Members of the Unione degli Atei e degli Agnostici Razionalisti (UAAR), an Italian atheist group, sent the following letter to their President regarding the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini (translated):
Dear Mr. President,
We had occasion to read an extremely incendiary article that the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini, wrote on 22 October 2010 on the subject of non-believers. Specifically he declared that “atheism, materialism and relativism” are “perverse phenomena” that “threaten the stability of society” and that must be fought against by an alliance of Christians, Muslims and Jews. What is even more disquieting is that this article was published in the daily newspaper of the Holy See, L’Osservatore Romano.
A politician who openly declares his hatred of atheists and who promotes a Holy Alliance against a minority (albeit significant) of Italian citizens is clearly not worthy to serve in the capacity of minister of a nation whose constitution identifies freedom of conscience and secularism as two of its most fundamental principles. UAAR, a non-profit organization founded to promote social issues and that has as its primary objective the defense of the civil rights of the agnostic and atheist citizens of Italy, formally requests that you, in your role as guarantor of the Italian Constitution, intervene against the Honorable Minister Frattini, in order that he retract his offensive statements or, if he refuses to do so, require him to resign. Such action is justified because the minister’s ideas are patently incompatible with the Constitution.
In any event, our association will take all possible steps to draw the attention of the public both in Italy and abroad to the statements made by Minister Frattini, which are so unfitting for one in his position.
I hope they can draw enough attention to their letter. An apology from the politician would be shocking (to me) but atheists in other countries never cease to amaze me with what they can accomplish.