NEMITZ: Maine atheists seek lobbyist

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Rarely does a news release headline jump off the screen like this one that landed last week in my inbox: “Maine Atheists to Organize State Lobbying Group This Month.”

Good heavens. As if Maine doesn’t have enough to argue about these days.

Later this week, the Secular Coalition for America will open its phone lines to anyone and everyone in Maine who a) doesn’t believe in God, b) can’t be sure there is a God or c) believes, regardless of his or her spiritual underpinnings, that government at any level should not be doing anything in the name of the man (or woman) upstairs.

“This is a cry that is not somewhere on the fringes,” said Sean Faircloth, who directed the coalition until last year and still supports its effort to establish a chapter in each of the 50 states by year’s end.

“This is a mainstream cry from America,” Faircloth continued. “There is a cry in America saying, ‘What is going on that we are constantly having religion imposed on us in American life?’ “

Faircloth, you might remember, represented Bangor as a Democrat for four terms in the Maine House and one in the Senate between 1992 and 2008. He now lives in Virginia and directs strategy and policy for the Richard Dawkins Foundation, which supports “scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and suffering.”

Pushing back

In other words, Faircloth is not just an atheist. He’s an atheist who’s built a new career on pushing pack against a religious right that, in his opinion, has far more influence than it should over what goes on both in Washington, D.C. and in statehouses from Maine to California.

“I think the religious right is a minority that, to their credit, punches beyond their weight class,” Faircloth said in an interview Friday. “But they’re still a minority.”

The state-level organizing — in addition to Maine, the coalition will conduct “organizing calls” this week in nine other states and the District of Columbia — comes at a noteworthy time in American politics.

Written By: Bill Nemitz – Kenebec Journal
continue to source article at kjonline.com

8 COMMENTS

  1. Which 9 other States specifically is this organizing going to occur in???? And if Illinois isn’t one of them, when will
    it be????? The article above  doe not go into enough detail.

    Sean, if you read this, could you please put a response somewhere in this discussion thread???

    Thanks,

    The Kid

  2. Kidchicago,
     
    I found this list of states on http://www.secular.org/states. There is a conference call being held (or has already been held) on the date next to each state. It looks like an Illinois conference call will be held on Sept 13. 
     
    Call-in number: (530) 881-1400
    Participant Access Code: 978895

    District of Columbia – Tuesday, September 11th at 1pm ET
    Maryland – Tuesday, September 11th at 2pm ET
    Delaware – Tuesday, September 11th at 3pm ET
    Oregon – Tuesday, September 11th at 4pm ET
    Wisconsin – Wednesday, September 12th at 2pm ET
    Louisiana – Wednesday, September 12th at 3pm ET
    Nevada – Wednesday, September 12th at 4pm ET
    Maine – Thursday, September 13th at 1pm ET
    New Jersey – Thursday, September 13th at 2pm ET
    Illinois – Thursday, September 13th at 3pm ET
    Idaho – Thursday, September 13th at 4pm ET

  3. Jim,

    Many thanks for the above info. 

    Geez, on the internet, words alone can’t always convey the  tonality which  rides atop the content of what you’re attempting to post! (please note, only 1 exclamation point here)

    But I agree with you about my message above, –I’ll try to limit my use of superfluous punctuation.

    And the interrobang, as you call it, looks OK to me.

    Also, never use a preposition to end a sentence with.

    Thanks again, and have a great day!

  4. I tried to reply to two people in one comment (I guess that was a mistake on my part). The first part of my comment about the states and dates was directed to you Kidchicago. The second part of my comment about punctuation was a question directed to Jim. I just wanted to make sure there is no confusion because I’m not qualified to correct anyone’s grammar or spelling. I understand the way that I responded to Jim Fox made it kind of look like my signature was “Jim Fox”. Well, I learned my lesson, from now on I’ll only respond to one person in each of my comment. I updated my previous comment to make sure there’s no more confusion.

  5. “Atheist agenda – not going to be well received – it’ll take a while, if not an eternity”.

    I sense a Catch-22 scenario.  As the author indicated, the RR is a minority, but to their credit
    they punch beyond their weight class.  I see it as they have more bite than bark.  
    If atheists bark, they might unilaterally be ignored.  If they bite, an angry backlash might ensue.
    Rinse and repeat…

    Good luck to Maine herding cats; cats will come if they are hungry – in this case hungry for representation.
    =^_^=

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