Episode 115 :: Sean Faircloth :: Attack of the Theocrats

| May 6, 2012 | 1 Comment

Sean Faircloth

Sean Faircloth returns to speak with us about his new book, Attack of the Theocrats, and his new role with the Richard Dawkins Foundation.

Question: what does secular Buddhism have to do with politics? Or, maybe more accurately, what does politics have to do with secular Buddhism? The answer is quite alot, at least in the United States, as it turns out. The unfortunate fact is that secular Buddhists’ right to practice as they see fit is every bit as threatened as those same rights of Buddhists from more traditional settings, as Hindus, as Muslims, as… atheists.

This is not a topic we talk about very much, this separation of church and state, and that may be putting our freedoms at risk. As a practicing Buddhist, I imagine the idea of a Christian biblical flood being taught as science in the classroom to your children might not sit so well with you. But for many others, the response is, “what’s the big deal?” We’re just not in the habit of questioning the privilege one religious view enjoys over other religious views, or non-religious views.

What those same supporters of unscientific ideas like intelligent design fail to realize is that by opening the door to one religious ideological stance, they open the door to them all — including ones with which they disagree. Protecting this separation between our choices in what we find personally uplifting, and how we govern as a society, protects all of us.

Sean Faircloth served five terms in the Maine Legislature, served on the Judiciary and Appropriations Committee, and was elected Majority Whip by his colleagues. In two years as Executive Director of Secular Coalition for America, Faircloth conceived and led the Secular Decade plan, a specific strategic vision for resecularizing American government. As Director of Strategy and Policy for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason, Faircloth will expand his strategic efforts on behalf of the entire secular movement, speak regarding policy issues, discuss the ideas in his book, and seek innovative ways to improve the secular movement. Faircloth has spoken around the United States about separation of church and state, the Constitution, children’s policy, obesity policy, and sex crime law.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Mint Julep.

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Music for This Episode

Shakuhachi Meditations

Shakuhachi Meditations

The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez’s CD, Shakuhachi Meditations. The tracks used in this episode are:

  • Shunyata

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Category: Book Reviews, The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

Comments (1)

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  1. Tom Alan says:

    I’ve always felt that there’s an inherent weakness in theocratic politics. It became obvious when religious figures entered the political realm that they had become targets for the editorial cartoonists, just like politicians. Pat Robertson was flabbergasted that he was not being treated like “reverend clergy” while running for president. When religious leaders like Robertson publicly aligned themselves with the Republicans, thinking that this would add glory to the GOP, it was just a matter of time until the Republicans looked silly, thus diminishing the glory of religion. Fox network is no longer content with using Pat Robertson as a comic figure. Jesus Christ himself is a comic figure on shows like Family Guy. The image of Jesus is considered no more sacred than the image of a politician.

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