Portland’s Faithless Feminist Becomes Amazon Best Seller

​Karen Garst, also known as the Faithless Feminist, has recently published a new book telling the story of 22 women who have left religion. The book is enjoying great success on Amazon.

Karen Garst, a Salem Oregon author and atheist has topped Amazon’s charts for best selling new book releases on atheism. Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life without Religion tells the true stories of how 22 women, from all walks of life, have successfully left behind religion. She will be presenting her book on Thursday, October 6 at 5:30pm at the Lucky Labrador Beer Hall on 1945 Northwest Quimby Street in Portland. Everyone is invited, books will be for sale, and Dr. Garst will give a presentation entitled “From Goddess to God: Elimination of the Feminine Divine” at 6:15pm.

After 9/11 there was a new surge in writings about atheism. Later identified as the “Four Horsemen,” Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens became well-known for their books and appearances. Fifteen years later, 22 women share their stories about the negative impact religion has had on their lives in Dr. Garst’s book.

“As a child, I felt guilty for small transgressions, even things that were normal childhood behavior, such as wishing I could stay home from church on Sunday night to watch Disney or snitching an extra cookie when mom wasn’t looking. I wanted to be pretty, but I worried that I might be committing the sin of vanity, and I felt conflicted about trying to look nice. As I grew older, I struggled to be good so I could stop feeling flawed and wrong, and I developed a debilitating perfectionism.” Ann Wilcox

Ann’s experience isn’t unique. Another writer talks about the guilt of falling in love with a man outside her faith. Her church held a hearing to consider kicking her out of the church, which would have ostracized her from all of her family and friends. Another woman, who joined the Mormon faith when she married, finally had enough when he asked her “Why can’t you just submit?”

Women’s experiences with religion are unique because virtually all religions subordinate women to men. In the books of the Old Testament, women are seen as unclean and dirty and cannot serve the temple. Early Christian leaders such as St. Augustine denigrated women even further citing their carnal lust as the cause of original sin. Throughout the world, religion is used to justify differential treatment of women, assault, and even honor killings.

Dr. Garst decided to write the book after the U. S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that allowed the craft store to refuse to provide certain forms of birth control to its female employees under the Affordable Care Act because of its religious views. “Attacks on women and their reproductive rights have to stop,” Garst said adding, “Religion is the basis of virtually all restrictions on women’s rights.”

Garst has been writing for two years about women and religion on her blog “The Faithless Feminist.” She also has a YouTube channel and a Facebook page dedicated to this effort.

She is well qualified to write about these issues. She holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin and has held several executive positions: Field Representative for the Oregon Federation of Teachers, executive director of the Oregon Community College Association, and executive director of the Oregon State Bar. “Each of these positions has afforded me the opportunity to advocate in the public sphere: for school employees, for students eager for a college education, and for access to legal services for low-income Oregonians.”

Dr. Garst is available for speaking engagements, writing assignments, and interviews. For more information contact Karen Garst by phone at 503-701-8911 or by email karen@faithlessfeminist.com.

Release ID: 133796