State and religions: secularism, the key to life in society … and in politics

“Yes, of course, our good (God, ed.). But there are many fools all over the world. ”This ridiculous tirade by Cesar in Marcel Panol’s homonymous story easily but strikingly poses the problem of where we Tunisians, like many other nations, end up. it turns out that there is an explosive mixture between faith, politics and power that a well-thought-out constitution could reasonably regulate. Kais Saeed, who is preparing a new one for us, will he do it for us?

By Samir Garbi

When we mix genres, faith, politics and power, we are heading for catastrophes: wars (civil or inter-country), terrorism in all its forms and, worse, the stupidity of the people. Keeping peoples under control (the church, the caliphate and their avatars) has always yielded catastrophic results. Examples of the past were useless. There are many cases today, from Afghanistan to Iran, from the Maghreb and Mashrik, on all continents…

The countries that actually separate do best “faith” temporary life. After the black decade in Algeria (1991-2002) the black decade in Tunisia is dragging on (2011-2021) … In our country we are talking about “Third Republic” and nothing says that “secularism” will finally be legally recognized and, above all, implemented.

To illustrate this old debate, I share with you this excerpt from a book by Marcel Panyol, written in 1946, at the end of a family trilogy (Marius, Fanny and Caesar). This great French writer, who was born in 1895 and died in 1974, left us a huge job (literature, theater, cinema).

This passage is taken from Caesar. The passage is a dialogue between the characters of the comedy immediately after the death of their friend Honore Panissa.

About good gods… Which of them is yours?

Caesar (speaking of Paniss): Oh yes! This is a good death for others. But I prefer an ugly life to a beautiful death … Because death, you don’t know where it leads …

Honorine : When someone confesses well and repents well, he goes to heaven.

Caesar : Yes, maybe. But one thought worries me. Le Bon Dieu d’Elzéar (district priest, ed.), Ours, finally, if this is not true?

Honorine (indignant): But what do you say?

Caesar : I mean, I know Muslims, Hindus, Chinese, Negroes. Their Lord is not the same, and they are not like us! … We have sins that are good with them, and vice versa … Maybe they are wrong, notice well … Only they are millions. milliasses (very large, ed.)… If they were right, Monsieur Brun?

Mr. Brown : It is clear that a question may arise.

Caesar : Poor Honore is ready, to the taste of the Good God Elsear. And if, coming to a corner of the cloud, he finds himself face to face with the good Lord, to whom he was never presented? Is the Lord black or yellow or red? Or one of those good gods dressed as a doll, as you see in antique shops, or someone with a big belly? Or the one who has as many hands as the equinade (spider crab, a kind of crab, ed.)? Poor Panis, what will he tell her? In what language? What gestures? (To Escartefig) Do you see yourself, already tired of your death and dizziness from the journey, in the process of explaining yourself to God who does not understand you? And no matter how much you pray to him, he tells you: “What? How? What do you say?” And he tells you this in Chinese?

Escartfig : Terrible situation. Here you were shaking me.

Honorine (angrily): Shut up, you big bastard. Is the Holy Bible a lie? And the Gospel? Aren’t you ashamed to say such things in front of the altar?

Claudine (sarcastically): If you went to church a little more often instead of drinking so much pastis, you would know that there is only one God! And this is our God.

Caesar : Yes, of course, our good. But then there are a lot of people all over the world who have gone bad. I feel sorry for them. ()

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