About secular left
Secular Left exists to support strict government secularism in the United States and to expose the lies, smears, myths, and name calling used against those who are secular and/or freethinkers. The topics we will try to cover include 1st Amendment court cases, incidents and events that cross the line between church and state, anti-science stories, subtle and obvious discrimination based on freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, and privacy. We are also watching the religious right in the US and in the world in general.
It is our belief that extreme religious beliefs are at the root of many problems we see in the world and that seem to be unsolvable. We intend to fight for social justice no matter where it needs to happen because in most cases we can find religious bigotry at the heart the issue.
Secular Left is for progressive secular public policies and solutions.
One of the strongest ideas that has allowed our country to flourish is the strict separation of church and state as defined in Thomas Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists and the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
“No Law” means no law. No special treatment or privileges for religion or the religious such as not having to pay taxes, praying before government meetings or events, and having “God” on the money or in the pledge. A religion neutral government is the goal this blog and podcast supports.
Where else in the world can people of such diverse religious view points live together in relative peace? Only in a country that has a strong tradition of protecting freedom of religion and keeping religion and government separate. That allows non-believers to enjoy equal protection under the laws and also allows minority religions to flourish.
What can boil our blood are those who want to force their sectarian views on others through control of the government and special laws that follow. They want to destroy our educational system by passing their religious beliefs off as fact. They want to continually discriminate against classes of people who don’t happen to believe exactly as they do or get laws passed taking away rights from people who just want to marry the person they love.
Secular Left was started in 2005 and as stated in Post #1: Purpose of this blog:
In short, the purpose of this site is to point out and tear apart the myths and lies expressed by the religious right and other conservatives against those of us who are either non-believers, agnostic, liberals, or progressive.
The blog was born as the result of anger toward religious and political conservatives, in the United States, who consistently lie, mislead, name call, and propagate myths about those us who are secular. This struggle has been going on for more than 20 years since the rise of groups like the Moral Majority, the Christian Coalition, the American Family Association, and the Family Research Council. These groups irrationally mix their religious beliefs with one particular form of political ideology.
The term “secular left” began to appear in 2005 when religious and political conservatives started using the term as a pejorative to pander to their extreme religious conservative base. To them the label includes anyone and any group who dissents against their extreme political conservative agenda, especially in regards to social and culture issues.
People covered by the label “secular left” seem to include the entire Democratic party, those who support separation of church and state, those who support real religious liberty, those who support reproductive choice, those who work to lessen poverty, those who work for better world understanding, those who support sane environmental protection, and those who trust science as a tool for solving problems or answering questions in our world.
Since the label is political it can include believers, atheists, agnostics, Freethinkers, liberals, and progressives.
While religious and political conservatives try to frame their arguments as a popularity contest, those of us who are secular believe in tempering the tyranny of the majority. That is why our Constitution has a Bill of Rights and we aim to support it 100%.
Even though the main focus will be on those topics confined to the United States, the blog won’t try to ignore these issues in other parts of the world.
In the spring of 2020, Secular Left transitioned to a podcast focused project but there may be an occasional written blog post.
Doug Berger is the founder and host and is responsible for the entire content and operation of the podcast. He’s the person to contact about the topics presented here. He is also the host of the Glass City Humanist podcast.
Doug is the founder and President of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie
Doug has been a member of the Humanist Community of Central Ohio since 1995, serving as its President from 2001 to 2002 and serving on the Board of Directors off and on from 1995 to 2014. He was the editor of the Central Ohio Humanist, HCCO’s newsletter from 2000 to 2007. HCCO named Doug their Humanist of the Year in 2013
Doug was the co-chair for the Secular Coalition for Ohio, a chapter of the Secular Coalition for America, from 2013-2018
Doug is a proud Atheist. Nontheism helps him deal with the world in which he lives.
Topics Doug can talk about include: church and state issues, social justice, Humanism, Ohio politics, liberal matters, freethought, silent film, and history.
If you wish to contact the contributor privately just use the generic e-mail contact form.
What Does ‘Lightly Edited’ Mean?
Each episode has a transcript that is generated by machine. Basically a computer listens to the episode and generates what it thinks is being said. Like all computers it can be wrong, especially listening to an audio file.
Secular Left has a staff of One – the host – who is also the editor and writer. There is little time to go trough a transcript to make sure it is 100% accurate.
Currently the host goes through at least the first couple of paragraphs and the last couple to make sure it is correct and if the computer misses a name we will do a find and replace.
If you read something in the transcript that seems very wrong then listen to that part of the audio and see what it was suppose to say. You can also send us a comment and ask about it.
Secular Left supports a free exchange of ideas but due to the nature of the Internet, it has some basic rules. Some new or anonymous comments left on individual posts are held for moderation. This is mainly to address spam and hit-n-run trolls frequent in the blogosphere. The editor reviews these comments and posts those that are not spam and that contribute to the discussion – even those that disagree with the post in question. Unlike religious and political conservatives, Secular Left is not afraid of dissent. Comments that are approved are approved without editing. The editor has a strict personal rule not to edit the content of another person’s writing. Some comments, deemed worthy, may be read during an episode of the podcast.
However, Secular Left reserves the right to remove any comments at any time if the content doesn’t forward the discussion or is just disguised spam. The editor does check out comments and visits any links found in them. You are a guest here and have no inherent right to be heard.
Since the editor does check out links left in comments, if he comes across a blog or site that is related to the topic of this podcast or is an interesting site, the link may show up on the blog roll located on the FAQ page.
It shouldn’t have to be said but here it is: All comments appearing on Secular Left are the views and opinions of the author and should not be considered the views and opinions of Secular Left, its contributors, or its staff.
Published episodes, associated web pages, legacy postings, and layout are © Secular Left but is covered under the Creative Commons licence unless otherwise noted. When sharing clips or blurbs we only ask for attribution and a link back to Secular Left.
Quotes and articles used in postings or episodes are © the respective authors and media and is used for educational and informational purposes only. Credit is given with links to the full article or web page when possible.
Some material used in published episodes and legacy posts on this website are from sites that restrict viewing to subscribers of that site. Secular Left tries to provide material only from publicly available sources but in those cases where an article is unique, the content of the article may be posted on a separate static page on the website with full copyright acknowledged.
At some point, this podcast may accept advertising, sponsorship, or paid insertions. We won’t include such advertising without making it clear it is advertising. We won’t mix non-advertising content and advertising content and we won’t pass off advertising as regular content.
At this time, the host(s) , guests, and staff are not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. The views and opinions expressed in the podcast are purely the host(s) and guests. If we claim or appear to be experts on a certain topic or product or service area, we will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.
This podcast will not intentionally contain any content which might present a conflict of interest. If such a conflict does arise, we will disclose it.
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