Attack of the Theocrats! How the Religious Right Harms Us All-And What We Can Do about It

By Boston, Rob | The Humanist, January-February 2013 | Go to article overview

Attack of the Theocrats! How the Religious Right Harms Us All-And What We Can Do about It


Boston, Rob, The Humanist


Attack of the Theocrats! How the Religious Right Harms Us All--And What We Can Do About It

by Sean Faircloth

(Pitchstone Publishing, 2012) 164 pp; $14.95

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

A friend recently passed on a slick magazine to me published by a religious right group. The cover depicted a close-up shot of a large steamroller under dark and threatening skies. The headline read, "Secularism: Can It Be Stopped?"

Let's hope not! Secularism--and by that I mean primarily secular government--is the platform upon which religious and philosophical liberty rests. We will not be a free nation without it.

Sean Faircloth understands this. If you missed his book, Attack of the Theocrats!, when it came out in hardback, you can now pick it up in the new paperback edition. Not only is it cheaper, the paperback has a much better cover.

Thankfully, what's between the covers remains the same--and it's good stuff indeed. Faircloth, former executive director of the Secular Coalition for America and currently director of strategy and policy for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, writes with real passion. His lively text zips right along, and before you know it you've finished this short book. You're a better person for it.

We hear a lot about the "war on religion" these days. Attack of the Theocrats! is a much-needed response to those inflated claims. Far from warring on religion, U.S. laws and customs favor religion, as Faircloth points out in example after example, and this has not been good for us.

Among the most valuable chapters in the book is the third, titled "Religious Bias in Law Harms Us All." Here, Faircloth explains how our culture's predilection to favor religion hurts Americans.

Some examples: Young people are taught nearly useless "abstinence only" programs in public schools instead of comprehensive sex education. Religious childcare centers in many states are free from sensible regulations designed to protect children. In other states, faith-healing parents watch their children die painful deaths and are not punished. Televangelists snatch up mansions, send hastily ordained relatives to live in them and demand clergy housing exemptions from the IRS. No one blinks. People with terminal illnesses are made to die slow and painful deaths because of religious objections to death with dignity laws.

Faircloth writes with genuine conviction. His discussion of children who have died due to faith healing will test your stomach--and it may spur you to action. In a discussion of religion's long attempt to control human sexuality, he lays out the case against religious justifications for laws in an amusing yet instructive way.

"Assume that I proposed to take away another citizen's human rights, and that I justified taking away those rights by referring to, let's say, an ancient, one-thousand-year-old parchment from, say Romania," Faircloth writes. "You'd say that's an absolutely wacko justification for denying human rights. However, if I change the hypothetical to a two-thousand-year-old document from the Levant and, if I further assert that this two-thousand-year-old document has supernatural powers, then the politicians fall over themselves bowing low and deep in subservience. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Attack of the Theocrats! How the Religious Right Harms Us All-And What We Can Do about It
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.