Secular liberalism is a form of liberalism in which secularist principles and values, and sometimes non-religious ethics, are especially emphasised. It supports the separation of religion and state. Moreover, secular liberals are usually advocates of liberal democracy and the open society as models for organizing stable and peaceful societies.
Secular liberalism stands at the other end of the political spectrum from religious authoritarianism, as seen in theocratic states and illiberal democracies. It is often associated with stances in favor of social equality and political freedom.
Being secularists by definition, secular liberals tends to favor secular states over theocracies or states with a state religion. Secular liberals advocate separation of church and state in the formal constitutional and legal sense. Secular liberal views typically see religious ideas about society, and religious arguments from authority drawn from various sacred texts, as having no special status, authority, or purchase in social, political, or ethical debates. It is common for secular liberals to advocate the teaching of religion as a historical and cultural phenomenon, and to oppose religious indoctrination or lessons which promote religion as fact in schools. Among those who have been labelled as secular liberals are prominent atheists like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Sam Harris.
The label of "secular liberal" can sometimes be confusing as to what it refers to. While the term secular can sometimes be used as an adjective for atheists and non-religious people, chiefly in American usage, in British English it is more likely to refer to people who are secularists, which is to say, people who believe in keeping religion and government apart. The atheist writer Richard Dawkins can be categorized under both definitions, while the British Muslim liberal commentator Maajid Nawaz and liberal Christians who advocate secularism, like Ed Davey and Barack Obama, only meet the latter.
In a modern democratic society, a plurality of conflicting doctrines share an uneasy co-existence within the framework of civilization.
- Humanism - My thought stems from here!
- Enlightenment - Here too!
- Liberalism - Freedom and liberty for all!
- Secularism - It's in the name.
- Progressivism - We often go together.
- Neoconservatism - Many of my followers support military interventions, although some are more dovish.
- Conservatism - Not only are you a bible thumper, but you believe in conservative values.
- Reactionarism - I beat you during the age of enlightenment!