It’s official: God is off the EU agenda
The ditching of God is, of course, always a concern, but so is the implicit declaration here that there is a ‘revised EU constitution’. This comes as no surprise to Cranmer; it is typical of the EU modus operandi that the people would be consulted and their voice completely ignored. Instead of a focus on the EU’s ‘Christian roots’, the key priority now will be ‘dialogue between cultures’, ie, between Christianity and Islam.
Cranmer reported last year on Chancellor Merkel’s visit to the Pope, and her desire to revisit the God clause in a re-drafted constitution. She said: ‘We need a European identity in the form of a constitutional treaty and I think it should be connected to Christianity and God, as Christianity has forged Europe in a decisive way.’ Poettering was asked by journalists if he would press for a reference to God or Christianity to be introduced in a new version of the EU constitution, and he responded: ‘As a president, I can't do it… As chairman of the EPP-ED group in the European Parliament, I favoured the mentioning of Christian values in a constitution but now I have to represent a majority position.’
Is this really now the function of a politician, to ‘represent a majority position’ on every facet of existence? Is there no leadership, no swimming against the tide, no confrontation with the spirit of the age? The ‘majority position’ within the EU is to sustain the erosion of a sense of nationhood, and an assessment of the history of Christianity illustrates why the EU should seek to marginalise the faith. Christianity amounts to a system of beliefs and values at the centre of which is a belief in God. Outwardly, this is demonstrated in worship and denominational adherence, but there remains a uniformity of syncretism which has permitted these denominations to develop particular characteristics in accordance with prevailing custom and national culture. A central feature of Christianity has been its association, to a lesser or greater degree, with national culture, and to a lesser or greater degree, with the national spirit.
In the United Kingdom, the Church developed in tandem with national institutions, becoming part of the body politic, playing an active role in government - a position which is enshrined in various constitutional acts, sustained to this day. To weaken or eradicate the role of the national church is to undermine the system of government and lessen the identity of the nation state. Since the signing of the Treaty of Rome, the concept of human rights has become central to Community law, covering virtually every area allegedly vulnerable to so-called discrimination. Such a humanist (in the modern sense) agenda is fundamentally antithetical to any notion of Christian values, and (since Community law is supreme) it must necessarily override national traditions and moral values. The unequivocal support which both the Roman Catholic and the Church of England have given the EU now appears somewhat misguided.
By EU rules, Christian teaching in so many areas is discriminatory; indeed, the very foundation of the UK’s Protestant settlement is fundamentally so. There may be a temporary derogation, but ultimately there may not be coexistence with the EU’s Marxist programme of soviet uniformity.
So ‘God’ is out. But Cranmer wonders if The Almighty was ever consulted on whether or not he wanted any mention in the ‘Constitution for Europe’ in the first place. What, after all, hath Jerusalem to do with Brussels?