Monday, 24 March 2008

Why Secular?

Secular means "concerned with the things of this world rather than a supernatural, ecclesiastical, religious one."
Secularism promotes freedom for religion and freedom from religion. Those who need a religion are free to have one - as long they do not cause or threaten harm to anyone else and they not try to interfere with the freedoms of those who do not need a religion.

Some religious people, ones who are secure in their beliefs, are secularists. They believe that religion should have no special privileges, should not be part of the state, should stand on its own two feet and should not be funded in any way by taxpayers. However, the vast majority of secularists are humanist atheists or agnostics.

Secularism is not an ideology - it is a set of practical aims:

To separate church and state - at the moment the Church of England is the state religion.
To remove religion from law-making - at the moment C of E Bishops sit in the House of Lords and make our laws in their own interests.
To stop taxpayers' money being used to subsidise religions.
To remove religious worship and religious instruction from schools.
We support teaching pupils about religions but we are totally opposed to pupils being instructed in a religion.

To convert all faith schools to secular schools. Taxpayers pay 100% of their costs anyway so this would cost nothing.
To legislate against private schools that promote religion.
To remove religious symbols from all public institutions and buildings.
To remove special time and space being given to the religious to promote their ideas in the public media.
To return religion to where it belongs - the private realm, not the public realm.
To remove all privileges enjoyed by the religious.
If religious people want time-off to pray or to attend religious ceremonies, they should accept that they will not be paid for this time, and that such absences may make it impossible for them to be employed.

Taxpayers and companies should not be expected to subsidise the religious.

To ensure that the views and beliefs of the non-religious are fairly represented.