Day Six of the Twelve Days of Solstice

We're celebrating the 12 days of Solstice rather than the 12 days of Christmas. I'm done writing and editing books. So I'm highlighting each of my twelve books leading up to the 25th of the month when we party. I'll tell you something about each of them you probably don't know. [See Tag Below]

The first thing you should know is that the publisher wanted to name this book, Deliver Us From Evil. Since my goal was to produce books named after the Four Horsemen (plus Victor Stenger, who just missed that party with his 2007 NY Times Bestseller,     God: The Failed Hypothesis), I was adamantly opposed to it. So was Richard Carrier, and I think Russell Blackford, who all voiced our objections.
On hindsight, after I failed to edit a book named after Daniel Dennett's book, like Breaking the Christian Spell, I wish we had used that provocative title instead. It sounds sexy doesn't it? Deliver Us From Evil. I like it now, especially after the rise to power of Christian Theocratic/Nationalists with the twice impeached one-term former President Donald Trump, and the January 6th failed coup attempt on American democracy after failing to steal a presidential election.

Dr. Hector Avalos wrote the Foreword, which recognized the uniqueness of my anthologies, saying:
Over the past few years, John Loftus has demonstrated his ability to recruit the best scholars and scientists to his anthologies, including The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails (2010) and The End of Christianity (2011), both published by Prometheus Books.

The present anthology, Christianity is Not Great, is no exception. Scholars representing fields as varied as physics and anthropology are here. Consequently, these anthologies are some of the most substantive collections of rebuttals to theistic, and specifically to Christian theistic arguments, in existence. They signal a new era insofar as atheists are organizing coherent and scholarly responses that are wide-ranging in scope, instead of just focusing on a few traditional issues (e.g., philosophical arguments against theism, or creationism).

Christianity is Not Great swiftly demolishes one of the greatest and more subtle myths promoted by believers. The demolished myth is that Christianity, even if it cannot be proved to be true, has at least been good for the world.
You can get this monster of a book inexpensively on Amazon.
There were some minor time consuming problems with a few of the authors in this anthology, but none of them merit mentioning. I didn't think Richard Carrier put that much effort into his chapters (although they are still very good), and I wasn't exactly thrilled with Russell Blackford's chapter (for reasons that escape me now). Perhaps they were just insanely busy.
I had one tough decision to make regarding Sikivu Hutchinson's excellent contribution titled, Women of Color Beyond Faith. It seemed exactly want I had asked from her. But there were two problems with it. She submitted it to me at the last moment so there was no time to discuss it with her, and I hate that as an editor. I had to either accept it as it stands, or reject it. The second problem was that as I read it, she had an agenda I didn't ask for. While she exposed Christian racism against women of color, she equally exposed the racism of their secular counter-parts.
Let me quote from it: "The relative dearth of secular humanist and freethought traditions amongst women of color cannot be separated from the broader context of white supremacy, gender politics, and racial segregation." She highlighted  Susan Jacoby’s Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism as a case in point. She wrote about the struggle women of color have with both "religious and secular belief systems." (Emphasis is mine). She said:
Over the past few years more women of color have stepped up to assume leadership roles in secular, atheist, and humanist organizations. They have done so in a movement that is blithely ignorant of, if not explicitly hostile to, the lived experiences, cultural capital, community context, and social history of people of color in the U.S.
She wrote about a "patriarchal mindset" that "is not exclusive to the religious community but is embedded within the dominant culture as a whole." She goes on to say, "non-believers are not magically exempt from sexism, patriarchy, and white supremacy," and that "black women’s leadership on secular, atheist, and humanist issues is devalued", as seen in the "absence of women of color from freethought movements."
I appreciate her agenda and the struggle of women of color. That's why I asked her to write the chapter in the first place. However, my focus in the book was on Christianity. I cannot disagree with what she said. But two leaders in the secular community were also writing chapters in this book, Ronald Lindsay, then president of the Center for Inquiry, and Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. That by itself, wasn't a huge problem. What was a problem is that she was airing our own dirty laundry, and it looked as if Christians weren't any better or worse than secularists, humanists, and atheists.
I was being forced to reject her chapter, unfortunately. To be sure about this decision, I reached out to Valerie Tarico who agreed that  Hutchinson's focus was not what I wanted and runs counter to the purposes of this anthology (from memory). I was happy that when I approached  Hutchinson about our conflicting goals she graciously bowed out.
Another problem I had to deal with was Christian apologist David Marshall, who nitpicked at Annie Laurie Gaylor's excellent chapter on women. He challenged me to debate the issue of women. I saw no reason to and said so. We have published several posts on Christianity and feminism on this blog [Click on the Tags]. In fact, this issue is one of the biggest reasons I debunk Christianity.

John W. Loftus is a philosopher and counter-apologist credited with 12 critically acclaimed books, including The Case against Miracles, God and Horrendous Suffering, and Varieties of Jesus Mythicism. Please support DC by sharing our posts, or by subscribing, donating, or buying our books at Amazon. Thank you so much!