EU-atheist Summit ‘odd’ according to participant



Atheists and Freemasons met collectively with EU leaders last Friday, 15th October 2010, in a bid to receive equal rights with Europe’s religious leaders. David Pollock, the European Humanist Federation’s President told EUObserver ‘There was lots of good will and not a great deal else. It was all a bit odd.’ Five secular atheists and twelve Freemasons met with the presidents of the European Council, Commission, and Parliament for a two-hour meeting.

The EU’s Lisbon Treaty establishes a legal basis for regular and transparent dialogue between the EU’s political leaders and  Europe’s religious leaders. In defending the right to consultation, the European Humanist Federation claimed that one in three European have no religion. In adopting the statistical high-ground it is odd that the EHF avoided pointing out that therefore 66% of European DO consider themselves religious. More importantly, however, remains the question as to whether Europeans welcome the contribution made by religious groups to cultural, society, and political processes. European Values Survey data tends to support the view that a majority of Europeans generally favour the contribution that religious groups make to the public life.

It must also be said that whilst there may be some doubts about the secrecy of certain aspects of contemporary religion in Europe, there will be many Europeans who see Freemasonry as a self-consciously secretive organisation. English Freemasons are also required to believe in a deity, although continental Freemasons may be atheist. Freemasonry has generally favoured separation of Church and State in Europe with occasionally unfortunate examples of discrimination (a charge readily levelled by them against religious organisations). We know of one professional colleague who was offered a place at a masonic University in Italy and was told that they would have to drop their intended PhD research interest in church-related welfare programmes as a pre-condition of accepting a place on that university’s doctoral programme.

For a full report of the meeting you can view the full EUObserver article by clicking here.

Explore posts in the same categories: EU, Freemasonry, parliament, secularisation

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