Wednesday, February 18, 2004

French Lunicity Watch

February 10, 2004 the French Parliament voted 494 to 36 to bring in a law (effective September 2004) that will ban “ostensible” religious symbols in public schools. Gone will be (or so they think) all those nasty intolerant signs of beliefs such as Jewish yarmulkes, Christian medallions and crosses and, above all, offensive Muslim veils. Leaving in place all those signs of unbelief such as Nike t-shirts etc. (you’ve read the argument: see earlier blogs).

Today the French television carried yet another interesting bit of news; the resurgence of (wait for it) “Republican Baptisms.” Yes, its true, children being taken before the Mairies (mayors) and actually “baptized” (that is the term they use) into the State!

How wonderful. What was, following the Revolution, set up expressly as an attack on Catholicism, is now making a comeback as an affirmation of how much one loves ones’ State.

Now there is nothing wrong with love of ones’ country. A certain amount of devotion to where one lives is a good thing as long as it is part of a greater and more balanced devotion necessary to seeing the benefits and limits of ones’ own land.

But the French idea, that the State is something Divine such that one can be, as with Christianity, “baptized into” it is, frankly, bizarre! What’s next; marrying the State? “Do you, Pierre, take the Pyrenees Atlantique to be your bride from this day forth…?” Just imagine consummation! Who said “gay marriage” was troublesome!

Watch this spot as things unfold. Me I’m off for a hot date with a saucy little village down the road.

Iain T. Benson©