- Paperback: 274 pages
- Publisher: Freethought House (August 28, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0615598579
- ISBN-13: 978-0615598574
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,283,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Atheist Voices of Minnesota: an Anthology of Personal Stories Paperback – August 28, 2012
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Thirty-six Minnesotans share their paths to Atheism in topics involving Life as an Atheist; Coming Out as an Atheist; Letting Go of Faith; and Ethics and Action. The voices are as varied as the speakers in this intriguing exploration of atheism; to be one, to profess one is one, and living as one. It might not occur to a religious believer the difficulties of a young--or older--person who realizes that his or her personal way of living does not mesh with those of their families who may be strong believers in a god or who make church or synagogue attendance a key part of their lives. How, their family or friends ask, can atheists live whole and ethical lives? Read Atheist Voices and learn. --Lavender Magazine
Atheist Voices of Minnesota is highly recommended reading for anyone seeking an alternative to the irrational and the superstitions, or who wants to simply know more about what it is like to be an atheist. --Midwest Book Review
From the moment I started reading, I was totally absorbed by the 36 individual narratives of the backgrounds and journeys of these people ... Many of the narratives will touch your soul. How about a story that contrasts giving birth first as a Jehovah s witness and later as an atheist? Or those recounting the details of the agonies one goes through coming out as an atheist. There is even one about spending years researching ghosts only to realize the futility of the quest. Another about growing up with Channelers! ... This is a book that you will not only enjoy, but want to give (or lend) to friends, family and acquaintances. Dont miss it. --Humanists of Minnesota News and Views
About the Author
Atheist Voices of Minnesota authors: Norman Barrett Wiik, Elizabeth Becker, Kenneth Bellew, Ryan Benson, August Berkshire, Donald L. Boese, Ryan Bolin, Jill Carlson, Justin M. Chase, Greta Christina, Linda Davis, Andrew Downs, Shannon Drury, Anthony Faust, Paul Gramstad, Mike Haubrich, Kori Hennessy, Peter N. Holste, Michelle M. Huber, Eric Jayne, George Kane, Greg Laden, Bill Lehto, M. A. Melby, PZ Myers, Robin Raianiemi, Rohit Ravindran, Jason Schoenack, Kim Socha, Chris Stedman, Elizabeth Stiras, Todd N. Torkelson, Timothy Wick, Rob Young, James Zimmerman, Jennifer Zimmerman, Stephanie Zvan
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If you believe in religion, I encourage you to read the book for personal growth and empathy. If you are atheist or agnostic, I encourage you to read the book to better understand those of similar beliefs. My hope is that you will feel as I felt while reading it -- emboldened, empowered and energized. Tell your stories. Please, keep telling your stories.
I won't tell you how good this book is. That isn't because I don't think it's remarkably good. That's because I don't expect you to believe I'm anything but biased. Also because there are plenty of people who aren't in the book who are willing to gush over it. Listen to them. They're right.
What I will tell you instead is that this is an important book. This I say despite my bias for my own work. Truth be told, it would probably be a more important book if I weren't in it, or any of the "big" names in atheist writing. Why? Because much of the value of the book comes from hearing from people who aren't the "normal" faces and voices of atheism.
Who do you hear from instead? This book collects 36 essays from people whose commonalities are limited to atheism and having a connection to Minnesota. Many of the people in the book come from somewhere other than Minnesota, and they can compare how different parts of our world see atheism. Some of them have left Minnesota after growing up here, including Greta, who has posted her foreword for all to read.
Some of the contributors can make you feel the wind across their prairies. Others pull you into their cities or their traditional family life in the suburbs. One contributor came to atheism through skepticism, while another is far more atheist than skeptic. One is using his essay here to come out, while others never had religion. One even grew up surrounded by atheist activists when such activism was a much harder thing.
There are former Catholics and Protestants and Jehovah's Witnesses. One writer grew up in a New Age cult. Some feel freed by losing their religion, while others regret the lack of an emotional prop. One author had to leave the church her father (literally) built. Another was only able to figure out who she was when she let go of the messages she was getting from her religion.
The contributors want to talk to you about politics...and social support and death and grieving and raising children and addiction and patriarchy and childbirth and activism and summer camp and the wonder of the natural world. And veganism. Two of them would like to talk to you about veganism.
What you won't find in this book is a lot of philosophy or counter-apologetics or science or anti-theism. Despite having a couple of good-sized names on the cover, what you find here isn't what you find in most atheist writing. You find stories. Personal stories, small stories, the kind of stories that explain who were are.
These are the kind of stories that build up our own collective mythos, one based in reality. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first book that does that. It shouldn't be the last.