new photo blog

i started this blog in 2006, and it's shifted along with my interests through the years. it's been witness to a lot of learning for me...

still, i feel that i need a home for my photography -- so from now on, i'll be posting my pictures on the journal on my reworked website. if you like my photos, you might decide to follow me there!

my first post is here -- check it out!

as for this blog, i'm not sure what will happen. i don't think i'm willing to let it go, and certainly i'll keep it as an archive, but i need some time to figure it out.

for those of you that pop in from time to time, thanks for the visits and encouragement.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

the atheist union of greece on the proposed islamic mosque

a press release:

According to the press (for example the "Kathimerini" newspaper), Metropolitan bishop Seraphim of Piraeus, the Embellishing Nature-Loving Cultural Club "Athens," a university professor, two lieutenants of the Navy and five residents of Botanikos appealed to the Council of State (the supreme administrative court of Greece) claiming that the government violated constitutional provisions, with the decision to build an Islamic mosque with government funds.

The Atheist Union of Greece promotes religious freedom; however, it is against state funding of religious buildings, including the erection of temples, for any religion. Each religious organization should finance its own activities, whether it be the construction of temples, payment of salaries for its clergy, religious ceremonies, seminaries or other theological schools, and the teaching of doctrine or any other activity, without burdening the state budget. The funding of any religious organization should be undertaken by its members exclusively and not by all taxpayers who are not all religious people and are not all believers of the same faith. All religions should have equal treatment by the state and there should be no religious discrimination, positive or negative.

Given the fact, however, that the government finances the Orthodox Church exclusively, a minimum sense of fairness would require it to do the same for other religions. One would think that a bishop of the religion of love would not only recognize this, but welcome it. It is absurd for the applicants to refer to Article 13 of the Constitution on religious freedom in order to restrict the religious freedom of other people or their compatriots.

It is provocative for a priest of orthodoxy to criticize the funding of one and only religious building and the payment of one and only imam, while, at the same time, he enjoys hefty salaries for himself and his colleagues, and the maintenance of luxury churches across the country, which burden all taxpayers.

It is paradoxical to claim that the imam's call offends the religious feelings of Christians, when bells of Christian churches ring every day, and no one wonders if this offends believers of other religions, atheists or non-believers.

Finally, it is presumptuous to assume that all Greeks are Greek Orthodox, effacing with arrogance the existence of atheists, non-believers, agnostics and believers of other faiths.

If the church fails to take its blinders off and face reality, we at least hope that the state will support the rights of all citizens, treating them with respect, equality and justice, without discriminating on the basis of religion.


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