Teaching Frenchness

An interesting article on France's attempt to integrate immigrants by teaching them about 'Frenchness'. How nice. But note the skirting of Christianity:

Someone wondered why such a proudly secular country had so many Catholic holidays.

"That's just the way it is," the instructor said finally, shrugging in exasperation.

Another illuminating section, because it mentions that many other countries in Europe have similar concerns:

France is certainly not alone in adopting increasingly rigorous integration policies. Other European countries, like the Netherlands, Germany and Britain, have established similar measures, including tests for potential citizens on the host country's language, culture and principles.

But Sarkozy's emphasis on national identity and "Frenchness" is unsettling to some migrants and political critics, who feel he is fundamentally hostile to immigration. After all, his detractors say, this is the man who stepped up the deportation of illegal immigrants and courted far-right voters by evoking (with slightly more tactful language) a slogan used by Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigrant National Front party: "France, love it or leave it."

If this day of civic training - with its flashes of skepticism, and even direct criticism, on the part of the immigrants - was any evidence, many immigrants are not willing to buy the patriotic formula offered.

In the end I think that trying to explain the history or identity of Europeans (whether French or German or English) without a real investigation of Christianity cannot succeed. This is not to say that the governments should tell the people to become Christian, or be openly evangelistic, but really the prosperity and rule of law that exist in Europe could not have been obtained without the Christian faith.

There are many other places on earth with equal natural resources that lack these things. Rule of law is central to growth and development. As China and the Middle East continue to rise look for rule of law to decline. As Christianity declines in Europe, look for rule of law and social stability to decline.

This is an interesting reform for France, but from the article it does not look like it is very well received (except for by the American lady). Sorry to say it, but Europe without the Christian faith--whether Catholic or Protestant--is a hollow shell. And just like a movie without a plot will not succeed, neither will Europe without her heart find any buyers.


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