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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Big Government EU bureaucracy outlaws crucifixes in state-run, Italian schools; (Time for a voucher system?)

(Mail Online) -- Crucifixes have been banned in Italian schools by a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights. The decision has enraged politicians, with Italy's foreign minister Franco Frattini saying: 'This is a death blow for a Europe of values and rights. 'Europe's roots lie in its Christian identity. At a time when we're trying to bring religions closer, the Christian religion gets whacked.

The case was brought by a Finnish woman, Soile Lautsi, who is married to an Italian. Both are atheists. She had complained that her children had to attend a school in northern Italy which had crucifixes in every room, as laid down in law as a reflection of the country's Roman Catholic heritage. The European court's ruling, which will be enforced in three months, said crucifixes could disturb children who were not Christians. It could force a Europe-wide review of the use of religious symbols in government-run schools. The court rejected arguments by Italy's government that the crucifix was a national symbol of culture, history and identity, tolerance and secularism. And it ordered the Italian government to pay 5000 Euro moral damages to Lautsi...

Today in a 16-page decision the seven judges of the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled in her favour, saying: 'The presence of the crucifix could easily be interpreted by pupils of all ages as a religious sign and they would feel that they were being educated in a school environment bearing the stamp of a given religion. 'This could be encouraging for religious pupils, but also disturbing for pupils who practised other religions or were atheists, particularly if they belonged to religious minorities.' The court added that secular, state-run schools must 'observe confessional neutrality in the context of public education,' where attendance is compulsory...Cont'd...LINK

Libertarian Today editor's note: Since overwhelmingly Catholic Italian citizens are having their tax dollars taken to pay for state schools, but being told that their own taxes can't be used to educate their children in a manner consistent with their own culture, values and beliefs, why not go to a voucher system that allows students to take their portion of the public education pie to the private Catholic school of their family's choice? Perhaps the EU bureaucracy has something against Christianity, and is trying to use the state schools to subversively indoctrinate students into its own value system (see article below). This likelihood demonstrates how "secular" government bureaucracies aren't really secular at all, and how Big Government becomes the enemy and antagonist of local and civilizational values and ways of life. -- Chris Moore

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