Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A vision for a secular America - Sean Faircloth - http://www.washingtonpost.com/

By SEAN FAIRCLOTH - HTTP://WWW.WASHINGTONPOST.COM/
Added: Sat, 24 Mar 2012 12:01:09 UTC

The Reason Rally is necessary because secular Americans want to restore the values of our nation’s founders. As one of the speakers at the Reason Rally, I offer a specific vision and plan for a secular America.

In 2012 the Religious Right has veto power over one of two major political parties in the most powerful nation on earth. To win the Republican nomination all candidates must pledge allegiance to One Nation Under a Religious Right God. Yet Mr. Conservative, Barry Goldwater, said, “I don’t have any respect for the Religious Right.” Why the change?

Shortly after the 1980 Republican convention, Ronald Reagan, stood before evangelical ministers in Dallas, declaring, “I know that you cannot endorse me” but “I endorse you.” This pivotal declaration, the culmination of effective organizing by the Religious Right, led to our current unprecedented moment in history.

Often unnoticed by the media, theocratic laws, as I document in my book, have already been passed in Congress and legislatures throughout America.

In the 1970s the Religious Right got organized, winning seats on school boards, city councils, and in legislatures. Religious bias in government is widespread:

-- theocratic laws endangering children (religious bias in faith-healing, vaccination, corporal punishment)

-- Stem cell research still thwarted by religion

-- “Faith based initiatives” discriminating with tax money

-- Vouchers funding schools discriminating with tax money

-- Government money for Scouts discriminating against gay people and the non-religious. (Girl Scouts don’t discriminate.)

-- Religious bias in land use planning

-- Religious bias in schools and textbooks

-- Student loans funneling tax money to creationist colleges

-- Religious bias impeding end of life autonomy

These laws harm thousands of people, religious and non-religious. Due to a federal loophole, there’s a separate legal standard in over 35 states for the misnamed “faith-healing” of children. Hundreds of children every year experience horrible suffering in the name of faith.

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TAGGED: HARM, POLITICS, RELIGION

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