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The New Atheist Crusaders and Their Unholy Grail: The Misguided Quest to Destroy Your Faith Paperback – January 1, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084991972X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849919725
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,832,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Garrison has long wielded wit against the buffoonery of the Religious Right in her articles for the Christian humor magazine the Wittenburg Door and at the blog God's Politics. Now she turns her satirical glance against the New Atheists, among whom she sees a similar obscurantist self-seeking at work. The result is an uneven book. It is occasionally witty, as when she compares Sam Harris to Anne Coulter, or Daniel Dennett to the pot-smoking professor in Animal House. At times she scores what could be devastating points against the New Atheists: if imposing religion on the young really is child abuse, why do these young people not show the medical symptoms of abuse victims? Garrison is also adept at pointing to places where radical Christianity is transforming society. But these successes are often lost amid informal writing, sentences like Simply put, I need to pay attention here because when my gut starts acting up, something ain't right, and paragraphs that end with single words like Kewl and phrases such as  'Nuff said. Finally, Garrison's turn to her own story—a minister father, dead too young of alcoholism—is touching at times, but it sits awkwardly beside the casual witticisms. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Becky Garrison serves as Senior Contributing Editor for The Wittenburg Door, the oldest, largest, and only religious satire magazine in the United States. Her additional writing credits include work for The New York Times, The Tonight Show,, and Christian Retailing. Garrison also contributes to The Ooze and blogs on God's Politics. She has a dual Master of Divinity/Social Work degree from Yale University and Columbia University, and an undergraduate degree in theater arts from Wake Forest University.

More About the Author

On the same day that Princess Di was brought into this world tiara in hand, this Yankee gal with an accent befitting a Southern debutante was born breech first. Ever since my upside down birth, I have always viewed life from a unique perspective. "Becky, only you see it that way" is a frequent comment made by friends and relatives alike. I began writing for The Wittenburg Door in 1994 and contribute to a range of outlets including Washington Post's On Faith column, The Guardian's Belief section, Killing the Buddha, Geez, The Revealer, American Atheist magazine, Believe Out Loud, and The Religious Left.

The first video highlighted on my Amazon author site came from the documentary The Ordinary Radicals (; the second and third videos are from (props to Travis Reed); and the fourth is from the documentary Nailin' it to the Church (

Customer Reviews

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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By K.H. on February 10, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like Becky Garrisons blogs on and her writings for the Wittenburg Door. She is a talented satirist and she does in this book make a point or two. Unfortunately, she often gets sidetracked and her book suffers greatly for it. Because she is so committed with sounding "witty," "satirical," and "open-minded" she goes on short red-herrings that should have been devoted to stronger, more tightly constructed arguments.

I'm sure her sarcasm is natural, but it reads as if it is forced - it just happens too often. She is so bent on appearing fair minded by showing the sins of Christianity that she spends too many moments taking quick pot-shots at Ann Coulter, Jerry Fallwell, John Spong and even President Bush. Her message would be more constructive and logical to make the connection that Christ and his teachings must logically be based on the teaching itself (or better yet, Christ himself), not the aberrational sayings and actions of some of its members. She does take some time to write about the good things Christians have done (the logical conclusions of following Christ), but I am not so sure it adds up to the writings where she attacks the failings of many who claim Christ. By her own arguments, Dawkins may just have a case after all.

Overall, the book fails because it spends too much time on side issues of the debate (centering prayer for one) and not enough going after the heart of the debate - logical and theological reasons to believe and why it is not delusional. I hope she writes more, but I hope she stays more focused on the task at hand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By palal on January 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm still reading this. It's very good, the main issue is that she uses slang which lowers the quality of the work making it seem less serious than what it actually is. So author, you obviously know what your talking about and it's academicly important stuff so please use appropriate language
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Format: Kindle Edition
I painfully struggled through this entire book hoping to find good information about the "New Atheist Crusaders" and what they are doing to destroy my faith. What I found was a barely witty book that turned out to be incredibly difficult to read containing very little substance. Perhaps I just don't appreciate good satire making me part of the problem, but I was disappointed in this book. In an effort to try to be fair or in the middle of the road with her discussions, the author took as many shots at traditional Christianity as she did at the atheists attacking it. She did correctly identify "fringe" religious nuts and did appropriately take deserving shots at those hurtful people/organizations, but this book really lacked any substance and at times it was difficult to tell which side of the argument she was actually on. At least I did read the entire book before coming to these conclusions. If you're looking for a book identifying the New Atheists tactics used to attack Christianity and the appropriate Christian response to these attacks, then this is not a good book for that.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Believing that if you telepathically tell an ancient jewish magician that he is your master, he will remove a blood curse from your soul that he himself put there because a talking snake convinced the only woman in the world to eat an apple from a magical tree IS a delusion.

Everything else is just talking around the point and trying to avoid reality, which is another aspect of delusion. Peace and goodness are possible when a person invests in this life and in the real world, instead of being convinced that he will be given 7 virgins if he blows himself up, or in the case of american christians, that he is being like the kind of people that will live forever if only he tithes, and hates gays, and votes against all welfare and in favor of more killing machines (and has no problem paying taxes that employ even more of the christian-psychos who are willing to kill indiscriminately without ever questioning anything). Apparently, God wants a small govenment with huge prisons and a brutally efficient military that costs as much in one year as fifty years of social programs. (God always seems to want whatever the upper class wants). Fake christians are delusional in so many ways. So why don't you pick up a book that participates in a search for truth, rather than one that tries to hang on to destructive crap that has already been disproven?

Why write a review like this? Because this is the way she wrote the book. There are no real arguments grounded in logic or evidence It's just snarky, vaguely insulting, nonsense. The biggest problem? She doesn't have the truth on her side. She is peddling lies and pretending it is a virtue-- the Christian way-- except she tries to capture some of the new-atheist snark and employ it as a tool for recruiting people into her cult.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By on July 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
Prominent atheists like Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins (known as the "New Atheists") have made quite a stir in recent years by attacking Christianity head-on, in part through a number of bestselling books.

Becky Garrison makes quite a stir in the Christian world through her work as senior contributing editor for The Wittenberg Door ("Pretty Much the World's Only Religious Satire Magazine"). Most often, the targets of her biting satire are poufy-haired televangelists, Religious Right fundies, and even the occasional milquetoast, mainline liberal. Considering the way she lavishes her wit and sarcasm on the faithful, you can just imagine what she has in store for an assortment of atheists when they begin treading on her turf.

Only you don't have to imagine that at all, since Garrison takes aim at said assortment in THE NEW ATHEIST CRUSADERS. And she does so with her usual gusto. Using their own words against them, Garrison skewers their arguments, pokes fun at their ignorance and exposes their distortions. And you can tell she has a lot of fun doing all that. But she also wisely points her finger where it often belongs --- leveled straight at Christians who give atheists too much fodder and pointing right back at herself when she behaves badly.

"When confronted with aggressive atheists," she writes, "some Christians assume the mantle of the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz chanting, 'I do believe, I do believe, I do believe.'" Garrison goes on to describe the atheists' stepped-up efforts to dismantle the Christian faith. "As long as people continue to buy into the anti-God game, this junk is gonna come down the pike. Time to put an end to this. So, I guess I gotta put on my satirical shorts, get into the ring, and put up my dukes.
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