Atheist coalition wants you to know they are ‘Openly Secular’

Sep 30, 2014

By Kimberly Winston

A new coalition of atheists, humanists and other nonreligious groups is taking a page from the gay rights movement and encouraging people to admit they are “openly secular.”

The coalition — unprecedented in its scope — is broadening a trend of reaching out to religious people and religious groups by making the secular label a catchall for people who are not religious.

“We wanted to rise above who is an atheist, who is an agnostic, who is a humanist, who is a secular Jew,” said Todd Stiefel, founder of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation and a main force behind the coalition. “This needed to be about something everyone could rally behind so we intentionally used the word secular because it was one thing we could all agree on.”

The campaign, “Openly Secular: Opening Minds, Changing Hearts,” was unveiled at the 65th annual gathering of the Religion Newswriters Association here on Sept. 20. It includes a website, resources for families, employers and clergy, and a YouTube channel featuring both prominent and rank-and-file nonbelievers announcing their names followed by the declaration, “I am openly secular.”


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8 comments on “Atheist coalition wants you to know they are ‘Openly Secular’

  • But what is needed (in the US) is not this perenial, pathalogical euphamising but an honest statement….”Moral without God”.

    The morality question is the question.

    Its a tougher hill to climb, but the right one. The risk is entirely that atheists appear to hide amongst the secular. The “bad” may spread.

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  • But what is needed (in the US) is not this perenial, pathalogical
    euphamising but an honest statement….”Moral without God”.

    Been done phil.

    Not sure I am comfortable with this “I’m a victim” approach though!!

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  • The strategy is exactly along the lines of RDnet’s former policy strategist Sean Faircloth. He rightly identified this issue of “good only with god” as specifically the issue that was the roadblock to atheist acceptance in the US.

    Good without God is a challenge that needs be made even through to the mildest of religious types. Until this is shown again and again and again to be at least as likely as the converse, secularists will only inch forward.

    Complaints about access to the levers of change need to start at why atheists are deemed not fit for office in the US. Its ‘cos they’s bad to the bone, poor dears. Most Americans believe religion is the sole author of morality.

    No victimhood needed here. We need no excuses to highlight again and again this shallow-thinking, unevidenced outrage.

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  • 4
    Thank Evolution says:

    I don’t know, “openly secular” just sounds a bit too general and passive for me as an atheist, and I would never say “I am openly secular” to any religious person. That said, I have no better suggestions for those who want to come out and be free from the chains of religion, so I support the phrase.

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  • 5
    Thank Evolution says:

    Maybe it’s just because I am Canadian and not American, but the morality thing isn’t touched upon as much in my discussions with religious folks, as much as is the debate over gods existence itself – which for me, is the jugular of religion. And I do my best to sever it with logic whenever possible. That said Phil, yes “moral without god” is obviously an important stance to take – as is defending all logic and rational thinking against all aspects of religious fundamentalism.

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  • Politicians will use any trick and the meek will follow. I don’t know if you have listened to Cameron’s speech today. The spin he used to try to outflank Labour on the NHS? Outrageous!!
    It went something like; “My family use the NHS on a daily basis so HOW DARE LABOUR accuse me of trying to destroy something my family are dependent on”. I can just see the prime minister of the UK waiting six hours to be seen. Instead he stands on the other side of the glass looking for ways to cull the needy!!!

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