The government has chosen the wording for the referendum question on the EU constitution ("Should the United Kingdom approve the treaty establishing a constitution for the European Union?"). Reluctantly, given I'm usually pro-EU, I will have to vote 'no'. It's not that I'm against the EU having a constitution, but I am against the EU adopting this particular one [pdf - html]. I know I'm in a minority of nearly one on this, but I cannot subscribe to its core values, upon which it's premised.
The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, nondiscrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and and equality between women and men prevail. [I-2]
For example, I don't believe in human dignity. What dignity is there in giving birth and being born, in ageing and in dying, in screwing up and getting screwed, etc.? Did 1939-45 reveal to Europeans how much dignity we had? No, it showed up how bestial (as well as heroic) we can be.
Although the idea of human dignity has its roots in the Enlightenment (and not, as is often said, in the Bible), and forms part of the Americanist religion, it is now, post-Vatican II, proclaimed by the Catholic Church as dogma, even though the idea is so contrary to Christian theology. I'm not a Catholic, let alone a conservative one, but this is their argument against 'human dignity':
1. The Vatican II Council's declaration "Dignitatis Humanae" affirms a false natural human right "in matters of religion" contrary to prior papal teachings, which formally deny such a blasphemy.
2. Pius IX in his Encyclical "Quanta Cura", Leo XIII in his Encyclicals "Libertas Praestantissimum" and "Immortale Dei", Pius XII in his allocution "Le Riesce", addressed to Italian Catholic jurists, deny that such a right has any basis in reason or revelation.
3. These doctrines are based on a false concept of human dignity, stemming from the agnostic and materialist pseudo-philosophers of the French Revolution, already condemned by St. Pius X in his pontifical letter "Our Apostolic Mandate."
4. The Vatican II document "Gaudium et Spes" expresses a false principle when it regards human and Christian dignity as being a consequence of the Incarnation, which restored this dignity for all men. This same error is repeated in John Paul II's Encyclical "Redemptor Hominis."
But whereas this Catholic writer blames the French Revolution, I reckon the blame lies more with the American one. Vatican II was influenced by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which was itself informed by the US Declaration of Independence. [continued page 117...]