Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Secular Studies

by Edd Doerr

This letter was published in the Washington Post on 12/21/11 (which happens, by the way, to be Paul Kurtz's birthday as well as mine).

"On a secularist course"

"Jacques Berlinerblau and Georgetown University are to be commended for offering a course on secularism ['Delving into the study of secularism,' On Faith, Dec 17]. Americans across the religious and nonreligious spectrum come together to support the Jeffersonian/Madisonian principle of separation of church and state, which protects the religious freedom of all.

"Such courses are vital, especially now that opponents of secularism (i.e., respectful government neutrality on religious matters) have virtually taken over one of our two political parties with the aim of wrecking one of our country's most important contributions to political thinking.

"Edd Doerr, Silver Spring

"The writer is president of Americans for Religious Liberty"


lucette said...

Happy Birthday Edd!

Today I was invited - by CodePink - to be part of the audience of a pilot project for a TV program: "America at the Crossroads." It was an interfaith group: Bill Lucy - CBTU (Labor Leader) and Hillary Shelton - NAACP (Civil Rights Leader) were the guest speakers; Imam Johari Abdul Malik and Rev. Hagler (Plymouth United Church of Christ, I think) were the hosts. The audience was very diverse, welcoming, and articulate.
I am telling you all this because it is my first participation in a very public interfaith activity - the kind of activity that you are recommending, if I understand you correctly. It was fine and my comment was even appreciated. Now that the ice is broken, I think that I will continue this kind of involvement.

Edd.Doerr said...

Lucette, good for you. That's the way to go. Edd

Explicit Atheist said...

CodePink is a secular group, it does not define itself as a faith group. A faith group self-asserts that it is self-motivated by one or more faiths. In the case of an interfaith group, they would not be particular about which religious faith. By doing this, faith groups exclude those who share the motivate for the group, but who do not claim to arrive at that motive by a religious faith. So interfaith groups tend to be discriminatory - against those who do not profess a religious faith. Again, CodePink does not define itself as a faith based group.

Edd.Doerr said...

EA: Any number of "interfaith" groups include seculars and humanists.

lucette said...

It is not CodePink itself which is the interfaith group. CodePink informed me about the TV program. I contacted the organizers and "veni, vidi, vici" as my friend Julius Caesar used to say.(joke) EA: I understand very well and I share your misgivings about the interfaith claim, but whatever the group accomplished did not require me to make any dangerous compromise. I am still going to burn in hell.