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My Own Church: A Nonbeliever Looks At Post-Christian America [Kindle Edition]

Thomas Mates

Kindle Price: $6.99

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Book Description

There's a conversation going on between religious and nonreligious Americans, Thomas Mates
says, and it isn't going very well. Actually a large number of conversations
the media and politicians, among public intellectuals and pundits, and within
millions of families
-- are embittered, dysfunctional, or failing to take place altogether.

In 'My Own Church: A Nonbeliever Looks at Post-Christian America,' Mates approaches this impasse differently than New Atheist authors such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. Their books, Mates says, have not provoked productive arguments because they
have simply answered conservative religion's fire with fire of their own, in
the form of logical arguments scathingly delivered -- as though believers were
previously unaware that God can't be derived on a chalkboard or seen in a petri dish.

Mates takes a  more constructive path. Instead of pursuing a quixotic goal
(the elimination of religion) using arguments that believers find hard to understand and easy
to ignore, he pursues a realistic goal (the moderation of politicized religion) using an
argument that no believer can refute, namely that religion has no publicly or politically agreed-upon meaning.

Over the past decades conservative believers have voiced much concern over America's
liberalizing trends. But these trends were not driven by atheists; there simply
have never been enough of them. Mainly they were driven by other believers --
believers with whom the conservatives disagree just as profoundly and bitterly
as they do with the nonbelieving.
This is emphasized in the book's title, which derives from Tom Paine's famous quote:" own mind is my own church." Paine was an anti-Bible deist,
and yet Mates shows that his statement could be applied just as accurately to any
self-described "fundamentalist."

'My Own Church' presents the reading public with something new: a criticism of
belief -- and nonbelief -- and their place in public life that manages to be respectful to all sides while refusing to deal in platitudes or alarmism. It combines down-to-earth political talk with a philosophically, sociologically,historically, and scripturally considerate analysis of the
belief spectrum. 

Editorial Reviews


"A readable, enjoyable book that suggests a path for understanding between the faithful and nonbelievers." 
-Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Thomas Mates, Ph.D., is an analytical chemist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is also the author of  A Judeo-Islamic Nation, in which he showed that the conservative brand of American political faith more closely resembles a Judeo-Islamic form of religion than a Christian or Judeo-Christian form. Free Inquiry magazine called  A Judeo-Islamic Nation "a lucid and sagacious book that offers a coherent alternative interpretation of America's religio-political history." 

Product Details

  • File Size: 350 KB
  • Print Length: 139 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: (July 25, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E5U5ORU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,890,128 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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