Types of Secularism

There are various types of secularism and it can be illustrated with examples.

  1. Polytheist Secularism
  2. Communist Secularism
  3. Colonist Secularism
  4. Communal Secularism

Polytheist Secularism

All religions are treated equal and embraced. It is about tolerance and not acceptance. For polytheist which has so many Gods, one more religion is just another God. For this type of people, secularism as a concept is so inborn that they accept it just like fish accepts water. For such type of people, in USA if you say “Happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, they might internally feel bad for being treated differently. In this it is easy to say “We are all one”.

For them “secular religion” is not oxymoron. They believe all religion can co-exist and accept each other. However since polytheist are in minority in world today, this concept is hard to explain to the world.

Communist Secularism

Here it is mostly atheist but with disdain for religion. They look down upon religious people as backward. Remember Nehru who was opposed to rebuilding Somnath temple saying it is revival of Hinduism.

Remember you can be an atheist and still have respect for people irrespective of if they are religious or not. This one is about being an atheist with disdain for religious people.

Colonist Secularism

Here people are the one who believe it is OK to think “my religion is true and other religions are false”. They expect people from other religion to behave as per the rules and try to adjust with each other.

Will try makes sure all interactions are “secular”. It tries to limit religion from all public display and limit it to house. Unlike “polytheist secularism”, which will be fine with public display of “all religion”. “Colonist Secularism”, will assume that religious display can cause issues.

Communal Secularism

In this type of secularism, one practices “external” secularism. Always being aware that the “other” belongs to a “different” religion. The “other” already exists in the mind and the “religion” is a big thing. Since the person is already thinking of “others” and “us”, the communal mind is trying to be secular. They will find difficulty in saying “We are all one”. Remember Shoaib Akhtar disagreeing with Harbhajan Singh and saying “We are different”.

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