Secular Lobbyist Sean Faircloth on "A New Strategy For Secularism"

Sean Faircloth is the author of Attack of the Theocrats! How the Religious Right Harms Us All- —and What We Can Do About It. He makes a strong argument about where our focus and priorities should be in the political aspect of the atheist movement going forward:

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Adrian Allen

    At last, secularism/atheism is biting back with a political movement.

  • Lance Armstrong

    That is excellent, thank you for sharing. Sean Faircloth really “gets it.”

  • Aspect Sign

    What an inspiring talk. I find my self reflecting on how often we are so often talking only to each other.

    Thinking of how often on religious sites they go too lengths to project their voices, with links to listings of addresses for contacting representatives, preformated position letters that can be sent to them, petitions that are forwarded.

    I can’t count the times I have heard congressional staffers say how few voices it takes to have an impact because of how few voices are ever raised. This is one of the ways the religious gain a disproportionate impact.

    While I have heard countless times the story and remember personally the deliberate and focused planning that went into the rise of fundamentalist influence in the US its much rarer to see responding in kind discussed.

    There is an awful lot of traffic here at freethoughts, I’m just saying… maybe an action page where the bloggers can consolidate info on how to act on issues they present?

    • Daniel Fincke

      There is an awful lot of traffic here at freethoughts, I’m just saying… maybe an action page where the bloggers can consolidate info on how to act on issues they present?

      That’s an excellent idea, Aspect Sign

  • baal

    He’s right and I think he’s competent at his job. We need many more of him, however. The way forward clearly starts with a lobby group in each State and with picking up the rich/famous allies that are otherwise on board but work as individuals (Bill g. & Brad P. in this presentation). I’m not sure where the $$ and drive comes from after that though. The various humanist, secularist and atheist organizations will have to grow membership, however, to get beyond that start up phase.

  • Jeff Sherry

    Dan, thanks for this introduction to Sean Faircloth. Our 100 to 20% can impact the political process if we do follow these priciples.

    • Jeff Sherry

      10 not 100…

  • Dean Buchanan

    Open the Door!

    An anecdote about constituent lobbying:

    The Secular Coalition for America sponsored a Lobby Day for Reason on the Friday before the reason rally.

    My spouse, 10 year old son, and I participated. I can report that it is extremely personally empowering to be in a group of atheists/humanists/etceterists, sitting around a table with a top aid of our representative or senator and saying, one-after-another,
    “Hi, I’m(nym here)and I am an atheist(or etcetera). (Our group was mostly atheists).

    There is no question that the staff people had never heard or considered their non-theist constituents. The staff were particularly touched by my son who bravely spoke his mind about the Pledge of Allegiance that his school repeats daily, and that atheists are people too.
    Our group met with very senior people (legislative directors and top health advisers).

    We were allotted 15 minutes but each meeting went well over 30 minutes and the conversations were great.

    The personal stories (like Sean promotes) and the personal interaction can break through and open doors to communication.
    As a practical consequence of our meetings, all of the aids want to know what the Secular Coalition thinks about any pending legislation in the future. Now I live in a liberal state so not everyone’s experience will be that positive I am sure. But after the meeting, you have a name, an email address, and the door’s open, at least a little.

    I think everyone should try it, just do it in a group if possible.

  • cashwilson

    Just finished his new book. Loved it. His ideas for bringing change are fantastic. I especially loved the meat of the book which exposed so much of the modern day horrors and negative effects religion has on society.

  • James Croft

    Sean is one of my favorite secular speakers – passionate, powerful, full of vision. Fantastic! Oh, and the times we’ve had together. I am sworn to secrecy, but they would make many blush!

    Sean and I have spoken together at conferences and discussed these issues and we are so simpatico that it’s uncanny! If you watch some of our talks side by side we make almost the exact same points (although Sean has a commanding figure I cannot hope to match =D). I’m always delighted to see him give his talk and espouse his vision for American secularism. So exciting.

    • Daniel Fincke

      Yeah, he strikes me as an affable, earnest, and energetic guy who would be a lot of fun to talk to.

    • James Croft

      Oh, he’s super-fun!