About the Book

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 major political parties. As Sean Faircloth argues in this deeply sobering yet highly engaging book, this has led to the crumbling of the country's most cherished founding principle—the wall of separation between church and state.

    While much of the public debate in the United States over church-state issues has focused on the construction of nativity scenes in town squares and the addition of "under  God" to the Pledge, Faircloth, a former politician and current director of strategy and policy for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (U.S.), moves beyond the symbolism to explore the many ways federal and state legal codes privilege religion in law. He demonstrates in vivid detail how religious bias in law harms all Americans—financially, militarily, physically, socially, and educationally—and directs special attention to the outlandish words, views, and policy proposals of the most theocratic politicians, a group he labels the Fundamentalist Fifty. Sounding a much-needed alarm for all who care about the future direction of the country, Faircloth concludes by offering an inspiring ten-point vision of an America returned to its secular roots and by providing a specific and sensible plan for realizing this vision. Both his vision and his plan remember and remind that the United States is, above all else, one nation under the Constitution.

About the Author

Sean Faircloth is the director of strategy and policy for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (US). He served for a decade in the Maine State Legislature, where he successfully spearheaded over thirty pieces of legislation. He was elected majority whip by his colleagues in his last term.

“Sean Faircloth is doing such important work. There's not a doubt in my mind that if he was (suddenly, inexplicably) zapped back in time to meet Thomas Jefferson, that the Founding Father would clap him on the back and say “Thanks.””

—Adam Savage, co-host and executive producer of MythBusters


Sean Faircloth discussing the book

Op-ed in Los Angeles Times

Foreword by Richard Dawkins. Preface. Introduction: The Crumbed Wall between Church and State. Our Secular Heritage: One Nation under the Constitution. Religious Bias in Law Harms Us All. Genital Morality vs. Real Morality. Two American Traditions: Religious Hucksters and Secular Innovators. The Theocrats. The Secularists. Secularism—Born Again. Our Secular Decade: A Strategic Plan. A Vision of a Secular America. Afterword. Appendix: Secular Coalition for America. Acknowledgments. Selected Bibliography. Index.


Sean Faircloth presenting his ten-point plan

“Faircloth paints a sobering picture, but fortunately, as anyone who has heard his speeches knows, he also has an inspiring and invigorating vision to offer. . . . Readers will finish the book exercised, energized, and eager to join Faircloth in a bold rediscovery of the secular dream of the European Enlightenment and America’s enlightened Fathers.”

Richard Dawkins, from the foreword to Attack of the Theocrats!

“I've devoted the last twenty years of my professional life to pointing out unscientific assertions that harm or swindle innocent people. It becomes particularly insidious when unsound reasoning is used to justify and apply unjust laws. This book describes this very real problem in America today, then offers a bold plan to do something about it.”

James Randi, Founder of the James Randi

Educational Foundation

“What does the erosion of America's noble separation of church and state the basis of the first secular government in the world have to do with your everyday life? In this lively and historically grounded survey of the way we live now, the author explains why the thirty-year-old assault on church-state separation affects all of us from children who are not getting a world-class education in science because of fundamentalist interference with the teaching of biology to soldiers subjected to evangelical proselytizing on military bases. Nothing could be more timely than this reminder that the founders left God out of the Constitution to provide citizens of every faith and no faith the freedom to act on their consciences. We ignore this historic liberty, the gift of America's founding generation, at our peril.”

Susan Jacoby, author of Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism and The Age of American Unreason

“Faircloth makes a compelling case for people everywhere to steadily reestablish Thomas Jefferson’s fundamental idea and keep religions out of politics. Read this, and you'll become a Constitution thumper.”

Bill Nye the Science Guy

Advance Praise


ISBN: 978-098449324-1/978-098449325-8


SRP: $21.95/$14.95 (hardcover/paperback)

Page count: 168 pages

Trim size: 6 x 9

Pub date: February 2012/October 2012


Ebook availability: Yes

Audiobook availability: Yes


Review in ForeWord Reviews