Further evidence that Europe’s secularism is something other than what we think it is: Christoph Prantner, in Der Standard, argues that Catholicism is reasserting itself in national politics, largely in response to the growth of Islam. In many cases, though, these trends question the secularization of the state and its meaning. Sarkozy, of course, has actively insisted on identifying France more closely with the Catholic/Christian heritage. In recent weeks, he has interpreted the 1905 laws of laicité not as a strict separation of state and religion, but the confessional neutrality of the state. Indeed, I feel emboldened to repeat what I have already written: that secularization has historically been the wresting of the state from the Church, but that Christianity has been a continual, though sometimes subliminal, theme in political culture.

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