Message number one, explicit or implicit, when homo religiosus enters the public space, is that of human dignity and liberty, the most fundamental of which is religious liberty which includes freedom of religion but also, as a religious proposition too, freedom from religion – the right to say no to God.
Message number two is of the religious commitment to equality of human dignity – So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Gen. I:23)
Message number three is that the idiom of Caesar is the language of persuasion and reason and democratic politics in which the Christian is no less fluent than any one else.
Message number four is to explode again and again the canard that the doctrine of laicité according to which religion is a private matter which has no place in the public square is a guarantee of “neutrality.” It is no such thing. It is no more than a political doctrine which may appropriately be called the Religiously Cleansed Public Square.
Marxism yes, Socialism yes, Capitalism yes, Liberalism yes, Religion (which uniquely will not use even democracy to impose its core beliefs since such imposition negates its self-understanding of what God wishes), no?
Message number five is to insist that the Dutch or British models of public education which treat with the same dignity and equality (and resources) the religious and the secular are not only legitimate but the best expressions of Europe’s commitment to Liberté, égalité, fraternité.
But Micah expressed this better: And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God (Micah VI:8). Walk humbly.
Joseph Weiler is Unviersity Professor and European Union Jean Monnet Chair at New York University Law School. He serves as Director of The Straus Institute for the Advanced Sudy of Law & Justice and The Tikvah Center for Law & Jewish Civilization. He was previously Professor of Law at Michigan Law School and then Manley Hudson Professor of Law and Jean Monnet Chair at Harvard Law School. Dr. Weiler is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recipient of a doctorate Honoris causa from several universities. He is of Jewish faith. His publications include Un’Europa Cristiana (translated into nine languages), The Constitution of Europe – “Do the New Clothes Have an Emperor?” (translated into seven languages), Thoughts from a Bridge: A Retrospective of Writings on New Europe and American Federalism, and a novella, Der Fall Steinmann.
It was Dr Weiler who first coined the term “Christianophobia”, in 2004, and also first referred to the Christian “ghetto” in Europe