Friday, October 21, 2005

Thank God for Secular Statism; After All, It Has Made the French Holier-Than-Thou

In honor of the centenary of the Fédération Protestante de France, the FPF's leader reassures Le Monde's Jean-Michel Dumay and Xavier Ternisien that his movement does not harbor evangelical groups like America's Moral majority, God forbid.

Not only that, but Jean-Arnold de Clermont points out that the members of his group joined the rest of France in speaking out against the American intervention in Iraq — whereas usually they keep quiet on matters like that. (What view the FPF had on Saddam's killing fields, or on France's de facto protection of the Iraqi leader, he did not say.)

I rarely fail to be impressed by Europeans' encyclopedic knowledge of religion in America (it usually boils down to, how stupidly superstitious they are). While Clermont denounces "excesses" of the American type, and while we get treated to more ridicule about religion, Sébastien Fath points out haughtily that France's evagelicals (Marianne calls their American counterparts "the Bush sect"), like all good Frenchmen, know how to distinguish politics from religion and are less "confused" then Americans are between faith and "a certain type of nationalism".

Thank God for the French, whose secular statism has made them Holier-than-thou and proficient in judging and having the final say on all matters.

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