This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
A collection of essays is far from what I would usually choose to read, but a title like Empty the Pews was irresistible. This collection, edited by Chrissy Stroop and Lauren O’Neal, had to have something to do with organized religion...one of my biggest personal dislikes...so I tore into it eagerly. Not only did this collection of 21 essays cement the reasons for my dislike even further, but they enlightened me as to why others, not born Catholic as I was, have also turned against the religion of their parents. Little wonder there are fewer believers sitting in church pews!
Now, I hate to say it, but as much as I and others like me will enjoy reading this book, I know there are thousands who will throw it aside in disgust at what the 21 contributors have had the courage to express ie. their inability to accept religious, biblical or other beliefs on faith alone. These contributors share life experiences that have made them question an almighty god whom no-one has seen and who doesn’t interfere in the atrocities humans commit against each other. They have grappled, for good reasons in my humble opinion, with the archaic concepts of how one earns a prestigious, glorious position of everlasting happiness in heaven or an eternity of fiery pain in hell. They have rejected the questionable branding of LGBTQ practices as sinful in the eyes of so many religions. As essay after essay reminded me of the youngster I was, full of fear at the possibility of God’s punishment for my “sinful” thoughts, I recognized how terrifying all those teachings rammed into my child’s brain really were.
Between my own life experiences, the never-ending violence in our world, the child trafficking, the sexual assaults and the gender and racial intolerance, I’ve come to believe that organized religion and those who cannot, or refuse to think outside what they were taught as children, are the root of so much of the evil we see around us. Many of us who have dared to question what we were taught are spiritual people; we are just no longer followers of organized religion. A book like Empty the Pews might anger some readers but for the rest of us, it shines a light into dark, unfounded reasoning and teaching. Pick up a copy of Empty the Pews. Perhaps you will want to do what I plan to do next: follow #EmptyThePews on Twitter. I’m all for mind-bending, enlightened and liberated thinking! If more collections like this are in the works, add my name to the subscribers’ list.