A Statement Concerning The Proposed “Anti-Pope Protest”

Many members were invited to attend a “protest against the pope” in Lebanon. While we do agree that the Vatican as an institution has committed (and is still committing) endless errors and atrocities against non-theists and science, we find ourselves responsible to inform the public, especially the people committed to our community about the hazards and considerations which should be taken prior to any action which has the potential to backlash the whole community.

Since our community has future goals, we find ourselves forced to take into consideration every step and decision we make from a strategic point of view. With that being mentioned, we consider that the upcoming protest will not align with its strategies and will act as a deterrent for the following reasons:

  • we are is seeking official governmental recognition via registering an NGO. Actively participating and campaigning against an event which is sponsored by government is counterproductive to the cause.
  • We are a minority within minorities. Therefore clashing with social groups will not benefit our cause under any circumstance. We need to win hearts rather than start fights.
  • The founders of this event have already received multiple threats, and therefore we will not endorse any activity that will set our members into an act of aggression.
  • Historically, Lebanese civil movements who “imported” foreign tactics (e.g: Europe) without considering different existent cultural variables faced blatant failure since different cultural variables yield different public reactions.  What other nations tailored to their cause was exclusive to their culture and their variables. Therefore, replaying foreign tactics will not yield an identical outcome to a similar protest done previously.
  • The questions one should pose to evaluate these tactics are: What purpose does the protest serve? By what means does this action benefit the community? Is this protest constructive or destructive when considering the cause we are working on? We find that the answers for the previously posed questions are not positive, and therefore, We considers the tactic as ineffective and counterproductive.

Finally, we would like to note that we look forward to collaborate in the future with all groups and individuals who share our common values and goals while taking into consideration that we strictly reserve our rights to disregard any idea or project which could generate a negative outcome to our community.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the site administration and/or other contributors to this site.
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“Freethought Lebanon” is an initiative that aims to empower freethinkers in Lebanon in order to promote humanism, encourage critical thinking, and disseminate secular values as a solution for intolerance and sectarian violence in Lebanon. Our vision is “Expanded Horizons with Minds Liberated from the Tyranny of Custom”.