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The Principles of Secularism

by: George J. Holyoake

George Jacob Holyoake was an English secularist and newspaper editor. He was one of the last people convicted for blasphemy and served six months in prison. In 1851, he coined the term "secularism". In this short pamphlet from 1871, he explains the meaning of the term - essentially a separation of church and state in all matters of life. He also lists the benefits of a secular education and of a secular society as a whole. Finally, Holyoake lists the character traits that members of a secular guild should possess, in light of continued persecution of freethinkers at the time.