The 10 Things to Remember When Lobbying a Government Official

Since working as legal counsel for the Iowa legislature, Amanda Knief has held positions of tremendous responsibility within our movement. She worked as the lobbyist for the Secular Coalition for America and currently serves as the Managing Director for American Atheists.

She is the perfect person, really, to write a book about how regular citizens can become effective lobbyists because she’s been doing it herself for years, with and without an official title.

Amanda’s new book on the subject is called The Citizen Lobbyist: A How-to Manual for Making Your Voice Heard in Government (Pitchstone Publishing, 2013). It’s all about what lobbying actually is and why you should do it — a great blueprint for grassroots activism that’s ideal for casual reading and high school libraries. The Kindle version of the book will be available on July 1st, but the paperback is available right now.

In the exclusive excerpt below, Amanda explains the 10 things to remember when lobbying an elected official:

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Are Atheists Better at Dying Than the Religious?

Ryan T. Cragun is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Tampa, and he’s written a new book in which he takes a personal and scientific look at whether religion is actually helpful or harmful to you.

It’s called What You Don’t Know about Religion (but Should):

In the exclusive excerpt below, Cragun asks the question: “Who’s better at dying?”

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I’m Just Like a Hollywood Actor!

Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute can’t believe that the Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 school board voted 6-1 to overturn the ban on The Perks of Being a Wallflower earlier this week, so she’s griping about how kids reading things she finds indecent is bad for society and how teachers who encourage students to read these challenging books are political activists “masquerading as ‘educators'” and how the sky is falling.

She doesn’t like the “stronger” parental notification compromise, either, where the note that goes home to parents each year will explain that students may choose to read books with “mature content” but parents have a right to say no to those selections:

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School Board Overturns Ban on ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’

Last week, I posted about how the school board representing Hadley Junior High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois voted to ban The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

So what happened at tonight’s board meeting?

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How I Lost My Christian Faith While Writing a Book on Evolution

This is a guest post by Ed Suominen.

As an engineer who spent forty years as a fundamentalist Christian, I pretty much ignored the problem of human origins and evolution.

The science of radio waves and electronics was very real for me, but so was Genesis: My wife and I had eleven children as a result of following God’s command to be fruitful and multiply. So whenever I came across some article about a million-year-old fossil or the dreaded word “evolution,” I would hastily skip over it.

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