Friday, 24 December 2010
About Merkel´s Christian values - and the EU Commission´s lack of them
It is encouraging that German Chanchellor Angela Merkel has began to speak out for Christian values in Europe:
"We have too few discussions about the Christian view of mankind," Merkel claimed in a recent speech. She then stressed that Germany needs to reflect more upon "the values that guide us, about our Judeo-Christian tradition." It was one way, Merkel maintained, of bringing "about cohesion in our society."
Samuel Gregg, Director of Research at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty offers this commentary:
On one level, Merkel is surely stating the blindingly obvious. How can Europeans ask Muslim immigrants to integrate into European society and respect European values without Europeans themselves being clear in their own minds about what values are at the core of European identity and where these values come from?
And as much as significant portions of European society would like to deny it, it's simply a historical fact that the idea of Europe and European values such as liberty, equality before the law, and solidarity did not suddenly appear ex nihilo in the late seventeenth-century with the various Enlightenments. Central to the formation of European identity and such values was the synthesis of Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem achieved by Christianity following the Roman Empire's collapse in the West in 476 A.D.
Indeed there's plenty of evidence that the antecedents of most of the various freedoms and genuine achievements of the various Enlightenments are to be found in Christianity. There is increasing recognition, for example, that the idea of human rights was first given concrete expression by medieval canon lawyers.
The European Commission does not seem to share Merkel´s view. It has printed more than three million copies of a planner for secondary schools that includes Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish holidays, without at all mentioning Christian holidays!
The GalliaWatch blog comments:
The page for December 25 is empty and at the bottom is the following message:
"A true friend is someone who shares your worries and your joy". It would be hard to find something more "religiously" correct!
The calendar includes Muslim Hindu, Sikh, Jewish holidays. Among others... Not to mention Europe Day and other key dates of the EU. No Christian holiday is mentioned even though Christianity is the religion of most Europeans. Johanna Touzel, spokesperson for COMECE (Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union) found the planner "unbelievable". A spokesperson for the European Commission spoke of an "error". He pointed out that future editions of this planner would not mention any religious holiday...
Remove everything rather than speak of Christmas!