the faculty session of the Tekstilno-tehnološki
(Faculty of Textile Technology; College of Textile Technology,
in American English) in Zagreb, Croatia on Nov. 24, 1997, by
secret ballot (29 out of 32), Saint Paul was named as the guardian
of the college. I’ve missed that important moment of the
disintegration of the Croatian civil society but a recent article
on the TTF website put me back on track.
I commented earlier ,
Croatia is a secular state only declaratively, not in practice.
The separation of church and government institutions proved itself
to be essential ingredient of the Western-type democracy - but
then who is to say any type of democracy is functional in Croatia?
The totalitarian structure of the Socialist Republic of Croatia
has been replaced by the totalitarian mafia-type structure of the
current Croatian state - of which the Croatian Catholic church
exhibits itself to be an essential ingredient. A secular state
protects both, freedom of religion and freedom from religion. A
secular state prevents religion from interfering with state
affairs; it prevents religion from controlling government or
exercising political power. None of that is true in present-day
Croatia. Everyday public life in Croatia is saturated with
Catholicism as a political power. The church is exploiting the
untempered servility of Croatian politicians but I didn’t expect
it will subdue the heart of civil society, the public high
education, as well.
proposing the guardianship of Saint Paul, the dean of TTF
repeatedly stressed Saint Paul’s ‘love your neighbor as
yourself’ principle. The so-called golden rule do unto others
is apparently a core principle of every major religion - they just
can’t agree on what love entails and who your neighbor is. That
side of the ‘love your neighbor’ message might explain the
deans proposal. Because, judging from the TTF’s involvement in
the neo-fascists festivities like Bleiburg, the Saint Paul's
guardianship is a political statement, not a religious one.