Proof of the Existence of Government

Somehow, one is not surprised that this instance of governance has not sparked the shock and outrage that accompanied the decision of Swiss voters to ban minarets:

… the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, has ruled that the government of Italy must remove crucifixes from public school classrooms throughout that country. According to the decision of the court, “The presence of the crucifix . . . could easily be interpreted by pupils of all ages as a religious sign.” This, the court said, could be “disturbing for pupils who practiced other religions or were atheists.”

Yes, public/private distinctions apply, but the question is one of governance. The Swiss have determined public scenery to be subject to public considerations of culture, and the Italians should be able to do the same with public classrooms. If a distant, largely unaccountable government in another country can decide such matters of local taste, then — whatever one’s belief in God — there’s no such thing as self-government.

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Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
14 years ago

Leaving aside the theology, it is undeniable that European social development has been guided by Christian (I have no objection to Judeo/Christian) principles. As much as anything else, the crucifix is a reminder of that. I think we are going overboard in our concern for non-believers.
One could wonder, when the forces at work are successful in removing Christ from Christmas, won’t people begin to question the need for a “retail holiday” near the solstice?
Two generations ago the school day began with the Pledge of Alleigance and the Lord’s Prayer. Since their removal, one could argue that we are no worse off. But that does not answer the question of whether we are better off.

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