Secular Equals Profane?

Throughout history (and probably prehistory) there has been a separation between the sacred and the “profane.” The religious and the secular. The Greeks used what they called a tenemos, which was a physical barrier that surrounded the temple and delineated religious ground and property from the non-religious. Anthropologists frequently term this the sacred vs. the profane.

Modern religious adherents also refer to the secular as the profane, but they mean it in a different way than anthropologists. They seek to demean, denegrate, and marginalize secular beliefs, ideals, and positions. Religious nuts like “Dr.” Kelly Hollowell act as pundits for their supersitions, blaming “secular values” for all manner of social ills, real or imagined. They typically create strawman arguments associating “secularism” with violent crime, abortion, teen pregnancy, forced sex, and terrorism. The idea being that equating the word secular with the real or perceived evils of society creates the impression that “Secular”=bad; “Religion”=good.

This couldn’t be further from the truth when a rational examination of the facts is done. Time after time the undeniable correlation is shown to exist between these “evils” and religious superstition. In a nation that claims 75% of the population is “Christian,” what could possibly be concluded from a rate of cheating in high school that is of a similar rate except that religion doesn’t work.

Secular simply means separate from religion. One can be both secular and religious, for instance, if one chooses to keep religious doctrine out of government. The fallacy of equivocating “secular” with “atheist” and “evil” isn’t unintentional. The religious adherents that do this have a very dishonest intent: to unfairly malign that which questions their superstitions with that which is hated; to perpetuate the taboo of questioning and criticizing religion and religious superstition.

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