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← The spectre of militant secularism

jameshogg's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by jameshogg

Sorry, I really have to point this out.

There is no such thing as "militant secularism" or, in other words, the so-called secularism that Mao and Stalin imposed. And the best way to prove so is the following.

Secularism is not just about preventing the church from having an unfair influence on the state. It is also about preventing the state from having an unfair influence on the church. In other words, if the state actively gets involved with policing ideas that you believe in your own mind, it has crossed the "wall of separation" and is no longer secular. Stalin and Mao repeatedly crossed that wall and therefore were not secular in any sense of the word. Aim this debunking towards Saddam Hussein and any other totalitarian dictator that is claimed by the religious and/or accomodationists to be secular in a clear and firm fashion. Dictatorships are the exact opposite of secular societies. Period.

Secularism is about providing the fairest method of maintaining religious freedom for all, and preventing an individual from being forced to believe in a religion. Militant secularism in that sense is the same as militant civil rights or militant gay-rights: a meaningless statement. How is "militant equality", regardless of its paradoxical nature, in any way something somebody could disagree with?

The concept of "freedom to believe in what you want provided it does not interfere with anyone else's right to believe in what they want" might be foreign to many religious folk and totalitarian regimes, but there are some of us who are sensible enough to recognise it and support it unconditionally.

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 16:46:17 UTC | #928659