¿El retorno de la religión?

BUDAPEST – Es un contraste trillado: Estados Unidos es religioso, Europa es secular. Sin embargo, en algunos aspectos, esta oposición estereotipada en realidad se ha revertido recientemente: la religión prácticamente no incidió en las últimas elecciones presidenciales norteamericanas, mientras que en diferentes países europeos estallaron controversias sobre la religión, lo que sugiere que las cuestiones vinculadas a  la fe han regresado al centro de la política europea.

Tomemos el caso del presidente francés, Nicolas Sarkozy. En varias ocasiones, sostuvo que su país necesita repensar su tradicional separación estricta del estado y la religión, llamada laicidad . En particular, según Sarkozy, confeso "católico cultural" y doblemente divorciado, Francia debería desarrollar un "secularismo positivo". A diferencia de la laicidad negativa , que según el presidente francés "excluye y denuncia", la laicidad positiva invita al "diálogo" y reconoce los beneficios sociales de la religión.

En un discurso muy criticado en Roma a fines de 2007, Sarkozy admitió las raíces cristianas de Francia, "la hija mayor de la Iglesia"; también elogió al Islam durante una visita a Arabia Saudita. Ahora quiere que el estado subsidie a organizaciones basadas en la fe -una propuesta política que fastidia a sus muchos críticos seculares.

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