Updated for 2015: Dana’s Super-Gargantuan Guide to Religion Books Suitable for Gift-Giving

Ohai! It’s another midwinter holiday gift giving season, and you’ve probably got a reader or dozen on your list. Did they give you some titles? Fantastic! Gift giving shall be easy, and if you purchase through this link, you can get your gifties and support ye olde blog, too. No list? No problem! I’ve got you covered with a super-awesome, super-gargantuan guide to many books suitable for secular gifting.

Through the next couple of weeks, I’ll be updating our lists with additional titles. Here’s a wonderland of atheist books not previously listed in our Super-Gargantuan Guides!

Image shows a dark gray kitten with its back hunched, standing on a book. Caption says, "I know it's a spellbook. I'm quite familiar."

[Read more…]

Updated for 2015: Dana’s Super-Gargantuan Guide to Science Books Suitable for Gift-Giving

Ohai! It’s another midwinter holiday gift giving season, and you’ve probably got a reader or dozen on your list. Did they give you some titles? Fantastic! Gift giving shall be easy, and if you purchase through this link, you can get your gifties and support ye olde blog, too. No list? No problem! I’ve got you covered with a super-awesome, super-gargantuan guide to many books suitable for secular gifting.

Through the next couple of weeks, I’ll be updating our lists with additional titles. Here’s a wonderland of science books not previously listed in our Super-Gargantuan Guides!

Image shows Misha lying on a pile of geology books. Caption says, "I'm on yur geology goox, demonstratin superpuzishun."

Photo by moi, meme created by Lockwood DeWitt.

[Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus NOW AVAILABLE!

It’s here, just in time for the midwinter holidays! I read the Book of Exodus so you don’t have to, and pulled out the juicier bits. All retellings guaranteed 110% snarky.

Image is the cover for Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus. The painting is Charles Sprague Pearce's Lamentations over the Death of the First-Born of Egypt, showing an Egyptian man and woman weeping over the coffin of their infant.

Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus is now available worldwide at Amazon:

United States  ♦  Canada  ♦  Mexico  ♦  Brazil  ♦  United Kingdom  ♦  Germany  ♦  France  ♦  Spain ♦  Italy  ♦  Netherlands  ♦  India  ♦  Japan  ♦  Australia

The story of Exodus is often portrayed as a heroic rescue from slavery and an epic journey to freedom. What it’s really about is God’s neglect, followed by lots of malicious destruction meant to show the Egyptians and Israelites who’s LORD. Then there’s a bumbling escape, complete with thirst, starvation, and mass murders caused by the incompetent and sadistic God. The rest of Exodus is basically God being really picky about the clothes, accommodations, and sacrifices he expects from these poor escaped slaves. This book will give you the big pin you need for deflating Christian claims about the awesomeness of their God. And it’ll make you see Exodus in a light you may not have anticipated. Especially useful for redirecting tedious conversations about that wretched Exodus: Gods and Kings movie. Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus is the perfect book for anyone who wants a look at the Good Book without any rose-tinted lenses in the way. Get your copy today!

Also available: [Read more…]

The Dana Hunter’s Gneiss Schist Maclargehuge Cyber Monday Sale!

Ohai, it’s time to think about the midwinter gift-giving holidays! Do you have a geologist on your list? Someone who likes pretty rocks and/or volcanoes? A person needing some inspirational stuffage consisting of pretty photos and really bad Bible verses? A reader who could really use a snarky look at the worst bits of Genesis and Exodus? I absolutely have you covered on all fronts! And lots of stuff is discounted TODAY ONLY. Gitchoor shopping done early! [Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus Excerpt – Chapter 16!

XIX

The Infamous Golden Calf Episode

(Exodus 32)

Meanwhile, back at the camp…

The people get sick and tired of waiting for Moses to come back down that bloody mountain. He left them over a month ago without even a guesstimate as to when he’d return. God’s been so busy waxing enthusiastic over his preferences in furniture, curtains, clothes, barbecue, and petty reasons to murder people that he’s completely neglected them. They’ve been left homeless in the wilderness with no one to lead them to safety. They’re at their wit’s end, fearful and alone. So they ask Aaron to make them some more helpful gods who’ll actually give a shit about them. (Ex. 32:1)

Bear in mind: these are people who’ve been enslaved for generations. They just experienced this bully of a god swanning in with a dude wanted for murder, and proceeding to terrorize the shit out of the countryside, along with pretty much everything in it. This god even hardened their captor’s heart every time he was about to release them, just as an excuse to commit more terrorist acts. They were forced to flee into the desert with inadequate food and water, and when they cried out in their suffering, this god who claims to care about them killed a bunch of them for asking to have their basic survival needs met. Now they’ve been abandoned in the desert, surrounded by hostile tribes, for five weeks. Of course they’re going to start looking elsewhere for comfort and protection. [Read more…]

Help Me Track Down this Book!

This is going to drive me mad… there was a book I read as a kid that was about a Navajo boy who was ripped away from his family and culture and sent to a residential school. I’d swear they called him Leo, but of course I could be wrong. I remember them trying to basically turn him white, and one of the major battles was making him wear underwear with his jeans. There were a lot of other struggles and confusion as they tried to remove the Indian parts of himself and he tried to hold on to his identity. I think it was set in either Arizona or New Mexico. There were illustrations, and I know it wasn’t a long book, but I don’t remember if it was a picture book or not. Anybody remember it?

Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus Excerpt – Chapter 15, Part Two!

XV

God’s Extensive, Expensive Interior Décor Requirements for Homeless Refugees

(Exodus 25-27)

 

First half of Chapter 15 is here.

 

Having gotten the furniture out of the way, God starts in on curtains. He wants ten of ’em, done up in the finest linen with the most costly blue, purple, and scarlet dyes – remember, kids, those colors were hella expensive to achieve back then. He wants each curtain to have cherubim embroidered on it. And he doesn’t want a few simple drapes, no. He’s asking for enormous, heavy panels that are 28 cubits (about 42 feet) long and 4 cubits (about 6 feet) wide. Then the curtains must be joined in two sets of 5, and 50 blue loops put on the edge of each outer curtain; God’s really particular about that. Then you’ve gotta have 50 solid-gold clasps to put through the loops. (Ex. 26:1-6)

If you want to get an idea of how fun this stuff was to shlep around the desert, go to a fabric store, find the biggest bolt of upholstery fabric you can, and carry it around the store for eight hours. Then, as you lay dying, ponder the fact that you had the benefit of air conditioning, and the folks wandering the Sinai did not. [Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus Excerpt – Chapter 15, Part One!

XV

God’s Extensive, Expensive Interior Décor Requirements for Homeless Refugees

(Exodus 25-27)

 

 

The next time someone who considers Exodus to be holy writ snarks at me about gay guys being into interior decorating, I shall have to request they turn to chapters 25 thru 27 in their Holy Bible. God has put some really serious thought into how he wants his living space set up and decorated. I mean, it’s verging on the pathological. It’s not the sort of thing you’d expect the creator of the universe to get hung up on. You’d expect him to DIY if he’s that bloody picky. And even if he chooses to delegate, you’d hope he’d hire an established firm, rather than a ragtag band of freed slaves lost in the desert. But no. He’s got some particularly detailed requirements, and he expects the Israelites to fulfill them.

He starts by demanding people bring him stuff. See, the all-powerful, all-knowing creator of the universe doesn’t know if you really really truly love him enough unless you give him lots of expensive gifts. But, y’know, only if you want to. Not like he’d withhold his favor from you if you didn’t, or anything like that.

Oh, wait. Yes he would.

Anyway, God wants stuff for the tabernacle he’s been dreaming of. Sure, he could create it himself. Don’t be ridiculous! Of course he could! He’s absolutely not imaginary at all, and he totally did make the earth, heavens, and everything else in existence in six days. This tabernacle project would take him maybe a few minutes in the morning, tops. But then it wouldn’t be special. (Ex. 25:1-2)

So he tells Moses to ask the people for their (completely voluntary!) offerings of: [Read more…]

Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 2: Exodus Excerpt – Chapter 13, Part Two!

XIII

How to Buy Slaves (and Other Tips for Godly Living)

(Exodus 21)

(In our last edition, God gave the rules for owning slaves. In the conclusion of this chapter, we will learn how to beat them – among other things.)

But first, God would like to discuss penalties for violence.

  1. Murder always earns the death penalty – unless the poor murderer was minding his own business when, one fine day, God just up and foisted some random victim on him and was all like, “Oh, here – kill this schmuck.” In cases where God instigated the crime, the poor bastard is just to be exiled to a sanctuary city, where he can live the rest of his days away from his friends and family and familiar places, all because God was feeling like inciting a little manslaughter.
  2. Hey, kids! If you hit your mommy or your daddy, you’re gonna be put to death! Now, there’s no age limit on how old you are – the way this is written, even dear little infant babbies could be executed. No, there’s no, “But it was an accident!” defense. No, there’s no forgiveness for children whose brains haven’t developed fine motor control yet. No, there’s no “self-defense!” defense either. If you hit Mom or Dad at any time, for any reason, it’s execution for you, little tyke.

[Read more…]

Halo or No Halo, That is the Question

So, based on feedback, I’m coming out with a clean version of Really Terrible Bible Stories vol. 1: Genesis. It’ll have all the naughty words replaced with ones suitable for delicate ears, so that it can be safely recommended to anti-cursing fundie types. I’ve whipped up a new cover for it, and would like to get your impressions, my darlings.

What do you think, halo?

Image shows the cover of RTBS vol. 1: Genesis (Clean Version). The background is a pale creme yellow. The painting is Francis Denaby's The Deluge, which shows a lot of people trying to swim and crawl onto a high black rock in a dark blue tumultuous flood. Lettering is in gold and red. There is a halo over the C in Clean Version.

Avec halo

Or no halo?

Image is same as previous, with the halo removed.

Sans halo

Hope you like one or both!

And no, I probably didn’t need to change the cover illustration, but I stumbled across this Francis Denaby painting when I was looking for something else, and fell in love. I had to have it! So I changed everything up.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go back to watching Steven Universe while I put fig leaves on all the naughty bits in the interior illustrations.