Final Word from Thursday, July 4, 2002





The outgoing ČSSD cabinet is apparently the most openly atheist of all the Czech cabinets. Nine of the 17 ministers said they have no faith. Four of the others, including Premier Miloš Zeman, wouldn't give us an answer, saying this is a private issue. Only four ministers told us they're religious. Three of them are Catholic, and one is religious but has no church. In many countries, openly being an atheist is a handicap for a politician. Not in the CR. The issue of religion rarely arises, and only a small percentage of voters take it into account. It can be argued that religion provides values that are beneficial to people of public responsibility, but an informal poll of our readers found that most don't think this is important. The majority of those we spoke to, for example, said that an atheist cabinet is no more likely to be corruptible than a religious one.

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