Motion of the French National Federation of Free Thought
September 20th, 2013
International Day of Free Thought

On May 4th, 2013, The National Federation of Free Thought (NFFT) organized a rally in Strasbourg for “the abrogation of the 1801 Concordat” and “the Alsace-Moselle clerical status of exception”, in defense of the unity of the Republic, threatened by Regionalization and the Act III of Decentralization.

This rally was the NFFT response to the reactionary decision to bring the Concordat situation of Alsace-Moselle into conformity with the Constitution, marking more deeply the break in the republican continuity between those three departments and the rest of the Republic.

Indeed, 221 years after the Proclamation of the Republic (in 1792), the complete and total unification of the French Republic, based on freedom of conscience and institutional secularism remains the aim and the NFFT is forced to assert that the main obstacle on this road remains the Vatican and its privileges enshrined in the 1801 Concordat and in Article 17-C of the European Constitutional Treaty that maintains the privileges of the Church.

The May 4th, 2013 rally took place in the aftermath of the referendum, which was the occasion for the people of Alsace to bring an end to the fusion of the departments of Alsace into one single authority that would have meant the calling into question of citizens’ and workers’ rights. In so doing, the people of Alsace have proved their commitment to the unity of the Republic and the departments that structure it.

Unification of the Republic based on the 1905 Law: that is the crucial struggle of the NFFT in France to safeguard equal rights and respect absolute freedom of conscience. On May 4th, 2013, the European Coordination Bureau of Free Thought was set up, to launch the necessary actions with Free Thinkers of the European continent so as to ensure the triumph of our common ideals.

In order to progress down that road, NFFT has to offer perspectives to all those who want to get involved in this republican and secular struggle.

That is why the Bourg-en-Bresse Congress of the NFFT endorses and decides to implement the proposal of the final resolution adopted by the Congress of the Americas in Mar del Plata in Argentina that commits the AILP to: “assist the associations which, on the American continent and in other countries, celebrate every year the September 20th, day of free thought, as a tribute to the men and women who are fighting for freedom, equality and fraternity among human beings and among peoples. The date recalls the Capture of Rome [1870] by the forces of Italian unification – among which the garibaldian”red shirts“– and has the meaning of the final fall of the temporal power of the Pope and of his political regimes of”divine right“. It also represents a great triumph for the democratic, Republican and secular forces of the world.”

Celebrating the September 20th is paying tribute to the achievement of the Italy unity and the end of Papal States. It is the triumph of equality of rights and the advent of freedom of conscience. There are 14 concordats in Europe. These 14 concordats are constitutive of the existence in fact of 14 “Papal States” where citizens are not equal because of the exorbitant privileges granted to the Catholic Church and its accomplices.

Accordingly, on proposal of the Federations of Bas-Rhin and Moselle of Free Thought, the NFFT calls freethinkers, secularists and Republicans to gather on September 20th, 2013 in the land of concordat and across the country to celebrate the International Day of the Free thought.

Yesterday as today, from Rome to Strasbourg:
Abrogation of all concordats, legacy of the Papal States!

Passed unanimously (one abstention).

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