|RPG + GGG = Sean Faircloth|
Throughout Attack of the Theocrats, Faircloth utilizes examples from history and his own life as well as those across the country who have been impacted by the rise of fundamentalism to drive home point after point: This is a secular nation. That it is so was the intent of the Founders. Only in recent generations has religion achieved its bizarre privileged stranglehold over our federal government. That it has done so is destructive and detrimental to all involved. Sure, these are all points that many who would pick up the book are already familiar with, but the anecdotes included are both fascinating and sure to provide that extra persuasive oomf to your argument next time you find yourself at dinner with your crazy Baptist uncle. Sure, anyone can point to Jefferson's attacks on religion in government, but Barry freakin' Goldwater? The father of modern American conservatism? Faircloth's outrage is most palpable when reviewing the litany of abuses heaped upon children whose caretakers were safe from liability by religious exemption. It leads one to the question, exactly how many kids is it acceptable to have die as the result of inept Church-run childcare before we rethink our laws? The evidence found in this book will provide stopping power against all but the most fanatical of our nation's theocrats.
However, Faircloth knows that facts alone will not cannot win the battle for a secular America and he comes prepared. In the latter part of the book, he names names; targeting the "Fundamentalist Fifty" who legislate us towards theocracy at the federal level. Upon showing the problem at its worst, Faircloth delves into his strategy for bringing about lasting change for the better. Called "Our Secular Decade", the blueprint identifies allies, lays out tangible objectives, and calls upon the reader to take action. His plan of action was laid out in a recent Washington Post op-ed.
Attack of the Theocrats! is a fact-filled primer to the sectarian plagues of the United States, that ends with a results-driven vision for making things right again. Faircloth's work is much needed, as most of the atheist canon focuses on the intellectual arguments against belief rather than positive arguments for the power of explicitly nonreligious institutions. That is not the case here, as it becomes harder to refute the desperate need for secular governance with the turn of each page. That said, this book could not have come at a better time. The Reason Rally's phenomenal attendance has shown the willingness of secular Americans to show up when called upon. Now that Faircloth has written his manifesto, it is my hope that he will wield his new position as Director of Strategy & Policy at the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science as a tool for making this marvelous blueprint a reality.