Atheists would rather there were no summits with them or the churches
Leigh Phillips - 21.10.2010
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The first ever summit between representatives of secularist, atheist and masonic organisations and the leaders of the European Union’s three main institutions was “very odd,” Europe’s top unbeliever has said.
On Friday (15 October), leaders from what the European Commission describes as “philosophical non-confessional organisations” met with the presidents of the European Commission, Parliament and Council to discuss their views on poverty and social exclusion. The first meeting of its kind, it is the secular counterpart to the summits the three institutions are now obliged by the Lisbon Treaty to regularly have with religious leaders.
David Pollock, the president of the European Humanist Federation, told EUobserver that his organisation is against the idea of the meetings but went along to balance out a previous EU meeting with religious figures.
“There is no reason why we as atheists or freemasons, any more than religious leaders, have any particular expertise on poverty reduction strategies. There were a series of fairly predictable expressions of outrage that citizens remain in poverty and demands for greater solidarity but nothing especially specific in the way of any strategy. There was lots of good will and not a great deal else,” he said.
“It was all a bit odd.”