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








Related Articles
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

If Someone Secretly Controlled What You Say, Would Anyone Notice?
2014 10 01
The subject enters a room in which a 12-year-old boy is seated. A 20-minute conversation ensues. The subject quizzes the boy about current events and other topics to get a sense of his intelligence and personality. But the boy is not what he appears to be. Unbeknownst to the subject, the boy is wearing a radio receiver in his ear, and ...
Obama has had accurate intelligence about ISIS since BEFORE the 2012 election, says administration insider
2014 10 01
‘President Barack Obama’s intelligence briefings have provided him with specific information since before he won re-election in 2012 about the growing threat of the terror group now known alternatively as ISIS and ISIL, an administration insider told MailOnline on Monday. ‘Unless someone very senior has been shredding the president’s daily briefings and telling him that the dog ate them, highly accurate ...
Can holding a magnet against your head help defeat depression?
2014 10 01
Former GP Sue Mildred suffered from crippling depression and anxiety for 20 years. On two occasions it was so severe that she ended up in hospital, and for 15 years she was unable to work. Sue, 51, has tried antidepressants, talking therapies and, out of desperation, even ECT (electro-convulsive therapy), where an electric current is passed through the brain. This did ...
Extremists to have Facebook and Twitter vetted by anti-terror police
2014 09 30
Theresa May to announce new Extremist Disruption Orders to strengthen counter-terrorism if the Tories win the next general election Extremists will have to get posts on Facebook and Twitter approved in advance by the police under sweeping rules planned by the Conservatives. They will also be barred from speaking at public events if they represent a threat to “the functioning of democracy”, ...
Scottish Independence: Protesters demand revote
2014 09 30
Pro-independence campaigners gathered outside the Scottish Parliament for the second day in a row, this time to demand a revote of the September 18 referendum. While yesterday’s “Rally For A Revote” saw the return of Saltires and Yes banners to Holyrood, it did not match the turnout for the “Voice Of The People” rally held on Saturday, when up 3000 people ...
More News »