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By David I. Orenstein, PhD

and Linda Ford Blaikie, LCSW.

David I. Orenstein, PhD

Linda Ford Blaikie, LCSW

Godless Grace

How Nonbelievers Are Making the World Safer, Richer and Kinder

“Atheists and other nonbelievers are per se immoral. … Since God is the source of all morality, it’s impossible for a nonbeliever to be a good person.”


That’s the conventional wisdom, especially among fundamentalist Christians. And it’s utterly false. Authors David Orenstein and Linda Ford Blaikie disprove the smear in the most persuasive possible way: by telling the stories of dozens of real-life nonbelievers who devote their lives to doing good for others.


Orenstein and Blaikie’s new book, Godless Grace: How Nonbelievers Are Making the World Safer, Richer and Kinder, portrays nonbelievers both from America and around the world. Some examples:


  • The nonbeliever soldier, who joined the army to fight religious fanaticism at age 40, right after September 11;
  • The crusader against sexual harassment in Panama;
  • The Filipino nurse practitioner who builds bridges between her humanist organization and religious groups to fight violence against LGBTQ individuals;
  • The former Lutheran who took a pay cut to work as a paramedic so he could help others;
  • The British survivor of priest sex abuse who now devotes her time to aiding other victims;
  • The Hungarian who fights against the billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade in southeast Asia;
  • The Argentine mechanical engineer who develops medical joint replacements in his day job, and organizes nonbelievers – in the land of Pope Francis – in his spare time;
  • The Canadian who developed an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous for fellow nonbelievers.


Orenstein and Blaikie describe not only what these folks do, but why. Hint: fear of hell has nothing to do with it!


Going beyond the individual profiles, Godless Grace presents a comprehensive picture of nonbelief around the world and predicts where the movement is heading. With a foreword by prominent secular professor Dr. Phil Zuckerman and an afterword by President of American Atheists David Silverman, it is a must-read for anyone looking for definitive proof that people can be "good without a god."


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Dr. David Orenstein is a full professor and department chairperson at CUNY Medgar Evers College. He is a national and international speaker on issues related to the freethought movement. A primatologist by early training, his current writings can be found in American Atheist magazine, the Humanist Magazine and other print and online freethought publications. He also serves as the American Humanist Association’s representative to the United Nations through the DPI/NGO program. An activist in several non-belief organizations, he is a happy and optimistic freethinker who concludes that life is best lived when we are good without god.


Linda Ford Blaikie holds degrees in creative writing, nursing and social work.  She has been a psychotherapist in private practice for the past 38 years in New York City.  Her atheist activism began 7 years ago when she began leading a free support group for people leaving their religions.  As a former devout Catholic, Linda feels she can understand and respect what religion offers people but is outraged when people judge nonbelievers, ipso facto, as immoral.  She feels the moment has come to claim nonbelievers’ seat at the table in America, not to mention the countries that are so threatened by atheists that they murder them.

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