My family is awesome. I’ve always known this, but every once in a while, they go out of their way to prove it to me again and I am taken aback by it. This Christmas was one such time. The stack of books they gifted me included 5 Dawkins titles and David Silverman’s new book, Fighting God.
David Silverman is someone I had already admired. I have always loved that he doesn’t mince words. I have always enjoyed his absolute unwillingness to be silenced. I watch him when he’s on television and my heart pounds with fury at the insulting and ridiculous comments and questions he has to field. I often wonder to myself how he does it. I’d have surely punched Bill O’Reilly by now.
So, when I opened that book on Christmas morning, I was very excited and got to reading right away. I was in Mexico, at my brother’s place, and I sat out on his patio and read in between dips in the pool:
The book grabbed me right away. Much like the way Silverman is during his many public appearances, he gets straight to the point in his book, too. When he goes over what exactly an atheist is, he says succinctly,
If you don’t have any belief in any literal god(s), but you absolutely hate the word atheist – tough shit, you’re still an atheist. – David Silverman, Fighting God
This line, of course, made me laugh out loud. As did his depiction of “Not Muhammad”. Unfortunately, that uncontrolled LOL happened on a night flight back from Mexico and woke a few sunburned Canadians out of their peaceful slumber. Oops.
Not Muhammad on a plane!
Mr. Atheist Pants goes into detail about his struggle to defend the term “atheist Jew”, as well as why he has ceased to use the term “antitheist”. He illustrates his involvement in fighting the New Jersey RFRA and why it was important. He talks about religious terrorism and explains that the very last thing we should do to solve it, is shut up.
Silverman covers a great many things in this book, but I think the most valuable part that I took away from it, was his defense of firebrand atheism. He made a great case for why it’s necessary and it made me feel a lot less doubt about my own tendencies to tear strips off religious bloggers here on godlessmom.com. He offered evidence, statistics and anecdotes which include the background stories on some of the most infamous billboards put up by American Atheists. He also made me understand with clarity why the fights against religious displays on government property are so, so important.
I came out of this book with a renewed sense of purpose as Godless Mom. His absolute unwillingness to keep quiet; his devotion to the cause of normalizing atheism and his commitment to human rights and secularism all comes through loud and clear in this book. He may be described sometimes as the “Bad Boy of Atheism”, but Silverman himself comes off as a great person who simply refuses to back down.
This book is a must read for any atheist. Grab it here.