Future Book Alert: Candidate Without a Prayer

Two decades ago, Herb Silverman ran for Governor of South Carolina in order to challenge the state law which said atheists could not hold public office. He may have lost the race but succeeded in raising people’s consciousness about that issue. (Technically, the law is still in the books, but it can’t be enforced.) Today, he is the Founder and President of the Secular Coalition for America.

Those two events may bookend his public life as an activist, but his activism outside the world of politics is equally compelling. (He gets bonus points for being a Math professor.)

In June of 2012, he’ll release an autobiography called Candidate Without A Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt (Pitchstone Publishing).

It’s one of the book I’m looking forward to reading next year and you can pre-order a copy now:

Incidentally, Amazon lists the full price right now, but my hunch is that it’ll drop by quite a bit by the time the book is actually released. Since no one gets charged until the release date, you’ll only pay the final price either way. TL; DR: You can pre-order it now and you’ll only be paying the final price. Amazon is awesome like that.

More information about the book will appear on this site closer to the release date, but for now, enjoy the cover :)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • starskeptic

    If you put it on your wish list – so you don’t forget about it – and wait until it’s been out for awhile it’ll drop even further; really no reason to pre-order it (unless you really can’t wait)…

  • scipio1

    Wait, this law is still on the books?

    • rhodent

      It’s actually a clause in the state constitution, not a law.  Either way, it’s unenforceable, which is the main thing. 

      The fact that it is still on the books isn’t surprising; it only comes off the books when the legislature votes to remove it, and usually it’s not considered worth the effort to remove a law/clause that has already been invalidated.  In the case of South Carolina, there’s also the fact that in order to amend the constitution, the amendment must be approved by two-thirds majority in both houses of the state legislature, THEN it must gain a majority in a statewide referendum, and THEN it must be approved a second time by both houses of the legislature (only a straight minority is necessary the second time).  Even if you could get the vote to pass by a two-thirds majority in the legislature (unlikely), there’s no way it would win in a referendum.

      Incidentally, there are several other states that have similar clauses. Along with South Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee all disqualify anyone who denies the existence of God.  Maryland disqualifies anyone who does not believe in God.  Pennsylvania and Texas say that anyone who acknowledges the existence of a god will not disqualified on account of his religious beliefs, but do not actually state that anyone who does not acknowledge the existence of a god will be disqualified; Texas also states that no religious test shall ever be required.

  • MDSD

    Would rather give my $ to a site that’s less conservative and more pro-animal rights than Amazon… book sounds like fun though

  • MDSD

    Those laws are on the books in many places though I think you’d be hard pressed to find a place that would enforce.

  • http://twitter.com/TominousTone Tom Lawson

    Good books coming out this year. Adding to the Goodreads.com list.

  • Rich Wilson

    I assume using the link here will give you a small cut Hemant?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Indeed, as do most Amazon links on this site.

  • Amyable Atheist

    Looks like a great book, especially with a Dawkins introduction. One can also buy it (as  I will) from a local (or distant) bookseller and spend a couple bucks supporting a small business that invests in local real estate, pays taxes, doesn’t exuberantly prey on teeny, tiny little competitors, and adds value to a community through human expertise, author readings and promotions, and on and on. 

    Amazon will never get another web hit or penny from me after their particularly vicious efforts with their ‘Price Check’ app to specifically reward the already rampant practice of people using ‘brick and mortar’ stores as free Amazon showrooms. Amazon is NOT AWESOME, Amazon sucks. Buy this book but buy it from a bookseller that plays the game of trade in a remotely fair, decent way.  

    I understand that you have a (freely admitted) business stake here, but Hemant, I’m a little disappointed in you for promoting such a shitty company. Sorry if this is off-topic but as a moral issue, I think there’s more to life as citizens in the places we all live than saving a few bucks feeding such a destructive business model.

    • http://antigold.myopenid.com/ Jude

      A marketing scheme is a marketing scheme.  Really, who cares?

    • walkamungus

      You don’t like it, don’t buy there. Amazon gets my book money because the big-box bookstores in my area have already driven out the brick-and-mortar bookstores. As for “Price Check,” I’ve been doing it for years without the app, allowing me to avoid the *other* big-box stores.

      Plus there’s this thing called a “library”…


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