Letter to a Christian Nation

Letter to a Christian Nation

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From the new afterword by the author: Humanity has had a long fascination with blood sacrifice. In fact, it has been by no means uncommon for a child to be born into this world only to be patiently and lovingly reared by religious maniacs, who believe that the best way to keep the sun on its course or to ensure a rich harvest is to lead him by tender hand into a field or to a mountaintop and bury, butcher, or burn him alive as offering to an invisible God. The notion that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that his death constitutes a successful propitiation of a loving God is a direct and undisguised inheritance of the superstitious bloodletting that has plagued bewildered people throughout history. . . "show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 120 pages
  • 129.54 x 200.66 x 15.24mm | 181.44g
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0307278778
  • 9780307278777
  • 29,737

Review quote

" A breath of fresh fire." - "Wall Street Journal" " This combination of ruthless argument with polemic designed to provoke (he describes the Catholic Church as the " institution that has produced and sheltered an elite army of child-molesters" ) will further delight Harris' supporters and infuriate his critics." - "San Francisco Chronicle" " Harris has consolidated his disdain for religion in a withering attack on Christianity, delivered in the form of an open letter. . . . Mr. Harris wants to grab your lapels and give you a good shake. . . . [he] makes a good case for a new and intellectually honest conversation about morality and human suffering." - "NY Observer" " As infidels go, Harris is an astonishingly successful one. . . . "Letter" is a readable, exhortatory screed." - "Newsweek" " Bracing." - "The Nation" " ["Letter to a Christian Nation"] crackles with a focused, potent energy. . . . [Harris' ] arguments resonate with a satisfying common sense." - "Contra Costa Times" " Sam Harris' s elegant little book is most refreshing and a wonderful source of ammunition for those who, like me, hold to no religious doctrine. Yet I have some sympathy also with those who might be worried by his uncompromising stance. Read it and from your own view, but do not ignore its message." - Sir Roger Penrose, emeritus professor of mathematics, Oxford University, author of "The Road to Reality" " Reading Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation" was like sitting ring side, cheering the champion, yelling' Yes!' at every jab. For those of us who feel depressed by this country' s ever increasing unification of church and state, and the ever decreasing support for the sciences that deliver knowledge and reduce ignorance, this little book is a welcome hit of adrenalin." - Marc Hauser, Harvard College Professor, author of "Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Sense of Right and Wrong" " I can' t sign my name to this blurb. As a "New York Times "best selling author of books about business, my career will evaporate if I endorse a book that challenges the deeply held superstitions and bigotry of the masses. That' s exactly why you should (no, you "must") read this angry and honest book right away. As long as science and rational thought are under attack by the misguided yet pious majority, our nation is in jeopardy. I' m scared. You should be too. Please buy two, one for you and one for a friend you care about." - Unsigned, "New York Times" best selling author " It' s a shame that not everyone in this country will read Sam Harris' marvelous little book "Letter to a Christian Nation." They won' t but they should." - Leonard Susskind, Felix Bloch Professor in theoretical physics, Stanford University, author of "The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design" " We all know about good things that have been derived from bad ideas. Modern religions serve many social goods such as health care for the poor. The problem is that is also services many reprehensible ideas. Harris blows the whistle, pointing out the religions of theworld are based on human generated vengeful stories. Read this book and you decide your stance for the future." - Michael S. Gazzaniga, Director of the Sage Center for the Study of Mind, University of California, Santa Barbara, author of "The Ethical Brain" " Sam Harris fearlessly describes a moral and intellectual emergency precipitated by religious fantasies- misguided beliefs that create suffering, that rationalize violence, that have endangered our nation and our future. His argument for the morality, the honesty, and the humility of atheism is galvanizing. It is a relief that someone has spoken so frankly, with such passion yet such rationality. Now when the subject arises, as it inevitably does, I can simply say: Read Sam Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation." " - Janna Levin, Columbia University, author of "How the Universe Got Its Spots "and "A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines" "From the Hardcover edition."show more

About Sam Harris

Sam Harris is the author of the New York Times best seller, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, which won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. He is a graduate in philosophy from Stanford University and has studied both Eastern and Western religious traditions, along with a variety of contemplative disciplines, for twenty years. Mr. Harris is now completing a doctorate in neuroscience, studying the neural basis of belief, disbelief, and uncertainty with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). His work has been discussed in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Economist, and New Scientist, among many other journals, and he has made television appearances on The O'Reilly Factor, Scarborough Country, Faith Under Fire, and Book TV.show more

Review Text

"A breath of fresh fire." - Wall Street Journal "I dare you to read this book...it will not leave you unchanged. Read it if it is the last thing you do." -Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion "It's a shame that not everyone in this country will read Sam Harris' marvelous little book Letter to a Christian Nation. They won't but they should." -Leonard Susskind, Felix Bloch Professor in theoretical physics, Stanford Universityshow more