A Review of The Happy Atheist by PZ Myers

This is a guest post by Chantelle Moghadam.

[Hemant’s Note: For the sake of disclosure, I wrote a blurb for the back of the book. This review, however, was written independently]

PZ Myers writes the first half of The Happy Atheist (Pantheon, 2013) with all the bound-up angst against religion that most atheists hold and, as an atheist myself, I completely understand where that frustration comes from. I can’t help but wonder, though, what a religious person might think of atheists if they read this book. The most convincing arguments against religion are not always the ones telling religious people how ridiculous they are, but ones that make valid criticisms of religion itself. Even someone who is on the fence about religion may be offended within the first few pages and unable to finish the rest of it. The Kirkus Review held nothing back when it said of the book: “Unlikely to change a single mind or cause even the slightest shift in perspective.”

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A Review of Hope After Faith: An Ex-Pastor’s Journey from Belief to Atheism by Jerry DeWitt

Brother Jerry DeWitt has a problem. Since he first felt called to the ministry — a call that came in his teens — he’s been trying to bring about a revival: a gathering of souls that he would lead to Christ. He’s been moving from church to church, building his ministry and trying to get his doctrine right. Nothing seems to fit, and as time passes, it becomes clear to him that the disconnect is less about his failure to find the Word, and more a failure of the Word itself, which contains a myriad of positions that Jerry can’t accept, and contradictions that he ultimately comes to see as lies.

This is the central arc of Hope After Faith: An Ex-Pastor’s Journey from Belief to Atheism (Da Capo Press, 2013). DeWitt starts by taking us back to his roots in DeRidder, Louisiana, to a church culture where religion fundamentally reorders one’s priorities, that sees spirituality as its wellspring, and accepts God as the only possible source of hope. These are people who welcome (Christian) preaching in the public schools and call their minister right after dialing 9-1-1. The first two-thirds of the book catalogue DeWitt’s struggles to balance creating a life for his family with finding his way as a young, Pentecostal preacher. The last third tells the story of his ultimate disillusionment with Christianity, his coming out as an atheist, and the fallout, as his professional and personal life disintegrate and he becomes a pariah.

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Frederic Rich: The Christian Right is Not Just Cranks and Knuckleheads

After the 2008 election, I think a person could be forgiven for thinking the tide had finally turned on the Religious Right, as a young, progressive, black politician was elected president. All the fear-mongering and rumors churning about whether Barack Obama was a secret Muslim, or perhaps Satan himself, didn’t seem to stop the dam from bursting on the Bush years.

The political elastic, of course, snapped back pretty hard in 2010 (though I would never take a midterm election to be representative of the entire potential electorate, since turnout in those is usually limited to activated partisans), and particularly in state legislatures, we saw Christianists swarm into power.

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For a Limited Time, My Book The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide is Only $0.99

Last fall, I published a book called The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide. While the target audience was pretty much everybody, it told the stories of young atheists and how all of us (parents, teachers, students, administrators, friends) could help them overcome some of the struggles they deal with.

Normally, the book sells for $7.99 on Kindle, but for the next few days, we’re selling it for less than a dollar! After Wednesday, it’ll go up to $2.99 for a week, and then back to its normal price after that.

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Christian Author Tony Anthony Gets Caught Lying About His Life Story

Tony Anthony is the author of the bestselling, decade-old, freakishly-long-titled book Taming the Tiger from the Depths of Hell to the Heights of Glory: The Remarkable True Story of a Kung Fu World Champion. It a story about how Tony became a killer, went to prison, found Jesus, and soon became a free man in more ways than one:

Anthony was a popular speaker on the Christian circuit, where his compelling story resonated with audiences:

“In the line of duty as a bodyguard, I killed people,” Anthony would tell church audiences. “I have broken more arms and legs than I care to remember.” Later he recounted how he found God while in prison in Nicosia after being convicted of theft.

The book was a phenomenon. It was translated into 25 languages and won the Christian Booksellers’ Convention Award in 2005.

You can guess where this story is going

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