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Religion in America, at times, does more harm than good. Nancy Thompson in Touching the Elephant: Values the World’s Religions Share and How They Can Transform Us elaborates on the confusion religion tends to produce when hypocrisy leeches into the church pews:
“Additionally, if we read or listen to the news and preachers and
politicians on the topics of God and religion, we might feel as if we’re
going crazy, and for good reason: America is a Christian country, but
religion is responsible for all the evils in the world. God loves us,
but God hates us. God and religion are stories made up by people to
control other people, but angels guard and protect us. All religions are
equal paths to God, but there is only one true religion. What should
people think? What do people think?”
As a college professor, Nancy also knows the value of questioning social and religious mores. In her classrooms and in her writing she asks the questions no one wants to ask and the first one in Touching the Elephant is poignant: What do people think about living in a world that recognizes a God but often act as if they live for the Devil? Are we okay with hypocrisy and lying from the top government officials who also say they live a Christian lifestyle?
In 2009, Nancy Thompson and I taught at a community college and shared an office. When she mentioned she was writing a book about shared values of the world’s religions and how they can transform us, I asked to read it.
Over the following 10 years, we edited the book, Touching the Elephant: Values the World’s Religions Share and How They Can Transform Us, and published it in October 2019. Since publication, Nancy spoke at 3 book signing events in early 2020 but had the 11 remaining book signing events canceled since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because Nancy’s book signing events are canceled, we decided to give away 10 books to continue encouraging us to find the shared values that help us become kind, compassionate, patient, and humble; and to make efforts to internalize them. Send an email to zioapollopress [at] gmail [dot] com with “Book Giveaway” in Subject and your shipping address, then I’ll send the book via USPS Media Mail (5-7 days). Your private information will only be used for shipping purposes only.
And if you email a receipt of a donation to the following *charities Nancy and Zio Apollo Press support, I will ship a second book.
*The American Himalayan Foundation; International Rescue Committee; American Civil Liberties Union; and the American Immigration Council
Also, the book is available for purchase at zioapollopress.com/shop and it’s on sale for $22 through the end of May 2020.
Values the World’s Religions Share, and How They Can Transform Us
by Nancy Thompson
Excerpt from “Chapter 1: Rescuing the World”
Some would look at that assault and the expressions of hate and violence in the world and dismiss it as “human nature” or with the pronouncement that “God is dead” and this is the proof. I don’t believe God is dead, although perhaps God is also not “alive,” at least not in any conventional sense. I do believe that we can benefit if we stop arguing about what God is and whether God is and whose idea of God is the “right” idea of God. We can benefit if we stop insisting that people should believe in God. We can benefit if we focus instead on the shared spiritual values that shape human society. We can benefit if we will admit that there are beliefs and actions that can beneficially bind human society together and work to cultivate them.