In the previous writings, I have demonstrated that the Alliance of Civilizations initiative is the global implementation of Javier Solana’s Barcelona Process. Its framework can be found written in the Dialogue between Peoples and Cultures in the Euro-Mediterranean Area. It has been given a face--an implementer--now known as the Anna Lindh Euromed Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures. Its aim is to create a “common civilization”. Henceforth, as I refer to the Alliance of Civilizations, I will be referring to both the United Nations and the European Union's efforts as one entity. I will make distinction where necessary.
Years ago, when I first read the Barcelona Process documents, I concluded that ultimately the war against religion would be fought under the guise of women’s and children’s rights. I believe that much more strongly today. Nearly every AoC document that I’ve read has identified youth as its primary target.
In the Implementation of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Religious Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief the UN has identified religious extremism as “each religion tends to believe that it is sole guardian of the truth and that it has a duty to make everyone bear witness to that truth. That does not always contribute to tolerance among religions. Moreover, each religion may be tempted to fight what it may consider to be deviance within its own ranks or around it. That does not always contribute to tolerance among religions…” It appears to escape the UN's attention that individuals in free societies generally desire and respect religious freedom.
As one considers the above statement, elements of the initial founding declaration become even more troubling. A truth claim, such as what Christians believe in John 14:6, is considered to be intolerant which, according to the UN, is a violation of children’s rights and will not be tolerated. The declaration sees the child’s rights as such:
- “Practices of a religion or beliefs in which a child is brought up must not be injurious to his physical or mental health or to his full development…”
- “The child shall be protected from any form of discrimination on the ground of religion or belief. He shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and universal brotherhood, respect for freedom of religion or belief of others…”
- “…it is essential to promote understanding, tolerance and respect in matters relating to freedom of religion and belief and to ensure that the use of religion or belief for ends inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations, other relevant instruments of the United Nations and the purposes and principles of the present Declaration is inadmissible
- “Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.”
To ensure that children are being raised with the proper religious upbringing, the UN proposes that a set of minimum common values for religious education be established and taught in primary and secondary schools.
The Alliance of Civilizations appears to be implementing these rules as the Final Report of the High Level Group states that “the goal would be to provide base-materials that could be used by schools and religious training centers to teach about major faith traditions. Guidelines and mechanisms should be established to ensure that religious schools are registered with authorities and that their curricula do not foster hatred of other communities.” To protect women’s rights, the HLG proposed “such measures [gender equality] are most likely to succeed if supported by religious education that is based upon a sound interpretation of religious teachings.”
Apparently the Alliance intends to provide us with sound interpretation of religious teachings. The European Dialogue between Peoples document poses the following questions and answers:
- “Who should teach religion? Who can make a valid comparison between the different doctrinal elements of religions? We must beware of confusion here. A clear distinction needs to be drawn between religious education in the sense understood by adherents of a faith, which consists of transmitting the values, teachings and liturgy of their religion with a view to the proper practice of that religion (e.g., the catholic catechism), and the teaching of comparative religion which aims only to instill knowledge about religion and the history of religion. Only the latter forms one of the bases of learning for the intercultural dialogue through education. Religious education of the first kind is perfectly legitimate, but is not relevant to the objective under discussion. Comparative religion should therefore be taught by professional teachers capable of providing a comparative analysis of religions, regardless of their own religious choice, with the objectivity of an expert, not the passion of a devotee. This is an essential choice that will determine the success of the dialogue through education”
Apart from creation of a common culture, what is it that the AoC intends to accomplish by controlling religion? The same document also answers that “in addition to the effort that the religious communities have to make, it seems obvious to us that achieving this objective is conditional upon the implementation of an educational vision. Education as we understand it here makes it possible to view with equanimity the completion of the process of secularization, first of structures, then of society itself, as just one of several possible reflections of a modern way of life.
Javier Solana and the United Nations have placed much importance on the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in global governance. One such organization has stepped up to the plate to assist in the secularization of the civilization. The Council for Secular Humanism has recently reported in an article,
- “Such abuse begins with the involuntary involvement of children in religious practices from the time they are born. All religions, through ritual, preaching, and religious texts, seek to bring children into day-to-day religious practice.”
- “In one form or another, all religions violate the rights of children.”
- “…the time has come to debate the participation of children in religious institutions. While some might see it as a matter better left to parents, the negative influence of religion and its subsequent contribution to child abuse from religious beliefs and practices requires us to ask whether organized religion is an institution that needs limits set on how early it should have access to children.”
An interesting aspect to the CFI is the division called the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion (CSER) which develops programs which promotes "the public understanding of religion in an international context.”
Perhaps the Jesus Project is similar to the Alliance of Civilizations' High Level Group's exercise in truth--a truth they intend to provide to all. I could never have imagined that I would write of the war against religion and the building of a common culture, women’s and children’s rights, and another trial of Jesus all within the same article. Yet, these things are connected for the advancement of the AoC's goals. Things most definitely are going to get ugly. May the Lord have mercy on us all.