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I Sold My Soul on eBay: Viewing Faith through an Atheist's Eyes

I Sold My Soul on eBay: Viewing Faith through an Atheist's Eyes Description:

Unique insights from an atheist s Sunday morning odyssey br br When Hemant Mehta was a teenager he stopped believing in God but he never lost his interest in religion Mehta is the eBay atheist the nonbeliever who auctioned off the opportunity for the winning bidder to send him to church The auction winner was Jim Henderson a former pastor and author of i Evangelism Without Additives i Since then Mehta has visited a variety of church services posting his insightful critiques on the Internet and spawning a positive ongoing dialogue between atheists and believers br br i I Sold My Soul on eBay i tells how and why Mehta became an atheist and features his latest church critiques including descriptions of his visits to some of the best known churches in the country His observations will surprise and challenge you revealing how the church comes across to those outside the faith Who better than a nonbeliever to offer an eye opening assessment of how the gospel is being presented and the elements that enhance or detract from the presentation br br Mehta announced prior to his churchgoing odyssey that he would watch for any signs of God s existence After spending Sunday mornings in some of the nation s leading churches what happened to the man who sold his soul on eBay Did attending church change his lack of belief The answers can be found inside

Rating: 3.67 out of 5

The Young Atheist's Survival Guide: Helping Secular Students Thrive

The Young Atheist's Survival Guide: Helping Secular Students Thrive Description:

Nearly a third of Americans under the age of thirty have no religious affiliation the highest in any recorded generation In this growing segment of nones are many young Atheists who have faced prejudice in their high schools and communities for standing up for their constitutional right of freedom from religion br br You ll hear some of their stories in this book whether they re protesting their school s public prayers at football games and graduations or sitting out the under God portion of the Pledge of Allegiance These atheist students know their rights and have fought for them sometimes at tremendous personal cost Their examples serve as inspiration for all the young atheists out there who live in communities where school often feels no different from church and teachers are no different from preachers br br This handbook is a resource for parents teachers friends and young atheists themselves Hemant Mehta The Friendly Atheist blogger at patheos com discusses how to deal with teachers and administrators who promote faith in public schools handle the peer pressure and ostracism that may come with being an outspoken atheist and create successful student groups that encourage conversation over conversion br br What people are saying about this book br br A paean to young atheist heroes sung and unsung combined with a common sense guide to organizing in your local area The Young Atheist s Survival Guide is the perfect handbook for an atheist teenager looking for direction resilience and pride br Zach Weinersmith creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal br br The Young Atheist s Survival Guide will inform and inspire the secular and the religious alike As young people today are increasingly identifying openly as nonbelievers and challenging longstanding societal assumptions about religion and secularity Hemant Mehta provides valuable insight into this important phenomenon br David Niose author of Nonbeliever Nation The Rise of Secular Americans br br Is bigotry toward atheists the last socially acceptable form of religious prejudice In his stimulating exploration of youth and atheism Mehta documents numerous instances of hostility and institutional bias high school aged students have encountered when they embraced conscience over conformity The conclusion is clear When freethinkers seek to express their beliefs or exercise their rights in the same way as members of religious majorities they are often stymied if not by law then by prejudice and social convention Mehta offers a persuasive call to action and his book should be of interest to all those who want to keep the public sphere open to all forms of belief and nonbelief br Katherine Stewart author of The Good News Club br br A quiet revolution has begun in America s high schools godless students are coming out of the closet and standing up for their rights Since the number of Secular Student Alliance groups at high schools has grown fivefold Mr Mehta brings you their stories and helps you understand the unassuming courage and patriotism of these extraordinary students teachers and administrators br August E Brunsman IV executive director of the Secular Student Alliance br br The Young Atheist s Survival Guide is a true to life picture of what it s like to be a young atheist in our society and a call to action not just for students but for parents teachers administrators and freethinkers at large We re standing on the edge of an unprecedented opportunity for secularism in this country and Hemant points the way to get out there and make it happen br Lyz Liddell Director of Campus Organizing Secular Student Alliance

Rating: 3.70 out of 5

The Friendly Atheist: Thoughts on the Role of Religion in Politics and Media

The Friendly Atheist: Thoughts on the Role of Religion in Politics and Media Description:

Every semester in the weeks leading up to final exams I hand out a study guide to all of my high school math students and have them complete it so that they have a sense of what to expect on the big test Inevitably students ask If I just study this packet will I be prepared for the exam I sigh I stare at them I give them the response every teacher knows by heart No of course the packet isn t enough You should go through your notes your homework and the textbook You should redo the examples we did in class and try more practice problems from the book The study guide is only a summary of the big ideas from the semester If you really want to understand the subject you have to go much more in depth br br In a sense this book is a study guide for the things I ve written about over the past several years My name is Hemant Mehta and I began FriendlyAtheist com in before I began teaching high school in order to talk about a topic I was incredibly passionate about religion br br Not necessarily to convince people that God didn t exist but to talk about the issues that mattered now that we were Godless What you see in this book is a compilation of posts discussing the subjects I have written the most about They are reprinted here with minimal editing to offer a glimpse into my world and to show you the concerns I ve had as an American atheist br br That means talking about atheists who fight for their and in many respects our rights responding to people who smear us just because we re not religious and making people aware of the way atheists are viewed by the majority of Americans hint we re not very popular br br That means talking about politics and social issues in particular the fight for equal rights for the LGBT community since those are the major issues in our country where rational thinking free from religious tradition is needed but seldom found br br That means talking about the obstacles that young atheists have to deal with on a regular basis Their challenges are so different than the ones we face in the real world yet their courage inspires all of us To be a vocal atheist is never easy and there are students promoting rational thinking on campus while keeping their administrators in check They do this despite risking their social capital At the same time when those students are not around to act as watchdogs we must do it for them and shine a spotlight on illegal intrusions of religion into our public schools br br Are these the only issues that matter to atheists No but they are the issues that have taken up the bulk of my writing in the years since I began covering atheism related news If you want to get a fuller picture of what atheists are talking about what our activism involves and what our future looks like no single writer can do that for you just as no single study guide will prepare you for a final exam

Rating: 3.74 out of 5

The Reluctant Apostate: Leaving Jehovah's Witnesses Comes at a Price

The Reluctant Apostate: Leaving Jehovah's Witnesses Comes at a Price Description:

p Jehovah s Witnesses well known for their enthusiastic evangelism are a global religious movement boasting over million members Despite being a familiar sight on doorsteps and street corners little is known about their doctrines and practices What are their expectations regarding Armageddon and who do they believe will survive How do they justify their ban on blood transfusions What happens to members who decide to leave p br p In this remarkably candid part memoir part history guide former Witness Lloyd Evans comprehensively explores the religion of his upbringing charting the organization s metamorphosis from unassuming th Century brethren to global brand in the modern age p br p The Witness rules on sex are dissected as are their far reaching ramifications on the private lives of millions of devotees Evans also delves into the controversies surrounding child abuse and the prohibition on blood transfusions with the aid of first hand accounts from those who have been personally impacted p br p Intertwined with the historical narrative and commentary is the story of the author s journey from devout Witness youth to outspoken ex Witness activist and atheist p br p Evans lays bare the circumstances leading to his awakening with startling honesty and reveals how the heartbreaking loss of his mother played a profound role in keeping long held doubts suppressed p br p In the final chapters the author discusses the various means by which Witnesses are controlled by their leadership Evans analyzes the role of shunning disfellowshipping and the stigmatization of apostates in enforcing loyalty among Witnesses and reflects on the indifference of society in general to human rights violations by high control groups The phenomenon of fundamentalist brainwashing or undue influence is also scrutinized and those in search of a new life free from its pervasive effects are given reasons for hope p br p Rather than being a sensationalist rant by an embittered ex member i The Reluctant Apostate i offers a relaxed good humored tour of Witness history and teachings supported by extensive references to be found in the Notes section p br p Though written predominantly with the non Witness reader in mind special boxes are also provided for Jehovah s Witness readers p br p b Reviews b p br p Both memoir and reference book Lloyd Evans work is an extensive compilation of Jehovah s Witness history and theology In his honest and exhaustively researched expose Evans has written what is sure to be the most important book on the religion in this century i The Reluctant Apostate i is a must read for Jehovah s Witnesses and anyone else who has been touched by the faith br i Scott Terry author of Cowboys Armageddon and the Truth i p br p Insight only an insider can bring to a subject difficult to understand for those who have never been part of this world and unthinkable to contemplate for those inside its bubble Lloyd does a magnificent job of speaking to both audiences and everyone in between Compassion for the plight of those still held captive bleeds through every page br i Mike Rinder former senior executive of the Church of Scientology as featured on the A amp E series Leah Remini Scientology and the Aftermath i p br p A compelling and informative window on the world of the Jehovah s Witnesses that will be a vital and life changing resource for former members and many others too in forming an authentic understanding of this group its beliefs methods and effects on individual p

Rating: 3.28 out of 5