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When discussing religion in Europe one needs to distinguish between 1) secularism; 2) separation of church and state; and 3) religious freedom.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 12:13:11 PM EST
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By secularism, I mean that official governing bodies do not endorse or bow to any particular religion.  What the citizens they govern decide to do on their own time is another issue.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire
by p------- on Tue Sep 26th, 2006 at 12:19:55 PM EST
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While personally I would favour an absolutist separation of church and state like in France, I can see some logic in other options. The German argument goes that if religious education and finances go through the state, that also means some control by the state, which results in keeping those religions moderate and open. The few fundies in Germany (including US-inspired creationist evangelicals) do indeed want to close off and build their own separate infrastructure.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 04:31:12 AM EST
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Which is precisely the Turkish argument. Historically the mosques have long been controlled by the state there and in many other countries.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Sep 27th, 2006 at 04:53:37 AM EST
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