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"Cultural Christian" (also "Secular Christian") is a self-identifying term used by some non-Christians (usually atheists and agnostics), usually to mean that they see Christianity as fundamental to "Western" culture, whatever that means, and thus associate with it.
The term is variously used by:
- Secular Islamophobes, to emphasize that they, at minimum, find Christianity preferable to Islam (they rarely reference other religions).
- Adherents of an even more secularist version of cafeteria Christianity (or, similarly, by atheists or agnostics who want to distinguish themselves from antitheism).
- Some conservative or neoreactionary non-Christians, to allow the use of carefully-selected Christian moral principles to defend their ideology.
Looking at you, Jordan Peterson
- Good old fashioned anti-Semites, who have no truck with any of that "Judeo-Christian" stuff.
- White nationalists who wish to cover their racism with a fig leaf of religion.
Richard Dawkins is an odd example in that, despite his frequent lambasting of religion, he uses the terms "cultural Christian" and "secular Christian" to just mean that he was brought up in a Christian culture and occasionally participates in events at his local Church of England — though it also fits Dawkins' less than fond attitude towards Islam (which also means that he thinks that only the Protestant/Catholic conflict should figure as a sort of historical civic culture class).
- “I would describe myself as a secular Christian in the same sense as secular Jews have a feeling for nostalgia and ceremonies.”
- Richard Dawkins interview: 'I have a certain love for the Anglican tradition', The Spectator, 14 September 2013. Particularly this bit: "But I think I share your Anglican nostalgia, especially when you look at the competition"; though Dawkins leaves open exactly which competition he means.