In American politics, the term Secular Right refers to but is not exclusive to the libertarian, socially liberal or non-religious wing of most conservative movements or parties.


Most secular conservatives are fiscally conservative, favoring laissez-faire capitalism or a free-market, and are proponents of such policies as a large and heavily-funded national defense system, a relaxation of gun control laws and the destruction of welfare state politics like most other conservatives.[1]

However, on social issues, such as same-sex marriage, separation of church and state, abortion, public decency, obscenity laws and narcotic regulation, a large percentage of the Secular Right tends to favor deregulation of some or all of these practices, although may not necessarily agree with said practices.[1]

Heather Mac Donald, who calls the Secular Right "Skeptical Conservatives", describes the group in an article of The American Conservative.

Skeptical conservatives—one of the Right’s less celebrated subcultures—are conservatives because of their skepticism, not in spite of it. They ground their ideas in rational thinking and (nonreligious) moral argument. And the conservative movement is crippling itself by leaning too heavily on religion to the exclusion of these temperamentally compatible allies.

Conservative atheists and agnostics support traditional American values. They believe in personal responsibility, self-reliance, and deferred gratification as the bedrock virtues of a prosperous society. They view marriage between a man and a woman as the surest way to raise stable, law-abiding children. They deplore the encroachments of the welfare state on matters best left to private effort.

--Heather Mac Donald, The American Conservative [2]

In November 2008, Mac Donald, Walter Olson, Razib Khan, and John Derbyshire started the Secular Right blog.[3][4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Tracinski, Robert. "The Secular Right". Real Clear Politics. 
  2. What is Left? What is Right?


See also

Contrast: Religious right, Christian right, Religious left, Secular left

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