atheist pride day

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By AURÉLIA HUBNER PEIXOTO & FRANCISCO FERNANDES LADEIRA*

It is essential to ensure that religion and politics are really “totally separate” instances

Few know, but on February 12th, Atheist Pride Day is celebrated. The choice of date refers to the birth of the British naturalist Charles Darwin, responsible for formulating the famous “Theory of Evolution”. Congratulations to you who are reading us, after all, we are all atheists.

Atheism is characterized by complete disbelief in the existence of a God. Unlike the agnostic, who is not sure whether or not there is a god or a supernatural life, the atheist (let's say the "100% atheist") believes that no, there is not a spiritual plane superimposed on a material plane and so on.

And why do we say here “atheist 100% atheist”? Because to some extent everyone is an atheist with regard to belief in some gods. Alexandre Pessôa, in one of the videos on the channel epiphany experience, recalls that “every believer is a believer in relation to the god he has chosen, and an atheist in relation to all the others”, after all, a person who believes in one God automatically disbelieves in several other gods that do not participate in his religious experience .

But calm down, don't get upset, being an atheist is not synonymous with lack of principles, bad character or satanism (even because, who does not believe in the Christian god, automatically, does not believe in satan either, which is an entity that is only of the imaginary of this religion).

Although it is not a persecuted minority or the target of explicit prejudice (at least in contemporary Brazil), atheists are still viewed with suspicion by society. Proof of this is that, in 1985, due to an alleged atheism, Fernando Henrique Cardoso lost the election for mayor of São Paulo.

Two decades later, a report by the magazine Veja pointed out that only 13% of Brazilians would vote for an atheist (the one, “100% atheist”) for the presidency of the Republic. Likewise, in 2018, a survey organized by the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) in partnership with the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics (Ibope) found that, for 79% of our compatriots, a candidate for president needs to believe in God (and we add that we believe not in any god, but necessarily in a Christian God).

Faced with this reality, in our view, one of the main reflections to be raised is the need to foster a Brazilian State that is truly secular. Secular, it is important to emphasize, does not mean an atheist, agnostic, or satanist state. Lay, who does not belong to the clergy or to a religious order; layman, and, moreover, that he is hostile to the influence and control of the Church and the clergy over intellectual and moral life, over institutions and public services.

Such a State respects the religious manifestations of all different religious groups, and also of atheists, or agnostics, and does not allow a religion to take over the state in order to gather power and supremacy over other religions and social groups that differ from its religious principles. .

Religious principles cannot mix and mingle with political principles. If your religion says that having sex before marriage is wrong, don't. but don't LOBBY politician to criminalize premarital sex, brother. If your religion says abortion is a sin, don't have an abortion. But don't be a beast that prevents poor women from accessing safe abortion under medical supervision, which, everyone knows, is totally within reach of those who can afford it, clandestine clinics or private hospitals.

Thus, it is not enough to guarantee freedom of belief; this is not enough, it is essential to ensure that religion and politics are truly “totally separate” instances.

It is a fact that, historically, the secular State is not respected here, given the presence of crucifixes in public offices, religious teaching in schools and tax exemption for churches. However, in recent years, especially with the rise of neo-Pentecostal fundamentalist movements, often linked to political fascist movements, state secularism has been at serious risk (which could be seen, for example, during the government of Jair Bolsonaro).

The atheist in me salutes the atheist in you! and believe me, there's a bit of an atheist in all of us. Whether you are 100% atheist or not, remember that your experience is arrogant and presumptuous every time you disrespect another's experiences, epiphanies, or ways of seeing and living. Let's fight for the secular state, for the good of all.

*Aurelia Hubner Peixoto is a professor at the Federal Institute of Espírito Santo – Vitória campus.

*Francisco Fernandes Ladeira is a doctoral candidate in Geography at Unicamp.

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