In few weeks, in February, will happen the kick-off of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which will work for 2 years to determine new agreements, or amendments to the existing ones, on the future of European democracy during 2020–2022. The result of this conference is vital since it will bring more sovereignty to Europe and set its capability to remain the epicenter of world spreading of a peaceful and humanist governance which should flood the whole planet. Otherwise, it will remain an old continent doomed to age and to a slow sink, taking away with the Enlightenment ideas.

When European constitution have been discussed, the point of religion was set to front, saying that the Christendom of European should appear in the first articles of it. It is a bad, false and a counterproductive idea, because, actually, the European culture is roman, if something should be stated on this point, this is it, as this paper show it.

The real genius of ancient Greece has been to distinct religious and political affairs. As rulers were not gods, they had to rely on the reason, the knowledge and the science. This fostered the growth of great thinkers, philosophers and scientists. Greek world was a net of city-states forged around Mediterranean.

Rome grasped the best of Greece and built a city state which became the city capital of civilized world. The real strength of Rome has been its political institutions and a society based, more or less, on worth:the roman virtue. These qualities drove and spurred barbarian peoples to adopt the roman way of life while Rome used that mean to enlarge its realm and increase its population with relatively few fights.

Later, roman empire had to go back to a deified ruler when it has been so large that roman gods in western countries didn’t look like ones of eastern countries. The emperor god as Apollo son, was a kind of universal divinity.

The Catholicism arrived by the times where empire fragility came up. It brought the promise of an universal and simple religion with a powerful and merciful god able to act against whatever woes. Emperors like Diocletian tried to fight against it and persecuted Christians. In vain, Catholicism spread out in eastern and western Europe around the IIIrd century. At east, there was Arianism and at west, orthodox Catholicism. Constantine Ist understood that the best strategy wasn’t to fight it, but to use it as a better mean than roman religion to govern the civilized world.

First Council of Nicaea gathered by Constantine in 325, defined unity of beliefs for the whole of Christendom and, following, lead to excommunication of bishops who supported Arius thesis.

By 481, the Western Europe was still roman and christian. Most of north elite was catholic while south west elite ruled by Visigoths was Arian. Clovis take naturally the ruling power of the north roman region as son of the previous ruler.

During its reign, he beat the Visigoths and unified the christian Gaul. Was it a myth or realty ? Its christening has joined again royalty to religion symbolically and founded the French kingdom as the eldest daughter of Church. In some way, his christening has been compared to Jesus one since a white dove brought the holy oil to Bishop Remigius. The same oil was used later to crown french Kings.

Around the VIIIth century, it become obvious that Catholicism would not be the expected universal religion, other serious pretenders, like Islam, challenged this status. Charlemagne grandfather stopped Muslims invasion at Poitier in 732. Later, in 1054, the Great Schism break of communion between the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Churches. Then, during the XVIth century, came the Reformation which break again, in the blood, the Christendom.

Because Catholicism failed, some people brought to light Christianity as the solution. But it is not a religion, just mass of believers who fought and killed each others. That’s why it is not a stable foundation for a sustainable society. Actually, this idea is just a political way to keep Islam apart.

Today, since the Republic has become the standard ruling organisation of European states, there is no reason to push religion to the forefront. States and Gods should remain apart, like during the 400 hundred years of roman republic. This is the only way to guarantee to our young democratic states to last long and to avoid to fall in the arm of a new emperor or king.

Some European states are still ruled symbolically by a King or a Queen. They are bonded to religion since it gave royalty legitimacy. These states will stay with a strong nationalist feeling which will hamper their transformation to the coming multicultural states. Some other states like Germany didn’t set religion apart their ruling affairs in spite of a broad liberty of faith. They face the same situation. Some states like France regret so much royalty that they would like to come back to more religion in the state.

All these hamper Europe institutions and affairs building. It favors populism, brings mistrusting between countries, which paralyze the whole continent, in spite of a lot of innovative ideas and a humanist ethic which could be the seed of the future governance of the world.

That’s why Europe shall let religion apart of its governance institutions but guarantee to every one the liberty to practice its faith.

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