19 April 2017

Why Do I Even Bother?

Yesterday, I wrote a lengthy post explaining the profoundly dysfunctional Presidential campaign in France.

Today, I came across John Oliver's summary of the campaign on his show, and I am feeling profoundly inadequate.

It covers the issue and entertains at the same time, though I think that there could be a little less focus on the laughs and more on the humor.

The only thing that I object to is his characterization of Le Pen's position on the wearing of religious regalia in public.

It's not outrageous by the standards of France:  French republics have been thoroughly and militantly secular since Charles de Gaulle was a teen,* to the degree that religious wedding ceremonies are not recognized by the state, and couples have to be married in a civil ceremony to have their union recognized.

The policy is called Laïcité, and while Le Pen's absolutism regarding this policy is a minority position, it is well within the bounds of what is considered mainstream French political thought.

Still, I feel really inadequate right now.

*Specifically, since the passage of the 1905 French law on the Separation of the Churches and the State, though secularism was a significant portion of French political discourse since at least the French revolution.


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