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Niose in Minneapolis

I’m terribly late with this, because I thought I’d blogged it already. David Niose is in town tomorrow for a Secular Coalition for America event in which I’ll be taking a small part. Details:

Workshop on “Nonbeliever Nation:
The Rise of Secular Americans” with activist and author
David Niose (nee-OH-see)
Saturday, June 8, 2013
10:00 AM–2:30 PM with lunch break noon-1 PM
Lower Assembly Hall of First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis
900 Mount Curve Avenue, Mpls, MN 55403, uphill from Walker Art Center

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 his book Nonbeliever Nation and this workshop, 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.

David Niose is an attorney, activist, and author of Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans. He is President of the Washington, DC-based Secular Coalition for America (SCA, secular.org), and previously served two terms as president of the American Humanist Association (AmericanHumanist.org). As an attorney, Niose has advocated for church/state separation and the rights of humanists and other nontheists, and he is currently involved in implementing a legal strategy to enforce the rights of humanists and other nontheists via the avenue of equal protection law. He has worked with the Secular Coalition for America in various positions to help advocate for the rights of Secular Americans, and has served on the boards of Greater Worcester Humanists and Greater Boston Humanists. His blog “Our Humanity, Naturally” appears in many issues of Psychology Today. His talks begin at 10:30 & 1.

Panelists respond to his remarks, followed by Q&A with others in the audience. Free, thanks to the Bookstore at First Unitarian Society, celebrating its 10th Anniversary. The Secular Coalition for Minnesota (SCMN), a chapter of SCA, will meet here at 2:30 PM.

I’ll be part of the afternoon panel. Minnesota Atheists president Eric Jayne will be part of the morning panel. Come on out if you can tear yourself away from the first glimpse of sun we’ve had in a week.

Comments

  1. says

    This sounds like a worthwhile event and I hope it is enjoyed by all. It is important to get the figures right, though, and nonbelief in the U.S. isn’t even half as common as 1 in 5. That is the correct approximation for the Pew Forum’s “Nones” or religiously unaffiliated, but only 1/3 of that group lacks god belief. A random sample 2012 university study places nonbelief at 8.8% of the total population, taking into account all those who lack belief in a god or who say there is no way to find out. (And counting only the first and strongest response, the percentage dwindles to 3.3%.) We really need to stop referring to the “Nones” as if their patterns represent the overall nontheist population. We all gain credibility when our leaders, organizations and authors cite data accurately.

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