One does not have to be an atheist to be a secularist

One does not have to be an atheist to be a secularist by Abel Ashes

I think we have to be careful to draw a clear distinction between “secularism” and “atheism”. I myself am both a secularist and an atheist, but secularism is a political stance in favor of keeping religion out of politics, not a personal position on religion, spirituality, or philosophy. I think religion and superstition in general are bad for people’s mental health and will say so whenever possible, but secularism, unlike atheism is not necessarily anti-religion.

Secularism is anti-religious politics. The secular movement is supported by many people who do hold religious and spiritual views that I find illogical, but regardless we must all support international secularization for the personal freedoms of all. Secularism means personal freedom, freedom of religion as long as it does not interfere with the freedom of others, the free inquiry of science, the separation of religion and state, the legitimate practice of medicine, freedom of and from religion for consenting adults, and freedom of conscience.

There are people who claim faith in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and more who I know personally that support absolute separation of religion and state. We need to welcome their support of secularism. I am always clear to draw the distinction between my view on religion as an atheist/anti-theist and my view on the role of religion in politics as an absolute secularist.

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