As I pondered my belief system, I happened to catch the actor Jim Carey on a talk show discussing a book he’d read on dark matter. I hadn’t heard about this until then, and it piqued my interest. I researched the subject and found books relating to dark matter and cosmology. This is when I began reading books written by Stephen Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Lawrence Krauss, and other scientists.
It was then that I finally came to terms with my spirituality and realized that science was what I needed in my life to explain the world and the universe we live in. I knew I had finally found something that made sense to me, and I began to feel the wonderment and awe about life I had felt as a child on those churchless Sunday mornings. I no longer needed a belief in the unexplainable to make me feel this way.
– Emma Graham
Emma Graham was raised in the Lutheran faith. It was science that finally made her turn away. She is one of 22 authors who wrote an essay about her journey away from religion that Karen L. Garst, Ph.D. has compiled into a new book entitled Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life without Religion. Dr. Garst became incensed when the U. S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby in 2014. This decision said that because of its religious views, Hobby Lobby, a craft store, would not be obligated to follow the dictates of the Affordable Care Act and provide certain forms of birth control to its employees. “Will we never end the fight for women’s reproductive rights?” Garst stated. Once again, religion has influenced the laws of our land. Politicians cite their religion in supporting restrictions on abortion, banning funding for Planned Parenthood, and a host of other issues that are against women.
The first leaders of the “New Atheism” movement that arose after 9/11 were men like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett. They came with backgrounds of science and philosophy and launched a renewed effort to show people how destructive religion can be and how all Abrahamic religions are based upon an Iron Age mythology, borrowing from other mythologies of the time.
Dr. Garst wants to add a focus on women and the role this mythology has played in the culture of many countries to denigrate and subordinate women. She states that “Religion is the last cultural barrier to gender equality.” More and more women atheists are speaking out. And as we all know, if women leave the churches, they will collapse.
She has received support with reviews by Richard Dawkins, Valerie Tarico, Peter Boghossian, Sikivu Hutchinson and other prominent authors.
I encourage you to check out Dr. Garst’s blog at www.faithlessfeminist.com and to order this excellent book.