Speaking at a side-meeting at the OSCE human rights conference in Warsaw last night, EHF President David Pollock strongly criticised the views expressed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, a few days ago about the role of religion in politics. Bertone said “Politics needs Christianity” and based his case for religious believers having a role in public affairs on this alleged need. In a closely argued speech, David Pollock stated that specifically religious… read more »
Policy and politics
The EHF tabled the following recommendation to the OSCE Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw on 8 October 2008: RECOMMENDATION TO HDIM 2008 The European Humanist Federation, while unreservedly endorsing Freedom of Religion or Belief, is concerned at the growing tendency to identify people on the basis of their religion, because this: gives too much importance to religion or belief, a factor that for most people… read more »
Speech by DAVID POLLOCK (President of the European Humanist Federation) at the EHF side-meeting at the OSCE HDIM, October 8 2008 Good evening. Welcome. The notice of this meeting is about defamation of religion but I wish to range wider than that and deal with the place of religion in the public square. I will return to defamation at the end. The notice quoted Monsignor Anthony Frontiero, and we invited him to this meeting. Sadly… read more »
At the OSCE meeting in Warsaw, the EHF has tabled a recommendation that lthe growing tendency to identify people on the basis of their religion gives religion too much prominence when it is not a key factor in many people’s identities. It gives too much power to religious leaders and results in non-religious people being overlooked. Read the full recommendation here.
Intervention by David Pollock at OSCE HDIM 2008 Let me start with a quotation: The principle of separation of church and state must not be used as an excuse to separate state and religion, suggesting that religion is a strictly internal matter for the individual and that the “public square” must be free of religion and therefore of believers and their communities. This is the complaint we hear constantly today from some religious organisations. Things… read more »
Speaking to an audience that included diplomats from about 70 countries as well as international NGOs and human rights bodies, Vera Pegna, the EHF’s representative with OSCE, said this afternoon: “Church leaders who are in a dominant position should not use abusive language about non-believers and those who enter civil partnerships or resort to abortion: it can only result in a disruption of social harmony”. She was taking part in the OSCE’s annual human rights… read more »
Intervention by David Pollock at OSCE HDIM 2008 It was announced in April that the OSCE is preparing “ legislative guidelines on hate crime“. It is welcome that guidelines will be available because protection of minorities – racial, religious or however defined – from incitement of hatred is sadly necessary in many states. And it is welcome that OSCE is preparing them because that means they will probably be suitably protective of free speech. I… read more »
The EHF ran a side-meeting on Wednesday 8 October at 6.o0 pm. The meeting contrasted views expressed at the 2007 meeting by Monsignor Anthony R. Frontiero, representative of the Holy See, and David Pollock, the president of the EHF and explored the differences constructively. David Pollock’s speech is here. The official announcement of the meeting was as follows: Freedom of Religion and Belief: Views at Odds “Demonizing Christianity, or deliberately mocking and undermining central tenets of the… read more »
Georges Liénard, EHF acting general secretary, contributed to an important conference on abortion on September 19-20. He spoke on “Abortion and ethics: where does the debate stand today?“, contrasting a religious approach based on fundamental doctrine and an ethical approach based on full consideration of alla spects of the question. The conference, in Paris, was organised by a number of bodies including the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the European Women’s Lobby.
Georges Liénard, EHF acting general secretary, spoke at an important conference on “Abortion rights: what is at stake for the women of Europe?, organised by the Mouvement Français pour Le Planning Familial” (MFPF) and held on September 19-20 in Paris. It was organised by a number of bodies including the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the European Women’s Lobby. This is an English version of his address: the original French text is below. The EU… read more »