One Nation, Under Nothing

Peggy Noonan makes an insightful observation on the debate in Europe over whether to mention God in the proposed constitution of the European Union:

It seems to me the question is not, ‘Will the architects of the new Europe bow to the reality of God and include him in the central founding document of their vast new union?’ The question is, ‘Will a group of atheist and agnostic European bureaucrats be forced to mention a deity in whom they do not believe in order to appease lesser and ignorant people who unfortunately have a lot of votes?’ Europe is a post-Christian society on a continent devoted to the material except when it is considering astrology, witchcraft and worshiping rocks.

A year ago Pope John Paul II weighed into the argument–actually by speaking of it publicly he started the argument–when he criticized the drafters of the proposed constitution for leaving out all reference to Europe’s Judeo-Christian heritage. He suggested the bureaucrats were unhistorical and frankly ungrateful. They are indeed, and rather soulless too, but that is precisely what the modern ruling classes that run Europe are. And that is who the bureaucrats represent.

Is it better if the drafters bow to pressure and, like hypocrites, add a few soulful sentences in which they do not believe so as to fool the dumb people who do? Maybe not. Maybe they should be what they are. It’s less confusing that way. And the nonelites of Europe will perhaps more readily see what they are, and understand what they’re getting into when they join the EU.

Before we in America point self-righteous fingers of condemnation at the predominantly atheist homeland of many of our ancestors, we need to consider that many of the elites in this country would dearly love to see us emulate the European example. Europe today could be the United States of 2020.

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