|Image Caption: Coin with "In God We Trust". Click on the image for a higher resolution version|
Many nations, especially those in the so-called "west", have societies that routinely pride themselves with the self-promoting perception that their respective country is the epitome example of secular bustling "democracy" and "civil-liberty friendly" social setup that is supposedly found nowhere else...so go the trumpets of patriotism. However, if one wants to get a truly sober assessment of one's own country, of which one is determined to be a citizen, then there are clear ways of testing the veracity of perception commonly pressed forward by the media and ruling circles of one's own nationality; let's take self-anointment proclamations of secularism for instance, and discuss that.
Can one test if one's nation is truly secular, perhaps as often portrayed in the media, or just how secular it is? The answer is 'Yes', and here are a few ways of how:
- Does the nation's court system require people, who are called upon to testify, to "swear" on the religious or "sacred" text of one particular religion—over others—that they will be honest and very forthcoming to the attendees of the court?
- Does the nation's political system require the leader(s) of the nation to "swear" on the religious/"sacred" text of one particular religion—over others—as part of the "official" ceremony for taking office?
- Does the nation's coinage bear such imprints and appeals to a supernatural existence as "In God We Trust"?
- Does the nation celebrate the holiday or festival of one particular religion—over others—as a "national holiday"?
- Does the nation's government administration system subsidize the festivals of one particular religion with taxpayer money, to the exclusion of the belief systems of other taxpaying segments of the society?
- Does the nation's government interfere with whether a religious concern has a right to, or not, construct a building on said concern's own private property, only when it concerns certain religions?
- Does the nation's national anthem appeal to a supernatural existence in any capacity?
- Do publicly-funded government regalia or symbols of art appeal to themes of one particular religion, to the exclusion of those of the belief systems of other segments of society?
- Do leading figures of the nation's political system justify going to war with societies of other nations on grounds of such simple political dichotomy of the world as "good vs. evil", usually predicated on the idea that said nation is THE "benevolent" party here?
- Do leading figures of the nation's political system and/or media establishment convey glaring partiality in the way they designate alleged criminals, not primarily based on what criminal act itself was committed, but rather, on who committed said crime; e.g. two or more different bombers of public or private property—intended for mass gathering—being treated with different designation by government officials or media concerns, with the player(s) in one or the other instance charged with "terrorism" to the exclusion of another or the other player(s) of similar act(s) of crime, on nothing much else but grounds that the crime committed by the former was driven by "religious-allegiance", while that committed by the latter was driven by something else.