Religion is awfully heavy and unwieldy at times. With small rest stops along the way, I have believed in God my whole life. Not just believed that he existed, that he was somewhere out there in the mists and the hearts of nice yet critical people, but actually believed that he knew I existed and cared about me. I fall most prominently into the realm of Western Protestantism, but I have somewhat of a tentative crush on both Catholicism and Judaism. Yet, despite all of that, I am irrevocably drawn to a religious buffet of beliefs as well. I know what I believe about God deep down inside and don’t show it in truth too often because I am afraid that I’m still a fundamentalist. If so, that’s what I am, like it or not. But what if the whole Old Testament is fairy tales? What if the evil religion has done severely outweighs the good? What if Islam is going to take over the whole world? What if God really does not exist and there is no practical basis for morality? What if religion is the fuzzy goodness we clutch to our chests at night while squeezing our eyes shut against the truth?

Those are the questions I am pulled towards, not only to consider, but to champion. That’s the part of my belief that no one else in my background can understand. It’s not a quest to be right, but a journey to show others that they could quite possibly be wrong. If we, especially in our religious beliefs, do not have one strong reason why we could possibly be wrong, the only people we are fooling are ourselves.

That is perhaps the greatest reason I chose to read Everything You Know About God Is Wrong, the new Disinformation Guidebook edited by Russ Kick. And, to be honest, no matter what any of us believe about God, most of it is wrong. God Is Wrong is a veritable potluck of why religion is wrong and terrible and it is a fascinating look at the dark sides of God and gods.

Nearly every article in this book is well worth the time spend reading them and this is one of the first edited collections I can say that about and not be lying. One of the first, and strongest, essays is about why America is founded on religious tolerance and not Christianity, a point most Christians miss by a mark wider than Christ’s love. The book then delivers a 30 page section from the Philadelphia Grand Jury Report on sexual molestation, rape, and the Catholic infrastructure which protected and promoted these behaviors. There are discourses on Islam and the moderate changes within the religion and the same within Judaism. This is followed by an entire section about Jesus in the Gospels and the authorship of the New Testament, something made far too en vogue by the rash of Brownsploitation after The DaVinci Code was released (the notes from the plagiarism trial of Dan Brown are also included). Judges 19 gets a truly graphic treatment from Neil Gaiman and Steve Gibson, a Muslim Student Association conference is (subtly) crashed, a rapist and murderous preacher exposed, a cult-cum-New Age health spa is explained. This is followed by a nest of snake-handlers, atheist confessions and defenses, and a report of the history of the Magdalene Laundries which is truly heartbreaking. Of course, there is also an appearance from the debt music owes to atheists, Jewish hatred in the Left Behind series, exorcism, and Found Magazine shows off their best found religious notes.

This is the perfect book for anyone. If you hate God, you’ll find more reason to do so, although that’s the easiest response to this information. And easy will make you two things: HIV positive and stupid. If you believe in God or even simply like him/her/it/vaporous life force, this book will give you much to think about and come to terms with. No matter which side you fall on, this book will break your heart.

This is the perfect book for anyone. Unless you hate learning. Sorry Baptists.

You can, and should, purchase this book at Amazon.com.

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