Protestantse en katholieke atheïsten

chairsIf you encounter one of these days a leftist activist from Northern Ireland, ie from the six counties that are still controlled by Britain, ask kindly if you are dealing with a Protestant or a Catholic atheist (e). This gets you a positive answer if the person in question is indeed an unbeliever.

That reaction tells us that we are not dealing with religion but with culture. The two communities in Ulster each have a typical way of life, to behave himself of the result of their education in their respective environments. While those behaviors have a religious origin but are therefore not religious. 

Another example: a Dutchman, born and raised in a strict Calvinist family, but disbelieved will not feel very good when you invite him on a Sunday afternoon for a football match. The pleasure of eating is also determined by the environment of origin. The Dutch top Moerdijk say the Belgians that they are Burgundians, by which they mean that the Belgians love of rich tables and in no penny look.

Do not say I’m biased. As proof that the Batavians south of Moerdijk same Belgian behave themselves fairly sufficient. Because they also have a Catholic culture behind. The Protestant cultural tradition has a certain embarrassment when it comes to material things. Calvinism appreciates the money, but do not waste it. It preaches austerity and modesty. 

The Roman Catholic state in the collective memory known as a recipient without too many scruples. The medieval cliché of schrokkerige monk is not dead. The ability to go to confession to change the attitudes of sin, at least against the sin of gluttony. But when there is personal and not by the pastor to the Supreme Being must focus than does one cautious steps.              

In the Netherlands, “cheap” the core of the publicity. The Belgian distrusts the quality of cheap things, its advertising refers primarily to quality. The sociologist Max Weber explained in 1904 that the Protestant ethic capitalist attitude encouraged. Personally, I think the opposite, that the practitioners of capitalism Protestantism chosen as the belief that the best fit them ideologically. True or not, read Marxists successfully the work of the sociologist.


In short: you never quite escaped to certain values ​​that you have your original environment ingrained. But our political choice, which is often made in our adolescence, our cultural preferences throw upside and thus influence our attitudes and behaviors. These people produce themselves and thus, change at least within the limits imposed by their social structures. A political choice implies a cultural choice and vice versa. If you choose social democracy then you reject exploitation and contempt and you are an enemy of wage-earning. If you feel that everyone is entitled to a good life, then you need to socialism, whether you’re religious or not.

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