Declaration on Religion in Public Life

The following was taken from here: http://www.atheist.ie/2010/07/atheist-ireland-declaration-on-religion-in-public-life/. This, in turn, is adapted from the Copenhagen Declaration on Religion in Public Life, which can be found here: http://atheistconvention.eu/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Copenhagen_Declaration.pdf

Personal Freedoms

  • Freedom of conscience, religion and belief are unlimited. Freedom to practice religion should be limited only by the need to respect the rights of others.
  • All people should be free to participate equally in public life, and should be treated equally before the law and in the democratic process
  • Freedom of expression should be limited only as prescribed in international law. All blasphemy laws should be repealed.

Secular Democracy

  • Society should be based on democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Public policy should be formed by applying reason to evidence.
  • Government should be secular. The state should be strictly neutral in matters of religion, favoring none and discriminating against none.
  • Religions should have no special financial consideration in public life, such as tax-free status for religious activities, or grants to promote religion or run faith schools

Secular Education

  • State education should be secular. Children should be taught about the diversity of religious beliefs in an objective manner, with no faith formation in school hours.
  • Children should be educated in critical thinking and the distinction between faith and reason as a guide to knowledge. Science should be taught free from religious interference.

One Law For All

  • There should be one law for all, democratically decided and evenly enforced, with no jurisdiction for religious courts to settle civil matters or family disputes.
  • The law should not criminalize private conduct that respects the rights of others because the doctrine of any religion deems such conduct to be immoral.
  • Employers or social service providers with religious beliefs should not be allowed to discriminate on any grounds not essential to the job in question.
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