Darrel W. Ray, Ed.D.
Author of Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
Darrel Ray, Ed.D. is a psychologist and lifelong student of religion. Raised in a fundamentalist home by parents who eventually became missionaries, he has seen religion from the inside out. Both his grandfathers were preachers and elders. Growing up, he attended church 3-5 times a week, was a church camp counselor, Sunday school teacher, tenor soloist in several church choirs, preached on occasion and was employed as a church youth minister for 18 months until fired for attempting to integrate the lily white youth group, and much more.
He holds a BA in sociology/anthropology from Friends University, MA from Scarritt College for Christian Workers and Ed.D. in counseling psychology from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University
No matter how much he tried, nothing about religion seemed to add up, by 40 he was an atheist. His research and writing led him to Dawkins and memetics, which provided the seed upon which to research and write about religion as a parasitic meme, culminating in his best selling book The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture (IPC Press, 2009). In 2011 his ground-breaking research with Amanda Brown culminated in the publication of Sex and Secularism: What 10,000 Secularists Told Us About Their Sex Lives. He is also the founder of Recovering from Religion, an international organization and 501c3 non-profit, dedicated to helping people leave religion and director of The Secular Therapist Project.
In 2012 he published his latest book, Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality where he asks, “What would happen if we subtracted religion out of sex. What would human sexuality look like? How would it change or inform us?
Darrel has been on dozens of TV and radio programs including ABC News Nightline and written about in such publications as Playboy Magazine, The Daily Mail and The Los Angeles Times, Times of India, Irish Times among others.
One critic wrote, “Darrel is an entertaining speaker whose humorous approach belies all that you learn from his talks. Thought provoking and funny, you will leave with a new view of yourself as a sexual being.”
Critical acclaim for Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality
“When it comes to hurtful hypocrisy, it appears that religion and sex may well take the cake. How appropriate therefore – and how courageous – that Darrel Ray has written ‘Sex and God’, a powerful debunking of one of the deepest yet rarely examined mythic connections of all time. Give ‘Sex and God’ a try … and then drop one of them (I’ll leave it up to you to decide which!).” – David P. Barash, professor of psychology, University of Washington, and author of The Myth of Monogamy.
“Dr. Ray poignantly applies both the facts and common sense to two of society’s greatest untouchables: sex and religion. Approach this book with an open mind and you will find ‘Sex and God’ puts sexual power back where it belongs: with you!” – Laci Green, host of Sex+, youtube.com/lacigreen
“Read this book. Whether you are a believer, doubter, or atheist, religion influences your sexuality. Darrel Ray removes our blinders. Never again will you view religion as benign in its effects. With patience, verve, and overwhelming evidence he makes the case that religion is an STD, a sexually tarnishing disease. Religion undermines our capacities for romance, love, sex, intimacy, and parenting. ‘Sex and God’, not the Gideon Bible, needs to be in every hotel room.” – J. Anderson Thomson, Jr., M.D., University of Virginia, psychiatrist, author, Why We Believe In God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith.
He is also the founder of Recovering from Religion, an international organization and 501(c)3 non-profit, dedicated to helping people leave religion and director of The Secular Therapist Project.