Exclusive Excerpt from Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions

Fundamentalist faiths are bad for everyone, but women undoubtedly suffer more than the men do. Whether they’re evangelical Christian, Mormon, or Muslim, the message is clear: If you’re female, God has a special, shitty role for you.

But every now and then, the women break free. They escape the faith — or at least the more extreme version of it — and serve as inspirations for others.

Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions (Seal Press, 2013), edited by Cami Ostman and Susan Tive, compiles several stories by these women. They write about the “pain that comes from the rigid expectations and diminishment of women so often built into religious orthodoxy.”

It’s as frightening and powerful a book as you might imagine.

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How Effective Will the ‘Abort Theocracy’ Campaign Be?

The group Secular Woman is launching a new project today that… well… just rubs me the wrong way:

Abort Theocracy is focused on the intersection of religious power over a women’s bodily autonomy, dedicated to terminating that connection by opposing religious influence in government.

The idea behind it isn’t bad at all. The larger the spotlight we can shine on legislation that’s bad for women, that serves to control their bodies, that spurs women (and men) to contact their legislators to vote against the bills, the better off we are.

But the metaphor of treating that legislation as something to be “aborted,” or to be “terminated,” just doesn’t make sense to me.

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Rick and Kay Warren Take Positive Steps Toward Mental Health Education After Loss of Son

A couple of weeks ago, the 27-year-old son of Pastor Rick Warren and his wife Kay committed suicide. It was especially sad to learn that Matthew Warren had suffered for so long with mental illness. I commended the Warrens for taking him to professionals — something that may have helped prolong his life for an additional ten years.

One of the problems in the Christian church is that mental illness is often seen as a sign of weakness, an indication that Satan has latched onto you. Prayer is the cure and professionals are not.

To their credit, the Warrens didn’t (and still aren’t) taking that approach.

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This Video Clearly Proves That Atheism is Irrational

God had to be the first cause?!

What an irrefutable argument!

Boston College Philosophy Professor Peter Kreeft uses that argument to suggest believing in God is totally rational in this video… and the comments are somehow not turned off!

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The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible: Now in Print!

Back in high school, not long after I began coming out to close friends as an atheist, I was given a Bible by someone I knew. She thought that if I read it, I might learn something. So I began reading it. And I marked up all the questionable passages and contradictions I could find.

Then I came across Skeptics Annotated Bible and found out someone had already done all the work for me.

Anyone who has ever visited the site knows what a valuable resource it is. What do you want to find? Injustice? Misogyny? Contradictions? Violence? It’s all marked up for you.

Creator Steve Wells recently released the book we’ve all been waiting for: an actual annotated Bible:

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