Cultural Centre “Valentín Letelier” – Cultural Centre “Pythagore”

Dear friends:

I am thankful for the invitation that the President of the founding convention of the International
Association of Free thought sent me, so that in the opening session, I could convey the message
of support of an important part of women living in Latin America.

It is no mystery that women are the most affected by the lack of freedom of thought.

Religions have been effective means to control us and to prevent us from being full citizens, in
possession of all our rights.

In Latin America, it is necessary to add to the power of restriction of the Catholic religion the
strength of male chauvinism and the poverty rate that affect mainly women and transform them into
second-class citizens.

Insofar as the more recent generations could reach higher education and thus a freer thought, we
see how, little by little, our daughters and our grand-daughters clearly realize the need of having
their own convictions, liberated from the yoke imposed by their parents, husbands, brothers, and
especially by the dogmas of the Catholic church, for example in Chile, and which is waning facing
the irresistible power of free and enlightened thought.

This is why I make a plea to include in this important meeting a proposal aiming to accelerate this
process and to help millions of women, who still live locked in ignorance and in religious beliefs
that take away and restrict their freedom of thought, so that they reach fullness as human beings.

I bring the greetings of many freethinker women of Chile, and messages in which they join the
creation of this Association. I represent also the non-religious organizations of my country which
support the AILP.

For my part, I believe that, regarding this event, free thought is based on freedom of individual
conscience particularly threatened by the advance of religious dogma worldwide, leading to
fratricidal confrontations and ideological dictatorships. So I need to meet with you to reflect on the
objectives of the present life and to support our association to face mistake and lie.

Without a doubt, we must respect those who have other philosophical ideas founded on faith or on
creationist convictions or on convictions of other lives. For this reason, we must be respected as
freethinker citizens in all countries.

I understand that as being the fundamental base to demand the complete separation of Church
and State. It is unacceptable for civilized countries to declare mandatory in their constitutions the
beliefs in religious concepts, taking into account their current scientist and cultural levels.

I reiterate, we must be respectful of everyone’s beliefs. We declare ourselves free thinkers, in the
search of scientific antecedents of a possible ultimate cause of the Universe, philosophical search
of inaccessible understanding, because any possible explanation exceeds to the knowledge or to
the human experience. Therefore I know very clearly that no human being in this world has
answers or explanation to so many questions, personal beliefs, as respectable as they can be,
being very distant from science and truth.

The British scientist Stephen Hawking has many interesting reflections on the subject in his new
book “The Grand Design” where he stipulates that the Big Bang was an inevitable consequence of
the physical laws and that the present theories turn into superfluous the figure of a creator of the

My dear friends, I will continue to think and I will not let myself pressured by simplistic arguments
of the factual powers that continue controlling humanity… I want to continue on the way of free
thought and to be with you in the future.