From Iceland — Most Parties with No Church Platform

Most Parties with No Church Platform

Published August 30, 2010

No political party in Iceland, with the exception of the Leftist-Greens, have any particular platform with regards to the relationship between church and state.
Vísir contacted a number of party chairmen to get their opinion of the church. Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir told reporters that she has often thought of unregistering from the church, but declined to say if she eventually would. Independence Party chairman Bjarni Benediktsson and Progressive chairman Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson both said they were registered in the church and had no intention of leaving it. Þór Saari, an MP for The Movement, said that not only had he long ago unregistered from the church, but that no MP for the party was registered, either.
While both the prime minister and Leftist-Green party chairman Steingrímur J. Sigfússon believe in greater separation of church and state, only the Leftist-Green Party has such separation as a part of its platform.
Árni Þór Sigurðsson, vice chairman of the Leftist-Green Party and chairman of the Committee of Foreign Affairs, told the press that he will submit a proposal to parliament which calls for separation of church and state, and for no religious organization to receive preferential treatment from the government. He has not as yet decided if he will submit the idea as a bill to be made into law, or as an official proposal (þingsályktunartillaga). The difference between the two is that while the former can be passed into law, the latter, if passed by parliamentary majority, is more of an official government position which usually leads the way towards the creation of legislation which supports that position.

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