The freedoms of thought and
expression count among our most fundamental and cherished rights, and
promote both individual welfare and the common good in a democratic
state. Historically, however, unbelievers such as secular humanists,
atheists, agnostics, rationalists, and freethinkers have faced
prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination for their opinions and
In the firm conviction that
the principle of Church-State separation guarantees the equal rights
of the religious and non-religious, we the Campus Freethought
Alliance, on this 12th Day of July, 1998, hereby present the following
Bill of Rights for Unbelievers.
- Think freely and
autonomously, express their views forthrightly, and debate or
criticize any and all ideas without fear of censure, recrimination,
or public ostracism.
- Be free from
discrimination and persecution in the workplace, business
transactions, and public accommodations.
- Exercise freedom of
conscience in any situation where the same right would be extended
to believers on religious grounds alone.
- Hold any public office,
in accordance with the constitutional principle that there shall be
no religious test for such office.
- Abstain from religious
oaths and pledges, including pledges of allegiance, oaths of office,
and oaths administered in a court of law, until such time as these
are secularized or replaced by non-discriminatory affirmations.
- Empower members of their
community to perform legally-binding ceremonies, such as marriage.
- Raise and nurture their
children in a secular environment, and not be disadvantaged in
adoption or custody proceedings because of their unbelief.
- Conduct business and
commerce on any day of their choosing, without interference from
laws or regulations recognizing religious days of prayer, rest, or
- Enjoy freedom from
taxation supporting the government employment of clergy, and access
to secular counseling equivalent to that provided by chaplains.
- Declare conscientious
objection to serving in the armed forces under any circumstance in
which the religious may do so.
- Live as citizens of a
democracy free from religious language and imagery in currency,
public schools and buildings, and government documents and business.
replacement for the Ten Commandments)
- Do not lie to yourself.
- Do not lie to other
people, unless they are exercising tyranny.
- When you think it is your
duty to inflict pain, scrutinize your reasons closely.
- When you desire power,
examine yourself carefully as to why you desire it.
- When you have power, use
it to build up people, not to constrict them.
- Do not attempt to live
without vanity, since this is impossible, but choose the right
audience from which to seek admiration.
- Do not think of yourself
as separate wholly self-contained unit.
- Be reliable.
- Be just.
- Be good-natured.