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Whose State is This?

Discussion on the "Church Republic of Germany" and presentation of the "Secular Bus Campaign 2019" on April 6 in Berlin.

"Whose city is this?" is the motto of this year's Berlin Foundation Week - "Whose state is this?" asks a high-profile panel on April 6 in the Meistersaal at Potsdamer Platz. The participants agree on the decisive point: 100 years after the adoption of the Weimar Constitution and 70 years after the implementation of the Basic Law there must be a stop to the unconstitutional church privileges as well as a stop to the religious restriction of civil liberties from the cradle to the grave.

The conviction of physician Kristina Hänel in recent months has led thousands of people to take to the streets to demonstrate against the abuse of §219a of the German Criminal Code (StGB) and for a strengthening of the self-determination rights of unintentionally pregnant women. But §219a StGB is not an isolated case: There are countless laws in Germany which restrict the freedoms of citizens on the basis of traditional religious norms, even though this violates fundamental provisions of the constitution.

The panel discussion in the Meistersaal marks the start of the Giordano Bruno Stiftung's activities on the main topic of 2019: "70 Jahre Grundgesetz – 100 Jahre Verfassungsbruch" ("70 Years Basic Law - 100 Years Constitutional Breach"). In this context, a new edition of the "secular bus campaign" will be launched, which first made headlines in 2009 under the motto "Gottlos glücklich" ("Happy without a God"). The motto and concept of this year's bus campaign will be presented to the public for the first time at the event on April 6.

In the Meistersaal renowned experts will discuss the "Church Republic of Germany" and the question of how the ideological imbalance of the state could be remedied. Further experts will discuss the issue, including former FDP and SPD top-ranking politician Ingrid Matthäus-Maier, who fought in the 1970s for the abolition of church privileges, political scientist Carsten Frerk, who has exposed Christian lobbyism and the financial circumstances of the churches like no other German researcher, jurist Jacqueline Neumann, who as coordinator of the Institut für Weltanschauungsrecht (ifw - Institute for Secular Law) filed nationwide criminal charges against church sexual abuse perpetrators, and the philosopher Michael Schmidt-Salomon, who as author and spokesman of the Giordano Bruno Stiftung is a strong advocate of the worldview neutral state. The discussion will be hosted by teacher and bestselling author Philipp Möller, who made his first public appearance ten years ago as press spokesman for the 2009 secular bus campaign.

Admission to the event in the Meistersaal at Potsdamer Platz (Köthener Str. 38, 10963 Berlin) begins at 7 pm. Admission is free. The Giordano Bruno Stiftung's event is supported by the Institut für Weltanschauungsrecht (ifw - Institute for Secular Law), the Forschungsgruppe Weltanschauungen in Deutschland (fowid - Research Group on Worldviews in Germany) and the Evolutionäre Humanisten Berlin-Brandenburg (ehbb - Evolutionary Humanists Berlin-Brandenburg).