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.
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.
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.
I love to seek out science history books that tell the stories of unsung heroes. Anything that doesn’t begin and end with Newton, that doesn’t praise Darwin’s work of genius, that doesn’t repeat the somber myth of Galileo’s persecution, is what I want. Clifford Conner’s 2005 book A People’s History of Science: Miners, Midwives, and “Low Mechanicks” exemplifies this worthy retelling of the story of science better than anything I’ve ever read.
I should have liked Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo. I loved Oluo’s first book, So You Want To Talk About Race, and I always learn so much from similar books on racism and feminism.
Ruby Hamad’s 2020 book White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color is a paradigm-shifting work that combines history, personal experience, and media analysis to show how the tears of white women are far from harmless. If you think you know feminism—or even if you think you know intersectional feminism—you must read this book.
I am so beyond excited to announce that in a few short weeks, Nonfiction November will be back, and with a brand new host: me!
I participated in Nonfiction November last year in my own quirky way by completing all of the though-provoking prompts in a single post, but in 2022 I’m doing it the way it’s meant to be done, one week at a time. And more than that, I’m hosting week 4!
Since its release in June 2020, Kristin Kobes du Mez’s Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation has been required reading for anyone seeking to gain a full perspective on the Christian Nationalist movement in the United States and how it got this way.