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Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life Without Religion Kindle Edition
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The result was this book, a compilation of essays by women atheists who each provide her personal take on how religion had affected them for the worse. They each try in their own way to show that religion oppresses women. The contributors are from all walks of the religious platform from secularists to Fundamentalist Christians, Catholics, to Mormons, Jews, Pentacostals, and Lutherans. They tell personal stories of how they grew up as atheists or how they grew up in religious families and then walked away from their religion.
The message from the contributors is simply that as long as women belong to the Abrahamic faith (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) they will never achieve the equality they seek in modern society. Garst provides her own piece in the Appendix to the book, entitled, ‘The Subordination of Women in the Judeo-Christian Tradition’.
The problem with this and many Pitchstone publications is the absence of an index.
A collection of essays written by an array of women from different walks of life, these pages tell the deeply personal stories of how religion has impacted the lives of these people, both as individuals and specifically as women. Since the time that men put pen to parchment claiming that Eve was created for Adam and that she was the source of original sin, religion has been used to repress and subjugate women and girls. Actually, since even before that time; most religions that existed before Christianity also viewed and treated females as wicked, as the property of men, as less than men. And because religion is so deeply ingrained in humankind, perceptions, and treatment of women and girls continue to be based on ancient and deeply disturbing beliefs stemming from superstition and a quest for power and control. These stories also tell how rejecting
These stories also tell how rejecting religion and superstitious beliefs has impacted the lives of these women: in some ways painful, but ultimately liberating.
I related to every story in this book in some way, and a few moved me more than others. This isn’t a book meant to persuade anyone; rather, it offers empathy to those of us who have walked the path of rejecting religion and supernatural belief, and a sense of perspective to anyone who cares how relgion – both practicing and rejecting – impacts women, and why so many people (women in particular) end up denouncing religious belief. That said, there are definitely some very well-articulated essays based on obvious exhaustive study contained in this book that should give any believer pause.
I am grateful that there are more and more female atheist voices telling their stories and sharing their views. I highly recommend this book to non-believers and believers alike.
I found this book fascinating because of the very personal writings of these women. Their journeys were sometimes heartbreaking because of the reactions of their families and friends. But none of them regret making the decisions they did. While I have moved from Christianity to some sort of a belief in a higher power, I haven't made the leap to atheism. I don't know that I ever will, but I am glad that atheists are becoming more vocal and that there are organizations where they find acceptance.
One issue I have with religion, and especially religion in America is that we put so much emphasis on politics and religion. The idea that god favors us because we are a "Christian" nation is appalling. This reasoning excuses our extermination of indigenous people, our treatment of slaves and women. This issue is addressed by many of the authors.
The idea of living each day to the best of our ability, taking care of our earth and treating others as we want to be treated should be - but in practice are not - what are supposed to be basic tenents of most religions. The authors in the book subscribe to this belief and practice it much better than many believers. I learned much from this book, and I plan on reading it more than once. This is well worth purchasing and is very thought provoking.