Books by Brights

Candidate Without A Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt

Candidate without a prayer book cover

Author: Herb Silverman
ISBN-13: 978-098449328-9
To Purchase: Amazon USA / Amazon UK / Author's Website / Publisher's Website


Why would a liberal, Yankee, Jewish atheist with four strikes against me, run for governor of the great state of South Carolina? It wasn’t through blind ambition or unrealistic expectations, and certainly the devil didn’t make me do it. There really was a method to my madness.

When I learned that our South Carolina Constitution prohibited atheists from becoming Governor, I thought this was an easily correctible anachronism. Not so. It took an eight-year battle that ended in a South Carolina Supreme Court victory, an experience that turned me from apathetic atheist (as most atheists are) to accidental activist. I helped organize the nontheistic movement, both locally and nationally, because I felt our secular community spent too much time arguing about labels (atheist, humanist, freethinker, Bright, etc.) and not enough time cooperating on issues that matter to all secular Americans.

In describing my journey from Orthodox Jew in Philadelphia to activist atheist in South Carolina, I try to make my points, philosophical or otherwise, with humor. I’m a serious person, but I don’t take myself too seriously. I hope you will see the funny side of my serious stories and the serious side of my funny stories. People (quite understandably) ask my wife, Sharon, why she not only puts up with me, but also seems to like me, and she answers, “Because he makes me laugh a hundred times a day.” If you don’t laugh while reading this book, blame Sharon, who told me you would.

About the Author

Herb Silverman is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in Mathematics at the College of Charleston and is founder and president the Secular Coalition for America. Herb has appeared in a number of debates, including one at the Oxford Union. He is an "On Faith" panelist for the Washington Post online and writes for the Huffington Post. He lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife Sharon Fratepietro.

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