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Why is secularism seen as such a threat?

(366 Posts)
technodad Sat 18-Aug-12 07:09:38

Why is secularism seen as such a threat, when the very idea is based around protection of the rights of the individual?

Just to be clear before we start, secularism is about making everyone equal, no matter what their belief - simple as that really. It means that no one group (or individual) has greater rights or power in society than everyone else and that everyone has freedom of expression.

So what is it about this concept that is so difficult for some people to accept and support?

exoticfruits Sat 18-Aug-12 07:32:14

Has someone said that it is a threat?

technodad Sat 18-Aug-12 07:39:19

Has someone said that it is a threat? - errrrr.... yeah! All the time!

e.g. www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9083045/Baroness-Warsi-decries-Europes-aggressive-secularism.html

www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/24/cardinal-keith-obrien-aggressive-secularity

www.ft.com/cms/s/0/aab5fc5a-c1c3-11df-9d90-00144feab49a.html#axzz23sSBSrUJ

To be honest, I am surprised that anyone asked that question!

exoticfruits Sat 18-Aug-12 07:42:06

Most people are secular without any problem. Most people think that we are a secular country and that UK has secular schools so I can't see how it is a problem if they haven't noticed. I suggest that they join the secular society once they find out, but I doubt whether they do.

technodad Sat 18-Aug-12 07:48:37

The problem with them not noticing that we are not a secular society (apart from the fact that they must have their eyes firmly shut), is that the country will continue to be discrimintory and it will never get fixed. However, back to the main question - why is it seen as such a threat?

exoticfruits Sat 18-Aug-12 07:52:34

Seeing as I don't see it as a threat I will leave you to it!

(I do agree that their eyes must be shut- I never understand how anyone can be under the illusion that their DC is at a secular school)

HolofernesesHead Sat 18-Aug-12 08:11:47

'Secularism' is quite a variegated plant really, isn't it? The USA is ostensibly 'secular' but religion plays a much more significant role in public life than in the UK. I think that in different countries and places, secularism is experienced in different ways (i.e in some ways life is 'secular', in other ways religion plays some role). Are you really wanting to talk about Establishment, or the more widespread involvement of churches in things like schools?

Trickle Sat 18-Aug-12 08:17:12

Isn't it seen as a threat in the same way as religion is though ie. a few loud wingers like Dawkins make a lot of noise but most people just get on with their own lives?

Tee2072 Sat 18-Aug-12 08:17:25

I would think it is seen as a threat because actual, real secularism, which doesn't exist any where in the world, certainly not the 1st world, would remove the power from the church.

The church is terrified that if secularism takes true control they will lose things, such as tax free status, for example.

Is that really so hard to understand? Those who have power never want to lose it.

Churches have power.

exoticfruits Sat 18-Aug-12 08:37:13

I don't think that the church impinges on lives if you are not a church goer.
I can't see why the church would be terrified-all those years of communism failed to kill it.

technodad Sat 18-Aug-12 08:49:38

I don't think that the church impinges on lives if you are not a church goer.

You are joking aren't you!

Bishops in the house of lords, compulsory worship in all schools, council meeting prayers, God save the Queen, R4 Thought for the day, etc. The church impinges on all of us all the time!

exoticfruits Sat 18-Aug-12 08:55:57

It is funny that no one notices it. Time after time I have to tell people there are no secular schools. They just never come across it in life.

exoticfruits Sat 18-Aug-12 08:56:55

I can bet there will be a thread in the next few weeks where someone says that their DC goes to a secular school.

exoticfruits Sat 18-Aug-12 09:04:13

I think that the title should be 'why is religion seen as such a thread' as you seem very upset about it. There is room for both-live and let live.

Tee2072 Sat 18-Aug-12 09:13:49

Gosh, I live in NI and still don't feel the church's influence in my life. I just ignore it all.

ppeatfruit Sat 18-Aug-12 09:14:07

I was a supply teacher in primary schools in London a couple of years ago and taught in all manner of schools C of E, Catholic and jewish and normal state schools which were in reality secular, they had no act of worship or religious assembles they taught ALL religions in R.E. (IME the state schools just ignore the act that mentions some sort of worship).

Our DDs went to a secular state school (though there was no formal recognition of this) in the 80s where they sang Abba songs in assembly!

technodad Sat 18-Aug-12 09:22:25

I can't stand ABBA smile

exoticfruits - Secularism is all about "live and let live", what is your point? Are you saying that it is OK to have inequality in our society?

ppeatfruit Sat 18-Aug-12 10:08:39

I reckon once the old queen has KTB King Charles will call himself Head of all Faiths possibly, hopefully, grin including secularism.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 18-Aug-12 10:11:28

I'm a secularist I think. And have a religious faith. But I think it's pretty obvious why institutions would see it as a threat...

MordionAgenos Sat 18-Aug-12 10:22:18

Any sort of change is seen as a threat by some (most?) people. In the specific case of 'secularism' if we think about individuals rather than institutions the answer is obvious. Richard Dawkins. He is the face of secularism in the UK and he is perhaps the most intolerant, rude, nasty minded person to ever find a niche in the media. Secularism needs a PR overhaul if it is to get anywhere.

technodad Sat 18-Aug-12 11:11:58

Why is Richard Dawkins "rude and nasty"?

exoticfruits Sat 18-Aug-12 11:34:54

There is room for all in society. Having no faith doesn't make you unequal-it places you in the majority.

ppeatfruit Sat 18-Aug-12 12:27:36

True exotic you're less equal if you're a Catholic actually you STILL can't be Prime Minister! Or King or Queen!

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Sat 18-Aug-12 12:46:04

I've never found Richard Dawkins to be intolerant, rude or nasty-minded.

PeggyCarter Sat 18-Aug-12 12:52:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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