17 May 2007

Reference to God in the EU Constitution

The EUobserver reports that Angela Merkel "voiced regret there will be no reference to Christian roots in the revised EU treaty". May I express my utmost sympathy for Frau Merkel. No, really, I mean it. Although my Facebook profile describes my religious views as "devout atheist", I would sincerely welcome a mention of God in the EU Constitution.

European culture is based on Roman law, Greek philosophy and Judeo-Christian tradition. That is where our values are derived from. Turkey and Morocco have different sets of values, because they have been born out of different foundations. I am not denying there has not been a lot of mutual influence across the centuries. But there is still a clear cultural border between Europe and Asia Minor (Turkey), northern Africa or the Middle East.

If the God is mentioned in the forthcoming document's preamble, it will not only be a victory for those who believe in God, but also for those who are not afraid to acknowledge that it is an undisputable fact that Christianity had been instrumental in forming our society.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

hehe .. thats like going back to Medieval Ages and try to pretend that the Earth is flat! I was hoping that the Crusades were past ... we live in Dark Ages! EU is far from perfect, but at least it builds on ideas of free market not some sectarian tendencies ...

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Maz said...

I deeply disagree. Acknowledging society's development and origins is important, sure - in textbooks, lectures and classrooms - not in a document that should encompass and embody a new generation of thought and representation beyond segregating concepts such as religion.

Nickie Colson said...

It is indisputable that Christianity has played a crucial role in the history and development of European culture. However, it was instrumental in creating the divisions between nationalities and provoking conflict. It is also increasingly irrelevent to European culture today, growing stronger in, say, North America or Africa. If the EU is the future of Europe, surely it should reflect the secular nature of European culture which is arguably one of our defining features?

keith andrew said...

wow, that is one incredibly smart and honest post. i have great respect for your intellectually honest ability to see the value in referencing God in the constitution even though you do not neccessarily subscribe to a theistic worldview. In this disengenous world that is refreshing.

The previous comments to your post are ridiculous. The first one about the dark ages and the crusades...give me a break. It's like people are taught to bring up the crusades everytime God is mentioned without entering into any real discourse or honest debate. Here in the US it is the belief in an objective reality/God from whom we receive our worth that broke the back of such things as slavery. Yes it was theists who were at the forefront of the abolitionist movement!(I'm speaking to your commenters here -not that they hear...) If a society does not acknowledge that a persons rights come from something outside themselves, then that society is destined to devolve into a place where the rights of an individual are determined by by those who hold the most power.

And your point about the historical backgrounds and differences with the consequential cultural divide between Europe and Africa is spot on. To refuse to acknolwdge the foundation from which our society gets its values is to deny history. From an appreciative theist to a 'devout atheist' I say thank you for not being afraid to ackowledge the fact whether you believe in it or not, Chrisianity was instumental in the formation of our (here in the US as well as Europe) society.

Nasdravi!

Tomáš Ruta said...

Thank you very much for your support Keith! As if you explained what I briefly outlined in the post.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting persepctive you have. I'm doing a lot of research on religion in Europe right now, and I've discovered that what you are calling for is a growing trend among atheists/agnostics: the push for acknowledging the Christian roots of Europe. This is a popular view voiced by Jurgens Habermas, a German philosopher. Also I read of a Swedish professor, who is atheist but was telling Swedes in a news story that they should "come back to the church, even if they don't believe" because he sees the church in terms of its historical/cultural meaning, as well as for its capacity to promote charity work.
Great post!!

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