Friday, January 18, 2008

Sarkozy: Faith equals Hope

It appears that not only is President Sarkozy prepared to challenge France’s cultural norms by publicly parading his model girlfriend Carla Bruni, but he is increasingly offending Enlightenment secularists by his frequent references to God, and confronting the very foundations of the Fifth Republic as he stands accused of violating France's separation of church and state.

Since 1905, religion has been relegated strictly to the private realm in France in order to prevent the Roman Catholic Church from wielding its power in the public realm. But President Sarkozy, who describes himself as a ‘cultural Catholic’, is mindful of the desires of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI to resurrect an EU-Christendom with its inherent Catholic values, and hyper-aware of his 5-million-strong Muslim population (the largest in Europe) which is encroaching in few places more than in those car-burning suburbs of France. Le Président is making foreign policy speeches which stress France's own Christian roots and invokes whichever deity he deems necessary in order for France to strut about on the world stage a little more napoleonically than it presently does. He wants to be rid of the pervasive negative church-state separation, and wants to inculcate a positive one which ‘values the hope that faith brings and allows state subsidies for faith-based groups’.

And so when he hails Islam as ‘one of the greatest and most beautiful civilisations the world has known’, nauseatingly describing Saudi leaders as rulers who ‘appeal to the basic values of Islam to combat the fundamentalism that negates them’, he gives succour and hope to France’s Muslims that, while their government is sufficiently secular to ban the hijab, it may become sufficiently Islamic to finance finance mosque building and expand state training for imams.

According to a speech M Sarkozy made in Rome's Basilica of Saint John Lateran, he sees himself as ‘someone who believes is someone who hopes’, and asserted: ‘It is in the republic's interest to have many men and women who hope.’

Hope in what, Monsieur Le Président? Allah or Jehovah? Mohammed or Jesus? There is only one divinity in whom one may find true peace and an enduring hope.

And is it not strange, Cranmer reflects, that at a time when the UK is becoming increasingly secular in expression, with intolerable pressures to disestablish the Church of England and banish Christianity to the private realm, that France is moving in the opposite direction. Alors, l’herbe est toujours plus verte…

14 Comments:

Blogger Miss Jelly bean said...

"And so when he hails Islam as ‘one of the greatest and most beautiful civilisations the world has known’, nauseatingly describing Saudi leaders as rulers who ‘appeal to the basic values of Islam to combat the fundamentalism."

Whilst I do not agree with the latter part of his statement, it seems unfair Cranmer, to undermine the significant impact the 'Islamic Rennaisance' had upon the western world. Sarkosy's reference of the 'great civilisation' may well be indicative towards the medieval Islamic era, as opposed to contemporary Islam.

18 January 2008 at 11:33  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

It is typical of you to selectively dissect and incorrectly infer. By conveniently omitting the succeeding clauses, you read only what you wish to read.

The clause which qualifies the one you quote is 'he gives succour and hope to France’s Muslims'. So there, they can glory in the 'Islamic Renaissance' to their heart's content.

18 January 2008 at 11:48  
Blogger Miss Jelly bean said...

my intention was not to omit the succeeding clause, cranmer. I read the complete passage before I commented... no really, i did.

I sensed irony in your comment. it is obvious that you do not beleive that Saudi leaders are ideal for combating islamic 'fundamentalism'. I therefore also assumed that you were being sarcastic when you quoted sarkosy claiming that islam is a 'great civilisaion'. Your sarcasm seemed to indicate that the terms 'islam' and civilisation' are oxymoronic, which to me, undermines the significance of the islamic renaissance.

18 January 2008 at 12:23  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

You are paranoid and/or insecure.

18 January 2008 at 13:03  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

We see how civilised the muslims are every day,in every rape ,in every murder,in every fraud.would people committed to living in peace, with us ,off us, behave in this way if they were genuine?Still the french worm has recieved his orders earlier this week from the jordanian intellect supreme,upon what we are allowed to do and what is forbidden to us under threat of violence,legitimized his bastard by the skin of his teeth,strange that leaders all find god after they have sold thier people out.

18 January 2008 at 13:06  
Blogger Miss Jelly bean said...

thankyou for letting me know.

18 January 2008 at 13:10  
Blogger Cranmer said...

His Grace's pleasure.

18 January 2008 at 13:40  
Blogger Miss Jelly bean said...

:)

18 January 2008 at 13:42  
Blogger Jomo said...

One should never under-estimates France’s capacity to elect a rascal as Head of State.

Soon after his election he resurrected the EU constitution and dressed it up as a treaty. He totally ignored the result of the French referendum, foisted the treaty on Europe and returned to the favourite pastime of French Presidents.

He promised to introduce labour reform. Yesterday the fishermen again blockaded the Port of Calais. He may think he is Napoleon but Waterloo looks like his next stop. His conquests are limited to other men’s wives. Perhaps his recent admiration for Islam is more to do with his liking for quick divorce than any genuine spiritual understanding.

His recent electioneering on behalf of Blair suggests France has ended up with an even bigger fraud than we did.

You don’t need to think about Europe to want out, just look at them

18 January 2008 at 16:54  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Your Grace, I am not sure France is going in such a direction. Sarkozy may be, and the French and their media might be enjoying his romantic adventures, but I doubt the state and religion will ever intertwine - not in my lifetime anyway.

The question of course is whether that is such a bad thing. The post assumes it is. I want to know why.

18 January 2008 at 18:30  
Anonymous mary tudor said...

Who is this miss jelly bean? My Majesty may have a vacancy for a lady in waiting soon and if she were to consider to apply my regal favour is not out of the question...

18 January 2008 at 20:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In his speech, Sarkozy spoke glowingly of the 14 centuries in which Izlam has enlightened the world, even though the rest of the world tends to see that period in terms of Izlamic conquest and subjugation of peoples. He seems to have a very convenient perspective, depending entirely on his audience. -- Dr.D

18 January 2008 at 21:43  
Blogger Guido Fawkes Esq. said...

Hail the Holy Roman Empire Reborn...

19 January 2008 at 02:16  
Anonymous דניאל said...

...and may it be trodden down and its pagan priests never rise again.

20 January 2008 at 16:58  

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