Late last year the people of Switzerland voted for a ban on the building of minarets in their country.
Now the people of Italy are ignoring a European Court of Human Rights decision requiring crucifixes to be removed from all Italian classrooms. The country appears to have 'clenched itself like a fist' to oppose the decision (www.livejournal.com, 24 November 2009).
Many mayors have passed ordinanze (town laws) that require the placing of a crucifix in every classroom. Some have been sending the Carabinieri around to check that every classroom has its little crucified Christ on display.
One high school teacher who tried to remove the image from his classroom faced a classroom revolt. When he threw the crucifix into his dustbin, one student reported him to the headmaster, who inflicted ten days of unpaid leave on him.
Most of the crucifixes in public places in Italy are small and unobtrusive. But they mean a lot.
ARNOLD JAGO (DR)