Secular Americans are raising their profile on the American social and political landscape. Can you count yourself among them? Here are some indicators.
How to tell whether you're a Secular American
If you honestly believe that the creator of the universe may intervene to ensure that your team wins the big game next weekend, while simultaneously ignoring starving children in developing countries, you definitely are NOT a Secular American.
If you basically approach the big questions of life from a natural standpoint, without relying on supernatural explanations, you may be a Secular American.
If you seriously think someone who believes the Earth is 6000 years old might be qualified to be president, you are probably NOT a Secular American. (For that matter, if you think the world is about 6000 years old, you probably aren’t a Secular American.)
If you optimistically look forward to the end of the world because you see it as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy, you probably are NOT a Secular American.
If you think creationism (or “Intelligent Design”) should be taught in public school science classes, you aren’t a Secular American.
If someone wants to misinform teens about birth control, that person probably isn’t a Secular American.
If someone (other than your partner) wants to regulate your bedroom behavior, you can bet he or she isn't a Secular American.
If you feel there is too much God-talk in the public forum and that politicians too often wrap themselves in God and patriotism just to win votes, you might be a Secular American.
If someone is trying to remove evolution from your kid's science curriculum, you can be sure that he or she is not a Secular American.
If giving millions of dollars of tax money to fundamentalist churches doesn't offend you, you're probably NOT a Secular American.
If you think the Boy Scouts are right to discriminate against atheists and gays, because atheists and gays can't be good citizens, then you're NOT a Secular American.
If the idea of gays and lesbians having equal rights offends you, then you're probably NOT a Secular American.
If you take "God Bless America" seriously, thinking that the creator of the universe actually has a special affection for the political unit that we call the USA, you probably aren't a Secular American.
If you oppose environmental protection laws because you feel that the earth's resources were created by God for mankind to exploit, and because you expect that the apocolypse will destroy the world before humans deplete those resources anyway, you are not a Secular American.
If the very idea of claimed prophesy and revelation (that is, ordinary people receiving “special messages” from God that the rest of us are supposed to accept as true) seems a bit odd to you, you may be a Secular American.
If you determine your values through your own reason and experience, without fear of divine retribution, then you may be a Secular American. On the other hand, if you are good mainly because you fear the wrath of God, then you probably aren’t a Secular American.
If you are “spiritual but not religious,” you may be a Secular American, depending on what you mean by “spiritual.” If you just mean “deep” or perhaps “capable of experiencing awe,” then you certainly could be a Secular American. But if by “spiritual” you mean you feel that you communicate with angels or other supernatural entities, then you probably aren’t a Secular American.
If you think “God is love,” then you might be a Secular American, though most Secular Americans just call love, um . . . love.
If you think God is simply another word for nature itself, then you might be a Secular American.
If you just aren’t very religious, but you’re a decent person, then you’re probably a Secular American.