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SEPARATE CHURCH & STATE

We call on people everywhere to stand with us to establish an international front against the religious-right and for secularism. We demand:

 

Secularism is not about religion or non-religion but about the way the state is structured.  Secularism is not the presence or absence of religion.

 

Recognition that secularism is not violent opposition to religion but merely refusing to accept its truth claims in order to treat all religious and non-religious people the same.   Secularism realises that to ignore religious revelations is refusing to accept them.  Secularism cannot treat religion as anything other than just another organisation.  That is the bottom line.  It comes up against the doctrine of some religions that they are family communities of God or a magical or supernatural union of people.  Religion often it based on the DENIAL that it is just a club.
 
Secularism calls for complete separation of religion from the state.
 
Recognition that secularism is a fundamental right - it is not a mere opinion or an option that it is okay to take up or not to.
 
Religion believes that civil disobedience to the state is sometimes acceptable on religious grounds thus it denies us the right of secularism.
 
Separation of religion from public policy, including the educational system, health care and scientific research.
 
Religion should have no privileges - for example, sex shops near churches should be allowed by the town councils because if grocery stores objected they would object in vain.
 
Abolition of religious laws in the family, civil and criminal codes.
 
An end to discrimination against and persecution of LGBT, religious minorities, women, freethinkers, ex-Muslims, and others.
 
Freedom of religion and atheism and freedom to criticise religions.
 
Religious belief as a private affair.
 
Equality between women and men, religious and non-religious, and citizenship rights for all.
 
This list came from free thought blogs with a few changes

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Basics
 
Secularism is a government policy not to favour one religion - even the majority one - over another and not to favour religion over what is not religion (eg atheism, humanism etc). It is not inter-faith or inter-religion but inter-belief/non-belief.
 
Religion is remarkably easy to spot but very hard to define. Secularism may struggle to learn where religion begins and where religion ends. Some say it may need to try and know in order to take care that religion does not get privileges that non-religion doesn't have. Many argue that the state judging what is a religion and what isn't, opens the door for religious people to get favourable treatment under the law if the state regards them as comprising a real religion. Religions depend on theology and magic and superstition to determine who is a member for real and who is not. When members of one faith are recognised as a religion by the state and members of another are not, that is unfair and a violation of secularism. The solution is to forget about people's religious affiliation - simple. The state assessing what is a religion will drag the state into theology and superstition. Treat the bishop the same as the atheist beggar.
 
Secularism is not a religion. Some say that it denies that one can know what religious doctrines are true which they see as a religious truth-claim. But even if the secularist does believe a particular religion is true, it does not give him the right to favour that religion in politics and discriminate against others. Secularism is definitely not a religion. It is a method.
 
Secularists believe that we should judge things as if there were no Gods or magical beings or magical powers for it is hard enough to implement laws that are beneficial without the added encumbrance of religious belief. The plan is to help equalise the rights of believers and non-believers and refuse to extend privileges to religion. When religion seeks the right to discriminate against people it is seeking undeserved religious privilege, not religious freedom though it pretends it is. Secularism is not just the removal of religious power from the state but also from power relations within the family, community and general society.

 

Secularism in certain countries may wish to keep religion from interfering with the government because the relevant religions have violent teachings or scriptures and many of their members easily resort to faith based violence. Some individual secularists believe religion is harmful to truth and human rights which is why it has to be ignored by the state if it wants the state to enforce religious laws.  Some worry that secularism in general is refusing to confess that it fears religion.
 
Secularism is forced to recognise that not everybody's rights or perceived rights can be granted to them by the law. The law has to be selective for the greater good. Thus non-religious rights come first. If there is a choice between honouring a non-religious right and a religious one, honour the non-religious one. This is not unfair because religion is something you take on but don't have to. The notion that when different religions claim rights that contradict one another that the biggest religion should be given the rights as you cannot give them all the rights conflicts with secularism. Secularism is not directly anti-religious but it is anti-religious in its side effects. Though secularism aims to keep out of the affairs of religious institutions and orders religious institutions to keep out of public and state matters this balance is hard to create and sustain. If this happens it is better to err on the side of caution and favour secularism.

Secularism is based on the fact that the law should not criminalise victimless crimes (eg nobody should be fined for saying Jesus was just a flawed man like everybody else - Jesus may be dead and you cannot libel the dead).
 
Secularism is not based on the fact that there are many religions so we must be neutral for we cannot please them all. If inability to please everyone were what it is about, then we should simply say that secularism is about the fact that there are many different faiths and no two people believe exactly the same things. Secularism in fact that is true to itself will be neutral about religion EVEN IF THERE IS ONLY ONE RELIGION.
 
Secularism would still be with us and be the right stance even if there were only one religion. So secularism is intrinsically sceptical about religion. The law is teacher so when the law is secular it teaches secularism and opposes religion.

Religion and faith are not the same thing. Religion is outward allegiance while faith is private and only the person herself knows if she really believes. If the state starts enforcing laws along religious lines, the state is judging that those who demand this on the basis of their rights as religious persons are sincere. That is impossible most of the time. And what if people claim the right to murder on the basis that they allegedly sincerely believe God told them to? It is not for the state to assume or judge religious sincerity.

Only secularism can take care of rights - even it is not very good at it that it is not its fault. It would be worse otherwise. If the state may make stupid laws, then letting religion get involved will only make it worse. If the law is silly that is all the more reason for keeping religion out of it.
 
Religion is intrinsically opposed to real human rights. It only allows human rights in a religious context. In other words, the rights it gives and supports only look like rights. It tries to distort and oppose the one thing that can deliver on human rights: secularism. It is akin to saying that you don't believe in justice but people have a right to their food. It is the appearance of believing in rights. And it is a false appearance.

Secularism is...
 
Secularism is state or political policy.
 
Secularism is a form of democracy that is neutral in matters of religion in order to be in favour of evidence and scientific proof when making laws. It does not let religion (you can be your own religion or a member of a religion) intrude in the public arena or in civic or state duties.
The believers say that God must take supreme importance in the world and in your life. Even when they support secularism, they teach that it is only acceptable in the sense that God gave the state a separate job to do from the Church. So even their secularism is religious at least in intention. It is saying, "We believers support the separation of Church and state on religious grounds and because God asks for it. If our religion tells us different or if God tells us different we will oppose this separation. We only accept because we think God wants us to. If we are wrong we will change our minds." Their secularism only looks like secularism - it is not secularism. Their secularism contradicts and therefore opposes true secularism
 
Secularism forbids the state to force religion to do things against its beliefs - eg conduct gay marriage. By the same token, religion cannot impose its rules on those who do not agree with it. If the Church does marriages that are not valid in the eyes of the state and lets the couples think they are valid, those responsible for the deception need to be charged.

Some secularists say that secularism is not about morality or ethics. This seems to arise from the error that ignoring religious ethics means you are walking away from morality. People who say, "I do not have a value system", do not realise that they are making a value system of not having one!
If secularism rejects right and wrong then it does not matter if the state is secular or not. And it has no right to make laws. Law is picking out things considered immoral in order to make them crimes.
 
Religion is unethical for it opposes full equality. The state will not encourage religion or discourage it. It will be punished if it goes too far in its opposition to the human right of equality. In practice, religion will not be encouraged. But to refuse to take its doctrines seriously is discouraging it in a sense. Enthusiasm is catchy and so is lukewarmness!  If it is not the job of the state to show that your religion is wrong then in serious matters affecting the public interest then the religion should encourage people to think twice.  We should be there to help those who need to see their beliefs are wrong but that is not the state's job.
 
The difficulty with neutrality
 
Secularism means the state is neutral in matters of religion. For example, the state refuses to make it a crime to blaspheme God. Secularism favours democracy - which is the best form of government there is despite the serious problems it can result in. It also requires that if you are involved in the government, you keep your faith if any out of any political decision making. If you are a believer then you have to act the non-believer (a non-believer as in being neutral and not having your mind made up) and as a neutral person when involved in legislating for the state.
 
Neutrality in politics is saying that you are making no commitments. But what if you should? It comes down to a matter of what you like or dislike. Not choosing is choosing. Though secularism is neutral about religion this is only neutrality in a loose sense. A bias against religion is therefore necessary and inevitable.

"Neutrality is not really possible. Those who say they are neutral are being untruthful. They are pretending to be objective. They would say they were objective even if they were not. If there is no neutral way to sort out wrong views from right ones then those who say they have the truth are really just saying that they prefer their views. If you are neutral to the laws of mathematics imagine the much harm you do! Neutrality only leads to arbitrary rules and morals being enforced."
 
The answer to that is that neutrality though hard to do is the best policy though it is not a great one. Worrying about Gods and ghosts only makes it worse!

Secularisation
 
Secularisation is a social process - it means when the people and entities accept and live by such policy. For example, when a Catholic school becomes secular it stops promoting and encouraging religion. Secularisation is taking place when fewer people join any religion and when they fall away from attending worship.


Secularism can lead to secularisation. Often when a country becomes secular it gets more and more secular over time.
 
Secularisation can lead to secularism. Secularisation or people becoming less religious when the religion is one that undermines and opposes secularism or much of secularism is a good thing. It is vaccinating the secularism of the nation against threats and dangers.
 
Secularists may legalise gay marriage. They may say that the state has no right to punish a religion for refusing marriage to gay couples. But they will still see this as sad. Secularisation will allow the religion its rights but gently encourage the disappearance of that religion so that the religion's prejudice and bigotry won't be a problem any more.

Focus on secularism
 
Secularism is about political policy.  Secularism is the total separation of the state and religion.  Secularism is the view that the state must not be tied up with religion or religious faith at all. Secularism treats religion as irrelevant. Secular states are impartial between different religions. Religion must not be telling the state what to do.
 
There is no need for religion to dictate to the state.
 
Freedom of belief is not the same thing as freedom of religion. Freedom of belief would mean you just believe whatever you think is true and the state will not interfere.

 
Freedom of religion is the freedom to influence the law of the land and practice your religion in the public sphere - eg pray at school assemblies and organise masses for state functions.
 
Secularism means that the state is neutral in regard to religion and groups that are anti-religion and groups that just don't care. The state is only anti-religion when the religion is one that seeks to force its will on the state and the people. There are religions that deny the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom from religion. Even then the state is only against the religion in so far as it seeks to take away human rights.
 
Secularism is necessary. Some say that secularism is anti-religion in the sense that it makes policies and does not care about what religion has to say. That is only the case if secularism is not necessary and not the best policy. It is about doing the right thing not about being anti-religious.
 
Secularism requires that politicians who won't stop taking orders from their religious leaders or their Jesus or God must be fired when they start to introduce such religion and superstition into their politics.
 
Secularism is about protecting the rights of religious people and the rights of those who do not believe in religion or who are not members of any religion. However, as with anything else, not every right demanded by an individual or a group really is a right. For example, a religion might claim that being forbidden to cut off the labia of little girls by the state is forcing a violation of conscience on that religion. The religion will say that in this matter, its right of religious freedom is violated.
 
Secularism is not a belief but a method. The state or government and the lawmakers need to be neutral on the question of religion or supernatural powers. They must leave their religious and supernatural and superstitious beliefs at home.  That is secularism. Secularism is the servant of fact not faith.
 
The state should be neutral as regards religion or supernatural beliefs. Accordingly, religious rulers should not impose anti-abortion law because their religion says abortion is wrong. It may impose it for other reasons. They have to approach the governing of the people as if there is no God and as if there is no supernatural. Religion teaches ideas such that as if God commands something, we must obey even if we don't understand why he commands it. It is hard enough to know what we should do without religion complicating things. And if the state should obey religion and make laws to please it then which religion?

 

What about minorities?
 
The state must not be influenced by religious teaching. It is okay for the state to accept influence from Churches that speak in terms of commonsense and not religion. For example, say the Church forbids infanticide. The state can learn from the human reasons the Church gives. However, it must not be influenced by or pay attention to notions such as that God has spoken out against infanticide or that a Bible forbids it. Listen to the human arguments not the specifically religious.

 
For an example of secularism think about the following. The secularist will forbid hurting babies because they choose to make babies happy. They will not forbid it because God says its wrong. They will not forbid it because some guru says such activity will prevent your salvation or because some holy book forbids it. The secularist is to be a warm person and must work for the wellbeing of society. The secularist cares for people for human and not religious reasons. These are the only right reasons. She refuses or he refuses to let religion intrude and take away that humanity. In so far as you obey for God or a Bible in so far you fail to be warm and human even if you carry a smile. To choose to make a baby happy because God says you must make that choice is not as good as simply just making the choice! Then you are putting God's will above the child in your intentions.

Secularism is when we govern on naturalistic grounds. We reason what we should do regardless of what religion says. We decide things on the earthly level and consider no other level. For example, we can't start making laws to please God. Which God can we please? Allah and Jehovah have different values! Both of them even expect us to believe that certain evils are good.
 
Secularism considers what laws would be the best for people and decides it on a religiously neutral basis. It is neutrality so it has to act as if no religion is or can be known to be true. So it treats religion as irrelevant.

Secularism decides ethical issues on their merits and engages in philosophical debate and in doubt and questioning to arrive at a decision. The idea that there is dogma we must believe even if we don't understand it or if the evidence for it is poor is rejected as dangerous.
 
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees religious freedom as long as it is subject to laws that protect the rights and freedoms and public interests of the people in a democratic society. This statement puts limits on how much freedom a religion has got.
 
We secularists are opposed to religion getting any special treatment from the state. Let there be no state Church. The state must not promote any religion but focus on the things that are really necessary to be a law abiding citizen. There is enough in the world to cause division without a religion dictating to or influencing the state with its prejudices.

Being realistic
 
Everybody has a different set of values. When you join a religion, you commit yourself to the values as propounded by and interpreted by that religion. But nevertheless, through mistakes and through lack of information, at least some of your values will vary from it. Secularism recognises that everybody has different values so the law cannot please everyone.
 
Does secularism force people to keep their faith private?
 
It is said that secularism wants to confine religion to the house of worship and the home. This is not true. The secularist simply wants the state to do its job and let religion do its job without one trying to control the other. The state will intervene if a religion breaks the law, eg commands the genital mutilation of a female child.

This implies that the state comes first. It gives religion the freedom it has. It will not let religion abuse that freedom in a serious matter.

Secularism is a fundamental human right


There is no need for religion and politics to be one and the same. There is no need for the Church to rule or govern the nation. We need the state. So we need a secular state. A secular state is a basic human right. Without the right to secularism being granted to the nation, other rights are endangered and many will not exist. Forms of religion that oppose secularism need to be seen as cultic - that is, opponents of genuine liberty and underminers of human dignity.

Should all candidates for public office understand the philosophy of secularism?
 
Yes - whether they are religious or not. They should get no votes if they don't make any effort to learn what secularism is all about.  They must undertake a briefing to make sure they understand what is involved in being a secularist.
 
Should all candidates for public office take an oath to uphold the state as a secular entity?
 
 Yes when they claim to believe in a religion that opposes secularism or any major secularist principle. If they leave the religion, this oath will be unnecessary. It would be preferable and more honest to leave your religion rather than take an oath that violates it. The authentic secularist will be so committed to the state that she or he will do this.
 
Social workers, medical professionals etc and religion
 
Should they use their position to promote religion some penalty - dismissal in severe cases - must be considered.
 
When does the state come first?

The state should protect freedom of religious belief except where the belief opposes the common good. It should protect the right to freedom from religion, the right to leave religion. Freedom from religion is more natural. In a case of conflict, it should take priority. There is no need for religion. Those who need it have a self-inflicted need. We need food, water, shelter and self-esteem - those are real needs.
 
If one takes up a public appointment - eg civil servant, etc. - one must carry out the duties that the law prescribes and those duties will change from time to time as the law changes.
 
The state cannot look after every individual's problems - that would be unrealistic and impossible. So it has to look after the common and public good. That is why, for example, it was learned that if homosexuals do wrong by having sex, as long as it is done in private its not the state's business. The nearest the state can get to looking after every individual is by looking after people in general. It does not mean the state thinks the individual should not be looked after. A religion is a collection of people - it is not the people. Looking after a religion and looking after the members of the religion is not the same thing. Looking after a religion would imply that you must protect the members from any knowledge or influence that may diminish or destroy their commitment to the religion or you make the religion tax-exempt so it has no tax to pay. Looking after religious people would mean that you treat them as people and give them the same rights as non-religious people.
 
Religious groups and churches and their employees
 
True secularism upholds the right of the religious groups and churches to employ who they wish. Equality legislation must not be used to interfere with the right of the Church or religion to choose whoever it wants as an employee, minister or otherwise. We cannot for example punish a religion that refuses employment to an atheist who wants to be say a Christian chaplain in a Church hospital. This is not discrimination for it is based on fact: the atheist is only trying to be an impostor.

 
However, the right of the Church to refuse employment to some does not imply it has the right to discriminate on racist or homophobic grounds.

Secularism and burials
 
Secularism recognises that religions should not restrict who can be buried in churchyards. Religion can exist without having the power to decide who is welcome to be buried in its graveyards. It must not be given the privilege to discriminate. Its refusal to let one be buried in its graveyards would be the lowest form of bigotry possible. Its a serious matter.
 
Minorities and democracy
 
Some say the Church should run the state if enough people want it that way. They say that is democracy. But what about minorities who do not wish to be dominated by any religion? What the majority wants has to come first but only if there is no way to look after the wishes of minorities as well. People voting the Church into political power to govern a nation is not democracy. It rides roughshod over minorities.
 
Even if the majority want a religion to dictate to the state and control it, this is not democracy. It is trampling over the rights of religious minorities. Be true democrats and sever faith and the state. There is no need for religion to run the state even if people want it to.

The state comes before the Church

The state comes before the Church. The state runs the police and the health service and makes the laws of the land. We hope that the state will remember the poor and look after them. Church and state often disagree. If there is a conflict with religion the state must put itself first and be put first. There would be no Church without the state and the Church must remember that. However the state must not interfere with religion unnecessarily.

Unless a person treats the natural world as the only world that person is treasonous and is showing contempt for the state and therefore the people. Religious affiliation to a religion of magic and miracle is treason.
 
Modern Catholics tend to believe that separation of Church and state respects the autonomy of both. It gives both the freedom to express their views. It supposedly frees the state from Church control and the Church from state control. This doctrine was condemned by Pope Leo XIII in Longinqua oceani in 1895. He called it Americanism. He stopped short though of formally declaring Americanism to be heresy.
 
Religious broadcasting - but only on state radio or television - should allow people of non-religious beliefs to have a say. It should not be limited to any religion but open to all religions and none.
 
It can happen that the needs of minorities will be ignored in a democracy that implements the wishes of the majority. If people keep religious assumptions and beliefs out of politics, it will be easier to look after minorities. There is enough to disagree about as there is.
 
Remember that to advance secularism is to advance the recognition of your own dignity as a free man or free woman.
 
To undermine the state is to give the two fingers to the people and to yourself. People need to have a strong respect for the laws of the country. If they don't, cynicism and resentment set in and crime rates shoot up because of that. It is only right that people who are members of religion keep their religion out of public affairs if there is a conflict with secularist principles.
 
Secularism and proper self-esteem are co-dependent
 
What am I doing plugging secularism in the context of self-esteem? Secularism and self-esteem are inseparable. True secularism listens to individuals and is based on democratic principles. It does not listen to religion for religion is a system set up by people but it is not people. To oppose secularism is really to deny that you are more important than any system of religion.

The best governments are secular. The best people put the best governments in power. And these are the people with authentic self-esteem.

Be secular. If you can't leave your religion aside to do the job then look for another job and above all keep out of politics.
 
Democracy - the only reasonably healthy form of government
 
Political power gives so much scope for corruption that it is to be looked at and distributed very carefully.
 
The fat wage packets of politicians are a disgrace. Politics should be about service and not cash.
 
We detest communism for it means that nobody owns anything. Fair distribution of goods can be achieved without it. The fact that some people unfairly keep goods for themselves that they could share with others does not mean that our own system is wrong for they are misusing it. How could it be right to force communism on anybody when it is simply pushing equality too far? Progress cannot come about unless people have property of their own. Communism steals their right to freedom.
 
We abhor capitalism for it throws too much power into the laps of the rich and powerful.

We believe in democracy. That is better than having a few self-serving people in power who can do as they please when the country is stuck with them. Power corrupts. Democracy has its faults in that people are easily fooled and do not inform themselves right but the believer in democracy knows that that only happens when not enough has been done to assist them.  Democracy should not be found deplorable just because it can be abused or poorly implemented.
 
It has been objected that democracy leaves itself open to the danger that it will be done away with if enough people decide to cease being democratic. This way democracy can destroy itself. But what is wrong with that? It is still a democratic decision and if the people decide to reverse it they can even if it means rebelling against the state which they have turned against democracy.

Should democracies allow parallel legal systems to suit say Muslims who want sharia law? The idea of setting up parallel legal systems in a democratic nation that are not subject to democratic control is ridiculous and a repudiation of democracy. The law must exist to protect people not religions.

What rights come first?
 
We live in a world where we have to decide what rights to take and what ones to forget about. We can't have everything we are entitled to. Life is not fair.
We cannot avoid taking away some state or civil liberties. For example, we may force men to fight in war. So it follows then that we should keep our beliefs on the human level and forget about concern for God and angels and spirits and magic. There is enough to worry about.

Liberals may put equality before liberty. For example, some liberals argue that the main purpose of family policy isn't the promotion of child welfare, but the promotion of human equality. For example, they will say the child has the right to divorce her parents even if it rips the family apart. This is putting the equality of the child with her parents before the right of the child to happiness.
 
Treating cohabiting couples the same as married couples obviously makes them all equal. The liberal may force this treatment into the law against the will of the people. Secularism requires that if a democracy votes for the Church to reign over the state, the will of the people will have to be ignored. Secularism then favours equality over liberty.

Religion tends to make rules about what to do and how to behave that we wouldn't have without it. We would be freer without it. So believers are putting their need to believe before their need for freedom. Too many believers in a nation mean that the nation will be inclined to limit freedom too much. Those who do not want to be free don't generally want others to be free either.

The state and other bodies should be kept totally separate from religion and spiritual ideas. They should pay no attention to religious rules and teachings  - except when religion is thinking about ethical issues on the secular mundane and natural level and keeping the supernatural out of it. This is about keeping entities such as the health service and the government unbiased by religious influence. Here is an example. The state taking advice from the Church in relation to abortion is fine as long as the advice is based on science and reason. But to take it from the Church when the Church says, "God told us in such and such a book or told such and such a pope that it is wrong" that is improper and sometimes gravely so. Some people say religion has no business interfering with politics or trying to influence politics at all. That is only true if the religion is doing it as a religion and not as an entity that has a right to voice its views based on reason and science and evidence.
 
There should be no references to God or any religious references in state constitution

In Ireland for example, there needs to be referendum to remove religious references from the Constitution.
 
Suppose a constitution says we have the right to worship God. Suppose a constitution says that God has the right to be worshipped. The first is tolerable but seems to presuppose the existence of God. It would be better to have, "We have a right to worship a deity as we understand it." The second is seriously violating secular principles.
 
The right to vote and be informed

The electorate should be informed as well as possible before voting so that the chances of votes being cast because of misinformation and prejudice are reduced. Care should be taken that no organisation is scaring them into voting a certain way. The information should include attacking religious fraud for religion likes to manipulate the electorate for its own dishonourable and superstitious ends.
 
Everybody who is mature should have the vote and use it. It is an honour to be able to so the person is degrading himself for herself by not doing it. It is insulting those who do vote. It disrespects the future of the nation.
 
Public representatives must be trained in secular principles

Public representatives/politicians must take a course in secular principles and should have a sufficient knowledge of finance and economics and sociology.

To be neutral in relation to religion is to be against religion that says we should not be neutral. To be neutral sometimes requires that we be actively hostile to such religion. We would be hostile in our attitude towards it in the sense that we put the state before it. We put neutrality before it. This applies to voters and to public representatives in particular.

Conclusion

Church and state being combined is a bad combination. Let the state be independent of religion. In a conflict of loyalty, if you are torn between loyalty to state law and Church law you must be loyal to the former at the expense of the second.

It is simply false that the secular methodology protects the rights of the state and the Church equally. It mainly protects the rights of the secular state. If religion gets rights or at least permission this is only a side-effect.   

Learn the principles of secularism and promote them. Concentrate on enlightening the politically active religionists. The indispensible principles are down below.
 
1 Secularism merely requires that the state must not favour or help any religious view, that there be no state religion. The state will not take sides in religious matters. This is to safeguard religious freedom - i.e. to avoid one religion exercising control over those who do not believe in it. Secular means without religion. The secularist is unable to take account of a person's religious beliefs - that leads to inequality. And the religious do not take account of the non-religious person's beliefs. For example, atheists will not be allowed to become popes even if they believe they should. Beliefs do not have rights. Secularism is not exactly the same as separation of Church and state. Church and state can be separate but the state may still be religious.
 
2 Secularism is a method not a belief. We should really speak of it as legal secularism. The "religion" of secularism must not be favoured in the secular state.
 
3 Secularism requires that religion get no exemptions from obeying the law. This is the principle of one law for all people.
 
4 Secularism is against stopping freedom of expression on religious grounds. For example, you don't ban black masses just because Catholics object to them.
 
5 Secularism is when the state acts as if it has no religious preferences.
 
6 The state must not fund the promotion of religion in schools. The parents and the Church should have their own self-funded system for evangelising. 

7 Secularism forbids the state to compel the people to belong to religion or any specific religion and allows people the freedom to convert from one religion to another.
 
8 Freedom of speech matters more than religious taboos about what we are allowed to say and not to say.
 
9 Secularism is the only way to be fair to all.
 
10 There is an adage, "Although there is much immorality/evil that is not punished by the law, there is none that is encouraged or approved by the law." This needs to be based on the fact that you cannot punish everything. If the state starts endorsing religious morality that complicates things and breaks the adage. Secularism is a fundamental human right. Thus religion that denies that is fundamentally trouble.

 

The Oxford Handbook of Secularism

How to be Secular

The Secular Outlook

The Necessity of Secularism

Rethinking Secularism