. I wish her well.

  • http://heathendad.blogspot.com/ HappyNat

    But you didn’t criticize her so much as a modern social trend, so I probably shouldn’t have used your comment as an example, and I apologize for that.

    Thanks, Claire. I should have been more clear in my original comment and explained where I was coming from.

  • http://heathendad.blogspot.com/ HappyNat

    It must be cool to hate on skinny people now, because I see it an awful lot. How do you know she has an eating disorder? I guess she’s at fault for existing since her figure isn’t attainable by a large percentage of society.

    I never said she had an eating disorder and I never said it was her fault. The media puts women that look like this out there as a standard of what is attractive and it screws with girls/womens heads as they try an obtain this impossible (for most) standard. I get mad at the “machine” that creates these standards not the women themselves.

  • Alycia

    “Christ almighty, people.”

    That’s exactly what I was thinking, but from the other end of the discussion. I think some people need to lighten up.

  • Aj

    HappyNat,

    I never said she had an eating disorder

    No, you implied it.

    Not to mention she looks like she hasn’t eaten in a week (probably with some photoshop help)

    I don’t think so, but I’ve never been a fan of the “anorexic tramp” look.

  • http://heathendad.blogspot.com/ HappyNat

    Aj,

    No, you implied it.

    So we agree. I accept your apology.

    :)

  • pansies4me

    As a 40 year old, slightly overweight, tired-looking mom I have found a new coping mechanism when I see women of any age who I deem to be a million times more attractive than me. I try to picture them without makeup. Seriously. Go to the bookstore and find a “makeover” book with before and after pictures. You will instantly feel better about yourself if you are insecure and have bought the hype that there are “perfect” women out there. I bet Amber isn’t nearly as hot without the help of hair and makeup artists.

    Do I still sound bitter and jealous? :)

  • Milena

    pansies4me,

    I usually tell myself that beauty never changed the world, because ideas and action are what really matters. That way, I can usually push myself to improve in a productive manner by, say, reading a book or joining an organisation I support. Hope this helps. =)

  • http://www.unscrewingtheinscrutable.com Brent Rasmussen

    Wow. Who would’ve thunk that my silly little tongue in cheek post from a year ago would have generated this much discussion and animosity and – let’s be brutally honest with ourselves – stridently hysterical and silly comments about how the sky is falling because guys like me like to look at pretty girls like her.

    Christ on a pogo stick, folks. Grow up already. At least the writer of the article seemed to get the humor in my original post, so there’s that at least.

    Amber, if you’re following this conversation – which you probably aren’t, but what the heck, right? – you said in the article:

    You have to love the irony—an organization based on the belief system of telling you not to believe in any organization based on belief systems…

    1. Atheism isn’t an “organization”. It is a description. It describes a human being in whom god-belief (of any flavor) is absent. This is why we’re always carping on about how you can be both an agnostic and an atheist – at the same time. Wow! Pretty cool, huh?

    2. Atheism is also not a “belief system”. See 1., above.

    3. So, in light of 1. and 2. above, atheism (being a description, remember,) cannot “tell you to do” anything at all.

    And now you’re beginning to see why we need a spokesmodel, Amber. Because we’re terrible at this social thing.

    Oh, and Hemant may offer to be your own personal “Portable Atheist”, but I’d happily be your own Friendly Atheist any time. Heheheh…