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Posted: 11/3/2009 8:36:12 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/3/2009 8:41:06 AM EST by Notcalifornialegal]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091103/wl_nm/us_italy_court_crucifix;_ylt=Aqs_s8joznvJBTneS.2T_k8D_b4F;_ylu=X3oDMTJxMTBtajE3BGFzc2V0A25tLzIwMDkxMTAzL3VzX­2l0YWx5X2NvdXJ0X2NydWNpZml4BGNwb3MDNwRwb3MDNw­RzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3JpZXMEc2xrA2l0YWx5aW51cHJ­vYQ––


STRASBOURG/ROME (Reuters) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday that Italian schools should remove crucifixes from classrooms, sparking uproar in Italy, where such icons are embedded in the national psyche.

"This is an abhorrent ruling," said Rocco Buttiglione, a former culture minister who helped write papal encyclicals.

"It must be rejected with firmness. Italy has its culture, its traditions and its history. Those who come among us must understand and accept this culture and this history," he said.

The court ruling, which Italy said it would appeal, said crucifixes on school walls, a common sight that is part of every Italian's life, could disturb children who were not Christians.

Italy has been in the throes of national debate on how to deal with a growing population of immigrants, mostly Muslims, and the court sentence is likely to become another battle cry for the center-right government's policy to restrict newcomers.

The Vatican spokesman said he would not comment until he knew more about the ruling but Italy's powerful bishops' conference said the ruling "evokes sadness and bewilderment."

Members of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government bristled, weighing in with words such as "shameful," "offensive," "absurd," "unacceptable," and "pagan."

MORTAL BLOW

Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said the court has dealt a "mortal blow to a Europe of values and rights," adding that it was a bad precedent for other countries.

Condemnation crossed party lines. Paola Binetti, a Catholic in the opposition Democratic Party, the successor of what was once the West's largest communist party, said: "In Italy, the crucifix is a specific sign of our tradition."

The case was brought by an Italian national, Soile Lautsi, who complained that her children had to attend a public school in northern Italy which had crucifixes in every room.

Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini said crucifixes on the walls of tens of thousands of classrooms "does not mean adherence to Catholicism" but are a symbol of Italy's heritage.

"The history of Italy is marked by symbols and if we erase symbols we erase part of ourselves," Gelmini said.

Lautsi, the woman who filed the suit, said crucifixes on walls ran counter to her right to give her children a secular education and the Strasbourg-based court ruled in her favor.

"The presence of the crucifix ... could be encouraging for religious pupils, but also disturbing for pupils who practiced other religions or were atheists, particularly if they belonged to religious minorities," the court said in a written ruling.

"The State (must) refrain from imposing beliefs in premises where individuals were dependent on it," it added, saying the aim of public education was "to foster critical thinking."

"JESUS DOESN'T BOTHER ME"

At least one Muslim girl disagreed with the court.

"If the crucifix is there and I am a Muslim I will continue to respect my religion. Jesus in the classroom doesn't bother me," Zenat, a 14-year-old girl of Egyptian origin, told Reuters Television.

Mario Baccini, a senator in Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, said the court had "gone adrift in paganism."

Two Italian laws dating from the 1920s, when the Fascists were in power, state that schools must display crucifixes.

Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, said such rulings were leading to "a Europe without an identity."

Only a handful of politicians defended the court, including some members of the Democratic Party, as well as members of the communist party and atheist groups.

(Additional reporting by Crispian Balmer in Paris and Antonio Denti in Rome; writing by Philip Pullella)
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:36:49 AM EST
h o t l i n k
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:37:26 AM EST
By Gilbert Reilhac and Philip Pullella Gilbert Reilhac And Philip Pullella – 46 mins ago
STRASBOURG/ROME (Reuters) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday that Italian schools should remove crucifixes from classrooms, sparking uproar in Italy, where such icons are embedded in the national psyche.

"This is an abhorrent ruling," said Rocco Buttiglione, a former culture minister who helped write papal encyclicals.

"It must be rejected with firmness. Italy has its culture, its traditions and its history. Those who come among us must understand and accept this culture and this history," he said.

The court ruling, which Italy said it would appeal, said crucifixes on school walls, a common sight that is part of every Italian's life, could disturb children who were not Christians.

Italy has been in the throes of national debate on how to deal with a growing population of immigrants, mostly Muslims, and the court sentence is likely to become another battle cry for the center-right government's policy to restrict newcomers.

The Vatican spokesman said he would not comment until he knew more about the ruling but Italy's powerful bishops' conference said the ruling "evokes sadness and bewilderment."

Members of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government bristled, weighing in with words such as "shameful," "offensive," "absurd," "unacceptable," and "pagan."

MORTAL BLOW

Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said the court has dealt a "mortal blow to a Europe of values and rights," adding that it was a bad precedent for other countries.

Condemnation crossed party lines. Paola Binetti, a Catholic in the opposition Democratic Party, the successor of what was once the West's largest communist party, said: "In Italy, the crucifix is a specific sign of our tradition."

The case was brought by an Italian national, Soile Lautsi, who complained that her children had to attend a public school in northern Italy which had crucifixes in every room.

Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini said crucifixes on the walls of tens of thousands of classrooms "does not mean adherence to Catholicism" but are a symbol of Italy's heritage.

"The history of Italy is marked by symbols and if we erase symbols we erase part of ourselves," Gelmini said.

Lautsi, the woman who filed the suit, said crucifixes on walls ran counter to her right to give her children a secular education and the Strasbourg-based court ruled in her favor.

"The presence of the crucifix ... could be encouraging for religious pupils, but also disturbing for pupils who practiced other religions or were atheists, particularly if they belonged to religious minorities," the court said in a written ruling.

"The State (must) refrain from imposing beliefs in premises where individuals were dependent on it," it added, saying the aim of public education was "to foster critical thinking."

"JESUS DOESN'T BOTHER ME"

At least one Muslim girl disagreed with the court.

"If the crucifix is there and I am a Muslim I will continue to respect my religion. Jesus in the classroom doesn't bother me," Zenat, a 14-year-old girl of Egyptian origin, told Reuters Television.

Mario Baccini, a senator in Berlusconi's People of Freedom party, said the court had "gone adrift in paganism."

Two Italian laws dating from the 1920s, when the Fascists were in power, state that schools must display crucifixes.

Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, said such rulings were leading to "a Europe without an identity."

Only a handful of politicians defended the court, including some members of the Democratic Party, as well as members of the communist party and atheist groups.

(Additional reporting by Crispian Balmer in Paris and Antonio Denti in Rome; writing by Philip Pullella)
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:38:21 AM EST
Next time how about a little bit of info about the article, a hotlink, or a copy paste. Ok?
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:41:23 AM EST
done
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:44:17 AM EST
Members of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government bristled, weighing in with words such as "shameful," "offensive," "absurd," "unacceptable," and "pagan." va fongool!!


What they shoulda said.


"European Court of Human Rights....." Cowardly, tyrannical busy bodies.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:46:07 AM EST
European Court of Human Rights?

Must be their version of the ACLU.

Welcome to our world, Italy!
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:47:54 AM EST
HAHA welcome to our world now!!
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:52:58 AM EST
How these idiots couldn't see this coming when voted for EU I cannot grasp. Their chickens have come home.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:55:34 AM EST
I suggest they blow up a few buildings, maybe abduct some journalists and cut their heads off. Seems like that's the way to get world respect for your religious beliefs.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:55:44 AM EST
Italy has its culture, its traditions and its history.

And this is why the whole "One world government" thing will never be embraced, but through force. People LIKE being Italians, Americans, Chinese, whatever. Calling yourself a "citizen of the world" is stupid. It might sound culterally enlightened, but there are enough of us mouth breathers out here who like our culture and heritage just fine.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:56:46 AM EST
I don't think they really want to be riling up them Italians, at the moment.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:57:45 AM EST
Originally Posted By 3rdpig:
I suggest they blow up a few buildings, maybe abduct some journalists and cut their heads off. Seems like that's the way to get world respect for your religious beliefs.


It does seem to have a record of working....



TXL
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:58:47 AM EST
Originally Posted By millfire517:
HAHA welcome to our world now!!




Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:59:20 AM EST
Originally Posted By Strykewolf:
I don't think they really want to be riling up them Italians, at the moment.


What are they gonna do?
Throw down their glass of wine and invade on their mopeds?

(j/k)
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 9:01:18 AM EST
Originally Posted By 3rdpig:
I suggest they blow up a few buildings, maybe abduct some journalists and cut their heads off. Seems like that's the way to get world respect for your religious beliefs.


Unless you're a Christian, in which case abandoning your beliefs gains respect
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 9:03:22 AM EST
The rise of pluralism...
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 9:22:03 AM EST
Originally Posted By 3rdpig:
I suggest they blow up a few buildings, maybe abduct some journalists and cut their heads off. Seems like that's the way to get world respect for your religious beliefs.


+1

and IBTL
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 9:24:03 AM EST
ROP
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 9:27:55 AM EST
As soon as I read "growing population of immigrants, mostly muslims" I just wanted to fucking piss on The European Court of Human Rights...

Fuck Europe and Fuck the rest of the Idiots in that hemisphere of the World.
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 10:49:15 AM EST
ROME – The Vatican on Tuesday denounced a ruling by the European court of human rights that said the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools violates religious and education freedoms.

In a decision that could force a review of the use of religious symbols in government-run schools across Europe, the court ordered Italy to pay a euro5,000 ($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 Italian government said it would appeal.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi 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.

He said a European court had no right intervening in such a profoundly Italian matter and said "it seems as if the court wanted to ignore the role of Christianity in forming Europe's identity, which was and remains essential."

"Religion gives a precious contribution to the formation and moral growth of people, and it's an essential component in our civilization," he said in a statement. "It's wrong and myopic to try to exclude it from education."

Crucifixes are common in Italian public schools as well as courtrooms. Occasionally, legal cases arise; in one well-known case, a Muslim activist filed suit challenging the legality of the crucifixes in his son's elementary school in Ofena, about 145 kilometers (90 miles) east of Rome.

Though he eventually lost, the case was an early shot in what has become a battle in Europe about whether there should be any religious symbols at all in European classrooms and other public places. More recently in Italy, a judge who refused to hold hearings because there were crufixes in his courtroom was ordered to stand trial for having failed to perform his official duties.

The Strasbourg-based court said the crucifix could be disturbing to non-Christian or atheist pupils, rejecting arguments by Italy's government that it was a national symbol of culture, history, identity, tolerance and secularism.

The court said secular, state-run schools must "observe confessional neutrality in the context of public education," where attendance is compulsory.

But while it fined the government, the seven-judge panel stopped short of ordering Italy to remove the crucifixes, which are common in Italian public schools. The ruling can still be appealed to the European Court of Human Rights' Grand Chamber of 17 judges, whose decisions are binding.

The case was brought by Soile Lautsi, a mother of two who claimed public schools in her northern Italian town refused eight years ago to remove the Roman Catholic symbols from classrooms. She had maintained that the crucifix violates the secular principles the public schools are supposed to uphold, and the right to offer her children a secular education.

She filed her case with the European Court of Human Rights in July 2006, after Italy's Constitutional Court dismissed her complaint. Her efforts to rid public schools of religious symbols in a country that is predominantly Roman Catholic had not been welcomed.

Lautsi, who is of Finnish origins, and her husband, Massimo Albertin, said they were satisfied.

"We believe the ruling is a positive signal from Europe to Italy, which seems to increasingly lose its secularism," Albertin was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency from his home in Albano Terme. "The crucifix creates discrimination."

Still, the government maintained the crucifix is a symbol of Italian and European history and tradition.

"In our country nobody wants to impose the Catholic religion, let alone with a crucifix," Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini said. But she added that "it is not by eliminating the traditions of individual countries that a united Europe is built."

In its ruling, the court said 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." It added that the presence of such symbols could be "disturbing for pupils who practiced other religions or were atheists."

Italian bishops said they were perplexed by the decision.

"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 Bishop's Conference said in a statement.

___

Associated Press Writer Constant Brand in Brussels contributed to this report.



Link Posted: 11/3/2009 10:50:40 AM EST
Originally Posted By captainpooby:
voted for EU


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