Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 16, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

GOD AND MAN IN EUROPE....I never cease to be amazed at the peculiar things that arouse the ire of writers over at NRO. Today, John Cullinan is upset that the new EU constitution doesn't mention God:

The proposed constitution greatly strengthens the EU's central bureaucratic mechanisms at the expense of state sovereignty and democratic accountability; but its most controversial feature is what's not included: any mention of Europe's Judeo-Christian heritage.

This omission was by no means an oversight. It was rather a deliberate policy decision by a militantly secularist elite determined to bring about a naked public square barring all opinions based on religious values.

My goodness, a "militantly secularist elite"? And they say Paul Krugman is shrill?

But here's what's weird. Cullinan goes on and on endlessly about the "hand-picked cabal" responsible for this outrage, his splenetic ranting apparently based solely on the absence of any mention of Christianity in the preamble to the constitution. But when I clicked the link and read the preamble for myself, I found that it says this:

Drawing inspiration from the cultural, religious, and humanist inheritance of Europe....

Compare that to this famous preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

So the EU preamble has more to say about religion than our own does.

Actually, the only problem with the EU preamble is that it's long and pompous. But surely, in a region that values religious tolerance just like the United States its constitution shouldn't favor one particular religion any more than it should favor one particular country or one particular brand of beer. If NRO doesn't like the EU constitution, they really need to find something more substantive to complain about than the junior high school level rantings on display here. It's embarrassing.

Kevin Drum 12:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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