12 Theses on Religious Freedom

Written by Christianophobia in Europe

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VIENNA, Austria, NOV. 6, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here are the 12 Theses on Religious Freedom written by Dr. Martin Kugler of the Vienna-based human rights network Christianophobia in Europe, which is hosted by the nongovernmental organization Europe for Christ.

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1. The right to religious freedom can only mean its exercise -- not the freedom from confrontation.

2. The meaning of "freedom of religion" has nothing to do with creating a society that is "free from religion"!

3. Forcibly removing the symbol of the cross is a violation on the same level as would to force atheists to mount this symbol. The blank white wall is also an ideological statement -- especially, if over the previous centuries, it had not been empty. A "value-neutral" state is fiction, which is often used for propaganda purposes.

4. An alleged right not to be confronted with religious content cannot be stronger than the right to free exercise of religion.

5. The states, which have signed the European Convention on Human Rights, have understood that the "right to freedom of religion" is certainly not a "freedom from religion".

6. Lawyers speak of the "slippery slope." Resist the beginnings! Today institutions are affected by iconoclastic attempts, tomorrow I will no longer be allowed to wear a religious chain around my neck.

7. Instead of fighting religious intolerance, religion, by way of its symbols, is being attacked.

8. One cannot fight political problems by fighting against religion.
 
9. Anti-religious fundamentalism makes itself an accomplice of religious fundamentalism when it provokes through intolerance.

10. Christianity by its very nature pushes outwardly -- it can never be dismissed as private nor be locked into a ghetto!

11. The majority of the affected population would like to retain the cross! It is also a problem of democratic politics, giving priority to individual interests so blatantly.

12. The cross is the logo of Europe. It is a religious symbol, but still much more than that.

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