Thursday, August 18, 2011

Manifesto: "Out of my taxes, zero to the Pope"

Redes Cristianas

This is the manifesto of the main organizations that convened the demonstrations on August 17, 2011 in connection with World Youth Day in Madrid.

Within a few months of visits to Santiago and Barcelona, Mr. Ratzinger -- Benedict XVI to Catholics--, stubborn in his idea of "reconquering" a country that is distancing itself from his moral and religious proposals, now returns to Madrid.

From the viewpoint of secularism and democracy, there is nothing objectionable about a meeting between a spiritual shepherd and his followers. Clearly, despite the calculated ambiguity of the gathering, "World Youth Day" in August in Madrid aims to bring together thousands of young Catholics around the teachings of the pope -- an act which, whatever its size, is still private, as are beliefs and their manifestations.

What is contrary to a democratic state that declares itself non-denominational is to mix the affairs of state and religious affairs, general interests with private interests, the institutions that represent all citizens with events that concern only some of them, in this case those who share certain religious beliefs.

Therefore, it is scandalous that the government has contributed 25 million euros, that is, from everyone's tax dollars, to the visit of the pope and the celebration of a religious act, while granting tax breaks to big companies that have committed another 25 million. In addition, we have to add the many more that both the central government and the Madrid City Council have contributed by defraying other expenses through the free conveyance of many public services (civil servants, visas, transportation, security forces, use of public spaces such as sports centers, schools and colleges, etc.)..

This diversion of public resources for private ends is particularly serious at a time when so much generosity to the Catholic hierarchy (which already receives around 10 billion euros a year in various ways) is in contradiction with the harsh restrictions on public spending and social services that we are all suffering under, under the pretext of the economic crisis.

Similarly, it is unacceptable that authorities and officials are involved and participating in this event of a private nature, which they would be within their rights to do personally, but never as representatives of the public functions they perform on behalf of all citizens.

In this case, the subterfuge that these are expenses and honors due a head of state, is worthless. Pope Benedict XVI is not representing the poor inhabitants of the Vatican which, in any case, has nothing to do either by origin or by configuration with a true and legal democratic State. Even though he is coming to meet with his followers in terms of spiritual leadership that they exclusively recognize, the official and privileged treatment dispensed by the public entities proceeds in some way -- treatment that obviously they don't give to gatherings promoted by citizens of other faiths or ideological convictions.

Nor would any head of state be allowed the interference, endlessly repeated by the Pope and the Catholic hierarchy, in domestic political affairs such as the laws themselves that a country enacts in a democratic manner (public secular education, right to one's own sexuality and control of reproduction, patterns of marriage and family, right to a dignified death, etc.) since they don't limit themselves to giving moral advice to their faithful, which is legitimate, but intend to make their particular views of morality and society mandatory standards for all.

Therefore we, the undersigned individuals and organizations, express our rejection of the confusion and collusion of public institutions with an eminently private and denominational activity. We call on all citizens who, regardless of their personal convictions, support a goal of coexistence with equal rights, to organize actions in defense of democracy and secularism of the state and address the various public entities to demand that they act accordingly and stop granting privileges that belong to past eras and an antidemocratic legacy.


Acción Educativa (MRPS de Madrid)
ACSUR - Las Segovias - Madrid
Agrupación Ateneísta Juan Negrín de Madrid
Albacete Laico-Europa Laica
Alicante Laico-Europa Laica
Alternativa Laica de Toledo
AMAL (Asociación Madrileña de ateos y librepensadores)
AMESDE (Asociación para la Memoria Social y Democrática)
Andalucía Laica-Europa Laica
Área de juventud de Izquierda Unida
Asamblea de Movimientos Sociales del FSM de Madrid
Asamblea de mujeres de Bizkaia
Asamblea Feminista de Madrid
Asamblea Popular de Moratalaz del Movimiento 15 M. Madrid
Asamblea Popular de Prosperidad (Madrid)
Asociación “No nos resignamos”
Asociación Ateos y Republicanos
Asociación Colectivo Infancia
Asociación Cultural La Casa de Zitas de Zaragoza
Asociación de Amigos de las Brigadas Internacionales
Asociación de Descendientes del Exilio español
Asociación de Redondela polos Dereitos Humáns
Asociación de Transexuales de Andalucía (A.T.A.)
Asociación Diversitat LGTBI, de Alicante
Asociación Laica de Rivas-Vaciamadrid
Asociación Laica y Republicana del Condado de Jaén
Asturias Laica-Europa Laica
Ateneo de Izquierdas de Arajuez
Ateos de Albacete
Ateos en acción
Ateus de Catalunya
Attac Catalunya- Galicia-Aragón
AVALL (Asociación Valenciana de ateos y librepensadores)
Católicas por el derecho a decidir
CAUM (Club de Amigos de la Unesco de Madrid)
Círculo Poético Republicano de Burgos
Ciudad de Mujeres
Ciudadanos por la República de Cuenca
COGAM – (Colectivo LGTB de Madrid)
Col·lectiu Republicà del Baix Llobregat
Colectivo Harimaguada de Canarias
Colectivo Republicano Antonio Machado de Segovia
Colectivo Republicano de Redondela
Colectivo San Blas - Madrid
Comité Oscar Romero de Madrid
Confederación Intersindical (STES-i)
Córdoba Laica-Andalucía Laica
Cristianos por el socialismo
Cuenca Laica
Cullera Laica
Democracia, Ciudadanía y República (Asturias)
Ecologistas en Acción - Madrid
En Lucha
Escuela laica de Valladolid
Europa Laica
Extremadura Entiende
Extremadura Laica-Europa Laica
FELGTB (Fed Estatal de lesbianas, gays, trans y bisexuales)
Foro Social de Madrid
Fundación Ferrer i Guardia- Catalunya
Fundación María Deraismes
Girasol (Fed. Coordinadora de Asociaciones LGTB del Sur)
Granada Laica-Andalucía Laica
Grupo de Estudios Comp. Euroafricanos y Eurolatinoamericanos
Grupo Fediversa- Asociación LGBTI Algarabía
IAC (Intersindical Alternativa de Catalunya)
Iglesia de Base de Madrid
Iniciativa Atea
Izquierda Anticapitalista
Izquierda Republicana
Izquierda Unida Federal
Jaén Laico-Andalucía laica
Libre Pensée (Francia)
Lliga per la Laïcitat, Catalunya
Logia Mozart del Gran Oriente de Francia
Madrid Laico-Europa Laica
Málaga Laica-Andalucía Laica
MHUEL-Aragón (Movimiento hacia un estado laico)
Movimiento Laico y Progresista
Observatorio de la laicidad
Partido comunista de España
Partido Comunista de España (marxista-leninista)
Partido de los Trabajadores de España (PTE-ORT)
Partido Obrero Socialista Internacional. (POSI)
Plataforma Aranjuez Laica
Plataforma de Ciudadanos por la República
Red de Red-Otro mundo es posible
Red Laica por la Igualdad y la Diversidad
Red Roja
Redes Cristianas
RQTR. Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Sevilla Laica-Andalucía Laica
Unidad Cívica por la Republica
Unión de ateos y librepensadores de España
Unión de Juventudes Comunistas de España
Unión Republicana Federalista-Madrid
USTEC·STEs – Catalunya

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