Skip main navigation

Humanism in Puerto Rico

Watch humanist Eva Quiñones describe the work of humanists in Puerto Rico
8.8
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.
63.7
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.
121.8
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.
166.3
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.
185.8
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.

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?

This article is from the free online

Humanist Lives, with Alice Roberts

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education