About the Book

Do you want the greatest political and societal challenges of the day to be addressed with thoughtful, reality-based solutions rather than with cherry-picked quotations from scripture? Do you want to shrink religion—especially fundamentalist religion—to the point that it plays no noticeable role in public life? Do you want right-wing religious leaders to be so unpopular that politicians avoid them rather than pander to them for endorsements? Drawing on the latest social-scientific research on religion, How to Defeat Religion in 10 Easy Steps illustrates specific, actionable steps nonbelievers—and even progressive believers—can take to facilitate fundamentalist religion’s decline. With each of its ten chapters focusing on a specific strategy that research has shown can weaken religion, detailing the how and why, the volume covers topics as far ranging as education, welfare, sex, science, capitalism, and Christmas, and offers a wide range of recommendations for individuals, local groups, and national organizations interested in speeding up secularization.

About the Author

Ryan T. Cragun is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Tampa and the author of Could I Vote for a Mormon for President? and What You Don’t Know about Religion (but Should). His research is regularly featured in national media. He lives in Tampa, Florida.


ISBN: 9781634310123 (paperback)

SRP: $12.95

Page count: 200 pages

Trim size: 4.75 x 7

Pub date: May 2015

Ebook availability: Yes

Audiobook availability: Yes

Introduction. Step 1: Promote and Defend Secular Education. Step 2: Empower Gender, Sexual, and Racial Minorities. Step 3: Provide “This Life” Security. Step 4: Encourage Sexual Liberation for Everyone. Step 5: Stop Subsidizing Religion and Deregulate It. Step 6:  Encourage Regulated Capitalism. Step 7: Support Education, Art, and Science. Step 8: Syncretize Holidays and Rituals. Step 9: Change Society to Value Critical Thinking and Scientific Inquiry. Step 10:Teach Humanist Ethics in School. Conclusion. Notes. Bibliography.


“Dr. Cragun makes a compelling case that secular activism must be more proactive than reactive, that we’re at our best when we're united in purpose, organized and positive, and that many religious people can be nudged into discovering that (despite their outward professions of faith) they're already living largely secular lives. How to Defeat Religion in 10 Easy Steps speaks to the need for a cultural shift, and it provides useful ideas for creating one.”

Seth Andrews, host of The Thinking Atheist


“This is a rare ‘How to…’ book that actually provides wonderful ideas on—’How to.’ Good books about atheism and humanism abound, but Cragun’s book is much more than just an excellent read. Based on his wealth of experience as a social scientist, he offers ample evidence for effective strategies to marginalize religion. Whether you want to become more engaged as an individual, or as part of a local or national group, Cragun suggests a variety of activities in each thoughtful chapter. And the good news is that it can be both easy and fun. You might find it difficult to do everything this book advises, but I think you will find it even more difficult to resist following at least some of the sage advice offered.”

Herb Silverman, founder and president of the Secular Coalition for America and author of Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt

“Ryan Cragun gets to the heart of the matter in his eminently readable ‘10 Steps’ book. Want a society free from religious dictates? Give people a real social safety net so they aren’t relegated to invoking a nonexistent deity for security, support science, art and education, the pillars of a progressive, cultured and worldly citizenry, and defend a secular education for all children, so kids have a foundation in science and the tools they need to critically assess the truth about religion. Add to these a few other ingredients Ryan helpfully offers, wait a generation and, viola, secularism flourishes. Most of us who are nonreligious could have come up with a similar list, but Ryan shortcuts the work for us, laying out a plan that he calls subversive but is largely just about building a better society for us all.”

Robyn Blumner, executive director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science

Advance Praise