A new group of Americans is challenging the reign of the Religious Right.
Today, nearly one in five Americans are nonbelievers - a rapidly growing group at a time when traditional Christian churches are dwindling in numbers - and they are flexing their muscles like never before. Yet we still see almost none of them openly serving in elected office, while Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and many others continue to loudly proclaim the myth of America as a Christian nation.
In Nonbeliever Nation, leading secular advocate David Niose explores what this new force in politics means for the unchallenged dominance of the religious Right. Hitting on all the hot-button issues that divide the country - from gay marriage to education policy to contentious church-state battles - he shows how this movement is gaining traction, and fighting for its rights. Now, Secular Americans - a group comprised not just of atheists and agnostics, but lapsed Catholics, secular Jews, and millions of others who have walked away from religion - are mobilizing and forming groups all over the country (even atheist clubs in Bible-belt high schools) to challenge the exaltation of religion in American politics and public life.
This is a timely and important look at how growing numbers of nonbelievers, disenchanted at how far America has wandered from its secular roots, are emerging to fight for equality and rational public policy.
©2012 David Niose (P)2013 Dogma Debate, LLC
Letting the rest of the world go by
The author captures the secular humanist changes within the society that have been happening to America with a particular emphasis of the recent past up to the beginning of 2012.
It's easy to say the author was slightly ahead of his time and foresaw the rapid changes that have happened since the publication of the book, and the changes have been even more dramatic after the book's publication. It's as if the author was writing a book about the financial crisis but published it in October 2008. He sees what was happening before it became real to everyone else.
The author puts the story in great context and tells you how the world is changing and how the secular humanist (and atheist) movement is winning and coming out of the closest unashamedly. Not too recently, and slightly before the book was published, the default position was to be in the closet with ones secular humanist beliefs and the media would assume that the religious perspective was the most right, he states. For example, the Mormons gave the bulk of the donations to Proposition 8 ('Prop Hate'), and they also said they would not support the Boy Scouts if they allowed gays. Times have changed. I suspect they would like to walk back those statements and positions and that's only since the book has been published (less than two years ago).
The book really gives a good snapshot of how times have been changing and lays the foundation for the understanding for how they will even change more. The author is never in your face, but states his positions as matter of facts.
BTW, I loved the fact that a woman reader read the parts of the book when a woman was being quoted. It allows me to follow the narrative even better.
The book makes some interesting points however, the author has this terrible and annoying habit of anytime he wants to quote from a source from a female, he has a woman read the piece. Besides the fact that it is very annoying and distracting -it is childish and uncalled for.
Is he doing it to be politically correct? If so, why stop there? Why not do the have the quotes from African Americans read by African Americans? And why not the quotes from Herb Silverman read by a Jewish man?
The whole switch to the woman's voice was distracting and made me feel that the author bent over backward to be PC.
It really ruined the read.
I hope he never does anything so silly and annoying again.
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