If you haven’t heard of the new Secular group starting on campus, feel free to go back to last week’s issue of the Owl to read all about it.
The majority of Doane’s students have always identified as some sort of Christian denomination, which is still true today. However, the amount of secular students, both on campus and in America, is rising.
According to The Pew Research Center, 22.8 percent of the U.S. population identifies as unaffiliated, or secular. With over one-fifth of our population being secular, I would think that there would be more understanding on secular identities.
However, most people seem to focus on Christianity, forgetting about secular identities altogether. Even when we do reference secular identities, it focuses on atheism, which is only one out of many.
The new group starting on campus is a victory, in my opinion. There is a lot of prejudice against people with secular identities, especially atheists. These prejudices, though, come from misunderstanding and misinformation.
Doane students need more opportunities to learn about all different religious or spiritual identities, especially when they make up over one-fifth of our country. Since we cannot require basic religious studies courses, the least we can do is offer other options for students to learn after classes have ended in a no-pressure environment.
As a whole, we should be striving to conduct more events where students are teaching each other in casual environments. The Secular Student Alliance group would be a perfect place for this to happen.
It took far too long for Doane to start branching out with its on campus groups. This secular group is a great step, but we should continue to support students of any and all identities, along with creating more places for minority groups to proudly identify.