George Ricker was an award-winning weekly newspaper reporter and editor. He has worked at many occupations, including a stint as associate pastor of a church, while attending a theological seminary. A long time Florida resident, he was deceased on Aug. 10, 2009 and his ashes were scattered off the southeast coast of Florida.
Godless In America: Conversations With An Atheistby George A. Ricker
"I spent the most of the first half of my life believing in Christianity and regarding belief in God as an essential component of human existence," George Ricker says. "I've spent the last 30 years trying to understand why I ever thought that way. This book is about how and why that process occurred. It's also about the danger posed to our democratic society by fundamentalist religion."
Godless in America is a testimonial about the advantages of life without gods and religions. It's also a no-holds-barred look at some of the problems with both concepts. Written in a style that is conversational, yet provocative, it is a candid assessment of the real culture war being fought in America today: the attack being waged by the Religious Right on the values of personal freedom, democratic government, and the necessity for all Americans to be treated as equals before the law and by their government.
At times humorous, at times outrageous, Godless in America treats religion and religious concepts as ideas that should be evaluated with the same standards used to evaluate all other ideas and concepts, not from the privileged position claimed by so many of a religious persuasion.
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You won't see 26 models wearing matching outfits. You won't get to touch knuckles with Howie Mandel. George does let you see what's in the 'other briefcases.' He also lets you decide whether to keep the one you have or trade it for something else. This is a test in how much you believe what you're holding onto is right for you. We're not talking about cash amounts here. The subject is religion, and you don't have to agree with the author's views to gain from this book. It's not a speech or declaration or a ploy to sway anyone from one religion to another, or to none at all. Instead, it is a candid discussion about atheism and why it has become the choice of many. It's funny, it's informative, it poses a challenge to everyone who reads it. George is quick to dispel myths about atheists. He clears the air for those who feel atheists must be - among other things - evil, immoral, self-centered, corrupted or devil-worshippers. As he puts it, 'What makes atheists atheists is that they have no belief in a cosmic critter of any description.' George was an active church member before he chose to question the beliefs he'd been raised with, beliefs that perhaps never seemed to fit quite right. Whereas so many spend a lifetime searching for 'life's answers,' George has not only dared to seek these answers, but to accept them, even when they're controversial. There's a certain inner peace when one begins living one's own 'truth.' He phrases it, 'I felt like someone who finally has been restored to health after a long, lingering illness.' He discovered that it was 'better to be 'whole' than 'holy.'' This book touches everyone. Everyone seeking their own true belief should read it, and that includes the politically interested/involved religious non-religious mystics women's rights activists stem cells and pink elephants. (Read the book to know what I mean) George allows us a glimpse into his personal life (see Chapters 6 and 10) and he addresses the debate over Sunday mail (bet you never thought about how that started, did you?). The book reads like a conversation - I read it in one sitting, and those who know me know that's rare. He challenges the reader throughout the book with 'mind experiments' by asking the same compelling questions of every reader, whether you believe in the widely-accepted Christian God some other god/goddess multiple gods/goddesses or no gods/goddesses at all. So read it cover to cover before you ask yourself what you truly believe. Be ready, because your answer could surprise you.