Re-Christianizing France?

Gaul is still divided into three parts, according to Stefan McDaniel in a 2016 essay in First Things. Three parties are vying to determine the future of France – deconstructionists, children of 1968; reconstructionists, in search for new values to guide the country, including consideration of Islam; and classicists, who insist that France is fundamentally defined by its cultural inheritance.

Among the classicists is a group of young, visible Catholics that “expresses a vocal, public orthodoxy. Around this religious core has grown a fuzzy but important political judgment: France is dead or dying, and only the Church can revive it.”

Fabrice Hadjadj, a Jewish-Arab convert, issued this plea in response to the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo: “A youth does not only seek reasons to live but also . . . reasons for which to give his life. Now, are there still in Europe reasons to give one’s life? Liberty of expression? Very well! But what do we have to express of such great importance? What Good News do we have to proclaim to the world? . . . One thing seems certain to me: The good in the Age of Enlightenment can no longer endure without the Light of the Ages. But do we recognize that this Light is that of the Word made flesh, of God made man, that is, of a divinity that does not crush the human, but assumes it in all its liberty and weakness?”

Even Éric Zemmour, an atheist of Jewish heritage, has begun to call for the re-Christianization of France. Can there a clearer sign that the Enlightenment has run around than a public debate about public Christianity in France?

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