1. The European Court of Human Rights has stirred controversy by banning crucifixes from public schools in Italy, which is obviously a very Catholic nation. Now in the U.S. there’s obviously Constitutional precedent for such a ruling but I’m not personally acquainted with European nations’ takes on church and state separation.
Displaying crucifixes also violated childrens’ right to freedom of religion, the court said.
The Italian bishops’ conference denounced the court as “partial and ideological,” saying the crucifix “is not just a religious symbol but also a sign of cultural belonging.”
Riiight. It’s like Chief Justice Antonin Scalia said last month; there’s nothing religious or, say, Christian about a crucifix. Nah. That’s why you see them all over the place in Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindu cemetaries, right?
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told Italian television that the ruling had been met “with astonishment and regret” by the Catholic Church.
“The crucifix has always been a sign of God’s love, unity and hospitality to all humanity. It is unpleasant that it is considered a sign of division, exclusion or a restriction of freedom,” he said.
Hold on there, Rico. Didn’t you just hear what the Italian bishops said. It’s not a sign of God’s love; it’s “cultural.” If it were religious, then it would violate childrens’ right to freedom of religion. So what’s it gonna be? Symbol of “God” or two sticks nailed together?
2. A new privately-run prison going up in Wakita, Oklahoma will only hire Christian staffers – And while I find this appalling, it’s privately run, so I’d ordinarily be inclined to say they can do whatever they want. They can choose to hire only big-breasted women for all I care, especially since prisoners are given a choice to go there or not:
“The staff, being all born-again believers, will see this as a mission,” [founder of Corrections Concepts Inc. Bill Robinson] says. That, he says, is “about changing criminals into citizens.”
The prison would accept only inmates near the end of their sentences who volunteer to attend and sign an agreement to participate, the paper says.
“They don’t have to go to church, or Bible study, but they have to participate in the curriculum, which is Christ-centered,” Robinson says.
But if this prison is receiving even a dime of tax-payer money to fund it, then I feel they should have no right to discrimate against any group in their hiring process.