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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds A ‘humanist’ means that I have a logical, rational, loving, compassionate framework from which I can be a better human. Not only personally, but as a contributor to my community because for me it is important that my community is improved through humanism so everybody can be a better part of the processes that are happening in our embattled, hurricane-stricken island and humanism, compassion, rationalism, science are the proven best ways for nation building to make a decent future for everybody.

Skip to 1 minute and 4 seconds Even though Puerto Rico constitutionally has a law in the Bill of Rights that says that there shall be freedom of religion it also says that there shall be complete separation of church and state which is very interesting and it’s very positive. However, the situation in Puerto Rico right now with the very bad economy and the hurricane which I have to come back to repeatedly, I’m sorry, the politicians are pandering massively to religious leaders so they can get their votes but the other problem is that we have theocratic, religious people that are invading the government and compromising the separation that’s in our Constitution and they are constantly promoting laws that undermine and violate that complete separation that has served us quite well so far.

Skip to 2 minutes and 2 seconds And it’s a very bad brand of evangelicalism. They don’t believe in separation, they specifically say that the Bible is over the Constitution, that their version of god is the real leader of the island and that everything has to be compatible with his word. However, we don’t know what his word is, but we do know what the preaching politicians want and they just want to consolidate power. What they claim is that the state should have a religion and that the religion should be the religion of most people, which is all fine but Puerto Rico has a lot of religious diversity and not everybody is an evangelical.

Skip to 2 minutes and 46 seconds And there’s many many people that even though they are religious, they understand and support us in our fight for the complete separation of church and state as we have it in our Constitution.

Skip to 3 minutes and 6 seconds What motivates me to do what I do? Humanism does! What else? It is the position that logic, reason, and the best ideas should be promoted and really adopted by every decent, sane human being. The good thing about humanism is that it has this little flavour of compassion that has to colour and move every action, every opinion that we have, and every fight that we fight on behalf of truth, of equality, of decency, and justice.

Humanism in Puerto Rico

Eva Quiñones is the President of the Secular Humanists of Puerto Rico.

Question: Is secularism on paper enough? What must states do to ensure a secular constitution means secularism in practice?

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This video is from the free online course:

Humanist Lives, with Alice Roberts

Humanists UK