Suggested Reading for Humanists and Other Doubters

The Baptizing of America:
The Religious Right’s Plans for the Rest of US
By: Rabbi James Rudin

Here, at last, are the war plans of America’s own religious extremists.  The Baptizing of America exposes the systematic campaign by Christian fundamentalists to co-opt and take over every “room” of American society from the bedroom to the school room, hospital room, operating room, courtroom, work room, reading room and newsroom. This book focuses on the aggressive and well-funded war currently being led by fundamentalist Christians to “baptize America.

Bible Myths and Their Parallels in Other Religions
By: T.W. Doane

This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original.

Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because they believe this work is culturally important, Amazon makes it available as part of their commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world’s literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.

The Blank Slate:
The Modern Denial of Human Nature
By: Steven Pinker

One of the world’s leading experts on language and the mind, explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings.

With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts.

Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.

Breaking the Spell
By: Daniel C. Dennett

For all the thousands of books that have been written about : religion, few until this one have attempted to examine it scientifically: to ask why and how-it has shaped so many lives so strongly.

Is religion a product of blind evolutionary instinct or rational choice? i Is it truly the best way to live a moral life? Ranging through biology, history, and psychology, Daniel C. Dennett charts religion’s evolution from “wild” folk belief to “domesticated” dogma.

Not an antireligious screed but an unblinking look beneath the veil of orthodoxy, Breaking the Spell will be read and debated by believers and skeptics alike.

The Christ Conspiracy:
the Greatest Story Ever Sold
By: S. Acharya

Controversial and explosive, The Christ Conspiracy marshals an enormous amount of startling evidence that the religion of Christianity and Jesus Christ were created by members of various secret societies, mystery schools and religions in order to unify the Roman Empire under one state religion! This powerful book maintains that these groups drew upon a multitude of myths and rituals that already existed long before the Christian era and reworked them into the story the Christian religion presents today-known to most Westerners as the Bible…

The Dark Side of Christian History
By: Helen Ellerbee

Published in July 1995. This book is not annotated on the Amazon website, but you can read many reviews by their customers.

The Demon-Haunted World:
Science as a Candle in the Dark
By: Carl Sagan

The name, “Carl Sagan” speaks for itself. Below is a review from the New York Times Book Review: “While he touches on various sorts of pseudoscience and antiscience, including repressed memories of all sorts, creationism, belief in miracles and, to his credit, the claims of tobacco companies that cigarettes have not been shown to be harmful, Mr. Sagan’s primary target is the widespread belief in alien abductions . . . he is seldom wrong . . . [and] he always writes clearly.”

Doubt: A History:
The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson
By: Jennifer Michael Hecht

In the tradition of grand sweeping histories such as From Dawn To Decadence, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and A History of God, Hecht champions doubt and questioning as one of the great and noble, if unheralded, intellectual traditions that distinguish the Western mind especially-from Socrates to Galileo and Darwin to Wittgenstein and Hawking.

This is an account of the world’s greatest “intellectual virtuosos.” who are also humanity’s greatest doubters and disbelievers, from the ancient Greek philosophers, Jesus, and the Eastern religions, to modern secular equivalents Marx, Freud and Darwin-and their attempts to reconcile the seeming meaninglessness of the universe with the human need for meaning…

The Encyclopedia Of Unbelief
By: Gordon Stein

A unique reference work, providing complete details of the varieties of agnosticism, atheism, free-thought, humanism, skepticism, and unbelief, as they have appeared historically and contemporarily. Editor Gordon Stein has collected comprehensive biographies of many prominent people associated with free-thought including Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant , Voltaire and Diderot, V I Lenin, Thomas Paine, Clarence Darrow, and Robert Ingersoll.

The “Encyclopedia” brings together 203 articles from the most influential philosophers and psychologists whose thoughts and writings contributed to the growth of religious skepticism and unbelief like Giordano Bruno, Spinoza, Locke, Hume, Kant, Comte, Spencer, Haeckel, Feuerbach, Dewey, Santayana, Freud, Reich, Russell, Sartre, Ayer, Hook, and many others…

Fundamentalism: Hazards and Heartbreaks
By: Rod Evans and Irwin Berent

Published in 1988. This book is not annotated on the Amazon website, but here is some information about one of it’s authors:

Dr. Rod L. Evans is an author, lecturer, and philosopher who writes and speaks on language, trivia, popular misconceptions, ethics, practical political philosophy and personal responsibility. He graduated from Old Dominion University, and earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Virginia. He is Lecturer of Philosophy at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. 

The God Delusion
By: Richard Dawkins

A preeminent scientist – and the world’s most prominent atheist – asserts the irrationality of belief in God and the grievous harm religion has inflicted on society, from the Crusades to 9/11.

With rigor and wit, Dawkins examines God in all his forms, from the sex-obsessed tyrant of the Old Testament to the more benign (but still illogical Celestial Watchmaker favored by some Enlightenment thinkers. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability…

God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

A scathingly funny reinterpretation of the Ten Commandments from the larger, louder half of world-famous magic duo Penn and Teller reveals an atheist’s experience in the world: from performing on the Vegas strip with Siegfried and Roy to children and fatherhood to his ongoing dialogue with proselytizers of the Christian Right and the joys of sex while scuba-diving, Penn has an outrageous sense of humor and a brilliantly entertaining opinion on, well, anything you care to think of..

God’s Traitors
Persecuted Catholic clergymen in Elizabethan England hid in ‘priest holes’ built into the stately homes of sympathetic nobles.
By Jessie Childs

Among the traits Elizabeth I inherited from her father, Henry VIII, was a keen instinct for self-preservation, and few monarchs have needed it more:
As a Protestant, she had been declared a heretic in 1570 by the pope, who threatened those who obeyed her with damnation. Philip II of Spain was hell-bent on waging holy war against her. To him, the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre in 1572, when the streets of Paris ran crimson with the blood of butchered Protestants, had seemed a capital idea.

Half the Sky:
Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

From two of our most fiercely moral voices, a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.

With the Pulitzer Prize winning authors as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope.

A History of The Inquisition of the Middle Ages
Hint: It’s not just a Monty Python comedy sketch
By: Henry Charles Lea

Those who love history, combined with a distrust of certain religious institutions may find this to their liking.

The Jesus Puzzle.
Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ?:
Challenging the Existence of an Historical Jesus
By: Earl Doherty

A new presentation of the argument that no historical Jesus existed. A full and comprehensive survey of the question through an examination of the early Christian record, canonical and non-canonical, from Q to the Gospels, from the earliest Pauline epistles to the second century apologists, along with Jewish, Gnostic, and Greco-Roman documents of the time.

The philosophy of the era, its religious expression in the pagan mystery cults, fascinating glimpses into the historical background of the period, an in-depth consideration of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, are only some of the additional topics covered in the book.

Letter to a Christian Nation
By: Sam Harris

“Thousands of people have written to tell me that I am wrong not to believe in God. The most hostile of these communications have come from Christians. This is ironic, as Christians generally imagine that no faith imparts the virtues of love and forgiveness more effectively than their own. The truth is that many who claim to be transformed by Christ’s love are deeply, even murderously, intolerant of criticism.

“While we may want to ascribe this to human nature, it is clear that such hatred draws considerable support from the Bible. How do I know this? The most disturbed of my correspondents always cite chapter and verse.”

Did God Make Man
Or was it the other way around?

A series of articles by the author of “The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets.” Extraordinary independent scholar of comparative religion and mythology Barbara G. Walker takes us through a journey back in time to when the Goddess and her consort son ruled supreme, into the era when the patriarchy usurped Her worship, right up to Barbara’s own personal experience being raised a Christian.

In this remarkable collection, Walker turns a critical eye towards: -Religion as big business -Religion’s effects on children -The Bible as a “moral guide” and “history” – Biblical infallibility -The doctrine of “original sin” -The biblical attitude towards sexuality -God as “Father”…

Nothing: Something to Believe in
By: Nica Lalli

“It’s like this – all my friends are something. Vanessa is a Unitarian, Michelle is Catholic, Lucy is Presbyterian…so I just want to know – what am I?”

“We’re nothing.” My father was looking right at me; he had a pleasant, friendly kind of an expression. “Nothing,” he said again.

“That’s right,” said my mother. She seemed relieved that Dad had just said it. “Nothing at all….We like being nothing.”..

Physicians of No Value:
the Repressed Story of Ecclesiastical Flummery
By: Abelard R Miles

This was suggested by Friend of HUSBAY, Barbara Walker, author of many books on similar subjects.

Pot Stories & Humanist Essays
By: Rich Goscicki (HUSBAY member)

With medical and recreational marijuana slowly becoming legalized across the nation with state by state falling like dominoes, anyone interested in learning more about the history and attributes of the euphoriant will enjoy Mr. Goscicki’s amusing and educational story. It’s more about Shakespeare, art and classical music than it is about seamy and sordid drug deals. Edited by noted author, Barbara Walker.

The Reason Revolution
Atheism, Secular Humanism, and the Collapse of Religion
By: Dan Dana

This short book, only 8,000 finely crafted words, is destined to be one of the most cited and influential modern treatises on atheism and secular humanism. It focuses squarely on the inherent irrationality of religion, and reveals its utter irreconcilability with science. Offering several “reconciliation theories” to people of faith, it forces every reader to make a choice.

Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex Repression, Warfare and Social Violence
By: James De Meo

Ancient humans were peaceful – modern violence is avoidable. That’s the basic message contained in “Saharasia”, a controversial “marriage of heresies” over 10 years in the making.

It will change forever your way of looking at the world, your home culture, and current events. Saharasia constitutes a revolutionary new discovery on a geographic pattern to global human behavior as deeply embedded within the scientific literature of anthropology, history and archaeology…

Suns of God:
Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled
By: S. Acharya

Picking up where the bestselling and controversial The Christ Conspiracy leaves off, Suns of God leads the reader through an electrifying exploration of the origin and meaning of the world’s religions and popular gods. Over the past several centuries, the Big Three spiritual leaders have been the Lords Christ, Krishna and Buddha, whose stories and teachings are curiously and confoundingly similar to each other. The tale of a miraculously born redeemer who overcomes heroic challenges, teaches ethics and morality, performs marvels and wonders, acquires disciples and is famed far and wide, to be persecuted, killed and reborn, is not unique but a global phenomenon recurring in a wide variety of cultures long before the Christian era……

Nailed: Ten Christian Myths that
Show Jesus Never Lived at All
By: David Fitzgerald

Why would anyone think Jesus never existed? Isn’t it perfectly reasonable to accept that he was a real first century figure? As it turns out, no. NAILED sheds light on ten beloved Christian myths, and, with evidence gathered from historians across the theological spectrum, shows how they point to a Jesus Christ created solely through allegorical alchemy of hope and imagination; a messiah transformed from a purely literary, theological construct into the familiar figure of Jesus – in short, a purely mythic Christ.

Vicars of Christ:
The Dark Side of the Papacy

Review from Publishers Weekly: De Rosa ( Prayers for Pagans and Hypocrites ) is an angry Catholic. In the worst proselytizing tradition, this devil’s advocate overstates familiar arguments, bludgeoning the reader with his dossier against the Church. Among De Rosa’s tamer charges: Jesus renounced possessions, but his vicars celebrate high mass garbed in cloth of gold; the Church has never lifted strictures against usury, yet the Vatican operates a bank.

De Rosa sweeps through Church history to parade popes who begat children, popes who fornicated on a grand scale, popes who married.
Then in the second half of this polemic, he addresses Church teaching, conjoining the “immaculate conception” doctrine to decrees governing birth control, abortion, celibacy..

When God Was a Woman
By: Merlin Stone

Here, archaeologically documented,is the story of the religion of the Goddess. Under her, women’s roles were far more prominent than in patriarchal Judeo-Christian cultures. Stone describes this ancient system and, with its disintegration, the decline in women’s status. Index; maps and illustrations.

Why I Am Not a Christian
and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
By: Bertrand Russel

Dedicated as few men have been to the life of reason, Russell has always been concerned with the basic questions to which religion also addresses itself – questions about man’s place in the universe and the nature of the good life, questions that involve life after death, morality, freedom, education, and sexual ethics.

He brings to his treatment of these questions the same courage, scrupulous logic, and lofty wisdom for which his other work as philosopher, writer, and teacher has been famous. These qualities make the essays included in this book perhaps the most graceful and moving presentation of the freethinker’s position since the days of Hume and Voltaire…

Why We Believe in God(s):
A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith
By: J. Anderson Thomson

Why We Believe In God(s) provides a brief and accessible guide to the exciting new discoveries that allow us to finally understand why and how the human mind generates, accepts, and spreads religious beliefs.

Wicked Gods -The Latest from the Humanist Press
Culture-War Thriller Tackles Destructive
Power of Religion
By: Eilis Leyne

Religious extremists and culture warriors are out to destroy bestselling author Mira Veron, the protagonist in the new novel from the
Humanist Press.

The book has been called “fast-paced” and “engrossing,” with one reviewer declaring, “Would I read a sequel? Absolutely!”