Why Is France So Afraid Of Religion?
France and some other countries were drawn into
a controversy when two students were expelled from school for wearing
a head scarf. France widened the ban and proposed a law forbidding
the wearing of clothing and symbols openly expressive of religious
identity. Besides head scarfs, this law also includes Christian
crosses and Jewish yarmulkes. This law caused a wave of reaction.
Muslim countries, the United Kingdom , the USA and Germany condemned
the law and stressed that its enforcement would cause tension and
entrenchment in France . They also asserted that the law was contrary
to religious freedom and basic human rights. But, so far, these
reactions have not led the French government to retract its decision.
We must not interpret what happened in France only
as a ban on religious symbols; the French fear of religion and religous
morality goes back a long time. Those who are aware of the development
of social culture and church-state relations in France will know
that these kinds of initiatives and the resulting controversies
are well known in French society. Moreover, this fear is not limited
only to Islam and Judaism; the memory of the murder of Catholics
during the French Revolution has not yet been erased.
The present shape of church-state relations in
France was forged by conflict, hatred, anger and slaughter. This
struggle began in the eighteenth century against the Catholic Church
with the purpose of diminishing the influence of the Church on society.
We can say that during this period, society became distanced from
spiritual and religious values and came under the influence of materialist
The Age of Enlightenment:
How European Societies Distanced from
That period in which materialist and evolutionist
ideas gained widespread acceptance in European society, and influenced
it in distancing itself from religion, is known as the Enlightenment.
Surely, those who selected this word (that is those who characterized
this change of ideas positively as a move into the light) were the
leaders of this deviation. They described the earlier period as
the "Dark Age" and blamed religion for it, claiming that Europe
became enlightened when it was secularized and held religion at
a distance. This biased and false perspective is still today one
of the basic propaganda mechanisms of those who oppose religion.
It is true that Medieval Christianity was partially
"dark" with superstitions and bigotry and most of these have been
cleared in the post-Medieval age. In fact, the Enlightenment did
not bring much positive results to the West either. The most important
result of the Enlightenment, which occurred in France, was the French
Revolution, that turned the country into a sea of blood. For most
of the French intellectuals, the Enlightenment meant purging people's
minds of every religious and spiritual value. Nearly all the thinkers
who lived in eighteenth-century France shared this view. The French
Revolution was built on this idea of Enlightenment that held sway
in France; it was one of the modern world's most barbarous, merciless
and savage revolutions. As soon as the Jacobins came to power after
the Revolution, the first thing they did was to bring in the guillotine;
thousands of people lost their heads just because they were accused
of being rich or religious. One of the leaders of the Revolution
by the name of Fouché (his nickname was the Butcher of Lyon) sent
a committee headed by three individuals to Lyon to destroy the landed
and religious aristocracy there. In a letter he sent to Robespierre,
the leader of the Senate, Fouché wrote that the guillotine was operating
too slowly and that he was not happy with the slow advance of the
revolution. He wanted permission to do a mass cleansing. On the
day he received the permission, thousands of people with their hands
tied behind their back were mowed down mercilessly by the guns of
Today Enlightenment influenced
literature praises the French Revolution; however, the Revolution
cost France much and contributed to social conflicts that were to
last into the twenty-first century. The analysis of the French Revolution
and the Enlightenment by the famous British thinker, Edmund Burke,
is very telling. In his famous book, Reflections on the Revolution
in France , published in 1790, he criticized both the idea
of the Enlightenment and its fruit, the French Revolution; in his
opinion, that movement destroyed the basic values that held society
together, such as religion, morality and family structure, and paved
the way towards terror and anarchy. Finally, he regarded the Enlightenment,
as one interpreter put it, as a "destructive movement of the human
The leaders of this destructive movement were Masons.
Voltaire, Diderot, Montesquieu, and other anti-religious thinkers
who prepared the way for the Revolution, were all Masons. The Masons
were intimate with the Jacobins who were the leaders of the Revolution.
This had led some historians to the opinion that it is difficult
to distinguish between Jacobinism and Masonry in France of this
During the French Revolution, much hostility was
evinced toward religion. Many clergymen were sent to the guillotine,
churches were destroyed, and, moreover, there were those who wanted
to eradicate Christianity totally and replace it with a deviant,
pagan, symbolic religion called "the Religion of Reason." The leaders
of the Revolution also became victims of this frenzy, every one
of them finally losing their heads on the guillotine, to which they
themselves had condemned so many people. Even today, many Frenchmen
continue to question whether or not the revolution was a good thing.
The anti-religious sentiments of the French Revolution
spread throughout Europe and, as a result, the nineteenth century
became one of the boldest and most aggressive periods of anti-religious
The Struggle Against Religion in France
The role played by Masons in the revolution was
admitted by an "agent-provocateur" by the name of Count Cagliostro.
Cagliostro was arrested by the Inquisition in 1789, and made some
important admissions while under interrogation. He began by stating
that Masons throughout Europe had been planning a chain of revolutions.
He said that the main goal of the Masons was to destroy the Papacy
or to take it over.
Masonry's mission in France did not stop with the
revolution. The chaos that came as a result of the revolution was
finally settled when Napoleon came to power. But, this stability
did not last long; Napoleon's ambition to rule the whole of Europe
only brought an end to his power. Afterwards, the conflict in France
continued between the monarchists and the revolutionists. In 1830,
1848 and 1871, three more revolutions occurred. In 1848, the "Second
Republic" was founded; in 1871 the "Third Republic" was established.
In 1881, Catholicism ceased to be the official religion of France
and in 1988 religious education was completely removed from the
Masons were very active throughout this period
of agitation. Their primary aim was to weaken the Church and its
religious institutions, destroy the values of religion and the influence
of its laws on society, and to abolish religious education. Masons
regarded "anti-clericalism" as the center of their social and political
The Catholic Encyclopedia provides important
information about the anti-religious mission of the Grand Orient,
as French Masonry was known:
From the official documents of
French Masonry contained principally in the official "Bulletin"
and "Compte-rendu" of the Grand Orient it has been proved that
all the anti-clerical measures passed in the French Parliament
were decreed beforehand in the Masonic lodges and executed under
the direction of the Grand Orient, whose avowed aim is to control
everything and everybody in France. "I said in the assembly of
1898," states the deputy Massé, the official orator of the Assembly
of 1903, "that it is the supreme duty of Freemasonry to interfere
each day more and more in political and profane struggles." "Success
(in the anti-clerical combat) is in a large measure due to Freemasonry;
for it is its spirit, its programme, its methods, that have triumphed."
"If the Bloc has been established, this is owing to Freemasonry
and to the discipline learned in the lodges"."We need vigilance
and above all mutual confidence, if we are to accomplish our work,
as yet unfinished. This work, you know . . . the anti-clerical
combat, is going on. The Republic must rid itself of the religious
congregations, sweeping them off by a vigorous stroke. The system
of half measures is everywhere dangerous; the adversary must be
crushed with a single blow." 2
The Catholic Encyclopedia continues its
account of French Masonry's struggle against religion :
In truth all the "anti-clerical"
Masonic reforms carried out in France since 1877, such as the
secularization of education, measures against private Christian
schools and charitable establishments, the suppression of the
religious orders and the spoliation of the Church, professedly
culminate in an anti-Christian and irreligious reorganization
of human society, not only in France but throughout the world.
Thus French Freemasonry, as the standard-bearer of all Freemasonry,
pretends to inaugurate the golden era of the Masonic universal
republic, comprising in Masonic brotherhood all men and all nations.
"The triumph of the Galilean," said the president of the Grand
Orient, Senator Delpech, on 20 September, 1902 , "has lasted twenty
centuries. But now he dies in his turn.. The Romish Church, founded
on the Galilean myth, began to decay rapidly from the very day
on which the Masonic Association was established" 3
By the "Galilean" the Masons mean Jesus, because
according to the Gospel, Jesus was born in the Palestinian town
of Galilee. Therefore, the Masons' hatred for the Church is an expression
of their hatred for Jesus and all monotheistic religions. With the
materialist, Darwinist and humanist culture they established in
the nineteenth century, they believed that they had destroyed religion
and restored Europe to its pre-Christian paganism.
When these words were uttered in 1902, a series
of laws passed in France broadened the scope of religious opposition.
Three thousand religious schools were closed and it was forbidden
to give any religious education in schools. Many of the clergy were
arrested, some were exiled and religious persons began to be regarded
as second-class citizens. For this reason, in 1904, the Vatican
broke all diplomatic relations with France but this did not change
the country's attitude. It took the loss of the lives of hundreds
of thousands of French men against the German army in the First
World War before the country's arrogance was tamed and it again
recognized the importance of spiritual values.
As The Catholic Encyclopedia
maintains, the war against religion, from the French Revolution
to the twentieth century, was carried out by "the anti-clerical
measures passed in the French Parliament" which "were decreed beforehand
in the Masonic lodges and executed under the direction of the Grand
This fact is clear from Masonic writings. For example, a quotation
from a Turkish publication of "A Speech Made by Brother Gambetta
on July 8 1875 in the Clémente Amitié Lodge" reads:
While the specter of reaction
threatened France, and religious doctrine and backward ideas went
on the offensive against modern social principles and laws, in
the bosom of industrious, far-sighted organizations like Masonry
devoted to the principles of brotherhood, we find the strength
and consolation in the struggle against the extravagant claims
of the Church, its ridiculous exaggerations and habitual excesses.we
must be on guard and continue in the struggle. In order to establish
the ideas of human order and progress, let us endure so that our
shields cannot be broken through. 5
It will be noticed that Masonic literature consistently
presents its own ideas as "far-sighted" while accusing religious
people of being "backward." However, this is merely a play on words.
The notion of "the specter of reaction," mentioned in the above
quotation, is something that sincere religious people also oppose,
but which Masons exploit to take aim at true religion in their attempt
to alienate people from it. Moreover, it must again be emphasized
that the materialist-humanist philosophy espoused by Masons is really
a superstitious, backward system of ideas, a hold-over of the pagan
civilizations of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece.
Therefore, the Masons' use of terms like "far-sightedness"
and "backwardness" has no basis in reality. Indeed, it is unfounded
because the conflict between Masons and religious people is nothing
more than the perpetuation of the conflict between two ideas that
have existed since the earliest ages of history. It is religion
that proclaims the first of these ideas: that humanity was created
by the will of God and that human beings are responsible to worship
Him. This is the truth. The opposing idea, that human beings were
not created but live vain and purposeless lives, is the one proposed
by those who deny the existence of God. When correctly understood,
it can be seen that their use of the superficial terms of "backwardness"
and "far-sightedness" has no basis.
By making use of the idea of "progress," Masons
seek to destroy religion. The "Catholic Encyclopedia" states:
The following are deemed the principal
means [of freemasonry]:
(1) To destroy radically by open
persecution of the Church or by a hypocritical fraudulent system
of separation between State and Church, all social influence of
the Church and of religion, insidiously called "clericalism,"
and, as far as possible, to destroy the Church and all true, i.e.,
superhuman religion, which is more than a vague cult of fatherland
and of humanity;
(2) To secularize, by a likewise
hypocritical fraudulent system of "unsectarianism," all public
and private life and, above all, popular instruction and education.
"Unsectarianism" as understood by the Grand Orient party is anti-Catholic
and even anti-Christian, atheistic, positivistic, or agnostic
sectarianism in the garb of unsectarianism. Freedom of thought
and conscience of the children has to be developed systematically
in the child at school and protected, as far as possible, against
all disturbing influences, not only of the Church and priests,
but also of the children's own parents, if necessary, even by
means of moral and physical compulsion. The Grand Orient party
considers it indispensable and an infallibly sure way to the final
establishment of the universal social republic. 6
It can be seen that Masonry has put a program into
effect, under the name of "the liberation of society," whose purpose
is to eradicate religion, a program that is still being implemented.
This must not be confused with a model that seeks to provide the
opportunity for every citizen of whatever religious faith to practice
his faith freely. Rather, the model envisioned by Masonry is one
of mass brainwashing, designed to remove religion completely from
society and the minds of individuals and, if necessary, to persecute
RELIGIOUS MORALITY IS THE SOLUTION
TO ALL DIFFICULTIES
THE BASIC PROBLEM IS THE ABSENCE OF RELIGION
France 's policy of eradicating religion began
in the eighteenth century and has continued for three centuries;
its result has been to turn the country into a nation that fears
religion, religious morality and religious people. In the past few
years, and as a result of this process, Muslims and various other
members of religious organizations have been assaulted. However,
this fear is groundless. Actually, it is not religion, but the absence
of religion that should be feared. Religious morality brings peace,
well-being, justice and compassion to a society. In a society where
the sense of religious morality is strong, there cannot possibly
be violence, degeneration or fear. For this reason, France 's fear
of religion is unnecessary. In societies where war, conflict, violence
and injustice hold sway, there is no religious morality.
In a society far removed from religion, it is inevitable
that most people will be selfish, unjust and be lacking in moral
goodness. Only the values of religion assure moral perfection for
societies and individuals. Those having faith in God conduct themselves
responsibly, since they only live to attain the approval of God
and know that they will give an account of all their deeds. Fearing
God, they cautiously avoid wicked deeds, attitudes and behavior
not praised by God. A society dominated by such people becomes one
that does not experience social problems.
However, a disbelieving person, failing to recognize
that he will ultimately be rewarded or punished for his deeds will
set no limit to his evil acts. Despite avoiding certain socially
unfavorable forms of behavior, many people do not hesitate to commit
other evils when they are urged, encouraged or have an opportunity.
In societies where there is no religion, people
become predisposed to commit all kinds of immoral acts. For instance,
a religious person would never take a bribe, gamble, feel envy,
or lie because he would know that he would have to account for these
actions in the hereafter. Yet, someone with no religion is prone
to doing all these things. It is not enough for one to say, "I'm
not religious but I don't take bribes", or "I'm not religious but
I don't gamble", because a man who does not fear God and who does
not believe that he is going to give an account of himself in the
hereafter may do any one of these things when the situation or conditions
change. A person who says, "I'm not religious but I do not commit
fornication" may do so at some place where fornication is considered
normal. Or a person who says that he does not take bribes may say,
"My son is sick and about to die, therefore I have to take the bribe",
if he has no fear of God.
However, a religious person does not display such
immorality, because he fears God and does not forget that God knows
his intentions as well as his thoughts.
A person who is distant from religion may say "I'm
not religious but I'm forgiving. I feel neither vengeance nor hate,"
but one day some untoward event may cause him to lose his self-control
and display the most unexpected behaviour. He may attempt to kill
or injure someone, because the morality he adopts is one that changes
according to the environment and conditions of the place in which
Yet, one who believes in God and in the hereafter
never deviates from his good morals, whatever the conditions or
the environment may be. His morality is not "variable" but immutable.
God refers to the superior morals of religious people in His verses:
Those who keep faith with God
and do not break their agreement; those who join what God has commanded
to be joined and are afraid of their Lord and fear an evil Reckoning;
those who are steadfast in seeking the face of their Lord, and attend
to their regular prayer and give alms from what We have given them,
secretly and openly, and stave off evil with good, it is they who
will attain the Ultimate Abode. (Qur'an, 13: 20-22)
In an environment without religion, the first concept
to be eliminated is that of the family. Values such as loyalty,
fidelity, allegiance, love, and respect, which sustain the family,
are totally abandoned. It must be remembered that the family is
the foundation of society and if the family collapses, so does society.
Even the state has no reason to exist, since all moral values that
underpin the state have been obliterated.
Furthermore, in irreligious societies, there is
no reason left for anyone to feel respect, love or compassion for
anyone else. This leads to social anarchy. The rich begrudge the
poor, the poor begrudge the rich. Anger develops against those who
are handicapped or needy. Or aggression towards different nations
rises. The workers become aggressive towards their employers and
the employers towards their workers, fathers turn against their
sons and the sons against their fathers.
The reason for continuous bloodshed and the "third
page news" in the newspapers is irreligion. On these pages, every
day, we see news coverage about people who heedlessly kill each
other for very insignificant causes.
However, a person who knows that he is going to
be accountable in the hereafter cannot point a gun at somebody else's
head and shoot him. He knows that God has forbidden men to commit
crimes, and his fear of God ensures that he will avoid divine retribution.
In the Qu'ran, God commands people to avoid corruption:
Do not corrupt the earth after
it has been purged of evil. Call on Him fearfully and eagerly. God's
mercy is within reach of the righteous. (Qur'an, 7: 56)
The existence of the values of religion brings
the love felt for God. This love has an overwhelmingly positive
and encouraging impact on all people. To earn the approval of God,
believers comfort themselves in the most moral way, and love and
respect one another. In general, mercy and compassion
Going in fear of God, people strictly avoid indulging
in immoral or evil acts. In this way, every sort of evil which previously
could not be prevented comes to an abrupt end. The spirit and warmth
of religion fills the air.
In societies where religion does not penetrate,
it is an accepted fact that people become rebellious and anarchistic
and take up a position against their state. However, for one who
lives by the values of religion, the imperatives of the state are
paramount. If it is required, one will put his life into jeopardy
for these values. For such a person, the interests of his state
will always rank above his own interests. They stand up for spiritual
values and do their best to defend them.
Under such favorable conditions, governing the
state becomes reasonably simple. The country becomes a secure and
prosperous place. Administrators of the country treat the citizens
fairly and compassionately and thus unjust practices cease. In return,
they are respected by the citizens. Such states surely lay their
basis on an unshakeable foundation.
In the absence of Islamic morals, the father becomes
the enemy of the son, and vice versa, brothers dispute, employers
oppress their employees. Factories and firms stop operating due
to anarchy and the wealthy exploit the labor of the poor. In business
life, people try to cheat one another. Disorder, conflicts and anarchy
become a way of life for the members of society. The reason for
all this is that people have no fear of God. People having no fear
of God feel free to commit injustice, and do not hesitate to resort
to extremes of violence and cruelty-even murder. Furthermore, without
feeling a pang of conscience, they dare to publicly express their
lack of regret. On the contrary, one who is convinced that he could
face eternal punishment in Hell would never commit such acts. The
morality of the Qur'an renders all such untoward deeds impossible.
Everything is handled easily, quietly and in the best manner. No
judicial errors occur and, meanwhile, police stations and the law
courts hardly find a case to deal with.
The peaceful and comfortable state of mind of people
in all walks of life brings prosperity to society as a whole. Scientific
research flourishes, hardly a day goes by without a new discovery
or a technological breakthrough and the results are used for the
good of all. Culture prospers and leaders promote public welfare.
This prosperity owes its existence to the human mind being freed
of pressure. Once one's mind is at ease, one develops better thinking
ability and this state of mind enlarges the scope for reflection.
The consequence is clear and unrestrained use of the intellect.
Living by good standards of morality brings prosperity to people;
they succeed in their business and commercial lives. Agriculture
and industry flourish. In all fields of endeavor, there is true
The solution is evident: to turn to God, the Creator
of all beings, and to attain true happiness and tranquility by adhering
to the religion God favors for us. God has informed us that salvation
in this world is to turn to religion and has given the glad tidings
that His sincere servants will not feel fear, provided that they
are obedient to Him.
God has promised those of you
who believe and do good deeds that He will make them masters in
the land as He had made their ancestors before them, and will firmly
establish for them their religion with which He is pleased and give
them, in place of their fear, security. Let them worship Me, not
associating anything with Me. Any who are unbelievers after that
are deviators." (Qur'an, 24: 55)
Therefore, for all the reasons we have given above,
French society must look for a solution not in the absence of religion
but in the practice of religious morality. The solution to the growing
conflicts, increasing violence and economic inequality does not
lie in the banishment of religion; quite the opposite: it must be
sought in an effort to disseminate religious morality. When a nation
fears God, acts according to its conscience and exhibits
mercy and compassion, there can be no doubt that it will easily uproot
violence and degradation in its society.
1- Pocock, in; Edmund Burke, Reflections on
the Revolution in France , ed. J. G. A. Pocock, Indianapolis:
Hackett Publishing Company, 1987, pp. 33-38.
2- Compterendu Gr. Or., 1903, Nourrisson, "Les Jacobins", 266-271;
The Catholic Encyclopedia , "Masonry (Freemasonry)", New
3- The Catholic Encyclopedia , "Masonry (Freemasonry),"
New Advent, (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09771a.htm)
4- The Catholic Encyclopedia , "Masonry (Freemasonry),"
New Advent, (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09771a.htm#VIII)
5- Nur Safa Tekyeliban, "Taassuba Karsi Mucadele" (Struggle Against
Bigotry): From the Speech of Brother Gambetta made on July 8, 1875
in Clémente Amitié Lodge," Dogus Kolu Yilligi: Ankara Dogus Mahfili
Çalismalari (Dogus Branch Yearbook: Ankara Dogus Society Studies)
, 1962, Kardes Press, Ankara, 1963, p. 19
6- The Catholic Encyclopedia , "Masonry (Freemasonry),"
New Advent, (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09771a.htm)