A Modest Proposal: Get Religion Out of the Charity Sector

Tom Flynn

Ambitious goals can energize a movement. Sometimes, even overly ambitious goals can do the trick. The Nine Demands of Liberalism, promulgated in 1873, galvanized successive generations of freethinkers and their organizations over some seventy years, even though most of that document’s lofty goals—among them, an end to tax-funded military chaplaincy and a ban on appropriations of public funds for religious organizations—were never achieved. I looked back on the Nine Demands and their legacy in a 2014 editorial.1

With that in mind, I’d like to propose a new goal for the secular humanist movement. This goal may prove as unattainable as most of the Nine Demands, but I think it’s the right choice nonetheless. I think that regardless of whether it is eventually achieved, the movement will benefit by making this goal a part of its discourse. It’s a goal I’ve touched on before, one that I think flows naturally from the “secular" in secular humanism.

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