The Catholic archbishop of Dublin has offered his two cents on the Lisbon treaty debate.
Diarmuid Martin said it was regrettable that while Christian humanist values lay at the heart of the treaty, it was regrettable that it contained no explicit recognition of Europe’s Christian heritage.
I have to disagree.
Europe’s Christan heritage contains such wonders as the Inquisition, the persecution of Galileo, pogroms and witch hunts.
And anyone living in Ireland doesn’t have to look very far to see the long-lasting effects of religious wars.
But Ireland, like the rest of Europe, is changing.
The 2002 census showed the fastest growing religious category in Ireland as ‘atheist‘.
The picture changed again in 2006, as the number of atheists jumped by an additional 40,000.
Okay, I admit that mention of religious wars and persecution is a cheap shot.
But that doesn’t change the fact that the history of religion is not always a happy tale.
Placing religion in a constitution or treaty is never a good idea.
With so many conflicting religious beliefs – and the potential for religious conflict between them – the best and only course of action for the State – or States – is to stay above the debate.