Paris, 8 December 2022
The LDH (League of Human Rights), the National Federation of Free Thought, the Secular Watch, Secular Solidarity and the Rationalist Union have not ceased to recall their attachment to the law of 9 December 1905, law of freedom and emancipation. Their opposition to any substantial change calling into question the spirit of this founding text of the republican identity is part of a broader perspective of defense of all civil liberties.
However, it is clear that, under the pressure of an ideological reading imposed by a part of the political class and by some columnists or polemicists, relayed by media with dubious editorial lines, a security drift is confirmed, sometimes even tinged with xenophobia, which has nothing to do with secularism as taken up by our Constitution in 1958.
For some, secularism must be transformed into a marker of identity through an extension of the neutrality of public administration to, potentially, the whole social field.
Thus the law of August 24, 2021, “consolidating respect for the principles of the Republic”, known as the “separatism law”, further reinforces the constraints imposed in the name of public order on the exercise of fundamental freedoms reduced to mere proclamations. It does not change less than 17 codes and a number of essential laws. Many public freedoms are affected: freedom of conscience and worship, freedom of expression, freedom of association, the right to education, and the free administration of local authorities. The deference «secularity» which comes, ironically, taking place next to the referred «freedom» increases the capacity offered to prefects to control the acts and decisions of local authorities; the «contract» of republican commitment (CER), which any association applying for a public subsidy must sign, contradicts the liberal nature of the 1901 law; the new controls on religious associations tend towards a system of prior authorization counter-productive and detrimental to the principle of separation.
The LDH (League of Human Rights), the National Federation of Free Thought, the Secular Watch, Secular Solidarity and the Rationalist Union are worried about the future of a secularity that has become in the eyes of the public authorities an instrument of constraint and conformation. More than ever, they denounce the abuses and abuses they see in public debate and affirm their desire to defend full secularism, a non-partisan principle of freedom and civil peace.
Signatories: Fédération nationale de la Libre pensée, LDH (Ligue des droits de l’Homme), Solidarité laïque, Union rationaliste, Vigie de la Laïcité
Contact: LDH Press Office: firstname.lastname@example.org / 01 56 55 51 15