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Wisconsin Public Radio - Interview with Sean Faircloth

Original broadcast 8:00 AM
Joy Cardin - 03/15C

The issue of religion has already played a huge role in the 2012 election season, with controversies over religious freedom, separation of church and state, and the fight for contraception coverage. After eight, Joy Cardin's guest explains why he says the religious right is harming American politics, and what we can do about it.

Guest:
Sean Faircloth, author of, "Attack of the Theocrats: How the Religious Right Harms Us All-and What We Can Do About It." He served for a decade in the Maine State Legislature and was Majority Whip there for his last term. Currently, he's the Director of Strategy and Policy at the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

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Book Description
Copies are available at the RDFRS store and include a free DVD. Also Amazon Kindle or Barnes and Noble Nook
At no time in American history has the United States had such a high percentage of theocratic members of Congress-those who expressly endorse religious bias in law. Just as ominously, at no other time have religious fundamentalists effectively had veto power over one of the country's two major political parties. As Sean Faircloth argues, this has led to the crumbling of the country's most cherished founding principle-the wall separating church and state-and presages yet even more crumbling. Faircloth, a former politician and current executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, moves beyond the symbolism to explore the many ways federal and state legal codes privilege religion in law. He goes on to demonstrate how religious bias in law harms all Americans-financially, militarily, physically, socially, and educationally. Sounding a much-needed alarm for all who care about the future direction of the country, Faircloth offers an inspiring vision for returning America to its secular roots.

Editorial Reviews

Shocking! Will keep you on the edge of your seat! Sean Faircloth is doing such important work. There's not a doubt in my mind that if he was (suddenly, inexplicably) zapped back in time to meet Thomas Jefferson, that the Founding Father would clap him on the shoulder and say ‘Thanks.'"
-Adam Savage, MythBusters co-host and executive producer.

"Faircloth paints a sobering picture, but fortunately, as anyone who has heard his speeches knows, he also has an inspiring and invigorating vision to offer. . . . Readers will finish the book exercised, energized, and eager to join Faircloth in a bold rediscovery of the secular dream of the European Enlightenment and America's enlightened Fathers."
-- Richard Dawkins, from the foreword to Attack of the Theocrats!

"I've devoted the last twenty years of my professional life to pointing out unscientific assertions that harm or swindle innocent people. It becomes particularly insidious when unsound reasoning is used to justify and apply unjust laws. This book describes this very real problem in American today, then offers a bold plan to do something about it."
-James Randi, founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation

"What does the erosion of America's noble separation of church and state-the basis of the first secular government in the world-have to do with your everyday life? In this lively and historically grounded survey of the way we live now, the author explains why the thirty-year-old assault on church-state separation affects all of us-from children who are not getting a world-class education in science because of fundamentalist interference with the teaching of biology to soldiers subjected to evangelical proselytizing on military bases. Nothing could be more timely than this reminder that the founders left God out of the Constitution to provide citizens of every faith and no faith the freedom to act on their consciences. We ignore this historic liberty, the gift of America's founding generation, at our peril."
-Susan Jacoby, author of Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism and The Age of American Unreason


Sean Faircloth, is the Director of Strategy and Policy RDFRS U,S.. He is author of the upcoming book Attack of the Theocrats: How the Religious Right Harms Us All and What We Can Do About It. Advance copies are available in the RDFRS store in the link above. Faircloth served ten years in the Maine legislature. In his final term he was elected Majority Whip by his caucus colleagues. At the Secular Coalition for America Faircloth devised and led the Secular Decade strategic plan. Faircloth speaks widely on separation of church and state, the Constitution, and secular strategy.

Faircloth served as opening speaker for Richard Dawkins Fall 2011 tour of the United States, and he will do so again in spring 2012.

TAGGED: ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE, POLITICS


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