Doug Berger is a self-proclaimed secular humanist and proud atheist living in Ohio. He has been a member of the Humanist Community of Central Ohio since 1995 and was the editor of the Central Ohio Humanist, HCCO’s newsletter, from 2000 to 2007. He founded the blog Secular Left in 2005.
As a part of our “Many Voices” Q&A series, we had the fortunate opportunity to ask the Secular Left blogger a few questions:
Progress Planet: What do you do for a living? (if, that is, you’re not making your living from blogging!)
Doug Berger: I’m currently self-employed.
PP: How long have you been blogging?
DB: I’ve been “blogging” seriously after discovering Blogger.com in 2000. Before that I had written essays on various topics and made them into HTML pages on my website. Secular Left was born in 2005.
PP: Why did you start blogging? Why do you continue to do it?
DB: I think I have something important to say and blogging is an easy way of getting an audience — the only real cost is my time.
I continue to do it because I think it is important to have many public voices, especially as traditional media sources contract into groups owned by a limited number of people and they limit the number of voices one can hear.
PP: Why did you choose the name of your blog?
DB: I had wanted to have a blog specifically about church and state issues and one day I heard a political conservative use “secular left” as a smear against those of us who support a secular government. I decided to take the term back and make it positive.
PP: What are your personal goals for your blog? What do you hope to achieve with it?
DB: I want to get factual information about church and state issues out into the public. Those who want the government to be based on Biblical Law have deep pockets, and my effort hopefully can succeed against that, even if it is in a small way.
If even one person changes into supporting a secular government then my blog is a success.
PP: What is one of the greatest things that’s happened to you as a result of being a blogger?
DB: Some years back I wrote a post about the real history of the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance and someone posted a comment thanking me for explaining the topic so well. That comment made my day.
PP: What are some other blogs/websites you love to read for general interest and/or inspiration?
PP: In your opinion, what stands in the way of peace in the world?
DB: Big egos and an aversion to admit when one is wrong.
PP: Anything else you’d like to add?
DB: The debate over the role of religion in government and vice versa need not be only emotional. Everyone — no matter what side of the argument you’re on — should use facts in their arguments.