Sunday, October 21, 2012

Political Stance

We have a dream.

We imagine a world emancipated from all religions. We imagine a world where deceiving by means of dogmas is not possible anymore. We imagine a world where supernatural beliefs are purely personal issues. We imagine a world where free thought and critical thinking are the methods of making social decisions.

And we are not the only ones.

Religion: Against freedom.

We believe that religions are a political tool of oppression and a social tool of legitimizing inequities. Therefore, we will treat them as such.

We think that the religious institutions are one of the biggest obstacles to freedom. This obstacle does not affect only scientific education, children's rights, gender equality and democratic decision-making. We further argue that these religious institutions are against freedom of belief. Today, a Portuguese child is as free to choose her/his religion as a consumer is free to choose between products. They are not: As in the so-called free market, there are monopolies in religion.

By aiming at freedom from religion, we mean that we will fight against privileged religious beliefs: A society that has freedom of belief is a society that is equidistant to all the 4200 active religions around the world.

Atheism: For freedom.

“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” [Richard Dawkins]

And we, The Non-Flammable Witches, will go even further. We will not restrict our attention to supernatural dogmas, but extend our skeptical views towards more secular dogmas such as racism, nationalism, sexism and economic growth.

We have no tolerance for the deception and exploitation of the people. We will not be tolerant to institutionalized religions. Our tolerance is preserved for the 99%, who are working and producing, yet deprived and suffering.

Our atheism is a political stance; not a purely philosophical one. Our atheism is a scientific and social stance; not a merely personal one. Our atheism is part of the project of political and social emancipation.

What we have in the menu

Below is a list of some of our immediate demands. We intend to extend and deepen them during our activities.

Law: There should be no privileged positions in society or advantage in law for any individual or group by virtue of their religion or belief. Religious institutions should not be exempt from public investigations, inspection, and accountability criteria.

Education: Public education should be secular. State funding for religious and private schools should be abolished. Religious rituals and practices should be abandoned in education.
Public education should be based on evidence, and designed to promote critical thinking and scientific skepticism.

Taxing and Funding: Religious organizations and communities must not receive privileges and immunities, such as tax benefits or grants to promote religion.

Policy-making: Scientific skepticism and an evidence-based approach should be applied to all policy-making.


1. We feel responsible and obligated to stand out and reach out by organizing talks, issuing public declarations, running campaigns and making direct actions.

2. We make our decisions by the methods of participatory democracy.

3. We adopt a skeptical, scientific and critical approach.

4. We do not limit our critical approach with religion. We are against any kind of discrimination based on nationality, ethnicity, color, gender, sexual orientation and sexual identity.

5. We do not favor any ungrounded ideas. We are “narrow-minded” towards all the irrational belief systems ranging from pseudoscience to mysticism, from monotheistic religions to astrology.

6. While not hesitating to confront religious beliefs and institutions and criticizing religions, we do not approve of the humiliation of common people due to their religious beliefs. We fight ideas, not people. We take seriousness and sincerity as our political style.

7. We respect animal rights and all ecosystems as much as we respect human rights. We ground our lives and political stance not on the idea that the world was created for us, but on the knowledge that all beings in the world coexist as parts of the whole.

8. We take it as our principle to show solidarity to the individuals and groups compatible with our goals and principles stated in this text, and form co-operation with them within the bounds of possibility.

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