A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Papal Bull

The Pope says the EU is "ignoring its Christian roots" and was therefore on the road to oblivion caused by "a singular form of apostasy".

I may be the wrong person to comment as an atheist but - quite apart from a large number of the founding fathers of the EU having been secular democratic socialists - wouldn't a specifically "Christian" EU be a completely alienating concept for millions of Jewish and Muslim Europeans?

According to the BBC the Muslim population of EU member states includes:

Austria - 339,000 (4.1%)
Belgium - 0.4m (4%)
Denmark - 270,000 (5%)
France - between 5 and 6m (8-9.6%)
Germany - 3m (3.6%)
Italy - 825,000 (1.4%)
Netherlands - 945,000 (5.8%)
Spain - 1m (2.3%)
Sweden - 200,000 (3%)
UK - 1.6m (2.8%)

These 14m people are Europeans - as are millions of atheists, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs etc. - the EU is not the property of one faith. The values of democracy and liberty that Europe shares are universal ones, not the exclusive property of one faith-based civilisation.

The deeply divisive attempt to define the EU as a specifically culturally Christian group of states is behind French and German moves to block Turkish EU membership.

Well done to French Socialist Presidential Candidate Segolene Royal for having the courage to say that opposition to Turkish EU membership is wrong.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Gregg said...

I don't think the Pope is particularly concerned about that. He's surely striking out to turn the EU into a new Holy Roman Empire (notwithstanding some of the utty subsection of Europhobes think it already is). Such an achievement would certainly be something of a legacy for the ailing ex-Nazi.

2:45 pm, March 26, 2007

 
Anonymous Dawkins Fan said...

No doubt he would also like to see abortions banned, contraception outlawed, and homosexuals imprisoned. It is a shame that so many European politicians are still obliged to listen to the Church (infact it's a shame that religion still interferes in politics at all...)

6:57 pm, March 26, 2007

 
Anonymous Jules Holland said...

For once, you speak sense Luke, and I'm a Christian.

3:19 pm, March 27, 2007

 
Anonymous jdc said...

Yeah but, er, she's going to lose.

Anyway, I dunno, you know I think the EU's a bit of a nonsense anyway, and acknowledging Christian roots seems silly to me unless you view it as some bizarre resurrection of the latter days of Rome (mind you, Prodi said he did, once).

I don't think I agree in principle that a society can't explicitly declare its shared history and heritage if it has any minority members though, plenty of countries manage.

1:38 pm, March 30, 2007

 
Anonymous Maria said...

I think he - the Pope, that is - also had something to say about low European birthrates, which as you know, is causing no end of trouble with pensions provision.

He also had something to say about a continent not being able to progress if it didn't recognise people's identities. Its a bit naughty, not to say flagrantly inaccurate of you, to spin his words as denying the rights of people of other faiths.

Just out of interest, Luke, have you actually read Pope Benedict's speech?

3:56 am, April 01, 2007

 

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