Is there a connection between religion and the current European Debt crisis?
With the majority of Europe’s financial powerhouse being Protestant based such as Germany, Sweden and Finland and those in debt commonly recognised as Catholic; Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Italy maybe a case might exist.
When one analyses the true state of Protestant ethos which in the past has led to moderation and thrift such as Calvinist and Lutheran principles of no gambling or a life with few excessiveness then a valid case may be presented. One also must consider that Protestants in the past focused on both genders learning the bible from an early age enabling literacy levels to rise and furthering chances of social, political and financial success.
“Thou shalt redeem the time because the days are evil” is often connected with the point that family and career should be prioritised accordingly yet we are looking at a situation where both family and career values are slipping across western Europe and a change needs to be taken with divorce rates rising and many western Europeans looking to social welfare or emigration as more serious options.
“God helps those who help themselves” is an often quoted saying but if you look at the corruption that existed in the Italian and Irish governments over the last years this seems to imply that the politicians who helped themselves to large pensions will be aided by god not the common european citizen who is facing up to the fact that Brussels is having to make some serious decisions in order to stabilise our once powerful common currency.
Some critics say the Catholic attitude of “If we mess up, its ok, god will fix it” and “God Will Supply” is embedded in the societies of Europe’s weaker economic states due to centuries of religious impact while the nations with the work hard and make provision attitude such as Switzerland with Jean Calvin and Martin Luther in Germany are left to pick up the pieces. The richest areas in German are the Catholic regions such as Bavaria so is the argument valid at all?
Yet in Turkey where the “Islamic Calvinist” is seen as a rich man and the astute business dealer. With Europe’s economy waning the point must be raised that one of the richest institutions in the world, The Catholic church is not playing a role in assisting the nations affected or interjecting visibly in European affairs.
With Croatia set to join the EU next July only time will tell where the future of the EU, Euro, and European community lies. Until then the connection between faith and debt crisis is of little significance as we all need a miracle.