Cheers for ECHR: Crucifix in school offends human rights
Posted by Dave Bath on 2009-11-04
Congratulations to the EU Court of Human Rights judgement that crucifixes in schools offend human rights – and it was unanimous. Big thanks to the Finnish parent in Italy that brought the action and a big yah-boo-sucks to the Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, who said the crucifix was a fundamental sign of the importance of religious values in Italian history and culture, and was a symbol of unity and welcoming for all of humanity, not one of exclusion.
The Court disagreed and found – unanimously – a violation of the freedom of religion (Art. 9 ECHR) jointly with the right to education (Art. 2 of Protocol 1). The Court, amongst others, took into account the nature of the religious symbol concerned (amongst the plurality of meanings, the Court held that the religious connotation of the crucifix was dominant) and its impact on young children.
Further, the ECHR blogger says the following:
One may note, that the Court thinks this applies in general in the exercise of public functions by the state and particularly (but not solely) in classrooms.
The learned arguments in the ECHR judgement could be used to get a little sanity into Darwin council, which has ruled that the Christian "Lord’s" prayer is non-religious.
What with the Global Atheists Convention coming up in Melbourne, perhaps the idiots in Darwin could be taken to court at the same time, with an atheist lawyer using the ECHR judgement to show the invalidity of the Darwin council’s ruling on logical grounds… although we cannot claim it contravenes any human rights here in Australia because we don’t have any.
Yes, a crucifix offends freedom of religion. Yes! That’s perhaps why KRudd and the irrational politicians in Canberra with imaginary friends don’t want human rights – we might be able to inject some rationality into parliament by getting rid of religious references in the parliamentary liturgy!