Garrison has long wielded wit against the buffoonery of the Religious Right in her articles for the Christian humor magazine the Wittenburg Doorand at the blog God's Politics. Now she turns her satirical glance against the "New Atheists," among whom she sees a similar obscurantist self-seeking at work. The result is an uneven book. It is occasionally witty, as when she compares Sam Harris to Anne Coulter, or Daniel Dennett to the pot-smoking professor in Animal House. At times she scores what could be devastating points against the New Atheists: if imposing religion on the young really is child abuse, why do these young people not show the medical symptoms of abuse victims? Garrison is also adept at pointing to places where radical Christianity is transforming society. But these successes are often lost amid informal writing, sentences like "Simply put, I need to pay attention here because when my gut starts acting up, something ain't right," and paragraphs that end with single words like "Kewl" and phrases such as " 'Nuff said." Finally, Garrison's turn to her own story-a minister father, dead too young of alcoholism-is touching at times, but it sits awkwardly beside the casual witticisms. (Jan.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
The New Atheist Crusaders and Their Unholy Grail: The Misguided Quest to Destroy Your Faithby Becky Garrison
Becky Garrison, religious satirist and senior contributing editor for The Wittenberg Door, is taking a stand. Where most Christians assume the character of the/i>/b>
A challenge has been issued on matters of faith and Becky Garrison meets it head on in this witty yet poignant answer to the Anti-God gurus Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett.
Becky Garrison, religious satirist and senior contributing editor for The Wittenberg Door, is taking a stand. Where most Christians assume the character of the Cowardly Lion chanting, "I do believe, I do believe, I do believe," Garrison refuses to simply thrust tracts at these self-proclaimed infidels.
Instead, Garrison steels her pen and takes on the ungodly program of the New Atheists, skewering each argument with her sharp satiric wit. Garrison turns aside the atheists' assault without ignoring its real criticisms, namely, the church's inadequate response to war, evolution, medical ethics, social justice, and other important issues in the post-9/11 world.
Garrison, editor for The Wittenberg Door(referred to by some as the Madmagazine of religion) and a Yale Divinity School graduate, presents an artful and compelling confrontation between the beliefs of the commonsense Christian and the positions of leading atheistic advocates. In 13 clearly written chapters, she wittily attacks the positions, statements, and practices dominant in atheistic movements as well as those of certain self-proclaimed Christians of righteousness. Masterfully and articulately engaging dueling worldviews, she again-after Red and Blue God, Black and Blue Churchand Rising from the Ashes: Rethinking Church-proves herself a skilled writer. The text contains an interesting time line of atheistic history, an interview with Hemant Mehta, aka the Friendly Atheist, and an extensive notes section. Recommended for libraries collecting Christian apologetic material.
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The New Atheist Crusaders and Their Unholy GrailThe Misguided Quest to Destroy Your Faith
By Becky Garrison
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2007 Becky Garrison
All right reserved.
Chapter OneHitchens Forfeits Fight
WHILE READERS MAY HAVE WAITED EAGERLY FOR A ringside seat to witness a chick get into a bare-knuckled brawl with Christopher Hitchens, Twelve Publishers pulled their number one New York Times best-selling author out of the ring. Simply put, they refused to allow me to excerpt any material from God Is Not Great. How anyone can publish a book filled with anti-God diatribes and then not allow the person who penned this poison to get into the ring and go the distance with a seasoned satirist remains a mystery.
Part of Warner Twelve's mission statement is to "seek to establish communities of conversation surrounding our books." So, one would think they would come out swinging to see if this punch-drunk lightweight's arguments can withstand some spiritual yet satirical blows from the Christian corner.
Unfortunately, they seem to have cut themselves on Hitchens's beloved Occam's razor by concluding that the simplest and therefore best solution to this Christian confrontation is to throw in the towel and forfeit the match. Yes, I clearly lack the necessary equipment or the salty vocabulary needed to go mano a mano with this unbiblical bully. That's too bad, because I was looking forward to drawing some of the sting out of his venom by showing how, in true Shakespearean form, God Is Not Great is but "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
Fortunately Hitchens fails to make any substantial arguments not afforded by the other New Atheist Crusaders, so the battle can begin sans this delirious and dare I say delusional dude.
Excerpted from The New Atheist Crusaders and Their Unholy Grail by Becky Garrison Copyright © 2007 by Becky Garrison. Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
Becky Garrison is a Contributing Editor for Sojourners. Her books include The New Atheist Crusaders and Their Unholy Grail, Rising from the Ashes: Rethinking Church, and Red and Blue God, Black and Blue Church. Her additional writing credits include work for The Wittenburg Door, Geez, Killing the Buddha, and Religion Dispatches, as well as various other odd and sundry publications.
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