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← Human rights ruling against classroom crucifixes angers Italy

Human rights ruling against classroom crucifixes angers Italy - Comments

Pedantic Twit's Avatar Comment 1 by Pedantic Twit

So it's not a symbol of Christianity? And Christianity isn't a group defined by exclusionary dogma?


Wed, 04 Nov 2009 17:04:00 UTC | #411142

blakjack's Avatar Comment 2 by blakjack

A crucifix in a classroom is a reflection on cultural history, not present-day religious persuasions. We have many instances of cultural history, for example use of Roman Numerals on clocks, but that in no way implies that we want to change our number system back to that used by the Romans.

Frankly, there are far better things to get excited about than the odd crucifix here and there. They mean nothing to me any more than does for example, the current plot in popular soap operas.


Wed, 04 Nov 2009 17:08:00 UTC | #411144

Enders's Avatar Comment 3 by Enders

Freude schöner Götterfunke
Tochter aus Elyssium
wir betreten feuertrunken Himmlische,
dein Heiligtum.

Awesome news. About time I'll say.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 17:13:00 UTC | #411147

WilliamSatire's Avatar Comment 4 by WilliamSatire

Because of course, telling people what to do always works!

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 17:26:00 UTC | #411153

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 5 by Border Collie

Don't get me wrong here, I'm all for much more secularism and much less religion, but who really cares about this? When symbols such as these are gone, they'll be replaced by symbols of the state and the corporation. Yeah, yeah, I know, what evidence do I have? Just watch what happens. Simply because we won't allow ourselves to be ruled by idiot wing-nuts doesn't mean that we won't allow ourselves to be ruled by idiot politicians, corporations or world courts.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 17:37:00 UTC | #411158

keddaw's Avatar Comment 6 by keddaw

"The crucifix is a universal symbol of love, meekness and peace" Or an horrific way to torture someone to death.

"...a symbol of unity and welcoming for all of humanity, not one of exclusion." Except if you don't believe you go to hell for eternity.

"An ancient tradition like the crucifix cannot be offensive to anyone." I dare say some Jewish people may get offended by it, not to mention athiests who think the very idea of someone else dying for their sins is abhorrent.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 17:40:00 UTC | #411161

FXR's Avatar Comment 7 by FXR

The anorexic nailed to two planks should be offensive to anyone with any concern for their children. It's a violent symbol that celebrates masochism. It carries with it a pessimistic view of human life and a glorification of suffering. It should be banned from schools, public buildings, church grounds in public view and mountain tops.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 17:50:00 UTC | #411163

Rawhard Dickins's Avatar Comment 8 by Rawhard Dickins

I don't think children need to be frightened by the idea of being nailed to a cross any more.

Although it has been a great way of winning recruits!

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 17:54:00 UTC | #411166

George Lennan's Avatar Comment 9 by George Lennan

"Classroom crucifixes were made compulsory by two laws in the 1920s when Italy was a fascist state"

says it all...

On the other hand, rather a nice chwistian cwoss than a sodding crescent moon, which is what we'll get unless we stand up for our progressive values against them-from-there's.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 18:08:00 UTC | #411171

dal's Avatar Comment 10 by dal

In that case, could the Vatican please hand over all their crucifixes to the Italian state? Being a symbol of Italian national identity, they have no place in an international religious institute.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 18:09:00 UTC | #411172

Demotruk's Avatar Comment 11 by Demotruk

I wonder will this have implications here in Ireland, where we have predominantly religious schools, but they are funded by the state (and have mostly secular staff).

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 18:10:00 UTC | #411173

mlgatheist's Avatar Comment 12 by mlgatheist

"said the crucifix was a fundamental sign of the importance of religious values in Italian history and culture, and was a symbol of unity and welcoming for all of humanity, not one of exclusion. "

1st, the crucifix is a sign of sick minds. A statue of a man tormented and hanging from a cross for over 1700 years is sick.

2nd, Italy may have the vatican on it's soil, but that does not mean that everyone in Italy is catholic. Nor is everyone there even some version of xtianity. All non-xtians have a right to attend a school without being made to feel less than a 1st class citizen.

3rd, xtianity is not unifying nor all embracing. They treat people who believe the nonsense in the new testament far differently than they treat those that do not. Remember what they did to so-called witches and jews during the dark ages, when the catholic church ruled Europe.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 18:27:00 UTC | #411174

Linda Ward Selbie's Avatar Comment 13 by Linda Ward Selbie

Here is another GU, Cif, piece on the subject that seems to be rattling the cages of believers:

'Italians reject crucifix ruling' by Manuela Mesco.

Crucifix Ruling

The Italian public has united against the European court in its ruling against crucifixes in classrooms

Ms Mesco's piece in the GU is more like tabloid trash as it isn't reflecting fact based reality of what Italians do think about this issue:

I crocifissi nelle aule

La presenza dei crocifissi nelle aule scolastiche costituisce ''una violazione del diritto dei genitori ad educare i figli secondo le loro convinzioni'' e una violazione alla ''liberta' di religione degli alunni''. Lo ha stabilito la Corte europea dei diritti dell'uomo. Siete d'accordo?

The presence of crucifixes in classrooms is''a violation of the right of parents to educate their children according to their convictions''and''a violation of freedom 'of religion of students.'' This was established by the European Court of Human Rights. Do you agree?

It looks to me as if the 'Si's' are the majority at (64%). This reflects that the Italian population is growing up intellectually. If only they would purge the priests from the Vatican and stop being tithed (4 billion euros a year) to support that mob of clerics. Hampered by mobsters and the Vatican it may take Italy a few more years to get with the programme.

Shame on the Guardian for giving Cif space to those who are not telling the truth.

If kids stop being initiated at birth then the true number of believers would be counted. Advertising Iron Age beliefs in classrooms, post offices or any public public buildings is inappropriate.

It is rather weird to see crucifixes, implements of torture, on display in banks too.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 18:49:00 UTC | #411184

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 16 by Richard Dawkins

Forgive me for not welcoming this judgment with unalloyed joy. If I thought the motive was secularist I would indeed welcome it. But are we sure it is not pandering to 'multiculturalism', which in Europe is code for Islam? And if you think Catholicism is evil . . .


Wed, 04 Nov 2009 18:53:00 UTC | #411188

j.mills's Avatar Comment 14 by j.mills

Great fun. A cross in a classroom is a passive endorsement of christianity in particular and religion in general. It renders more acceptable what instead should be more challenged. Getting rid is a Good Thing.

Depressing standard of 'argument' in response, though:

Silvio Berlusconi's education minister, Maria Stella Gelmini, said: "No one, not even some ideologically motivated European court, will succeed in rubbing out our identity."
Daft strawman, no one's trying to 'rub out' the 'Italian identity' (whatever that would mean); but out of interest, how is catholicism not "ideologically motivated"?

The anger of the clerics indicates how important they perceive the classroom crucifix to be in their cause. Which means a blow has here been struck against religiosity.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 18:53:00 UTC | #411186

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 15 by Jos Gibbons

One wonders whether or not these crucifixes had Jesus on them. The Catholic Bible for some reason is missing the commandment against idolatry, and lo and behold they like having Jesus on their crucifix, whereas Protestants do not. Whichever kind of crucifix was found in a classroom would be preferential regarding the Catholic-Protestant distinction, not just pro-Christian. This being Italy, which if I understand correctly is mostly Catholic (insofar as it is religious) with very few Protestants, I imagine the crucifixes were the kind amenable to the majority of local Christians, especially since Mussolini had them installed. All the same, one wonders how Protestants feel about all this.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 18:53:00 UTC | #411187

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 17 by TIKI AL

Children are intimidated, pressured, and influenced by these crosses.

As I recall another part of Italy's history involves a twisted cross, however I do not see these on prominent display in the classrooms.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 18:57:00 UTC | #411190

Linda Ward Selbie's Avatar Comment 18 by Linda Ward Selbie

Richard Dawkins - Surely you noticed that the pro-sharia UK march fizzled last weekend into nothing.

Shaaz Mahboob:

A good day for democracy

Supporters of Islam4UK called off their demonstration, but on Saturday we went ahead, marching to defend secular values

BTW - My Berkeley question is more of hope actually that you will write a book addressing the issue of human overpopulation.


Wed, 04 Nov 2009 19:06:00 UTC | #411192

Flapjack's Avatar Comment 19 by Flapjack

I'm almost tempted to think let them have their crucifixes in the spirit of live-and-let-live. But then I think of the expression on Darth Ratzinberger's face when they break the news that he can't even make Italy conform to catholic dogma, and somehow it makes it all worthwhile!

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 19:15:00 UTC | #411193

carbonman's Avatar Comment 20 by carbonman

Mixed feelings on this one. If electrocution had been the mode of execution in first century Judaea these schools would presumably have model electric chairs, some complete with smoking corpse, adorning classroom walls. (I think it was Sam Harris who said that.) Getting rid of ubiquitous images of torture and death, especially if they carry a sinister payload of guilt and original sin, can't be a bad thing. Now we need to get rid of the obscene ideology that goes with them.

But the other ingredient in my feelings mix is unease. Words like 'banned' risk deifying the faith heads in the eyes of many, infected as they are with the dangerous notion that religion is all about being nice. I think the ideology has to be the first issue, and the symbology should passively die with it.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 19:35:00 UTC | #411199

Stonyground's Avatar Comment 21 by Stonyground

Though Islam is pretty evil, I would say that in view of European history Catholicism is worse. At the present time the Catholic Church only refrains from the obscene cruelty that it practiced in the past because it is restricted by the secular society around it. If it were ever given free reign again, I think that on balance I would prefer Islam as marginally the lesser of two evils.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 19:55:00 UTC | #411204

bendigeidfran's Avatar Comment 22 by bendigeidfran

Comment #429504 by carbonman

Lenny Bruce

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 19:56:00 UTC | #411205

clunkclickeverytrip's Avatar Comment 23 by clunkclickeverytrip

At least it's a move in the right direction, although muslims must be pleased. Anything that dilutes the effects of Christianity while not particularly secularizing, suits their agenda, as RD notes. Here in Ottawa, Canada, there is a separate Catholic school system - I can just imagine their horror at being told to remove crosses from classroom walls (assuming they are there, not having been in such a classroom). How does this ruling affect faith schools in the UK?

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 20:12:00 UTC | #411208

pervious1's Avatar Comment 24 by pervious1

Shouldn't the symbol of Italian identity be a dropped rifle?

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 20:13:00 UTC | #411209

Kmita's Avatar Comment 25 by Kmita

I saw one person had replied to the article saying that despite the fact they were a humanist, he did not agree with the decision. He went on to explain how the religious garbage floating around his english school had no effect on him. He concluded by saying the mother who started this all was in fact wrong.

Why is this such a common mistake? Is it so damned hard for people to understand? Your INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCE does NOT extend to an objective truth. You cannot make such hasty generalizations if you hope to come across as anything more than a stupid jackass.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 20:32:00 UTC | #411212

Tiberius9's Avatar Comment 26 by Tiberius9

"The crucifix is a universal symbol of love, meekness and peace." No. Historically the crucifix is an instrument of torture. What kind of people praise an instrument of torture£ (Yeh, I know.)

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 20:42:00 UTC | #411215

clunkclickeverytrip's Avatar Comment 27 by clunkclickeverytrip

The crucifix is a symbol - like the spray of a tomcat marking its territory.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 20:54:00 UTC | #411220

Twatsworth's Avatar Comment 28 by Twatsworth

Though Islam is pretty evil, I would say that in view of European history Catholicism is worse. At the present time the Catholic Church only refrains from the obscene cruelty that it practiced in the past because it is restricted by the secular society around it. If it were ever given free reign again, I think that on balance I would prefer Islam as marginally the lesser of two evils.
I severely doubt that this is true. 87% of the Republic of Ireland identifies as Roman Catholic, yet it is frequently held as one of the best places to live in the entire world. Ireland's GDP per capita, Human Development Index, Quality of Life Index, and various other statistics assessing the extent of human well-being in Ireland, are generally near the very top of the pile.

Other primarily Catholic countries such as Italy and Spain likewise perform well enough according to most or all of these metrics. (For instance, they both come ahead of UK in Human Development and Quality of Life indices.) Naturally, Islamic countries achieve poorly on all these things. To get an even worse picture, look at these State of the World Liberty Index rankings. The highest ranked Muslim nation, Turkey, is in position 84.

If Catholism were such a horrible religion, on anything like the scale of Islam, you would not expect Ireland, Italy and Spain to be doing even nearly so well. Catholism still might be an overall force for evil. However, it seems unlikely that it is a very significant force for evil, at least when compared with Islam.

(As goes without saying, the situation would not have been the same 70 years ago, back when the world was threatened by the Catholic-aligned fascism of Mussolini, Franco, and Hitler. The unpredictability of religion is perhaps another reason for fighting all faith, right across the board.)

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 20:59:00 UTC | #411225

Simon Wilson's Avatar Comment 29 by Simon Wilson

Sorry, Richard, but I disagree. Those members of Islam who hate us couldnt care whether we are believers or not.
What I like about this decision is that it sets a precedent. Surely, now ALL schools in Italy must take down religious symbols??

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 21:08:00 UTC | #411227

LaurieB's Avatar Comment 30 by LaurieB

A ban on crucifixes doesn’t go far enough. Italy should take an example from France and ban religious symbols from public schools.

Apparently there were some protests in France after the law passed but they fizzled out with no further ado.

Belgium may be following their lead.

Italians may be more receptive to an overall religious symbols ban.

Wed, 04 Nov 2009 21:20:00 UTC | #411231