Religion in Society
The EHF’s advocacy of secularism requires a careful examination of the proper place of religion in a secular society. The EHF has taken position on several sub-topics such as the separation of religion and politics, concordats, conscientious objection and religious influence over secular policies (see below).
Generally speaking, we think that it is vital that freedom of religion and belief be defended, along with all human rights: humanists, atheists and agnostics depend on it just as much as religious believers. But there are clashes between the (qualified) right to manifest a religion and other rights, such as freedom of expression, and there are serious questions about the extent to which exemptions from laws on equality and non-discrimination should be granted on grounds of religion.
In 2010, we submitted this memorandum to Religare, an EU-sponsored academic collaboration examining the place of religion in society. In brief, it states that religion can no longer unite and bind society together: instead, values such as human rights, democracy and peace provide that binding factor. The paper then covers in detail four particular topics on the agenda of Religare: public space, the workplace, the family, and state support for religion.
The paper seems to have irritated the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe (previously known as the Observatory for Christianophobia) as they have sent Religare a supposed refutation of our paper. Their paper is abusive, ignores almost all our arguments and seriously misrepresents us. You can read it – with highlighting of the abuse and with our comments – here.
This content last updated 24 January 2013 @ 5:15 pm