10 years ago, the "Secular Bus Campaign" had the motto "Happy without God". The message that a meaningful life does not need a God is nowadays established in society, but political conditions have changed little. For this reason the "Bus Campaign 2019" starting in May calls for the abolition of all state regulations that discriminate against nonreligious people.
On the recently launched website of the bus campaign www.schlussmachen.jetzt it says: "There must finally be an end to the fact that bishop's salaries are paid out of the general tax pot, that the churches can undermine labour law, that Catholic abusers escape criminal prosecution, that severely ill people are denied the right to die in a self-determined manner, or that women have to endure forced consultations if they decide to have an abortion! If these and other church privileges are not abolished, the political efforts of the Islamic associations, which also claim 'special religious rights' for themselves, cannot be stopped either."
The bus campaign launched by the Giordano Bruno Stiftung (gbs) in cooperation with the International League of Non-Religious and Atheists (IBKA) and the Humanistischer Pressedienst (hpd - Humanistic Press Service) is deliberately raising these demands in light of this year's two major constitutional anniversaries, as Michael Schmidt-Salomon, spokesman of the gbs executive board, points out: "100 years of the Weimar Constitution and 70 years of the Basic Law not least also mean 100 years respectively 70 years constitutional breach. Therefore it is about time to free politicians from their religious bubble and put an end to the unconstitutional discrimination against nonreligious people".
Bus tour through 25 cities
The "Bus Campaign 2019" tour will start in Berlin on May 4 and pass through 25 cities, including all the regional capitals. In many places there will not only be press conferences and informative talks at the bus, but also public evenings with prominent advocates of the worldview neutral state, among others with former SPD top politician Ingrid Matthäus-Maier, the religion-critical authors Carsten Frerk, Philipp Möller, and Michael Schmidt-Salomon, as well as with physician Kristina Hänel, who has been sentenced under §219a StGB. The corresponding dates will be announced on the campaign website in the coming weeks. Regarding the issues, the focus will not only lie on the privileges of religious communities (such as the unconstitutional state payments to the churches), but also on the manifold forms of religious paternalism that still exist in Germany, such as the ideologically biased laws on abortion (§§ 218-219a StGB) or the Christian disregard of self-determination at the end of life (§ 217 StGB).
"In many large cities, denomination-free people already make up the majority of the population and in the foreseeable future this will apply to the whole of Germany. However, so far they are hardly organized, which makes it easy for politicians to ignore their interests, as the recent attack by the SPD leadership on the Säkulare Sozialdemokratinnen und Sozialdemokraten has shown," says Schmidt-Salomon. "With the bus campaign, we want to mobilize people and demonstrate to political authorities that we will not accept this unequal treatment unresisted!"
David against Goliath
This goal also justifies the high financial and organizational expenditure, which the Giordano Bruno Stiftung as the main carrier of the campaign and the realization of the country wide bus route shoulders, explains the philosopher and foundation spokesman. However, the foundation certainly hopes for help from the civil society. Anyone wishing to support the "Secular Bus Campaign" can transfer a donation to the account of the non-profit Giordano Bruno Stiftung (Account: 2 222 222, bank code: 560 517 90, KSK Rhein-Hunsrück, IBAN: DE40 5605 1790 0002 2222 22, BIC: MALADE51SIM, intended use: "Buskampagne") or take part in the bus campaign donation initiative on the portal betterplace.org.
"The more money we receive, the better we can raise public awareness of the state's worldview imbalance. In view of the churches' wealth of billions and the strong religious lobby in politics, this is undoubtedly a battle between David and Goliath, though in the Bible this conflict did not end in favor of Goliath either," Schmidt-Salomon says. With a wink he adds: "We have interpreted the religiously determined conditions in this state long enough, now it is imperative to change them".