Saturday, November 07, 2009

European Court bans classroom crucifixes

Cranmer has received quite a few emails asking why he has not commented upon this story. The short answer is that His Grace is not a news service: he comments upon whatever he wants to whenever he wishes.

And there really is not much to add to this, this or this.

God forbid that schoolchildren might ever again have such an oppressive and disturbing art project as this imposed upon them.

Essentially, it is a further clash to establish one’s ranking in the emerging EU hierarchy of rights; a further battle in the interminable internecine war in the quest for supremacy. So far throughout the EU, ‘Muslim rights’ and ‘Gay rights’ are pretty much neck and neck, and this latest spat is just the Atheists putting down a marker for their own rights. Since each group has mutually-exclusive objectives, the only way to keep them from mutually-assured destruction is to unite them against a common enemy – the Christians. And so, in its infinite enlightened wisdom, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that crucifixes should not be displayed in state schools.

Of course, this will affect some EU countries more than others, and the wise and learned judges of Strasbourg have chosen Roman Catholic Italy to commence their secularisation programme. Henceforth, it is decreed that crucifixes violate the rights of parents to bring up their children according to their own beliefs: the crucifix is ‘disturbing’ for children who are inter alia Atheist, Muslim, or Gay.

And Cranmer has purposely capitalised the terms, for they have attained a status superior to the Christians, for whom, incidentally, the crucifix is also ‘disturbing’: it is supposed to be. Perhaps the ECHR might permit a classroom picture of an androgynous Jesus-looking man lying upon a wooden bed covered in a snug duvet – no nails. History and culture are of little consequence against the quest to eradicate all offence and diminish that which may ‘disturb’.

It becomes even more alarming when one considers that the Atheist complainant in this case was a woman by the name of Soile Lautsi, a native of Finland who subsequently acquired Italian citizenship. And she has enriched herself and her Atheist children to the tune of 5000 euros for ‘moral damages’, to be paid by the Italian government for subjecting them to a school which had ‘disturbing’ crucifixes in every classroom.

The consequences of the ruling are far-reaching. For surely, if the crucifix is offensive, so is the cross. And if the cross, why not every picture of Jesus or representation of God? And if those, why not every Christmas tree, nativity play or Easter egg? Not only will the ruling potentially force an entire continent to reconsider the use of religious symbols in the public realm, it appears that any ‘foreigner’ may now enter a country as a guest, choose to dwell there as a naturalised alien, and then directly challenge the country’s cultural unity and moral values by forcing change to suit their own beliefs and social mores.

And the supreme arbiter in all cases will be the European Court of Human Rights, which has set its face against Christian history, Christian culture, Christian tradition, Christian belief and Christian expression. As far as the Court is concerned, Europe moved from the language, culture, government and religion of the Graeco-Roman world directly to that of the Enlightenment. A millennium-or-so of Christianity in between may not be mentioned.

The children might find it ‘disturbing’.

65 Comments:

Anonymous martin sewell said...

Much as I might have issues with him on other issues, is there any reason to believe that a gay man like Gene Robinson, would be offended by a crucifix?

I can understand why Muslims or Atheists might have a common view but to throw Gay people into the mix of offended parties is surely irrational? Much as some secularist might assume they can speak on behalf of all, my Gay Christian friends will not thank them for such a patronising approach.

7 November 2009 at 09:47  
Blogger Jules said...

Your Grace,

The irony is that Europe needs to preserve its Christian heritage as it that heritage which underpins the whole idea of liberty and the notion of the equal worth of all human beings. What has happened when nations have tried to eliminate the influence of Christianity? It has led to the charnel house. I'd argue that the more secular Europe becomes the more dangerous it becomes for (for example) its Muslim minority.

My parish priest (I'm RC) has said that he believes that the church will shrink to the point at which we need to celebrate Mass in each others homes. I'm not so sure. I'd agree with B16's view that the church will shrink to a core of 'serious' Christians. However, I think the ratcheting oppression of Christianity in Europe will slow the shrinkage as people rediscover the continent's Christian roots.

Jules.

7 November 2009 at 09:55  
Anonymous Fran said...

Yet another reason, Your Grace, why Cameron ought to have held a referendum - asking the population of the UK whether we wish to continue to be part of the Europe United project at all.

Shamefully he has bottled out.

7 November 2009 at 10:25  
Anonymous Maturecheese said...

Your Grace,
The more I read,the more dumbfounded I become. Enoch Powell once said that we are a Nation piling up its own funeral pyre, well it seems to me that we are now a continent doing exactly that.
In the real world where common sense used to prevail , these small minded people that complain about petty issues that upset their fragile sensitivities, would be ignored. There must be something wrong with the western world when these insignificant beings can exert so much influence. Its a kind of evil and may even be the work of the Devil( the real one, not DK) and would explain what seems to be a war on Christianity.

7 November 2009 at 10:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the State wants to exert total control it must crush the power of religious institutions, and Christianity/Church is a soft target.

Islam is a harder nut. What will happen when the EU and the aggressive face of Islam clash?

Jay

7 November 2009 at 10:39  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Personally, I interpret the crucifix in terms of affective piety, which I dislike. Briefly, that's because I believe it's not only self-indulgent but also dangerous - psychologically - to wallow about in emotion in response to suffering and torture ~~ I also see it as something of an insult to the intelligence.

But that's only part of the story - the iconoclast controversies went on for ages back circa the 7th century: and the plain Cross came to England around then. I take that Cross as a symbol; and prefer to move on from there, without the graphic representation.

However, each to their own, I say. If other peoples need graven images, and their culture has developed a mindset that requires blood and guts in order to achieve emotional-whatever-it-is: how they interpret the 2nd Commandment is their business. Not mine.

And that's just one more reason why the euSSR can't cut the mustard: they don't even understand the subtlety of the diversity under their noses. Instead, they accept the even cruder physicalities of Islam, and ignore the uses of imagery.

Do they not understand that one of the things Christianity does is turn human sacrifice into metaphor instead of fact? Or... do they like the idea of turning it back into fact again?

I saw that crucifixion is about to be re-instated as a means of execution somewhere in the Middle East. Sorry, haven't the reference handy.

7 November 2009 at 10:56  
Blogger Ginro said...

"...we preach Christ crucified: ...foolishness to Gentiles...For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom...
1 Corinthians 1:23-25

7 November 2009 at 11:00  
Anonymous Bob said...

Is this not less a case of an attack on Christians and Christians wanting a privileged position, no?

Crucifixes in state schools - that's a privileged position, nobody's wanting muslim paraphernalia on the walls, just a lack of a certain religion being forced on our kids - neutrality

While I can agree with your views on Italy, I see no reason why in secular Britain we should have to look at the crucifix in state buildings

7 November 2009 at 11:07  
Blogger southwood said...

This blog reveals an unclear theology. The crucifix is an image. So is the cross. These are the religious images condemned in the commandment " Thou shalt not make unto the a graven image..". The EU probably has a long term anti Christian agenda in this but this is one thing they have right. A crucifix or cross are wrong per se. It would be better if those churches which favour such symbols would focus more on the Bible. As for so called Christmas and all its paraphernalia, it is a pagan festival formerly known as Yule and only had a few Christian additions appended by the papacy to make appear Christian.

7 November 2009 at 11:08  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

"This blog reveals an unclear theology."

Mr Southwood,

Bless you.

7 November 2009 at 11:20  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Before the fall of Constantinople, the Greek Orthodox, rejecting the overtures for union with Rome said 'better the turban than the mitre'

They got their wish.

The Euroliberals seem to be treading the same path. 'Better the crescent than the Cross...'

Martin, what do your gay Christian friends think of the shenanigans in Glasgow, with their transsexual Jesus play?

7 November 2009 at 11:24  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Bob said..."Crucifixes in state schools - that's a privileged position, nobody's wanting muslim paraphernalia on the walls, just a lack of a certain religion being forced on our kids - neutrality"

Bob, there is no such thing as a value neutral classroom. To say that having no religious symbols at all is best is to infer that having no values is the highest value of all. You are subliminally implanting the idea that the 'values' (or absence of them) of secularism are in fact superior to whatever they replace.

7 November 2009 at 11:28  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

The crucifix may be to some only a representation of torture but in Christian iconography, especially in the southern parts of Europe, it is equally symbolic of a bridge between earth and heaven - one constructed through the redeeming self sacrifice of Christ. One sometimes sees excessively tall crosses which make that point in a graphic way.

Like all icons, the shallow look "at", the faithful look "through".

7 November 2009 at 11:29  
Anonymous len said...

Satan intends to thwart Gods plan for mans redemption in any way possible.
Firstly he attempted to corrupt Jesus Christ, when that failed he killed Him.
Jesus Christ rose again from the grave triumphant, satan was defeated.
Since the Gospel of Jesus Christ is Gods only plan for mans redemption satan will do all he can to conceal, corrupt or destroy the Gospel message.
That is why Christianity( Bible believing, born again, not just following religious practices ) has, is, and will be, satans prime target.

I believe the wheel has turned full circle and true believers will be outlawed to make way for the Harlot counterfeit satanic religion.

In these days when deception is rife we Christians must speak the truth in love.
'As God looked at His coming judgment of Israel, He rose up special men to warn the people to turn in repentance before the fire of divine judgment fell upon the land. Listen to God's words of instruction to Jeremiah: "But you [Jeremiah], gird up your loins; arise and tell them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed and break down at the sight of their faces .. they shall fight against you ..." [Jeremiah 1:17-19]

God was even more explicit with Ezekiel: "You shall speak My words to them, whether they will hear or refuse to hear ..." [Ezekiel 2:7]

7 November 2009 at 11:39  
Anonymous Bob said...

Rebel Saint - so effectively we must have the 'values' of an organised religion

7 November 2009 at 11:39  
Blogger TreeSleeper said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 November 2009 at 12:26  
Anonymous Penny said...

I find it quite difficult to believe that the same children who eagerly watch Dr Who, Star Wars and other, similar programs/films would be 'disturbed' by a crucifix.

7 November 2009 at 12:27  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Mr. Sewell - yes, I know that both the Cross and the Crucifix accomplish the symbolism of the bridge; or - according to Augustine - that of the ship which provides the Way to Heaven.

I didn't mean that the Crucifix was 'only' symbolic of torture: just that it focuses attention on that element of the iconography. As the Cross is part of the Crucifix, however, I think we both know that they share significance in all other points of doctrine. Not least is the resolution of the Christian paradox that Christ's 'Death' granted us the opportunity of Eternal Life: the Redemption being wrought by His sacrifice.

As to the argument above that the Cross is an image: it is an image of a man-made object - not an original part of God's Creation. From that viewpoint it can symbolize the difference between man's fallen ideas of creativity (killing the tree to make the gallows), God's Creation (giving life to the tree, e.g), and Christ's transformation - indeed bridging - of the difference by turning the Cross into an emblem of His Glory.

7 November 2009 at 12:44  
Anonymous THX1138 said...

no-nonny

You are entering a critical phase - respitory count 347 plus seven: we are receiving an exrtreme respitory count from THX no-nonny in operating cell 94107 blog Cranmer, eratic visual behaviour requiring mindlock and arest!

7 November 2009 at 13:04  
Blogger Frugal Dougal said...

I think I feel the cross round my neck turning into a crucifix...

7 November 2009 at 13:15  
Anonymous chris r said...

"What will happen when the EU and the aggressive face of Islam clash?"

Is one possibility an all out war between Europe and Islam - with our children conscripted into a European army?

Consequences unimaginable .....

Thank God that a large rock is on its way to smash this new empire, making way for the King of kings and Lord of lords!

7 November 2009 at 13:28  
Blogger Si Hollett said...

Does this coupled with the news that believing in Anthropological Global Warming is now protected by religious discrimination rulings mean that we can demand that tales of catastrophic floods/droughts/etc are scary and scary religious things should be kept out of the classroom?

That would cause problems in the ECHR - either they could be consistent, but annoyed; or they could be inconsistant, but either overturn the 'enviromentalism as a view with the same status as a religion' decision or the crucifix ban (and thus make Your Grace happier and themselves annoyed).

7 November 2009 at 13:31  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Good post your Grace.

I personally can't see the harm in the crucifix, Icons or stained glass windows for that matter.... it is a pity that the courts are basically encouraging a backlash against the secularist agenda from honest God fearing folk.

7 November 2009 at 13:33  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Bob said ... "Rebel Saint - so effectively we must have the 'values' of an organised religion"

It means you must choose which organised set of values you will adopt. You cannot serve more than one master. To pretend that having the symbols of no organised religion is choosing no particular set of values over another is a fallacy - you are merely inflicting the values of secularism instead.

The other alternative of having every symbol is equally ridiculous - that says that all values are equal, which they patently aren't as they all have mutually exclusive claims.

As Elijah said in a similar situation - "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal/Secularism/Allah/Buddah/Confucious/Dawkins is God, follow him."

The ECHR has decided that the values of Christianity as observed for centuries (if not millenia) in Italy are to be supplanted by the values of secularism.

7 November 2009 at 14:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't run no more with any of this mindless crap while the killers in high places say their prayers out loud, well they've summoned a big thunder cloud and they'er going to hear from me; ring the bell that still rings, forget your perfect offerings, there is a crack, a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in..

7 November 2009 at 15:09  
Anonymous EUtopian said...

I am offended every time the symbol of Islam appears in the evening sky. I demand that the EU black it out (if that's still a permissable phrase) until it has waxed to its full extent.

Furthermore we see a symbol of Buddhism displayed everywhere on public transport. I refer of course to the wheel. I demand the immediate removal of all wheels from publically subsidised trains and buses.

7 November 2009 at 15:12  
Blogger Preacher said...

The symbol of the cross & the message it represents has always been an offence to the unbeliever or those of another religous belief. It draws their attention to their sinful state & the awful price paid to deliver them from a far worse eternity. It also shows mankinds inability to save themselves by good works or religous rules. The death of the innocent on behalf of the guilty is a truly humbling exprience when it is realized that oneself is the recipient who benefits from that death. "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins" Christ died for us, but there was no stipulation that the sacrifice had to remain dead, God be praised Jesus rose from death victorious. Crucifixes with Christ on the cross I find misrepresent the fact that He rose, that He died ONCE for all and now sits at the Fathers right hand as the believers advocate, while the Holy Spirit remains with us to empower, lead & guide us. I have no dispute with an empty cross as it represents what happened on that awful day but is not in my mind an image of Diety but a reminder of the cost of salvation.
However I feel that this attack is typical of the anti Christian spirit that permeates present day society.

7 November 2009 at 15:27  
Anonymous Carl Gardner said...

As you can imagine, I'm more sympathetic to this judgment that most here.

I could mention that all the ECtHR is doing is holding Italy to its own constitutional principle of secularism, a principle which some might argue the Italian Constitutional Court wimped out of applying on a technicality at an earlier stage of proceedings - preferring to leave Mussolini's compulsory crucifix decrees in place.

I could also mention that is is precisely this sort of strict separation of state and religion that is in many people's view the guarantee of religious freedom: in another age it might have been non-conformists complaining about the state's privileging of certain denominations. And applying this kind of principle strictly guarantees that the scary nightmare image some like to conjure up, of the crescent over every public building in England, can never happen even if all Christians were to covert to Islam.

I can understand, though, your Grace's point about incomers overturning the wish of the majority community; that's a fair point. Something in me supports Mrs.Lautsi; but a little part of me does also understand why people might think her a trouble-making atheist busybody.

Perhaps we should make a deal: I won't give support to people like Mrs. Lautsi, if you religious people withhold your support from trouble-making religious busybodies like the Christian Institute, Christian Voice, Shabina Begum, Lilian Ladele, and churches who want special exemptions from laws that apply to everyone else. How's that?

The UK has a reservation against article 2 of Protocol 1, which was important in this case, civil servants, lawyers and ministers no doubt having tried to think through the full consequences of the obligation when we signed up to it. Italy should perhaps have entered its own reservation to protect the crucifix; it's too late now.

People who don't want this kind of judgment in future should perhaps argue for the ECHR to be amended - fair enough. The judgment is of course based on parent's right to ensure their children are educated in accordance with their own religious and philosophical convictions; and children's right to freedom of religion.

[IRONY ALERT:] Should we just get rid of those rights? That'd stop the ECtHR doing this in future [/IRONY].

7 November 2009 at 15:32  
Anonymous sickofit said...

Who the hell cares what the EU says?
The Italians certainly won't be removing crucifixes to please a very sad freeloading Finn or any bugger else.

7 November 2009 at 15:34  
Anonymous McKenzie said...

Carl Gardner (no longer head of legal)

That's not such a big deal, so you will not need such a big arse..

7 November 2009 at 15:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Removing all crosses in Europe would require destroying a lot of art and buildings and some of those who hate God love money and art so I cannot see that happening. They can't destroy the heavens and nature which glorify God and prove His existence. Nor can they destroy the Holy Spirit in His children. Symbols remind us in different ways of our Lord. Only evil would want to destroy Christian crosses. These are times when we need to pray and protect and build up the community of believers as well as protect and build up the wider (non-governmental) community of people in our midst for whom Christ died and whom evil would also destroy.

7 November 2009 at 15:50  
Anonymous Carl Gardner said...

@McKenzie: feel free to make jokes about me and my arse.

@sickofit: it's not the EU who's said this.

@Anonymous: it's not about removing "all crosses in Europe". It's about crosses in classrooms in state schools.

@Si Hollett: the judgment doesn't ban teaching about religion, whether or not that includes "green philosophy".

7 November 2009 at 16:43  
Anonymous McKenzie said...

Carl

I don't really know exactly what the problem is all of a sudden in Italy, but kids have been wearing crosses and the like in school here for bloody centuries, and there has never been any remote suggestion of a problem until it suddenly became vogue to whip your dangly bits out at the first opportunity, therefore necessitating the debunking of anything that remotely resembles a sin.

There is no outcry to end the scenes of orgy and chaos that unravels its self into our streets every weekend night; oh no! Rather the head of legals of this world devote their perverse energy into perpetuating their own version of high philosophical morality based on human rights and newly absorbed second hand 'knowledge' that ravages their brain cells, which mirrors the cancer of immorality that eats the fabric of everything descent that stood as the foundation stone of our once great and forward-looking nation.

I am not making fun sir, I am suggesting that you shuv your own perverse morality firmly up your arse because it is rotten and failing miserably. Miserably.

In order to make a deal, it is necessary to have some bargaining power, something attractive. You are proposing that I strike a deal with the culture and heritage of this country with your bucket of donkey shit?

7 November 2009 at 19:56  
Anonymous not a machine said...

To be replaced with what ?? a blank magnolia wall !! signifying athieism .

The EU courts is making a mistake in its belief in that all there is ,is the law.It would be better employed ensuring the EUs accounts are in order , people would be better served with that as a start rather than having a totalitarian political mandate to decide upon christianity .

7 November 2009 at 20:16  
Anonymous Generalfeldmarschall said...

UGOC
"what do your gay " Muslim " friends think"

7 November 2009 at 21:55  
Anonymous Control to Number Plate said...

Control to THX 1138 - your module is out of order, send it to the repair shop.

no nonny has respiratory rate 20, pulse rate 72, BP 120/80, eyesight 20/20, and unadulterated blood chemistry, and a respectable IQ.

Check out the operator of that machine, as well - you might detoxify his nervous system while you're at it. Replace him with a 2-eyed individual, anyway - preferably one who can learn some Old English.

If he proves incorrigible don't worry - the Glory of God will very soon put your planet in its proper perspective.

7 November 2009 at 23:27  
Anonymous Control to NP said...

Oh - and no nonny's temp hovers at the cool to normal, around 98.

7 November 2009 at 23:31  
Blogger TreeSleeper said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 November 2009 at 23:42  
Anonymous Bob said...

Rebelsaint - "To pretend that having the symbols of no organised religion is choosing no particular set of values over another is a fallacy - you are merely inflicting the values of secularism instead."

Typical nonsense strawman

7 November 2009 at 23:52  
Anonymous Control to NP said...

btw - before you misinterpret again: that's 98 Fahrenheit - it's a finer scale that has the added advantage of not kow-towing to French secularists.

8 November 2009 at 00:10  
Blogger Robert said...

I must say that I agree with southwood on this one. While I do believe that the E.U. is trying to de-Christianize the bloc, I also believe that crucifixes are quite unimportant in the larger scheme of things.

Not to mention, we know that the Vatican is going to take up this cause wholeheartedly in order to:

1) challenge the secular nature of the union (which, trust me, is in the best interest of even the believers of Europe)

2) use the event to finally go toe-to-toe with E.U. offcials to demonstrate where the real "cultural capital" of Europe lies (not Brussels but Rome), and

3) draw a vast body of well-meaning non-Catholic Christians on the Vatican's side in one grand ecumenical crusade against the "godless" forces of secularism.

My European friends, stay away from this minefield. If the "Christians" (read Catholics) win this conflict, the superiority of Rome over the union will only have grown that much stronger.

So many conservatives are anticipating an attack from the left when they should be watching for an attack from the right.

Mark my words.

8 November 2009 at 00:56  
Anonymous Carl Gardner said...

Exactly how many times is it necessary to point out that the European Court of Human rights is not an institution of the EU?

If people keep mentioning the EU in this thread regardless, even I may attain some awful vision of eternity. Am I to be damned to a hell in which I am forced to correct jurisdictional errors for ever and ever?

8 November 2009 at 01:22  
Blogger Brian Westley said...

The ECHR has decided that the values of Christianity as observed for centuries (if not millenia) in Italy are to be supplanted by the values of secularism.

Wrong. A blank wall does not impose any sort of values. You're just setting up a false dichotomy in order to justify using state power to impose your particular favorite religion.

The USA gets along just fine with longstanding court rulings against abusing state power by promoting religion in state schools. In fact, religion in the USA is much more vibrant than in europe, because for the most part the US government STAYS OUT OF RELIGION.

8 November 2009 at 03:04  
Anonymous churchmouse said...

Mr. Gardner: Do most of us care whether it's part of euSSR government or not? If anyone else is like me, then if something comes from that place and uses its name, it has no business dictating anything here. It needs to get out and stay out. In any case, how can the euSSR expect credibility in the field of human rights? Surely those begin at home: like the Charity from which the idea sprang?

Mr. Westley: For two thousand years (more if you include Celtic culture) religion has been associated with government in this country. The only reason it is no longer 'acceptable' is that foreign powers have invaded us and are destroying us with iron-booted rules with which they presume to improve us. They've imposed themselves by imitating what they perceive to be Christian methodology, especially through education (which Christianity developed in the West). Clearly, the copy-cat version doesn't work; not least because the content of secular ideology springs from perceptions that are blind to their own ignorance and limitations.

The US, furthermore, is by no means perfect. Again, though, its original ideals and laws were founded upon Christianity. Please observe, however, the massive and often illegal invasion of foreign influences there; they no longer control immigration as they did. Moreover, more than half their national debt is owned by foreign (often eastern) lenders.

I think the effect is the same as here. It's becoming manifest and materializing more slowly because the place is so much bigger. However, the Hasan incident is surely only the tip of the iceberg: religion has not stayed out of 'the military.'

Btw: long before this fuss erupted I was forbidden to wear a cross in a US workplace.

8 November 2009 at 05:50  
Anonymous Er said...

Presumably the Court should now follow France's lead and ban all religious items of clothing, including headscalves, If not, why not?

8 November 2009 at 09:01  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Brian Westley said... "A blank wall does not impose any sort of values. You're just setting up a false dichotomy in order to justify using state power to impose your particular favorite religion."

It's not just a blank wall. It's a wall where a religious symbol used to be display. Something has been removed to make it blank. Something else has taken the crucifixes place ... i.e nothingness.

I repeat what I said in my first post: there is no such thing as a 'value neutral' classroom. By saying "We will not allow any religious symbols" you are in fact saying that the belief system which believes there should be no religious symbols is superior to one that says there may. The court has said there MUST be no religious symbols. I don't think the church has said there MUST be crucifixes displayed.

8 November 2009 at 11:30  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Carl Gardner said...

"As you can imagine, I'm more sympathetic to this judgment that most here."

Why does CG think his opinion is easy to imagine? Is he famous?

8 November 2009 at 15:05  
Blogger Brian Westley said...

Churchmouse writes:
Mr. Westley: For two thousand years (more if you include Celtic culture) religion has been associated with government in this country.

Yes, for most of human history, governments did not respect religious rights, as a long history of religious wars easily shows.

Appeal to tradition is a logical fallacy. You can argue for slavery using it.

The only reason it is no longer 'acceptable' is that foreign powers have invaded us and are destroying us with iron-booted rules with which they presume to improve us.

Uh, no. Italy voluntarily agreed to join the European Court of Human Rights. Italy can leave this accord if it wants to.

The US, furthermore, is by no means perfect.

I never said it was.

Again, though, its original ideals and laws were founded upon Christianity.

No, they weren't.

Btw: long before this fuss erupted I was forbidden to wear a cross in a US workplace.

In the US, employers can have dress codes, including ones that prohibit jewelry. Were you trying to make a point?

Rebel Saint writes:
I repeat what I said in my first post: there is no such thing as a 'value neutral' classroom.

We have them in the US.

By saying "We will not allow any religious symbols"

We don't say that in the US. Children can wear religious symbols. That's religious freedom.

you are in fact saying that the belief system which believes there should be no religious symbols is superior to one that says there may.

Well, your original statement is faulty. Religious symbols ARE allowed, students can wear them. The state can't abuse its authority by imposing religious symbols in classrooms that are supposedly for all students of various religious views.

The court has said there MUST be no religious symbols.

Wrong. The court has said that the state must not put up crucifixes (and presumably other religious symbols).

I don't think the church has said there MUST be crucifixes displayed.

"The church"!!???

The CHURCH gets to decide if crucifixes get put up in GOVERNMENT schools?

How about the government of Italy?

This dates back to a law requiring crucifixes in state schools. That law was signed in the 1920s by Benito Mussolini.

8 November 2009 at 15:07  
Anonymous len said...

There is no such thing as' neutral' in the spirit world.
As traditional Christianity has lost its appeal for many people, growing numbers have sought to fill that vacuum in their lives in other ways. Some turn to alternate religions popular in other parts of the world. Some turn to witchcraft and pre-Christian paganism. Some seek answers in the occult. A few even knowingly turn to Satanism and evil spirits.

Don`t take my word for just look at what happening in the media, computer games etc.

8 November 2009 at 18:42  
Anonymous Bob said...

Control to NP said...

'btw - before you misinterpret again: that's 98 Fahrenheit - it's a finer scale that has the added advantage of not kow-towing to French secularists.'

Why favour an old scale made by a German over an old scale made by a Swede when you can use Kelvin!

8 November 2009 at 21:52  
Blogger Senn the Cartoonist said...

Archbishop, i am going to sketch a crucifix in honour of you on my blog.

8 November 2009 at 23:30  
Anonymous churchmouse said...

Mr. Westley: You have a mind like a steel trap. By this I suggest that you yourself exercise logical fallacy -- because you oversimplify. Difficult to avoid that under the constraints of a 'blog' forum, I agree. Nevertheless, I am not some putative criminal under attack in a US witness stand: who may not qualify his answers, but must "answer the question: yes or no" - and I take that to be your attitude. So, His Grace permitting:

You impose on me the false assumption that when I say 'us' I mean the euSSR. This is a British site, sir, and my 'us' refers either to Britain or England. I reject identification with euroland and its dictates - in the same way that your British founding fathers declared their independence. Except that the euSSR did not populate Britain, and we have never before been entirely subjugated by them: either by force or by stealth.

You slap down my reference to the relationship between Christianity and English Law in terms of 'tradition.' Certainly, I would have said Judaeo-Christianity had I known I was addressing an American. However, I work on the assumptions that Christians on this site know the Jewish Scripture we call the Old Testament (including Exodus, Deuteronomy, Leviticus), and that Christ was a Jew who said He came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfil it.

To dismiss my reference to the relationship as 'tradition' is facile. I suggest, rather, that there are grounds for discussion about the connections between religion and law throughout human history - the whys and wherefores could illuminate the marxist arrogance in trying to separate them.

As far as the development of British law is concerned: whether or not the (AD 6th century) Roman Justinian model influenced it, Justinian was in Constantinople and responded to Christian concerns. Otherwise, most of us understand that, after 7th century Aethelbert and Canterbury, our law developed over centuries; the people fighting for, and gradually establishing, greater rights. But we remained a Christian people with Christian perceptions of Right and Justice. That survived through Magna Carta and despite the French Enlightenment: Locke himself being a Catholic. Paine was English, and his rejection of Christianity was not universally 'acceptable' when he moved to America.

I've always understood that your Pilgrim fathers were Christian and British - and therefore took this mindset and these principles with them. I believe your Declaration of Independence reflects this, and the history above, in its reference to 'Nature's God' and the 'Creator' of mankind. I believe your Oath of Allegiance reflects it in referring to "One Nation Under God." I believe your literature reflects it from Anne Bradstreet, through Hawthorne, and even to Louisa May Alcott. It is, therefore, difficult to believe that US law and ideals originated, for example, in Islam, atheism, or communism. Your contempt nothwithstanding, I incline, instead, to the view that although Church(es) and State may not project an overt relationship, Judaeo-Christianity has continually informed the people who make and dispense US Law. This will even be true of your present Hispanic component.

And, to your final insult:
"In the US, employers can have dress codes, including ones that prohibit jewelry. Were you trying to make a point?"
My employers purported to champion intellectual freedom. They did not ban 'jewellery,' just Crosses: because their 'philosophy-religion' was Marxism. So this wasn't a dress code, it was an imposition of Anti-Christianity. It is the same imposition now at work in the euSSR; the same imposition that is the subject of His Grace's thread.

8 November 2009 at 23:45  
Blogger Brian Westley said...

churchmouse wrote:
You impose on me the false assumption that when I say 'us' I mean the euSSR. This is a British site, sir, and my 'us' refers either to Britain or England.

Well, since that's what people were talking about, that's what I assumed.

I reject identification with euroland and its dictates - in the same way that your British founding fathers declared their independence.

So you've taken up arms? That hasn't hit the news.

By the way, the crucifix ruling was from the European Court of Human Rights, which is not the EU.

You slap down my reference to the relationship between Christianity and English Law in terms of 'tradition.'

Because it's an invalid argument. Arguing that X is right merely because it's tradition is not a valid argument.

My employers purported to champion intellectual freedom. They did not ban 'jewellery,' just Crosses:

Then you should have sued them. If they did only ban crosses, that would almost certainly be found to be illegal religious discrimination.

you see, some people like Soile Lautsi fight for their rights, and if they think their rights have been infringed, take the issue to court. In her case, she won, because Italian schools can't push religion on schoolchildren; state schools have to be neutral.

Now, when your employer said you couldn't wear a cross (but allowed other jewelry) did you sue for your rights, or did you act like a doormat?

9 November 2009 at 00:58  
Anonymous churchmouse said...

Mr. Westley: How naive to trust the news: it's part of the 'quisling' interface!

Not a few people round here think Revolution's inevitable. Mind you don't have to uncurl your lip and swallow your eyebrows.

If its in euroland and has the name attached - then it's euSSR. British and euro are not synonymous. 'Meconnaissance' on your part?

On your 'tradition' label - I again refute your categorization. That's because I don't argue that it's right because it's tradition. More Meconnaissance?

Doormat? "There's none so blind as him who will not see." Your stereotypes are showing.

'Ah'm oudda heeerre' - (even if it does suit the commies to divide and conquer er 'rule' what they think is the Anglophonic world).

9 November 2009 at 02:12  
Blogger Brian Westley said...

churchmouse writes:
On your 'tradition' label - I again refute your categorization. That's because I don't argue that it's right because it's tradition.

So your reference wasn't a logical fallacy, it was just completely irrelevant?

Doormat? "There's none so blind as him who will not see." Your stereotypes are showing.

What stereotype? Did you fight for your rights or not? I'm assuming you didn't since you've dodged the question.

Why would anyone listen to you about "rights" if you don't even bother to fight for your own?

9 November 2009 at 02:55  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Adolf Hitler ordered Crucifixes removed from all public buildings and antagonised Bavarians especially by having them removed from chools and replaced with Nazi symbols.

Christmas decorations were made in Nazi symbols. Like so much in his program Hitler was a man ahead of his time and in tune with The Left.

Gleichschaltung is the term. To bring into alignment all expressions of opinion and policy - we call if Political Correctness or Frankfurt School Marxism.

The European Economic Area - Wirtschaftsraum - proposed by Nazi Germany which led to The Atlantic Charter as an Allied response; is now reified as The European Union.

Tilting at windmills by declaring others "Nazis" has allowed The New Establishment to resurrect the National Socialist system in a new guise....using politicised jurists and a more polished use of fellow-travellers. It is the fusion of 1930s ideologies to produce a new Syncretic Religion of Man

9 November 2009 at 05:14  
Blogger D. Singh said...

So the trap has snapped shut. It was somehow apt that the politician who finally let the EU get the constitution it has craved so long should have been President Vaclav Klaus, the veteran anti-Communist who predicted, just before the Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004, that it would mean the end of his country as "an independent sovereign state". And what a delightful irony that Pravda, of all newspapers, greeted the news last week with the headline:

"Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the EU is now a reincarnation of the Soviet Union".

Christopher Booker,

The Daily Telegraph, 7 November 2009

9 November 2009 at 08:54  
Anonymous Carl Gardner said...

@Sambo

Not famous, but a fairly regular commenter, and I think known to others here as an atheist. Maybe it'd be wrong always to write as though readers and other commenters know me, but I'm not sure it follows we should always write as though no one knows us or anything about our views.

@D. Singh

Maybe you share Churchmouse's strange fantasy of the "euSSR". But yet again, I must point out that the ECtHR is not an institution of the EU.

9 November 2009 at 09:57  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Gardner,

You seem not be aware form my other posts on this site that I am aware that the ECrtHRs is not an EU instrument.

However, the ECrtHRs will not pass judgments that are in disaccord with the judgments of the EU’s Supreme Court the Court of Justice.

As a lawyer you ought to know the reason for that: within the EU’s jurisdiction there cannot be two supreme courts.

In other words you play the same game of deception as the federasts.

These posters have found you out.

9 November 2009 at 10:24  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The ECHR does not take account of the ECJ which until recently did not have overview of social issues but of compliance with EU treaties. The ECHR has "Judges" that are alien to our perspective in that many are in fact Civil Servants from their respective Ministry of Justice or academics, and are not courtroom jurists of the kind known to Anglo-Saxons. Some have even been schooled in Legal Positivist doctrines or notions of Postive Freedom and are very different from English traditions.

The ECJ will henceforth ensure judgments of the ECHR are in compliance with EU jurisprudence and not vice versa

9 November 2009 at 16:53  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The ECHR was simply a Cold War device for The West to embarrass the COMECON nations under Soviet control....it has now become unchained

9 November 2009 at 16:55  
Anonymous Carl Gardner said...

@ D Singh:

No, I wasn't aware of that, and given your comment of 8.54 on 9 November, which exclusively discussed the EU, I think my response was reasonable. I didn't, note, accuse you of trying to deceive people into thinking the EU and ECtHR are the same.

I don't mind people disagreeing with me, making abusive remarks about me or accusing me of obviously subjective things like having perverted values and so on. Well, I mind the last two a bit, but accept they're part of friendly blogging knockabout.

But to accuse me of "playing a game of deception" is in another league entirely. It's the sort of thing that gives blogs a bad name.

You should take it back.

10 November 2009 at 12:10  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Gardner,

It is reasonable for me to assume that you did know.

You pass yourself off as a barrister.

10 November 2009 at 12:40  
Anonymous Carl Gardner said...

You should take that back, too.

I've no interest in debating with you any more, Mr/Ms Singh. You're obviously less interested in reasonable discussion than in accusing people of deception, including about themselves. Your comments exemplify what puts some people off blogs and the internet.

I know you'll believe that a victory. There's nothing I can do about that. But it doesn't matter.

10 November 2009 at 15:58  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Gardner,

'Next to a battle lost, is a battle won.'

I may consider apologising to you if you will tell me on what basis you might forgive me?

10 November 2009 at 17:05  

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