Europeans Disagree About Mentioning Religious Heritage in Constitution

November 12, 2003

Source: The New York Times

On November 12, 2003 The New York Times reported that "added to all the other divisions bedeviling what is called the European project are disputes over whether God and Christianity ought to be inserted into the draft of the European constitution, from which both are now excluded...Ultimately, the question is how best to give expression to European diversity even while giving a common identity to 25 countries with different traditions and histories. Clearly, the concept 'humanism' was central to that identity in the minds of the constitution's drafters, though in the end, to accommodate demands for an acknowledgment of the religious heritage, they did put in that single phrase about 'the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe'...there seems plenty of support in Europe for a specific mention of Christianity, or the Judeo-Christian tradition, or even the Judeo-Christian-Islamic heritages of Europe. Certainly at least some on the pro-religion side of the issue have voiced support for including all three of the major religions as a gesture of inclusiveness."