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."
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The overtly secular state of Singapore has unapologetically maintained an authoritarian approach to governance in the realm of religion. Islam is particularly managed by the state. Muslim activists thus have to meticulously navigate these realities - in addition to being a minority community - in order to maximize their influence in the political system. Significantly, Muslim activists are not a monolith: there exists a multitude of political and theological differences amongst them. This study analyses the following categories of Muslim activists: Islamic religious scholars (ulama), liberal Muslims, and the more conservative-minded individuals. Due to constricting political realities, many activists attempt to align themselves with the state, and call upon the state to be an arbiter in their disagreements with other factions. Though there are activists who challenge the state, these are by far in the minority, and are typically unable to assert their influence in a sustained manner.
Internationallty renowned author and activist Rustom Bharucha analyses a wide range of cultural activities, from film to street theatre, painting and literature, which attempt to counter the threats of communalism and globalization. Drawing on the anti-fascist and anti-imperialist legacy of movements of the 1940s, he questions what it means to be secular in India today, within the larger framework of cultural activism and citizenship.
In This Bold And Challenging New Book, The Author Charts The Shifting Dynamics Of Religion, Community And Civil Society In An Era Which Has Seen The Concurrent Rise Of Mass Media, Globalization And Religious Fundamentalism.
In this deeply revealing and engaging autobiography, Herb Silverman tells his iconoclastic life story. He takes the reader from his childhood as an Orthodox Jew in Philadelphia, where he stopped fasting on Yom Kippur to test God's existence, to his adult life in the heart of the Bible Belt, where he became a legendary figure within America's secular activist community and remains one of its most beloved leaders. Never one to shy from controversy, Silverman relates many of his high-profile battles with the Religious Right, including his decision to run for governor of South Carolina to challenge the state's constitutional provision that prohibited atheists from holding public office. He is equally candid about the battles he has faced in the secular community itself and the many hurdles he overcame in the historic step of politically uniting the country's major secular, humanist, and atheist groups under the banner of the Secular Coalition for America. Silverman combines a satirist's pen with an activist's passion, revealing in humorous and often moving ways a personal side few know. Candidate Without a Prayer offers an intimate portrait of a central player in today's increasingly heated culture wars.
A lifelong political activist gives an insiders view of how the political system works so opponents of President Donald Trump can use their knowledge to end the culture war and set a progressive agenda in Divided We Fall. In the book an updated edition of Culture Wars: The Threat to Your Family and Your Freedom Marie Alena Castle openly challenges the harm done in the name of religion, which she says is at the heart of our culture war. The book examines how religious extremists elected Trump and takes them to task for not caring who gets hurt as long as their religious ideology or social fantasy that pushes some primal button in their psyche is validated. Unlike other books critical of the role religion plays in politics, this one reveals how to counter the danger based on the authors long history of political activism. She has a been-there, done-that perspective and knows what works and what doesnt. Whether youre a believer, atheist, or fall somewhere else on the spiritual spectrum, youll want to learn how religion is changing the political landscape. This is an engaging, compelling and important book. The public is so unaware how fragile our constitutional rights are. The book reminds me of our military men and women who return to the states as amputees and then speak strongly against intolerance because they understand thats what the fight was all about. Andrew Dawkins, Minneapolis MN. Attorney, former Minnesota state legislator. The authors grasp of theology and understanding of its irrelevance to how we live are impressive. This is rare in books about religion, making this a valuable contribution to discussions of the role of religion in public life. Kirk Buchanan, Yucca Valley CA. Former Roman Catholic priest. We have to stop Marie from writing!! Panic attack by Roll over and play dead advocate, reacting to authors fearless opposition to religious-right assaults on our liberties.
Preaching to Convert offers an intriguing new perspective on the outreach strategies of U.S. evangelicals. Author John Fletcher frames these activities, from door-to-door proselytizing to the spirited sermons of superstar televangelists, as examples of activist performance, broadly defined here as acts performed before an audience in the hopes of changing hearts and minds. Most writing about activist performance has focused on left-progressive causes, events, and actors, and if evangelicals have appeared at all, they often appear as one-dimensional forces of ignorance or bigotry against which brave (left-leaning) activists must fight. Preaching to Convert argues against such a constricted view of activism and for a more nuanced understanding of U.S. evangelicalism as a movement defined by its desire to win converts and spread the gospel. In other words, evangelicals are activist performers par excellence. The book positions evangelicals as a diverse, complicated group confronting the loss of conservative Christianity’s default status in twenty-first–century U.S. culture. In the face of an increasingly secular age, evangelicals have been reassessing models of outreach. In acts like handing out Bible tracts to strangers on the street or going door-to-door with a Bible in hand, in elaborately staged horror-themed morality plays or multi-million-dollar creationist discovery centers, in megachurch services beamed to dozens of satellite campuses, and in controversial “ex-gay” ministries striving to return gays and lesbians to the straight and narrow, evangelicals are redefining what it means to be deeply committed in a pluralist world. The book’s engaging style and careful argumentation make it accessible and appealing to scholars and students across a range of fields.
What should be the place of Shari'a - Islamic religious law - in predominantly Muslim societies of the world? In this book, a Muslim scholar and human rights activist envisions a positive and sustainable role for Shari'a, based on a profound rethinking of the relationship between religion and the secular state in all societies.
- Author : Linell E. Cady
- Publisher : Columbia University Press
- Release Date : 2013-11-05
- Genre : Religion
- Pages : 344
- ISBN : 9780231536042
Global struggles over women's roles, rights, and dress increasingly cast the secular and the religious in tense if not violent opposition. When advocates for equality speak in terms of rights and modern progress, or reactionaries ground their authority in religious and scriptural appeals, both tend to presume women's emancipation is ineluctably tied to secularization. Religion, the Secular, and the Politics of Sexual Difference upsets this certainty by drawing on diverse voices and traditions in studies that historicize, question, and test the implicit links between secularism and expanded freedoms for women. Rather than position secularism as the answer to conflicts over gender and sexuality, this volume shows both religion and the secular collaborate in creating the conditions that generate them.
There has been a dramatic increase in the percentage of the US population that is not religious. However, there is, to date, very little research on the social movement that is organizing to serve the needs of and advocate for the nonreligious in the US. This is a book about the rise and structure of organized secularism in the United States. By organized secularism we mean the efforts of nonreligious individuals to build institutions, networks, and ultimately a movement that serves their interests in a predominantly religious society. Researchers from various fields address questions such as: What secularist organizations exist? Who are the members of these organizations? What kinds of organizations do they create? What functions do these organizations provide for their members? How do the secularist organizations of today compare to those of the past? And what is their likely impact on the future of secularism? For anyone trying to understand the rise of the nonreligious in the US, this book will provide valuable insights into organized efforts to normalize their worldview and advocate for their equal treatment in society.
"Smith provides the reader with a powerful new framework for assessing the secularization of American public life, including a wealth of new insights and historical evidence on religion in American institutions. For those interested in religion's changing role in the public arena, this is essential reading, certain to have tremendous impact."—Roger Finke, Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at Penn State and coauthor of Acts of Faith: Explaining the Human Side of Religion "Finally a much welcome sociological study of secularization that eschews assumptions of inevitability in favor of flesh-and-blood institutional histories, from the fields of education, journalism, and law to science, medicine, and even religion itself."—Ronald L. Numbers, Hilldale and William Coleman Professor of the History of Science and Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author of The Creationists "Secularization has long been talked about as if it were the inevitable product of vast impersonal forces operating above our heads. In this fascinating collection, the authors descend from the stratosphere to investigate the power struggles that actually brought about secularization in education, law, and journalism. A wonderful, arresting book that gives secularization a human face."—Nicholas Wolterstorff, author of John Locke and the Ethics of Belief "This book is sure to evoke debate, agreement, contention, and future research by historians, sociologists, political scientists, and scholars of American religion."—Rhys H. Williams, editor, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion
In Religious, Feminist, Activist, Laurel Zwissler investigates the political and religious identities of women who understand their social-justice activism as religiously motivated. Placing these women in historical context as faith-based activists for social change, this book discusses what their activities reveal about the public significance of religion in the pluralistic context of North America and in our increasingly globalized world. Zwissler's ethnographic interviews with feminist Catholics, Pagans, and United Church Protestants reveal radically different views of religious and political expression and illuminate how individual women and their communities negotiate issues of personal identity, spirituality, and political responsibility. Political activists of faith recount adventurous tales of run-ins with police, agonizing moments of fear and powerlessness in the face of global inequality, touching moments of community support, and successful projects that improve the lives of others. Religious, Feminist, Activist combines religion, politics, and globalization--subjects frequently discussed in macro terms--with individual personalities and intimate stories to provide a fresh perspective on what it means to be religiously and politically engaged. Zwissler also provides an insightful investigation into how religion and politics intersect for women on the political left.
New stories about religiously motivated progressive activism challenge common understandings of the American political landscape. To many mainstream-media saturated Americans, the terms “progressive” and “religious” may not seem to go hand-in-hand. As religion is usually tied to conservatism, an important way in which religion and politics intersect is being overlooked. Religion and Progressive Activism focuses on this significant intersection, revealing that progressive religious activists are a driving force in American public life, involved in almost every political issue or area of public concern. This volume brings together leading experts who dissect and analyze the inner worlds and public strategies of progressive religious activists from the local to the transnational level. It provides insight into documented trends, reviews overlooked case studies, and assesses the varied ways in which progressive religion forces us to deconstruct common political binaries such as right/left and progress/tradition. In a coherent and accessible way, this book engages and rethinks long accepted theories of religion, of social movements, and of the role of faith in democratic politics and civic life. Moreover, by challenging common perceptions of religiously motivated activism, it offers a more grounded and nuanced understanding of religion and the American political landscape.
The first book dedicated entirely to humanists of African descent, The Black Humanist Experience gives African American humanists the opportunity to discuss their reasons for leaving the religious fold and embracing a humanist life stance. As a minority within a minority, African American humanists may often feel isolated and misunderstood. These thoughtful essays help to draw attention to the vitality of the humanist movement within the black community and they put many myths about humanists to rest. Contrary to popular stereotypes, most humanists do not reject religion out of disillusionment, ignorance, desperation, or misanthropy. The contributors to this volume demonstrate that the decision to adopt the humanist viewpoint is based on intellectual honesty and the best information provided by science, history, comparative religion, and other scholarly disciplines. Moreover, they show that a central concern of humanists of all races is preservation and promotion of what humanist philosopher Paul Kurtz calls "the common moral decencies" shared by most religious and ethical systems. At a time when faith-based organizations are favored politically, especially within the black community, this timely collection of essays shows that humanism, with its emphasis on reason, free inquiry, moral decency, and justice, offers much to the challenges facing African Americans.
This book argues that basic demographic forces are essential to understanding the rise of Evangelical Republicans and Secular Democrats.