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Harmon Meldrim, PhD, LCSW

Hamburg, NY, United States | Member Since 2011

  • 3 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 125 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015

  • Sex & God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Darrel Ray
    • Narrated By Darrel Ray

    Why are all the major religions consumed with sex? What makes sex so important, whether Buddhism or Islam, Christianity or Mormonism? What is the impact of religion on human sexuality? This book explores this and more. It ventures into territory that has never been examined. You will be surprised at how much religion has influenced your sexuality, who you marry, the pleasure you get or don't get from sex, and what you can do about it.

    Anthony Reaves Jr. says: "Dr. Darrel Ray's Masterpiece."
    "An atheist sermon"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    A person who is not familiar with objective, unbiased expertise. This book is filled with the author's opinion that occasionally sites scientific support for his positions. For example he assumes the premise that religion is a disease. He refers to most organized religions as a virus, that is spread by institutions and parents. His bias brings into questions any possibly accurate statements that he makes. How strong is the impact of guilt on children who are told not to masturbate as this is sinful? Is it harmful for children to be warned by their parents to wait to have sex? These are important questions, but dealt with poorly by the author. An example of how the author makes a case for his opinion is when he posits that it is religion that causes ministers to be depressed. Take away the religion and the minister would have more guilt-free sex and no longer need anti-depressant medication. He supports this position by siting a single case. This type of support reminds me of tv info-mercials that prove their product will help you lose 50 lbs based on one person who has lost 50 pounds. Not good science. If Dr. Ray submitted this book for a grade I would give him a "C". The chapter on biology was the most unbiased and scientifically supported, but not really anything new or groundbreaking that I hadn't read before.

    What didn’t you like about Darrel Ray’s performance?

    You could hear in his voice his disdain for religion, e.g. "The Jesus trap", where his inflection on the word Jesus presumes his negative bias.

    Any additional comments?

    There are many issues related to religion and sexuality that American society must address, especially in light of the anti LGBT bias of most religions, with the growing number of states legalizing same sex marriage. Let's have the discussion based on science. Atheism is as strong a dogmatic position as conservative religions. Setting our biases aside will help us consider how religion and sexuality interact positively and negatively.

    3 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Lauren Drain
    • Narrated By Lauren Drain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    You've likely heard of the Westboro Baptist Church. Perhaps you've seen their pickets on the news, the members holding signs with messages that are too offensive to copy here, protesting at events such as the funerals of soldiers, the 9-year old victim of the recent Tucson shooting, and Elizabeth Edwards, all in front of their grieving families. Since no organized religion will claim affiliation with the WBC, it's perhaps more accurate to think of them as a cult. Lauren Drain was thrust into that cult at the age of 15, and then spat back out again seven years later.

    Donald says: "Get Thee Behind Me Phelps"
    "Great expose on a church as crazy as the KKK"
    What made the experience of listening to Banished the most enjoyable?

    I actually found it painful to read. To hear religion used as a weapon of hate not only at the church level, but at the individual, family and community levels was horrible, yet so important for the country and the world to hear. I did enjoy the contradictions, some of which I'm not even sure Lauren recognized. The church hates America, yet the church realizes that this is the only country in the world where one is safe to express hatred without retribution.

    What other book might you compare Banished to and why?

    It reminded me of Orwell's 1984, Love is hate, war is peace and some are more equal than others.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    The epilogue was relieving to hear that Lauren is able to move on with her life. I hope others will be encouraged, especially Lauren's mother and siblings, to break free of this slavery of hate.

    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes. The abuse was sickening and realistic. I have always found it amazing in my work as a social worker that children in foster care would rather return to the family that severely abused them than to continue in foster care. This book helps address the reasons that children stay attached even when severely abused by their parents and in this case their friends and community.

    Any additional comments?

    Best wishes Lauren. You are absolutely amazing! I also want to thank Jack from Topeka whose review helped me decide to purchase this book. I'm betting that Jack is part of the WBC.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Bobby Henderson
    • Narrated By Griffin Burns

    June 2005: Bobby Henderson of Oregon wrote an open letter to the Kansas School Board proposing a third alternative to the teaching of evolution and intelligent design in schools. Bobby is a prophet of sorts, the spiritual leader of a growing, world-wide group of followers who worship the teachings of The Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM). The FSM appeared to Bobby as a giant ball of spaghetti, with meatballs for eyes, and touched Bobby with "His noodly appendage"....

    Andrew Hutton says: "This is religion, not a story."
    "Read only if you want your intelligence insulted"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Uninformed atheist and agnostics might appreciate an arguement that would only give credence to those beliefs, while mocking anyone who believes in a higher power.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    all the above

    Any additional comments?

    hey, if anyone this stupid could publish a book, maybe I could do it as well! There is always a bright side.

    1 of 66 people found this review helpful

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