Category Archives: Recommended Reads

Generation Atheist, by Dan Riley – Book Review

21pppQJKrbL._SL500_As you may or may not know, I denounced Christianity in adulthood. I was raised as a Southern Baptist and this is what I always knew. It took courage and time to break the ties I had with Christianity, and even though it’s been years, it still isn’t easy. In fact, the thing I struggle with the most is finding people to whom I can relate. In Oklahoma, this is very difficult, but the Internet has made it possible to read the stories of people who, like me, came to realize the truth. In these stories, I find comfort. I find advice. I find common ground.

Generation Atheist, by Dan Riley, is a collection of stories about how and why 25 young people came to be atheists.

Two of the stories in the book are those of people I consider personal heroes in the atheist community. The first is Jessica Ahlquist. I first read about Jessica at The Friendly Atheist (who is my other hero mentioned in Generation Atheist, but we’ll get to that in a bit!). Her story is one of bravery and strength, and there were details revealed in Dan Riley’s book that I had not read on the interwebs. As a parent, her journey gives me hope that there are young people who see the danger of bringing religion into schools. Her story gives me courage and makes me want to speak out. I only hope my children are as brave and strong as she is. Living where we do, they’re going to nee all the courage they can muster!

My second atheist hero whose story is in Generation Atheist is Hemant Mehta, speaker, atheist blogger at The Friendly Atheist, and author of I Sold My Soul on eBay: Viewing Faith through an Atheist’s Eyes. Hemant is outspoken and comfortable in his lack of faith. His blog was one of the first resources I found as a new atheist, and his advice was always helpful and comforting in a time of such confusion.

Riley’s book is a great read for anyone who wants to know why and how people become atheists. If you need to relate to other atheists, if you need to read about their struggles and victories, Generation Atheist is for you. For more information on Dan Riley, and to read excerpts of the book, visit his website. Or if you’re already intrigued, head over to Amazon and buy it now.

Note: This is a non-paid book review.

The Santa Myth, Some Thoughts

Christmas 2010 was my first Christmas as an atheist. As such, it was difficult for me to watch my children go through the motions of Santa Claus. “How can I let them believe in something I know isn’t true?” I thought. It reminded me too much of my own belief in a mystical man who magically bestowed gifts upon me. I was concerned that fostering this type of belief would encourage my kids to believe other magical men to be real, if you catch my drift. Well, Dale McGowan gives me hope that the Santa myth is not only not harming my kids, but could actually be doing them some good.

I recently discovered¬†The Meming of Life,¬†Parenting Beyond Belief author, Dale McGowan’s,¬†blog. Today I read a post called “Santa Claus – The Ultimate Dry Run,” which I recommend you head on over to read right now. McGowan believes that the Santa Claus myth is a great way to open a child’s mind – and what a perfect age to let those free thoughts flow! I’m no longer worried about my children believing in Santa, because I know I’ll have a great opportunity to teach them something meaningful about free thought in the near future. Thanks for this, Dale!