May 30, 2003

ROUSSEAU, NOT LOCKE; VOLTAIRE, NOT LUTHER; EURIPIDES, NOT JESUS

Draft Preamble of Euro-Constitution Omits Mention of Christianity (Zenit, 5/29/2003)
The draft Preamble of the future European Constitution fails to mention the Christian roots of the Old World.

The draft, published Wednesday, refers to "the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe which ... [was] nourished first by the civilizations of Greece and Rome" and "later by philosophical currents of the Enlightenment."

According to the document, this foundation "has embedded within the life of society its perception of the central role of the human person and his inviolable and inalienable rights, and of respect for law" ...

Giorgio Rumi, professor of contemporary history at the University of Milan, told the Italian newspaper Avvenire: "I feel profoundly offended as a European citizen and as a historian."

"I think that between Athens, Rome and the Enlightenment -- the three mentioned -- there is something decisive in-between," he said. "I am not speaking of confessional pretensions, but of that name in which whole generations have lived and hoped. Is it possible that the mention of Christ causes so much fear still today?"

Professor Rumi offers an insightful suggestion: Europe's secularists fear Christ. The ancient Greeks are safely dead, but Christ lives, and may yet frustrate their project.

But there is happy news in the Constitution's list of philosophical fathers. They left out Marx.

Posted by Paul Jaminet at May 30, 2003 10:31 AM
Comments for this post are closed.