Thursday 1 July 2010

This won't go anywhere, but...

"Die 17 Richter der großen Kammer des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte (EGMR) haben sich in Straßburg mit der Beschwerde einer italienischen Mutter beschäftigt, die in erster Instanz erfolgreich gegen Italien geklagt hatte. Kruzifixe in Schulen seien eine Verletzung der Religionsfreiheit, befand die Vorinstanz des EGMR damals. Ein Urteil der großen Kammer wird in einigen Monaten erwartet.
Bei der Anhörung wies die italienische Regierung jede Verletzung der Grundrechte entschieden zurück. Kreuze seien "Ausdruck der Tradition" und "volkstümliches Symbol", sagte der Vertreter der Regierung in Rom, Nicola Lettieri."

Die Zeit: Streit um Schul-Kruzifixe erreicht Europa-Ebene, 30. Juni 2010

There is more than one side to this argument. I am an atheist, and I would feel more comfortable in a state that did not openly display Christian symbols in official buildings and class rooms. Back in school, when I was about 14 or 15, I remember having an extended argument over this, and I believe at some point someone just took the cross down and it remained that way until I graduated and nobody protested. Something tells me that this whole issue would be better solved on a local level, but then there is no guarantee that this works without any proper official conflict solving mechanisms in place.
On the other hand, every time the "culture and tradition" argument comes, and it always does, I wish someone would pop up and explain the significance of the separation of state and church for the modern democratic republic - and our CULTURE, and for science, for rational thinking and for human rights. Some of those things are important too and make life enjoyable.

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