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CShine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:40 PM
Original message
Christianity bedevils talks on EU treaty
The controversial question of Christianity returned to the EU yesterday when seven states, led by Italy, urged the union to recognise a "historical truth" and refer explicitly to the "Christian roots of Europe" in its new constitution. Britain's foreign secretary, Jack Straw, and his fellow foreign ministers were forced to divert into a theological and cultural minefield at the meeting in Brussels called to tackle highly charged but technical issues, such as voting weights and budget procedures.

The preamble of the current draft treaty, drawn up by the former French president Valry Giscard d'Estaing's convention, refers only to the "cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe". Specifically mentioning Christianity or God was considered too controversial in the face of furious opposition from secular France and Protestant northerners such as Sweden and Denmark.

Opponents argued that it would be wrong to exclude Muslims and Jews, and would therefore be better to avoid any religious reference. The European parliament even rejected a proposal from Christian Democrat MEPs to mention the continent's "Judaeo-Christian roots". But the largely Catholic states of Italy Poland, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have made clear they want more.

"This issue remains a priority for our governments as well as for millions of European citizens," they wrote to Ireland, the current holder of the EU presidency.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/eu/story/0,7369,1224048,00.ht...
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salinen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. "One European Union, under god,.......
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BayCityProgressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:10 PM
Original message
I hope progressive leaders maintain their stand.
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RogueTrooper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
22. Are yousure you want to put so much faith in Tony Blair?
From reading the article it would seem that this religous push is coming from Europe's South and the Eastern European States. The red states.
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meow2u3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
2. Christianity actually permeates European cultures
To deny that fact is to revise the history of the world to suit secularist fundamentalists.
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ablbodyed Donating Member (610 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. And most thoughtful Europeans recognize....
Edited on Tue May-25-04 08:15 PM by ablbodyed
that that history is full of brutality, hatred and evil. Most are only minimally christian. Thank God for some intellect, as opposed to the moronic religious tripe of the US.
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Turley Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #3
11. What is "minimally Christian"?
Either you are, or you ain't.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. It could mean they have a vague belief in God
but don't bother going to church, or do much at all in the way of observance or thought about religion. This does describe the average European.
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Voice_of_Europe Donating Member (262 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. Christian: "Either you are or you ain't"...
Christian: "Either you are or you ain't"...



Witness another black/white, good/bad opinion.

I consider myself an average 20-30 year old European.

I'm "Reformed", a Protestant part of Christianity.

I was raised according to christian beliefs.

I don't to upon others what I don't wish they do upon me.. etc..
And I beliefe in those rules because they make life among humans a bit nicer.

Do I believe in God?... Sometimes...Sometimes I strongly doubt him/her...sometimes I curse him/her... sometimes I thank him/her

Do I go to Church? Hell no! And I know nobody among my friends who does who isn't at least 30 years older than me. I don't need nobody to tell me what to believe and what good or evil. You know yourself when you've done something good/bad.

Do I go to Baptisms, weddings funerals? Of course...

Religion is not only religion. It has deep cultural rules that can't be undone so easy.

I am Christian... I lead my life according to those values... I believe in doing good and forgiveness.. but I'm not sure about believeing in God...

I feel like some people treat Religions like Soccer!!
If you're not with us, then you're against us!

Stop thinking in Black / White thoughts... the world consists of infinite different shades of grey.
There is no pure evil and no pure good.

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Turley Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. Well it's your soul to risk
Atheist myself, but as I understand Christian principles there will not be a lot of room for "shades of grey" arguments come Judgement Day. Unless you plan on taking Johnny Cochran with you.

If you are a Christian, that's your risk to take I suppose. I've just never understood the concept of believing in everlasting hell and then not making a 1000% effort to avoid it.



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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #11
21. More Bush-esque black and white thinking: "You're either with us or
you're with the 'terra-ists.'"

Thanks for that.
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Turley Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. Not so
See my response above.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. Quite so.
Even your analysis of the religion of Christianity is oversimplified. But I'll take your word for it, and you are right, you don't understand.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Christianity, Ms. Neck
Must cede pride of place in that region to the various elder religions, not least among them the Roman civil cult. This defined the political and social ideal of that continent. The Christianity of the place is so shot through with appropriations from the previous religious practices as to be hardly worthy of being called a seperate system of belief....
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Writing Xtianity into the Charter Makes Some Religions More Equal
than others. That this is a bad idea should be blindingly obvious by now.
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ze_dscherman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Not only Christianity
Edited on Wed May-26-04 03:41 AM by ze_dscherman
The current constitution merits the RELIGIOUS roots of Europe - why should it, by mentioning only the CHRISTIAN roots, exclude others?

Muslims and Jews have been of high importance to European culture. Think of the Muslim heritage in Spain, on the Balcans, or in Italy. Also, many of them live in Europe - there are Muslims living on the Balcan, in Turkey (both not yet part of EU), and of course millions of immigrants that have become EU citizens. The Jewish community is much smaller, but they have played a vital role in the forming of European society.

As well, Europe has a very strong secular, atheistic or agnostic tradition - much stronger than in the U.S.

Also do not forget that Europe has had to overcome a long history of religious motivated wars and cruelties - the forced christianisation of northern europe and many slav people, the crusades, the burning of heretics, the spanish reconquista and inquistion against Jews, muslims and "heretics", the huguenottes in France, the catholics in Britain, the 30 year war, the conflict in Northern Ireland, the Balkan wars, the progroms on the Jews - to name but a few. Thus, it seems important to me that we do not favour one religion over others.

On edit: There has been another discussion on the subject, please see http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Stockholm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:21 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. We have managed so far without a reference
to god in our treaties. We will manage without a reference in this treaty/constitution. In this discussion the following points have to be considered.

1. The countries trying desperately to having the reference included is mainly catholic. The EU include countries belonging to other branches of christianity.

2. Separation of state and church is important to many countries within the EU.

3. UK and other countries are supporting the future membership of Turkey, this reference-to-god-bit has been used as an argument by opposing countries as to why they should not be admitted.

4. There are far more important parts of the constitution draft that need to be safe guarded, religious freedom can be inserted in the HR part of the text.

5. The history part is just a bogus argument. That we are Europeans because we share a "christian" past is just one piece of the puzzle as is the fact that we inhabit Europe. The why-part of the existence of an European Union can be found in the founding treatis (Coal and Steel, Rome). That is exactly how far back into history we should gaze.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
19. What garbage. They were a variety of pagans for a lot longer
Why not make it pagan?
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #2
20. I am so sick of religious assholes
what...now people who support a separation of state and religious powers are "secular fundamentalists?"

it wasn't enough bullshit to call people who keep their religion a private matter to be "secular humanists?" The propaganda put forth by the religious right in this nation does more harm to Christ than good.

The only people Jesus scorned were those who used religious belief to make money and dupe the people. Where does that put people in this country who want faith-based govt. initiatives?

give me a break. yes, various forms of Christianity permeate the history of Europe (from Orthodox, Catholic to Protestant versions who have extreme disagreements on major points of theology), as does the paganism of earlier times, as do the state religions of Greece and Rome, as does Islam in Spain.

ALL of them are important historical precedents leading up to modern ideas of the state as a separate entity from religious institutions. The history of Europe could also be read as the successful divorce of religion from politics and the corruption that the merger entailed.

Christians think they are so special that it's okay when people kill in the name of their god...just like Osama and his minions.

Look, worship god as you see him or her, but stop trying to force your god down the throats of the rest of the world. that's not an issue of "secular fundamentalism" but of freedom of religion, whether you're a believer or not.

But most American Christians are so stupid and fed so much bullshit by those in this nation who use religion to justify all sorts of abuses that they are blind to what is in their own best interests as believers.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
25. There is no such thing as "secularist fundamentalists".
Only religious wacko fundies.

Secularism is free of any "fundamentalism". It's an oxymoron. It doesn't exist.

Only religions can be "fundamentalist".

Nice try.

Got your dittohead talking points down pat, I see.
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FleshCartoon Donating Member (592 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
6. Oh, Lord!
Edited on Tue May-25-04 09:18 PM by FleshCartoon
Pardon the pun.

I've just read the Gore Vidal novel about the Roman Emperor Julius who tried to take Rome away from Christianity and back to the worship of the original Roman gods. It didn't work. Guess who killed him?

Doesn't anyone remember that nations are stronger when there is a separation of church and state?
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MrTriumph Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. The state is stronger and so is the church
The surest was to diminish the church is to incorporate it into government.

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Dead_Parrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 03:50 AM
Response to Original message
10. "Christian roots of Europe"?
If there's a single religion that shaped the way Europe grew, it's probably Mithrasism - the religion of the Roman soldiers who gave us large chunks of our culture, law, infrastructure and a good smattering of language...
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Well, Mithraism was one of the religions of the Romans
but by no means the dominant one, and it spread after the Roman Empire did. And the Romans never penetrated into all of Germany, and none of Scandinavia, Poland etc.

It is true to say that Christianity has been the most influential religion on Europe (which used to be called Christendom), but I think putting this in the constitution is just going to make others feel excluded, and ignores the contributions that they have made.
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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #12
26. The Catholic Church
has been probbably the main unifying force in Europe for the past 1,500 years or so. Of course we have had the reformation in that time and one of the pitfalls of this may be that some idiots try to stir up the old anti-catholic nonsense that has been prevalent in Britain since Henry VIII and claim that the EU is all a popish plot.

The matter of putting religion into the EU constitution is a very tricky one indeed and makes me think what a wonderful thing the American 1st ammendment is.

Anyway, here's my thread on the EU constitution in the meeting room for reference.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 08:01 AM
Response to Original message
14. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition
Oh yes, the "historical truth" is indeed important. I wonder, however, why those who'd raise the banner of "historical truth" are so quick to drop that banner and run like hell when documenting the atrocities of the Crusades, the Papal Inquisition, the Spanish Inquisitions, rampant monarchical abuses, the genocide of Jews and other non-Christians, and several centuries of Dark Ages (in 'Christian' Europe only) sponsored by recapitulation dogmatists.
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FlaGranny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
16. It sounds like a great way
to exclude any non-Christian countries from joining the EU and enabling the fanning of the flames of religious conflict.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 08:47 AM
Response to Original message
17. Christians, Muslims and Jews need to live together without pushing our
Edited on Wed May-26-04 08:49 AM by w4rma
views on one another. That is why there cannot be references to specific religions in governments over people from many different religions (and denominations of those religions).
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dand Donating Member (636 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #17
24. Good quote from George Will's (Repuke Mouthpiece) column,
When the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest, reason will prevail, I agree. Get rid of religions and kings.
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