Saturday, March 24, 2007

EU and Christian Values

While the EU celebrates its 50th anniversary, the Pope admonishes it. Ratzinger is incessantly repeating that the EU needs to recognize its Christian roots.

Can we dismiss his claim or do we have to take it seriously? Secularists, who are the overwhelming majority in Europe, believe that we should not even pay attention to it.

But an increasing number of religious people feel excluded and non-represented by the European and the national institutions.

The biggest risk is the polarization of our European societies, making cohabitation even more difficult than it is now. Moreover, rejecting religion altogether may have the opposite effect of making the religious minorities more vocal and ultimately stronger.

This is a real dilemma which deserves close attention on the part of politicians, the civil society and academics.


Frodo42 said...

I think the pope deserves to be taken seriously. He's a highly educated man who considers things deeply, and he does not make such comments lightly.

Personally, I consider Christianity an indispensable root of European identity. If we ignore this root, the remaining components of our identity become universalist and vague, as well as exposed to totalitarian influence. Reasserting our Christian heritage is a powerful tool to push back religions who have not yet learned to respect differences of opinion, democracy, womens' rights etc.

On my desk are two interesting books that I didn't find time to read yet. Both claim that the much-maligned Christian tradition is the true foundation for the civil liberties which brought so much progress in Europe, the fruits of which we still enjoy today.

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