I live in Romania, Europe and I continue to be amazed by the irrationality that seems to govern this country. The Romanian Constitution stipulates that Romania is a secular state, but it certainly doesn't act as it should.

Let's start with the religion that is being taught in schools. No, not private, faith schools, but public schools. Romania, a secular state, preaches students religion, not for one or two years, but for... twelve. I said "preaches" and not "teaches", because it's not a history of religions, it's not even about religion as a whole... it is about preaching Orthodox Christianity. Although over 90% of Romanians have declared they are Orthodox Christians, Romania is still a secular state... with no religion at all. The sad part is that most Romanians don't oppose to this incredible paradox: a secular state that preaches religion... a certain religion... in public schools, discriminating the other religions. It's like white people being treated with greater consideration by the law, because they have the majority in a certain state.

Furthermore, the same, I repeat, secular state is funding (from the tax payers' money, of course) the Romanian Orthodox Church institution, besides defying logic, also discriminating other faiths. Now, the taxes we pay will be used for the construction of the People's Salvation Cathedral - a staggering €400 million project. I don't know what to think anymore. The economic crisis has affected Romania a lot, but I guess we need this cathedral more than we need food, health or education. And still... it's a secular state.

This cathedral talk reminded me of something else. The Romanian Government is creating a portal called eRomania. Can anyone here tell me what the hell are they going to spend 500 million tax payers' euros on? Am I crazy or is that an amount that should take anyone's breath away? I am still shocked: almost a billion euros (well over 1 billion US dollars) spent on a church and a site... wow.

What do you think of these remarkable actions the Romanian Government is taking to ensure the spiritual enlightenment of its people? Is there a similar situation in your country?

P.S. The evolution through natural selection is not included in the school program. So: 12 years of creation, none of evolution. Cool, huh?

Views: 211

Tags: Romania, church, religion, school, secular, state

Comment by a7 on March 17, 2010 at 10:17am
thats bad news man, try and keep your spirits high.

take care
Comment by Robert Ferentz on March 18, 2010 at 9:30am
I was born in Romania, although some might not call Tirgu Muresh "Romania" so much as "Transylvania" especially if you're into Vampires.

It's sad to hear about the situation there. I don't get too much info about Romania here (Israel) because most of my family moved here, but I can sympathize both as an x-Romanian and a current Israeli, because Israel isn't better off.
Comment by Velogiraptor on March 18, 2010 at 9:58pm
The US isn't too far behind, although we don't have it as bad yet. Is there any legal action you can take to fight this clear establishment of a state religion? The majority is usually content to have their viewpoints enforced by the state. They will also cry foul when the prospect of equal treatment seems likely. They will twist reality and say that somehow you are stepping on their rights.

In the US, one of the best defenders of religious freedom here is the American Civil Liberties Union. Maybe there's an organization like that in Romania? I'm sorry I must confess my ignorance if there is one.
Comment by Shine on April 7, 2010 at 9:42am
The economic crisis has affected Romania a lot, but I guess we need this cathedral more than we need food, health or education. And still... it's a secular state.

Wow...that is seriously insane. I feel bad for bitching about supposed Texan theocracy now. I mean, the argument is made in America that secular taxpayers indirectly subsidize tax-exempt religious organizations, but for the state to actually directly fund the construction of religious building is insane.

I remember watching one of ZOMGitsCriss's videos talking about how a priest visited her workplace in Romania. She said everyone was bowing to the priest or kissing his hand or something as a token of respect. Being an atheist, she declined fawning over the clergyman and instead extended her hand as though to engage him in a handshake. Apparently, the priest did not know how to react and actually bent over and kissed her extended hand. So all of the religious people bowed to the priest, who then bowed and kissed the hand of the atheist. Classic.

Anyways, I just was reminded of how that anecdote made me think that we really have more freedom from religious influence in the States than we appreciate. I don't know if that is a common occurrence in Romania, or what sort of job she worked at, but I have never really heard of a preacher visiting a place of employment here and expecting to be honored. Although, I'm sure that it probably happens in Texas sometimes, lol...
Comment by Radu Andreiu on April 7, 2010 at 1:12pm
That has to be fought, it will put Romania into the dark ages if they ignore science. Do Romanians discuss evolution compared to creationism?

Mostly on the Internet. Most people, though, are not interested in the subject and I think would actually be for the whole "teach the controversy" non-sense. Anyway, religion isn't a very interesting subject either (except for the old and mostly rural folks) and people have this sense that it's something you make fun of, but not too much. I mean, most young people rarely go to church or do any rituals, except maybe in their own intimacy where some pray. It's okay to make fun of priests, fundamentalists or the pious, but not about God or Jesus (amongst ordinary people).

Anyway, it's not really like the Bible belt, but atheists are indeed hard to find here. I only know personally one real atheist and some who don't believe in any specific god, but in a "higher power" and who don't actually manifest their beliefs in any way.

On another note, I'd say that Romanians are mostly superstitious and believe in supernatural in different forms, so it's not a surprising thing to meet people who believe in all sorts of things, like reincarnation, karma, mediums, spirits and so on, and actually believe in God too.

To sum up, religion is not spoken about very often here so most people are moderate believers and very few are fundamentalists (at least in cities).


You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist


Services we love!

© 2015   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service