The Secular State and the Secular School are under attack on all fronts in France.
While the French law relating to the Separation of Churches and the State prohibits the recognition of any religion by the French Republic, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy who already organised the French Islamic Council is putting in place a Commission to modify the 1905 Law to satisfy the demands being made by various religions.
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has declared his opposition to any modification of the 1905 Law – because, for him, this law can be violated with impunity and with no need to modify it! This is how the present government is continuing the permanent dialogue between the State and the Catholic Church established by Lionel Jospin in 2002!
This is no longer a regime assuring the Separation of Churches and the State. We are on the way to concluding concordats with all religions!
The proposed European Constitution was rejected in France on 29 May 2005 but anti-secular provisions favouring religions are being put in place silently. The ‘crime’ of blasphemy is the latest to afflict all of France. The courts now do not allow either parody or criticism of religion.
In violation of institutional neutrality, in 2005, 400 million Euros have been diverted from the state educational budget to fund private catholic schools. Thus, an equivalent of 200,000 school jobs (including social costs) have been stolen from the secular state. In 2002, educational allocation was Euro 105 per public school pupil as against Euro 332 for a pupil from a private school.
Because of the clerical status of the region of Alsace Moselle, thousands of priests, pastors and rabbis are paid out of public funds every month. The Archbishop of Strasbourg is paid Euro 4484 per month, and the President of the Protestant Directoire receives Euro 3150 while the Grand Rabbi of Strasbourg is paid Euro 2916 from public taxes.
In all of France, a clerical and religious regime is being installed under the influence of a Vaticanised Europe.
Whichever be the government, the anti-secular provisions of the Vichy Ré gime (the Laws of 5 February 1941, of 8 April 1942 and of 25 December 1942) continue to be implemented. Amazingly, ministers of today and yesterday speak of “their attachment to Laïcité !”.
For safe guarding Laïcité !, there is but one solution: the defence and restoration of the Law of Separation of Churches and State.
That is why more than 3000 well known secular personalities of the French Republic, and 34 associations have supported the initiative of the Comité de Liaison de l’Appel aux Laïques which is calling for a national demonstration
The French National Association of Freethinkers calls on all secular organisations, democratic associations, trade unions, parties and political groupings to demonstrate collectively on 10 December at Paris for the defence of Laicité .
Saturday 10 December at 14.30 hrs at Place de la République, Paris