Catholic Hold on Poland is Slipping

The Catholic hold on Poland has always seemed invincible.  When polled, 97 percent of Poles self identify as Catholic.

In an election this past October 9, however, something unexpected happened.  Ten percent of the voters voted for an anticlerical party.  This gave the new party ten percent of the parliament seats.

This ten percent, while seemingly small, has been very troublesome because it gives official standing and a public voice against the clergy.  The new party seeks to end tax exemptions for priests, religion classes and crosses in public schools and state subsidies for churches.  It also favors legalization of same sex marriages.

The Church’s reaction has been predictable.  One rogue Priest made conciliatory remarks about the new party.  He was quickly silenced.

As is happening around the world, young people are increasingly disinterested in the established Church and are seeking other views.  It is reported that in Poland, the established political parties have been reluctant to address ending these church subsidies and challenge to conservative values the Church preaches.

From what I read, the cozy arrangement between Church and the Polish government just is not discussed publically.  It’s safe to say that throughout history, nothing but bad ends have come about from alliances between church and politics.

While I can’t say this is universal,  it appears to me the Christian faith in the Western world is tired and tends to represent an older demographic.  The youthful energy seems to be with secularism and nonorthodox religion.

All of the changes taking place in attitudes toward religion makes me think 2012 will be an exciting year.

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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23 Responses to Catholic Hold on Poland is Slipping

  1. entech says:

    Not too bad for a party that is only a few months old.
    The lead party had about 40% the next about 30%, Palikot’s Movement the anticlerical party came third with 10%.
    With about 50% turnout it is possible that the non-religious proportion of the polish population is better than 20% (assuming some of the other voters are sympathetic but not enough so to vote for them).

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      entech 5;26 A little off topic, but I wish I could see the newspaper you receive and what is on your daily TV. I think here in the U. S. we get far less international news than we used to. When I’m able to pick up more broadly based magizines and newspapers, there is so much interesting stuff going on we don’t normally here about.

      • entech says:

        2-3 pages in my daily paper.
        2 x I hour daily news of the world TVprgrams, catch phrase id “all the news from home, if you live in the world” same channel has news broadcasts in many different languages Asian and European, Government channel with advertising to help pay for it called SBS Special Broadcasting Service. Probably not enough revenue to support such a channel privately good example of market where it can government where it must. Actually 2 channels now, second channel quite a lot of repeats from other channel at different times with many “foreign language” movies.

        • entech says:

          Murdoch was not one of our better exports.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Entech 2:23 “Murdoch…”

            With the new technology and air service, we can buy the New York Times and Wall Street Journal at newsstands, actually at gas stations where everything is sold nowadays. But, the Wall Street Journal is not the investigative paper it was before Murdoch bought it, so I often don’t bother. After he bought the franchise, big colored pictures of dramatic events started appearing–the same thing as all the other papers.

            Your TV sounds much superior to ours.

          • Bob says:

            I’ve turned into to a media skeptic, as much as I am a religion skeptic, I think they all have agendas as much as religions and governments.
            I think cronism is in media, governments, and religions. Its all twisted and does no good for the un-rich man.

          • entech says:

            Don’ want to give the wrong impression, in the main we are stuck with a lot of commercial rubbish as well and Murdoch still owns a fair chunk and would like more. Interesting thing about the national broadcaster (there is a more general service as well as SBS) is that both political parties (basically Australia has two main parties with ebbs and flows around limited alternatives) complain that the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) is biased against them so they must be doing something right. The ABC runs an overseas information and cultural service mainly in the Asian region, Murdoch had a bid in to try and take the service over supported by a leading light in our left leaning party, fortunately that failed just as the bid in England looks like failing on the basis of not being a fit person?

            Would you like Fox to take over “The Voice of America”?

  2. Bob says:

    Sounds like crony capitalism, only this is instead crony catholism.

  3. Bob says:

    If you’re addressing me entech, 10:31 “Would I like Fox News taking over the voice of America?”
    No. As a libertarian, perhaps you think I like Fox News. But I don’t, I dislike it as much as CNN and think both, I know, both are liers with their own selfish agendas just like religions.
    The voice of America, is its people, not the talking head entertainers on those crony capitalist media corpses, oops, I meant government corporations, oops, I meant media corporations.
    I’m sorry this has happened to any of us. I prefer getting my news from various sources on the internet anymore.

  4. Bob says:

    I just looked up “The Voice of America” I’d never seen it mentioned before you commented on it. You think its a legit source?
    What makes you think that Entech?
    I don’t know myself.

    • entech says:

      During more than 25 years sailing around the world, pre-computer and internet, I listened to a lot of short wave radio, favourites were VoA, ABC and BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and between the different news programs you got a reasonable picture of what was going on in the world. There was also still an entity known as the Soviet Union for most of this time, The Voice of Moscow was extremely humorous with its naive and obvious propaganda purpose. It is worth remembering that the national broadcasters I am talking about were long standing and on going entities that spanned many governments and were, largely, independent of the administration of the time.

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        entech 11:34 We can get some BBC on public radio. We have satilite radio in on of our cars which has a channel devoted to the BBC. I like it because the BBC stories go softer on the demonization of whatever group, individual or country the US politicans might be demonizing at any moment in time. Right now its Iran for some reason.

        • Bob says:

          I know Jon, it makes me sick how on CNN all of a sudden, Iran is so evil, we have to invade them. At least that seems like what’s happening to me.
          Well I met some young Iranians a little while ago, and while I loathe the religion of Islam, and Christianity, and Jewdaism, (god I sick of having to say them all otherwise someone will get their panties in a bundle), these guys didn’t seem to harbar any grudge against the U.S., but they made it clear that if the U.S. moves against them, they would fight back. And that seemed like a normal reaction to me. They seemed like normal young men just taking classes at UND.

        • entech says:

          Forgot to mention, but it came up before with Wanna, Australia has nothing like the PBS and public radio that you have. Some, one particular good music radio is supported by donations, most of the others are special interest groups

      • Bob says:

        Key words, “of the time.”

        I’m such a skeptic.

        • entech says:

          Healthy approach. Always carry generous pinch of salt.

          • Bob says:

            I’m not a supernaturalist, I don’t do the salt thing. If that’s what you mean.

          • entech says:

            Wikipedia:
            “(With) a grain of salt,” in modern English, is an idiom which means to view something with skepticism, or not to take it literally. It derives from the Latin phrase, (cum) grano salis.

            “A more critical spirit slowly developed, so that Cicero and his friends took more than the proverbial pinch of salt before swallowing everything written by these earlier authors.”
            F. R. Cowell Cicero & the Roman Republic, 1948:

            Nothing to do with throwing things over shoulders, facing east while balancing on one foot or whatever black cat type thing you misinterpreted it as.

  5. Bob says:

    Americans that I’ve ever heard, don’t say it like that.
    Ive only ever heard it said, “take it for a grain of salt.” Yeah, sometimes you gotta give us old Norwegians a history lesson whether they want it or not.

    And sometimes I do watch BBC on prarie public television.

    I still don’t trust any of the media outlets. I think the only way to know is go there yourself.

    • entech says:

      OK. perhaps I could rewrite my 1:00 am.

      I think your skepticism is a very healthy approach. There are so many things that need the application of a little common sense when trying to make them understandable and acceptable, as we say in England, some things need to be taken with a grain of salt.

      GB Shaw once said that England and America were two countries separated by the same language, the way the two versions have changed in different ways makes it seem possible. Take for instance, the word momentarily to me this means ‘for a moment’, that is ‘briefly’, but common American usage seems to be ‘in a moment’ or ‘soon’. I was waiting in Los Angeles airport and the plane had been repeatedly delayed, eventually the announcement came that we would be boarding momentarily – I had visions of going in the back door and then straight out of the front.

  6. Bob says:

    My over all skeptism, is part cynicism, after a life of trusting institutions, the so called well meaning government, and the people who buy into them without question, or not enough.
    My grandparents were fluent in Norwegian, now the Norwegian they spoke, is not spoken any more in Norway, so languages are fluent, yes. Some of the way I speak in Norwegian, comes off as quaint, old fashioned to modern Norwegians.
    I’ve seen it suggested in certain places that the Southern drawl in America is what the original British English used to sound like somewhat.
    My mind wanders, and I think, wouldn’t that be strange to hear Romeo below Juliet’s balcony, saying with a Southern drawl, “Juliet, Juliet, ya’ll come down now, ya here?”

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