European secularists say they’re not treated fairly

Humanist and secularist organizations have accused the European Union of denying them equal treatment compared to the continent’s Christian churches. … Continued

Humanist and secularist organizations have accused the European Union of denying them equal treatment compared to the continent’s Christian churches.

“The EU shouldn’t be holding a dialogue with essentially undemocratic organizations,” said David Pollock, president of the Brussels-based European Humanist Federation. “By engaging with the Roman Catholic Church, it’s giving a privileged position in EU councils to a body which doesn’t represent its members and holds views way off the margin of general European opinion.”

Pollock, a British humanist, was speaking ahead of the first “dialogue seminar” between humanists and EU officials under the EU’s 2007 Lisbon Treaty, which commits EU leaders to maintain a dialogue with both religious and non-religious groups.

In an ENInews interview, Pollock said secularists planned to use the seminar to show how non-religious citizens were “treated as inferior and sinful” and denied jobs and services.

Church leaders, however, reject the charges and say churches are “contributing to European integration in a democratic, transparent way.”

“We have the same opportunities for promoting ideas as the humanists,” said Johanna Touzel, French spokesman for the Commission of European Bishops Conferences. “The difference is that the churches use this tool to organize a fruitful dialogue, and have something to say and offer on challenges facing the EU.”

EU officials hold an annual summit with Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim representatives, and held their third annual summit with humanist and secularist organizations last November.

“If the EU wants a fair, equal dialogue with its citizens, it should even give us a privileged position,” Pollock said, “since we operate on a voluntary basis and generally receive no taxpayer support.”

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Universal Uclick.

  • Rongoklunk

    Yesterday religion could burn us nonbelievers because we were unable to believe in an invisible skygod. Today we want equal treatment with religionists because an invisible skygod looks more unlikely the more we learn about our world. Tomorrow we’ll be locking up folks who still believe in an invisible skygod if progress means anything.

  • Joshkutchinsky

    Humanist organizations are all committed to the protection of human rights including the right to a religiious belief and to manifesting that belief. Wolves in sheep’s clothing may naturally suspect an approaching sheep but it is not the humanists that you need to fear.

Read More Articles

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

noplaceonearth
An Untold Story of Bondage to Freedom: Passover 1943

How a foxhole that led to a 77-mile cave system saved the lives of 38 Ukrainian Jews during the Holocaust.

shutterstock_148333673
Friend or Foe? Learning from Judas About Friendship with Jesus

We call Judas a betrayer. Jesus called him “friend.”

shutterstock_53190298
Fundamentalist Arguments Against Fundamentalism

The all-or-nothing approach to the Bible used by skeptics and fundamentalists alike is flawed.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

shutterstock_185995553
How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

HIFR
Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

shutterstock_186364295
This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

SONY DSC
Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.