About the Book

Are you interested in preserving the constitutional principle of church-state separation? Do you think a secular system is the only way to ensure freedom of religion and conscience for all? Do you want creationism out of classrooms, religious dogma out of health care, sectarian prayers out of government meetings, and taxpayer funding out of “faith-based” initiatives and programs that promote religious indoctrination? Think there’s not much you can do about it? If so, as secular writer and activist Dan Arel demonstrates in word and deed, think again. Drawing on his experience fighting to keep $18 million in taxpayer money out of the construction of the Noah’s Ark theme park in Kentucky, Arel makes clear that the only way to stop the Religious Right’s assault on the wall separating church and state is for each of us to be active and vocal. He offers pragmatic lessons and guidance for protecting secularism, whether by raising awareness on social media, protesting in the public square, or knocking on doors in government corridors. Sharing not only his story but also the stories of other secular activists, he offers an inspirational and forceful call to action. For those who are waiting for others to stand up against antisecular forces, he reminds that each of us can make an individual difference—and that ultimately we must be the wall separating church and state.

Dan Arel is an award-winning freelance journalist who writes full time for Danthropology, his blog on the Patheos Network, and whose work has appeared in Time, Salon, AlterNet, the Huffington Post, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science website, American Atheist magazine, and many other outlets. He is the author of Parenting Without God. David Silverman is president of American Atheists and author of Fighting God: An Atheist Manifesto for a Religious World.

About the Author

“The Secular Activist is a call to action that provides the necessary ammunition to fight the invasive Christian Right. Author Dan Arel draws on his vast experience as an animal rights activist, and more recently as a secular activist to pave the way for the next generation to succeed in making change. Arel charts the progress that secular activists made so far while showing where need is still greatest. Scathing analyses of right wing moves like the Ark Encounter and the Creationist Museum provides the backbone for The Secular Activist, compelling the reader to take action.”

—Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director of the American Humanist Association,

and author of Creating Change Through Humanism

"Secularism needs activism, and Dan Arel shows how to do it. With interesting anecdotes and nuts-and-bolts advice, Arel provides a valuable handbook for those who want to join the fight for reason and church-state separation. This is a useful resource that will enable budding secular activists to effectively engage in the culture wars."

—David Niose, author of Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans 


ISBN: 9781634310789 (paperback)

SRP: $12.95 (paperback)

Page count: 144 pages

Trim size: 4.74 x 7

Pub date: October 1, 2016

Ebook availability: Yes

Audiobook availability: Yes

“This big ole crazy planet got you down? Think things are just too big for you to make a difference? Feel totally helpless and don’t know what to do to make it right? You’re not alone. But don’t despair – you can make a difference right here, right now. Get the tools you need to become the activist you want to be in this black-belt course in guerilla world-changing from activist and journalist Dan Arel, the man who makes Ken Ham cry. The future is counting on you and the fight is ours to win!”

David Fitzgerald, author, Nailed and The Complete Heretic’s Guide to Western Religion series

“Reading for entertainment is perfectly fine. But reading to make a change in the lives of others is empowering. The Secular Activist is not only well-written and informative, it’s giving you the tools to be the change you want to see. As I often say, the next mind you change, could change thousands.”

David Smalley, host, Dogma Debate

The Secular Activist is a must-read for anyone interested in protecting the wall between church and state. Dan Arel shares his own inspiring story of secular activism and also gives us many practical insights on how to become better activists in our own ways. Not only does The Secular Activist get you fired up to fight for change, it will also provide you with the tools to do so!”

Matthew Facciani, sociologist and activist

“The wall of separation between church and state needs defenders from the religious and secular communities. Dan Arel has come along with some great advice for the secular wing, so if you’ve been yearning to find new ways to expand your activism, read the The Secular Activist. I think you'll be inspired and educated by Dan’s experiences. But be warned – it just might change your life!”

Rob Boston, Director of Communications, Americans United for Separation of Church and State

“Dan Arel's The Secular Activist is anything but a sophomore slump. Arel's words will revitalize you, affirm your work, in whatever way it may come, and will remind you what is truly at stake with activism. By using both his personal experience and others', Dan Arel shows the reader the highs and lows of activism, and what the consequences are for simply sitting by and waiting for others to act. A great read for anyone interested in what they can do for the greater good.”

Matthew O'Neil, author, What the Bible Really Does (and Doesn't) Say About Sex

Advance Praise