The influence of religious lobby versus secularism on European policy
Despite many measures against, or calls for transparancy from ngo's to reveal non-electoral influences on government, lobbies have a noticeable power. In Europe today there is room for influencing political decisions and regulations. Of course doing so is not possible without a well organised and effective structure. There are groups existing centuries before the Union, most of them are not willing to get out of the way. Their will is to influence present decisions.
Two big institutions are involved in a confrontation. Continuously and reciprocally, Catholic Church and Freemasons, they have been fighting for years, centuries maybe. Nobody exactly knows the level of their influence. When we talk about influence, we mean: towards public institutions, society and culture. The fight is to gain influence on television channels, style of the media, laws related to public costumes. To me it is quite easy to see who wants what; basing on the connection between decision on the public sphere and their philosophy and thoughts.
When we refer to the Church, we are indicating the Catholic church. But what is good for now, is to find a way to confront influence on public institutions and life. Lobbying activity is almost unclear, not easy to recognize. It is legal, but it is based on the fact democracy cannot control everything. That activity wants to influence government, regulatory agencies, the production of laws and to control media. There you recognize its fruits and consequences. A premise has to be done in economy, communication and culture. A well organized, cultural conscious and wealthy group or association can do its job in the indirect link between people's preferences and the decision. Administratively speaking, the Church has a well known structure with one head, bishops, priests that are heads of local communities. It is often called the hierarchy. We find a different situation about Freemasonry, with lodges, obediences and its grand masters and venerable masters as chairmen.
Talking about wealth, the difference is quite clear. The Church owns billions, the Freemansonry millions. Nobody actually is starving. This difference shown by the fact you can find properties of the Church everywhere, especially in the city centers, while lodge buildings are less and they are more simple. The most famous headquarters are probably the United Grand Lodge of England in London. What a job to influence politicians and to defend themselves imposing their will. How much strategy there has to be!