photo by Sheri Dixon

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Off the Wall Book Discovery- "Your Religion Is False"

"Your Religion Is False", by Joel Grus, doesn't fit in the Bargain Book category, since I didn't get it from a book store, and I paid full price ($14.95) for it. I can't even remember how I stumbled onto the website, but once I saw it, I had to have it.

This is not a book for the easily offended, but the beauty of it is that it's not trashing Christianity...or Islam...or Pastafarianism...or even Atheism.

"Your Religion Is False" is an across-the-board dissection of every single type of faith, belief or non-belief and while it's not snarky or cruel, it makes no excuses or justifications either.

The interesting thing is that we've all been raised up in some sort of belief system, making what we know seem sensible and right. So 99% of this book consists of head-nodding, smug chuckling "Wow- those folks are messed up to believe THAT" agreement.

Then there's that shining moment when the page is turned and there it is- YOUR belief system.

And in the critical, analytical light of day and typed there next to other beliefs, what seemed so normal as we grew up, so comforting whenever we were troubled, so obviously indisputable up to that very minute, looks as skewed and unbelievable as the rest of the book.

Far from being a tedious and boring read, Joel manages to cut most beliefs off at the knees in just a few pages- sometimes one is enough.

I understand that his intent was to be an equal opportunity wet blanket, in a humorous and uncomfortable way (the first clue to that is the cover- where "The Deposition" by Raphael is cleverly photoshopped into "Weekend at Jesus's") but here's what I took away from this book-

Just because what you grew up with seems right to YOU, does not automatically make what anyone else believes wrong. Or dangerous. Or threatening.

Of course Mr. Grus also thinks Religious Tolerance is false, so maybe he is just trying to be an asshole and I'm reading too much into it...


  1. well, that sounds intersting indeed. I have always been fascinated by the worlds religions so this may be something I like. Maybe when I can find it on sale..;j

  2. Did he cover facebook? I'm starting to hear, "If you're not on facebook, you don't exist." Sounds kinda cultish.

    Smash Your Cake and Eat it Too

  3. jojo- it's more of a quick scanning and refuting than an in depth study, but interesting all the same since every single faith and belief seems pretty weird when laid out that way.

    Fred- no social networking was mentioned, but he IS trying to sell on the internet LOL