Secularists from the Atheist Alliance of America’s 2013 convention in Boston

Welcome! This is what secularists look like. We come from all backgrounds, and we are just like other people. Some of us have no religion and advocate for separation of church and state, calling ourselves atheists, agnostics, humanists, or freethinkers. Some of us are “skeptics”, who may have a religion, but oppose paranormal beliefs such as Bigfoot and faith healing. We all support science and reason.

Worldwide, there are more than a billion people who don’t have a religion, so it’s surprising how often we are misunderstood and marginalized. In the developed world, we are excluded from public debate, and the subject of prejudice from governments, businesses, and our own families. In the developing world, having no faith or the wrong faith can get us killed by our neighbors or courts.

Our concern is not directly with religions or religious people. We oppose religious thinking, the kind of blind faith that ignores facts about the world, and substitutes a gut feeling or an ancient and heavily interpreted text. People everywhere expect courtroom decisions to be based on reason and evidence, not divine inspiration. Why not make every government decision on the same basis?