Laic is a term that comes from a Latin word, and that serves to refer to what not under clerical orders. In any case, it is a concept that can refer to contradictory questions, since it serves both to refer to a Christian who is not a member of the clergy but who leads a believing life, as if to speak of a institution that does not belong to a religious body and that, therefore, it lacks creed.
The concept became more important for the Catholic Church from Vatican Council II Made in 1959, when the religious vocation of the laity was recognized through the sanctification of their obligations as a Christian. This assumes that the laity, despite not being a cleric, has to exercise evangelization and develop their daily tasks according to the precepts of Jesus Christ.
As a noun, it serves to refer to a Christian who exercises his religious mission outside the clerical sphere. These are baptized subjects who belong to the church despite not having received the sacrament of the priestly order.
Regarding its meaning as an adjective, it refers to that which is independent of any religious organization. For instance: “The Argentine State is secular and, although it listens to all creeds, it does not accept the moral decrees of any religion”, “I want my children to be raised in freedom through secular teaching”.
It is known as secularism to ideology or political movement that defends and promotes the independent social organization of religious orders. The notion of the secular state arose from the separation between state institutions and those belonging to the Church.
For secularists, the social order must depend on freedom of conscience and not on the imposition of values or moral norms that are linked to a religion. In any case, they do not condemn the existence of religious values.
Requirements that a State must meet to be considered secular
So that a State can be considered secular you need to meet a number of requirements. In the first place, that he respects the belief of those who do not believe and of those who believe. The former have the right to live in a space where they do not have to answer for mandates that they do not respect; while the latter may have non-believing legislation in the legal field and one that conforms to their beliefs, within the framework of what spiritual, moral and religious.
In this type of organization, education must be based on equality and respect. That’s what it is for it is essential that students are not indoctrinated by any regime and have the right to choose a free apprenticeship. This type of State should not finance religious institutions as in countries like Spain, but should only bet on public and secular education, lack of moral principles.
In addition, it is required that religious symbols are not used by the state under any concept; thus detaching government activity from all existing rites and religions.
Another consequence of a secular state is related to public holidays, thus declared by the current Constitution. These should be only related to dates that are important to the territory, due to historical events or universally declared holidays. In the same way, religious festivals should not use any body that depends on the State to carry them out.
However, even those governments that consider themselves secular do not meet these requirements. Such is so there are many celebrations linked to the religious calendar and that even in institutions of public good, such as hospitals and prisons, there are chapels and chaplains.
Finally a The right that every citizen has is to apostatize, abandoning the Catholic religion, however it is often denied and there is even no official registry of apostates, despite the law requiring it.