An Oxymoron: Europe Without Christianity
But the failure to acknowledge Europe's specifically Christian heritage is something else. At one point in the process, the preamble referred to the "humanism" of Greek and Roman civilization, then skipped without pause to the 18th-century Enlightenment. Those specific references to Europe's past have been cut, but the preamble still ignores Christianity's contribution to the core European values that the union is pledged to uphold: "the central role of the human person, and his inviolable and inalienable rights, and of respect for law." What kind of history is this? Surely it was Christianity that made the human person, as a child of God, central to European values. And it was the canon law of the Catholic Church, the oldest legal system in the West, that nurtured respect for law long before the rise of Europe's nation-states.It is a shame that in our climate of secularism, nations should be so smug as not to acknowlege their roots.