October 20, 2017, we invite you to celebrate
Openly Secular Day.

Openly Secular Day serves as a call to action for those with a secular identity by encouraging openness and dialogue around one’s identity and beliefs. Some common secular identities include atheist, agnostic, secular humanist, freethinker, and secularist, though you are encouraged to identify however your beliefs are best described.

This year, we invite you to celebrate Openly Secular Day in two main ways:

  1. By contacting your representatives to tell them you’re a Secular Values Voter.
  2. By engaging in interfaith activities that foster mutual understanding across religious and philosophical divides.

1. Contact Your Representatives

Text Secular to 52885Openly Secular is partnering with the Secular Coalition for America and their Secular Values Voter campaign, which seeks “to educate political candidates about the significant and rapidly growing secular constituency, the issues they care about, and the values for which they stand.” This Openly Secular Day, you can take part by contacting your representatives and letting them know that you’re a Secular Values Voter who believes in freedom, inclusion, equality, and knowledge, and who asks that all Americans be represented equally regardless of their faith or lack thereof.

You can contact your representatives any time to tell them you’re a Secular Values Voter. However, if you want to be sure to receive the Openly Secular Day action alert with specific messaging on October 20, sign up here or text the word “secular” to 52886.

2. Engage in Interfaith Activities

Openly Secular is partnering with the Know Your Neighbor (KYN) campaign, which is a coalition “created to promote understanding and mutual respect among Americans of diverse religious and ethical traditions.” The Center for Inquiry, which administers Openly Secular, is proud to be part of the KYN coalition, and is interested in helping others understand what secular humanists and other secular people believe through community education and dialogue.

This Openly Secular Day, we encourage you to engage in an interfaith activity to help foster a better understanding of your secular identity—and to better understand the religious identity of others. The Know Your Neighbor campaign has lots of ideas for what to do; some of our favorite ideas are:

  • Invite a friend or neighbor with different religious beliefs out for coffee to exchange experiences about living with that belief identity.
  • Organize an interfaith dinner or other event and invite secular people as well as members of different faith-based communities.
  • Attend an already scheduled interfaith event in your community; check out this map to get started.

Other Ways to Participate in Openly Secular Day

You can be Openly Secular in many different ways! If the above initiatives don’t work for you or you’re looking for additional Openly Secular Day activities, check out these ideas:

Host an Openly Secular Day of Service

Organizing an Openly Secular Day of Service is a great way to combat the common misconception that you need religion to be a good person. Get a group of secular individuals who want to do good in the world together and find a service opportunity that works for you. Here are some ideas:

  • Clean up a local park
  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen
  • Run a clothing drive for a homeless shelter
  • Play games with residents at a nursing home

If you need other ideas, you can always contact local nonprofit organizations and ask if they have work they would like volunteers to help with. If you need other organizing help, contact the CFI Outreach Department at outreach@centerforinquiry.net.

Spread Voter Registration Information

With a patchwork of state-level rules on voter registration, it can be frustrating to figure out where and how to get registered. Luckily, vote.gov is a great resource. Simply enter your state, and you’ll be directed to accurate voter registration information. If Secular Values Voters want to be a political force, the first step is to make sure we’re properly registered to vote! Share the link with your friends and on social media to make sure other secular people are ready to vote come election day.

Tell One Person

It can be hard to be open about your secular identity, and it’s okay to keep it to yourself if you’re in a position where being open would be detrimental to you. However, there is no better way to combat the stigma of a secular identity than by secular people making their identities known to others. When people personally know someone with a marginalized identity, it’s more difficult to stigmatize or vilify the identity. They can observe firsthand that any myths they’ve heard about secular people aren’t true, which may make them question what else they may have gotten wrong about secular people. By simply telling one person about your secular identity, you can help make the world more accepting for those who may not be able to be openly secular right now.

Openly Secular Day Social Media

No matter how you celebrate Openly Secular Day, be sure to participate via social media!

  • Use #SecularValues to tell the world that you’ve contacted your representatives and to talk about secular values
  • Use #KnowYourNeighbor to talk about your experiences with interfaith activities
  • Use #OpenlySecular for everything else Openly Secular Day!