Definitions

American Secular Union

American Secular Union

The American Secular Union was a social movement from the 1800s in the United States.

After the implosion of the National Liberal League, the Liberals reorganized as a nonpolitical American Secular Union. Colonel Robert Green Ingersoll served as one of its first presidents.

The American Secular Union and Freethought Federation was dedicated to the separation of Church and State, and for its platform used the nine demands of Liberalism, namely:

  1. that churches and other ecclesiastical property shall be no longer exempt from taxation;
  2. that the employment of chaplains in the United States Congress, in state legislatures, in the United States Army and United States Navy, and in prisons, asylums, and all institutions supported by public money, shall be discontinued, and that all religious services maintained by national, state, or municipal governments shall be abolished;
  3. that all public appropriations for educational and charitable institutions of a sectarian character shall cease;
  4. that, while advocating the loftiest instruction in morals and the inculcation of the strictest uprightness of conduct, religious teaching and the use of the Bible for religious purposes in public schools shall be prohibited;
  5. that the appointment by the President of the United States and the governors of the various states of religious festivals, fasts, and days of prayer and thanksgiving shall be discontinued;
  6. that the theological oath in the courts and in other departments of government shall be abolished, and simple affirmation under the pains and penalties of perjury, established in its stead;
  7. that all laws directly or indirectly enforcing in any degree the religious and theological dogma of Sunday or Sabbath observance shall be repealed;
  8. that all laws looking to the enforcement of Christian morality as such shall be abrogated, and that all laws shall be conformed to the requirements of natural morality, equal rights and impartial justice;
  9. that, in harmony with the Constitution of the United States and the constitutions of the several states, no special privileges or advantages shall be conceded to Christianity or any other religion; that our entire political system shall be conducted and administered on a purely secular basis; and that whatever changes are necessary to this end shall be consistently, unflinchingly, and promptly made.

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