A serious misquote is circulating on the internet about Jürgen Habermas and Christianity. On a very large number of web sites you can read the following "quotation" of Jürgen Habermas:
"Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [to Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."
The "quotation" has appeared in Foreign Policy ("Europe's Christian Comeback"), Wall Street Journal ("In Europe, God Is (Not) Dead") and in Christian Science Monitor ("Germans reconsider religion"), and you can find it on a large number of blogs in America on Christianity.
But this is a misquotation! The right quotation is this:
"Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of continual critical appropriation and reinterpretation. To this day, there is no alternative to it. And in light of the current challenges of a postnational constellation, we continue to draw on the substance of this heritage. Everything else is just idle postmodern talk." (Jürgen Habermas - "Time of Transitions", Polity Press, 2006, pp. 150-151, translation of an interview from 1999).
The misquote rewrites Habermas's statement and changes its meaning:
(1) Habermas talks about the historical origin of universalistic egalitarianism - not the foundation of human rights today.
(2) Habermas mentions both Judaism and Christianity - not only Christianity.
(3) Habermas says that there is no alternative to this legacy ("Erbe" in German) - not that we have no alternative to Christianity.
For a detailed comment on the misquote and its history on the internet see my contribution here.