Hemant Mehta’s blog “The Friendly Atheist” on Patheos.com is one of the world’s most popular atheist websites. A National Board Certified high school math teacher by day, he is the author of I Sold My Soul on eBay: Viewing Faith through an Atheist’s Eyes. He is a former chair of the Secular Student Alliance board of directors and current chair of Foundation Beyond Belief, a non-profit organization that encourages atheists to donate to a variety of charities. He lives in the suburbs of Chicago.
The Young Atheist's Survival Guideby Hemant Mehta
You’ll hear some of
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Nearly a third of Americans under the age of thirty have no religious affiliation, the highest in any recorded generation. In this growing segment of “nones” are many young Atheists who have faced prejudice in their high schools and communities for standing up for their constitutional right of freedom from religion.
You’ll hear some of their stories in this book, whether they’re protesting their school’s public prayers at football games and graduations or sitting out the “under God” portion of the Pledge of Allegiance. These atheist students know their rights and have fought for them, sometimes at tremendous personal cost. Their examples serve as inspiration for all the young atheists out there who live in communities where school often feels no different from church and teachers are no different from preachers.
This handbook is a resource for parents, teachers, friends, and young atheists themselves. Hemant Mehta, “The Friendly Atheist” blogger at patheos.com, discusses how to deal with teachers and administrators who promote faith in public schools, handle the peer pressure and ostracism that may come with being an outspoken atheist, and create successful student groups that encourage conversation over conversion.
“A paean to young atheist heroes, sung and unsung, combined with a common sense guide to organizing in your local area, The Young Atheist's Survival Guide is the perfect handbook for an atheist teenager looking for direction, resilience, and pride.” -- Zach Weinersmith, creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
“The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide will inform and inspire the secular and the religious alike.” -- David Niose, author of Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans
“Mehta offers a persuasive call to action, and his book should be of interest to all those who want to keep the public sphere open to all forms of belief and nonbelief.” -- Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club
“Since 2010, the number of Secular Student Alliance groups at high schools has grown fivefold. Mr. Mehta brings you their stories and helps you understand the unassuming courage and patriotism of these extraordinary students, teachers, and administrators.” -- August E. Brunsman IV, executive director of the Secular Student Alliance
“The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide is a true-to-life picture of what it’s like to be a young atheist in our society, and a call to action—not just for students, but for parents, teachers, administrators, and freethinkers at large.” -- Lyz Liddell, Director of Campus Organizing, Secular Student Alliance
“… As atheism becomes a more influential and mainstream voice in our society, freethinking high schoolers are increasingly coming out of the closet and standing up for themselves, forming communities to support each other and advance the secular point of view. Hemant’s book shows how it can be done with many inspiring examples of brave student activists.” -- Adam Lee, author of Daylight Atheism
“A must-read for every atheist with children of their own, and for every adult who wants a glimpse of tomorrow’s secular heroes.” -- JT Eberhard, author of the blog What Would JT Do?
“Young atheists have been coming into their own in recent years, helping to shape a movement and the world around them. The obstacles they face are troubling, but their courage and persistence are so inspiring. Hemant Mehta tells their stories with unique clarity and passion. An important book and a brilliant read.” -- Dale McGowan, Author, Atheism for Dummies
“In this book, Hemant provides a reality check about bigotry and harassment against atheists in schools, as well as a road map to alleviating these issues.… This book will help students understand what they face, and show adults where the students need help (they can’t do it alone). In other words, Hemant’s book is important. Read it.” -- Dave Silverman, President of American Atheists
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- Patheos Press
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Great introduction to the challenges High School atheists face. As a college student, I feel less alone in my atheism.