When I received a book in the mail for potential review called Deconstructing God: A Heretic’s Case for Religion by Ian Gurvitz, I was reluctant, to say the least, to review the book. I justified my thinking with the old saying about avoiding discussions of religion and politics in polite company.
But then I watched the hosts of the TV show "The View" storm of the set of their own show after a heated exchange with their guest TV host and author Bill O’Reilly about the building of a Mosque on Ground Zero. Later that week, reporter Juan Williams was fired for comments he made about these events on O’Reilly’s show. These stories became big news and even trumped, in many cases, news stories regarding what I felt was the nastiest, most emotionally-charged mid-term election campaigns I’ve ever seen.
That’s when I realized that “polite company” no longer seems to exist in our country. It’s Us vs Them now. We’re right and they’re wrong and there’s nothing you can say to change our minds. This is our attitude. Tolerance and compromise be damned!
And sure, this is the worst economy we’ve had in 25 years, but must be destroy the good with the bad? Must our beliefs and politics become who we are and not what we do or what we think? Can’t it be that someone else’s thoughts or opinions, even if we wildly disagree with them, are in fact valid and worthy of debate or conversation? Might we even be wrong about some of things we think or believe?
With this in mind, I’d like to introduce Ian Gurvitz, author of Deconstructing God, a new book that’s been generating some buzz about its controversial stance on how we, as a culture define, argue and defend our various systems of beliefs. Bill Maher, talk-show host and outspoken Atheist, has said of the book, “Although I don't agree 100% with Ian Gurvitz's analysis of religion -- who does on this subject? -- I loved reading this insightful, funny, and illuminating book.”
I couldn’t agree more. What I like most about this book, however, is that Gurvitz goes beyond the deconstruction of religion as we know it. It’s not a simple dismissal of religion. After all, it’s easy to tear down “mystical” ideas – Bill Maher does it often and well, and so does Gurvitz in his book. What’s challenging, however, is taking the next step. That is, from the rubble, reconstructing an interesting and sophisticated argument [for religion] in its place. And that’s where this book is truly successful, even if you disagree with Gurvitz’ analysis and/or conclusion.
A native New Yorker, Ian Gurvitz has lived in Los Angeles for the last 20 years, working as a TV Writer/Producer. Author of Hello, Lied the Agent a behind-the-scenes account of the world of TV development, Gurvitz wrote and directed a movie -- L.A. Blues -- which was released in 2008. He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, and has published articles in the LA.Times and Creative Screenwriting magazine. Before Hollywood, he earned a B.A. in Philosophy and worked toward an M.A. in Buddhist Studies, which involved a year living in Japan, and marked the beginning of a decades-long study of religion, which eventually lead to the writing of this book.
Gurvitz also maintains a blog at IBREAL.BLOGSPOT.COM.
You can purchase Deconstructing God: A Heretic’s Case for Religion at Amazon.com in paperback, eBook and audio book formats.
Please take a few more minutes to read the revealing interview with Ian Gurvitz at Frank Mundo's LA Books Examiner.
Frank Mundo is the author of The Brubury Tales.
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