Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Disparages Atheists October 27, 2010

Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Disparages Atheists

Members of the Unione degli Atei e degli Agnostici Razionalisti (UAAR), an Italian atheist group, sent the following letter to their President regarding the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini (translated):

Dear Mr. President,

We had occasion to read an extremely incendiary article that the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini, wrote on 22 October 2010 on the subject of non-believers. Specifically he declared that “atheism, materialism and relativism” are “perverse phenomena” that “threaten the stability of society” and that must be fought against by an alliance of Christians, Muslims and Jews. What is even more disquieting is that this article was published in the daily newspaper of the Holy See, L’Osservatore Romano.

A politician who openly declares his hatred of atheists and who promotes a Holy Alliance against a minority (albeit significant) of Italian citizens is clearly not worthy to serve in the capacity of minister of a nation whose constitution identifies freedom of conscience and secularism as two of its most fundamental principles. UAAR, a non-profit organization founded to promote social issues and that has as its primary objective the defense of the civil rights of the agnostic and atheist citizens of Italy, formally requests that you, in your role as guarantor of the Italian Constitution, intervene against the Honorable Minister Frattini, in order that he retract his offensive statements or, if he refuses to do so, require him to resign. Such action is justified because the minister’s ideas are patently incompatible with the Constitution.

In any event, our association will take all possible steps to draw the attention of the public both in Italy and abroad to the statements made by Minister Frattini, which are so unfitting for one in his position.

Yours respectfully,
Raffaele Carcano
UAAR Secretary

I hope they can draw enough attention to their letter. An apology from the politician would be shocking (to me) but atheists in other countries never cease to amaze me with what they can accomplish.

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  • Down with the dualists! By the power of Leibniz and Hume!

  • One day the bigotry will stop. Just hope I live to see that day.

  • Richard Wade

    Specifically he declared that “atheism, materialism and relativism” are “perverse phenomena” that “threaten the stability of society” and that must be fought against by an alliance of Christians, Muslims and Jews.

    Well, I guess we should consider this in the discussion of whether or not atheists should support the interfaith movement.

    Maybe if they stay at each others’ throats they won’t come after us.

  • I am again and again left to wonder where it is that these people get the impression that we are so dangerous. Have they not looked at their own history? At what they have done in the name of religion? It is insane.

    Yes, we disagree with you. Yes, we think the notion of the invisible sky wizard is silly. Yes, we think that you have a kooky worldview that is wholly unsupported by the evidence. How exactly does that make us dangerous? How exactly does that threaten the ‘stability of society?’ Highly secular societies seem to be doing quite well.

    What a jackass.

  • Hitch

    Note how he just wants the Abrahamic religions to lock arms… against the “threat” that is people who have a diverging opinion.

  • thordaddy

    I always find it amazing when atheists — rejectors of a created order that transcends man — get up in arms about others who have a desire for a man-made created order that isn’t totally indiscriminate.

    The idea that those who hold fast to a belief in anti-Supremacy rising to some kind of societal influence is a reflection of the insane mentality of the average atheist.

  • sc0tt

    Apparently, “atheophobe” is not yet in Google Translate’s dictionary… how do we fix that?

  • sc0tt

    Porco Dio!

  • Hitch

    Some of the best moral advances, some of the most humanist attitudes don’t need that “a created order that transcends man”.

    To claim that it does is pretty much the fear-mongering that is still being peddled today.

    All it takes, is a glance at say Sweden to see just how scary a society really is that is secular and non-believing.

    “Not bad” is a gross understatement. Italy would love to be Sweden on many social indicators!

  • Matto the Hun

    I like how we are the whipping boy(and girls) for this douche-bag, meanwhile, ground zero for the rape and torture of children and the concealment of that crime is in his own backyard.

    But we’re the bad guys.

  • Silent Service


    Who’s got your panties in a bunch?


    I can’t see the big three Abrahamic religions
    banding together against any one but each other, as it has been for 2000 years. This is one of the biggest reasons there are atheists. Someone with common sense has to watchdog over these
    religious maniacs before they bring down the whole world with their folly.

  • Richard Wade

    I can’t make heads or tails out of your remark about what “always amazes” you about atheists, but maybe if you put yourself into the receiving end of powerful people’s irrational fear and loathing, and find yourself the contrived scapegoat and “common enemy” that will unite otherwise murderously opposed rivals, you might understand why atheists would find Frattini’s remarks to be outrageous. Here’s the same quotation with some minor changes that might help you to see what I mean:

    Specifically he declared that “thordaddy, thordaddyism, and any and all people who agree with thordaddy, or support thordaddy, or merely tolerate thordaddy” are “perverse phenomena” that “threaten the stability of society” and that must be fought against by an alliance of Christians, Muslims and Jews.

    After you’ve walked a mile in them, I want my moccasins back.

  • Just read this article about the Arkansas School Board Member Clint KKKlassy McNance who had this to say about Spirit Day in support of homosexuals who have committed suicide.

    “Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers committed suicide. The only way I’m wearin’ it for them is if they all commit suicide. I can’t believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed themselves because of their sin.”

  • thordaddy,
    what are you on about?

    Are you implying that this “created order that transcends man” ISN’T discriminate? I’m pretty sure that you can’t come to that conclusion by looking at interpretations of this order in holy texts. Well unless you cherry pick, which you’d have to.


    Are you implying that scapegoating and discriminating atheists is a good way of making an indisciminate-man made order. Who on earth would want to have their principles based on the deliberate discrimination of a group of people who hold different views.

    Why is it so amazing that we are up in arms about that?

    A Ugandan paper recently published names of the ‘Top 100 Homosexuals’ and called for their hanging, claiming that they are spreading a deadly disease and that they were raiding schools in order to recruit 1 million children. This is a country that tried to introduce the death penalty for homosexual acts. There was international uproar, and so there should be. Discrimination of any group of people based on blatant prejudice is just unacceptable.

    Imagine if Franco Frattini’s remarks about atheism, materialism and relativism were instead regarding homosexuality, conservatives or mixed race couples. Would it be so amazing for us to kick up a fuss then?

  • *sigh*

    re Jeffrey’s comment

  • thordaddy

    Richard Wade,

    You actually have things backwards. It is you who fear and loathe those who believe in Supremacy and therefore understand that they cannot strive for Him in an indiscriminate manner.

    So you have decided to attempt to exist outside the created order. Ok… You can be free like that. But what makes you think that such a rebellion should be without consequence? What makes you think that those who observe and attempt to live within the created order so as to not suffer the consequences MAKES LIFE UNFAIR for Richard?

    A true atheist — not one of immature mind — understands that he must acknowledge God before he denies His existence. In this manner, the “mature” atheist understands that he is attempting to do the impossible AND EXIST as though God did not exist.

    And so what does such a person look like, Richard? What does such a person attempt to do in order to neutralize those that believe in the efficacy of discriminate behavior, i.e., superior behavior?

    He EXISTS and PROPAGATES an all-accepting indiscriminancy.

    Such a person is very dangerous when he is inexplicably elevated to a position of authority.

  • thordaddy


    Actually, I’m saying atheists who attempt to live outside the created order AND believe they shall suffer no consequence are dangerous to a free society if allowed to rise to positions of authority.

    Who steps out on a limb and then blames the poor branch when it snaps?

  • JD

    Sorry thordaddy, there is no “created order”. The earth was not created in a means anywhere close to what has been described in the Abrahamic texts. Living in such a fantasy as an Abrahamic religion may be beneficial to those that believe, but it’s not the truth of reality. Then there’s the risk of people that believe just a little too seriously, and use their religion as a justification to kill apostates and heretics.

    There’s no point in Christians, Jews and Muslims fighting against atheists, except as a temporary distraction from hating and killing each other because the other two, despite worshipping the same god, are living under the wrong covenant.

  • thordaddy


    If there is no created order then why does an atheist whine about the universal disorder as though he had some substantive objection to the indiscriminate behavior of others??

  • Tris Stock


    By your definition, I am not an atheist. I do not, and have not EVER acknowledged the existence of God, because there has never been any reason to do so.

    So I am just a non-believer with a mature enough mind to understand that what you have posited, is nothing more than a smokescreen for the fact that you are incapable of establishing the existence of your God.

    If you cannot do this to the satisfaction of people who are outside of this created order you speak of, your created order is nothing more than yet another smokescreen for your inability to establish the existence of God.

    You line of argument is utterly meaningless.

  • Anna

    Um, you guys might want to read the comments on this thread before continuing to feed Thordaddy.

  • thordaddy


    Don’t bring a weak mind to a place where men roam.

  • JD

    Thordaddy, that sounds like a strawman to me, it doesn’t address the fact that reality contradicts scripture.

  • thordaddy

    Tri Stock,

    An atheist is a radical autonomist… A self-refutation… One who attempts to live in mutually exclusive “states.”

    All purported atheists — materialistically-mandated — don’t ASSERT, “I do not believe in the existence of!!!”

    No tri stock… You acknowledge (give indication that you are rejecting something real) God AND THEN deny His existence.

    Now, you may go the route of the God meme, but ironically, you then engage in an infinite regress until you reach the origin of the God meme. The conception of the inconceivable.

    Remember, according to tri stock, there is NO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE for God, but you just mentioned Him in your last post and are carrying on with someone that knows Him personally as though He was our mutual acquaintance.

    How can you do that AS AN ATHEIST?

  • Richard Wade

    Oh man, not another one.

    All I can make sense from this word soup is the old “Atheists actually believe in God, they’re just rebelling” bullshit. The rest of your gibberish amounts to “Hey everybody, don’t discuss the topic of this post, talk to ME and about ME!” That, combined with your snide tone and your pusillanimous implied insults smells very much like a troll.

    It’s clear that any further acknowledgment of you will only derail and degrade the discussion of this post’s topic. Eventually others here will catch on, and you’ll have to fly off and go suck attention from some other unsuspecting hosts.

    Make your snotty little gesture of triumph and then go away.

  • thordaddy


    There is no strawman in clarifying what you believe.

    You are an atheist that doesn’t believe there is a created order. Period.

    But you also whine about men who attempt to create an order that is not to your liking.

    In essence, you believe in a universal disorder.

    You act accordingly per liberal orthodoxy and attempt to exist in a state of all-accepting indiscriminancy.

    For this IS THE STATE of a disordered universe.

    I guess, in your own coherent fashion, you are going with the flow?

  • Sean

    A true skeptic — not one of immature mind — understands that he must acknowledge the alien-bigfoot alliance before he denies its existence. In this manner, the “mature” skeptic understands that he is attempting to do the impossible AND EXIST as though the alien-bigfoot alliance did not exist.

    But yeah, thordaddy is a misogynist and homophobe, and pretty bad at communication to boot. I would not recommend getting too upset about him (although clearly I like to goad him a bit myself).

    Although he could be a Poe. I’ve toyed with that idea a bit, but he’d be a really hard character to invent. I think he’s sincere.

    Actually, he reminds me of timecube sometimes. Timecube was funnier before it got so strongly racist.

  • Miko

    It’s worth noting that “atheism, materialism and relativism” do “threaten the stability of society.” In fact, as atheists, materialists, and/or relativists, we should revel in this fact, because the existing stability of society sucks (e.g., because it causes mass poverty, bigotry against gays and other groups, etc.). As atheists, materialists, and relativists, we have a vision of a different and better stable society, but we can’t reach it until we’ve destabilized the existing society.

    Thordaddy is correct to note that atheists are “rejectors of a created order that transcends man” (except about the ‘transcends man’ part, which contradicts the ‘created order’ part anyway: that which is transcendental is by definition eternal and unchanging, hence uncreated) The existing order is most indeed a created one, and specifically one created with the intentional purpose of benefiting certain groups of people disproportionately. Rather than fighting it, I hope that all of you embrace this: yes, I do reject a created order that treats gays, women, people of color, minority religious and ethnic groups, the poor, etc. as second-class citizens. Yes, I do reject a created order that creates vast inequalities of wealth under some quasi-spiritual theory in which a certain class of ubermensch deserve to rule over the rest of us. Yes, I do reject a created order in which the dignity of one is subject to the whim of another.

    However, thordaddy is most definitely wrong when (s)he suggests that “atheists who attempt to live outside the created order AND believe they shall suffer no consequence are dangerous to a free society,” because (s)he apparently mistakenly believes that what we have now is a free society (which, as most any member of one of the marginalized groups listed above will tell you, it isn’t). Say rather that atheists strive for a free society, while the existing social is not only dangerous to a free society but completely incompatible with it and designed specifically to prevent the arising of a free society. And if we’re doing what we ought to be doing (as atheists and relativists), we should definitely be prepared to face “consequences” (i.e., anti-radical/anti-revolutionary violence) from the elite of the existing society that will stop at nothing to maintain their hegemony.

  • thordaddy

    Poor Richard…

    I’m coming to really despise all these weak little effeminate baby boomers that sold us Gen Xers into slavery.

    What exactly is there not to hate about these self-annihilators?

  • Miko


    You acknowledge (give indication that you are rejecting something real) God AND THEN deny His existence.

    As a theological noncognitivist, I don’t so much deny the existence of a god as deny that the concepts “God exists” and “God does not exist” even have coherent meanings. God is such a stupid pseudo-idea that it doesn’t even deserve the ontological status of non-existence.


    But yeah, thordaddy is a misogynist and homophobe, and pretty bad at communication to boot

    Actually, if you’re familiar with the philosophical position he (I won’t say “(s)he” since I’m now fairly sure it’s “he”) is arguing for, he’s doing a fairly good job at communicating it. It’s just that it’s a stupid position, so the arguments sound stupid by extension.

  • thordaddy


    Although I applaud your honesty, is there something in thordaddy that would suggest female? Now, before being attempted to go on an Anna type-rant, what makes Miko SEE WHAT IS NOT THERE?

    You concede a created order, but deny it lie beyond the hand of man. Ok… This is consistent with materialism. But of course, since this created order is not eternal nor unchanging it is in essence temporal and perpetually changing. A universal disorder.

    Can you explain created order in a universe of disorder?

  • @ thordaddy,
    A lesson to be learned from this back and forth with you is that you can’t reason with or argue with certain people. You are one of those people. It is one of those rare dichotomous scenarios in which you either disengage or destroy. I far prefer the first option but prepare for the second.
    Not all of us atheists are bleeding heart, liberal, anti-gun types*, “thordaddy”. BTW, your moniker smells of Nordic white supremacy. I also noted your penchant for not-so-veiled threats. I’m pissing myself with fear.
    Hopefully, your particular brand of idiot will never have a chance to do what you so badly want to do to us, but if it should happen, some of us are ready and willing to quickly give those who threaten us the opportunity to test their belief in an afterlife firsthand…and our numbers grow daily.
    *Not that there is anything wrong with that.

  • JD

    From what I understand of the argument, one has to acknowledge the existence in order to be able to say it doesn’t exist. A god has to exist in order for one to be able to deny its existence. Do I have it right? What if I apply that to unicorns, is it still true? As in: I have to acknowledge the existence of unicorns in order to be able to deny its existence. If this substitution is not true, then why not? Or is there some key point that is missing from my understanding of the argument?

  • Sean

    Actually, if you’re familiar with the philosophical position he (I won’t say “(s)he” since I’m now fairly sure it’s “he”) is arguing for, he’s doing a fairly good job at communicating it.

    It’s fairly clear in this thread, but it got quite far in the other thread before thormommy even mentioned God/atheism or the “created order” (she was trying to phrase it as a non-religious argument and it didn’t go well).

    But actually, I was more referring to her reading comprehension than her writing, which, now that I think about it, is probably a deeper problem than just “communication”. A lot of what we’ve been saying goes in one ear and out the other, and I think it’s just because she thinks of the world in different terms and just isn’t equipped with the necessary concepts to decipher other viewpoints. Or else she automatically frames them in such a way that he finds the anathema (treating them as crimethink, or some such). Or she simply prefers to ignore anything she doesn’t have a snappy response to.

  • thordaddy


    You are beholden to a materialistic mandate.

    You must walk back through time and explain the PHYSICAL emergence for the conception of God in a universe WITH NO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE for God.

    You must explain the PHYSICAL origin of man’s conception of Supremacy when NO EVIDENCE of Supremacy exists in all the universe.

    In short, because you are beholden to the false idea that man only knows what he has “physically” sensed, you are claiming that the originator of the God meme conceived the inconceivable.

    Is this a tenable position?

  • @Richard Wade,
    I really do try to be nice and play well with others. Really, I do.

  • thordaddy

    Godless Monster,

    What makes you think I’m concerned about wannabe irrelevant atheists?

    “Veiled threats?”

    Quote just one from anywhere?

    Otherwise, your tactic is weak.

  • thordaddy


    No, it’s much simpler than that. The reason man was able to conceptualize a “unicorn” or “the flying spaghetti monster” is because there EXISTS empirical evidence for horse, horned mammals, flying things, spaghetti and monsters.

    So how was man able to conceptualize God? There IS NO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE for Him ANYWHERE in ALL of the universe.

    Man conceived the inconceivable is the atheist’s assertion.

  • @thordaddy,

    ““Veiled threats?”
    Quote just one from anywhere?”

    “Such a person is very dangerous…”
    “…I’m saying atheists who attempt to live outside the created order AND believe they shall suffer no consequence are dangerous…”
    You are setting my kind up as scapegoats. It’s a very real and tangible threat. And since I cannot talk sense into you or pummel you into paste, I now disengage.

  • thordaddy

    godless monster,

    Settle down, boy.

    I asked you for some “veiled threats.”

    Just one… From anywhere…

    Or be a punk.

  • thordaddy

    The immature atheist thinks there is a community of atheists forgetting that he has rejected the created order in a feeble attempt to exist in radically autonomous fashion. Radical autonomists are, by definition, averse to community.

  • Richard Wade

    Godless Monster,
    Yes I know you try to play nice, and I’ve always appreciated that about you.

    Remember, he loves what you and JD, Sean and Miko are doing. It doesn’t matter how incisively your arguments pierce his nonsense, it doesn’t matter how deeply stabbing is your repartee, you’re giving him exactly what he wants. He’s sucking time, bandwidth and most of all, attention out of you, which is all he wants.

    Notice this discussion is now about him, rather than Franco Frattini? Notice how you’re going in smaller and smaller circles? You’re orbiting him. Mmmmm. He loves that. Delicious.

    All of you please consider trying an experiment. Ignore him no matter what he says, and continue to discuss the original topic. See if his next few comments get more bizarre, more inflammatory, more desperate and have less substance. Attention addicts go into withdrawals quickly. Watch him shrivel up like a starving mosquito.

    I won’t be talking about the troll any more. That’s more food. If all of you are going to keep feeding him, it’s way too boring for me. I’m outa here.

    Ah. I see you’ve disengaged. Great.

  • thordaddy


    Why is it always the effeminate types that jump into a tussle with no intentions of tussling and then have the arrogant nerve to peer pressure others into conforming to his non-tussling wishes?

    Like I said, you’re not a real atheist.

  • thordaddy,

    I believe in giving respect where respect is due. What is wrong with the following theological stance?

    I believe that the supreme creator of the universe is actually Jesus’ grandmother whom I will call “Thormomma”. Thormomma and Yahweh had a falling out and Thormomma banished Yahweh and his slacker son Jesus to a small planet in the outskirts of the milky way galaxy. Of course since Yahweh and Jesus were so vain, they tried to get the hairless primates of that planet to worship them. Of course, not all fell under their spell. Some worship other false gods but the Truth was revealed to a select few that the real supreme being was Thormomma. It was also revealed that all the primates who worship Yahweh and Jesus will not be looked upon kindly by Thormomma should Thormomma decide to grant any kind of existence after death. It was also revealed that Thormomma likes atheists because they at least don’t worship false gods nor the wayward Yahweh or Jesus.

    You may say I just made all this up but is this really any less plausible than Christian theology?

  • Hitch

    effeminate types

    Clearly an outright troll/bully, and a homophobic one at that.

  • AxeGrrl

    First of all, Richard Wade, you’re a (wise) gem 🙂

    Secondly….I’d LOVE to see a politician in Canada pull a Frattini ~ he/she would be mocked mercilessly 🙂

  • sarah


    how about that italian minister of foreign affairs, huh?

    First of all, Richard Wade, you’re a (wise) gem

    very true!

  • Richard Wade

    AxeGrrl and sarah, mmmwah. 🙂

    Signore Frattini seems to be a complicated guy. A BBC news profile from 2004 writes this:

    Silvio Berlusconi is offering the perfect balm to a troubled and wounded European Commission – cool, calm and non-controversial Franco Frattini.

    The 47-year-old Italian foreign minister seems to be a polar opposite to the former nominee, the outspoken Rocco Buttiglione.

    Mr Buttiglione’s views on homosexuality, women and immigration so inflamed the European Parliament that Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was obliged to withdraw the entire 25-member team.

    The BBC goes on to describe Frattini as so quiet and good at smoothing over conflicts, that he survived that and continued rising in political influence. They characterize him as “unswayed by passions and non-argumentative,” keeping a low profile and “repeatedly emphasizing the importance of unity in Europe and of healing divisions.”

    “Europe can only be viable if it is united and capable of speaking with a single voice,” he wrote in a recent editorial.

    It would seem that in the last six years Frattini has become a wee bit more confrontational, controversial and outspoken. Perhaps he thinks that pointing at a boogeyman for everyone to hate will unite them under his banner, and he’ll gain more power and influence. Basic demagoguery.

    Frattini’s call for unity against the atheists reminds me of Mitt Romney’s infamous speech during his candidacy early in the GOP presidential primary season in 2007. Faced with suspicion and derision from many sides over his Mormonism, he tried to say that their common enemy is oooh, those eeevil secularists. Join me and we’ll make America safe for God again! Fortunately, it didn’t work. Uniting against a common enemy requires at least the pretense of liking your allies. I guess it was too much to ask of the religious right.

  • Claudia

    Seriously folks, conversation with this character should have stopped after he said this:


    Don’t bring a weak mind to a place where men roam.

    Bad trolls are bad.

  • muggle

    Richard beat me to it. I was going to quote the same thing and simply ask anyone still think interfaith alliances are a good idea? And before you say that’s why we need to be at the table, I still maintain, they’d only invite us to the table as a CYA measure and your voice would not exist. It would only be thundered (yeah, I did that on purpose) over.

    Also note that Mr. Frattini only includes the three Abrahamic religions are included. I daresay he probably would also witchhunt people who give praise — even in the form internet monikers — to pagan gods of thunder and rain and farming and such. Welcome to our world.

  • Specifically he declared that “atheism, materialism and relativism” are “perverse phenomena” that “threaten the stability of society” and that must be fought against by an alliance of Christians, Muslims and Jews.

    I find it frustrating that various religious groups who normally dislike each other very much (even hate each other, in the case of some extremist groups) work together to discriminate against other people, e.g. atheists, LGBT people, etc.

    I am glad they decide to stop fighting each other, but I wish they’d find some other more productive projects to work on instead of finding another group to hate.

    This reminded me of Carl Paladino (a Roman Catholic) promising an Orthodox Jewish group that he’d discriminate against LGBT people.

  • AxeGrrl

    Sharim wrote:

    This reminded me of Carl Paladino (a Roman Catholic) promising an Orthodox Jewish group that he’d discriminate against LGBT people.

    And let’s not forget the Rabbi who withdrew his endorsement of Paladino over this…..

    Not because Paladino made anti-gay remarks, but because he later apologized for making them!

    Rabbi Breaks With Paladino Over Apology

  • muggle

    AxeGrrl, that could be good news. I’m waitiing for him to slip up and say something anti-Semetic (he’s said something bigoted against damned near every other minority but seems to be wooing the Jewish vote, given it’s New York and all) so he can assuredly cost himself the election.

    I so do not want this man to be my governor. I’m embarrassed as a New Yorker that he won the primary.

    You say something anti-Semetic in New York, you do not win, plain and simple. Our Jewish population is that large. That’s why he was trying to court it. I doubt he’s really any better towards Jews than he is towards any minority. I don’t know if this was enough to cost him the election but he’s certainly spewed enough venom at enough groups in a state that usually goes Democratic anyway that hopefully he won’t win.

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