Happy Openly Secular Day

Along with Darwin Day, a recognition of Darwin’s achievement in providing his groundbreaking research on our origins, there is another day of recognition for humanists called Openly Secular Day. The idea is to be “open” about your secular nature in order to reduce discrimination. The day is aimed at freethinkers of various stripes and, no matter what you call yourself, if you are nonreligious and prefer secularization to the rule of a church or a religious body then express it.

Depending on where you live, this may not be easy. With my family, I readily admit it’s not so open even though they know I’m not a practicing Christian (kind of like politics, don’t bring it up at the dinner table unless you want to get into an argument). With friends and co-workers it is very open as when people want to profess their Christianity I simply respond, “That’s great, I’m an atheist.” Any conversation on the topic ensues from there including some admittedly awkward moments, but I’ve found that most Christians or believers who have a personal god don’t care that I don’t believe like they do. As long as they’re free to express themselves. My only sin on the matter is a little injected humor–which comes back at me too. You have to allow for some good-natured ribbing.

Unfortunately, when believers literally think you’re going to hell or that you, as an atheist or agnostic, are the embodiment of hell, it can get a little nasty. But much like what I heard in youth group, actions speak louder than words–“walk the walk.” If you’re a good person, it will be obvious regardless if you believe in a god or not. If you’re an asshole, I’m sorry, Jesus isn’t going to save your personality.

So for Openly Secular Day, post it on your Facebook or mention it in passing, but no one should feel as if they have to start a religious debate or proselytize. I don’t think that’s the point. Your friends like you (or at least should like you) for your personality. If you being an atheist (or vice versa, you being a Christian or Muslim or Mormon, etc) is a deal breaker then they’re not much of a friend. Some of the best friends (and lovers) vehemently disagree with each other. Diversity of beliefs and opinion keeps us humble… With that said, I don’t know why all you believers insist on being wrong so much 🙂

 

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