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, 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 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, a group he labels the Fundamentalist Fifty. Sounding a much-needed alarm for all who care about the future direction of the country, Faircloth concludes by offering an inspiring ten-point vision of an America returned to its secular roots and by providing a specific and sensible plan for realizing this vision. Both his vision and his plan remember and remind that the United States is, above all else, one nation under the Constitution.
Sean Faircloth is the director of policy and strategy for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (US). He served for a decade in the Maine State Legislature, where he successfully spearheaded over thirty pieces of legislation. He was elected majority whip by his colleagues in his last term.
Richard Dawkins is a scientist and author of numerous best sellers, including The Magic of Reality, The Greatest Show on Earth, and The God Delusion
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