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Letter: Secular knowledge

Sir: Paul Vallely may know a lot about religion, but he doesn't know much about irreligion, if his two Christmas articles (20 December) are anything to go by.

Those who have called themselves secularists since the term was adopted in 1851 have not advocated an "emphasis upon individual self-interest" or the "privatisation of morality", let alone "nurtured" "nationalism". And it is nonsense to say that we are "drawing on the moral capital of centuries of a Judaeo-Christian tradition in which many of our secular truths find their origin", or that "secular liberalism" has no values.

If there is to be "a constructive debate with secular humanism", as Paul Vallely hopes, there must first be proper knowledge of it.


Rationalist Press Association

London N1