I Sold My Soul on eBay
|17 April 2007|
|Media type||Paperback, e-book, Audiobook|
|LC Class||BV640 .M44 2007|
I Sold My Soul on eBay: Viewing Faith Through an Atheist's Eyes is a non-fiction book by Hemant Mehta, an atheist and blogger, who describes his visits to a variety of Christian churches. These visits initially occurred as a result of an eBay auction Mehta created where he offered to visit the worship services of the winning bidder's choosing. The media later branded this auction as Mehta "selling his soul."
The author of the book, Hemant Mehta, is a writer, and atheist activist. He has worked with atheist groups such as the Secular Student Alliance, the Secular Coalition for America, and Center for Inquiry. He is currently on the Board of Directors for the Foundation Beyond Belief. He writes at his own blog, Friendly Atheist, and has published two other books, The Young Atheist's Survival Guide: Helping Secular Students Thrive and The Friendly Atheist: Thoughts on the Role of Religion in Politics and Media.
In January 2006, Hemant Mehta posted an auction on eBay where he explained his background in atheism and offered to go to the worship services of the winning bidder's choosing. The auction ended on February 3, 2006 with a final bid of $504 from Jim Henderson, a former minister from Seattle, Washington. Mehta later donated that money to the Secular Student Alliance, a non-profit organization for which he served as Chair of the Board of Directors.
Henderson asked Mehta to visit a variety of churches and write about the experiences on Henderson's website, offthemap.com. Mehta eventually wrote about his visits at nine different churches as well as two additional pieces dealing with atheist conventions and Christian media.
Nearly a month after the auction, an article about Mehta's experiences appeared on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, leading to a flurry of media coverage. He was featured in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Seattle Times, and the Village Voice, and on National Public Radio. Mehta and Henderson were interviewed about the project on the Fox News program Big Story Primetime in March 2006.
I Sold My Soul on eBay, published by WaterBrook Press, contains Mehta's observations and critiques of the churches he visited, along with background on how he became an atheist. The foreword was written by Rob Bell of Mars Hill Bible Church.
The book also features his latest critiques, including descriptions of his visits to some of the best-known churches in the country including New Life Church (Pastor Ted Haggard), Mars Hill Bible Church (Pastor Rob Bell), and Lakewood Church (Pastor Joel Osteen). It was released on April 17, 2007 and is available as a paperback, e-book, and audiobook.
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- Sataline, Suzanne (9 March 2006). "On eBay, an Atheist Puts His Own Soul On the Auction Block". The Wall Street Journal (reprinted at offthemap.com). Dow Jones & Company. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
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- Friendly Atheist, Hemant's blog