Περισσότερο τὸ ἀναρτῶ κατὰ ἐκείνων ποὺ ὑποστηρίζουν μιὰ γιανναρικὴ διαμάχη (ἂν καὶ ἀποστασιοποιοῦνται ἀπὸ τὸν Γιανναρᾶ λόγῳ τοῦ πολιτικοῦ ὑποβάθρου του) θρησκείας – Ἐκκλησίας, ἢ –πιὸ ἀριστερίστικα– «ὑποκρισίας» – «ἀληθινοῦ Χριστιανισμοῦ»: Τὸ εὐ ζῆν (ὁ «πραγματικὸς» Χριστιανισμός) προέρχεται ἀπὸ τὸ ζῆν (τὴ συνήθεια), καὶ χωρὶς τὸ δεύτερο δὲν θὰ ἀποκτηθεῖ (στατιστικὰ μιλώντας) τὸ πρῶτο. Στὴ Γαλλία, ἡ προηγούμενη γενιά –τῶν γονιῶν τῆς ἀρθρογράφου ἐν προκειμένῳ– τὰ παράτησε, γιατὶ χρειαζόταν νὰ βγεῖ γιὰ καφέ ἢ ποτὸ τὸ Σαββατόβραδο. Τὰ παιδιά της ἔγιναν σὰν τὴν ἀρθρογράφο, μὲ τὸ ξεψαρωμένο, μπλαζὲ ὕφος τοῦ στὺλ «δὲν ἔχω καὶ τίποτε κατὰ τῆς θρησκείας, ἀλλὰ δὲν μὲ ἔνοιαξε καὶ ποτέ, κλάιν μάιν κ.λπ.». Αὐτὸ τὸν ἀνθρωποτύπο προετοιμάζει κι ὁ, καὶ καλά, «μὴ ὑποκριτὴς», αὐτὸς ποὺ φορᾶ τὸ χαμόγελο τοῦ μὴ φανατικοῦ («Οἱ ἄλλοι εἶναι φανατικοί!!«), γιατὶ μὲ τὶς ὑπερφυσικές του δυνάμεις θὰ τὸν ἐκχριστιανίσει. Μασὰζ στὰ μάγουλά του κάθε πότε κάνει;
I was brought up without religion. For as long as I can remember, my mother always insisted she would «let me decide about such matters when old enough to make up my mind». By choosing to bring me up this way she broke new ground – I am part of the first generation of my French family not to get baptised and not to be enrolled at Sunday school. My family seems to have gradually lost faith, or at least lost any sustained interest in it, during the past 25 years.
Soon after confirmation, hormones and school crushes replaced Sunday school for most of my friends, who didn’t set foot in a church for years afterwards. I suppose it was felt that baptism, communion and confirmation were things that «had to be done», but church attendance beyond those events wasn’t enforced. Parents rarely went to church themselves once their last child was confirmed; the strict minimum had been completed.
The last time I talked to a young person who was proudly practising was at university; she was a very stereotypical conservative student with a very bourgeois upbringing, who had been to Catholic summer camps throughout her teenage years – a true rarity. The rest of the people with a religious background that I knew were either lapsed Catholics, agnostics, or very much kept their belief to themselves. Their parents gave up on churchgoing and Bible studies long ago, too busy paying the bills to find the time for devotion. It just skipped their minds.
As to the question, «Is God disappearing?», I can only think that French Christianity is indeed fading because it is upheld by families whose hearts are not deeply committed to it as part of their heritage. I’m not sure it is a bad thing, either: why keep up half-baked social pretences just for the sake of it?
I recently asked my beloved grandmother, who is in her mid-90s, whether she still believed in God. She hesitated, and said: «Not really … but when I am gone, I still want a religious burial.» I suppose that some cultural attachments to tradition are deeply comforting and will remain. I doubt those will still exist a few generations from now.