French secularism

Welcome to Wondercafe2!

A community where we discuss, share, and have some fun together. Join today and become a part of it!

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Messages
30,267
Reaction score
14,464
An editorial from The Guardian on French secularism and how their attempt to push religion off the public stage may not be solving problems but creating/inflating them.

http://www.theguardian.com/commenti...dness-to-religion-only-masks-religious-hatred

Given that Quebec is leaning towards a French-style approach to secularism and would like to push the rest of Canada in the same direction, I think this is relevant to us here in Canada.

Should a "secular society" be about burying religion and replacing it with a monocultural secular society that denies religion exists outside the private sphere or about promoting a tolerant multicultural, multifaith society under a secular administration? Does banning overt religious clothing and symbolism promote tolerance or simply hide religious conflict under a veneer of secularism? What is a "secular society" anyhow and do any really exist?
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Messages
30,267
Reaction score
14,464
Interesting that Sikh turbans are included in France's religious clothing ban while we have Sikh MPs, including a senior cabinet minister (the defense minister), wearing them in Parliament. Are we on the right track or are the French? I lean to our approach myself but that's the approach I see as most in tune with my values as a UU.
 

Jae

Well-Known Member
Messages
31,982
Reaction score
3,856
Interesting that Sikh turbans are included in France's religious clothing ban while we have Sikh MPs, including a senior cabinet minister (the defense minister), wearing them in Parliament. Are we on the right track or are the French? I lean to our approach myself but that's the approach I see as most in tune with my values as a UU.
I agree with our approach. I believe in religious freedom for everyone.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Messages
44,832
Reaction score
3,609
Freedom of religion is preferred as long as we mellow the polity with the passing of time ... and thus Ole Dog's Children and what Eire mill in whines over the time required to get anything moderated ... like Le Vies Moulin and the government taxes it to death ... to squeeze us as if with a vice ...
 
Messages
25,912
Reaction score
3,690
Things are shifting to the right all over Europe. While some see secularism as progressive, others see it as as oppression and intolerance, coming from fear and bigotry. I think the huge influx of Muslim refugees and immigrants currently is raising the xenophobic/ fear level and secularism is the reaction. Easier to just denounce every religion than weed out the dangers of extremism from the benefits of maintaining religious identity and spiritual practice. It's almost becoming extreme secularism. Also, similarly, even Merkel has denounced multiculturalism, and says it doesn't work. It does, when tolerance and cooperation and striving for equality, are priority values. That come before certain perceived religious entitlements. It has worked relatively well in Canada for a long time, and is something most of us would like to maintain.

Someone in the grocery Lin-up the other day pointed out Trump on a magazine cover to his friend. Both were concerned he may get elected. In France, there is their far right party that has gotten stronger. Scary stuff. I would imagine, especially for those who are Muslims fleeing war zones.
 
Last edited:

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Messages
44,832
Reaction score
3,609
Without some imagination with the secularism ... what really do we have?
 
Messages
25,912
Reaction score
3,690
So, Merkel made her comments about multiculturalism years ago. I didn't realize that. I thought it was more recently.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news.../14/angela-merkel-multiculturalism-is-a-sham/

Seeing as that's the case, then her efforts at refugee immigration have been good anyway, but now she is re-thinking things. I must admit I am not caught up on what is happening these days, for the past several weeks - just headlines - but I think Germany and France are examples of the general mood of Europe. Even still, I don't think people like the prospect of a Trump presidency, over there. It doesn't seem so (UK definitely doesn't). I mention him as part of the "tide" because if he gets in - he may be courting the evangelical vote - he'll use anyone he thinks will get him elected - but I don't think he's a particularily, even moderately, religious man. Maybe not even a little bit...but I don't know that for sure. I think he's right wing, secular, and bigoted.

And, in Canada, we have Trudeau going in the other direction and lauding multiculturalism and tolerance - therefore, I think we're lucky to be here. I think Canada could set a good example. We're not perfect but we make our society work pretty darn well compared to so many places. I was talking to a young woman who was born here but lived in Greece since she was a little kid - she moved back because it's so bad in Greece (her worries were more about economic opportunity than secularism, which didn't come up - but I think xenophobia rears it's ugly head under increased economic pressures) - and she said as much as we complain it's still way better here.
 
Last edited:

Jae

Well-Known Member
Messages
31,982
Reaction score
3,856
....I mention him as part of the "tide" because if he gets in - he may be courting the evangelical vote -...


He is.

Kimmio said:
....he'll use anyone he thinks will get him elected -...
Don't they all.

Kimmio said:
...but I don't think he's a particularily, even moderately, religious man. Maybe not even a little bit...but I don't know that for sure.
What makes you suspect he isn't religious Kimmio? I believe he's a Presbyterian.

Kimmio said:
I think he's right wing, secular, and bigoted.
 
Messages
25,912
Reaction score
3,690
says he. He says anything.

He may be Presbyterian by family association. I don't think he's practicing, is he?

(Or, maybe now... "Oh. I'd better be seen going to church. Where is the closest Prespyterian church again?") ;)

I read somewhere that the one he claimed to belong to had no official record of him. I don't care if he is religious or not. I care that he doesn't implement racist and bigoted policies.
 

Pavlos Maros

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,233
Reaction score
387
The French are roughly 66% catholic. so I would say more religious than it appears.
It is only that they believe religion should be kept private, and kept out of schools and politics. What could be wrong with that! https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/fr.html

Sweden and the Czech Republic are far more non-religious. but don't have the same policy as France.

France has the right idea in my opinion. why should religious affiliates be allowed to harass people in the streets and knock on their doors.
Jesus said in Mat 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

All the French are doing is following his word, literally.
 
Messages
25,912
Reaction score
3,690
Or, it could be a social response to Islamophobia - just treat all religion with the same broad brush? I don't know. But, from what I have been reading, and trying to understand, Europe has a different attitude/ approach to cultural diversity (including religion as part of that)...like you alluded to, religion often gets tied to national identity, and pluralism is seen as a threat to that identity - whereas in Canada, multiculturalism and a pluralistic society has, since the 70s anyway, been seen as central to Canadian identity - I would say for the majority of Canadians. That really went through a palpable change over the last nine ten years of our previous government, I think - they were more xenophobic, and as a result more people became that way too - but a large majority of us still feel that multiculturalism/ pluralism is what makes Canada work, what makes us who we are, and is not a threat. Whereas , Europe's ethnic/ nationalistic roots run deep. French are French, for generations, Germans, Italians, British, Irish (Northern and Southern), likewise. I'm kind of proud to be of mixed heritage and choose which religion/ faith I follow or not, and how I choose to believe without it being put upon me by my family heritage or because of what my country assumes me to identify with, whether I want it or not. There is some cultural/ family influence, I suppose (United/ Anglican/ Presbyterian in the family tree), but I am not tied to it by default, just because of where I was born. I identify as Christian but I know people with similar backgrounds who identify as Buddhist now, or atheist (mostly, in BC).

Anyway, that's a long middle of the night ramble of a post...but Europe is different, and part of the rise in secularism probably has to do with differing approaches to immigration, where immigrants who are not of the dominant (original) religion to the host country are not as well settled and integrated. I read that the only "settlement" countries (with the aim of gaining new citizens from all over the world) are Canada, U.S., Australia and New Zealand - and they are also the most successfully multicultural/ pluralistic (U.S. the least of the four - it has a yet a different approach). We are not perfect, but we have less of a problem with parallel societies within a country like Merkel described as multiculturalism's failure in Germany. And when multiculturalism fails - religious xenophobia is going to rise, producing a broad brush secular reaction - I think.
 

Jae

Well-Known Member
Messages
31,982
Reaction score
3,856
says he. He says anything.

He may be Presbyterian by family association. I don't think he's practicing, is he?
As I understand it he doesn't go that often to church. There's a lot of Christians like that these days Cousin.

Kimmio said:
(Or, maybe now... "Oh. I'd better be seen going to church. Where is the closest Prespyterian church again?") ;)
It wouldn't surprise me if he's stepped up his participation during election season.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Messages
44,832
Reaction score
3,609
So, Merkel made her comments about multiculturalism years ago. I didn't realize that. I thought it was more recently.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news.../14/angela-merkel-multiculturalism-is-a-sham/

Seeing as that's the case, then her efforts at refugee immigration have been good anyway, but now she is re-thinking things. I must admit I am not caught up on what is happening these days, for the past several weeks - just headlines - but I think Germany and France are examples of the general mood of Europe. Even still, I don't think people like the prospect of a Trump presidency, over there. It doesn't seem so (UK definitely doesn't). I mention him as part of the "tide" because if he gets in - he may be courting the evangelical vote - he'll use anyone he thinks will get him elected - but I don't think he's a particularily, even moderately, religious man. Maybe not even a little bit...but I don't know that for sure. I think he's right wing, secular, and bigoted.

And, in Canada, we have Trudeau going in the other direction and lauding multiculturalism and tolerance - therefore, I think we're lucky to be here. I think Canada could set a good example. We're not perfect but we make our society work pretty darn well compared to so many places. I was talking to a young woman who was born here but lived in Greece since she was a little kid - she moved back because it's so bad in Greece (her worries were more about economic opportunity than secularism, which didn't come up - but I think xenophobia rears it's ugly head under increased economic pressures) - and she said as much as we complain it's still way better here.

Xenophobia; fear of mankind and all that it is composed of ... why a large part of the thinking (psychy) medium avoids the polity? An out of here comment! I got some hate mail this morning from acquaintances that hate French ... although they don't know how much of the King's English comes from Gael evolution ... a brute force?

If humanity, mankind, were not so afraid of themselves would they did in and learn what is so frightening about their's elves? When you dig into this you may discover an occult button ... virtue aL unseen as up there ... underfoot in the crankings ... just to keep the living in major chaos!
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Messages
44,832
Reaction score
3,609
AN*glow*sized Saxon ... a spin off the evolution of Francs ... a beam'r of idi-AUM? If we loved unseen and misunderstood things would we drop out of sight or be oppressed by hate of the afore sade/said? This could account for haunting impressions ... spooks?
 

Waterfall

Well-Known Member
Messages
10,895
Reaction score
3,614
I wonder why France, Germany, England or any country for that matter who accepts refugees/migrants, wouldn't expect some sort of fallout from different cultures colliding in such a short time. PTSD must be rampant among the Syrians, having witnessed the horrors and brutality that they have endured. Should any country expect a smooth transition? Surely our intelligence tells us this won't be seamless? If we open our doors we have to open our understanding too. It's not about instant assimilation in a year or even a decade, it's long term, and countries have to be realistic. Trusting anybody must be a real issue. Going from one country that wants to kill them and then the country offering safety turns on them too. France and Germany are scared? Take that to heart IMO, because now we have a small taste of what it's like to have ones world turned upside down. Do not take a peoples belief system away, it may be all they have to find comfort and face what they are running from.
Do it for the children.....let's be the influence, not the enemy.

Find reliable sources too:
http://www.dw.com/en/report-refugees-have-not-increased-crime-rate-in-germany/a-18848890

For years many Canadians assumed our crime rate was increasing because we were fed this line, when in reality it had been decreasing continuously year after year.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Messages
44,832
Reaction score
3,609
I wonder why France, Germany, England or any country for that matter who accepts refugees/migrants, wouldn't expect some sort of fallout from different cultures colliding in such a short time. PTSD must be rampant among the Syrians, having witnessed the horrors and brutality that they have endured. Should any country expect a smooth transition? Surely our intelligence tells us this won't be seamless? If we open our doors we have to open our understanding too. It's not about instant assimilation in a year or even a decade, it's long term, and countries have to be realistic. Trusting anybody must be a real issue. Going from one country that wants to kill them and then the country offering safety turns on them too. France and Germany are scared? Take that to heart IMO, because now we have a small taste of what it's like to have ones world turned upside down. Do not take a peoples belief system away, it may be all they have to find comfort and face what they are running from.
Do it for the children.....let's be the influence, not the enemy.

Find reliable sources too:
http://www.dw.com/en/report-refugees-have-not-increased-crime-rate-in-germany/a-18848890

For years many Canadians assumed our crime rate was increasing because we were fed this line, when in reality it had been decreasing continuously year after year.
Is learning of the unknown ideals ... a rough pilgrimage ... done only by prototypical psyches to see what needs to be recalled and which need to be dumped into another jump of the process ... can you see IT coming ... that great stroke ... a flash ... and they're U' is gone ...
 
Messages
25,912
Reaction score
3,690
I wonder why France, Germany, England or any country for that matter who accepts refugees/migrants, wouldn't expect some sort of fallout from different cultures colliding in such a short time. PTSD must be rampant among the Syrians, having witnessed the horrors and brutality that they have endured. Should any country expect a smooth transition? Surely our intelligence tells us this won't be seamless? If we open our doors we have to open our understanding too. It's not about instant assimilation in a year or even a decade, it's long term, and countries have to be realistic. Trusting anybody must be a real issue. Going from one country that wants to kill them and then the country offering safety turns on them too. France and Germany are scared? Take that to heart IMO, because now we have a small taste of what it's like to have ones world turned upside down. Do not take a peoples belief system away, it may be all they have to find comfort and face what they are running from.
Do it for the children.....let's be the influence, not the enemy.

Find reliable sources too:
http://www.dw.com/en/report-refugees-have-not-increased-crime-rate-in-germany/a-18848890

For years many Canadians assumed our crime rate was increasing because we were fed this line, when in reality it had been decreasing continuously year after year.
No, but problems can be compounded because immigrants are already not well integrated and Europeans have had a 'zero immigration' attitude for awhile. They don't want it. Far less than here. But, with EU they can have migration within the borders, for workers needed and so on, but I don't think they are very keen on migrants from ME countries, even before the most recent problems.
 
Last edited:
Messages
25,912
Reaction score
3,690
As I understand it he doesn't go that often to church. There's a lot of Christians like that these days Cousin.
True, lots of Christians don't go to church often :whistle:



It wouldn't surprise me if he's stepped up his participation during election season.
But the U.S. is the only western country I can think of that makes a big deal of candidates' religions. Especially at election time (which spans years there). Like I said, i don't care if he goes to church, but I do think he is more secular than religious, and not exactly a beacon of tolerance.
 

Jae

Well-Known Member
Messages
31,982
Reaction score
3,856
At least Trump is being reasonably honest when it comes to his religion. He has said he's a Presbyterian, and he is at least a nominal Presbyterian. It isn't like he's said he's a Christian when actually he's a Muslim.
 
Top