Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On Secularism, Sri Lanka, & Several Related Items

New article at Secular Sri Lanka, check it out!

Here's the 1st paragraph:

"At Secular Sri Lanka website (secularsrilanka.com), related discussion groups (including comments threads at Groundviews.org articles and other sites), and at live meetings in Sri Lanka (at the Rationalist Day event recently http://newslagnostic.blogspot.com/2010/06/report-from-rationalist-day.html & elsewhere), and in the Sri Lankan Diaspora (in US & elsewhere) a relatively old subject - secularism - is receiving a second look. Namely, can increased secularization - in the Sri Lankan context primarily the separation of the government and the religions in an actual sense (or, for example, separating the government and the temple - making Buddhism primarily the concern of the Buddhists and making the government the concern of all, and applying the same approach for all religions) be beneficial to Sri Lanka in advancing peace, national unity, development, creation of a common Sri Lankan identity, and increasing cooperation between Sri Lanka and the Diaspora? While this topic may alarm some Buddhists and some members of the other religions, let me clear the air by saying that those who are thinking about the idea of greater secularization in Sri Lanka are not against Buddhism (most are either culturally Buddhist or are, to some degree, practicing Buddhists, or are agnostics and atheists who have been heavily influenced by Sri Lankan/Therevada Buddhism), nor are they against any organized religion currently active in Sri Lanka or the concept of and practice of religions - they are merely people who love Sri Lanka and would like to see the island pull out of decades of poverty and underdevelopment, and also ethnic/religious unrest. In fact, many who are in favor of greater secularization believe that Buddhism and other religions will benefit - they will be strengthened & may become more useful to people - if practical separation between the government and religions were to occur. Thankfully, now that the 26-plus years long civil war has been ended due to the sacrifice of many, we can take a look at ideas and approaches such as secularism that may speed up positive developments in Sri Lanka. There are many items to consider when thinking about Sri Lanka and secularism. I will briefly outline several items below and point out possible positive outcomes related to greater secularization in Sri Lanka."

Read the rest of the article here/at SSL site.

- S

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