Humanists and atheists drive for wider global political impact

October 13, 2011

(Swiss Freethinkers party candidate Andreas Kyriacou holds a campaign flyer downtown Zurich, October 10, 2011/Christian Hartmann)

When Switzerland goes to the polls to elect a new parliament later this month, voters in Zurich will for the first time in the country’s history have the chance to cast their ballot for a slate of Freethinkers.

“We decided we had to stand up and tell our politicians that it’s time they recognised that there are a lot of non-religious people in their electorate,” says 42-year-old Andreas Kyriacou, who heads the list. “We, and probably a lot of Swiss people who have never thought about humanism or atheism, are tired of the influence the churches and religion still exert in this country,” he said in an interview with Reuters.

Kyriacou, a management consultant, was speaking at a “Denkfest”, or “Think Festival,” that the Swiss Freethinkers Association held in Zurich last month, attracting scientists, philosophers and even comedians from around the world.

The Swiss Freethinkers — a term that covers atheists, agnostics, secularists, rationalists, sceptics and just plain critics of religion — argue that the country’s political parties and leaders run scared of religious voters. “There is a group for Bible study in our parliament, but no cross-party humanist group, though we know many of the deputies are non-believers,” he says. “On right and left, they prefer to keep their heads down.”

And Kyriacou points to the failure of politicians to take a stand on social issues like assisted suicide and abortion, where the Catholic Church in particular has strong views, and on the powerful place of religion in education in parts of the country.

His stance — as measured by comments at other conferences around Europe over the summer — reflects growing determination among humanists and atheists on all five continents to make themselves more visible and their influence felt.

Read the full story here.

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2 comments

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I’m an atheist who doesn’t believe in God-Oh, wait a minute, I just acknowledged God/there is a God! Anyhow, I’m a follower of the macro evolution faith movement, even if there’s no evidence/it’s blind faith and believe in seculariaztion of church and state because it produces no/my rights or wrongs-whatever feels good do it! Turn on your news and you’ll see the results of our moral relativity at work every evening! When you invite hell into your life, don’t be suprised when all hell breaks loose though!

Posted by DrJJJJ | Report as abusive

Th thing is that religionists, especially the fundamentalists –of EVERY religion– start having orgasms if they think they are being “persecuted for God”. Then they really feel free to let loose, “because God’s law supersedes man’s law”.

Sigh. I am really beginning to think that as long as fundamentalists exist we will never be free.

Can’t we send them off to discover a new planet for God? Maybe some enterprising soul could “receive the word of the Lord” telling the faithful to drop everything and get off planet asap.

I feel sure we would be getting rid of all the troublemaking loonies.

Ah well. A girl can dream.

Posted by Lonecia | Report as abusive