Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mad I Tell You, The World is Going Mad

Crucifixes Banned From Italian Schools

Believe it. The Independent reports:

The European Court of Human Rights has said that the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools violates religious and education freedoms, prompting an angry reaction from the Catholic Church and government officials in Rome.

The ruling could force a review of the use of religious symbols in government-run schools across Europe. Saying the crucifix could be disturbing to non-Christian or atheist pupils, the court in Strasbourg rejected arguments by Italy's government that it was a national symbol of culture, history, identity, tolerance and secularism. The Italian government immediately said it would appeal, with one minister saying the court should be ashamed and a conservative senator calling the ruling "absurd".

Italian bishops said they were perplexed by the ruling. "The multiple significance of the crucifix, which is not just a religious symbol but a cultural sign, has been either ignored or overlooked," the Italian Bishops Conference said.

The court ordered the government to pay a €5,000 (£4,500) fine to Soile Lautsi, the mother of two children who claimed public schools refused eight years ago to remove the Roman Catholic symbols from classrooms. However, the seven-judge panel stopped short of ordering Italy to remove the crucifixes.

Unambiguously Ambidextrous has this to say:

If you thought the Canadian Human Rights Commission came up with some ridiculous ideas, just look at the European Court of Human Rights. They have said that the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools violates religious and education freedoms in the heart of European Catholicism. The response from the Catholic Church in Rome has been swift and angry. The reason for the ruling:

The ruling could force a review of the use of religious symbols in government-run schools across Europe. Saying the crucifix could be disturbing to non-Christian or atheist pupils, the court in Strasbourg rejected arguments by Italy’s government that it was a national symbol of culture, history, identity, tolerance and secularism. The Italian government immediately said it would appeal, with one minister saying the court should be ashamed and a conservative senator calling the ruling “absurd”.

Italian bishops said they were perplexed by the ruling. “The multiple significance of the crucifix, which is not just a religious symbol but a cultural sign, has been either ignored or overlooked,” the Italian Bishops Conference said.

I have to agree with the church on this one. The crucifix, while a symbol for Christianity, is also evocative of two thousand years of European culture and history, and it would be ridiculous to ignore this aspect when making decisions about removing the cross from schools. Indeed, what often united the fratricidal fiefdoms throughout Europe’s bloody history, was their link to Christianity. The celebration of Christian calender events, cultural festivals, and observation of holy days are all commonly shared within the European continent.

It’s more surprising because it’s happening in Italy, the country which hosts the Vatican in Rome which has guided Catholic theology and culture since the first century. One can only imagine the reaction in Mecca to the Saudi Arabian Human Rights Court decreeing the Islamic Crescent as violating religious freedoms.

Chalk one up for political correctness. Human Rights run Amok.

2 comments:

Joshua S. said...

Michael:

We should all ENJOY the fallout from this EU decision. It will force the issue into public debate. Maybe just maybe (insert prayers of choice here, please) it will lead to the acknowledgement and recognition that Judeo-Christian ethos is foundational to Western Civilization and genuine western secular liberalism.

Jehovah, His Beloved Som jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all genuine "liberals". Each and every human being, created by God, has the GIFT from God to use her/his free will to fully express and play an active role in the fulfillment of God's Will and ultimate Plan. Theirs is an INVITATION TO REDEMPTION, and it comes complete with incredible add-ons that put Ford, GM and all the others to shame!

As more than one pundit I've read would write: "I'm just SAYIN' is all..."

mbrandon8026 said...

Good thoughts, Joshua.

As each event that challenges Christianity comes to pass, it leads those of us who might be luke warm to have to choose to be hot or cold.

I have seen in Catholic churches that more and more, the people in the pews are there because they choose to be, not because they HAVE to be as in our younger days, and there is real joy and real life in that.