Dale McGowan’s New Book About Interfaith Relationships Now Available for Preorder

I’m so excited to announce this: My friend Dale McGowan, who has already written two incredibly popular books on raising children as an atheist parent — Parenting Beyond Belief and Raising Freethinkers — will soon release his third book about atheist families.

It’s called In Faith and In Doubt: How Religious Believers and Nonbelievers Can Create Strong Marriages and Loving Families:



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How to Ruin Your Gay Kid’s Life: Inside Linda Harvey’s Book ‘Maybe He’s Not Gay’

Right-wingers are up in arms this week after Maybe He’s Not Gay, a horrific “guide” to homosexuality written by extreme homophobe Linda Harvey, was removed from the digital bookshelves of Amazon.

It’s not entirely clear why the book’s no longer available on Amazon. Back2Stonewall initially reported that Amazon made the decision themselves after reviewing the book’s borderline abusive content, while Queerty says the publisher made the final call. The anti-gay Illinois Family Institute and the Christian Post say that Harvey herself asked for the book to be taken down after it received an influx of critical reviews from, you know, intelligent and reasonable people.

“I saw the rotten reviews, a smear campaign by those who had not read the book, and the publisher attempted to get Amazon to pull the ad hominem reviews, but they were not immediately responsive,” said Harvey.

“So, since the book is brand new and I didn’t want it to be harmed by this uninformed and vicious campaign stimulated by ‘gay’ bloggers, I decided to pull the page for now.”

Harvey also told CP that Amazon left the option open to put it back online and that she and her publisher “will probably re-post it in the near future.”

Jeremy Hooper reported that while the book costs around $10, the toll it will take on the LGBT kids who have to deal with bigoted, toxic parents who read Harvey’s vitriol is far greater.

While this is an easy book to judge by its cover, I decided to buy it and dive into it so that 1) no one else has to and 2) we can all see just what we’re dealing with.

Is the book really as vile as it sounds? Let’s find out.

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Responding to the 50 Great Myths About Atheism

How many times have we heard people argue atheists don’t give to charity? Or that we fear death? Or that we’re just rebelling against God’s authority? Russell Blackford and Udo Schuklenk have heard those false claims many times before and they’ve responded to them (and several other nasty stereotypes) in their new book 50 Great Myths About Atheism (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013):

In the excerpt below (which has been adapted for this site), the authors respond to the myth that “Atheists want to ban teaching religion to children”:

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Yep, I Read Sarah Palin’s Christmas Book. Yep, It’s Even Worse Than You Thought

I tried to read Sarah Palin‘s new book Good Tidings and Great Joy. Really. I tried.

Hell, her people even sent me an autographed copy of the book. (The inscription reads “God Bless You,” as if she needed one more way to stick it to atheists…) The whole book is a lesson in patience. You have to find a way to flip the pages without knocking out everyone around you since every chapter just makes you progressively angrier. Ever read a Creationist textbook that you know others read in complete earnest? This is just like that.

It’s not that she holds different opinions from me; I deal with that all the time and it’s never a problem. At first, I thought what upset me the most was just how uninformed she was. She spent chapters writing about atheists and clearly didn’t even bother to talk to any to make sure she was on the right track. But then I realized I had it completely flipped. It wasn’t that she was willfully ignorant. It’s that she knew damn well what we’re all about and she was deliberately misrepresenting us just to rile her base.

Once that hit me, I saw the book in a completely different way. Here: Just look at some of the things she said (by way of a ghostwriter, of course):

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New Book Gazes Skeptically at the Star of Bethlehem

The Star of Bethlehem, as told in the Bible and other myths, did some impressive things that stars don’t normally do, moving in different directions, hovering in one spot, oh, and heralding the birth of the messiah. But what, if anything, was really going on?

Kimberly Winston of the Religion News Service recently interviewed Aaron Adair, the author of a new book on the subject, The Star of Bethlehem: A Skeptical View, and they run through some of the theories, ruling many of them out. Comets and supernovae, for example, don’t fit the picture. But one idea that sticks out to me, and also to Winston, is that the “star” may have been something a little more mechanical in nature [Read more…]