Dan Barker

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Dan Barker in 2015.

Daniel Edwin Barker (born 1949-06-25) is an American atheist activist, musician, and former evangelical Christian preacher for 19 years. He became famous in atheist circles after leaving Christianity in 1984 and has since appeared on dozens of television shows and at many lectures. He and his wife Annie Laurie Gaylor are the current co-presidents of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. He has written several books, articles, and songs.


I became aware of Barker in the late-2000s as I began to seek out more atheists. After seeing him in some lectures online, I saw him at the Reason Rally in 2012, and then in a more intimate setting at a Secular Student Alliance lecture at the University of Michigan Flint in 2014. While there, I bought a couple of his books and had him sign them. I find that Dan is especially good at coming up with effective arguments against religion, and countering bad-faith arguments in debates, no doubt due to his former life as a preacher.



Released Title Rank
1990-??-?? Maybe Yes, Maybe No: A Guide for Young Skeptics 3
1992-07-?? Maybe Right, Maybe Wrong: A Guide for Young Thinkers
1992-09-?? Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist 1
2002-??-?? Just Pretend
2008-09-?? Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists
2011-01-25 The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God 2
2015-04-?? Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning
2016-02-02 God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction 4
2018-02-06 Free Will Explained: How Science and Philosophy Converge to Create a Beautiful Illusion


While still religious, Barker wrote two Christian musicals. He still receives royalties for them as Christians continue to perform them.

  • Mary Had a Little Lamb, 1977
  • His Fleece Was White as Snow, 1978


Other Works

Barker has also written several articles for Freethought Today magazine.




On Oprah in 1984.
Journey from preacher to atheist, 2010.
Lecture at Skepticon IV, 2011
Making a case for atheism.