Do we still profess our Christian values?

Published: 05 December 2010

Even though we live in a democracy, have a freedom of speech, and pluralist press with different points of view is encouraged, there are some words that you shouldn’t actually mention in your articles. One of such “forbidden” words is “Christian” (also in the forms as “Christianity”, “Catholic” or “Protestant”).

You cannot write those words, unless you are a reporter of some “crazy” Catholic newspapers or you are covering sexual harassments of homosexual priests. If you do mention them in some other relation, especially a positive one, you are either taken as a biased, old-fashioned lunatic or in a worse case as an intolerant fanatic (“tolerance” is in this case understood as tolerance of religious people towards non-religious ones, who don’t want to be bothered by Christian opinions. So as an ideal tolerant person you should be rather silent about your Christian perspectives).

Therefore we shouldn’t say aloud that Europe has Christian roots and Christianity shaped it throughout the times. Neither should we say it about humanitarian and development aid. But in fact it’s not in human nature to help someone who isn’t part of my family or community, whom I don’t even know and never met before. It was Jesus and Christianity that introduced the idea of loving and helping others, friends as well as enemies. The fact that those ideals weren’t always carried out properly is sorrowful and regretful, but unfortunately people all around the world tend to be tempted by many things, especially power and richness.

Helping others who live near as well as far away, might still seem natural to us, even though we don’t admit its deep connection to Christianity and God anymore. But how will it seem to future generations? I think that we still shouldn’t forget our values and the identity of those values, so that the rule “love your neighbor as yourself” doesn’t gradually disappear from Europe like its Christian identity seems to be.