Kraków for a Secular Europe
We are humanists who yearn for peaceful coexistence of different beliefs and world-views. We believe that such a subjective notion as faith should not be a weapon of political wrangling and a means of exerting pressure on secular legislation. We agree that everyone ought to have the freedom and right to their own religion and belief as long as it does not endanger others.
Secular state is not a made up “privilege” of atheists and agnostics. It is the principle of a free civil society, guaranteed by the constitution, which provides the freedom to profess any religion or no religion at all. We do not agree to disregard or even denial of the provisions of the Constitution on the separation of church and state. We expect equal rights and equal treatment of believers and non-believers.
We are strongly opposed to giving away public assets to win favor with the clergy, doing politics in the church, blackmailing the legislative power with excommunications on matters related to abortions and in vitro. We are protesting against any attempts of public slander of people holding views which are different from religious orthodoxy. Strong suppression of any voices of criticism over Catholic church contradicts the basic rules of democracy. We demand immediate squaring and explanation of crime-related activities of the Property Commission. We support the attempts to remove art. 196 of the penal code about the offending of religious feelings, which effectively clogs the mouths of those (especially artists) who dare to criticize Catholic church. We do not agree to censorship of any kind, and we believe in freedom of research and creativity.
We demand the exclusion of religion from the public school curriculum as well as the mark from this subject from the school certificate. We demand the public space to be free of religious symbolism and to cease the practice of official participation of key government officials in masses celebrated on national holidays and other important anniversaries.
We demand the total cessation of subsidizing the church from the state budget. We consider it acceptable to introduce church tax, which does not only enable the practitioners of a given religion to support their own churches, but will also help to verify the number practitioners in a credible way.
Poland is a country in which even some Catholics are against the church interference in not only public but also their private lives and the lives of people of other faiths and non-believes. They want to be allowed to run their own lives. Let the state be secular, and people happy, each in its own way.
This year, we have prepared a march of secularism not only to unite representatives of various communities but also to invite you to meetings and discussions with publicists, scientists, politicians, artists and activists. They will discuss topics fundamental to democratic system, and state secularism. By multi-faceted debates they will try to face those issues, which are so important to citizens and the state today.
Thursday 13 September:
18:00-20:00 Discussion: Atheism v. totalitarianism: Does atheism lead to Nazism?
Maciej Strutynski (political scientist and historian of religion scientist at Jagielonian University)
Jan Sowa (sociologist, essayist, editor, Ha!Art publishing hous)
Andrzej Dominiczak (Humanist Association)
moderator: Mateusz Burzawa
Friday 14th September
17:30 Discussion: Women in the face of the Catholic Church – Catholic Church in the face of women.
Beata Kowalska (sociologist, feminist)
Beata Kozak (chief of the feminist magazine Zadra)
Agata Czarnacka (“yes for women” initiative)
special guest on behalf of the Catholic Church
Moderators: Agnieszka Stupkiewicz Turek, Barbara Bielawska
location: Klub Kazimierz
20:00 exhibition of drawings by Tomasz Wiater
location: Klub Kazimierz
Saturday 15th September
10:00-12:00 experts panel: Specificity of the relation: the Catholic Church – the Polish State
prof.Irena Borowik (sociologist at Jagiellonian University)
dr Krzysztof Janik (political scientist, former Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration)
dr. hab Kazimierz Banek (political scientist and historian of religion scientist, Director of the Institute of Religious Studies)
Moderators: Katarzyna Bena, Damian Szwed
location: Teatr Nowy
March for secularism
Start 12:30, location: pl. Wolnica
For security reasons (possible attempts of disturbance caused mainly by nationalist groups) the march route is confidential and known only to the coordinators, who are not entitled to the disclosure. March participants are obliged to comply with so called Rules of the march, which contain important information e.g. principles of speaking during public gatherings, participation of organizations and parties in march, safety rules etc.
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/383008128433433/
16:00-18:00 political panel: Specificity of relation catholic church – state in Poland
Joanna Senyszyn (SLD)
Dariusz Szwed (Zieloni 2004)
Malgorzata Bielawska (Partia Kobiet)
Armand Ryfinski (Ruch Palikota)
Ryszard Dabrowski (Racja.pl)
Moderators: Malgorzata Malochleb, Adam Jaskow
location: Teatr Nowy
19:15 performance: “Lubiewo. Without censorship”
location: Teatr Nowy
21:00 party: integration in Cocon club
Sunday 16th September
12:00 discussion: „Unholy Father” by Piotr Szumlewicz
Anna Grodzka (MP)
Joanna Senyszyn (economist, journalist, Member of Europarliament)
Agnieszka Zakrzewicz (journalist, author of the blog: In the shadow of San Pietro)
Piotr Szumlewicz (journalist , co-author „ Atheists Essentials”, „Unholy Father”)
Moderators: Katarzyna Bena
location: Teatr Nowy
15:00: „Stroll through the gardens”
Location: ul. Slawkowska
Moderators: Agata Dutkowska
Sightseeing tour: Our tour guide will show you the secret viewpoints, from which one can see the green areas hidden behind the walls of monasteries, closed for general public (more than 15 ha only in town center)
Previous registration is required: firstname.lastname@example.org
Number of participants is limited.
Monday 17th September
18:00 discussion: ”Landscape of Krakow after activities of Property Commission”
location: (will be known soon)
Slawomir Pietrzyk (Vice-Chairman of the City of Krakow)
Malgorzata Winiarczyk-Kossakowska (political scientist, academic teacher, former MP)
Moderators: Michal Wszolek, Marzena Smolna
(more details soon)
JCC – ul. Miodowa 24
Klub Kultury Kazimierz – ul. Krakowska 13
Teatr Nowy – ul.Gazowa 21
Cocon – ul.Gazowa 21
Stowarzyszenie Kuznica – ul.Miodowa 41
Join the Coalition Progress and Secularism! Join the Campaign for Secular Europe!
- Stowarzyszenie Wolnomysliciele (email@example.com )
- Polskie Stowarzyszenie Racjonalistów (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Fundacja No Local (www.nolocal.org)
kom: +48 883-408-548
The March of Secularism: Poland for *All* The Poles!
The March of Secularism which is organized by the Coalition of Progress and Secularism (KPiS) (Polish abbrv.) formed by the Cracow-based progress organizations will take place on the 15th of September 2012 in Cracow.
The main goal of the March is to express our disagreement to the widespread constitution disregard of the authorities in a form of favoring the Catholic world views and the Catholic Church in the laws, administrative and self-government practices as well as in the official state ceremonial. Unquestionable privileged position of the Church and its political and social views along with the special legal status translate into the violation of the constitutional rule of the religious impartiality of the state and the equality of its citizens.
Poland will not be a country of freedom and equality as long as the bishop is not made equal with other citizens as far as the rights and duties are concerned and the Catholic Church does not have equal rights just like other religious organizations or the ones that serve to propagate certain world view regardless of their strength and the number of members.
We would like to live in a free and equal country and this is the ideal we strive for.
We would like to live in a country where no minority or majority imposes its religious, metaphysical and ethical views on the citizens and every human and community can live at ease according to their own beliefs which they can propagate in public and peacefully encourage other people to adopt them with simultaneous respect to the equal rights of the remaining citizens .
In the world that we pursue to live in, people are equal and free and they live according to the dictates of their tradition, beliefs and own choices. We think that everyone who opposes to such system and the state of relations in which all the Catholics or nationalists can practice freely and express their views in public without discriminating and restricting other people in their rights, as a matter of fact, aspires to the dominance over them. As a result he or she imposes on them the role of being people or groups that are “tolerated” but not equal with those who are “law-abiding”.
We will never agree to the fact that in Catholic Poland the atheists are barely “tolerated”. We will insist on Poland being finally a country for all the Poles: nationalists, gays, Jewish people, Catholics and atheists.
One of the most important conditions for freedom and equality is secularism of the state. The secularism we demand is about equality and not discriminating against LGBT people, the Jews, nationalists or handicapped are anyone. Our demands and criticism are not aimed at the Catholics and the Church. The secularism of the state is the condition of justice and equality and should be a value as such, the one that both believers and non-believers should jointly fight for. It is a common goal for everyone and all the people should equally care about the fact that Polish state treats all its citizens and their associations in an equal way regardless of their religious affiliation.
Above all, the aim for the March of Secularism is political. Walking through the streets of Cracow and protesting against the privileged position of the Catholic Church we focus on the equality and justice that is respecting the binding constitutional order in our country.
In Poland, unlike other countries, where the secularism is the common object of care of the atheists, agnostics and believers, the demand for separation of the Church and the State is still mainly a concern of atheists and agnostics. That is why during our MARCH one will be able to see more non-believers rather than believers.
Many of the members will manifest their world view identity while declaring that they are non-believers, agnostics or atheists. We would like to strongly stress that all of us have a right to express our views and beliefs in public . Manifesting someone’s atheism is as natural as manifesting any other faith such as taking part in a religious procession. Public announcing of being an atheist or public rejection of the existence of God is neither a direct attack on the Church nor its followers similarly to public denomination of faith is not an attack on atheists. The fair criticism is not an “attack on the Church” as well. Of course we will be criticizing the Catholic Church but we will be doing it justly and with true intentions. We would like our opponents who are used to accusing us of attacking the Church to prove exactly which elements of our criticism are false. From our side, we declare openness to criticism towards our doings. We would like to get to know what we do wrong and what we can improve on. We hope that the Church and the State will learn an analogical attitude based on the openness to criticism and readiness for improvement.