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Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris
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Letter to a Christian Nation (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Sam Harris (Author)

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2,901802,940 (3.94)72
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Title:Letter to a Christian Nation
Authors:Sam Harris (Author)
Info:Knopf (2006), 96 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:atheism, Christianity and politics, church and state, fundamentalism, religious right, Christian conservatism

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Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris (2006)

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It's Sam Harris, so you know what you're getting. This slim tome is like a Cliff's Notes covering all of his main talking points. I used to admire this guy when I was a militant atheist, but now I find him quite tedious. His liberal viewpoint gets hilariously exposed when he tries to roast conservative white people on pg. 44-45, implying their states commit tons of crime: "If there were a strong correlation between Christian conservatism and societal health, we might expect to see some sign of it in red-state America. We don't. Of the twenty-five most dangerous cities, 76 percent are in red states, 24 percent in blue states. In fact, three of the five most dangerous cities in the United States are in the pious state of Texas. The twelve states with the highest rates of burglary are red." So, let's take the red (conservative) state of Louisiana as an example. 98% of the homicides in 60% black, ultra-liberal New Orleans and 50% black, ultra-liberal Baton Rouge are committed by people of... guess which skin color. According to the great mind of Sam Harris, that reflects badly on the entire state of Louisiana, which is majority white, peaceful, and non-liberal. Of course, he won't point out to you the demographics of those three unnamed cities in Texas; he just wants to be able to insult the entire state for being "pious." And no, he never mentions skin color, but those of his ethno-religious background are always trying to undermine and upset white people. And yes, I'm still an atheist, but I dislike nonsensical attacks on entire states. Luckily he partially makes up for this by going very hard on Islam near the end of the book. Then again, go look at the title of the book and tell me which religion(s) you see listed in it. He uses a slavery-endorsing passage from "the Bible" to try to humiliate Christians, but there's one problem: It comes from the Book of Leviticus, which is part of the Old Testament (Jewish Bible), which is probably the most vile and violent book ever written. Of course, this book is published by a Jewish-run publishing house, but I digress. The most obnoxious line in the book is in a section about souls, on pg. 31: "Your beliefs about the human soul are, at this very moment, prolonging the scarcely endurable misery of tens of millions of human beings."
  YESterNOw | Nov 7, 2018 |
"What is interesting about this book, as in most atheist thought, is that in lambasting fundamentalist institutional religious dogma, the author ends up doing exactly what he accuses his opponents of: polarizing, claiming to know what truth and reality are better than anyone else, and pushing moderates into extremism. He claims, as all atheists do, to be speaking solidly from the standpoint of reason. As a reasonable man, then, he should have recognized..."

Lovely. This Goodreads critic of the book is critical of the author for accusing his opponents of "claiming to know what truth and reality are better than anyone else" and claiming to be "speaking solidly from the standpoint of reason" and therefore as "a reasonable man, then, he should have recognized" ... THE TRUTH! Which in the eye of this Goodreads critic, typical of so many self righteous reviewers of this book, is the teachings of CHRISTIANITY and while criticizing Harris of "claiming to know ... truth and reality," and of polarizing people by pushing his agenda, this reviewers seems completely guilty of the accusations thrown at the author!!! If I may borrow and rebrand, to to speak, from this reviewer, so "typical" of Christian thought! I do not claim to know the truth, but theists do, and, to paraphrase Hitchens, exceptional claims require exceptional evidence. Just because Harris points out some of the seemingly inherent flaws within Christianity, the people who claim HE polarizes then polarize some more in attacking him for pointing out the obvious to most non-Christians, theists of other faiths, and freethinkers around the country. This reviewer epitomizes what he accuses Harris of doing and in so doing, justifies Harris's contentions. If it weren't so tragic, the irony would be too funny.

Not the absolute best book I've read, but pretty solid, in my opinion. And in the opinion or many others, though you can't tell from all of the attacks from so many of the Christians reviewing this book. I guess it's hard to face accusations that don't jibe with your belief system when the accusations hurt or insult, even if there may very well be legitimacy to them... Recommended to all. ( )
  scottcholstad | May 16, 2018 |
He strays outside of his area of expertise (he’s a neuroscientist), like many of the New Atheists did and do, and he’s kind of a prick, but he’s not without legitimate points at times. ( )
  Michael_Rose | Mar 31, 2018 |
In 'Letter to a Christian Nation' Sam Harris articulately rebuts common and popular arguments for Christianity in American culture and politics. It is a short and easy read which tackles the self-righteous attitudes of many of America's Christians -- particularly of the Evangelical stripe. Harris frames the book, as the title suggests, as a letter written to, and addressing, America's conservative Christians. This book is a response to criticism from conservative American Christians regarding a previous book Harris had written. I recommend 'Letter to a Christian Nation". ( )
1 vote JoshuaMichail | Sep 19, 2017 |
It gave me some interesting food for thought, but arguing with staunch Christians on the ground Harris covers would seem to me to be a futile effort. ( )
  kalinichta | Jun 30, 2017 |
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For my wife
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You believe that the Bible is the word of God, that Jesus is the Son of God, and that only those who place their faith in Jesus will find salvation after death.
Quotations
Imagine the consequences if any significant component of the U.S. government actually believed that the world was about to end and that its ending would be glorious
You are, of course, free to interpret the Bible differently—though isn't it amazing that you have succeeded in discerning the true teachings of Christianity, while the most influential thinkers in the history of your faith failed?
I know of no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too desirous of evidence in support of their core beliefs.
In fact, "atheism" is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a "non-astrologer" of a "non-alchemist." We do not have words for people who doubt that Elvis is still alive or that aliens have traversed the galaxy only to molest ranchers and their cattle. Atheism is nothing more that the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.
If God exists, either He can do nothing to stop the most egregious calamities, or He does not care to. God, therefore, is either impotent or evil.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307265773, Hardcover)

“Thousands of people have written to tell me that I am wrong not to believe in God. The most hostile of these communications have come from Christians. This is ironic, as Christians generally imagine that no faith imparts the virtues of love and forgiveness more effectively than their own. The truth is that many who claim to be transformed by Christ’s love are deeply, even murderously, intolerant of criticism. While we may want to ascribe this to human nature, it is clear that such hatred draws considerable support from the Bible. How do I know this? The most disturbed of my correspondents always cite chapter and verse.”

So begins Letter to a Christian Nation



www.samharris.org

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:21 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"[Since the publication of my book The end of faith, t]housands of people have written to tell me that I am wrong not to believe in God. The most hostile of these communications have come from Christians. This is ironic, as Christians generally imagine that no faith imparts the virtues of love and forgiveness more effectively than their own. The truth is that many who claim to be transformed by Christ's love are deeply, even murderously, intolerant of criticism. While we may want to ascribe this to human nature, it is clear that such hatred draws considerable support from the Bible. How do I know this? The most disturbed of my correspondents always cite chapter and verse."--P. vii.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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