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David G. McAfee

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David Gregory McAfee
David G. McAfee speaking at Houston Oasis in October 2010.
David G. McAfee speaking at Houston Oasis in October 2010.
Born (1989-02-23) February 23, 1989 (age 30)
Roseville, California
OccupationWriter, Journalist
Alma materUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

David Gregory McAfee (February 23, 1989) is an American author and journalist. McAfee is an atheist and a critic of biblical literalism and has written seven books. He has been cited as a writer who brings mainstream books about atheism to the mass market[1] and contributes to several rationalist and freethinking magazines. McAfee is the founder and president of the Party of Reason and Progress.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Born in Roseville, California, on February 23, 1989, McAfee moved to Santa Barbara at the age of eighteen in order to study at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).[2] While at UCSB, McAfee began writing and authored articles about atheism for the newspaper, Santa Barbara Independent,[3] publishing his first book, Disproving Christianity: Refuting the World's Most Followed Religion in 2010. He graduated with two BAs in English and religious studies.

He was rejected by a public university, UCSB, from entering its religious studies graduate program and claims publicly that it was due to his atheism though the university claims otherwise.[4][5]

Writing[edit | edit source]

McAfee's first book, Disproving Christianity and Other Secular Writings, was self-published, but as a result of the positive response to his book and his bachelor's degree in Religious Studies, McAfee signed a contract with British publishers Dangerous Little Books to release a revised and expanded second edition.[6] The book aims to give rational-minded people key facts to challenge Christian dogmatism and, using passages from the Old and New Testaments, McAfee tries to create new arguments against the validity of the Christian religion and offers contradictions in modern Christian teachings, believing that these reveal problems with the founding pillars of Christianity itself. While the book has garnered some positive reviews, others have been critical claiming it is unresearched, shallow, and often mistaken about what they claim are simple facts and concepts.[7]

McAfee offered a free copy of his book, in PDF format, to any genuinely interested person who could not afford the price or would like to "try before buy" until the launch of his second book Mom, Dad, I’m an Atheist.[8]

McAfee's second book, Mom, Dad, I’m an Atheist: The Guide to Coming out as a Non-Believer, was published December 2012. It was written as a guide to coming out as a non-believer in family, social and professional circles. It contains advice and resources for individuals who are interested in publicly rejecting religion as well as real stories from non-believers who had unsupportive family and friends[9] and explains institutions such as marriage as a secular expression of humanity rather than religion.[10] Mom, Dad, I’m an atheist was recommended by AlterNet for anyone looking for tips on how to safely ‘come out’ as an atheist.[11]

McAfee has also written for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, discussing coming out to friends and family as an atheist,[12] and examining religious education in the United States.[13]

The Belief Book, published 2015,[14] is a children's book from an atheist perspective explaining religions and why people believe in them, described as "blunt...but that’s also what’s so refreshing about it" by the Richard Dawkins Foundation.[15] The book does not mention atheism directly. This was followed in 2016 by a second book for children, The Book of Gods, which looks at different gods from around the world, and aims to encourage children to look at the differences between evidence-based facts and opinion. Both books are illustrated by Chuck Harrison.[16] The Belief book emphasizes the use of storytelling and was recommended for 8 year olds and above.[17]

McAfee's fifth book, Atheist Answers: Rational Responses to Religious Questions is a short instructional book which draws on real life interactions from the author's experience.[18]

McAfee's sixth book, No Sacred Cows: Investigating Myths, Cults, and the Supernatural, was published August 2017 and looks at extraordinary faith-based claims found in myths, the supernatural and cults such as Scientology in the context of a knowledge based society.[19]

McAfee regularly participates in the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books[20] and is also a columnist for Canadian Freethinker Magazine and a contributor to American Atheist Magazine. He has also contributed to the development of smartphone app Atheos, designed to foster intellectual honesty and dialogue between people of different beliefs using a set of quizzes.[18][21]

Party of Reason and Progress (PORP)[edit | edit source]

PORP began in 2010 as a grassroots response to the conservative Tea Party movement and is now a registered 527 political organization.[22][23] When it was announced that Donald Trump had won the presidency, McAfee relaunched the Party of Reason and Progress,[24] a non-profit organization run by volunteers, with the hopes of informing the American public regarding modern political issues and policies. The stated goal of the party is "to spur the election of intelligent, logical, and rational candidates interested foremost in moving our nation in a positive and progressive direction," and in an open letter to the president McAfee urged him to base his decisions on scientific fact and rationality.[25] For example, in the Pennsylvania's 5th congressional district primary, bioengineer Molly Sheehan was endorsed by PORP.[26]

McAfee has subsequently used Twitter to attack Trump's positions with some success claiming, as Twitter is a free platform available to millions and extensively used by the president to disseminate policy, his aim is to open the president's statements to scrutiny by the public.[27][28] When Trump blocked PORP from commenting on his Twitter platform, a PORP spokesperson revealed a flaw in Twitter's mobile app which allows blocked accounts to continue publicly responding.[29]

See also[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Disproving Christianity: Refuting the World's Most Followed Religion. CreateSpace. 2010. ISBN 1-4515-5533-4.
  • Disproving Christianity and Other Secular Writings (2 ed.). Dangerous Little Books. 2011. ISBN 0-9564276-8-5.
  • Mom, Dad, I'm an Atheist: The Guide to Coming Out as a Non-believer. Dangerous Little Books. 2012. ISBN 978-1908675040.
  • The Belief Book. Dangerous Little Books. 2015. ISBN 978-1908675316.
  • Atheist Answers: Rational Responses to Religious Questions. Atheist Republic. 2016. ISBN 978-1541144200.
  • No Sacred Cows: Investigating Myths, Cults, and the Supernatural. Pitchstone Publishing. August 2017. ISBN 978-1634311182.
  • McAfee, David G.; Harrison, Chuck; Rigsby, Casper (2016). The Book of Gods. Atheist Republic. ISBN 978-1533066763.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Winston, Kimberly (April 12, 2013). "Atheists, the next generation: Unbelief moves further into the mainstream". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  2. McAfee, David G. "America: One nation under god". American Atheist Magazine. 47 (3): 22–23.
  3. McAfee, David G. (March 12, 2010). "Diagnosing The God Virus". Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  4. "Atheist Rejected from Grad School Because of His Activism?". Patheos. April 30, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  5. Silverman, Herb (May 4, 2011). "Why do Americans still hate atheists? Herb Silverman explains". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 29, 2012.
  6. "Self published secular author snapped up by controversial publisher" (Press release). Dangerous Little Books. November 4, 2011. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
  7. Vela, Tyler. "Book Review of Disproving Christianity and Other Secular Writings". Scribd. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  8. McAfee, David G. (July 20, 2012). "Secular author offers free book to interested parties" (Press release).
  9. "Mom, Dad, I'm an Atheist: The Guide to Coming Out as a Non-Believer". Goodreads. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  10. "When God isn't on the guest list". CNN. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  11. Tarico, Valerie. "10 signs that religious fundamentalism is going down". The Salon. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  12. McAfee, David G. (2013). "7 Tips for Coming Out as an Atheist". US: Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  13. McAfee, David (September 28, 2013). "Why We Should Teach Religion to Children". Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  14. The Belief Book. Dangerous Little Books. 2015. ISBN 978-1908675316.
  15. ""The Belief Book" Teaches Children About Religion from an Atheist Perspective | Richard Dawkins Foundation". Retrieved November 14, 2015.
  16. Young, Matt. "Teaching Kids About Beliefs, Gods, and Religion: an Interview with David G. McAfee". Patheos. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  17. Thomas, Rob. "How Can Non-Believing Parents Talk To Their Kids About God And Belief?". CBC Canada. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Record, Alexis. "Book Review – Atheist Answers: Rational Responses to Religious Questions". Patheos. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  19. McAfee, David G. "No Sacred Cows: Investigating Myths, Cults, and the Supernatural". Goodreads. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  20. "More than 150,000 explore everything from politics to poetry as L.A. Times Festival of Books comes to a close".
  21. Miller, Merrill. "Atheos: An App for Fostering Atheist/Theist Dialogue". New Humanist Magazine. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  22. Howes, Pieter. "God is not above the law (opinion piece)". Inquisitr. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  23. Morrison, Sara. "Trump's Top Troll: The Man Who Is First On The President's Tweets". Vocativ. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  24. Stanton, Wendy (14 November 2016). "Secular Activist Launches New Political Party In Response To Trump Victory". New Brunswick Patch. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  25. Burris, Sarah K. "John Oliver fact-checks 'f*cking egomaniac' Trump's bogus reasons for ripping up Paris climate treaty". Raw Story. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  26. Rose, Alex. "Dems in the 5th race tout new supporters". Delaware County Daily Times. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  27. Matsakis, Louise. "How Twitter took on Trump's bot army—and won". Mashable. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  28. Matyszczyk, Chris. "Trump tweets anger at China, creates new word". CNET. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  29. Matsakis, Louise. "A Bug Is Making It Easy to Reply to Accounts That Have Blocked You on Twitter". Motherboard. Retrieved September 9, 2017.

External links[edit | edit source]

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