Switzerland and the Minarets

Just in case it’s of interest to any readers of this blog (I saw that Razib had already mentioned the wider topic), here is my take (via NRO) on the Swiss and their minarets. Razib himself says that he is inclined to agree with Rod Dreher on this topic, but not, I hope, in this respect

If the Swiss are afraid of losing their Christian cultural heritage, why do only 16 percent of them go to church?

That’s the sort of observation that one might expect from a devout religious believer such as Rod, so fair enough. Unsurprisingly however, it fails to reflect the complexities of the way that religion and nationality often intersect. Faith is one thing, flag another. There is nothing particularly strange about a people believing that an often extremely loosely-defined Christianity forms (and should continue to form) a part of their nation’s heritage, not to speak of its cultural, ethical and intellectual landscape, without themselves wanting to go to church, or indeed having any belief in the supernatural whatsoever. As to how they defend that Christian heritage, well, baptisms, carols, Christmas trees, Easter eggs, family traditions, the proper teaching of history in schools and, yes, occasionally packing the kiddies off to a church service or two might make a pretty good start. It can be a useful thing, going through the motions.

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