To be an atheist means to not believe in God. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I just saved you $15.
David G. McAfee’s Hi, I’m an Atheist!: What That Means and How to Talk About It with Others caught my eye as I was wandering my favorite bookstore a couple of weeks ago. I had never heard of the book or of McAfee, so for only $15, I gave it a try. I hoped that this pocket-sized guide might fill a gap in atheist literature on how to come out to others.
For my own sake, I do my best to avoid the LCMS entirely, but sometimes the world likes to tempt me by dropping pieces of anti-trans Lutheran literature directly in my lap. This is one of those times.
This week I had the privilege of reading a free booklet distributed by Concordia Publishing House entitled “In the Image of God: Gender & Sexual Identity.” If you want to spare yourself from a discussion of the unmasked disgust with gender-expansive people that lies within these pages, just know that it says exactly what you think it says, and go about your day.
The Supreme Court has been captured by shadowy right-wing mega-donors. It doesn’t sound like it could be true, but it is. In The Scheme: How the Right Wing Used Dark Money to Capture the Supreme Court, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Jennifer Mueller put the Court itself on trial and make an airtight case that the integrity of the Court has been sold. For hundreds of billions of dollars.
I held off on buying and reading Preparing for War until I met Bradley Onishi at my organization’s conference, the Summit for Religious Freedom, in April, because I couldn’t imagine that there could be more to say about Christian Nationalism that hadn’t already been said. Fortunately—or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it—he proved me wrong.
It is not uncommon in school to learn about women’s suffrage. Most of us are familiar with the names of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton because of it. As far as feminist history, this is often the beginning and the end of the story. If we want to know about the lives of women under slavery, the role that Black men and women played in achieving women’s suffrage, the treatment of working-class women by suffragists, and the stances that Black women took on the abortion and anti-rape movements, then we have to look elsewhere. Angela Davis’s 1981 masterpiece Women, Race & Class is where you can find all this and more. High school and college classrooms around the country would do well to add it to their syllabi.
Gabrielle Blair’s book Ejaculate Responsibly has been praised online as a much-needed shift in the way that we talk about abortion. That seems appropriate, as the book’s subtitle is literally A Whole New Way to Think About Abortion.
At 7:00 in the morning on February 14th, 2023, Megan Phelps-Roper posted a tweet. “Last year @jk_rowling responded to a letter I wrote her. I’d asked if she’d be part of a conversation seeking to understand her perspective and those of her critics. The result is a new audio series from @thefp: THE WITCH TRIALS OF J.K. ROWLING.”
The now-complete podcast series by The Free Press, hosted by Megan Phelps-Roper, purports to bring together the “two sides” of the “debate about sex and gender,” meanwhile investigating tribalism, discernment, and humanity. It seeks to do this by having an open conversation with J.K. Rowling, a legend-turned-villain who’s “been the object of intense backlash,” according to Megan.
Like Rowling, Megan “knew what it was like to be an object of intense hatred. But I also knew the value of good-faith conversation, and the role it can play in bridging even the deepest divides.” Thus, The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling was born.
Shon Faye’s The Transgender Issue: Trans Justice is Justice for All is the first book I’ve read that is solely dedicated to the trans issue. Only… trans people are not an issue at all. They are millions of people fighting to survive. Faye’s pointed and ironic title is the first way that she flips the mainstream treatment of trans people on its head.
Becoming Abolitionists: Police, Protests, and the Pursuit of Freedom by Derecka Purnell was my first step in my own journey toward abolitionism. I started reading it days after the footage of Tyre Nichols’ murder became public. I’ve known since 2020—embarrassingly late—that policing was a racist institution, and since then I’ve hovered around the “defund the police” area. I didn’t take a hard stance because I didn’t know enough about abolition. But Nichols’ murder, in which five Black cops with body cams used their hands to murder someone, pushed me over the edge. Reform and defunding don’t work. We need abolition.