Thursday, December 29, 2016
Important New Book: Women Beyond Belief
When I read a book that I think my readers will enjoy and benefit from, I like to share the good news. "Women Beyond Belief" is one of those books.
Karen L. Garst has compiled twenty-two essays into a book entitled “Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life without Religion,” which can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and bookstores. Dr. Garst became incensed when the U. S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby in 2014. This decision said that because of its religious views, Hobby Lobby, a craft store, would not be obligated to follow the dictates of the Affordable Care Act and provide certain forms of birth control to its employees. “Will we never end the fight for women’s reproductive rights?” Garst stated. Once again, religion has influenced the laws of our land. Politicians cite their religion in supporting restrictions on abortion, banning funding for Planned Parenthood, and a host of other issues that are against women.
The mainstays of the modern atheist movement - Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett - came with backgrounds in science and philosophy. They launched a renewed effort to show people how destructive religion can be and how all Abrahamic religions are based upon a late Bronze Age / Iron Age mythology, borrowing from other mythologies of the time. Dr. Garst wants to add a focus on women and the role this mythology has played in the culture of many countries to denigrate and subordinate women. She states that “Religion is the last cultural barrier to gender equality.” And she is right. More and more women atheists are speaking out. And as we all know, if women leave the churches, they will collapse.
The twenty-two essays are all written by women who describe their journeys and experiences from religion to reason. They are varied and compelling. Here is an excerpt from one of the contributors:
“But at the end of the day, I kept coming back to one simple realization: I fundamentally did not believe that one religion (Christianity) could tell another religion (Hinduism) that it was wrong, that its deities did not exist, that its moral compass was askew, that the beliefs of its people—while noble—did not coincide with the lord-and-savior Jesus Christ and his father-in-heaven God, and therefore could not possibly be valid.
To me, Hinduism embraced beliefs and morals and a lifestyle that was so much more relatable and beautiful than anything Christianity, even in the Seventh Day Adventist form, had ever taught me. The thought of discounting all of it to adhere to a religion that I was essentially born into by way of my geographic location was completely backward. I couldn’t get over the notion that devout faith to one religion obliterates the ability to believe in another, despite the fact that so many millions of Hindus formulated their realities and structured their (in my opinion much more meritorious) belief systems based on those religious principles.” Taylor Duty
Dr.Garst has received support with reviews by Richard Dawkins, Valerie Tarico, Peter Boghossian, Sikivu Hutchinson and other atheist authors.
If you know of a friend or family member who may be struggling with their religious upbringing, and who may benefit in their transition into reason and reality by the sharing of these stories you'd be doing them a great service. I don't think you'll find a better resource. I found it eye opening and very revealing, myself having not been raised in a religious environment thus never having experienced the escape to modernity and reasoning.
I encourage you to check out Dr. Garst’s blog at www.faithlessfeminist.com and consider pre-ordering this excellent book.