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Valerie Tarico

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Evangelical Christianity makes its way into the news for a variety of reasons. In 2010, homophobic mega-minister Eddie Long got caught with his pants down. Congressman John Shmikus promised that God will save us from global warming. And pastor Vaughn Reeves was convicted of bilking church real estate investors out of 13 million. Have you ever wished you could get commentary from a former insider?

Valerie Tarico, author of Trusting Doubt, is a psychologist and former fundamentalist. Tarico writes regularly for the Huffington Post and ExChristian.net about psychology of religion and other topics of interest to nontheists. Her perspectives are idiosyncratic. For example, her most widely read article, My Abortion Baby, discusses the many people who now exist only because their mothers aborted earlier pregnancies. A recent series, God's Emotions, explores what happens if we apply cognitive science to the mind of God.

Did you know?

· Many Evangelical Christians think scientists are trying to undermine faith-because their beliefs obligate them to think that.

· There's such a thing as a life-changing secular born-again experience.

· If you know what emotions actually are, God can't have them.

· Religious fundamentalism may be a communications technology problem, and the internet may fix it.

· Valerie Tarico made Blaghag's top ten list of freethinking females in 2010. (God knows why.)

A thoroughly reformed Evangelical, Tarico is a graduate of Wheaton College of Billy Graham fame. Her book, Trusting Doubt, engages the moral and rational contradictions that caused her fundamentalist world view to crumble. For smart, slightly wicked commentary, think about adding Tarico to your line up for 2011

Valerie would enjoy speaking on the following topics:

    •Women in the Bible and Christian History (or why we need to take down biblical literalism if we want gender equality)
    •Female Personhood vs Fetal Personhood (the concept of a person from a secular vs theological standpoint and implications for abortion, contraception, and sexual rights)
    •Recovering from Religion (getting rid of old embedded messages, dealing with family and friends who believe)
    •Christian Belief Through the Lens of Cognitive Science (an overview)
    •God's Emotions (a basic introduction to affective science and how the theistic god concepts appear in light of what we know about human emotion)
    •Asking for Money: How to get in Kind and Monetary Support for Your Group
    •Trusting Doubt - A discussion with the author for study groups

    Valerie charges a $100 honorarium, but this amount also includes 10 copies of her book, Trusting Doubt, that your group can use for discussion, fundraising, etc.
    If you're interested in having this speaker come to your school and give a presentation, click here to fill out our online Speaker Request form.
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