France Monitors Religious Pathology

The new, more liberal France intends to monitor religious pathology. France gave us the Statue of Liberty and informed their revolution from ours. Now, they show how we might need to belly up to the bar and demand our founded secularism as a requirement for freedom and liberty. France has paid for its moderation in allowing the isolation of religious groups and their foment to terrorism.

France will deport foreign-born imams and disband radical faith-based groups, including hardline traditionalist Catholics, if a new surveillance policy signals they suffer a “religious pathology” and could become violent.

I’m liking this term religious pathology. When religion goes bad, rogue, murderous, terroristic. It does assume there is a normal, healthy religion but aside from that what concerns me the most is when religion wantonly harms others or their own. Personal liberty versus liability of influence.

“A French Islamist shooting spree last March that killed three soldiers and four Jews showed how quickly religiously radicalized people could turn to force, Interior Minister Manuel Valls told a conference on the official policy of secularism.

Whether young people turn to God, Allah, or Jesus as the source of their aggression is relevant. Religious people are not free from the ability to be radicalized. It is more easy to radicalize someone with religion than any other metaphysical ideology. Point me out some radicalized Jainists!

“His warning came two days after President Francois Hollande announced the creation of an agency to track how the separation of church and state is upheld in this traditionally Catholic country with Europe’s largest Muslim and Jewish minorities.

Imagine if in the US we actually tracked adhereence to separation of church and state. Maybe Annie and Dan of FFRF could go on vacation, along with other members of citizen-based watchdog groups.

“Valls and two other cabinet ministers told the conference on Tuesday evening the Socialist-led government would stress the secularist policy called “laicite” that they said was weakened under the previous conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Thank goodness Sarkozy is gone! It’s been such dark times. France and Europe might have far fewer immigrant problems if they insisted that a country has a culture, an ideology and belonging to it involvers rights and responsibilities. One doesn’t just move to a country as if it were a blank piece of wilderness, devoid of constitutional culture.

“The aim is not to combat opinions by force, but to detect and understand when an opinion turns into a potentially violent and criminal excess,” he said.

Yes, we shouldn’t deny people to have beliefs and opinions but when they decide to shoot, bomb, poison, harass, or bash others…

“The objective is to identify when it’s suitable to intervene to treat what has become a religious pathology,” said Valls, whose ministry oversees relations with religions.

People will glom on this as how do you know when a religion person goes pathological? Religion, itself, is a kind of pathology now, in the 21st century, a remnant of antiquated myths held onto like Grandma’s ashes on the mantle. Violence and plans of violence are not allowed in any ideology; religion is no exception.

“France’s official secularism sidelines faith in the public sphere, but a trend towards a more visible religious identity among some Muslims, Jews and Catholics has made defending it a cause for the traditionally secularist left-wing parties.

Here in the states as well. I could have been a fat, happy essay writer but for the fact of religious oppression rearing its ugly head! I would much rather write about other topics but could not during the Fourth Great Awakening.


“Valls stressed the focus would be not only on radical Salafi Muslims recruiting among disaffected youths, but also on groups such as Civitas, a far-right lay Catholic movement that protests aggressively against what it calls insults to Christianity.

Insults, insults. That’s a good reason for violence. If you can’t criticize you need not fear change so eliminate the legality of criticism. I prefer Dawkins, mock them, mock them now. And yes, if a secularist group were to rise in oppression I would criticize them as well—oh wait, I do, pseudoscience is nontheological and I criticize it. Living well is about knowing the truth, knowing yourself, and acting on it.

“Police were already observing Civitas closely because its protest campaigns skirt “the limits of legality,” he said. “All excesses are being minutely registered in case we have to consider dissolving it and defending this before a judge.”

“The French Catholic Church has kept its distance from Civitas, which is close to the far-right National Front and the rebel traditionalist Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), and encouraged its members to join only Church-backed protests against the planned legalization of same-sex marriage.

“At a Civitas march against gay marriage in Paris last month, some demonstrators attacked a French feminist journalist and several Ukrainian feminists who came dressed as nuns or bared their breasts to mock the ultra-traditionalists.

If one side can march and be offensive so can the other side. Consider wisely before throwing bricks.

“Valls said the government had a duty to combat religious extremism because it was “an offence to the republic” based on a negation of reason that puts dogma ahead of the law.

Yes, I want a law in the US that puts reason ahead of dogma in government. Read the entrails of a chicken at home but when you choose to govern engage in reason.

“Giving examples of religious extremists, he mentioned creationists in the United States and the Muslim world, radical Islamists, ultra-traditionalist Catholics and ultra-Orthodox Jews who want to live separately from the modern world.

Separatism is now a problem. When population was low, when geographical mobility was low, and when there was difficulty crossing urban-rural boundaries, there was more freedom but less human support. When a religious group seeks a separate existence, it must consider the world has become much smaller. If you put shit in a stream now it doesn’t filter out before hitting someone else’s property.

If you want separatism, fight for smaller populations, more autonomous and local material resources, and don’t expect the larger world to save your ass when you need help.


Salafi Muslims, whose stern version of Islam also sets followers apart from Western society, sometimes act in a sectarian way to control youths seeking an identity, he said.

Yes, if you are separatist you can’t inculcate the youth to be unable to live in the larger world, or worse, wish to destroy it. There must be some respect towards other parents whose children may be seeking an identity and easily radicalized. We make schools and have culture for everyone.

“France actively pursues and sometimes bans sects and cults considered a threat to public order but radical Islamist groups have mostly been treated as security problems. Classifying them as sectarian could lead to preemptive legal action against them.

I do not wish to wait until a known radical group actually kills people to begin legal action. By then it’s too late and we have not just a security issue but a penal system issue. I don’t mean squashing free speech, I mean amassing weapons, and posturing terrorism.

“Announcing his initiative on secularism on Sunday, Hollande said the new observatory – a public agency to monitor policy issues and propose solutions – would also study ways to introduce classes on secular morality in state schools.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just get religious people to understand morality is not the domain of religion. Over and over I hear how without religion there are no morals. It’s not even religious extremism, but garden variety, moderate religion that thinks this.

We teach morals every day without religion. Why pretend otherwise?

“Education Minister Vincent Peillon told the conference the classes would stress the French values of equality and fraternity that teachers say pupils – especially in poorer areas with immigrant populations – increasingly do not respect.

Equality and fraternity!

“We have to teach this and it’s not being done,” he said. “If we don’t teach it, they won’t learn it.”

And if they do have it naturally it is obliviated by the hate of extremists. Hell, even soft religion hardens hearts to others.

“Valls urged the more militant secularists at the conference not to see religions as sects to be opposed and to understand that established religions could help fight against extremists.

“We have to say that religions are not sects, otherwise sects are religions,” he said.

Clearly, but religions have some of the same lessons to learn as extremists, or sectarians. Moderates just haven’t taken the ostracizing, evangelizing, and implementation aspects of their religion to their logical conclusion, yet.

Jim Newman, bright and well

About Jim Newman

Jim Newman is a philosopher. When I was young I wondered what was the ultimate truth. How should I behave? What makes it all work? I was intensely curious to know what it all means. It was enlightening to realize there is no ultimate truth, but nevertheless sufficient and necessary turth, and that meaning was a meta analysis of living one’s life. In this sense my work has been living large. Living and experiencing life has made me learn many things. Building boats, motors, houses, electronics. Raising animals. Teaching. Writing. Photography. Drawing. Knitting. Sewing. Cooking. Music. Painting. Hiking. Aboriginal living skills. All material aspects of reality that seem irrelevant until you realize they allow you to experience more. My epiphany came when I read Christopher Hitchen’s “Letters to a Young Contrarian” and I felt vindicated in my many meals of sacred cow.
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