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God, Christianity and the EU

G

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http://euobserver.com/9/22384

Amen to that, Frau Merkel. Europe was born out of Christendom. Christianity is our heritage. One needn't be a practising Christian to appreciate this fact. Europe's Christian origins should be acknowledged in any future EU constitutional treaty.
 


Pidge

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asteroid said:
Europe's Christian origins should be acknowledged in any future EU constitutional treaty.
Putting aside any debate as to what Europe's origins are, why would the EU put such a thing in a constitution?
 

Munion

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The group will instead identify the values that drove the EU's founding fathers and which can be "linked to Christian faith" - such as peace, freedom, a rejection of extreme nationalism, solidarity, respect for diversity and subsidiarity (the idea that political decisions should be taken at the lowest possible level).
Well those things are all pretty admirable values imo.
 
G

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To Pidge: Because it aspires to unite Europe in more than just an economic union? A social and cultural union. Some think that the only cultural mentifact common to all EU member states is their Christian heritage. It all depends on how you view the EU I suppose, and what you'd like it to be.
 

Pidge

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Munion said:
The group will instead identify the values that drove the EU's founding fathers and which can be "linked to Christian faith" - such as peace, freedom, a rejection of extreme nationalism, solidarity, respect for diversity and subsidiarity (the idea that political decisions should be taken at the lowest possible level).
Well those things are all pretty admirable values imo.
But they're just taking things which are nice and cuddly and saying that they came from Christianity. It's mad.
 

cyberianpan

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A constitution is not a history book, items in it ought have some tangible practical purpose: what would be the actions forthcoming from putting the Christian God into the constitution?

cYp
 

Pidge

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asteroid said:
To Pidge: Because it aspires to unite Europe in more than just an economic union? A social and cultural union. Some think that the only cultural mentifact common to all EU member states is their Christian heritage. It all depends on how you view the EU I suppose, and what you'd like it to be.
But what would such a reference actually do? This is what confuses me.
 

Munion

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We should be defining what holds Europe together at a basic cultural level. The commonalities that exist in our mind sets from Dublin to Athens and everywhere in between.

We are all, without exception, predominantly Christian countries and this is the foundation upon which our common values and beliefs are built.
 

Pidge

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Munion said:
We should be defining what holds Europe together at a basic cultural level. The commonalities that exist in our mind sets from Dublin to Athens and everywhere in between.
With an outdated defintion? Again, why? What purpose would it serve other than to annoy people?

Munion said:
We are all, without exception, predominantly Christian countries and this is the foundation upon which our common values and beliefs are built.
I disagree. Values come from a variety of sources - religion is only one of those.
 
G

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Pidge said:
asteroid said:
To Pidge: Because it aspires to unite Europe in more than just an economic union? A social and cultural union. Some think that the only cultural mentifact common to all EU member states is their Christian heritage. It all depends on how you view the EU I suppose, and what you'd like it to be.
But what would such a reference actually do? This is what confuses me.
It signifies an emotional attachment to our past. It should remind EU citizens that we actually do inhabit a common European home, a home the foundations of which were built upon Christianity. That's the reason, I suppose. That we don't forget from where we have come.
 

Pidge

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asteroid said:
Pidge said:
asteroid said:
To Pidge: Because it aspires to unite Europe in more than just an economic union? A social and cultural union. Some think that the only cultural mentifact common to all EU member states is their Christian heritage. It all depends on how you view the EU I suppose, and what you'd like it to be.
But what would such a reference actually do? This is what confuses me.
It signifies an emotional attachment to our past. It should remind EU citizens that we actually do inhabit a common European home, a home the foundations of which were built upon Christianity. That's the thinking, I suppose. That's the reason, I suppose. That we don't forget from where we have come.
What's the point of putting something purely symbolic in the constitution? Do you think a constitutional reference will make people remember their (disputed) national origins?

(I'm avoiding bringing up the issue of Christianity being a starting point for Europe, but it'll come up soon enough, I imagine.)
 

cyberianpan

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asteroid said:
Pidge said:
asteroid said:
To Pidge: Because it aspires to unite Europe in more than just an economic union? A social and cultural union. Some think that the only cultural mentifact common to all EU member states is their Christian heritage. It all depends on how you view the EU I suppose, and what you'd like it to be.
But what would such a reference actually do? This is what confuses me.
It signifies an emotional attachment to our past. It should remind EU citizens that we actually do inhabit a common European home, a home the foundations of which were built upon Christianity. That's the reason, I suppose. That we don't forget from where we have come.

Would this little aide memoire have any legal status ?

cYp
 
G

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Pidge said:
asteroid said:
Pidge said:
asteroid said:
To Pidge: Because it aspires to unite Europe in more than just an economic union? A social and cultural union. Some think that the only cultural mentifact common to all EU member states is their Christian heritage. It all depends on how you view the EU I suppose, and what you'd like it to be.
But what would such a reference actually do? This is what confuses me.
It signifies an emotional attachment to our past. It should remind EU citizens that we actually do inhabit a common European home, a home the foundations of which were built upon Christianity. That's the thinking, I suppose. That we don't forget from where we have come.
What's the point of putting something purely symbolic in the constitution? Do you think a constitutional reference will make people remember their (disputed) national origins?

(I'm avoiding bringing up the issue of Christianity being a starting point for Europe, but it'll come up soon enough, I imagine.)
It's late; I'm tired; and this will be very rushed...

Constitutions are full of symbols, and of symbolism. Think about it. The Christian footprint is something that can be seen all around Europe. The site of a church steeple, whether I'm in northern Sweden, Greece or Ireland reminds me that although I'm in another country, there's something reassuringly familiar about it, and that's a powerful symbol. The EU, I think, is about building towards a united European 'nation'. Nations need symbols. As I said, it all depends on what you think the New Europe should be.
 

Gunnungagap

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What other elements of Europe's history do we think should be included in the constitution? The history of empire? Religious war? Revolution? Disease? Enlightenment?

Who really believes that the importance of peace and tolerance in modern Europe arises from Christianity?
 

ibis

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Pidge said:
Munion said:
The group will instead identify the values that drove the EU's founding fathers and which can be "linked to Christian faith" - such as peace, freedom, a rejection of extreme nationalism, solidarity, respect for diversity and subsidiarity (the idea that political decisions should be taken at the lowest possible level).
Well those things are all pretty admirable values imo.
But they're just taking things which are nice and cuddly and saying that they came from Christianity. It's mad.
Good point. A particular give-away is "the idea that political decisions should be taken at the lowest possible level". I'm not sure why Merkel thinks this is a Christian idea at all. It's certainly not a Catholic one - it reflects neither theory nor practice.

Off the top of my head, I don't recall Christianity taking a stance against extreme nationalism, although individual Christians have done so.

Diversity? What - respecting heretics and pagans and whatnot, and definitely not having auto-da-fe's and crusades and the like? I don't recall that being a fundamental Christian virtue either.

Freedom? Are we talking about the same Christianity that accepted slavery - the same churches that actually owned slaves? The same religion that almost invariably sides with the powerful against the poor?

Peace and solidarity I can accept as being Christian values, but they're hardly exclusively Christian, are they?

Oh wait...I get it! She's talking bollox!
 

stringjack

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asteroid said:
Amen to that, Frau Merkel. Europe was born out of Christendom. Christianity is our heritage. One needn't be a practising Christian to appreciate this fact. Europe's Christian origins should be acknowledged in any future EU constitutional treaty.
:roll:

Also, "autos-da-fé", I should think.
 

Xipe Totec

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Christianity has indeed been an important part of Europe's heritage.

Important, not positive.
Will this proposed referance reflect that?
ibis said:
Peace and solidarity I can accept as being Christian values
Modern Christian vales, maybe.
But historical Christian values? Quite the opposite.
 

ibis

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stringjack said:
asteroid said:
Amen to that, Frau Merkel. Europe was born out of Christendom. Christianity is our heritage. One needn't be a practising Christian to appreciate this fact. Europe's Christian origins should be acknowledged in any future EU constitutional treaty.
:roll:

Also, "autos-da-fé", I should think.
Ah, stringjack, my old nematode! You are correct about the pluralisation, although I still don't bother with accents a lot of the time (incorrectly) - my monoglottal laziness is the enemy of my grammatical rectitude..
 

ibis

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Xipe Totec said:
Christianity has indeed been an important part of Europe's heritage.

Important, not positive.
Will this proposed referance reflect that?
ibis said:
Peace and solidarity I can accept as being Christian values
Modern Christian vales, maybe.
But historical Christian values? Quite the opposite.
No, I think I can make a case that they are proper Christian values - just ones that were sort of dropped during the Christianisation of Europe, because they didn't sit very well with the warrior nobility who were the most important early converts.

On the other hand, with respect to Merkel putting them forward as European values based on Christianity - it would be more accurate to say that they are genuinely Christian values which Europe by and large did not adopt - so that claim is also rubbish, but for the opposite reason to the rest of them being rubbish.
 


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