November 04, 2009

Court rules against crucifixes The European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday that the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools violates religious and education freedoms

The court ordered Italy to pay a $7,390 fine to a mother in northern Italy who fought for eight years to have crucifixes removed from her children's public school classrooms. [The Vatican] said the crucifix is a fundamental sign of the importance of religious values in Italian history and culture, and it's a symbol of unity and welcome for all of humanity – not one of exclusion.

  • This is where that whole church/state thing gets a little difficult. In the US, for example, Christmas is a government holiday. Christmas. "Christ" is right there in the name. How can anyone possibly argue that Christmas is not a religious holiday? I can assure you that the US government couldn't possibly pass a new religious holiday. The Supreme Court would strike it down in a heartbeat. The compelling reason -- like the reason why cigarettes, alcohol, and guns are legal -- is that "that's the way it has always been." Good for Italy. If you are going to have a separation of church and state, then you have to really do it. That sounds like some effort at really doing it. I don't expect to ever see the US take a real stab at it.
  • Well those crucifixes can have really sharp edges....
  • I wonder what the reaction would be if the American Flag was ordered to be removed from schoolrooms.
  • Probably one of strange relief, since this is Italy.
  • I wonder what the reaction would be if cell phones were ordered to be removed from American classrooms.
  • *bounces up and down in chair and waves hand excitedly* I know the answer to that one. Teenagers all over the US would rise up in wrath and eat our brains.
  • These crucifixes represent something edgy, no doubt, as does the Hakenkreuz (hooked cross?), already banned at least in Germany...