Sean Faircloth
Guest: Sean Faircloth Secular Coalition for America
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This past week has been particularly troubling for secular humanists and freethinkers, as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the words "In God We Trust" on American currency and "Under God" as part of the Pledge of Allegiance are not in violation of the First Amendment rights of non-theists. Meanwhile, the conservative majority of the Texas State Board of Education (whose sheer size and buying power influence textbook content nationwide) revised its curricula to reflect a less secular version of history, economics and sociology. Among other revisionist changes, this reduces the role of President Thomas Jefferson as a revolutionary author. This week on Skepticality, Swoopy talks with Sean Faircloth (the new Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America) about these troubling current events. Sean also talks about the Coalition's recent historic meeting with White House officials to open a policy dialog with the Obama Administration — the first of its kind for American non-theists.
Show Notes
 

Date -March 16th, 2010 read by Swoopy.

The Texas State board of Education has submitted it's revised curriculum standards.
The role of Thomas Jefferson was drastically revised in the new standards.
On the list Jefferson was removed from Thomas Aquinas was added.
Sean Faircloth is the newest executive director of The Secular Coalition for America 
Atlanta Skeptics will hold the 2nd Atlanta Skepticamp on May 15th, 2010.
Skepticamp is a free "unconference" that encourages everyone to contribute.
The Atlanta Skepticamp fundraiser at Manuel's Tavern was awesome. 
Props to the The Amateur Scientist for a great show.
The Cleveland Skeptics will be celebrating their 2 year anniversary March 27th.
Apparently Lake Eerie has become known as a hotspot for UFO sightings.
The Cal Tech lecture series presented is by the Skeptic's Society. 
The Northern California Science and Skepticism Conference will be held April 24th.
Speakers for SkeptiCAL include:
Dr. Eugenie Scott, Executive Director for the National Center for Science Education,
Dr. Seth Shostak the Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, 
Dr. Karen Stollznow host of the Point of Inquiry Podcast, and co-host of Monster Talk,
Dr. David Morrison the Director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute, 
Let's not forget the aforementioned Brian Dunning and his Debunkatron.

This week in Skeptic History with Tim Farley 
The Heaven’s Gate cult committed mass suicide on March 26, 1997.
The Aum Shinrikyo cult attacked the Tokyo subways on March 20, 1995.
Members of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God,
were murdered en mass on March 17, 2000. 
Jeff Medkeff was an astronomer who named many asteroids after skeptics and scientists.
These include:
McCarthy (for Swoopy) and Colanduno for (Derek Colanduno).
Clarke (For Arthur C. Clarke) 
Asimov (For Isaac Asimov) 
Sagan (For Carl Sagan)
RebeccaWatson 
Stackpole (For Michael A. Stackpole) 
PaulMyers (For P.Z. Myers) all named for skeptics and all discovered in March.
Jonathan Swift, under an alias, predicted John Partridge’s death March 29, 1708.
The story is recounted in detail the JREF’s first SWIFT newsletter. (PDF)
You can read daily Skeptic History facts on Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeed.
Sean Faircloth served five terms in the Maine State Legislature.
When asked to give a requisite prayer before the House, 
Faircloth chose to read from Walt Whitman, 
and from Freethinkers by Susan Jacoby.
We interviewed Mr. Faircloth when he spoke at the Atlanta Freethought Society.
Inherit The Wind s a fictionalized account of the 1925 Scopes "Monkey" Trial.
The Ninth Circuit ruled the phrase "One Nation Under God" in the
Pledge of Allegiance does not violate the Constitution.
You can sign up for Action Alerts at Secular.org.
You can donate to the Secular Coalition for America- here.



 
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