Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Secularism presumably means informal separation between church and state, where the formal version means the distinction is constitutional and explicit.

I'd suggest it's a grey area in practice, because of the influence religions have over voting patterns - very obviously in the US, perhaps less overtly in parts of Europe.

The only technically secular cultures were the communist ones. But I think there's a good case to be made for the suggestion that replacing religion with messianic secular ideology isn't necessarily an improvement.

Which in turn suggests that West isn't secular at all, because most countries follow a subtly messianic creed called Liberal Capitalism.

This creates the useful illusion of Freedom of Conscience while disguising a reality that enforces strict conformity.

Aside from a brief heretical digression into Social Democracy, Liberal Capitalism has defined public, private and state values for more than a century in the UK. And the links between politics and policy aren't just strong, they're incestuous.

The danger is that many atheists believing they're fighting the good fight (sic) by taking a pop at Christianity and Islam, but calling out Liberal Capitalism as a fairy story at least as silly as any other remains taboo and off the media radar.

It's acceptable to criticise individual policy decisions and institutions. But criticising the entire edifice is a fringe activity by cranks and heretics - even though practically, LC is currently far more destructive to Western social morality and well-being than any of the mainstream religions.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Sep 5th, 2012 at 10:19:50 AM EST
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