In this book, I’ve collated a number of my most popular essays, some of which have received humbling praise from Richard Dawkins. Further, a number of the essays in this book have been published by the Dawkins Foundation. In compiling these essays, I wanted to ensure that the reader be granted access to original, unpublished material, so I have revised and made significant additions to my larger pieces on ISIS, The Atheist Atrocities Fallacy, and the Christian nature of Hitler’s treatment of the Jews, for example. I have dedicated this book to the prisoner of conscience Raif Badawi and his wife, Ensaf Haidar, has thrown her support behind this collection of thoroughly-sourced blasphemies.
As well as being infused with seething and well-sourced blasphemies constructed in a manner to see just how far free speech can be taken, this book contains my organization’s (Human Rights for Atheists, Agnostics and Secularists) petition to abolish blasphemy laws, which has the support of Ricky Gervais, Richard Dawkins, D.M. Murdoch, Sam Harris, Roseanne Barr, and other notable celebrities.
Why is the Abolition of Blasphemy Laws a Necessity?
As our petition states:
‘Blasphemy laws are used to infringe upon human rights. They frequently lead to arbitrary arrest, detention, poor treatment in custody including torture, dubious legal procedures and poor application of justice. The definition of the offence can be left in the hands of police and judicial authorities. Governments have used blasphemy laws to silence political opponents. Individuals have fabricated blasphemy charges against others in communal disputes. Religious extremists have used blasphemy laws to attack opponents. Religious authorities have used blasphemy laws to impose orthodoxy on members of minority religious groups with the sanction of the state. And people accused of blasphemy have been subject to violence by unofficial mobs.’
Isn’t This Book Just a Compendium of New Atheist Hate Speech?
Notwithstanding the fact that I don’t believe that there is such a thing as “New Atheism,” I do concede that this book does contain proactive and even provocative attacks on the Christian God Hypothesis, Jesus’ mother, the “Prophet” Muhammad’s brain, the Church, the Nazis, Communism, and theist propaganda in general. Having made this concession, I am very careful in my work not to brand believers with the same pen strokes I use to antagonize their belief systems. As I said in my reply to the charge of inspiring the Chapel Hill shooting:
Very few people seem to be able to distinguish between criticising religious doctrines and beliefs and attacking people. For example, if I criticize the Second Amendment of America’s Constitution, I am not saying all Americans are violent gun nuts, nor am I in any way inciting violence against Americans. The same goes for my criticisms of Islam and religion in general. If I object to Surah 4:34 of the Qur’an, and argue that teachings that assert men as the rulers of women and that endow husbands with the liberty to beat disobedient wives, I am not saying all Muslims follow this teaching, nor am I inciting hatred or violence against Muslims. However, given that quite a few people seem to lack the intellectual wit to navigate the nuance between attacking beliefs and doctrines, and attacking people, I make a point of constantly reiterating this distinction on my Facebook page, in my articles and books, and on Twitter.
For example, a post I commonly recycle on both Twitter and Facebook reads as follows:
…I do not believe that most Muslim men beat their wives in accordance with Surah 4:34, nor do I think that the majority of Muslim women living in secular societies are downtrodden and unhappy. I don’t think that most Christians are completely foolish, hateful and bigoted, in fact, I know many highly intelligent Christians. The majority of religious people that I have had the pleasure of knowing in my short lifetime have been very nice. I have shared the hookah and eaten bacon during Ramadan with Muslims friends; I have enjoyed dinner with numerous Christians from numerous denominations and attended many Hindu festivals and ceremonies.
Most of my friends belong to one religion or another and all of them are completely cognisant of what I think of their respective religions, but needless to say, they rarely engage me in dialogue about them. The reason I am an anti-theist/atheist is because I am first and foremost, a humanist, and the truth is these religions are uncritically accepted, believed and followed, they have the potential to do great harm and that potential is realized all across the planet on a daily basis. These religions have put the largest portion of our species to sleep, causing them to live an entire life on autopilot. So, I am not anti-Muslim, I am anti-Islam. I am not anti-Christian, I am anti-Christianity. I am a humanist anti-theist and this compels me to ferociously attack religion, but sadly, many mistake my attacks on beliefs and belief systems for misanthropy, so I just wanted to qualify my anti-religious ravings.
Excerpt from ‘Blasphemy: The Selected Works of a Blaspheming Atheist’
Hitler – Onward Christian Soldier: Conclusion
‘It is clear to anyone who has eyes to see the mass of evidence available, that the rotten fruits of Nazi anti-Semitism were the direct result of Hitler’s either sincere infatuation with, or crafty exploitation of, the poisonous tree of the religion he publicly and passionately advocated, Christianity
You are more than welcome to continue asserting that Hitler was an atheist, and that atheism, with its non-existent doctrines and its non-existent set of beliefs, caused Hitler to commit his atrocities, yet you may not do so with the assistance of any kind of rational or reliable evidence, for the evidence available eviscerates such a ridiculous and counterfactual claim. Hitler publicly professed a devotion to the religion of Christianity, as well as expressing an infectious animosity toward atheism, and whether or not he did so for political gain is inconsequential, for the fruits of his regime were in complete concordance with close to 2000 years of Christian tradition, right down to his brutal campaign against those “Christ-killing Jews.”’
I sincerely hope you enjoy this book and I look forward to reading your reviews.
Michael A. Sherlock