When we look back at our history here in Europe, we often celebrate the romanticized version of that history and forget the import that that romanticism often cloaked. For instance when we have films, when we read the books of Alexandre Dumas, particularly The Three Musketeers, all we see are three (plus one) swashbuckling, sword-bearing gentleman usually of an exquisite handsomeness. And there’s an evil cardinal, Cardinal Richelieu, lurking in the background. But the idea that France was just like this for no apparent reason is something that we never really really investigate.
If we look at a lot of the things we’ve been speaking about today, be it genetic engineering or the things that occur in our daily lives, the challenge of reproductive rights, or global peace and security, a lot of the stagnation, a lot of the challenges, are actually rooted either in the perception of religion or in the political manipulation of religion.