The eurozone’s religious faultline
2012 07 19
By Chris Bowlby | BBC.co.uk
Discussion among eurozone leaders about the future of their single currency has become an increasingly divisive affair. On the surface, religion has nothing to do with it - but could Protestant and Catholic leaders have deep-seated instincts that lead them to pull the eurozone in different directions, until it breaks?
Following the last European summit in Brussels there was much talk of defeat for Chancellor Merkel by what was described as a "new Latin Alliance" of Italy and Spain backed by France.
Many Germans protested that too much had been conceded by their government - and it might not be too far-fetched to see this as just the latest Protestant criticism of the Latin approach to matters monetary, which has deep roots in German culture, shaped by religious belief.
Churchgoing has been in decline in Germany as elsewhere as secularisation has spread, but religious ideas still shape the way Germans talk and think about money. The German word for debt - schuld - is the same as the word for "guilt" or "sin".
Talk of thrift and responsible budgeting comes instinctively to Angela Merkel, daughter of a Protestant pastor.
Merkel’s frequent assertion that "there is no alternative" to austerity policies (while reminiscent to Britons of Margaret Thatcher) has been likened to the famous stubborn statement by German Reformation leader Martin Luther: "Here I stand. I can do no other".
The new German president, Joachim Gauck, who might play an important role in constitutional arguments about the single currency, is also from the Protestant fold - he is a former Lutheran pastor.
The country’s population is fairly evenly divided between Protestants and Catholics - as well as those of other faiths, or none - and Merkel’s and Gauck’s ascent symbolises changes in Germany since reunification in 1990.
Both lived in East Germany, a historically Protestant territory, while West Germany had several influential Catholic political leaders, who, in earlier post-war decades, had joined in broad Catholic enthusiasm for European integration.
Former West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, a Rhineland Catholic highly distrustful of Protestant Prussian traditions to the German east, led West Germany into the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957.
This created the European Economic Community, forerunner of today’s EU. And there was a clear geographical fit between the six countries which signed and the territory of Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire.
Read the full article at: bbc.co.uk
Economic cults are just as bad as any religious cult
European Mission in Crisis – insecurity and religion
Also tune into Red Ice Radio:
Birgitta Jonsdottir - Financial War Against Iceland
Marta Andreasen MEP - Brussels laid Bare, Financial Fraud within the European Union
Ellen Brown - The Web of Debt & The Manufactured Financial Crash
Joan Veon - G20, Global Credit Crisis & Public-private Partnership
Germany’s circumcision ban angers religious groups
The Green Gods: New Religion and Eco-Faith
Going Secular: Norway abolishes state-sponsored religion
’Twilight’ Stands In For Religion for Some Teens
The Jerusalem Syndrome: Why Some Religious Tourists Believe They Are the Messiah
How the New Atheists are turning atheism into a religion
Why Religion Makes Only Some of Us Happy
File-sharing group says Sweden has recognized it as a religious community
Christian Leaders Say Green Movement is False Religion
Latest News from our Front Page
Your Smartphone Broadcasts Your Entire Life To The Secret Service
2014 09 23
Intelligence services collect metadata on the communication of all citizens. Politicians would have us believe that this data doesn’t say all that much. A reader of De Correspondent put this to the test and demonstrated otherwise: metadata reveals a lot more about your life than you think.
Ton Siedsma is nervous. He made the decision weeks ago, but keeps postponing it. ...
Scots were tricked into voting ‘No’ – Salmond
2014 09 23
London politicians gulled Scottish voters out of independence by making a false “vow” to grant Glasgow extra powers, First Minister Alex Salmond has said. He also raised the prospect of another referendum, saying the break-up is inevitable.
Alex Salmond, leader of the ’Yes’ campaign and the outgoing head of the Scottish National Party (SNP), told the BBC’s Sunday Politics program that ...
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
2014 09 23
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
Suspected Ebola patient Finda “Zanabo” prays over her sick family members before being admitted to the Doctors Without Borders Ebola treatment center on Aug. 21, 2014, near Monrovia, Liberia. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images
As the Ebola epidemic in West Africa has spiraled out of control, affecting thousands of Liberians, Sierra Leonians, and Guineans, ...
Man bitten by Ebola patient flown to Switzerland
2014 09 22
Swiss authorities say a male nurse who was bitten by an Ebola patient while working in West Africa has been flown to Switzerland as a precaution.
The health ministry says the unidentified man was working for an international organization in Sierra Leone when he was bitten by a child infected with Ebola on Saturday.
The ministry says the nurse was wearing protective ...
Climate March in New York City Reveals Communists Demanding ’Revolution, Nothing Less’ - Trash the City With Garbage
2014 09 22
Tens-of-thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of New York City Sunday to demand political leaders take action on climate change.
While the protest remained peaceful, much of the “People’s Climate March” appeared to be made up of fringe elements of the political left.
Dozens of signs denouncing capitalism were spotted at the demonstration, often held by self-proclaimed socialists.
“Capitalism is destroying the ...
|More News » |