The Null Device

One Europe under God?

Europe is divided over the question over whether a future EU constitution should mention "God". The Catholic Church has pushed for a constitution that establishes Europe's heritage as based in Christianity, which has been watered down to "God as the source of truth", to appease other monotheists (atheists and pantheists be damned). There is strong support for this in Italy and former Communist countries (such as vehemently Catholic Poland). Meanwhile, other nations are wary of violating the separation between church and state: (via 1.0)
In Poland, where the government installed a crucifix in its Parliament after the fall of communism, a reference to God in the constitution would serve as a tribute to the church's role in resisting the government during the country's years as a Soviet satellite.
In Spain, a reference to God evokes the years under General Francisco Franco, where coins were stamped with the dictator's profile, ringed by the words "Leader of Spain by the grace of God." "Religion is a private matter," said Ana Palacio, Spain's foreign minister who is also a member of the presidium. "Our identity is the fight for democracy, for human rights, for the separation between church and state," she said in an interview. "The only banner that we have is secularism."

I'd be inclined to agree with the Spanish. Organised religion lends itself to being a tool of repression and control; and supporting any one religious view (such as monotheism) implicitly disenfranchises those who don't share that belief; stating that values and morality come exclusively from religion equates secularism with amorality, atheism with nihilism.

Meanwhile, Poland's entry to the EU in 2004 is threatened by fears that the EU may challenge the country's ban on abortion. The left-wing and pro-european government fears that conservative Catholic groups may boost the "no" vote in the June referendum on joining the EU. The mainstream Catholic church, however, supports the "yes" case. Unlike Ireland and Malta, Poland does not have a clause in its EU treaty exempting its abortion ban from EU laws. (via Reenhead)

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