ITALIAN rationalists are demanding the resignation of the country’s Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini over incendiary remarks he made in an article he wrote for the Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano.
Frattini, according to atheist Marc Alan di Martino’s blog, labelled atheists as “perverse” and a “threat to society”. Frattini called on Christians, Muslims and Jews to unite against secular “extremists” whom, he claimed, posed a grave threat to society.
This so “pissed off” di Martino that a wrote to President Giorgio Napolitano, complaining about Frattini. And he said this on his blog:
So it’s war he wants, and he’s rallying his homophobic, misogynistic friends at the Vatican against his fellow citizens in a holy alliance which is supposed to include their worst historical enemies, Jews and Muslims. I’m beginning to think we’ve entered a new phase of religious warfare on Earth: it’s no longer going to be Muslims vs Christians or skirmishes over minor doctrinal differences, but the faithful against the secular. The only thing they can agree on is that non-believers are the enemy (at least they can finally agree on something) of their unfounded truths.
I should point out Frattini’s howler in his call for a new humanism. Is he really unaware of the fact that almost all atheists are humanists? And that faith in the supernatural is by definition not humanism, because it relies on a power outside humanity to solve humanity’s problems? That’s why we call ourselves humanists.
The Unione Degli Atei e Degli Agnostici RazionalistiÂ (UAAR) was equally outraged, and its secretary, Raffaele Carcano blasted off the following letter to the 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 â€˜atheism, materialism and relativism’ are â€˜perverse phenomena’ that â€˜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 defence 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 Honourable 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.
Hat tip: David B