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Secular values/Polical visibility

From: Don W.
Sent on: Monday, March 4, 2013 5:07 PM

Hello Everyone,

Where do we get our ethical values? More importantly how do we make those values visible to the wider society and how do we get them to be accepted. John Shook is an immensely talented and thoughtful person who will be talking on the topic of where we get them this evening. It is highly recommended. See:


I am working on a Secular Voter's Forum to be held this next April 11 in DC:


We have the majority of the candidates running for election for the at-large DC City Council seat on April 23 committed to attend this forum. This will give our community ample opportunity to present our values as we pose questions to them. Moreover, I have the data on a vast variety of media contacts and we can expect that we will have substantial media coverage. This will magnify the visibility of the values that we discuss.


This brings up the issue of how the secular community relates within the world of politics with the rest of our culture? Specifically I got an email from a supporter of one candidate who was concerned about this. The rest of this email is my reply to his query:


The major problem with Christian tribalism comes from the fundamentalist wing of Christianity. Liberal and moderate Christianity has moved very much away from the model of a fierce, judgmental, and punitive God. I have been closely monitoring the prayers that preachers bring to some community gatherings. In most cases they specialize in innocuous and very positive wishes for positive values and feelings for ourselves and the wider community. There is nothing in the way of claims that bad outcomes are proof that God is punishing us for tolerating gays and lesbians.


The secular community is very much less punitive than the fundamentalist religious community. Our society is locking up far more people per capita than almost any other modern society. This religion based societal artifact is what is creating the returning citizen problem...


In addition, my research on the values of the secular community shows that having no religious affiliation, belief or behavior is increasingly associated with little or no negative feeling about religion. "Atheist" among millenials (those under 30) does not include any hostility toward religion. In fact, there is a clear understanding that on almost every issue our values very much similar to those in liberal and moderate religious communities.  It is my opinion that presenting the secular community as mostly neutral in its feelings about those who are religious (which is factually correct) is a central thing that will be required for the growing secular community to be visible and engaged politically.




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