People who pledged

There are hundreds of thousands of secular people and people who support them. Here is what real people are saying about why it’s important to them to be Openly Secular.

Pledges so far

Actually, I’ve been openly secular for many years, but I decided to go all out this April 23.

John Renish10 people

So people can know that they are not alone.

Edward Smith5 people

I believe in God but my daughter does not. Part of being a good mom is accepting that she is different from me and to respect her beliefs.

beagle lady10 people

Because I am not and never have been in the closet.

Shirley Moll10 people

Being openly secular is like revealing your secret identity. It’s scary, but also liberating.

Steve Ahlquist10 people

There is no shame in truth, only in forcing other people not to express themselves

Stephanie Golding10 people

Because it’s the best way to end marginalization.

Lori Fazzino10 people

Because Gervais’ research indicates that this reduces discrimination against secular people!

Lyz Liddell6 people

Because we should not have to hide, or made to feel like being secular should be hidden.

Bashiri Asad10 people

I’m an atheist who has faced discrimination, especially living in the Southeast US.

Jessica Winslow10 people

I want to live in a world where being non-religious is a non-issue.

Hemant Mehta10 people

It’s the only way I can be open about my entire self.

Stephanie Van Horn10 people

Simply because it’s who I am as human being.

Wilma Dominguez1 person

I don’t want people in my life who don’t like the real me.

Lindsey Meehan3 people

Because as an atheist in the Bible Belt, I am an outcast among my family and many others.

Mark Mullins3 people

Because I want to set a good example for my atheist nephews.

Lisa Williams1 person

Well… I was never actually not openly secular. I first decided that religion was silly in approximately freshmen year of high school (~age 13) because of countless reasons and have been openly atheist since. It also helped that a very large majority of my peers were openly secular (my estimate is ~70% of my high school). This is what I experienced growing up in San Francisco, and I am very thankful that critical thinking was integrated into my thought process so early. I selected 10 people because it is not a burden to tell people that I am secular because most agree with me.

Tyler Krill10 people

Hmm.. Great question indeed I’d say loving one another is important but I also would say being true to yourself and embracing who we are as individuals has become second nature because we lose ourselves in who we are around and let our identities become second. We would rather hold back such to fit in better with the group.

KV1 person

Because I live in a predominately religious area and I want to remove the stigma of non-believers. I think it is important to show them that they are not in control and cannot shut us up with fear. It’s funny how they talk about Christ’s love but turn around and threaten you with hate and violence.

Allan Lopez10 people

It relieves the stigma people have that surrounds not being religious. I let my actions speak for me before I am open about it. I try to be fair and kind. I volunteer, and try to make the world around me a bit better. people always ask, if you don’t pray, what do you do? Whatever I can to help, I do! I have been very open in all aspects of my life, including work for the past 5 years. Some people find it difficult to understand. The more open we are, the more we can eliminate the stigma.

Tiffany Serratore5 people

I didn’t want to feel judged, or categorized. Now I am more confident. People who judge me by my choice of being a secular humanist as someone with whom they do not wish to associate, they can simply walk away from me. I just don’t want to feel like an outsider among friends, but my confidence has helped me realize that maybe I want new friends.

Nat5 people

People that know me, know me as being generous and helpful without the need to be praised or compensated. I need them to know that I don’t in anyway do the things I do because a set of stories written long ago tell me I should be a certain way. I need to be openly secular to let the “believers” that I know, start grasping that their kind aren’t the only ones that have the traits that they attribute to being “Christian”.

Carroll Knipe4 people

Being openly secular is important to me because people see “secular” as something negative in almost the same way as “atheist.” But secularism is the bedrock of every successful democracy and leads to the most equality and best quality of life. I’d like to help the world “secular” become a positive expression rather than a negative one.

Ryan Bell2 people

Increasing visibility of secular citizens is crucially important to breaking down barriers of ignorance and fear.

Zachary Moore10 people

Being openly secular is important because many people assume that all of their friends, family, and colleagues are religious and will say things or make decisions based on that assumption. We also need to dispel the negative stereotypes people may have of being secular.

Torey Glassmeyer10 people

I feel that it’s important to let everyone know that atheists are not evil, immoral people and since most people see me as generous, ethical and helpful they may start associating those traits with atheists too.

Michelle Schoen3 people

Living on the buckle of the bible belt can be hard if you have a rational view of the world, care for all of mankind, and a genuine need for proof. I’m not sure when it happened, but at one point I simply got sick of walking on the eggshells of religious feelings and started openly talking about working toward a secular society, free from antiquated theology, shame, and oppression. I’m proud to be openly secular, are you?

Michael Arden10 people

Being Openly Secular is important to me because people need to know that there’s nothing wrong with not believing in god! It is also necessary for the secular community to make their voices heard when it comes to policies and politics. We are under represented and our rights are often suppressed by the majority religions. I share with 10 people that I’m an atheist but I think everyone already knows. I’m not quiet about it because there is nothing shameful about my beliefs.

Amber10 people

Because I do NOT want to live a lie. I have NO superstitious beliefs and have fought against ignorance and superstition all my adult life. I fought against it during my Military Career and still fight against it today. For me to believe, I need absolute provable proof. Not just someones pie in the sky idea about a supreme being or beings.

Kenneth R Jackson5 people

I was raised in New Zealand in a culture where it was more usual to be secular than religious, and having religious belief or not isn’t at the forefront of personal identity It was a culture shock to live in the US where being religious was an expectation and linked to having good character. In New Zealand, being religious is something which is more privately held and not something used to judge people.

Rachel Berquist4 people

Because I’m sick of the assumption that I must be part of one religion or another. Because those that are secular deserve to know that they are not alone. Because there is a long history of violence in religion and I’m proud of being able to distance myself from that. Because we have grown beyond stories to “make do” with scientific achievements and want to promote further discovery. Because I want to reflect who I am and what I value. Most importantly, because if the secular community grows as large and proud as religious groups, maybe I won’t have to hide who I am in fear that I won’t be hired for a summer internship.

AnaPins5 people

I’ve had enough of privileged religion and it’s time force this conversation on the free world whether or not they think they are ready.

David Nation5 people

I think that it is important for people to know that there are a lot of people who don’t subscribe to any religion. Such importance is placed upon what religion one subscribes to in this world. Freedom of religion includes the right to NOT to subscribe to any religion without consequence. I have never been afraid to say that I am secular. Why should I be afraid? It is part of who I am.

Gabriela Amari10 people

It’s been a rare occasion that I didn’t feel comfortable declaring my secular stance. Having come out of fundamentalist Christianity and attending bible college, I was aware of just how important standing up for values and an ideology that were concerned with the rights for everyone, not just the chosen few of a god. I tell everyone I can in any way that I can that not only am I openly secular, but I will not be silent in the face of attempts to diminish that dedication.

David Teachout5 people

Being Open Secular allows me to be open to ideas. It promotes an open dialogue to discuss beliefs, histories, and worldviews. And although I may not be tied to any religious affiliation, it does not mean that I am not intrigued and curious to hear about how your beliefs guide your worldview.

Melisa Williams1 person

I have been Openly Secular since I recognized the irrationality of religion at age 13. Despite struggling with family tradition, it turned out to be painless for me, but I understand how difficult it is for many, many others. Those others need to know they have support, that they are not alone. And those who demonize atheists need to realize we will no longer silently accept the abuse.

Avri Klemer1 person

I have 3 reasons this is important to me.To improve the perception that religion is needed in order to have a Moral society. Also to build a larger community to increase the chance of a larger repesentation in goverment, with dream of having an openly secular president. As well as to expend the believe in science as a uniform concensous.

Todd LaRiviere5 people

By identifying myself as a secularist, I also identify myself as a person who values reason instead of dogma. I hope that more and more people will equate secularism with evidence-based reasoning as the Openly Secular campaign continues throughout the years to come.

Mandy Shaver1 person

Because religion and state are two separate things. I was open about it before as I am now

Ruby Khaja3 people

No need to hide.

John Lynch5 people

I want people to see being good is a choice, I do not need fear of a god to be kind, law abiding, or moral.

Wen Falana4 people

So people know we are not big, bad, and ugly!

Shanti1 person

Because I like to live my life honestly with friends knowing who I am as a person. Being open also helps make it easier for those less privileged to be open about their beliefs.

Todd Stiefel10 people

I’m trying to help my mom understand that I lead a fulfilled and rich life, not despite my non-belief, but because of it!

Cara Zelaya1 person

I am against all discrimination and the endless human rights violations committed by the religiously self-justified.

Karen Hanania5 people

Too many, including politicians assume that being religious is the norm. Especially here in the South.

Sue DiCato3 people

Our actions makes us who we are.

Simona Coborzan5 people

I think it’s time people realize that you don’t have to be religious to be a good person!!!!!

David Horton3 people

Religious people are rarely afraid to say anything in public – in fact, they often go out of their way. We should be able to do the same.

Kate Karwowska7 people

Because I have the right to believe as I choose, including choosing not to believe in mythology.

Liam Sauer-Wooden5 people

Everyone should follow the path, spiritual OR secular, that is right for them. Live & let live. Live & let love.

Deb Burleigh10 people

Because we should not have to hide, or made to feel like being secular should be hidden.

Bashiri Asad10 people

Because I believe secularism is the key to moving toward true equality for all people.

Kayla Kriens10 people

I’m tired of having my life hi-jacked by somebody else’s invisible friends and mythology.

Susan Byra1 person

Because we need positive change to happen, and to cease the demonization of the non religious!

Alicia Gillis5 people

It is important to me because I support friends of all religious faiths and I simply want the same treatment from more people. 🙂

Antigony Acklin10 people

Because I see people telling atheists everyday that they are anti-christian and that just isn’t true.

Karina5 people

To raise consciousness, and get people on a path if critical thinking.

Jiten Yagnik5 people

I have been open for years. I wear t-shirts from FFRF and other secular organizations.

SeniorSkeptik1 person

With many very religious family members, there was a sort of stigma to be an atheist. However, as a parent, I feel it is even more important to be true to who I am and my beliefs.

Mike Chewning1 person

It’s ridiculous that atheists are on par with rapists as far as trust goes in this country. I’d be very surprised if we weren’t, on average, the most intelligent, moral, happiest and friendly people out there.

Guy Henry2 people

Quite simply to show religious people that non-theists are just as human and moral as any person of faith. Perhaps even more so.

Wally Wojciechowski10 people

Being openly secular helps build and create the awareness that nonreligious beliefs are real and present in society. If we as secularists sit back quietly while witnessing the conformity of our fellow human-beings to religious dogma, we would be doing our species an incredible disservice. There is nothing more detrimental to the human mind than information that is utterly false and undisputed in the arena.

Sean McNamara5 people

I want to be counted because I do not wish anyone to have to go down the road I had to to get here. Also while children are being shot for wanting an education I feel it is my duty to declare I am openly secular.

Claire Hill10 people

We have to come out of the closet and stand up for ourselves. No group has ever gained acceptance otherwise. I have been out and proud for a while, and it is more than worth it.

Janet Thew10 people

In my life I have always been openly secular, and sometimes quite loud about it. In a free society it is important not only to be open minded but also to speak about what you find wrong or not just. And to use religion in any form to oppress someone or to deny anyone their human rights is wrong. Feel free to believe but don’t take it out on other people.

Tobba Andersson9 people

I have been openly secular for many years. I am raising an openly secular teenager. It is important that he feels safe to be exactly who he is openly. I want to help others come out of the dark and support them by letting them know they are not alone. As a secularist, I believe if we stand together as a community we can bring about change and unravel the myths that so many believe about who we are and what we believe.

Abby Buchanan5 people

I have been afraid of harsh judgement from religious people, but one of the main reasons I am an atheist is because I believe it’s wrong to judge people based on their faith, or lack of it. Somehow the idea that religion is about unconditional love seems to be practiced by very few. I am secular because I believe in humans and our ability to chose to do good. Time to step out about that. I also want my children to be comfortable with me and whatever choices they make.

Renee Howell10 people

I know that others are not able to be openly secular. I hope that by being out and proud, it will show those still in the closet that they have friends and allies around them.

Korien Wakeman10 people

Several reasons I think. Some people who are religious are very open (even flamboyant) about their beliefs. Even when they infringe upon the rights of others. Being secular is important to me to protect our basic freedoms. To protect the basic rights of everyone in our country.

David McAdams1 person

Support the very notion of free inquiry is essential to our progression and ultimate survival as a species.

Anthony Sams10 people

Too many religious people have the frame of mind that only their religion exists or matters. I don’t think this is because they are bad people, but because they just don’t think about it. Knowing that they have loved ones who are affected by theocratic policies may help people realize that basing policy off religion may not be the best course of action.

Peter Zupan4 people

As an Ethical Humanist, I support separation of church and state. Secular democracy must be supported lest theocracy predominate.

Anne Klaeysen10 people

As part of one of the most feared and distrusted groups in America it is my duty to engage and enlighten others to what it means to live a fact based life and to dispel the myths and lies told about secular humanists and atheism in general.

Kris Jacks10 people

Just as I fight for the rights of women to have agency over their bodies in my career in outreach for a pro-choice political organization, I fight for freedom from religion and the separation of church and state. For myself, for my children, and for women all over the world!

Anne Marie Hiestand10 people

Representing the secular community is important for visibility and to help fight for rights in the separation of church & state.

Em2 people

I am a secular Celebrant, and a member of a local humanist chapter. I live in the bible belt and it is not easy getting recognition when we non-theists do things that are good for the needy, but we keep trying to help others regardless. This day of declaration should become special to so many of us that are nots, nons, and nones because we are the seculars.

Andre Ryland2 people

I never really felt that I had to hide the fact that I was a secularist, but I have been more vocal about it after watching, listening and personally being affected from religion. I feel that I live a more fulfilling live as a secular individual. I also feel that a completely secular society would be more productive socially and economically.

Gerald Testerman3 people

I believe it will be easier for other non-theists to “come out of the closet”. Many are scared at what their relatives or friends will think. Since I have have made my feelings known I have had many people thank me for my openness so that they may have the courage to stand up to the establishment.

Strength in numbers. The more we tell the world that it is ok to be a non-theist the easier it will be for the millions that are afraid to open up!

Tony HIcks10 people

I am privileged to be among friends and family who love me for who I am. But for those who are not, I want to let them know, you are not alone.

Ashwini Subhedar1 person

I believe that secularists should be open. Especially for those who are secularists, but are too worried about what others think to state their beliefs. Everyone has the right to share and celebrate their beliefs.

Alicia Childress5 people

Being openly secular is important because before I knew that others were like me, I was afraid that I would be judged and mistreated for my thoughts. I grew up in a catholic household and I wasn’t sure there was even a choice to not believe in a deity. I choose to be open about being an atheist now because I never want religion to hurt another human being, I want us to be able to think for ourselves, to make our own decisions. Love and compassion, that’s my religion.

Amber Szalanski1 person

The stigma that those without religion are hedonistic and vile needs to end. Religion does not determine if a person is good or bad; life experiences and individual choices do. As an atheist, I should not be discriminated against in any capacity.

Neriseryd1 person

I have always been a naturally honest and open people. I don’t know how to NOT openly be who I am: A bi-sexual, pot smoking, athiest. grandmother. If you know ME, you know that.

Kelli Storie10 people

Freedom and advancement of society.

I am just starting to open up. Coming from a Mormon background in a Mormon community, I have feared extreme ostracism. No longer. It’s my time to stand up for truth and reason and to take Utah from a theocracy to a democracy.

Mindee Zager10 people

Because I believe that religious thinking and bullying against criticism and rationalism is one of the main causes for violence and intolerance.

I believe criticism of religion and rational thinking should be open in order to prevent violence and promote tolerance and knowledge in society.

I’ve suffered from discrimination, intolerance and emotional distance from and with family members and friends due to prejudice against my secular values.

Enrique Maclean10 people

I am already openly secular but participating in Openly Secular day is something important for the sake of showing others that they don’t have to hide atheism or secularism from their friends and family. I personally had my family, which consist of a Primitive Baptist preacher as my father, and experienced the immediate distrust and malcontent that comes to those who are secular in Arkansas. I just want people to know that it is OK to live without religion and it won’t destroy your life and that there are others who know what it is like to have family and friends look down on you for being nonreligious. They also need to know that being open about it is one of the best choices you can ever make.

Ken Staten5 people

I wasn’t secular before, I was first a fundie christian, then a liberal one, and then I became atheist last year. I’ve been outspoken to most people, but very guarded with others. I plan on running for political office one day and I need to be able to be open and honest about secularism.

Frank Clark1 person

People need to know that atheists are not angry, bitter, unhappy people who lead unfulfilling lives. The church I grew up in taught people that atheists are just that and that they “do the devil’s work.” We were taught to avoid atheists at all costs unless we were trying to convert them. When I came out as an atheist on facebook last year, I lost a few FB friends, some people stopped talking to me, and my best friend decided she can’t be best friends with an atheist because I would “get in the way of (her) walk with God.” Being openly secular is important because people need to know that atheists are not “evil.”

Tara Strickland3 people

As a gay man who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, I know the value of good people coming out and making their family and friends look into the face of their loved one and realize that’s also the face of a secular or gay person. It’s the fastest way to destroy a stereotype.

Matt Kenyon5 people

I feel when someone promotes the importance of being secular, it can enlighten those that either aren’t familiar with the concept (such as teens), and get people talking about it.

Sarah Wolf5 people

I wasn’t open before because I was afraid of how my family and colleagues would react. I am studying to become a psychologist, so initially I thought being openly secular would hurt my reputation for gaining clients. But as a person working in the social sciences, I am also interested in social justice and bringing more happiness and acceptance to the world. I will start by being more open about my atheism and showing people that atheists are good citizens who deserved to be treated with respect.

Athena Cykes3 people

I want a more accepting environment for my children. We live in south Georgia and being openly secular here is the same as admitting to worshiping the devil and murdering babies. I raise my children to think for themselves, to constantly question, and to be good people because you only get one shot at life. When they are older, I want them to have the opportunity to be open about who they are and what they believe without any of the stigmas so quickly attached to the term atheist in this region. I may not be able to be completely open about being an atheist right now… but I am raising the next generation with the belief that they will be able to do what I currently cannot.

Samantha Gray3 people

In the past when I have told friends about me being non religious, they have gotten upset because I don’t believe in life after death. I think a major reason for their beliefs is that they will be with their loved ones after they die. It is hard to take that away from them.

Ann Eisinger10 people

I was raised in a fundamentalist, evangelical home and church and was discouraged from doubting or questioning the “truth” as expressed by my religious family and fellow churchgoers. The damage to my intellectual and social development was long-term. It was only through education and exposure to the scientific method and critical thinking that I was able to get rid of the guilt and fear that dominated my life into adulthood. I want to help others avoid my experience and to challenge the status-quo in my community (I live in the deep South).

Judith Whiting1 person

I am tired of being afraid to tell someone that I am a secular homeschooling mother but I don’t want to be. It is hard to meet new homeschoolers and them ask if we attend such and such church or religious homeschool group then run if we say we are secular. I am proud of who I am and if they can be openly religious well then I can be openly secular!!

Andrea Dillon5 people

I’m a college professor, and I used to be worried about keeping my job, and I didn’t want to alienate my students. But atheists need to be out because non-secular people tend to assume our beliefs are just like theirs (if they like you). If more of us come out, it will likely challenge non-secular people’s stereotypes of how weird and evil we atheists are.

Anne Soltysiak5 people

I think being openly secular allows more people to actually identify with a person, such as a colleague, teacher, or neighbor they may not have “perceived” as secular.

Jt Thacker5 people

I believe what I believe. What you believe is really none of my damn business.

Siv Madajewski10 people

The more people open up, the more easy it becomes for the skeptics, atheists, agnostics and everybody else to live free without discrimination.
I am in fact quite open to the whole concept, I just want to show my support for the movement

Joseph Thomas1 person

I’m not ashamed of being secular, so why wouldn’t I be open about it? We need to stand together for the values we espouse, so that others can see what secular looks like. No horns or barbed tails.

Kat Lyons10 people

I am not alone, and I want others in my area to know they aren’t either. I live in a very conservative state, and it can be hard to open up about my beliefs, but it’s important to tell the community that atheists, agnostics, humanists exist-locally!

Megan Bowman10 people

I’m tired of hearing that atheist or agnostic people are bad people with loose morals. I am a wonderful person and a great mother who is full of love.

Harts2 people

It’s important to accept oneself and sharing this acceptance with family and friends is a wonderful experience. I used to hide my secularism from my folks for the sake of “keeping the peace”. Things began to change as I began to ask questions that could not be answered by religion. My family is very much accepting of my views and opinions despite the fact that most of them are religious. Secular people should not be afraid to be themselves or express themselves. Everyone from every walk of life deserves to have a voice and have that voice heard.

Donald Rankins10 people

Being open about my humanist and secular thoughts help reduce the confusion and misconceptions about secularism. I have been open about my secularism for about 2 years now and to my surprise, I have had almost zero noticeable negative impact. Though I would love to see the day when the negativity toward atheism in social media disappears.

Shaun Cole1 person

There’s a stigma when it comes to atheism. Most people I know immediately hate any individual who admits to being one, so maybe by being a new sort of stereotype, they can accept and understand not all atheists are the same.

Noelle Rose3 people

I live in southern Mississippi, and I came here from Europe in 2008. I grew up in a secular family and I had to learn here that being a non believer equals evil to most people. They are terrified of atheists/agnostics etc. I think being openly secular to the people I already know would help to get a point across. Non believers are as good or bad s anyone else. We do have morals, family values, we are compassionate and we are your neighbors. Being openly secular would hopefully help to get rid of prejudice and fear.

Humanist2 people

To be Openly Secular is important to me and always has been because I believe every person on this earth should have the right to live as they want and be true to themselves.

We are all unique human beings, we only have one life to live so why live a pretend life?

We should also live and act in a way to show others that they don’t have to fear rejection of others.

I am perhaps one of the few who are openly secular. I do not hesitate to tell people that I am secular and if asked I will also give them enough reasons why I have chosen from a young age to travel the road less followed.

I see myself as a leader, not a follower.

Anneke Barnard10 people

Actually, I have always been somewhat vocal, but moved to Texas where I thought, rightly so, that it was dangerous to admit this fact. I am worn thin from the prejudices here and would like this subject to be more openly discussed, without malice.

Krista Henkel-Selph1 person

Being Openly Secular is important to me because as a mom and a children’s book author, I want to make sure that kids realize not believing is ok. There is nothing wrong with not having a belief or a religion and questioning things is encouraged. I do not ever want kids to feel afraid or confused about who they are or thoughts they express.

Courtney Lynn10 people

I haven’t been in the secular closet, but I don’t volunteer information about my beliefs unless it is germane to the discussion. But in order to spread awareness, I intend to be more open in the future.

Betty Bailey10 people

I want people to know that it’s possible to be a moral, caring person without a belief in a Divine Being

Sandy Pierre1 person

I’ve always been accepting of the lifestyle choices of others, and think it’s high time I do what I can for causes I strongly believe in and identify with. I’m a proud atheist and a straight ally, who isn’t afraid to challenge popular opinion, on issues of human/equal rights.

Joshua Brown2 people

Whether you are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Wicca, Pagan, Jedi, None of the above, All of the above, or anything else along the curve, we live in a Constitutionally Secular society. NO ONE should be able to impose their private belief system on the public and their individual freedoms.

Brad Kalmanson10 people

I believe that speaking and acting openly about secularism can benefit the world in countless possible ways. The step towards a better future begin with secularism; a open state of mind choosing knowledge as a basis for all things gets rid of the stigmas and downfalls of countless religions.

Cory Wessendorf10 people

It is important that every person physically know at least one openly secular person. Sounds unbelievable, but in South Africa there are still many who don’t. If they know you, even better, know you to be a likable person – you will post a big question mark in their minds.

Attie Koekemoer5 people

I worried about talking to my parents about it because I though I would disappoint them. Eventually, my ideals became strong and well founded enough to where I couldn’t let that fear affect my strong alignment with humanism and secularism. Since then, I’ve been happy.

I can have faith in tangible things, like humanity and nature. That’s really soothing to me.

The whole concept of being secular renews my faith in the possibilities humanity holds. We accept responsibility for our actions and question our ideals, for no other reason than our own good. That’s really great to me.

Zachary Curnel5 people

I’m doing this to dispel mythology, advancement of scientific facts, and to further the education of the following generations.
I’ve been hesitant previously due to mainly Christian fundamentalists in the US and other theistic attacks on my lack of beliefs; not only on social media, but with respect to my social and occupational (as in my volunteering) functioning, as a board certified physician.
Additionally, I would likely lose my current and necessary assistance to those under my care, only because of my lack of the acceptance of a “god or Jesus Christ”, and of which I’ve said very little due to religious persecution by the clinic where I volunteer my services.
Thank you,

M.D. Certified, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology2 people

When I first realized I was secular, I couldn’t tell anyone – everyone I knew was religious. I remember wishing I knew anyone who felt the way I did. I probably did, but they were as worried as me to say anything! Now I’m doing what I can to help others know they are not alone. Thank you, Openly Secular, this is so important!

Sarah Morehead10 people

Removing the stigma. Helping others see that secular people like myself want to live a good life and care about others. Not being ashamed of disagreeing with the majority of the community I grew up in.

Christin Holland1 person

I have been discriminated against and bullied in the workplace for being nonreligious. I hope that the increase of people being open will help eliminate discrimination.

Christina Ward1 person

It is important for people to see that openly secular individuals simply want to make this world a better place and make the most of their time on this earth the same way most religious individuals do. The only difference is that secular individuals do not strive to do good to earn a reward of a second life or earn the acceptance of messiahs or gods who may or may not exist.

Chad Kuehnl10 people

Because people need to know that secularism is an option when it comes to living a moral and wholesome life.

Alma1 person

It’s important for me to stop being fearful of the response I will get for being an atheist- but even more so that my children realize that it’s okay to be genuine and sincere in sharing who they are and what they believe. I’m kind and giving because it’s the right thing to do – not because I fear an invisible being. I admire courageous leaders but do not dedicate my life to “believing” in one individual as the right individual to “worship.”

Denise Case1 person

Because I want my children to grow up in a world where we embrace science and reason, and where people do good for each other because it’s the right thing to do.

Amber Douglas10 people

I want to encourage people to see reality as it is rather than a myth or comforting story would tell them it is so that we can work together with what we really have to create outcomes that are favorable for us all. For example, many religious people believe in an afterlife or reincarnation–some sort of preservation of consciousness after death. If they did not believe in these comforting but false ideas, they may work harder to try to help us preserve human life longer through technology.

Sheila Hite1 person

I am the Founding Chairperson of HAPI.
The more people become secular, the stronger our society will be on this planet.
We only have one life to live.
Live HAPI and be HAPI.

Marissa Langseth10 people

Why is it being important? Being secular allows logic instead of religious bias come in the way. It allows me be my, without worrying about a higher power.

Being openly secular allows people to know who I am!

I am… Openly secular!

Thomas Hollingsworth10 people

I have gradually been telling more people, but no one in my family knows, because I think it would be devastating to my father. I know that it is important, though, to be open because of the misconceptions about atheists that need to be dispelled.

Karen Gill2 people

I work at Goodwill Southern California, I help people with disabilities find and keep jobs. I think people need to know I do this work not to make good with a god , but because I want to live in a world where all people have a measure of self worth and dignity, regardless of disability.
People should know that you can be good without god.

Philip Jackson10 people

In hopes that it will reduce the misinformation and bigotry sometimes harmfully directed at people’s with different views about religion, and the world we share.

Christopher Fallucca10 people

1) When I have a quality conversation with someone about my journey from evangelical Christian to secular humanist, about 50% of the time, he or she will admit that they, too, have doubts and don’t really agree with many of their faiths’ traditions.

2) I live deep in the bible belt. I want other nonbelievers to know that they are not alone. I want believers to know that happy, successful, well-adjusted, ethical, moral, charitable nonbelievers not only exist, we thrive!

StucknTx2 people

Because studies show that societies with high rates of organic atheism (atheism arising on its own rather than forced) are much more functional than the dysfunctional US.

Andrea Quinn10 people

We have raised our son to be a good person not in fear of damnation but for the betterment of the world. Educating people that others can be good without god is one of our goals. Honor and honesty are not religion based.

Alfreda Phillips10 people

When conversations about belief and religion come up, I always tell people – and have done so my whole adult life – that I have found no reason or evidence to believe that there is any supernatural entity. Scientific evidence and honest interpretation of the implications of that evidence is the best we have to work with. It is not perfect, not finished. We need to keep our minds open. We must think and act according to well-thought-out ethics and principles.

Lee in Maine2 people

Being Openly Secular is important to me because having the confidence to be open about my worldview not only grants myself the reassuring of who I am, but it allows people to see who I am. This important because it will affect the way I’m able to communicate with my peers and have them know, and myself, that I don’t hide behind a wall society builds for me

Jesus Garza5 people

Living in the bible belt has put a delay on being openly secular, but with a more progressive world breaking out I feel more comfortable with telling others.

Seth Mullins10 people

I feel that secularists are openly vilified in our society, so it’s important to openly show people that we are real. We are not evil. We are not prejudiced. People need to see that we are kind. I am a loving husband and father, but my parents see me as somehow dishonest or deficient for being an atheist. I may not change their minds, but maybe I can change someone else’s father or mother. Maybe I can give someone else the acceptance that I crave.

John Petersen2 people

It is a part of who I am and what I believe. I should be able to not be persecuted for my lack of religious beliefs.

Jessie Tuscano5 people

I work for a very conservative company in the Bible Belt and I was raised by a Southern Baptist father. Most of my father’s family is Christian. I considered myself “agnostic” until 2010, then I just let go of that “possibility”. I wish for it to be accepted in my family and locale to be a non-believer. The stereotype and blatant discrimination needs to end.

Lisa5 people

I’m tired of religious people trying to hijack the government. The more people come out as rationalist, the less likely we will end up with a theocracy in the US.

Paul Koenig10 people

Being openly secular I feel will help eliminate the assumption that this country is a “Christian Nation”. Being secular encourages the importance of the separation of church and state. It encourages the teaching of science in public schools, and I feel will encourage a dialogue between the religious and non believers.

Kevin Burbano3 people

Because I’ve learned that the reason why I’ve always felt so oppressed is because I grew in an extremely religious family. Being Openly Secular gives me strength to believe that being who I am and doing what I do is no reason to feel ashamed at all.

Alois Ceti5 people

So people can see not all secular people are “evil,” and that they probably know more secular people than they think they do.

Angela Dobbs3 people

I think more secular people are out there than the polls and surveys state. But our country is so aggressively Christian and we need to be more open.

Adam3 people

I’ve always been afraid that people would think less of me. My mother is a Christian and she hates on me any time I think or say anything secular that goes against her beliefs. It makes me feel extremely oppressed. If being Openly Secular means that someone might think twice about hating on someone, I’d be happy to open up.

Jonathan Guilbe2 people

I’ve always been Openly Secular but I truly love the idea of promoting one day to be proud enough to share your ideas and beliefs with everyone.

Roy Marino10 people

Being truly openly secular would mean that people don’t automatically assume that I adhere to their religious traditions just because I was indoctrinated into a certain faith. The largest factor that prevents people in the western world from being openly secular is the fear of alienation by their communities and even disownment by their family. I became openly secular to do my small part in making it a little bit easier for others who are living a secret life to stop pretending to follow their community’s faith and be pebbly secular.

Subi10 people

I want to teach my kids that we don’t need religion or belief in rewards in an afterlife to be good people and live well. That love has no age, race or gender and hate can do no good.

Rebecca Boswell10 people

Because it is who I am. It’s important to me that people realise I can be a good teacher, parent and member of society guides by humanist principles and ethics rather than the teachings of a religion.

Jen Tickle3 people

Because even living in a secular country like Australia as an atheist I still have very limited political representation and religion still has an unacceptable influence on society. Only when all non theists have a voice will that change

Sandie Foreman5 people

Playing life’s quest together, supported by science will open hearts and minds, which unites and makes life thrilling interesting.

Annette Oldenboom3 people

Being secular will hopefully make it more acceptable for others to question the belief that has been, in most cases, forced upon them.

Neil McRae2 people

Because I grew up as a conservative Christian and spent years struggling with things that were unnecessary. Because I used to discriminate, or turn a blind eye to it, against some people because of my beliefs. Because I was rejecting science. I want everyone to know, but I’m afraid I’ll lose some of my best friends. Because I’m still me!

Melissa Krawczyk2 people

Because it shows the world that there are more than just a handful of us. It displays our numbers to the masses, so that one day we can break free from the rhetoric and dogma that chains us down as a minority, as sinners, as lesser.

Justin Ledford10 people

Being openly secular is important because it is one of my defining characteristics and an important influence on my world view. I shouldn’t be scare/ashamed/embarrassed to declare my secularism any more than a religious person should be to openly discuss his/her own.

Karen Lauer1 person

I lived a long time with guilt before I found others such as I had been since a child. I do not want anyone to carry that burden when there are too many of us available to lean on. We must be open and out LOUD AND PROUD.

Frances Porgal3 people

I am openly secular. Ethical and moral behavior should not be tied to a deity endowed with ultimate power and the worst flaws of humanity. Surely we, as a species and as a global society, are smarter than our mythology.

Maisie Lyman2 people

People need to know that morality is independent of religion. I also believe society would be more accepting of diversity if we had more reason and less religion influencing policy and behavior.

Monica Nordstrom3 people

I’ve been reluctant to be openly secular because I’m afraid people might be offended, or somehow feel judged by me. I hope that by “coming out,” I can have more authentic relationships. I also want people to know that atheists aren’t scary! We are people who love our families and care for our friends. We have deeply held values that guide us.

Tracy Lobo5 people

All displayed testimonies and names/aliases used with permission. If you need yours removed please let us know.