John Shook On Secularism.
Atheists get blamed for secularization, yet secularization was well underway in the West long before enough atheists accumulated to add support to the separation of church and state. Secularization is not the same as atheism. Secularization has to do with religion’s control over the outer world, not over the inner mind. Secularization is the gradual replacement of religious control over major political and social institutions. Political secularization prevents governments from favouring religion and it also protects religions from governmental interference. Social secularization finds most civil organizations, such as for-profit business and non-profit colleges and hospitals, no longer controlled by religious denomination. America is a good example of a country in which secularism is the norm while most people sustain their faiths. Some of religions defenders fear secularization, as if people’s faith in god could depend on religion controlling the world… If faith is doing so well, perhaps secularization should not be such a terror. Apparently billions of people can freely enjoy their private faith in god while letting the government do their public jobs (indeed, that was the aim of secularism). Political and social secularization continues, affecting the world as much as faiths propagation… Religions tend to view any competition as another religion, so secularism gets accused of quasi-religious indoctrination and totalitarianism. (Shook, The God Debates, p. 4, 2010)
Shook J.R. (2010). The God Debates. Sussex, United Kingdom. Wiley-Blackwell. P. 4.
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