The Dalai Lama in Paris : For the respect of the principle of Separation of Religions and the State

jeudi 18 juin 2009

We have been informed that Mr Bertrand Delanoë, the Mayor of Paris, is going to grant the title of honorary citizen to Tenzin Gyatso, who is regarded by some as the 14th reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.

Article 2 of the 1905 Law of Separation of Religions and the State provides : “The Republic does not recognize, remunerate nor subsidize any religion “. That imposes a duty of neutrality for all the people’s representatives in the Republic towards all religions. The Dalai Lama is a religious leader. Honouring him as a guest and granting him a medal does not only mean recognizing the Buddhist religion, rather it also means rewarding this religion.

The Paris Federation of Libre Pensée Strongly denounces this violation of secularism.

Guaranteed in the 1905 Law, secularism has played a major role in safeguarding the freedom of conscience, which includes the right to believe in a religion according to one’s personal choice or to believe in none. The freedom of religion is guaranteed by the freedom of conscience, not the other way round. That is what we want to tell the Mayor of Paris on this occasion.

Moreover, the Libre Pensée rejects the alleged “democratic values” of the Dalai Lama. It reminds that the latter was trained by Heinrich Harrer, a member of the Waffen SS, who in his book “Seven years in Tibet” wrote that he was delighted to see that “the Tibetan monks’ domination is absolute. It is a typical example of clerical dictatorship”. As for us, we simply recall that the Tibetan monks have imposed a feudal system based on serfdom upon the Tibetan population.

Whether Revolution or counter-revolution ?

Counter-revolutions, dictators, Churches are widely honored in Paris. Streets and places named after Thiers, Mohammed V and John-Paul II Square, along with Theodor Herzl (the founder of Zionism) Big Business and Religion have more than their share. But when are we to honor one of the greatest figure of the French Revolution and the Republic ?

When will there be one Robespierre Street ?

Paris, June 4, 2009