Sarkozy's most provocative statement about this proposal is undoubtedly this, as reported by the Times:
Adding to the national fracas over the announcement, Mr. Sarkozy wrapped his plan in the cloak of religion, placing blame for the wars and violence of the last century on an “absence of God” and calling the Nazi belief in a hierarchy of races “radically incompatible with Judeo-Christian monotheism.”
Fair enough, we say, and true enough. For the French, however, you'd think that the very foundations of the Third Republic had been shattered. The article is fun reading mostly to see how French intellectuals are decrying the proposal. Apparently, a pupil who learns about a child who died at the hand of the Nazis will be permanently traumatized, unable to function in the placid society that is today's enlightened France.
We are reminded again of the two paths taken in the Enlightenment's two great political revolutions. In France the path was anti-clericalism and anti-religious secularism, shot through with radical idealism about the capacity of human reason. In America the path was a sober assessment of human limitations as demonstrated in history and taught in Protestant Christianity, yielding protection of religion from the state as well as the opposite.
We remain convinced that on balance, the path taken by our Republic is better than theirs.