Archive for secularism

more threats on reproductive rights

Posted in Books, Kids, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2022 by xi'an

Despite the slightly positive attitude of the US electorate during the midterms towards abortion and reproductive rights, especially concerning ballots specifically targeting those rights, these elections did not see a shift in the States already suppressing these rights since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Incl. ten States where abortion is completely prohibited. And, unsatisfied with the outcome, US Catholic bishops have reinforced their anti-abortion activism with the election of Archbishop Broglio, under the newspeak slogan of fighting “an uncompromising secularism” [sic] even though the Supreme Court is so much bent in implementing a Catholic agenda. Most revealingly, they “worried that many Catholics actually support abortion rights under certain circumstances“. (Next they will think for themselves!)

Meanwhile, the far-right  National Front proposed to enshrine the right to abortion into the French constitution, incl. the current limitation to 14 weeks into pregnancy. This sounds most paradoxical from a party that has long been opposed to abortion rights. A first reason is to block in the near future any extension of the limitation. A second one is to protect and enlarge the conscience clause that protects practicians who refuse to perform abortions, clause that can be used to prohibit in practice abortions in an entire city or district if all local doctors claim this exemption (as exemplified by Italy)… The attempt was however short-cut at the eleventh hour by the [almost] entire Parliament moving towards this inclusion of the right to abortion without the snares planned by the far-right party. (But it is no over yet!)

Samuel Paty [in memoriam]

Posted in Books, Kids with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2022 by xi'an

L’Église s’y X…

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2021 by xi'an

Écoles laïques [150 years ago]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , on April 28, 2021 by xi'an

“So President Emmanuel Macron of France called me on Thursday afternoon” [really?!]

Posted in Books with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2020 by xi'an

When I read this first sentence in The New York Times article by Ben Smith, I was a wee bit suprised as it sounded more Trumpian than Macronesque. Esp. when the article continued with the French president “having some bones to pick with the Anglo-American media”… As it transpired, it is factually correct, if giving an impression of the exact opposite of the right causality arrow. The Élysée palace indeed called back the NYT journalist after the latter asked for an interview a few days earlier and that Macron agreed to it. Beyond this misleading launch, the article is much more of an opinion piece (about Ben Smith’s opinions on French politics and secular principles) than an interview. Just like most principles, the rather specific core concept of “laïcité” (secularism) can be both debated ad nauseam and turned into political weapons for all positions on the political spectrum, from extreme-left to extreme-right. It is also almost invariably presented from abroad as an attack on the freedom of religion (and lack thereof), mostly against Muslims, and almost automatically mixed with institutional racism. The article actually goes all over the place, from attributing the uncovering of a pedophile writer to The Times journalists, to seeing Macron’s position as a theatrical posturing helping his own agenda for the next presidential elections. And while I readily concede the many woes of the French society, government, institutions, like police and justice, politics, &tc., I cannot but support an idea of a model that remains universalist and therefore secularist.

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