Back on Sunday I wrote this tweet about François Fillon winning the first round of the centre right primary in France:
I'm not a fan of Fillon as he's hard to place politically and too Catholic. But he's not Sarko. So that's progress 👏👍🍾🇫🇷🇪🇺 #LaPrimaire— Jon Worth (@jonworth) November 20, 2016
Then, out of the blue and without asking me anything, four days later I get this:
“unabashedly anti-Catholic” Karnitschnig says some Greens are (as if I, one member with no elected role in the party, speak for them!), and adds Toni Hofreiter and the main Grüne party account into the tweet for good measure.
Sorry Matthew, but what is your problem here?
I am a secularist, and that is vitally important here. My problem with Fillon is not whatever he believes in private – that’s up to him, and rightly so. My issue is with his calculated appeal to the Catholic establishment – the Manif pour tous people – whose support won him the first round of the primary last week. France is supposed to be a secular state. This is how Angelique Chrisafis puts it in The Guardian:
His popularity is also down to his careful appeal to the deeply socially conservative views of the Catholic right, promising to reverse certain recently won adoption rights for gay couples, preserve traditional family values and respect France’s Christian roots.
Then in the follow up from Karnitschnig I get this:
Yes, blatant discrimination against against religious groups angers me https://t.co/JjJZ8haP94— Matthew Karnitschnig (@MKarnitschnig) November 24, 2016
So calling Fillon “too Catholic” (my original tweet) then becomes “blatant discrimination against religious groups”. That’s ridiculous. I was wrong to write the tweet that way, and for that I apologise. But it is also not correct to see this as discrimination against religious groups, nor to state that it shows anti-Catholicism among Greens.*
(Oh, and let us not forget what happened the last time Karnitschnig tweeted me – it turned into a bit of a fiasco.)
* – in light if this debate it seems I was not categoric enough, hence the text has been changed.
[UPDATE – 24.11.2016, 1430]
So Matthew has replied in typical fashion, likening me to the AfD and Pegida. Danke!