Editor’s Minute | So Are You Secular or Religious?

“So are you secular or religious?” The question came from a place of confusion. The woman I was speaking with had gotten to the point of honestly believing that if you were religious, everything you created would also be religious, and if you were not religious, everything you did would not be religious. An inclusive magazine truly had her confused. I felt bad, because I really thought that I had failed in communicating the idea. And perhaps I haven’t been as clear as I could be, so I thought I would clarify.

The thing is, when we started homeschooling, I signed up for free samples of many magazines. They were mostly Christian, and the secular one I did find seemed rather anti-religion. Well neither of those was what I was looking for, and my husband David wasn’t happy with them either. Both styles seemed sort of…well…judge-y if you didn’t fit their mold.

I can admit it, I complained. I whined. It was not a good look for me! After I’d had enough time to mope, my husband David very nicely suggested I get off my tail and do something. Create the magazine that makes everyone feel welcomed, that welcomes every belief set from no faith to any one of the dozens of religions to which people adhere to today. A magazine that won’t put anyone down for their beliefs, or no beliefs.

“You’re the one who says that people need to remember how to talk to each other. Stop talking and show them. Show them what it’s like when people from different backgrounds come together. When they learn that different is okay because there are so many other things in common.”

So here we are. Learning Tangent. An inclusive magazine where you are welcome. I’ll never allow a writer to put down the beliefs of another, and I’ll always work to find something in common. Always. Sort of like the “Cheers” of homeschool magazines. Sometimes the theme song gets stuck in my head, and the part about, “Where they always know your name, and they’re always glad you came,” really sticks out. Right now, with a couple of hundred of paid subscribers, I really can know everyone’s name… and I do. If one introduced themselves on the street and told me that, I’d be able to recognize them and… know when they subscribed. I know that part won’t last forever. At some point the numbers will just get too big to remember every name. Maybe it sounds silly or impossible, but I’m going to try to remember everyone even when it gets big. Really big.

Why bother remembering everyone? Because of that last part in the quote from the Cheers song, “…and they’re always glad you came.” Yes, I am glad and grateful for each and every subscriber. It shows me that we’re doing something good, that people are interested and desire what we’re offering. Also because we don’t fund this through copious amounts of advertising, in fact it’s just a bare minimum of things that we believe would be of interest to, and in keeping with the values we hold dear: Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness. No matter what your belief set, I believe that we can all become better by finding something in common. I even wrote about that part over at Ye Old Books’ blog in a guest post: Finding Common Ground

I hope this helps clarify things a bit, and while I’m at it – what do YOU want to see in Learning Tangent? Let me know in the comments. And hey, since you’re reading this – save a little on a subscription just by logging in.

2 thoughts on “Editor’s Minute | So Are You Secular or Religious?

  1. katfrogg says:

    Not all homeschoolers choose between religion and secular homeschooling. We are people of faith that choose secular materials for homeschooling. It’s not that uncommon. In fact, I’m leading a discussion session at the upcoming SEA Homeschoolers Conference on just this topic!

    • Indeed it is common. I hope your discussion group goes famously!

      Unfortunately people seem to think that Learning Tangent must be either one or the other, when in reality we are welcoming of people of any and all faith background, and no faith at all. I want people to have conversations where they find common ground, because that is the only way to be accepting of differences. I want us to be able to look at each other and realize that the differences are what make things interesting, but that we have so much in common!

What do you think?