Spain's new atheist PM wants religion kept out of schools

Spain's new atheist PM wants religion kept out of schools June 2, 2018

Pedro Sánchez, an atheist to the core, today became the first Spanish Prime Minister to be sworn in without a Bible or a crucifix on the table before him – a day after the stunning parliamentary defeat of his predecessor Mariano Rajoy.
Four years ago Sánchez, then General Secretary of the Socialist Party (PSOE), confirmed that he was ‘deeply atheistic’ in a Traveling with Chester TV programme.

I am an atheist and I believe that religion should not be in the classrooms, it has to be in the churches. In the classrooms you have to form citizenship, not people with religious beliefs.

According to this report, King Felipe had relaxed the protocol on swearing-in ceremonies for officials since taking up the throne in 2014, meaning Christian symbols are now an optional element.
The 46-year-old socialist formally took up his post as Spain’s prime minister after he successfully ousted Mariano Rajoy, who lost a no-confidence vote in parliament over a corruption scandal within his party.

From the off, Sánchez has taken a combative approach to the country’s Catholic Church, which enjoys a privileged position despite the Spanish state officially being secular.
In his manifesto when running for the party leadership in 2017, Sánchez promised to renounce treaties signed by the Vatican and Spain in 1979, under which the Catholic Church was guaranteed funding through a share of taxpayers’ money. He also promised to end taxpayers’ funding for religious instruction in state schools.
Sánchez is unlikely to get much opposition to his proposed reforms vis-a-vis the Catholic Church. Gone are the days when the Vatican had Spain by the throat and the Civil Guard would fine, or even beat, those who refused to attend mass on Sunday. Today just 13 percent of self-declared Catholics bother to go to church.
A visit to any small village in Spain shows that in many cases, there is no longer a priest in attendance.

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  • AgentCormac

    Seriously, absolutely, truly fantastic news! A model for the future.

  • RussellW

    Yes, good news indeed. First Ireland then Spain, tomorrow, the world. The influence of toxic Christianity in the US might take a little more time.

  • Johan

    Things will be getting nasty … the RCC werewolves will be well into their plotting to get rid of this man. There is nothing they will not do if they think they can get away with it.
    And isn’t it awful that the taxes taken from the common man are handed over to enrich the well larded arses of those that oppress, subjugate, beggar and retard.
    Shred the concordats. Emasculate the RCC.

  • Broga

    Meanwhile we have The Vicar’s Daughter pandering to the bigots in Northern Ireland and appeasing them with our taxes to keep her failing government in office although not in power. Her recent capitulation is to let the Northern Ireland outfit decide on what action to take on abortion law.

  • Revi Pillai

    Best news of the day.

  • barriejohn

    If only the rest of Europe wasn’t heading in the opposite direction! And things may get a whole lot worse in America, if you can imagine that:
    On a campaign-style tour through the state (California), (Franklin) Graham has been mixing preaching with politics, with a lot more emphasis on the politics. He’s calling on churches to explicitly endorse candidates from the pulpit. “Lose your tax exempt status; the progressives want to take it away anyway,” The New York Times quotes him as telling pastors. Besides, says Graham, progressive is “just another word for godless.”

  • L.Long

    “Lose your tax exempt status; the progressives want to take it away anyway,” Thus another religious nut job speakith a big fat lie!!! We just want them to be taxed fair and honest like any other charity or for-profit business. And the criminal mega-churches are NOT a charity!!!

  • barriejohn

    I had the misfortune to listen to part of Trump’s Tennessee “speech” on BBC Parliament, while enjoying a corned beef sandwich today. What can I say? Lots of talk about God, and “pioneers”, and “patriots”, and “taking back our country”. No mention of indigenous Americans as far as I could see. And any surviving Allied veterans would be amazed to learn that America “won two World Wars” and defeated Communism and Fascism! You truly couldn’t make it up – but he does.

  • Angela_K

    @barriejohn. Reminds me of the old joke about the USA being late into the two world wars but they’ll be early into the third.
    Many Americans have a collective amnesia when it comes to the indigenous population their ancestors slaughtered and some fundie Christians believe the “Indian tribes” stole north America before the white settlers arrived to reclaim it.

  • 1859

    It is telling fact, is it not, that the two European countries -Spain and Ireland – which for centuries were being strangled by the RRC, are now speeding ecstatically towards a purely secularist politics? I suspect Poland and Italy will take far longer to free themselves because politics and the RRC in these two countries have been virtually synonymous for centuries.
    The US did not ‘win’ two world wars, but without their help Hitler would certainly have prevailed in Europe if not further afield.

  • barriejohn

    @1859: I hope you’re not forgetting the Russians. Possibly twenty seven million dead during WWII; it’s incomprehensible.
    I’m perplexed by his claim that the USA defeated Communism. It was the Communists who took Russia OUT of WWI, and in WWII they were our ALLIES. And surely not Vietnam, when this great patriot (whose blood, so he claims in the speech, runs “red, white and blue”) managed to avoid the draft on several occasions!

  • 1859

    Don’t worry bj, with Russian relatives I am constantly reminded of how many Russians died in Hitler’s war. What is even more incredible is that Hitler’s six year’s escapade cost the lives of an estimated 55 million humans from all sides. Divide 55 by 6 and that works out to be just over 9 million people a year – slaughtered for what? To save the world from one man’s fanaticism. I would have fought in WWII but not in WWI. In the First W War I would have gone with the Quakers and carried the dead and wounded from the battlefield.
    Trying to understand anything Trump says is a waste of time – I’d rather watch my turds disappear down the loo.

  • Broga

    1859: My daughter-in-law is Russian and she never mentions the Russian dead. But I do. She is also dismayed at the corruption in Russia. After her last and final visit she told me that many Russians looked back with nostalgia to the days of Stalin. However, I am well aware of the truth of your comment as I have read lots of histories of WW11.
    I was interested to read Max Hastings insights into the fantasies being woven about the character and achievements of the Brits. That does not distract from the extraordinary courage and daring of those who fought e.g. in” Bomber Command.” Or the shameful treatment of those whose nerve failed after even 20 hellish missions – demoted, file marked LMF (low moral fibre) and given menial jobs.
    Trump is unhinged.

  • barriejohn

    @1859: I wouldn’t give a hoot about Trump, either, if he could be regarded as an unelectable buffoon, but what really worries me is the crowds at his rallies all hollering and screaming, and applauding the idiot. Are they stark staring mad? I was quite seriously expecting to hear gasps of astonishment at some of his remarks, but they seem to think he’s right on the ball. And it’s not just America, either, as any viewer of Question Time can attest. I had a thoroughly working-class upbringing in the 1950s, and none of my relatives were what you might call “sophisticated”, but even in that age of limited media influence I am quite certain that most people had a far better grasp of history and politics than the “reality” generation of today. With Brexit just around the corner, and the rise of “populism” throughout Europe, I find it very worrying.

  • Broga

    barriejohn: And there’s the rub. Trump and his bigots, espousing beliefs (for political advantage) that sensible people condemn now have the power to affect the rest of us. I see no challenge from May, Moggy with his six sprogs, Justin Welby and the other religiots.

  • barriejohn

    Here’s some more absolutely outrageous news just in. These people are out of control!
    The US ambassador to Germany has said he wants to “empower” Europe’s right.
    Richard Grenell, who was appointed by President Donald Trump last year, made the highly unusual comments for a diplomat to right-wing Breitbart News.
    “I think there is a groundswell of conservative policies that are taking hold because of the failed policies of the left,” he said.
    Mr Grenell’s comments follow several other controversial remarks by Trump-appointed diplomats.

    More here: