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Attack of the Theocrats!: How the Religious Right Harms Us All — and What We Can Do About It

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3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  721 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
At no time in history has the United States had such a high percentage of theocratic members of Congress—those who expressly endorse religious bias in law. Just as ominously, especially for those who share the values and views of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, at no other time have religious fundamentalists effectively had veto power over one of the country’s two majo ...more
Hardcover, 168 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Pitchstone Publishing (first published September 1st 2011)
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Ivonne Rovira
Apr 25, 2015 Ivonne Rovira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thoughtful theists, too
I’ve been a faithful church-goer for most of my 57 years, but I have always said that I don’t want my church teaching my kids math or my kids’ school teaching them religion. Needless to say, I’m a firm believer in the First Amendment’s separation of church and state. When I see today’s politicians embracing right-wing evangelicalism at the same time as they despise all of the things that Jesus actually taught (e.g., comfort for the poor and afflicted, healing the sick, compassion for prisoners a ...more
Zena Ryder
Jun 03, 2013 Zena Ryder rated it it was ok
Not including references is an unforgivable sin. I've no problem with anecdotes — indeed I agree with Faircloth that they're necessary, in order to pique people's interest and activate their compassion — but the claims he makes necessitate references. Even if he wanted to keep the book thin and readable for the "average" person (a fine aim) the references could be put on a website. There is no excuse.

As for the material, much of it is incredibly disturbing. Religious extremists on the Christian
...more
Emily Dietle
Aug 14, 2014 Emily Dietle rated it really liked it
This past October, while attending the TX Freethought Convention, I had the opportunity to hear Sean Faircloth speak. Directly following his presentation, I ventured to the bookstore and purchased his first book, Attack of the Theocrats! How the Religious Right Harms Us All — and What We Can Do About It (which is officially released today).

Earlier in the day I had perused the bookstore and had bypassed the gaudy bookcover a few times. The maxim rings true, as the contents of this book are superb
...more
Book
Jan 01, 2012 Book rated it really liked it
Attack of the Theocrats: How the Religious Right Harms Us All - and What We Can Do About It by Sean Faircloth

"Attack of the Theocrats" is the brief yet effective book on how the religious right has used their political clout to cause harm to the rest of us. Sean Faircloth's interesting secular manifesto is a product of an interesting background that includes: his formal education as a lawyer, his years as a politician serving five terms in the Maine Legislature, his leadership and vision led to
...more
Thomas Lawson
Dec 18, 2011 Thomas Lawson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will always have faith in humanity, regardless of the examples that Mr. Faircloth uses in this book. I will always know that the good people of this world outnumber the few that would leave a little girl alone to die in a van or beat a child with a piece of plumbing equipment. But I also know that small numbers of people can do powerful things. Less than 45% of Americans attend church on a weekly basis, yet Washington seems to be under the thumb of these people. Why? Fear, for one. Fear works ...more
Alex
Jul 01, 2012 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
While admittedly a liberal and not religious, the author seeks to gain support for a separation of church and state from all groups that are interested in this task. This would include libertarians and moderates with links to religion. His arguments are more important than removing the 1954 addition of one nation under god to our pledge.

The arguments he makes are the injustice of giving religious organizations special privileges similar secular organizations have to follow. His examples include
...more
Dan Arel
Apr 07, 2012 Dan Arel rated it it was amazing
This book is a call to arms. This should be required reading for all america, not just atheist or secular ones.

Our country is being transformed away from our true secular history and we are quickly becoming a theocratic nation. Sean Faircloth sees this clearly and he lays out a plan to stop it from happening!

I have recently had the pleasure of seeing Faircloth speak in person and this book is as inspiring as his speeches. Secular Americans must come together and make our voices heard before its
...more
Jim Razinha
Apr 03, 2012 Jim Razinha rated it it was amazing
I read James Loewen's Lies My Teacher Told Me in 1995 and still consider it one of the most infuriating books I've ever read - because it completely disrupted what I thought I knew about history. I can use that same word (infuriating) to describe this book. I already knew most of this,, but Faircloth pulls it all together into one short volume. One short, yet utterly outrageous, teeth-grinding, damning indictment of the scariest trend in modern history.

Faircloth does a pretty good job of present
...more
Michael Hicks
Oct 23, 2014 Michael Hicks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sean Faircloth is a man with strong credentials to back up his work in Attack Of The Theocrats! How The Religious Right Harms Us All - And What We Can Do About It. As a five-term politician on the Main Legislature, serving as Majority Whip during his last term, former executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, as well as director of strategy and policy for the US branch of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, he has a solid history from which to draw upon in exami ...more
Caaaarlthellama
Jan 17, 2014 Caaaarlthellama rated it did not like it
Great ideas, horrible writing. I couldn't get over all the qualifications ("some say," "many people") he makes or the lack of quantitative evidence to support his claims. I was disappointed that, although I agreed very closely with Mr. Faircloth's opinions, it was far too easy to rebut them because he had stated them so weakly. In the end I stopped reading a third of the way through; it is the first book in four years that I haven't finished.
Dan Gilbert
Jan 06, 2012 Dan Gilbert rated it liked it
Overall, it contained good information. Faircloth's inconsistent use of sarcasm as humor was disconcerting, however, and hurt the seriousness of the book's main points.
Matthew
Apr 29, 2012 Matthew rated it did not like it
Little more than an extended pamphlet for the Secular Coalition for America
Shaz
Mar 21, 2012 Shaz rated it did not like it
Though I am sympathetic to his cause, this book is repetitive and boring.
Beth Riches
Feb 20, 2016 Beth Riches rated it really liked it
Faircloth addresses the eroding wall of separation between church and state, and why it threatens our republic, in this book.

He includes an action plan for a broader secularist outreach in order to promote science and rationality. Contrary to what many seem to think, this is not an anti-religion stance; anyone is free to believe what they want, but not at the expense of health and welfare of children, or to the detriment of our future as a world leader.

One of the best points that Faircloth mak
...more
NJ Wong
Feb 03, 2016 NJ Wong rated it it was amazing
A pretty well written book by Sean Faircloth. It is very surprising to see the Republican Party in the United States becoming more and more irrational - fighting hugely expensive wars and lowering income tax at the same time, coddling to the rich and not taking care of the poor, promoting the faulty teaching of creationism and denying evolution, hankering for more and more religion in government when the founders were secularists. Sean Faircloth's manifesto is much needed to serve as a rallying ...more
Josiah Magnusson
I'm writing this review a couple of weeks after reading it, so forgive me if I'm sort of at a loss for words.

The first thing I would like to point out is that I think Faircloth's quotations and instantiations of past presidents and there political viewpoints is valid only insofar as it's used to show the contour of political thought throughout America's years. Unfortunately, Faircloth stated the views and ideas of Jefferson and Madison as if it was a good enough reason to effect change towards t
...more
Lissa
I agree with Faircloth's assertion that theocrats have way too much clout in the American political system. From the gay marriage "debate" (which the "major" argument is that the "sanctity" of heterosexual marriage needs to be protected from us evil queers, even though over half of those hallowed marriages end in divorce) to abortion (why are we still arguing about this in America?!?), fundamentalists try to cast their views as the "moral" ones (and, therefore, those with different views are "im ...more
Todd Martin
Despite the sensationalist title and cover Attack of the Theocrats! is a rather reasonable call to bolster the wall of separation between church and state that was the founders intention and to eliminates government policies that favor religious institutions and conflict with the establishment clause of the constitution. These include tax payer funded support for institutions that are allowed to discriminate in their hiring practices based on religion or sexual orientation, laws that permit lowe ...more
Michael
Jul 24, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it
In "Attack of the Theocrats," Sean Faircloth starts by painting a grim picture. Despite the United States being founded on solidly secular values, many believe that this is a theocratic country. Those who seek to make it a theocracy have significant political clout. Enough so that public gains in rationality have not spread to the federal government. Faircloth gives clear examples of the damage that theocratic exceptionalism currently does to the Republic.

Faircloth ends with a general plan to b
...more
Gayle Gordon
Aug 02, 2012 Gayle Gordon rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Read on Kindle.
Overall I liked this book. I love the ideas for action and the description of the Fundamentalist Fifty. Books like this spur me towards speaking up for myself and other secular people because I think this country is turning into a theocracy and we can't let it do that.
I do have to disagree with letting King and Kennedy completely off the hook for being unfaithful. I've always said that if people want to play the field and have a lot of partners because they can't manage to be mono
...more
Dale Jr.
This is, at its very core, a call to action for secular Americans. Faircloth presents his idea for a secular America and his passion for reinstating the Jefferson & Madison wall between church and state to its original glory, lays out his argument, and calls for every agnostic, atheist, and on-the-fence American to act.

There are no piles of facts or extensive citations of studies. The book is under 200 pages long and Faircloth presents his arguments succinctly. If you are aiming to persuade
...more
Winston
Apr 02, 2014 Winston rated it it was amazing
Concerned by faith-based initiatives, tax and regulatory exemptions for Christian "charities" (but which are conspicuously absent for the other religions out there, including Hinduism, which predates Judaism), Faircloth summons his biting sarcasm and thorough research skills for a well-reasoned clarion call to action. Although most of the theocrats he takes to task are Republicans, he does criticise Barack Obama for failing to remain faithful (no pun intended) to a pre-election promise.

Chock ful
...more
Timothy
Feb 15, 2014 Timothy rated it really liked it
Separation of church and state is a distant memory in the US. This is one of those books whose content makes you lose a bit of faith in humanity but at the same time, the fact it has been written does the reverse. I very much support Faircloth and what he does with the Richard Dawkins Foundation. As with many similar books it is very much preaching to the choir, I can't imagine there are many people who will read this who don't already agree wholeheartedly. But on the whole, a very well written ...more
Amjad
Apr 18, 2016 Amjad rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, politics
While reading the first chapters I thought I should put this book down because it is written by an American for the Americans, but the last two chapters are fully functional for all people in theocracy infested countries like Italy, Spain and all the Arab world... It presents a better approach and more practical step-by-step guide to establishing democracy and secularism than the Occupy Wall Street or Spanish protests' futile "activism" that might draw attention but yup, that's it, in the best c ...more
Ignacio
Sep 13, 2012 Ignacio rated it really liked it
The good: logic, eloquent, plenty of examples to support the argumentation, passionate about why the founding fathers were adamant about the separation of church and state, and why it is still extremely relevant. I was aware of some of the (criminally negligent) deaths due to faith healing, but not some of the most gruesome examples detailed here. The privileges and tax cuts to ministers of mega-churches sort of blew me away.

The less good: bit of repetition, not citing most quotes, writing style
...more
Sam knowles
Aug 21, 2012 Sam knowles rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Attack of the Theocrats is a fine book for those involved in the secular movement and definetly should read it. Despite that, I will also say that wile Sean has his moments of wits and good humor in this book, it is quite technical overall, so expect it to more informal in nature. From multimillion dollar christian televangelists to scheming fundamentalists politicians, and even Bible-thumping,meth-blowing and yes secretly gay megaministers--Sean tells all in this book. Regardless of how corrupt ...more
Ron Nurmi
Jan 18, 2016 Ron Nurmi rated it really liked it
A look at how religion is privileged in the U.S. He presents a 10 point plan to separate religion and government. He would like to return to the a wall of separation between religion and government as proposed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
Richard
Sep 03, 2013 Richard rated it really liked it
If you have never had the pleasure of hearing Mr. Faircloth speak, this book is an excellent introduction to his philosophy. If you have heard him talk then significant parts of the book may be redundant. Aside from that, this is a book for the already secular not the questioning. I say this because while there is a lot of information that should convince people that the "Religious Right" is gaining too much power in the US, the language of the book is frequently peppered with snarky comments. S ...more
Kerry
Sep 08, 2013 Kerry rated it liked it
This book was an odd combination of lots of stories about the undue influence of religion in our society as well as some appalling stories about the harm caused (and how our political system gives cover for those all in the name of non-interference with religion) contrasted with the second half of the book which seems to be an organizational action plan to re-balance societies back towards the secular underpinnings of the Constitution. So, you have half of the book is interesting and generates o ...more
Heather
May 23, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it


The cover art does this book a disservice. It is well written, well-researched, and makes a strong case that the religious right has hijacked the ideals of our forefathers and turned them on their head. I like that the author actually outlines a plan and methodology for reinstating Jeffersonian separation of church and state. He writes with passion and argues convincingly that fighting for secularism in our laws and government figures is one of the most compassionate and truly good things that
...more
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In his book, Attack of the Theocrats: How the Religious Right Harms Us All and What We Can Do About It, Faircloth writes about the unprecedented threat of rising theocracy in America, offers a specific Secular Decade plan to address the problem, and offers a ten point vision of a Secular America in keeping with the values of Jefferson and Madison.

Sean Faircloth served five terms in the Maine Legis
...more
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