In the new mega-anthology from best-selling editor Russ Kick, more than fifty writers, reporters, and researchers–some of them freethinkers or nonbelievers who reveal a decidedly atheistic perspective, and some of them believers seeking reform, justice, or a better understanding of various negative aspects of different religions–invade the inner sanctum for an unrestrained look at the wild and wooly world of organized religious belief.
Richard Dawkins shows us the strange, scary properties of religion; Neil Gaiman turns a biblical atrocity story into a comic (that almost sent a publisher to prison); Erik Davis looks at what happens when religion and California collide; Mike Dash eyes stigmatics; Douglas Rushkoff exposes the trouble with Judaism; Paul Krassner reveals his “Confessions of an Atheist”; and best-selling lexicographer Jonathon Green interprets the language of religious prejudice.
Among the dozens of other articles and essays, you’ll find: a sweeping look at classical composers and Great American Songbook writers who were unbelievers, such as Irving Berlin, creator of “God Bless America”; the definitive explanation of why America is not a Christian nation; the bizarre, Catholic-fundamentalist books by Mel Gibson’s father; eye-popping photos of bizarre religious objects and ceremonies, including snake-handlers and pot-smoking children; the thinly veiled anti-Semitism in the Left Behind novels; an extract from the rare, suppressed book The Sex Life of Brigham Young; and rarely seen antireligious writings from Mark Twain and H.G. Wells.
Other topics include exorcisms, religious curses, Wicca, the Church of John Coltrane, crimes by clergy, death without God, Christian sex manuals, the “ex-gay” movement, failed prophecies, bizarre theology, religious bowling, atheist rock and roll, “how to be a good Christian,” and much more–including an entertaining look at the best (and worst) books on religion.
A crushing indictment of popular misconceptions about religious belief … Highly recommended
– Midwest Book Review