Die Rückkehr der Religion?

BUDAPEST – Es ist ein abgedroschener Vergleich: Die Vereinigten Staaten sind religiös, Europa ist weltlich. In mancherlei Hinsicht wurde diese klischeehafte Gegenüberstellung in letzter Zeit jedoch umgekehrt: Die Religion hat bei den letzten amerikanischen Präsidentschaftswahlen praktisch keine Rolle gespielt, während in verschiedenen europäischen Ländern große Kontroversen über Religion aufgelodert sind, die darauf hinweisen, dass Glaubensfragen wieder im Mittelpunkt der europäischen Politik stehen.

Man betrachte zum Beispiel den französischen Präsidenten Nicolas Sarkozy. Zu zahlreichen Anlässen hat er argumentiert, dass sein Land seine traditionelle, strikte Trennung von Staat und Religion, die als laïcité bezeichnet wird, überdenken muss. Insbesondere sollte Frankreich laut dem zweimal geschiedenen und selbsterklärten „kulturellen Katholiken“ einen „positiven Säkularismus“ entwickeln. Im Gegensatz zur negativen laïcité , die laut Sarkozy „ausschließt und verurteilt“, lädt die positive laïcité zum „Dialog“ ein und erkennt die gesellschaftlichen Vorteile der Religion an.

In einer viel kritisierten Rede in Rom Ende 2007 würdigte Sarkozy die christlichen Wurzeln Frankreichs, „der ältesten Tochter der Kirche“, ebenso lobte er den Islam während eines Besuchs in Saudi-Arabien. Jetzt will er staatliche Subventionen für Glaubensorganisationen – ein politischer Vorschlag, der viele seiner säkularen Kritiker aus der Fassung bringt.

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