This video offers a new way to approach secular issues as well as articulating the specifics of the Ten Point Vision of a Secular America. Use the Ten Point vision as a way to frame secular advocacy.
This video offers specifics about what you can do to help organize in your state and region in collaboration with RDFRS-US.
Reframing our Message:
A Ten Point Vision of a Secular America
The Religious Right skillfully frames the national debate and has influence greater than their numbers. Via RichardDawkins.net, Sean Faircloth will frame secular policy position in ways designed to both rally secularists and enlist the general public. Our stand on church-state separation is the majority view.
It’s time to speak from strength. The Ten Point Vision was recently encapsulated in an exciting video entitled “Do You Believe in a Secular America” (see below). The Ten Point Vision offered in Faircloth’s book takes the moral high ground for secularism and challenges religion to follow our moral leadership. This approach is one that can help energize and grow membership and activism at the local and national level.
Our Resources Include You
We have assembled a superlative team to lead secularism and atheism into the future. The Richard Dawkins Foundation, US has unparalleled resources to achieve that mission. Our best resources are people. With the help of RDFRS-US, build a team to organize secularists in your state and community. Learn more here.
Resource #1: You. RichardDawkins.net is the most visited website in secularism. It is where secular innovation and secular ideas meet secular people who can and will take action. That’s you.
Resource #2: Richard Dawkins, DSc, FRS: One of the most respected scientists in the world and the biggest draw in secularism, Richard Dawkins always generates impressive crowds when visiting North America. On his Fall 2011 tour he drew an enthusiastic crowd of 2300 at Eastern Kentucky University. This is a movement, and Richard Dawkins is the catalyst that galvanizes it.
Resource #3: Executive Director Elisabeth Cornwell, PhD: An evolutionary psychologist, Elisabeth has been involved with the Richard Dawkins Foundation since its inception. Her innovative ideas include the OUT Campaign, Non-Believers Giving Aid, the science vignettes, the Four Horsemen and other DVDs, and bringing childcare to national conferences. She has worked to create an atmosphere of cooperation within the secular movement, bringing Richard and other speakers to conferences and university campuses across the US and Canada. Elisabeth has published in the popular press on matters ranging from science to women’s issues. USA Today listed her as one of the prominent women in the Freethought community. Through her leadership, RDF-US will continue to influence and expand the ideas and values of secularism on a global level.
Resource #4: Director of Strategy and Policy, Sean Faircloth. Sean brings experienced, strategic political leadership. Richard Dawkins asked Sean Faircloth, who served ten years in the Maine legislature, to serve as opening speaker for numerous Dawkins US speaking engagements. Watch “Atheism: A New Strategy” [live link] which offers a Ten Point Vision of a Secular America. Sean Faircloth authored Attack of the Theocrats, How the Religious Right Harms Us All and What We Can Do AboutIt. This book addresses the current religious tenor in politics with a specific plan to achieve a secular society. Click here to watch a video summary of the book, as well as individual chapters.
Resource #5: Dr. Andy Thomson, trustee: A psychiatrist, with an interest in evolutionary psychology, Dr. Thomson wrote the 2011 book, Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith . Thanks to the revolution in cognitive neurosciences, and the labors of many scientists, we are tantalizingly close to a comprehensive scientific answer to that question. Dr. Thomson speaks eloquently on this and other topics.
Resource #6: The Web Team: Led by Michael Cornwell, along with Niels Liebisch, Nick Johanssen, Kim Cox and professional consultants, we now have the most innovative web team in secularism. This team will continually improve an already cutting-edge secular website.
Resource #7: Suzy Lewis and The Dawkins Store: Our store makes the secular movement visible on the street, with clothing, stickers, pins, and much more.
Resource #8: Books and DVDs offering a reasoned and scientific approach to a wide variety of issues ranging from secularism to evolutionary biology and psychology.
A Strong Team Leading Substantive Projects Needs Your Help
The mission of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science is to support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and suffering.
RDFRS-US is now a catalyst of secularism in the US, consistently offering innovative ideas for a secular world, particularly in America where fundamentalist intolerance and the suffering it causes are so widespread. Our most important resource is our team of people.
Our team costs money. The religious right thrives on tithes, and they have been able to change American politics. Making our website continually better is expensive. Staff to carry out all these projects costs money. Bringing speakers to events throughout the US takes money. Bringing together distinct nontheist communities costs money. Researching, writing and reframing secular issues takes huge amounts of staff time. Coordinating the volunteers to staff the various community pages on the website takes huge amounts of staff time. All the current and new projects described here cost money. These projects are critically important to addressing the intolerance and suffering caused by fundamentalism in America and the world.
If you have not yet given to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, please donate now. Make it a monthly gift. If you’ve given before, please increase your gift. With your help the Foundation has made tremendous strides. The projects described here can be historic if you invest.
Exposing The Religio-Industrial Complex
The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science is your clearing-house for exposing the financial misdeeds of religious organizations, particularly those religious misdeeds that are aided by the government and often permitted by unjust tax laws. The innocuous sounding “parsonage exemption” has become an economic driver for fundamentalist ministers in particular. The growth of mega-churches, often with multiple ministers each, has exploited a dramatic injustice in the tax code offering a tax exemption pertaining to even to the most extravagant homes – if and only if you are clergy. This offers a powerful incentive to grow the church – and the home of its ministers. This outrage has not been sufficiently investigated. RDFRS-US will do so.
The RDFRS-US will produce an investigative documentary focusing on the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Religious” as well as the combination of religion and extremist politics. This documentary will stir people to the cause by exposing extreme injustices to the light of day and strategically evoking a justified emotional response from the broader public to these injustices that hurt real people every day. The expose will examine the pattern of abuse that occurs when one set of sexual morality is placed on a society by an extremist minority and contrast that with the pattern of behavior among the leadership of those extremists themselves.
Organizing and Advocacy Training for your Community
In his book, Sean Faircloth offers a Ten Point Vision of a Secular America and a specific strategic plan called Our Secular Decade to get us there [Learn More]. Faircloth spearheaded the idea of statewide policy-focused secular organizations in all fifty states. We need volunteers like you to reach this goal. With two decades of political experience, including ten years in elective office, two years lobbying at the state level, and two years at the federal level, Faircloth knows how to organize and advocate. Invite Sean Faircloth to do a secular organizing training in your community. Sean will speak and organize to create a strong secular social movement working with you in your community. To discuss organizing in your state contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
With our highly visited website and Richard Dawkins as catalyst, we will strategize and organize to ensure that our voices are heard on the national stage during the 2016 presidential election. This effort does not involve endorsing candidates but it does involve organizing to have our issues and values heard.
There are people who have the potential to run for office in your community. There are also numerous local, state, and federal elected officials who are secular but won’t say so. Often these are thoughtful hardworking public servants who may want to communicate with each other. Moreover, there are numerous districts in the United States where an openly secular elected official is entirely feasible. Sean Faircloth and RDFRS-US will facilitate communication and support for secular state, local, and federal candidates and ease the possibility for politicians to be openly secular. The goal will be to start seeing results in time for the 2016 election and meaningful growth in secular political strength by 2020.
It is time to let our voices be heard regarding the intrusion of religion in our schools and politics. Atheists along with millions of others are tired of being bullied by those who would force their own religious agenda down the throats of our children and our respective governments. We need to KEEP OUT the supernatural from our moral principles and public policies.
Clergy Project Information
The purpose of The Clergy Project is to provide a safe haven for active and former clergy who do not hold supernatural beliefs.
The purpose of the “Public Page” is to announce our existence and to reach out to current and former clergy who want to be a part of the group.
The Clergy Project launched a private, invitation only, website on March 21, 2011 with 52 members. Currently it has more than 280 members.
It originated from a growing awareness of the presence of these clergy and a concern about their dilemma as they moved beyond faith. There were three sources of this awareness and concern:
- Stories of the life experiences of former clergy that Dan Barker of the Freedom from Religion Foundation has been collecting over the years;
- A preliminary study of “Preachers Who Are Not Believers,” by philosopher Daniel Dennett and researcher Linda LaScola, published in March, 2010 in Evolutionary Psychology and The Washington Post;
- Ongoing discussions between Dan Barker and Richard Dawkins, author of “The God Delusion” about the need to help clergy who want to leave the ministry.
The Clergy Project is an on-line meeting place where former and active clergy can talk freely among themselves. “Adam”, still in ministry, “Chris” and Teresa, both former clergy, are the moderators; Dan Barker, former evangelical preacher, is the facilitator.
The Clergy Project was made possible through a donation from The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. The Clergy Project seeks ongoing donations as it expands to meet the needs of this rapidly growing community.
Organizing Secular Parents
Atheist and secular parents often face challenges in their community and share philosophies of child-rearing. The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science can facilitate the organization and communication of these groups, offering them greater exposure. RDFRS will provide hosting for this community and work with them on child-care access for secular events.
If you are interested in taking a leadership role in this effort, please contact organize@RichardDawkins.net.
Facilitating leadership by former Muslim, former Mormon, Latino atheists, and African-American atheists
As with The Clergy Project, each of these communities face unique challenges. Under the leadership of Executive Director Dr. Elisabeth Cornwell, RDFRS-US organized an unprecedented gathering at America’ premier traditionally African-American institution of higher education, Howard University. This provided an excellent opportunity to African-Americans atheists to meet, mingle, and organize.
The RDFRS-US will serve as welcoming crossroads that joins these communities together, offering encouragement and fellowship in what can be isolating circumstances. These projects will be led by people from the communities themselves, utilizing the highly visible RDFRS website to maximize resources and opportunities.
If you are interested in taking a leadership role in this effort, please contact organize@RichardDawkins.net.
Bringing Top Flight Speakers for your Community
Bring the Lou Appignani lecture series to your community. Dr. Andy Thomson, author of Why We Believe in God(s)? as well as Dr. Elisabeth Cornwell, Ph.D. Evolutionary Psychologist, are available for speaking engagements as are other speakers with whom we collaborate. Sean Faircloth is author of Attack of the Theocrats: How the Religious Right Harms Us All and What We Can Do About It. Sean Faircloth, a lawyer and ten year elected official, can discuss secular public policy, our nation's founding, grassroots organizing, and political strategy.
Perhaps you want Richard Dawkins to visit your community. We receive many such invitations. For more information regarding applying for a Richard Dawkins visit to your community, go to the section entitled, "Organizing to Have Richard Dawkins Speak in Your Community."
AN UNPARALLED CATALYST
Perhaps you want Richard Dawkins to visit your community. We receive many such invitations. These invitations are difficult to count much less analyze, but it is not impossible. Richard Dawkins is a scientist and author with limited time, but he cares about this movement. We will consider well-crafted packages proposing that Richard Dawkins visit a community.
We will assess those proposals based on their potential to have the highest possible positive impact for the secular and atheist movement. If Richard Dawkins were to come to your community can you demonstrate the ability to capitalize on his visit so that the community and the movement has a stronger organization and a stronger financial base than before Richard Dawkins arrived.
Anticipate six months to a year planning for a Richard Dawkins invitation. Written proposals should include specific plans to organize so that the visit is most effective for the movement, for community building and for RDFRS as well.
For more information, please email to email@example.com.