Monday, February 23, 2009

Official Book Website

In this site you will find links to the "References" section that is in the back of the book. You will also find links to residential schools news stories and websites from a variety of sources including media outlets like CBC, The National Post and more.

Feel free to use this site as a resource for research of your own.

Book Description

In the first nine chapters of this book Jeff Olsson answers those who have asked why he would want to leave a faith community such as the Anglican Church of Canada and Christianity. A letter to my curious friends is Jeff's personal story where he explains how faith is not always a virtue when those who choose to believe do so at the expense of others.

Chapters ten through twenty eight give a historical perspective on atheism and present a rational world view. Later chapters include a criticism of Augustinian and Papal views on morality and offer humanism as a viable alternative.

Jeff Olsson was an Anglican priest for ten years before he left the ministry. He loves to write about topics that examine the fringes between science and religion. He is father to two beautiful daughters, a husband who loves his wife and an educator who thinks life long learning is the key to happiness. Jeff tells it like he sees it and loves to hear the opinion of others. He is currently the president of the Humanist Association of Manitoba and calls himself an atheist.

Hard Cover Edition - Book Flap

Jeff was 12 years old when a priest knocked on the door of the Olsson family home and invited him to attend church. Jeff accepted the offer and eventually became a born again Christian, played in a church band, taught Sunday school and served as an altar boy. By the age of 32 he had finished ministry training and became an ordained minister in the Anglican Church of Canada.

It soon became apparent that some of his parishioners had been forced to attend an abusive church run residential school system that stripped children of their culture and language and forced them to become Christians. Across Canada 150,000 aboriginal children were affected by this school system. 80,000 former students were represented in a class action lawsuit against the Canadian government and the Churches that administered the schools.

In the years that followed Jeff watched conservative Anglicans rebel rather than accept homosexuals as equal under God and allow them to marry. It quickly became obvious that it was a dogmatic system of belief that was the problem, not the homosexuals or the aboriginals. At first Jeff wondered why God would allow this to happen to these people, he then realized God was not involved at all.

It was time to leave ‘faith’ behind.

References used in the creation of Leaving Faith Behind

1. Sagan, Carl. (2006),The Varieties of Scientific Experience, a personal view of the search for god. Edited by Ann Druyan, Penguin Group (Canada), Toronto Ontario, Canada M4P 2Y3

2. Paine, Thomas, (1793) The Age of Reason, edited by Moncure D. Conway. Available for free download at,

3. The Collects, Epistles, and Gospels from the 1549, 1552 and 1559 Books of Common Prayer

4. A Letter To My Curious Friends. Published March 2008, by Jeffrey Olsson, a former Priest in the Anglican Church of Canada.

5. Gravetter Frederick J, Forzano Lori-Ann B (2006). Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences, second edition (pages 4 – 22) Belmont,Ca: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning

6. Dawkins, R. (2006), The GOD Delusion, Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, New York 10003.

7. Diamond, Jared: Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. W.W. Norton & Company, March 1997. ISBN 0-393-03891-2

8. Sagan, Carl, "The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark". Ballantine Books, March 1997 ISBN 0-345-40946-9

9. Attenborough, David, Journeys To The Past, David Attenborough Productions, Butler and Tanner Ltd, Frome and London, 1981, ISBN 0 7188-2507-1

10. Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter SPE SALVI, of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI to the Bishops Priests and Deacons Men and Women Religious and all the lay faithful on Christian Hope, Nov 30, 2007, from Vatican internet website.

11. Wooden, Cindy, Catholic News Service, Abortion is crime against society, says Pope Benedict Abortion is crime against society, says Pope Benedict, (Dec 5th 2005)

12. Of the Morals of the Catholic Church, St. Augustine of Hippo in A.D. 388, translated by the Rev. Richard Stothert, New Advent website: Copyright © 2008 by Kevin Knight.

13. Jackson. E, Subjective Study of Visual Aberrations, Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 1938; 36: 46–54

14. Adams, Douglas, 1998, Digital Biota 2 conference speech, Cambridge U.K, from the internet.

15. Zygar, Mikhail, in Kommersant, Russia’s Online Daily, Sept 26, 2007,

16. Kirby, Alex, in BBC News, International version, May 9, 2003,

17. University of Chicago (2008, July 12). Children Are Naturally Prone To Be Empathic And Moral. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 12, 2008, from

18. Decety et al. Who caused the pain? An fMRI investigation of empathy and intentionality in children. Neuropsychologia, 2008; DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.05.026

19. Glines.C.V, The Cargo Cults, Air Force Magazine, The Journal of the Air Force, January 1991, Vol 74, No.1,

20. Raffaele, Paul, In John They Trust, Smithsonian Magazine,, Feb 2006.

21. Letter 2808 — Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 18 May [1860], Darwin Correspondence Project, Retrieved July 19th 2008, from

22. Letter 2814 — Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 22 May [1860], Darwin Correspondence Project, Retrieved July 19th 2008, from

23. Ferry, James, In The Courts Of The Lord: A Gay Priest's Story, The Crossroad Publishing Company, Inc. (September 25, 1994)

24. Spitzer, Robert L, (December, 1973) Homosexuality: Proposed Change in DSM-H, The American Psychiatric Association. (Retrieved August 4, 2008)

25. Book of Common Prayer, THE PREFACE TO THE CANADIAN REVISION OF 1918 ALTERED IN 1959, Prayer book society of Canada website. Retrieved August 24th 2008.

26. Press Release, Anglican News Service (ANS), (1978, Feb 3), Retreived August 4, 2008 from

27. The Montreal Declaration (June 1994), From Anglican Essentials website, Retrieved August 24th, 2008.

28. Sison, Marites,N, Anglican Journal (October 1, 2006), Archbishop disciplined for performing same sex marriage, (Retrieved August 4 2008)

29. Sison, Marites,N, Anglican Journal (October 1, 2004), Church awaits critical commission report, (Retrieved August 4, 2008)

30. Anglican Journal, (Dec 1 2007), Montreal Synod Votes Yes to Blessings, Retrieved August 4 2008,

31. Sison, Marites, N, Anglican Journal, (Oct 13 2007), Ottawa Votes Yes to Same Sex Blessings, Retrieved August 4 2008,

32. De Santis, Solange, Anglican Journal, (May 27, 2008), Huron Says Yes to Same Sex Blessings, Retrieved August 4 2008,

33. Sison, Marites, N, Anglican Journal, (August 3, 2007) Bishops end conference with ‘wide agreement’ on moratoria for same-sex blessings, cross-border interventions, and ordination of gay bishops, says Williams, Retrieved August 4th 2008,

34. Goudarzi, Sara, MSNBC, (Nov 16, 2006) Gay animals out of the closet? First-ever museum display shows 51 species exhibiting homosexuality, (Retrieved August 4, 2008)

35. Bidstrup, Scott (no date), The Natural "Crime Against Nature" A Brief Survey of Homosexual Behaviors In Animals, (Retrieved August 4, 2008)

36. Coghlan, Andy, New Scientist (16 June, 2008) Gay brains structured like those of the opposite sex, (Retrieved August 4, 2008)

37. Hall, Joseph, Toronto Star, (June 17, 2008), Gayness linked to brain, (Retrieved August 4, 2008)

38. Savik , Ivanka and Lindstrom, Per, (April 30,2008) PET and MRI show differences in cerebral asymmetry and functional connectivity between homo- and heterosexual subjects, (Retrieved, August 4, 2008)

39. BBC News, (June 27, 2006), Womb environment 'makes men gay, (Retrieved August 4 2008)

40. Martin, Bruce, (2006, Aug 24) Calvary Temple – Doubt, (Retreived August 4, 2008),

41. Mills, David, Atheist Universe, (2004) edited by Lily Chou, Ulysses Press, Berkely CA.

42. Curry, Bill and Howlette, Karen,(April 24 2007) Natives died in droves as Ottawa ignored warnings, retreived Sept 19th 2008,

43. CBC News, (April 28th 2008), A timeline of residential schools, retrieved sept 19, 2008,

44. CBC News, (November 23 2005), School abuse victims getting $1.9B, retrieved sept 19, 2008,

45. RCMP Fact Sheets, (25/09/2007), Indian Residential Schools, retreived sept 19 2008,

46. Coneely, Sean, Informity News, Canada Apologizes, Compensates Native People, retreived Sept 19, 2008,

47. Prager, Dennis, Interview with John Nagee, retreived Sept 19, 2008,

49. (A web page exemplifying the study of Biblical Prophesy)

50. Views of the Public and Trauma Professionals on Death and Dying From Injuries, Lenworth M. Jacobs, MD, MPH; Karyl Burns, RN, PhD; Barbara Bennett Jacobs Arch Surg. 2008;143(8):730-735.

51 Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals study of Hurricane Katrina

52. Acheivements of the United Nations,

Wikipedia Links cited in this document: Please note that I have always used original sources for each point that I have made, however I feel that the addition of Wikipedia links provides a rich source of complimentary information that otherwise may not be available to an “online” reader. -jo

1. Meme. (2006, December 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:33, January 1, 2007, from

2. Canadian residential school system. (2008, April 17). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:35, April 21, 2008, from

3. Cargo cult. (2008, May 13). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:38, May 23, 2008, from

4. John Frum. (2008, May 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:08, May 24, 2008, from

5. Karen Armstrong. (2008, April 30). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:14, May 6, 2008, from

References for Quotations

Unless otherwise stated, All scriptures quoted in this document are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 international Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

Canadian Residential Schools Links

  1. CBC FAQ (one of the best descriptions of the problem)
  2. National Post - Prime Minister Harper Apologizes
  3. Shannon Thunderbird’s Website
  4. Library Archives of Canada – A collective bibliography and an excellent resource for any serious writer.
  5. Assembly of First nations webpage resource on residential schools in Canada.
  6. Hidden From History – A website claiming that the residential schools were an attempt at genocide.
  7. Wikipedia link on residential schools