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Does this disturb you? It does me...freedom of religious persecution...

European Court Bans Crucifixes in Italian Public Schools
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
STRASBOURG, France — Europe's court of human rights ruled Tuesday the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools violates religious and education freedoms under the continent's rights convention.
The ruling, which could force a Europe-wide review of the use of religious symbols in government-run schools, rejected arguments by Italy's government that the crucifix was a national symbol of culture, history and identity, tolerance and secularism.
A seven-judge panel sided with a complaint filed by Soile Lautsi, a parent of two children, who claimed public schools in her northern Italian town eight years ago refused to remove the Roman Catholic symbols from classrooms.
The ruling awarded $7,390 in damages to Lautsi, which the Italian government will pay her. The court, however, did not order Italian authorities to remove the crucifixes

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 3:46 AM on Nov. 4, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (24)
  • and the ruling can still be appealed to the European Court of Human Rights' Grand Chamber of 17 judges.
    Lautsi says the crucifix violates the secular principles the public schools are supposed to uphold and the right to offer her children a secular education. Crucifixes are very common in Italian public schools.
    "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," the court said in a statement on the case, adding the presence of such symbols could be "disturbing for pupils who practiced other religions or were atheists."
    The court added that secular, state-run schools must "observe confessional neutrality in the context of public education," where attendance is compulsory.
    It further rejected Italian legal arguments that the crucifix was somehow a symbo

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:47 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • that promoted pluralism.

    Lautsi filed her case with the Strasbourg-based court 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 has not been welcomed.

    In Rome, Nicola Lettieri, who represented Italy in the case, said the government would appeal, according to the ANSA news agency.

    Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini protested the decision, saying the crucifix is a "symbol of our tradition."

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

    Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said he wanted to see the ruling and the reasons behind it before commenting.


    Answer by Anonymous at 3:49 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • What bothers me is that it isn't an Italian Court. It is the Court of Europe telling a country how to run it's schools. Do not turn over our country to foreign court systems!

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:50 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • The Bible talks about all of this

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:07 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • Ummmm how was damage done to her? How would this family like it if they were told that crucifixes had to be there? Sheesh so you dont believe in God don't take away our rights just so you don't have to look upon our useless symbols of religion *a least in your opinion* kthnx

    Answer by rhanford at 4:14 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • While I agree, if it was agreed upon to have religious freedoms in Europe, that the school should have removed the cross, I think her being rewarded for it, it's a bit silly and farfetched. Especially when they aren't even making the school remove it. If the school wants to argue that it's about culture, etc.. they should have a room of study for it's religious cultures, hanging the cross, and other symbols of Roman and Greek mythology. Thus, not only celebrating culture and embracing it's religious history, but also educating their student body on it.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 7:37 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • How is a crucifix a symbol of secularism? I'm confused.

    Answer by deadheadjen at 9:46 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • No. If the schools are supposed to be secular, having crucifixes up openly defies it. Yes, they may be seen as traditional and historical, but above all else, they are symbols of Chritianity and Catholicism.


    Answer by anng.atlanta at 10:29 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • Give me a freakin break, all the, this bothers me, that bothers that one , knock it off, the world is in a sorry shit basket and all anyone cares about is who is offended by this or that, well Im offended by assholes who inflict their ideas on me and mine. Oh well, people that sue over a freakin cross hanging in a school in Italy , were her children hurt, scared, told they were wrong in anyway, told to leave because they dont aprove? Like this women must have way to much time on her hands daily to complain about something that is almost always thought of as normal. Its Italy , the pope and all, oh well you dont like it home school your freakin kids if they are so sensative that a cross does something wrong to them.Holy crap, does noone else see that there is so much BS going on in the world that something as simple as a cross causes all this.

    Answer by MarthaCrocker at 10:59 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

  • I agree they shouldn't be displaying the crucifix in the hallways and stuff at the school. If they are displaying it in a class, in a text-book or something to teach kids about religions, then that's fine, but displaying them on the school walls seems to say that the majority is Christian and so they are the ones that get to decide what religion to advocate. This is not fair. Besides that, it sucks walking into a building, as an atheist, that is filled with Christian symbols and art. It makes me feel extremely out-of-place and un-welcome. Our local hospital is like that. I know that's not the intention, but that's how it is.

    As for this case specifically, disregarding my opinion on it, I don't think Italy should have to change or make a law because Europe told them to.

    Answer by metalcowgirl34 at 11:19 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

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