Lautsi overturned: secularization has a reverse gear

Displaying crucifixes in Italy's public schools does not violate anyone's religious freedom, the European court in Strasburg ruled today, in a judgement that will please the country's government and public opinion. 

Ruling that there was no evidence that a crucifix hung in a classroom would influence pupils, the ECHR judgement overturns the famous November 2009 judgement in favour of a Finnish-born Italian woman. Sole Lautsi, a nonbeliever who had objected to her child having to look at crosses in a school near Venice. For background, see my piece here yesterday.

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The Vatican welcomed the decision. Its spokesman Federico Lombardi called it "an important and historic ruling".

But in another way, the ruling is a little worrying. The final decision by the court's Grand Chamber said it found no evidence "that the display of such a symbol on classroom walls might have an influence on pupils".

That's quite a long way from the "scandal" of the Cross described by St Paul. 

But it also shows that secularization, which some Christians regard as a kind of unstoppable behemoth, is not inevitable, and that in the long-running battles in Europe over the co-existence of belief and non-belief -- a much more pressing question than the co-existence of Christianity and Islam -- there will be reverses for the secularists.

 

 

 

 

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Brian Gallagher
7 years 10 months ago
Ahem:

''Ruling that there was no evidence that a crucifix hung in a classroom would influence pupils...''

''But it also shows that secularization, which some Christians regard as a kind of unstoppable behemoth, is not inevitable...''

Huh? This conclusion sounds like a parody of religious people, you know, those people who only care about appearances and not reality. Moreover, the fact that a crucifix is as meaningless as a blank wall means that the co-existence of Christianity is not ''a much more pressing question.'' The pressing question is the exercise and definition of secularism, especially in regards to Islam.

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