[Marxism] opiate (????) of the masses (Les Schaffer)
aymery at ix.netcom.com
Mon Nov 15 16:53:31 MST 2004
[Les Schaffer wrote:]
incidentaly, i met a young couple (working as au pairs) from France
the other day. while talking politics they told me that in France, no
one is allowed to wear religious ornamanets visibly over clothing.
crosses and such have to be worn under a shirt. i gather also that
when a french leader addresses their nation on TV for example, the
God bless France line is absent. this is totally unlike the US. perhaps
in france religion is still an opiate. i have my doubts about my own
The interdiction to wear religious ornaments visibly is a relatively
recent phenomenon that was triggered by the backlash against the
growing Muslim population in France. Until the muslim "threat"
developed, many French were wearing their little totems around their
But yes, there is a long tradition of separation between church and
state in France. It took from 1789 to the Third Republic to weaken
the Church and keep them corralled within their domain. The Third
Republic saw the rise of free public education in all the country, which
was mainly rural. The school masters of that time were
overwhelmingly socialists. They slowly replaced the clergy in the hall
of powers, until the bourgeoisie (local commerce, businesses, etc.)
took control in the villages. There rised a new veneration: That of the
"instituteur" and "institutrice." Reading became more important than
believing... It's also under the 3rd Rep. that workers for the first rime
got paid holidays ("les conge's paye's") -- cf. Le'on Blum, etc...
Not even Le Pen would say "God bless France!" today, or, "I swear
to tell the truth, so help me god"... I suppose the frogs decided to
help America (against the Brits) to become independent, so that they
could export the Middle-Ages to the New World. They succeeded
This said, there's been a religious revival in France for the past 20
some years...but it's a Christian revival...and, again, the interdiction of
public display of religious ornaments is a direct response to concerns
raised by the rise of the Muslim community.
Religion? Not only the opiate of the masses, but the antinomy of
reason... That I recall, no one uttered a call to reason in the campaign
trail for the past two years -- I'll be glad to stand corrected. Welcome
to the American Middle Ages!
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