Nonbeliever Nation

The Rise of Secular Americans

Author: David Niose

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1137055286

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 5769

DOWNLOAD NOW »

A new group of Americans is challenging the reign of the Religious Right Today, nearly one in five Americans are nonbelievers - a rapidly growing group at a time when traditional Christian churches are dwindling in numbers - and they are flexing their muscles like never before. Yet we still see almost none of them openly serving in elected office, while Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and many others continue to loudly proclaim the myth of America as a Christian nation. In Nonbeliever Nation, leading secular advocate David Niose explores what this new force in politics means for the unchallenged dominance of the Religious Right. Hitting on all the hot-button issues that divide the country – from gay marriage to education policy to contentious church-state battles – he shows how this movement is gaining traction, and fighting for its rights. Now, Secular Americans—a group comprised not just of atheists and agnostics, but lapsed Catholics, secular Jews, and millions of others who have walked away from religion—are mobilizing and forming groups all over the country (even atheist clubs in Bible-belt high schools) to challenge the exaltation of religion in American politics and public life. This is a timely and important look at how growing numbers of nonbelievers, disenchanted at how far America has wandered from its secular roots, are emerging to fight for equality and rational public policy.
Release

Elsewhere in America

The Crisis of Belonging in Contemporary Culture

Author: David Trend

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317225430

Category: Social Science

Page: 308

View: 8472

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Americans think of their country as a welcoming place where everyone has equal opportunity. Yet historical baggage and anxious times can restrain these possibilities. Newcomers often find that civic belonging comes with strings attached––riddled with limitations or legally punitive rites of passage. For those already here, new challenges to civic belonging emerge on the basis of belief, behavior, or heritage. This book uses the term "elsewhere" in describing conditions that exile so many citizens to "some other place" through prejudice, competition, or discordant belief. Yet, in another way, "elsewhere" evokes an undefined "not yet" ripe with potential. In the face of America’s daunting challenges, can "elsewhere" point to optimism, hope, and common purpose? Through 12 detailed chapters, the book applies critical theory in the humanities and social sciences to examine recurring crises of social inclusion in the U.S. After two centuries of incremental "progress" in securing human dignity, today the U.S. finds itself torn by new conflicts over reproductive rights, immigration, health care, religious extremism, sexual orientation, mental illness, and fear of terrorists. Is there a way of explaining this recurring tendency of Americans to turn against each other? Elsewhere in America engages these questions, charting the ever-changing faces of difference (manifest in contested landscapes of sex and race to such areas as disability and mental health), their spectral and intersectional character (recent discourses on performativity, normativity, and queer theory), and the grounds on which categories are manifest in ideation and movement politics (metapolitics, cosmopolitanism, dismodernism).
Release

Theism and Public Policy

Humanist Perspectives and Responses

Author: A. Pinn

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137465301

Category: Philosophy

Page: 180

View: 9394

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Does theism dominant the language and practices of public life in the United States? This volume explores this question from a humanist perspective, and in so doing it provides insight into the relationship of religion to public policy, and offers ways to advance a more democratic and secular public arena.
Release

Fighting Back the Right

Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason

Author: David Niose

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1137474831

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 4665

DOWNLOAD NOW »

The political scene is changing rapidly in America. The religious right is on the defensive, acceptance of gay rights is at an all-time high, social conservatives are struggling for relevance, and more Americans than ever identify as nonreligious. What does this mean for the country and the future? With these demographic shifts, can truly progressive, reason-based public policy finally gain traction? Or will America continue to carry a reputation as anti-intellectual and plutocratic, eager to cater to large corporate interests but reluctant to provide universal health care to all its citizens? Fighting Back the Right reveals a new alliance in the making, a progressive coalition committed to fighting for rational public policy in America and reversing the damage inflicted by decades of conservative dominance. David Niose, Legal Director of the American Humanist Association (AHA), examines this exciting new dynamic, covering not only the rapidly evolving culture wars but also the twists and turns of American history and politics that led to this point, and why this new alliance could potentially move the country in a direction of sanity, fairness, and human-centered public policy.
Release

Atheist Awakening

Secular Activism and Community in America

Author: Richard Cimino,Christopher Smith

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199392935

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 4841

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Surveys over the last twenty years have seen an ever-growing number of Americans disclaim religious affiliations and instead check the "none" box. In the first sociological exploration of organized secularism in America, Richard Cimino and Christopher Smith show how one segment of these "nones" have created a new, cohesive atheist identity through activism and the creation of communities. According to Cimino and Smith, the new upsurge of atheists is a reaction to the revival of religious fervor in American politics since 1980. Feeling overlooked and underrepresented in the public sphere, atheists have employed a wide variety of strategies-some evangelical, some based on identity politics-to defend and assert themselves against their ideological opponents. These strategies include building and maintaining communities, despite the absence of the kinds of shared rituals, texts, and laws that help to sustain organized religions. Drawing on in-depth interviews with self-identified atheist, secularist, and humanist leaders and activists, as well as extensive observations and analysis of secular gatherings and media, Cimino and Smith illustrate how atheists organize and align themselves toward common goals, and how media-particularly web-based media-have proven invaluable in connecting atheists to one another and in creating a powerful virtual community. Cimino and Smith suggest that secularists rely not only on the Internet for community-building, but on their own new forms of ritual. This groundbreaking study will be essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the growing atheist movement in America.
Release

Sport, Spectacle, and NASCAR Nation

Consumption and the Cultural Politics of Neoliberalism

Author: J. Newman,M. Giardina

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 0230338089

Category: Education

Page: 288

View: 4123

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Sport, Spectacle, and NASCAR Nation critically interrogates stockcar racing's ascendance into the upper-echelon of the North American sporting popular. While most contributions to the public discourse gloss over NASCAR's exclusively white racial identity politics, its underlying patriarchal gender politics, its overtly conservative political commitment, its hyper-Christian orthodoxy, and its omnipresent commercialism, this book connects the dots and critically analyzes the problematic nature of this non-natural, strategically-orchestrated sporting spectacle.
Release

Converting a nation

a modern inquisition and the unification of Italy

Author: Ariella Lang

Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan

ISBN: 9780230606722

Category: History

Page: 237

View: 433

DOWNLOAD NOW »

"In this revealing account of Catholic conversion in Unification Italy, Lang ably demonstrates the strength of Catholic political opinion in the shaping of national Italian identity during the Unification period. Lang's work examines a variety of newspapers, novels, and inquisition trials whose narratives unfolded in step with the formation of the nation-state. These narratives of conversion allowed the Church and its supporters to tell a story of national conquest and to advocate a society that upheld the legal, social, and religious tenets of Christianity. In a vehement rejection of modernization, these stories are indicative of the Vatican's quest to ensure that the future Italian state and its citizenry remained the promised land and chosen people of the Catholic Church - a quest that had serious ramifications for Italian and Vatican politics in the twentieth century."--BOOK JACKET.
Release

Exile Nation

Drugs, Prisons, Politics & Spirituality

Author: Charles Shaw

Publisher: Catapult

ISBN: 1593764847

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 386

View: 9254

DOWNLOAD NOW »

“Exile Nation tells the dirty story none of us really wants to hear . . . Shaw ‘did time’ in prison and lived to write about it.” —John Perkins, New York Times bestselling author Originally published as a series on Reality Sandwich and The Huffington Post, Exile Nation is a work of “spiritual journalism” that grapples with the themes of drugs, prisons, politics, and spirituality through Shaw’s personal story. In 2005, Shaw was arrested in Chicago for possession of MDMA and was sent to prison for one year. Shaw not only looks at the current prison system and its many destructive flaws, but also at how American culture regards criminals and those who live outside of society. He begins his story at Chicago’s Cook County Jail, and uses its sprawling, highly corrupt infrastructure to build upon his overarching argument. This is an insider’s look at the forgotten or excluded segments of our society, the disenfranchised lifestyles and subcultures existing in what Shaw calls the “exile nation.” They are those who lost some or all of their ability to participate in the full opportunities of society because of an arrest or conviction for a non-violent, drug-related, or “moral offense,” those who cannot participate in the credit economy, and those with lifestyle choices that involve radical politics and sexuality, cognitive liberty, and unorthodox spiritual and healing practices. Together they make up the new “evolutionary counterculture” of the most significant epoch in human history. “Extraordinary.” —Chicago Tribune
Release