(Photo: YouTube screen grab)
A prolific atheist blogger has decided to cancel a Kickstarter campaign for an illustrated book that called God an "abusive boyfriend."
Hemant Mehta, known as the Patheos blogger the "Friendly Atheist," announced last week that he was canceling an online funding campaign for his book "God is an Abusive Boyfriend."
In the cancellation announcement, Mehta noted that he "decided to put a stop to the project" due to "receiving a lot of negative feedback over the past 24 hours."
"Even if I believe the concept behind the book is a valid one, the execution was poor and it upset a lot of good people. My apologies to anyone in that crowd," wrote Mehta.
"To everyone who supported the project so far, I appreciate your understanding. I hope you'll support whatever I decide to do next."
Last Wednesday, Mehta announced the creation of a Kickstarter project for his latest book, "God is an Abusive Boyfriend (and You Should Break Up)."
Illustrated by Tracey Moody, the book was designed like a faux children's book and was based off of a video Mehta had done for the YouTube Channel the Atheist Voice.
"I've written a few books in my time. One was with a 'real' publisher, one was done more independently with the help of an editor, and one was a compilation of older blog posts. It's time to try something different," wrote Mehta.
"My latest project, launching today on Kickstarter, is a book all about how religious people ought to reconsider their 'relationship' with a Supreme Being."
The project received its share of criticism from the onset from fellow atheists who claimed the work made light of the real problem of domestic violence.
One blogger, doting the name "skepchick," considered the Mehta book project to be "gross and extremely disappointing."
"Are there instances where religion is used to justify the oppression of women? Absolutely. But to define someone else's personal religious beliefs for them while making a hacky joke about domestic violence is just gross and extremely disappointing," wrote the blogger.
"And yet, people still wonder why there aren't more women involved in organized atheism. Rather than give to this Kickstarter, why not donate some money to a local domestic violence shelter?"
In response to the negative feedback, Mehta had posted an "update" on the Kickstarter page clarifying the reasoning behind his book.
"Because people have suggested that we're somehow making light of domestic violence, we wanted to assure you that's not the case," wrote Mehta.
"In fact, we take the issue very seriously. This idea of God as an abusive partner is not a new one and a lot has been written about the parallels. Many of those essays, however, are written for a more academic audience."
The update included contact information for The National Domestic Violence Hotline and the group Recovering From Religion, which champions itself as an organization that helps people suffering from religious abuse.
On the Friendly Atheist blog, the cancellation announcement garnered over 300 comments, with many decrying "political correctness" and "suicidal trigger-warning happy feminism" as the source of the cancellation.
Other commenters commended Mehta for recognizing the "flaws" in his plan and being willing to admit to making a mistake.