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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They cherry pick their scripture so why not cherry pick Rand?
However, the murdering henchmen of Saddam Hussein -- now there he can find some redeeming value. And so he's flying into harm's way to try and to save him from the hangman's noose.

Italy: FM Frattini intends to go to Baghdad to try to prevent execu...

Between this fruitcake and Silvio Berlusconi, I don't know anymore. These guys would be a riot to watch if this were a terrible B-movie and they weren't actually in charge of a country. But gee, considering where he's going I hope nothing bad happens to him while he's in Iraq......
Mass murdering is one thing but oooohhhh shiiittt don't you dare be an atheist!!!
Public officals making incredibly bigotted, hateful, and frightening remarks unbefitting of one who is supposed to represent ALL citizens? Seems to be a lot of that going on these days...
He is right on the fact that “we’ve entered a new phase of religious warfare on Earth (between secular humanist and believers),” although I wouldn’t call it “warfare.” But are we the perverse and relativist people? Only religious people are capable of “absurd and ferocious violence.”

Last Sunday, the massacre, in which 58 people were killed by an affiliate of Al Qaeda at Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad, paled before the worst spectacles of violence in Iraq. Iraq was once a remarkable mélange of beliefs, customs and traditions; the killings on Sunday drew another border in a nation defined more by war, occupation and deprivation. Identities have hardened; diversity has faded. Nearly all of Iraq’s Jews left long ago, many harassed by a xenophobic government.

Iraq’s Christians have dwindled; once numbering anywhere between 800,000 and 1.4 million, at least half are thought to have emigrated since 2003, their leaders say. “They came to kill Iraq, not Iraqis,” said Bassam Sami, who huddled in a room for four hours before security forces managed to free him. “They came to kill the spirit of Iraq. They came to kill the reason to live, every dream that you want to make true.”

Absolutism rules the minds of a great number of people in the world today, most dangerously so in the Muslim world. Such absolutism nearly always results from strong religious faith.

Speaking of extreme relativism, yesterday, a Protestant Pastor told me that I am a “scientific fundamentalist” because I “believe” in evolution. And he advised me that I should be “more open-minded” because “evolution is just a theory.” Needles to say, he never studied the evidence of evolution. I showed and explained to him how all-life comes from one source, using pictures that for me are fascinating and beautiful. But he will never change his mind and waits for the moment that a “new theory” will correct, discard and negate evolution.
Regarding your kill quote... is that in reference to the people who murdered those in the Church or is it in reference to the United States?
It is in reference to the gunmen.

Several survivors said that many of the casualties occurred when the gunmen entered and began firing randomly — at people, church icons and even windows.

They described a ferocity on the part of the gunmen, some of them speaking in dialects from other Arab countries, as though the very sight of the church’s interior had enraged them.

Just imagining such insanity brings a lump to my throat.
Three years ago, Father Timothy Radcliffe OP accused Richard Dawkins of being stuck in the 19th century. Father Radcliffe, who is a former worldwide head of the Dominican religious order, said the biggest threat facing Christianity today was not atheism, but the loss of hope among the young. He said the declining birth rate in the West was down to youngsters not wanting to bring children into a world without hope.

That’s the greatest challenge facing Christianity today: "It is tempting for people to see no way forward. The two main stories the young encounter are the 'war on terror' and ecological disaster. Faced with that, they may well be inclined to wonder what future they have. They wonder what future their children will have. So it is very important that as Christians, we are seen to believe in the future of humanity."

He said the atheists had their time in the 19th century, but had little appeal now. "People have seen in many parts of the world, particularly China and the Soviet Union, what the effects are of trying to live in a world without God."

Referring to recent assaults on the Christian faith from philosophers, scientists and others such as AC Grayling, Christopher Hitchens and Professor Dawkins, Fr. Radcliffe, author of “What is the Point of Being a Christian?” (London, 2005) said: "I do not think we should be the slightest bit alarmed. It would be a great mistake to cast ourselves in the role of some persecuted group. When people criticize Christianity, we should welcome this as an opportunity to engage in debate."
Father Radcliffe seems to ignore the fact that atheists, agnostics, and other non-believers are gaining ground against the religious for the hearts and minds of the world's population. He goes on further to conflate atheism with hopelessness. In fact it is quite the opposite. Atheism means stepping out of the shadows of a mythological world view and adopting reason. It means standing up and taking responsibility for ourselves. It is really wonderfully liberating.
This tool oughta lay off of the vino. Where does he get the notion that society is in any way "stable" in his comment,"atheism,materialism,and relativism are perverse phenomena that threaten the stability of society". If he is under the impression that society is stable, I would hate to see us as unstable. Wow! It's amazing how blind our leaders are. The very scam of religion that has magnificantly contributed to the chaos of this planet is what he is proclaiming must be preserved ! Hey, here's a subtle way of spreading our influence on the masses of morons. The next time your at the bookstore, grab a bible or two from the theology section and transport them to the fiction and jokebook sections. Keep it going and see where it leads. I'm doing my part to try and enlighten co-workers. It's interesting to see their re-actions when I tell them about my non-believer status. They just don't know how to respond. You can tell that they are paralyzed because someone is challenging them to actually think why they believe what they were told to believe when they were growing up.
Kind of ironic that these guys are trying to blame rational people for the irrationality of the world.


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