|HOME||Slovakia –the Trojan horse in the future unified Europe?|
|A.) Laws regulating State and church relations||
the International Humanist News – December / January issue of 2001
statement of IHEU was issued denouncing the situation
of nondenominational citizens
and humanists in Slovakia, asking the national and international
bodies to rectify such neglects of fundamental human rights before accession of Slovakia in EU. The statement was published also
on IHEU website and received a considerable number of supporting
two years the situation did not improve whatsoever, but worsened to an
unprecedented scale. However the neglect of the very existence of the 13
– 16 % of the total population claiming no religious adherence is just
a minor particular point, but not the whole strategy of that regime. Its
strategy became clear especially in view of legal steps that have been
implemented and the statements, which are time after time expressed by
mainstream politicians representing the current ruling power.
We want to enlarge just on the legal steps and disclose a handful of evidence to elucidate the real policy of all Slovak governmental set-ups, which instead of building a democratic and rule- of- law- abiding State , go out of their way to enshrine in the whole legal system the basics of a religious fundamentalist regime.
the November 1989 overturn
of the old regime, constitutions and laws were passed in the former
Czechoslovak republic, and later in the Slovak republic, which
unequivocally made good fundaments
for transforming the State in a democratic civil society .This pledge
was very soon violated . It happened by passing the law No 308 of July
1991 ( in CSFR) called:: “Law about freedom of religious creed and the
status of churches and religious communities.” This important law
ignored entirely the very existence of more than the half of the total
population of nondenominational citizens ( in CSFR) –it failed to
regulate the relation of State to them.
(intentional) negation was ever more accentuated after the creation of
the new sovereign Slovak republic , with acceptance of many legal
provisions for regulating the relation
of State and the religious communities, yet
there is no law regulating the relation of State and the
nondenominational communities. At the current clerical atmosphere,
initiating such a law is quite out of question, implementing the
international rules about complete parity between religious and
non-religious life stance is relentlessly being ignored
the new Slovak republic moreover a new law was passed – the law No 192
of March 1992 “About registering churches and religious
communities”. This law put cement on the fundamentalist non-acceptance
of any other religions by a most rigorous condition of registering new
churches demanding a petition with at least 20.000 signatures of
citizens with a permanent residence in Slovakia. The aim of it was
clear: to secure the dominant position of Catholicism, which cannot be
challenged any more.
Simultaneously the State kept to feed huge financial and real-estate facilities to the Catholic church, using for it the restitution law (law No.282/1993 Z.z), and consequently the church received from the State possessions, which prior to restitution never belonged to them (See: Dr .K. Zavacká, PRÁCA , 2. June 2000)
Since then the State firmly supports morally and institutionally the church and a huge proportion of the budget earmarked for developing the national culture goes to church. Being encouraged by the propaganda emanating from all mass media proselytising the “infidels” started. Especially in rural areas pressures are exerted accompanied by intimidation, so that non-.believers are afraid to claim their life stance, to meet with equal -minded ones, and are sometimes forced to have their children attend classes of religion against their will and the will of their parents. The impact of these trends was disclosed at the last census in 1999 at which a considerable statistical (not real) increase in numbers of religion-claiming citizens was assessed. ( 84 % of religious believers, 13 % nondenominational, 3 % refused to indicate their life stance)The fundamentalist politicians vice versa make use of the statistical figures to tighten more their pressures, especially on parliamentarian levels.
The second landmark on the route to religious fundamentalist State was the Basic treatment with the Holy See (Concordat), which was finally ratified in the parliament without any objections, despite its gross deficiencies consisting in interference in the .domestic legal system and contradicting fundamental human rights.
The character of “International treaty “.was justified by the that-time director of the Office of Justice Ministry Mr. D. Lipšic ( who is now holding the position of the justice minister). He expressed the opinion (with reference to the art.27 of Vienna convention on International Treaties) stating: “no State can refer to its own legal system at failing to observe the provisions of an international treaty” (D.Lipšic in: Domino Forum , November 1999)
The intention was thus quite clear: to secure the dominance of Catholic Church in Slovakia in such a way in order to reach the priority of the Concordat over the domestic legal system (including the Constitution)
The Basic Treaty (Concordat) contains provisions constraining substantially the democratic principles of the Slovak legal system. Some articles of the Treaty formulate the right of the Catholic Church to enforce the rules of Canonical law to all Slovak citizens, regardless of their consent or disagreement with such a purely religious code of belief. The main article among these is the art 7. It reads: The Slovak republic acknowledges the right to everyone to carry out his / her stipulations of conscience in accordance with the teachings of creed and moral principles of Catholic church. The extent and conditions of implementing that right will be declared in a special international treaty concluded between the contracting parties. The draft of this Treaty has been just recently made accessible (proposed by justice minister D. Lipšic), and it evoked horrific feelings despite of the spreading apathy.
The draft concerns mainly the following sectors of public life: A,) activities in armed forces and other armed units. B.) Health services (abortions, assisted artificial pregnancy, experiments and manipulating with human organs, human embryos, and with male and female reproductive cells, euthanasia, cloning, sterilisation and contraception) C.) Education of youth. (right to refuse teaching such matters, which are not consistent with Catholicism-despite the officially approved curricula) D.) Verdicts in lawsuits made by judge at the court of justice.( refusal of divorces, etc)
In all of these cases (and some others) the citizen can refuse his / her participation, without bearing legal responsibility for it –in case he/she has stipulation of conscience (declared by Catholic church )
All that does not need any further comment.
The Slovak Parliament passed at the end of January 2002 a “Declaration about the sovereignty of Slovak State in cultural and ethic issues” It was immediately evident, that this declaration stipulates preserving “Christian values and ethical tenets” (See: P.Sýkora in SME, 6.and 7 February, 2002 – article entitled : “A further step to a theocratic State”). This presumption was confirmed in an article by V. Palko (the interior minister in the new Dzurinda government) in an article published in a biweekly “DOMINO FORUM” (No 19 /2002 – May 9-15,2002) entitled: “The Euromarxist scandal” He admitted that this Declaration about the cultural and ethical sovereignty of Slovakia was really meant to preserve the Slovakia’s Christian visions. In addition he disclosed that similar Declarations are underway in the Polish parliament (the Sejm) and that the vice chairman of the Czech KDU-ČSL- Ján Kasal declared that his party is contemplating to propose a similar declaration. Is that a conspiracy against the pluralist and civil society order accepted by EU the candidate countries prepare to overrule? We have to leave this question open.
In the mid of 2002 the Slovak parliament was to
discuss a new law about the
non-admissible discrimination against some groups of citizens in
Slovakia. It was one of the conditions imposed to our approximation with
the European legal systems. This draft contained (besides prohibiting
discrimination for diverse philosophical life stances) also a ban of
discriminating against persons for their SEXUAL ORIENTATION (homosexuals
and lesbians). The
Christian Democratic Party MP-s swept this draft off
the agenda, with the argument, that the Christian morals do not allow
for passing such a law.
It is evident that the Slovak parliament at its
current set-up does not take decisions based on fundamental human rights
, but it makes only decisions which cannot contradict the Christian
Churches religious dogma.
Why to depict this situation in the official
bulletin of International Humanist Movement? Someone could object that
this is more or less a regional problem of Slovak humanists only.
That’s a great mistake.
Slovakia after its accession to the European
union threatens the democracy, and the
pluralist attitude of the whole community. Its role at the
contemporary political constellation is to erode from within the order
of EU after Slovakia was accepted as a member of the EU, and to bring as
many nations as possible back again in the sheep-pen of the Holy See
from which they gradually and inexorably are running away.
What can the humanist national member
organisations do about it. Don’t take it easy . It is your imminent
problem too. Slovakia
cannot be allowed to play a role of the “fifth column” after its
accession in European Union. All efforts should be done to follow
closely the devious events in that country and insist on their
redressing before it is not too late.
The humanist organisations in the member States of EU should approach their own governments and demand a strict observance of human rights in all counties aspiring accession in the EU. The occasional controls of approximation with the European law system should especially concentrate on the equal status of non denominational citizens these countries grant / or are not ready to grant and on the accomplished steps to secure them by LEGAL measures .