Model Leadership for Atheists Worldwide, Australia & New Zealand
Congratulations on the formation of the Secular Coalition of Australia and New Zealand!
In 2012, Dr Meredith Doig and Rod Bower of the Rationalist Society of Australia contacted me about speaking in Australia and New Zealand. Initially, I was uncertain about making such a trip – after all, my book, Attack of the Theocrats: How the Religious Right Harms Us All and What We Can Do About It!, is about a strategic plan to rid American society of theocratic policies. My book is based largely on my experience as an American politician, lobbyist and political organizer. Also, I thought that since I work for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, people really would want Richard Dawkins himself – not me. Finally, I assumed that a secular speaking tour of Australia was redundant because it is perfect – they have no such problems Down Under. Right?
Nevertheless, Meredith Doig – perhaps the single most determined and well-organized volunteer secular activist I have met – kept answering questions and educating me. I continued on with my schedule, speaking and organizing on other issues, but, bit by bit, I came to recognize serious problems of church-state separation in Australia and New Zealand.
So, a trip was planned that led to my meeting a remarkable group of activists with a new focus for Australian and New Zealand secular events (after all, they’d already hosted wonderfully successful conferences). Our focus (I did feel I became at least an honorary Australian and New Zealander) was on public policy and the issues and laws unique to these countries that require a clear, strong secular response.
Written By: Sean Faircloth, RDFRScontinue to source article at secularcoalitionanz.org