Posted by Barry Duke
October 31, 2010

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.

Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini

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.

He added:

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 Razionalisti (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 ‘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 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.

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The attention atheists get is measure of our growing numbers and strength. I hope we're witnessing the grassroots beginning of the rise of reason and the fall of faith.
Being smarter and better educated doesn't help a lot when the other side has both numbers and more weapons. The purging of the educated elite is a common thread in internal conflict. While I don't think we're at that point yet, the rising tide of anti-intelligence, anti-education sentiment makes me believe that it's not an impossibility.
And that rising tide is the ultraconservative/evangelical/teaparty movement trying to take control of our government right NOW! We'll find out tomorrow what true advances they have made....I'm more than a little nervous!
Humanity was willing to give up the leaps they made in science and math once before.
It didn't work out so well for us that time, either. The Dark Ages were a bitch, weren't they? Hell, Islam is still struggling out of em...

If there is one thing we are good at, it's repeating mistakes.
Luckily we've got a new weapon on our side.
It's a lot easier to burn books than it is to destroy the internet.

Thank fuck I'll be dead before all this comes to a head.
I am more inclined to believe you, however I think we have an added advantage: believers who are secular, or uphold secularism as taught in constitutions. We don't just have Atheists, but reasonable religious people who do not believe in a sort of genocidal termination of Secularists. But I do believe we need to be wary of leaders like this man trying to wage a holy war on us, because I think it is inevitable that it may happen, and be observant that another Hitler doesn't rise out of religious indoctrination.

I don't believe that the Church will have as much to do with this sort of persecution as one would expect, because of their obvious repeated mistakes in the past being blown up in their faces, as well as John Paul II's open-arms approach to science and reason that's been following in patterns through the Vatican (albeit obviously not to all, or even most, but enough).

We will see how it plays out.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, especially seeing as it is also happening, in various stages, across the entire world.
They have started a cooperation to get blasphemy laws to be taken in Europe. Both cooperate to make islamophoby and christophoby to be hate crime and the laws for hate crimes makes all criticism illegal

Hmmm if that'll become hate crime what about crtiticism of secularism and atheism? What's good for the goose....
Fine we'll take our science and our technology and leave and when we're gone and these idiots have destroyed each other over their imaginary friends they'll ask for our help and we'll whisper "No".

Hmmm that was kinda Rorschach.
Wow. This is disturbing. The Jehovah's Witnesses have an article (or whatever) discussing atheism being "on the march?"; the religious are starting to recognize that we are in fact here and we're beyond tired of the bullshit.

I do worry about the future. Will this be the beginning of a new age of reason, or will this be the beginning of a "war on atheists"? Many of the religious refer to atheists who express their opinions as "militant" atheists. They spread propaganda about people killing believers for simply believing. (For example, the Cassie Bernall bullshit story that was perpetuated. That book is still out, and some readers still think it is factual!

Are we "fighting" a losing battle? The information is out there! The facts are everywhere! Yet the everyday believer does not look....and cannot be bothered to look. They blindly accept what they are being told, not even consulting their own holy books to see if what they are being told is even scriptural. But they will fight (literally!) to the death for what they do not know.

A secular "war on religion" is a battle of wits, knowledge, and words in which nobody dies (except the occasional heart attack from the stress associated with arguing with the delusional). But a religious war against the secular.....I doubt it would be simply a battle of merely intellect.
I believe I was called paranoid earlier when I mentioned that we are in a war of ideas.

I'm glad he's finally come out with it. I hope his vitriole spreads and people see how ridiculous believers actually are winning us more converts. The best conversion from religion is religious idiots like this one.

I pity the believer/believers that come to my person with force. "Ju want to play rough? Okay, I play rough witch ju."

Jason, kinda Galtish too. Ironic and fitting that the Tea Party would use an author they don't understand.
Heh it's interesting how many Tea Partiers cite Rand but when you tell them she was an atheist they freak.
See my post on Gaytor's discussion "Worst Political Party to Debate". I like Rand a lot, so I'm doubly pissed. Now I have to deal with idiots on the left who hate Ayn Rand, even though they haven't read her either, just because the idiots on the right LIKE the sound bits they've been given. I have two-fold idiocy I have to deal with. *sigh*


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