11 September 2011


"The Australian Book of Atheism", edited by Warren Bonett - also a contributor - was published by Scribe in 2010.

The essays cover a wide spectrum of thoughts and comments about what atheism is in Australia and what its impact is on our societies which are god-driven.

For instance, there is a contribution by Dr Philip Nitschke on atheism and euthanasia, and we all know that the outcome of the Northern Territory's introduction of a euthanasia bill was overturned by the federal parliament with god-lovers such as Kevin Andrews driving the debate and ensuring that euthanasia was not to be allowed for Australians demanding it as their right!

The contents are divided into sections illuminating the different perspectives on what should be a very simple topic:


The essays are thoughtful and educational and show a wide range of responses to the god-driven world around us. At over 400 pages, most of which are very readable - and entertaining - one is left pondering why, with so many of us atheists, so many of the non-atheists require the support of some mythical, invisible, incomprehensibly cruel and murderous "male" construct, who unleashes wars and famines and cruelty by some few on the many who have no defences and who are left dead and dying by those who also claim to have their god on their side!

I have one serious criticism of the book - there is no index!

For a volume with so much in it, and with information provided by so many with so many references to others, an index is a vital part of such a volume.

I also have one comment which, to my way of thinking, is a serious omission.

At a time when homosexuality has become much more accepted by the heterosexual world and there is ongoing discussion about equal rights for all humans, gay and straight, there is no chapter on homosexuality and religion and atheism.

Many gay, lesbian, transgender and HIV (GLTH) members of the community were brought up in families where religion was the be-all and end-all of their lives - and god said homosexuality was evil because it was written in the bible, and we were all going to rot in hell if we didn't change our ways and our lifestyles. Many were brought up in Catholic households where hell ruled, and many were brought up in other religions where religion was not as rabid but where poofters were the bottom of the food chain!

Why is there no essay about why so many of those GLTH people who were brought up in religious households are now amongst the most avid of atheists, and why is there no assessment of this development in our atheist history?

Other than these comments, the book is a must for those trying to get to grips with what religion has done to them and why they should drop it immediately and develop into happy, productive and normal members of our society.

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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm