Christian Eyschen (France)
Spokesperson IAFT (France)
French National Federation of Free Thought (FNLP)
Dear Friends and Comrades, Sisters and Brothers,
I would like to share with you the feeling of profound happiness for having participated in this Congress. Also, on behalf of the International Association of the Free Thought as well as on behalf of the audience, I would like to warmly thank Antonio Vergara and Jacques Lafouge, for the huge task they have done for the success of this Congress. Without them it would not have been possible. Thank you, Antonio and Jacques. Our thanks go also to the translators and all our friends who have organised this Congress.
This Congress of the Americas of the Free Thought, the 2nd Congress of the International Association of the Free Thought, has proved the profound identity which unites us, beyond the Equator and both sides of the Atlantic. The Age of the Enlightenment has highlighted two principles which have imposed themselves on the peoples of America and Europe: Liberty and mutual Toleration.
Therefore, a change in society has become a requirement and Revolutions have ensued: in the United States of America, then in France and across Europe, liberation revolutions also in South America with the end of the Spanish colonial rule and the birth of sovereign states.
Were the liberties gained by our states complete? No, undoubtedly! On the political level, we altogether had to endure many ups and downs and dictatorships to achieve democracies, which, as we know, are perfectible. We are all still fighting for more liberties
But, it is concerning “the New Evangelization”, that all the Churches, whether old or new, are trying to reassert their power over the bodies and the minds in Europe as well as in America.. This “Reconquista” phenomenon is occurring on all the hemispheres and all the continents. It tends to develop with the active assistance of great international institutions, political as well as economic.
Certainly, we are not identical from North to South and on both sides of the Ocean, and yet the fights, which we have outlined the basis during that Congress, are common ground for us, because, beyond the diversity of our cultural backgrounds which enrich us, Humankind is seeking to release itself from the chains of obscurantism, oppression and exploitation. This progressive aspiration is commonly shared by all the peoples.
Thus, we have firmly expressed our common will to achieve real steps forward for Liberty and Secularism in a mutual toleration which can exist only with the institutional Separation of the States and the Churches.
Our Second Congress of the IAFT has been very fruitful. I would like to remind a few goals:
- The struggle for Separation between Religions and the States all over the world.
- Exposure of old as well as recent crimes perpetrated by religions and compensation for the victims.
- Rejection of public funding for Religions. Religion should be a private matter.
- Liberty for individuals, through the absolute respect of the freedom of conscience, justice and respect of Human Rights: apostasy and divorce, contraception and liberty to give birth or refuse to give birth, and the right to die with dignity.
- Full recognition of women’s rights and her dignity with the implementation of the principle of equal rights.
- Free labour unions, safeguarding workers’ rights released from the social doctrines of the Churches.
- Education aimed at training citizens instead of parishioners.
We will soon be back in our respective countries. On behalf of the 8 spokespersons of the IAFT, we call on you to spread the word of the Free Thought everywhere.
Long live Liberty!
Long live Secularism!
Long live the International Association of the Free Thought!
Christian Eyschen, IAFT spokesperson
Mar del Plata
18th November 2012