I’m putting together my 2013 speaking schedule. If you’d like me to speak to your college, church or group now is the time to contact by clicking on this: Frankschaeffer.com (contact information in small print at the top of my homepage)
(LINKS to some of the talks I’ve given at UCLA and Princeton etc., are at the bottom of this page where you may watch them.)
Talk Topics Include:
The Impact of Religion on American Politics
My Journey Out Of the Religious Right to Mainstream American Politics and Progressive Causes
Spirituality and Hope in A Cynical Age
Rebuilding the Name of Jesus on the Ruins of the Religious Right
Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back
By the time he was nineteen, Frank Schaeffer’s parents, Francis and Edith Schaeffer, had achieved global fame as bestselling evangelical authors and speakers, and Frank had joined his father on the evangelical circuit. He would go on to speak before thousands in arenas around America, publish his own evangelical bestseller, and work with such figures as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Dr. James Dobson. But all the while Schaeffer felt increasingly alienated, precipitating a crisis of faith that would ultimately lead to his departure—even if it meant losing everything. This is the story of an escape from the fundamentalist world and the reasons for Schaeffer’s flight.
Patience With God: Faith for People Who Don’t Like Religion (or Atheism)
Frank Schaeffer has a problem with the New Atheists. He also has a problem with the religious fundamentalists. The problem is that he doesn’t see much of a difference between the two camps. Sparing no one and nothing, including himself and his fiery evangelical past, and invoking subtleties too easily ignored by the pontificators, Schaeffer adds much-needed nuance to the existing religious conversation as he challenges atheists and fundamentalists alike.
Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible’s Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics–and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway
A penetrating analysis of political extremism, with a moving and at times hilarious account of growing up in one of the Christian right’s most influential families. Few speakers command Frank Schaeffer’s intimate understanding of right-wing radicalism, and even fewer are able to share their insight as entertainingly and with as much moral weight. this is a lecture about the political extremism that has engulfed politics in America and its consequences.
Here’s a typical letter from someone who invited me:
Thank You for Your Time at DePaul University
From: Scott R. Paeth
To: Frank Schaeffer
I wanted to write you to extend my deepest thanks for your recent engagement at
DePaul University. Your conversations with both students and faculty, as well as
your public lecture, were invaluable contributions to the work of DePaul
University, our department of Religious Studies, and the Center for
I want to particularly thank you for the time you took to speak to two of my
classes — Debates About God and The Idea of Evil. I know from talking with
students that many of them were deeply affected by your candid remarks about
your own faith, your history with a particular variation on the Christian theme,
and your continuing struggles to think about issues of life, death, salvation
Your evening lecture on the 2012 elections and the origins of the religious
right was also very well received. The feedback that the Center for
Interreligious Engagement received was overwhelmingly positive, and the
participants appreciated the “on the ground” insights you were able to offer
both as to how the religious right began as a movement as well as how its
effects continue to reverberate in American political life.
Once more, I would like to offer you my deepest and most sincere thanks. I hope
that we may have you back to speak again in the future, and that you continue to
do well in all of your endeavors. I hope to speak to you again soon.
Scott R. Paeth
Associate Professor of Religious Studies
FRANK SCHAEFFER is a New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books. Frank is a much sought after speaker and has spoken at a wide range of venues from Harvard’s Kennedy School to the Hammer Museum for UCLA, Princeton University, Riverside Church Cathedral, De Paul University, the Kansas City Public Library etc. Frank is a frequent guest on the Rachel Maddow Show on NBC, has appeared on Oprah, been interviewed by Terri Gross on NPR’s “Fresh Air” and appeared on the “Today Show” the BBC and other media outlets.
Frank is a survivor of polio and an evangelical/fundamentalist childhood, an acclaimed writer who overcame severe dyslexia, a home-schooled and self-taught documentary movie director, a feature film director and producer of four low budget Hollywood features Frank has described as ‘pretty terrible,’ and an author of critically acclaimed fiction and nonfiction. Frank’s three semi-biographical novels about growing up in a fundamentalist mission: “Portofino,” “Zermatt” and “Saving Grandma” have a worldwide following and have been translated into nine languages.
Jane Smiley writing in the Washington Post says of Frank’s memoirs “Crazy For God” and “Sex, Mom and God”: “[Schaeffer’s] memoirs have a way of winning a reader’s friendship… Schaeffer is a good memoirist, smart and often laugh-out-loud funny… Frank seems to have been born irreverent, but his memoirs have a serious purpose, and that is to expose the insanity and the corruption of what has become a powerful and frightening force in American politics… Frank has been straightforward and entertaining in his campaign to right the political wrongs he regrets committing in the 1970s and 80s… As someone who has made redemption his work, he has, in fact, shown amazing grace.”
Frank speaks on the impact of religion on politics, his journey from being an Evangelical leader (who hung out with the Bush family, Jack Kemp and other Republican leaders etc., ) to becoming a spokesperson for progressive politics and religion.
Praise for Frank Schaeffer’s Writing:
The Calvin Becker Trilogy (Portofino, Zermatt and Saving Grandma)
“Poignant and hilarious, Calvin is immensely appealing. . . . Schaeffer . . . is very funny, but we are never far from a sense that harshness and violence are real; we are never entirely sure how things will turn out… Calvin, the irrepressibly endearing hero of Frank Schaeffer’s [Calvin Becker Trilogy] is the son of a missionary family, and their trip to Portofino is the highlight of his year. But even in the seductive Italian summer, the Beckers can’t really relax. Calvin’s father could slip into a Bad Mood and start hurling potted plants at any time. His mother has an embarrassing habit of trying to convert “pagans” on the beach. And his sister Janet has a ski sweater and a miniature Bible in her luggage, just in case the Russians invade and send them to Siberia. His dad says everything is part of God’s plan. But this summer, Calvin has some plans of his own.” —Richard Eder Los Angeles Times
“Beautifully written . . . great insight and unselfconscious humor.”
“A wry coming of age tale . . . splendid laugh-out loud moments.”
“A profound and sometimes painful look at the challenges of practicing faith, and a lot of fun to read.” —Washington Times
“Calvin Becker is back in a timely, timeless story about the volcanic sexual curiosity of a fourteen-year-old boy born into a fundamentalist family so strict that he has never seen a movie, watched television, or danced (and has to hide his five copies of Mad magazine in the attic). It is 1966, and Ralph and Elsa Becker, Reformed Presbyterian missionaries from Kansas, are stationed in Switzerland, and on a modest ski vacation with their three children: tyrannical eighteen-year-old Janet, angelic Rachael, and our narrator, the irrepressible Calvin. But then, while at the Hotel Riffelberg, high above Zermatt, the fourteen-year-old falls into the hands of a waitress who, while bringing him his breakfast each morning, initiates him into ecstasies he can barely begin to comprehend. Told with warmth and humor.” —Library Journal
“Mr. Schaeffer’s gifts as a novelist are more than comic: Saving Grandma has a deeper river flowing through it as well, one that is sensual and loving and full of true grace. This is a wonderful book!”—Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog
Baby Jack (a novel)
“The author lets each character speak in alternating chapters. (In heaven, Jack befriends a down-to-earth God who is a “wannabe theatre director.”) The reader marvels at how Schaeffer makes this concise chorus of social conviction moving and memorable by emphasizing emotion over description. By no means is Baby Jack another War and Peace. Think War and People instead.” USA Today
The God Trilogy (Crazy for God, Patience With God, Sex, Mom and God)
“But when the family business is religion, it is especially perilous. That is one of the central laments, anyway, of “Sex, Mom, & God,” a new memoir by Frank Schaeffer. To secular Americans, the name Frank Schaeffer means nothing. But to millions of evangelical Christians, the Schaeffer name is royal, and Frank is the reluctant, wayward, traitorous prince. His crime is not financial profligacy, like some pastors’ sons, but turning his back on Christian conservatives.” New York Times
“[Schaeffer’s] memoirs have a way of winning a reader’s friendship… Schaeffer is a good memoirist, smart and often laugh-out-loud funny… Frank seems to have been born irreverent, but his memoirs have a serious purpose, and that is to expose the insanity and the corruption of what has become a powerful and frightening force in American politics… Frank has been straightforward and entertaining in his campaign to right the political wrongs he regrets committing in the 1970s and ’80s… As someone who has made redemption his work, he has, in fact, shown amazing grace.” Washington Post, Jane Smiley
“The book[s] shine … A consummate memoirist, Schaeffer fills the narrative with interesting anecdotes… The sage conversation on a New York-bound bus with a distraught Asian girl is warmly resonant and a befitting conclusion to… [a] book of ruminations, memories and frustrated opinion.” Booklist
“[A] startlingly honest work, which is part memoir and part religious history… Intriguing fare.” Church of England Newspaper
“A work that alternates from heartwarming to thought provoking to laugh out loud funny… Schaeffer brilliantly guides the reader through an exploration of the Bible’s strange, intolerant, and sometimes frightening attitudes about sex, and how these Biblical teachings, through the evangelical grassroots of the Republican Party, have come to dominate the GOP stance… Schaeffer’s writing style combines intelligence, warmth, humor, depth and insight… Sex, Mom, and God is hands down one of the best non-fiction books of the year.” Kirkus Reviews(website)
“A fond and sometimes hilarious look back at [Schaeffer’s] mother’s child-rearing methods and the effect they had on him… Schaeffer’s journey demonstrates that the world could be a better place if we were all able to reassess our beliefs and values-to examine them closely and glean only those worth saving.” Library Journal
“Well worth reading, highly entertaining, and very informative about the recent history of American evangelicalism. It will appeal to readers interested in the world today, memoir, or religion.” Huffington Post
“Part memoir, part revelation about Evangelical pathology, and part prescription for theological sanity, the book has much to recommend it.”Patheos.com
“Frequently entertaining.” The Humanist
“Part memoir, part theology, and part political commentary… An ambitious undertaking. But Sex, Mom, and God did not disappoint. Alternating between laugh-out-loud episodes and poignant reflections, Schaeffer recounts with candor the influence his mother had on both his beliefs and the beliefs of a generation of Evangelicals… His readers-believers and non-believers alike-will be challenged to reconsider their views about politics, sex, and religion.” The Daily Beast
“An unusual mix-part memoir, part exegesis on Bible-based belief systems, and part prescription for a more compassionate, human-centered politics for both religious and theologically skeptical people. Humor, at times of the laugh-out-loud variety, is abundant. And while readers will likely bristle at some of Schaeffer’s conclusions, his wit, sass and insights make Sex, Mom, & God a valuable and entertaining look at U.S. fundamentalism.” San Francisco Book Review
Links to some of the talks Frank Schaeffer has recently given:
To book me to speak please contact me at Frankschaeffer.com (contact information at the top of the homepage).