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1291 - 1991

BURIAL OF SEVEN CENTURIES OF SWISS CHRISTIAN HISTORY

Pauline Pretre

According to the Geneva literary critic Jean Starobinski, the Federal Pact, "In the name of Almighty God" ,.. and the Great Prayer of the Confederates spoken at every mortal interior or exterior combat, are the Christian heritage of this country whose Federal flag is nothing but the Cross of the Living Christ.

The founders of our country did not allow themselves to be deceived by the sinful, bestial tendencies of fallen human nature. This is the somber witness agreeing with Holy Scripture as welt as human history. Nourished by the firm will to resist this inclination to evil, our fathers appealed to God, trusting in His help for the accomplishment of their heavy duties as men and citizens.

As the cradle of the Reformation in the sixteenth century Switzerland knew how to keep alive the flame of a Christian faith which brought its beneficial influence even into the country's political system, But with the massive adoption of the vision of a Welfare State in 1948 our fellow citizens traded the sovereignty of a merciful and just God for the sovereignty of the universal Surveillance of a State with all powerful claims. In their blindness induced by the adoption of a rational, liberal and neo-orthodox theology, and the rejection of the infallible inspiration and divine authority of the Bible, the churches embraced such a spiritual and political disaster with relief. From now on the churches and the Christians of our country would no longer have to alleviate the social miseries in any way. By this spiritual default a breach was opened in the intellectual and moral life of our country. Thus the socialist and Marxist ideology could penetrate our universities and higher schools without resistance. It is thus that the disciplines of the spirit, and especially all the social and human sciences, were corrupted in our country by the default of the churches and their leaders. Under the cover of politics apparently dominated by conservative and Christian democratic tendencies the Christian foundations of our Confederation were undermined.

Already in the 1960's it was obligatory for admission to certain social and pedagogical schools in our country to fill out forms of several pages where the students had to express their convictions regarding the state, religion, society, psychology and many other topics. Such questionnaires became equally obligatory in the normal schools training the future teachers. In numerous public institutions the young people were thus forced to submit to a new social-Marxist conformism as a condition of their professional training. Thus a society which had been free and responsible before the omniscient and omnipresent God of the Bible, Who had been the God of our country until then, submitted little by little to an ideological and political consensus which was nothing less than the abrogation of the faith of our ancestors and of our highest traditions. Thus disappear the liberties of a country: personal liberty, liberty of speech, liberty of instruction.

In 1990 giant steps were taken on the road to the complete dechristianization of our country. One of our most Catholic cantons suppressed the formula, "In the Name of God on High," which had given a transcendental authority until then to any decision by a lawyer or notary. In another canton, one of the most Protestant ones, the department of public instruction and religion forbade the free distribution of New Testaments in the secondary schools of the state. This series of anti-Christian outbursts was loosed in a Tessin village school by a free-thinking teacher who filed judicial action for the removal of crucifixes still decorating the schools. Having to pronounce on this case, the Federal Court declared the presence of the crucifix in public schools anticonstitutional.

But this is not all. Since the introduction of the New Right of Childhood on January 1, 1978, children and adolescents have the right to denounce their parents before the judicial authorities for any reason whatsoever, because "every child must have someone to flee to from his own parents." In such a situation, once the child has fallen into the hands of the social and judicial authorities, the parents have no further rights whatever. The will of the child is as it were made equal to the will of God, No matter how perverted that will may be--and very often the social authorities undertake to encourage the vices of the young!--is so to speak identified with the will of God, and this to the harm of any truly Christian education. According to the Freudian and Marxist dictates which predominate in these social services, Christian education is judged repressive and unilateral, and therefore harmful to youth. In the administrative rules regulating the action of these social, psychiatric and educational services of the state, no article exists upon which the parents could base a defense of their own rights. The Federal Constitution does, however, expressly guarantee this right of the parents to their liberty of faith, expression, education and thought. Yet no article gives the parents the right to be heard before any administrative decision intruding into the intimate life of the family. Woe to the families who fall into the hands of the social services (severing agencies?) of our country. A permissive, secular and hedonistic jurisprudence crowns the injustices the parents, and this applies especially to those who are the most exposed and most vulnerable among them, must suffer without respite and without mercy. This impartial and moderate judgment of most of the social services of our country is sometimes shared (and even expressed to the public) by the police services themselves which very often must pick up the broken pieces of such permissive impunity,

The totalitarian harrow of the Swiss social state is manifested with an unheard-of offense by the introduction of the new Family Law of January 1, 1988. This legislation does not consider the husband as the head of the family. Consequently he is no longer under obligation to provide materially for the entire support of his family and his children. The state, in the person of the judge, is made head of the family upon the least dissension among the couple. The wife, who generally makes 25% less than her husband, is forced by this unjust legislation to contribute 50% of the cost of the household, The controlling state, the Welfare State (French; "I'Etat Providence"), thus puts itself in the place of the merciful Heavenly Father Who, in His wisdom, had appointed the father the head of the family. This pitiless and meddlesome state is now standing at the door of every family. From now on no home is safe from its social and judicial police ready to intervene at the smallest trifle. All that is needed for this is a neighbor (or absent parent) of evil intention or ill will, who sees himself in the role of the Savior of the poor mistreated children. A simple telephone call is enough to conjure up the henchmen of social justice. Children are incited to denounce their parents, because the modern scapegoats are called Papa and Mama. This is what the telephone SOS-Childhood reminds us of every day. Denunciation of one's parents must become a social virtue just as under Communism. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are here by the will of the people. The Romans said it well: vox populi, vox dell The voice of the people is the voice of god.

This Switzerland was once considered by our neighbors, less fortunate than we, almost as paradise on earth. Peace reigned here thanks to numberless men and women whose courageous and upright faith was not afraid to put God's commandments into practice. She is called today to repent, to turn back toward her God who has not ceased to bless our country for seven hundred years. Only a return to the cross of Christ, to this cross whose emblem honors our flag so highly, can again make the river flow over our land which purifies and restores the grace of God. May our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, respond to the entreaties of His people and grant them the fruits of a sincere repentance.

Editor's Note: This eye-opening article on contemporary Switzerland first appeared in the excellent Christian monthly review, Resister et Construire, No. 16-17, September 1991, To subscribe to Resister et Construire, write to: Case postale 468, CH-WQ1 Lausanne, Suisse. Translated by Ellen Myers and reprinted with permission.

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