Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris

Letter to a Christian Nation

In response to The End of Faith, Sam Harris received thousands of letters from Christians excoriating him for not believing in God. Letter to A Christian Nation is his reply. Using rational argument, Harris offers a measured refutation of the beliefs that form the core of fundamentalist Christianity. In the course of his argument, he addresses current topics ranging from intelligent design and stem-cell research to the connections between religio...


Details Letter to a Christian Nation

TitleLetter to a Christian Nation
ISBN9780307265777
Author
Release DateSep 19th, 2006
PublisherKnopf
LanguageEnglish
Number of pages91 pages
GenreReligion, Nonfiction, Atheism, Philosophy, Politics, Science
Rating

Reviews Letter to a Christian Nation

  • Steve
    2007-11-05
    I agree with other reviewers that there are no new or surprising arguments here. He goes over ground which is thoroughly familiar to those who think critically of religion. What makes the book so worthwhile is not, therefore, any (ahem) great revelations.What I found thrilling about this book, as an atheist of 50 years, was the startling, forceful simplicity, directness, beauty, and artistry with which he made his points. Consider one quote: "If ...
  • Manderson
    2007-10-24
    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 reco...
  • James
    2008-02-17
    Wow! Concentrated essence of critique. This book is passionate, and tightly reasoned and put together. It catalogues some of the problems organized religions have inflicted on humanity, past and present, ranging from causing division, hatred and war to putting the brakes on truly free scientific and intellectual inquiry.Harris takes a number of common arguments in favor of the existence of God and/or the validity of various bodies or tenets of do...
  • Werner
    2014-10-31
    New Atheist spokesman Harris published an earlier book attacking religion, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, in 2004. Written in response to "hostile" mail, mostly from Christians, reacting to the first one, this second book is designed as a concise (91 pages of text) distillation of his argument, both to irrefutably "demolish" any possible case for theism in general and Christian theism in particular, and primarily "t...
  • Jonathan Ashleigh
    2014-10-07
    As an atheist, this was an easy read. There was not anything that made "the god argument" over and done with but some points were well brought up. The problem with a book like this is that only atheists are going to read it, but I wont be reading much material which claims to prove god's existence either.
  • Chloe
    2009-08-31
    Can I just admit something straight off the bat? I. Don’t. Care. I don’t care whether you want to participate in ritualized cannibalism. I don’t care whether you think the soul resides on the top of the head. I don’t care whether you want to rub blue mud in your navel, ingest some psylocybin and commune with Gaia. I don’t care whether you want to build temples to a god who, at best, is enormously small-minded and petty or, at worst, is ...
  • Jim
    2014-10-28
    Harris received a lot of hate mail from Christians for his book The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason so wrote this to "...a Christian in a narrow sense of the term. Such a person believes, at a minimum, that the Bible is the inspired word of God and that only those who accept the divinity of Jesus Christ will experience salvation after death."He also says:...Consequently, liberal and moderate Christians will not always rec...
  • Aaron
    2007-06-13
    It's clear that Sam Harris wrote this book out of frustration with Christianity in particular, and religion in general. The book's style and tone conveys the author's frustration--in such a way that makes it largely a turn-off for many Christians who might otherwise earnestly listen to what he has to say.That aside, Sam Harris makes a lot of good points, that I think many Christians today should take to heart. His view of Christians reflects ma...
  • Matt
    2010-11-29
    Sam Harris sets out to "demolish the intellectual and moral pretensions of Christianity in its most committed forms" in only 91 pages. Mr. Harris repeatedly refers to Christians as arrogant narcissists, yet he regards his own intellect so highly he only requires 91 page to snuff out 2,000 years of religious tradition and intellectual questioning of billions of people who have concluded there was something about Jesus that compelled belief. These ...
  • Bruno de Maremma
    2008-01-15
    Mr. Harris book is an easy and fast read as well as a 'must read' for anyone who values rational and moral thought over religious faith as a guide for behaviour. The current rise of the religious right in America frankly frightens me. As Mr. Harris says in his preamble 'the truth is that many who claim to be transformed by Christ's love are deeply, even murderously intolerant of criticism.' This quote from Jann Levin sums up the book nicely."“S...
  • Rob
    2008-02-11
    Seems to be more of a letter to atheists than to Christians. I've yet to find a truely compelling message to divert humanity away from religious thought, and Letter to a Christian Nation is far too accurate and on point to be convincing to a Christian mind.One concept which I've found to be unique in this book is this: the word "Atheist" should not exist. There is no term in English which identifies someone who denies the existance of Aliens. The...
  • Elyssa
    2007-09-21
    I wish Sam Harris had written this before The End of Faith or I had read this book first. In Letter to a Christian Nation, he takes a more gentle tone and walks the reader through his disbelief in Christianity and other religions. I found it hard to dispute his point of view. The connections he makes between religion and flawed political policies (i.e stem cell research) are especially effective. I'm glad he put away the sledgehammer and decided ...
  • Kerrie
    2011-01-25
    A fair share of reviews mention his anger, but I see it more as frustration and very well-founded frustration at that. The statistic he cites that the U.S. placed #33 (out of 34, just above Turkey for cryin' out loud) of countries whose majority of population accepts the theory of evolution is an alarming one. As he states, we are a country built on ignorance which does not bode well for the rest of the world. Some have taken umbrage at his focus...
  • Σς
    2008-12-28
    This is perhaps the worst book I've ever read the whole way through. Harris makes atheism look like the religion of angry high school kids, filling 90 pages with oversimplifications and visceral disgust with most human beings. He has not a single good argument going for him; all of his arguments are taken either from Bertrand Russell (who, by the way, actually knows how to write against Christianity) or Jeremy Bentham. Sam Harris is way out of hi...
  • Joey
    2015-03-10
    WOW! It’s a tour de force- a perfect apologia. Sam Harris is so brilliant that he has an acute analysis of the issue. So , atheists, particularly agnostics, should read it to become more enlightened and completely free from fear of going to “hell” and religious intolerance. The first book that gave me an idea about apologetics was WHAT IS SO GREAT ABOUT CHRISTIANITY by Dinesh D’Souza ( 5 stars ). In fact, the book introduced me to the sai...
  • Tony
    2014-10-24
    If religion indoctrination as a child left you with an unsettling mind and controversial thoughts, then Sam Harris’ “Letter to a Christian Nation” is a good, satisfying prelude to your curiosity. There is no dwelling on particular subjects, only enough arguments to stir the pot. The pot that, I think, should be stirred automatically by anyone equipped with common sense and rational thought-processing mechanisms. In the Zeitgeist we’re cur...
  • Joseph Olivares
    2011-02-12
    I did not by any means feel the need to give this little book one star simply because it was written by an atheist; I deeply respect many atheist thinkers, and am very open-minded and appreciative toward the good that has been produced by many atheist philosophers and thinkers. But I just could not bring myself to give this any more than one star, because it is difficult to imagine how it could have been worse. Think about what the worst, least t...
  • Andrea
    2007-11-07
    I approached this book as a person who has a religious/spiritual Christian background. While critical of many organized religions and the damage that they do, I still feel a connection to my spiritual roots.Perhaps it was too much to expect a well-reasoned invitation to dialogue in picking up LTaCN. Reading it, I could practically hear Harris spitting out each sentence with disdain. This tone left me in a place where I let his words glance off of...
  • Douglas Wilson
    2009-01-16
    Atrocious.
  • Natali
    2009-01-03
    This book offers an answer to the question: What is the harm in someone believing in Christianity if they keep their beliefs to themselves and don't hurt other people? Harris' answer is that Christianity is a set of beliefs that intrinsically DOES hurt other people. It is no secret that religion is the number one divisor of humanity throughout history. Harris looks at the specific doctrines of Christianity that are detrimental to society such as ...
  • Radhika
    2008-03-10
    This book is very quickly read as it is pithy and direct. In it Sam Harris responds to the many comments and views addressed to him by believers in the United States. The idea of reason versus religion is not new and has been expounded as well by other scholars. However, Sam's approach is still valuable. I think such a "letter" to the Christians is needed as Christianity has, in many minds, taken on the veneer of civilization by being the major r...
  • Ana Rînceanu
    2015-05-11
    I started out really liking this book, but by the end I was kind of meh on the whole thing.The writing in Letter to a Christian Nation is straightforward so I'm going to be just as clear. Being a humanist myself, I agree on some points, but overall, I can't really be on board with the absolute confidence regarding the interpretation of religious doctrine show here. I'm sure that the billions of religious people in this world do not take the words...
  • Andrew
    2007-06-29
    Harris has all his arguments in order, all the footnotes covered and has layed out a perfectly rational essay. Yet nowhere, either here or in 'End of Faith' does he adequately address the fact that Atheism, in this country and other first-world countries anyway, is essentially a comfortable position for those who can afford it. I say this as an atheist, and I might recommend this book to anyone firmly entrenched in their religion who also has a s...
  • Buckets
    2007-09-29
    I love atheist literature mostly because extremely intelligent people contribute to the body of works. This book, however, was a little extreme. Although I am a Bright and therefore agree with nearly everything said in this short number, I often found myself thinking thoughts defending the silly Christian right. Why? Not because I agree with them (please…) but because I automatically think skeptical thoughts when confronted with a quasi-militan...
  • Jesse Broussard
    2008-04-09
    Only worth reading when you read Wilson's hilarious and skewering response chapter by chapter with it. Flawed logic, fallacies liberally smattered throughout. Just crap--poorly phrased yelling at God.
  • Michael
    2016-12-22
    This is a very good, concise rebuttal to many different aspects of Christian faith and is very effective in laying out the disastrous consequences of such beliefs on society. Harris also briefly touches on the problem of religious tolerance, an idea which sounds (and certainly partly is) wonderful, but which presents serious problems when it becomes inappropriate to criticize religious dogmatism, anti-scientific claims being taught in schools, an...