Berlin has held long held the reputation as a city of tolerance and enlightenment. When Hitler rose to power in the 1930s, Berlin counted among the German states least in favour of the despot’s accession. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the vote of the Catholic Party, the Nazis might have been consigned to the dustbin of history. For the Prussians were opposed to all forms of fanaticism. Unlike Ireland the separation of Church and State is a sine qua non for the Germans, and in particular the Berliners. However, it now looks as though the light of reason could be coming under threat from the murky forces of ignorance and superstition.
The Pro-Reli phenomenon is yet another indicator of the intransigence and growing power of religion in secular societies. This religious recrudescence would seem to contradict Europe’s claim that it has evolved to a fully secular civilisation. The problem becomes deeply complex when one considers the heterogeneity of this religious resurgence. While the Christian churches have happily been on the verge of distinction in France, Britain, Germany and Ireland-though to a lesser extent -other religious groups are on the march. Islam, for example, is alive and well and is rapidly spreading throughout Europe. Muslims are no threat to European civilisation, provided, or course, they do not insist on infringing our impeding our secular institutions. The problem with Islam for the most part is its refusal to accept a secular society. Turkey is perhaps one of the few exceptions in the Islamic world of a country with a modern, secular constitution. Yet Turkey’s secularists are also fighting a kulturkampf( a cultural struggle) with rising Islamism. Berlin’s religious front is quite heterogeneous with Christians, Jews and Muslims all insisting that their children’s rational capacities be neglected in favour of mythological indoctrination. By living their lives according to the dictates of the relatively ignorant authors of the scriptures, they will, miraculously no doubt, become better citizens. But lugubrious portents of Europe's intellectual decline abound. Germany is a case in point. CSU leader Edmund Stoiber has already called for tougher measures against blasphemy. see.http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,422107,00.html
In a tolerant society one should allow freedom of religion. It should be tolerated in the same way we tolerate pornography, gambling and excessive drinking; they are not so harmful provided they are kept under control. But one should not allow religion to become central to civil society. If the Pro-Reli group have their way, a new generation of regligiously indoctrinated Berliners incapable of thinking for themselves will be the result. This religious indoctrination could have disastrous consequences for cultural integration. It is not surprising the three dominant religions of Europe, Christianity, Judaism and Islam all blossomed in the deserts of the Middle East. It is because the desert is the easiest place to forget about the world! These elaborate narratives are the three great sources of ignorance, intolerance and tyranny in Europe’s history. In short, they are the three great frauds of humanity. The problem for atheists, agnostics and free-thinkers is that they are not organised in groups like the churches. Ergo they do not make enough noise. The religionists, on the other hand, are vociferous and highly organised. They push pamphlets and propaganda newspapers through our doors, and in countries such as Ireland where philosophy is a foreign word to most, they infiltrate the media through their lay spokespersons. I don’t need to mention who they are. You’ve all ready heard, seen and probably even read them.