Read Kindle ☭ Nonbeliever Nation ⚖

Wonderful read and very informative Interesting chronicle of the rise of the religious right in the form of the Moral Majority in the late 70 s, it s revisionist history, and it s powerful political influence today Despite years of being discriminated against, labeled as unpatriotic, immoral, etc., and treated as second class citizens secular Americans have begun to organize and fight back It s an uphill battle but progress is being made I look forward to reading from a true voice of reason, David Niose. Great primer on the disaster that has been the Religious Right in the US, the consolidation and rise of Secular Americans over the past 10 15 years, and how a rational, secular approach to policy making can benefit everyone, regardless of religious proclivities Secular Americans have to stop accepting marginalization by even the religious left. Read Kindle ♫ Nonbeliever Nation ☧ 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 NationIn 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 LifeThis 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 I had no idea that the religious right and their power in politics was such a recent phenomenon 150 years ago, we had open skeptics and non Christians running for president and even elected president religious litmus tests didn t exist And the motto in God we trust didn t appear on our coins until the 1950s, same with under God in the Pledge of Allegiance It was the McCarthy era, with the scare over communism, when Christianity came to the forefront, and it was not until the moral majority and Jerry Falwell and we know how crazy he was that the religious right as a phenomenon came to be I also learned of the Puritans, who are everyone s heroes, did not come to America seeking religious freedom they had religious freedom where they lived they came to set up a theocracy and discriminate against anyone who wasn t Puritan And the people were executed in the Salem witchhunts were not the only people executed for religion in our country by the Puritans this book was just full of facts I didn t know I have always been worried about the religious right, even when I was a Christian, and it s pretty disturbing about the anti intellectualism that they spawn Some pretty awful stuff and I agree with the author that it is incredibly scary to think that there may someday be someone in the White House who believes in Armageddon, and a battle between good and evil that will culminate in the end of the world and that this person would have power to start a nuclear war Absolutely terrifying It talks about how the ante intellectualism of America embarrasses our country in front of the world But it s also very hopeful, because it talks about how incredible the rise of the secular movement has been through the past couple of years I was very surprised to find out that now a large number of campuses have secular groups and even a large number of high schools do as well and people are identifying a secular, which can encompass atheist, agnostic, nonreligious, humanist, etc when I was in college, there were about 7 or 8 Christian groups but not a single atheist or secular group I wish there had been That is not the case any and I m very glad about it I hope this book is very influential, it certainly influenced me. Niose presents an extremely entertaining, well written and well researched history of the marginalization of Secular Americans, the climb to power by the Religious Right and the issues at the center of the culture war over America s supposedly religious identity I liked his strategic comparison of the Secular movement with the LGBT movement Not that secular Americans have suffered an oppression any near as ugly as that visited LGBT people neither he nor I would dream of asserting that But we need to take a lesson from the LGBT movement and come out of the closet Too many just keep quiet and go along to get along we need to make our presence known and forcefully assert our presence and rights as Secular Americans We don t believe We won t leave Get used to it In addition, Niose proposes an alternate strategy on the litigation front The direct approach basing arguments on the First Amendment and the Establishment Clause has failed He proposes pursuing the due process and equal protection approach that has been successful for other minority or marginalized groups and therefore seems like a smart strategy that may not so easily be dismissed as Secular Americans come out of the religion closet. Compared with the many recent new atheist books and articles penned by authors such as Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens, this work is the most accessible and the most reasonable Niose presents an extremely well cited history of the marginalization of Secular Americans, the climb to power by the Religious Right and the issues at the center of the culture war over America s supposedly religious identity Niose clarifies the claims and arguments, presenting beautiful and sound refutations along with clearly reasoned arguments that should appeal to anyone who cares about facts and is disturbed by the unjust influence by religious fundamentalists that has grown substantially since the 1970s and especially sine the Reagan era Further, Niose explains in detail how the direct approach in dealing with the Establishment Clause has failed, presenting a new strategy for future litigation battles Focusing on due process and equal protection has been successful for other minority or marginalized groups and therefore seems like a smart strategy that may not so easily be dismissed as Secular Americans come out of the religion closet Niose also demonstrates how the future looks bright for Secular Americans, atheists and agnostics to work towards not only bringing rationality and critical thinking back to public policy making but to ensure that there is actual separation of church and state.Nonbeliever Nation The Rise of Secular Americans by David Niose is an excellent work that I highly recommend. As interested as I was in reading this book, it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment For any longtime atheist, it s of a refresher course on the secular movement in America There was enough new and revealing historical content that I don t count the read as a waste of time, but a lot of it was almost remedial for anyone who s spent any time responding intelligently to proselytizers The best this book offered was the history of the secular organizations and their current movements.Organizationally, Nonbeliever Nation has a problem with repeating itself It isn t structured for a smooth read and has a tendency to reiterate points several times as though the author fears you missed it the first however many times Having read it on a Nook, I can t speak to the endnotes because it just isn t as easy to flip back and forth as it would be with an actual book. The best word I can think of to describe Niose s writing style is, succinct I very much enjoyed this book, and learned quite a bit about America s secular history, and the absolute dire need to recognize Secular Americans and their view on politics, education, and I find myself feeling anyone who misses out on this book or merely skims it is really doing themselves, and this country, a disservice It s an important book by an excellent, thoughtful writer who explains the necessity for critical thinking and rational policy in a way that portrays the damage done by religion in this country and how we should hope to mend it David Niose has quickly become one of my all time favorite authors. Nonbeliever Nation The Rise of Secular Americans by David Niose Nonbeliever Nation is a plea for Secular Americans to drive America to a better future by embracing its Enlightenment principles and breaking away from the restrictive chains of the Religious Right This book is about the resistance to the Religious Right and an emerging and often overlooked segment of Secular Americans who reject religiosity as a prerequisite to patriotism and sound public policy It s about the rise and hope of a movement This well written 272 page book is composed of the following chapters 1 The Wedding Invitation, 2 A Religious People , 3 A Secular Heritage, 4 Secularity and Morality, 5 The Disaster of the Religious Right, 6 Better Late than Never Secular Americans Emerge, 7 Reason for Hope and Hope for Reason, 8 When Happy Holidays Is an Act of Hostility, 9 A New Plan of Action and 10 A Secular Future Positives 1 An important topic in the hands of a subject matter expert.2 Well researched and accessible book for the masses.3 Fair and even handed treatment of the topic and respectful tone used.4 Good use of reason and sound logic.5 A great defender of secular humanistic views Does a wonderful job of differentiating between secular and religious worldviews Touches on all the popular cultural wars.6 Great quotes abound, That doesn t mean that a secular government must be antireligion, but only that government should be neutral on religion and not controlled by clerics or based on religious law.7 A great job of describing how the Religious Right emerged and their tactics.8 The reality of religion and secularity around the globe Homicides, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, abortions, social dysfunction, etc 9 Great chapter on Secular Heritage, the founders would be proud Debunks many myths.10 Setting the record straight about how the Holocaust and communist Russia relates to secularity.11 Great quote from Alan Dershowitz regarding rights, Rights are not divine or naturally existing but are invented by societies through experience, often by learning from mistakes 12 The negative impact of the Religious Right Taxpayers of Kentucky s 40 million proselytizing theme park, denying separation of Church and State, in bed with corporate interests environmental concerns, global warming , tax payer funded faith based initiatives, overpopulation denial, denying evolution, etc 13 What Secular Americans want the emergence of Secular Americans.14 The impact of conservation religion and women s rights.15 The rise of the Secular Movement and reason for hope New concepts of community.16 Legal setbacks and successes Many great examples.17 A wonderful job of laying out a new plan of action Provides a model that is copied from I won t spoil it.18 The future of the Secular Movement Education and politics Negatives 1 Going through the book I had a sense of d j vu As an avid reader and a supporter of secular values, I am very familiar with a lot of what is in this book, so many times it felt like a refresher Be that as it may, this book is well organized and well thought out and will serve as a personal reference Further, Niose does provide new ideas and a sound approach to advancing secular issues.2 Very few notes and no formal bibliography.3 More charts and illustrations would have added value.In summary, I really enjoyed this book, so why not give it 5 stars Because if you are an avid reader and familiar with the secular movement as I am you will find very little new here That being said, the book is very sound and reference quality Niose does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of the secular movement and provides sound advice for its future and how it relates to the welfare of our society I highly recommend it Further suggestions Freethinker by Susan Jacoby, Society without God by Phil Zuckerman, Why Are You Atheists So Angry Great Christina, Doubt A History by Jennifer Hecht, Can We Be Good Without God by Robert Buckman, Moral Combat by Sikivu Hutchinson, The Religion Virus by Craig A James, Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Man Made God by Barbara G Walker, Godless by Dan Barker, God s Defenders by S.T Joshi, God and the Folly of Faith by Victor Stenger, Atheist Universe by David Mills, The Conservative Assault on the Constitution by Erwin Chemerinsky, Attack of the Theocrats by Sean Faircloth, The Republican Brain by Chris Mooney, Republican Gomorrah by Max Blumenthal, Merchants of Doubt Erik m Conway, Why the Religious Right Is Wrong by Rob Boston and American Fascists by Chris Hedges I have reviewed all the aforementioned books look for the tag Book Shark Review in. I wasn t sure I would like this book when I first picked it up It s about the politics of religion in America, and I don t consider myself politically minded enough to actually sit down and read a book on the subject Nevertheless, I found this book fascinating in the ways that it opened my eyes to the way that Secular Americans are mistreated and even marginalized in the religiously political environment of America today It wasn t always so Politicians used to understand the importance of separating church and state, but due to the rise of the so called Moral Majority and Religious Right, any politician who dares profess anything less than faith in the Christian God risks the distrust and antagonism of his or her constituents.As president of the American Humanist Association, Mr Niose does not approach the subject of religion in America with dispassionate rigor, but is careful to present his arguments intelligently and fairly, even indicating places where certain data could be interpreted both ways He makes a compelling case for moderation of religion in politics and also for Secular Americans to stand up and be noticed He notes that most Secular Americans are ambivalent about standing up and denouncing religion they don t have an agenda to proselytize nor do they care much what another person believes, but in the America of today where a specific religion is being privileged through legal means, the rights of Secular Americans are being actively infringed, and the beliefs of Secular Americans are increasingly portrayed as amoral and un American.Taking a cue from the LGBT communities progress in recent years, he encourages all Secular Americans to come out of the closet and let those around them know that they are not religious, so that all Americans can see through the propaganda when the Religious Right insists that we are a nation of believers This is the only way that a secular viewpoint will be tolerated amidst the heated rhetoric of the overtly religious, and the only way that Secular Americans will gain a seat at the political table.