What Exactly Is State Secularism?

03/23/2017 02:50 pm ET Updated Mar 23, 2017

Question Time shows us that secularism, plainly, calls for the separation of government institutions and persons mandated to represent the state from religious institutions and religious dignitaries. It is the view that public activities and decisions, especially political ones, should be uninfluenced by religious beliefs or practices.

So when Donald Trump claims that the Bible is his favorite book in the world, we should push for secularism. We shouldn’t be worried that President Trump will lobby for creationism in American public schools, but we should take a closer look at how his policy is influenced by the religious right. Although Donald Trump’s Muslim ban may be angled as an “immigration crackdown,” the ban specifically targets members of a particular religion.

A secular government shouldn’t involve itself in religious affairs. The Constitution of the United States promotes a society in which there is no official religion and no people would be discriminated against for their faith. Recent policy moves push religious agendas that don’t promote security for people outside the Christian right. This isn’t the way it should be.

State secularism is the idealized version of the United States. It promotes a system in which a community of people with diverse religious perspectives to govern themselves and love each other without allowing the state to put their thumb on the scale.

Secularism is not equal to atheism, it is not anything practiced by Russia, and it is not a tool for repression. Now you know.

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