Geography

Egypt in Transition, Secularism on the Rise

The new explosion of revolution in Egypt is another reminder of people wanting a secular society on our planet. Arguably, religion has its place in our world, but it should not be what drives our governments. As an non-theist (read that atheist, agnostic, humanist, secularist) I see what’s happening in Egypt as a progressive move by a state’s citizens in a desire to rid themselves of the unnecessary influence and interference of religion, in this case the Muslim Brotherhood.

Around the world there are examples of secularism taking over and knocking state religion to the curb. However, here in the United States we continue to battle over whether our founding fathers based their original intent  in religion, as some on the right would have us believe. Of course, we could believe that to be the case since in the time of 1776 atheism and secularism were considered heretical stances and were not tolerated. So, any Thomas Jefferson who, in the confines of their own home, believed that the bible only offered some decent ideas on how to behave toward others and also thought church and state should be separate had to remain silent in public.

Jefferson did take advantage of the opportunity to distance our society from religion by not referring to god in the Declaration but once, a veiled reference to “Nature’s God.” Even our Constitution made no mention of god. The Bill of Rights only expressed the calculated reservation of creating a state religion, yet still allowed the freedom to practice religion on a personal level. These documents form the basis of our established country. The Declaration is not a legal document, but the others in no way show preference for religion as a centerpiece of our society.

Some republicans are currently saying the President is failing to lead around the world by his inability to show the United States as a dominant country and interfering in the politics of other countries. Our President is just that, OUR president, not the world’s leader. Sometimes we must let other people decide their future without forcing our beliefs and way of life on them, as some want us to do in Syria and Egypt. Certainly we should provide aid to the citizens of any country in need if we have the means to do so, but doing more without just cause and without our own country at stake is in error.

Egypt will succeed in their effort to bring about change and structure their country in the manner they choose. No longer will they have to endure the tyranny of a religious sect that is in opposition to what they desire as a society. Overwhelmingly, Egyptians dream of democracy, not theocracy.  As we have spoken here in the United States 237 years ago, so to will Egyptians speak in 2013.

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