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Jake is a Freethinker, Secularist, Skeptic, Naturalist, Atheist, Anti-theism-ist, Humanist, LGBT Activist, Garden Gnome Makeup Artist, Writer, Underpants Enthusiast and Self-Professed 2011 Sexiest Atheist on God’s Green Earth.
When fighting irrationality, his weapon of choice is the ImaginaryFriendsShow.com podcast, which was recently nominated for an atheism/agnosticism award on About.com which makes it in the top 5 of atheist/agnostic podcasts IN THE WORLD! You can click here to vote for Jake’s podcast and move it from its current ranking at #5 all the way to the top.
Also, Jake has recently published his book Letters to Christian Leaders; Hollow be thy claims! The book is now available on Amazon.com
Jake was kind enough to spend some time speaking with me about his new book. Enjoy!
Q: Welcome to The Cupcake Atheist, Jake. I really enjoyed your book. One of the things I enjoyed most was that each chapter begins with an excerpt taken from the speech or writings of an evangelical Christian, followed by your rebuttal. Why did you choose to use your subjects’ own words and do you think that is important to the aim of your book?
A. I read a lot of atheist literature and find that atheist books often misrepresent Christians and in misrepresenting them they distance themselves from them. Atheists who likely spent the majority of their lives as atheists often write these books, and they are trying to put in words what they think the Christian or Muslim believes. What I wanted to do in my book is quote word-for-word what these Christians are being taught by these morons, by these disgusting people who are trying to infect the minds of potentially productive, intelligent people.
Q: Did your own experiences with religion influence that decision?
A: Effectively, I was raised a fundamentalist Christian. When I was a Christian, I’m not sure I would have appreciated an atheist screaming in my ear. I absolutely would have listened if an atheist or scientist would have gotten up in front of my church and debated my priest and taken apart his own messages. So that is what I wanted to do in my book.
Q: The foreword of your book indicates that the rationalist message is “getting out but it isn’t being bought.” Why do you think this is the case?
A: It is the way the message it is packaged and sold. You can scream all you want at a believer or a theist. It simply doesn’t work. The message will never reach them. Their mind is blocked and that’s it. I absolutely love Dawkins and have read most of his books. I’m an avid lover of biology and genetics and I would just love to make love to Dawkins’ brain. He is a really incredible person. It is the way he structures his message. Effectively, his texts are structured toward people who already get the message and just want to learn more about it. No Christian wants to think about their belief in god as a “delusion.” I’ve chosen a different attack. I want to let the theists know that it’s not their fault. They were complicit, but in most cases they were just children who were being taught bullshit by people they trusted. How were they to know what they were being taught is completely contrary to all evidence?
Q: Can you speak to why you chose to target Christian leaders as opposed to all believers?
A: By leaving the believers and the individual theists out of the attack and going right for the jugular, right for the people who disseminate that message of garbage we leave the believer to think on their own. They don’t have to challenge themselves because it is their pastors who are being challenged. I’m not pointing at individual believers and saying, “hey, pick up your brain, you left it behind.” It’s the pastor who is saying that he has this beautiful new cloak on but no one else can see it.
Q: A quote from the book: “It seems all Christianity is good for is holding humanity back.” In your opinion, has religion anything positive to offer humankind?
A: Yes, it does, and not just Christianity but all religion. I spoke with someone the other day that is going through cancer. Basically, this person said that when he was told he has cancer he immediately sunk into a deep depression. He almost put off treatment, but it was faith in god that helped bring him through. This is a very specific situation. I don’t think this benefit translates to belief in general. Religion has something to offer in very small, personal ways. To the greater society, it just impedes us and keeps us from progressing. If religion is to have any benefit to society, it is by keeping the hell away from society. It needs to be kept in the home, out of government buildings and off the streets. You have a religious belief? Great, keep it inside your home.
Q: What topics might you address in future works?
A: I don’t want to make my next book all about religion. I am a lover of science and skepticism, and I want to target some other things such as homeopathy. I want to smash the shit out of homeopathy. Also, ghosts and these sort of ridiculous things that permeate culture. Then urinate on them. I’m not sure you can urinate on the entirety of homeopathy, but its only water anyway. Then, my plan is to take on Islam. I will not sleep until I get a fatwa. If I could get a cleric to put out a fatwa of non-communication towards Jake Farr-Wharton, that would be great.
Q: You mention noted atheists and skeptics such as Richard Dawkins and Michael Shermer. Do you have a favorite public skeptic?
A: I look up to a few people for different reasons. I like the work of Guy P. Harrison. He wrote 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God and Race and Reality. He respects the individual believer. I love CJ Werleman who wrote God Hates You, Hate Him Back. It analyzes the Bible from a skeptical point of view. I love Richard Dawkins for his work on evolutionary biology. One of my favorite books is The Greatest Show on Earth, his most recent one. Neil deGrasse Tyson tops my list though, he speaks and I have a nerdgasm!
Q: Lastly, what is your favorite dessert?
A: I’ve got coeliac’s disease, so I can’t digest wheat or gluten. That being said, there are very specific desserts that I take immense pleasure in. One is Orange and Poppyseed Friands, but only when done well. I love my Nona’s Tiramisu. She makes it just for me, and being Italian, she puts in too much alcohol and you end up drunk after eating it.
Editor’s Note: We welcome our newest guest contributor, Amy, The Cupcake Atheist and are looking forward to reading more of her fine articles and interviews.