(03) Call to support a secular state

In reference to the last Presidential Note I would like to publish here the translation of the letter sent to all members of German Parliament on September 1, 2011, written by the DFW Germany (member of IHEU):

Call to support a secular state

Honored members of the Parliament,

In view of the Pope‟s visit to the German Bundestag and of the assault to an open society by a Christian fundamentalist in Norway it becomes clear, that within a world growing together to a global village secularism in politics have to be strengthened. According to international practice secularism in politics seems to best ensure state neutrality towards all religions and beliefs, demands and strengthens tolerance and the active democratic participation of all citizens independent of attitudes of religions and beliefs. Norway takes the path to an even opener society as answer to intolerant attitudes with deadly results.

The German parliament instead practices an invitation to a dignitary who advances traditional moral concepts with absolute claim and publicly discriminates the growing group of undenominational people – a third of the German population – as immoral.

An open society able to integrate, in which the state is neutral towards religions and beliefs, can realize the conditions for implementing human rights most easily. Confessionalizing and calls for missionizing lead astray.

We watch with concern that also in this area the goals are set wrongly within Germany and the separation of church and state as called for in the constitution is not practiced by government and parliament. According to our opinion the integrative ability of the society and the chance for social consensus is disturbed in unacceptable manner.

To strengthen the social cohesion we therefore ask you to found a platform for secularism in politics similar to the one in the EU parliament and contribute to give a perspective to the social consensus and the integration in Germany.

Silvana Uhlrich

President IHEYO