“Pluralism” Being Used as Excuse to Push Radical Secularism in Europe

Thu Aug 5, 2010 - 12:15 pm EST

By Hilary White

ROME, August 5, 2010 ( - The infamous Crucifix Case at the European Court of Human Rights is said to be an example of the increasing use of the doctrine of “pluralism” to suppress public expressions of religious belief in Europe. 

Gregor Puppinck, the head of the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), a civil rights watchdog group, told the Italian Catholic magazine Il Consulente RE last week that case is only one example of the problem. 

Puppinck and the ECLJ have also been watching the attempts by the radically secularist Spanish government to attack the Christian underpinnings of that country using “pluralism,” noting the start of a new secularist civics curriculum in schools in which conscientious objection “is not allowed.”

He said this curriculum is in the same school of thought that motivated the recent incident in which the Spanish government fined a television network 100,000 Euros for daring to  criticise Gay Pride demonstrations.

“Yes, it’s the same mentality. It compels students and does not allow dissident opinions. Pluralism, promoted as a means of de-Christianization of Spanish culture, demands that you accept all behavior, but it excludes the possibility of moral judgments.”

The ECLJ works mostly at the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, and has been deeply involved in the Lautsi v. Italy case in which the ECHR ruled that crucifixes must be removed from Italian public schools, paradoxically, on the grounds of religious freedom.

Puppinck noted the irony of the court “ensuring religious freedom by preventing ... the exercise of religion!” He said that the ruling is indicative of one of the two greatest “challenges” currently facing western society: militant Islam and secularism.

He noted that 21 countries,  almost half of the 47 member states of the Council of Europe, have protested the decision or are supporting Italy in the appeal. The support of these countries, he said, shows that the effort by “certain judges to impose a western secular model on the whole of Europe was hit with unprecedented opposition."

"In fact twenty-one countries have publicly defended the legality of Christ’s presence in society: this is the most important aspect of the situation.”

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