Atheist Group in Iceland Registers all Newborns to their Organization
- By Alison Lesley --
- 06 Mar 2015 --
The Iceland atheist organization Vantru has registered all the newborn children in the country as member of the organization.
Vantru is a board of Iceland’s atheist society. The organization was established in 2003, and the following year, they were known as a formal association. According to their Wikipedia page, Vantru, which translates to “Disbelief” in English, aims to “combat proclamation of superstitious views of society, such as organized religion, quack doctors and pseudo-science.”
They recently announced a voting held to decide if they should register all Icelanders as members of Vantru. The following statement was posted to their website:
You, dear reader, will be a member of Vantru, unless you specifically deregister yourself from the membership. Those who have children after March 1 do not need worry that they will miss out on this lively community, as we will automatically register children in Vantru at birth, regardless of whether their parents have registered as members or not, and without their knowledge or consent. That is obviously the best way to go about it. And also the fairest.
Their decision isn’t as wild or random in Iceland as it might seem in other regions. It is an Icelandic law that the offspring of mothers that are registered in the National Church will be automatically registered to the National Church as well. When they are of working age, and begin working, some of their taxes are sent to the National Church.
If one wanted to register to a different faith or to remove themselves from affiliation, it requires a government form to be filled out and sent in. If they are under the age of 16, their parent has to submit the paperwork for them. These days, there are more Icelanders removing themselves from the National Church and more parents are removing their children from the National Church at birth.
If a member of Vantru wanted to remove themselves from registration, they can send an email letting the board know, along with a scanned copy of their ID. It is a simple process. It must be noted that Vantru cannot actually register the members of Iceland as atheists in an official way — it’s meant to be a mockery of the behavior of the National Church.