Sean Faircloth is the Director of Strategy and Policy for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (in the U.S.).
I’ve just read his book ‘Attack Of The Theocrats’. Despite having possibly the worst cover of any book I’m ever likely to read (see my ‘Books’ section), it is very enlightening with regards to the many different ways that religion harms the world we live in when it informs our decision making – particularly our governments decision making. And he demonstrates that in America, religion is still very much an overbearing concern upon public policy.
The book is in part a manifesto for how America can pushback against the rising tide of Christian theocracy. He lays out a ten point plan and asks anyone with a site such as mine to post them in order to help spread the word. So here I am doing my bit for the cause! Clearly they are equally relevant for Britain or anywhere else in the world:
1. The military shall serve and include all Americans, religious or nonreligious with no hint of bias and with no hint of fundamentalist extremism colouring our military decisions at home or abroad.
2. Any federal or state funded program, whether offering services domestic or foreign, that relates to reproductive health and intimate sexual decisions shall be based on science and public health; not on religious bias or the denigration of women or secular minorities.
3. Healthcare professionals shall fulfill their ethical and professional oath to address the needs of the patient, and they must do so without a hint of religious bias.
4. There shall be no bias in land use planning, environmental law or employment law based on religion or lack thereof.
5. Marriage can be defined by religious congregations howsoever they choose within their own services but marriage under American law shall have no bias whatsoever.
6. When facing end-of-life decisions, all Americans shall be guaranteed control over their own bodies without being thwarted by religious bias.
7. America’s youth shall never be subjected to bias in education. If there is one penny of government funds involved then there must not be one iota of religious bias or propaganda.
8. The composition of Congress and legislatures shall include secular Americans and there must be no political bias against secular candidates.
9. There shall be one consistent standard pertaining to the health and welfare of children, regardless of the religion of a child’s parents, school, or child care centre. Religious adults can do whatever they want to their own bodies, but children shall be treated as human beings, not as pawns to be sacrificed in the name of religion.
10. Medical, technical, and scientific innovation shall be dedicated to the health and advancement of our fellow citizens and must never be impeded by religious bias.