Attack of the Theocrats: How the Religious Right Harms Us All--And What We Can Do about It (Hardcover)
At no time in 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, especially for those who share the values and views of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, 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 in this deeply sobering yet highly engaging book, this has led to the crumbling of the country's most cherished founding principle--the wall of separation between church and state. While much of the public debate in the United States over church-state issues has focused on the construction of nativity scenes in town squares and the addition of "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance, former politician and lobbyist Faircloth moves beyond the symbolism to explore the many ways federal and state legal codes privilege religion in law. He demonstrates in vivid detail how religious bias in law harms all Americans--financially, militarily, physically, socially, and educationally--and directs special attention to the outlandish words, views, and policy proposals of the most theocratic politicians. Sounding a much-needed alarm for all who care about the future direction of the country, Faircloth concludes by offering an inspiring 10-point vision of an America returned to its secular roots and by providing a specific and sensible plan for realizing this vision.
About the Author
Sean Faircloth is the Director of Strategy and Policy for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. He speaks around the nation on the Constitution, separation of church and state, and secular strategy. He successfully initiated the Secular Decade plan at the Secular Coalition for America, where he served as Executive Director. He also served for a decade in the Maine legislature, successfully spearheading over 30 laws. In his last term in office, Faircloth was elected Majority Whip by his caucus colleagues.
Richard Dawkins was first catapulted to fame with his iconic work The Selfish Gene, which he followed with a string of bestselling books. Part one of his autobiography, An Appetite for Wonder, was published in 2013.
Dawkins is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the Royal Society of Literature Award (1987), the Michael Faraday Award of the Royal Society (1990), the International Cosmos Prize for Achievement in Human Science (1997), the Kistler Prize (2001), the Shakespeare Prize (2005), the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science (2006), the Galaxy British Book Awards Author of the Year Award (2007), the Deschner Prize (2007) and the Nierenberg Prize for Science in the Public Interest (2009). He retired from his position as Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University in 2008 and remains a Fellow of New College.
In 2012, scientists studying fish in Sri Lanka created Dawkinsia as a new genus name, in recognition of his contribution to the public understanding of evolutionary science. In the same year, Richard Dawkins appeared in the BBC Four television series Beautiful Minds, revealing how he came to write The Selfish Gene and speaking about some of the events covered in this autobiography.
In 2013, Dawkins was voted the world's top thinker in Prospect magazine's poll of over 10,000 readers from over 100 countries.
“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.’”
“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.”
“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, the author explains why the thirty-year-old assault on church-state separation affects all of us. . . . 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
“Faircloth makes a compelling case for people everywhere to steadily reestablish Thomas Jefferson’s fundamental idea and keep religions out of politics. Read this, and you’ll become a Constitution thumper.”