France religion settings very unrealistic


#1

Hi everyone,

I’d just like to rant a little bit about the religion demographics set for the French in the game. It states that 87% of French are catholic and if I understand the settings file correctly, we teach creationism and 75% of the French are creationist.

On creationism:
I understand slight variations with reality in the interest of proposing different games modes and because real stats are hard to keep up to date with, yet I’m really surprised by this. In France we have a law that separates Church from the State and at the exception of a small part of France that used to be German not so long ago, it is impossible for any religious belief to be put forward in a state school’s program. A teacher who were caught teaching creationism would be immediately suspended, and the vast majority of the French support evolution and reject creationism (in fact we’re one of the most anti-creationism countries in the world, see fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creationnisme for statistics). France has one of the strictest secularism policies, set straight in its constitution for over a century and I really believe that “Teaching creationism” should not even be a possible political move when playing France.

Citing Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creationism) because I’m too lazy to go through official statistics… “In recent years the teaching of creationism has become a minor issue in a variety of countries including Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Serbia.[41][42][43][44].
Creation science has been heavily promoted in immigrant communities in Western Europe, primarily by Adnan Oktar (also known as Harun Yahya).[42] On 17 September 2007, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted The dangers of creationism in education, a resolution on the attempt by American-inspired creationists to promote creationism in European schools. It concludes “The war on the theory of evolution and on its proponents most often originates in forms of religious extremism closely linked to extreme right-wing political movements… some advocates of creationism are out to replace democracy by theocracy… If we are not careful, the values that are the very essence of the Council of Europe will be under direct threat from creationist fundamentalists”.[45]”

On France’s majority religious group:
Besides I suspect the majority belief group in France is atheists. There is a controversy on this topic because religious people make studies where respondents are asked which religion they identify themselves to, and in France religion is often understood as an historical or cultural heritage because few people are actively religious, hence rates of up to 60% catholics. In practice, there were at least 33% atheist in France in 2005 (see pages citing commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File … m-2005.svg, numbers are from Eurostat Eurobarometer poll 2005). In more details: “In France, only about 12% of the population reportedly attends religious services more than once per month. In a 2003 poll 54% of those polled in France identified themselves as “faithful”, 33% as atheist, 14% as agnostic, and 26% as “indifferent”.[13] However, either the poll results appear to be flawed or the categories were not mutually exclusive, as the total percentages add up to 127%.”

As I’ve said the French tend to identify to catholicism despite being agnostic or atheist, hence faking the statistics on numbers of catholics. A more fair comparison would be to ask how many people attend church at least occasionally (somewhat in the 40% as I recall). The French wikipedia page on atheism (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ath%C3%A9 … atistiques) explains that the 87% number you got comes from the CIA, and is highly erroneous, citing an estimate of 27% of the French both identifying as catholic and believing in God (below the 33% atheist). France along with Sweden and the Czech rep are highly unreligious countries, except it’s less blatant in France because people don’t even agree on what identifying to a religion means.

Hence, I would suggest changing the game settings to:

  • set “evolution only” as the France policy
  • prevent the choice of teaching creationism
  • implement a tiny bit of faith schools at the start (since a fair part of private schools are religious) but not too much (state education is very prevalent and religious schools must respect the agenda of the education ministry)
  • about praying in schools, if the setting can be applied only to private schools then it could be available to France but if it affects state schools too it should be removed as well
  • setting the amount of religious people in France to roughly 40% to account for both atheists and agnostics
  • setting the majority group to either “Non-believers” or to something emphasizing the dispute on numbers between atheists and catholics.

Thanks!


#2

I think you make a very important point, namely that some policy issues seem to be country specific than ever. Because in some ways this reaction that seeks to return to creationism is a very American phenomenon, possibly rooted in the rise of politicised Protestantism in the 1970s. I can’t imagine any European country debating over this.


#3

Creation/evolution is indeed an America-specific debate. Not even in Ireland is it an issue perhaps because of the Catholic Church allowing people to believe the science of evolution if not the philosophy or perhaps because religiosity in Ireland is a mile wide and an inch deep as in the rest of Europe* (in terms of following the rules it seems it was always an inch deep everywhere).
*Apart from Sweden or the Czech Republic, an inch wide.