The Jaipur Literary Festival is known to stir controversy. For well over three decades, Nandy has been in the business, shall we say, of unsettling received ideas, controverting the most established opinions, and deploying the tactics of a street fighter against institutionalized forms of knowledge. And as long as this is the case, the Indian Republic will survive. The dedicated do-good activist types, in particular, are generally without humor and find irony a hindrance to whatever noble cause they wish to espouse. The most eminent sociologist of the previous generation, the late M.

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Secularism is unfairly characterised and attacked by religious leaders as a way of seeking to protect their privileges. Secularism is not atheism lack of belief in God and nor is it humanism a nonreligious belief system.

It is a political movement seeking specific policy end-points. Many secularists are religious and many religious people — recognising the value of keeping government and religion separate — are secular. Secularism seeks to defend the absolute freedom of religious and other belief, seeks to maximise freedom of religious and other expression and protect the right to manifest religious belief insofar as it does not impinge disproportionately on the rights and freedoms of others.

This is essentially a summary of article 9 of the European convention on human rights. In addition secularism aims to end religious privileges or persecutions and to fully separate the state from religion which is a necessary means to that end.

Protect free religious expression that does not directly incite violence or crimes against others or publicly and directly cause someone distress or alarm.

End discrimination against nonreligious belief systems or organisations by ending their exclusion from:. Where religious organisations join others in delivering public services, ensure they do so without:.

Limit the right of religious people delivering public services for example marriage registrars, judges, pharmacists, or care workers to conscientiously object to carrying out lawful parts of their job to rare and specific exemptions eg doctors and abortion agreed by parliament.

Allow for reasonable adjustment to cater for religious practice in employment or in facilities eg Sikh turbans in the police force, the hijab or kara in uniform policies, and prayer facilities in the workplace but not to extend this to a blanket religious exemption based on subjective feelings, nor to impose religious practice on nonbelievers.

Cease religious inculcation by the state by ending compulsory worship in schools and making religious education the study of what religions and other belief systems believe, rather than instruction in what to believe.

We are the only country outside Iran to have reserved seats in parliament for clerics. Religious people can and do stand for election in the normal way. Resist the imposition of parallel legal systems based on scripture, or the legal presumption that religious people are any more or less moral than nonbelievers. None of this involves anything to do with doctrinal matters such as women bishops, gay priests or Latin masses, which are matters for religions.

Nor does it involve the banning of religious opinion from the public square. None of it engages with what families get up to in their home, or religious leaders within their own families.

If you agree with all the above, while you may be an ardent secularist, you are in no way "militant" or "aggressive". If you agree with only most of that manifesto, you may well be a vicar. If you oppose it all then you are probably archbishop material. The worst excesses carried out in the name of secularism — neither of which are supported by UK secularists — involve a proposed burqa ban in France and bans on religious dress in Turkish universities. They are wrong but they hardly rank compared to what is carried out by religious regimes.

A manifesto for secularist change would look like this: 1. Work to end segregation of people based on religious dividing lines. Catholicism Religion The papacy comment. Reuse this content. Order by newest oldest recommendations. Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded.

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An Anti-Secularist Manifesto



A secularist manifesto




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