Friday, June 21, 2013

Displaying Religion and God

The norms between publicizing religion and god are quite different in the EU and the US.

Ad Europe, the nytimes just picked up a story about the commemorative Slovakian euro-coin. A first story on this I found is "Slovakia removes saints' halos on new euro coin" written in November 2012. They state

"Slovakia, responding to requests from some fellow eurozone countries, has removed the halos from a €2 coin commemorating the 1,150th anniversary of the arrival of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Moravia."

The NYtimes has a story about A More Secular Europe, Divided by the Cross.

They write:

"Throughout its modern history, however, the “European project,” as the Continent’s current faltering push for unity is known, has sought to keep religion and the unruly passions it can stir at arm’s length. The 1957 Treaty of Rome and other founding texts of what is today the European Union make no mention of God or Christianity."

Then they go on

"Leading the charge was France, which enforces a rigid division of church and state at home, and objected to Christian symbols appearing on Slovak money that would also be legal tender in France. Greece, where church and state are closely intertwined, also protested, apparently because it considers the Greek-born monks Cyril and Methodius as part of its own heritage."


Church attendance is falling across Europe as belief in God wanes and even cultural attachments wither. The Continent’s fastest-growing faith is now Islam. In Britain, according to a poll last year, more people believe in extraterrestrials than in God. In the European Union as a whole, according to a 2010 survey, around half the population believes in God, compared with over 90 percent in the United States.

In the end

"...the commemorative coins will finally be minted next month — two months later than originally planned — but with halos and crosses."

The US, of course, went the other way:

Wikipedia says:

"In God we trust" was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956 as an alternative or replacement to the unofficial motto of E pluribus unum, adopted when the Great Seal of the United States was created and adopted in 1782.

"In God we trust" first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864 and has appeared on paper currency since 1957. Some secularists object to its use.

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