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Nailed to the Cross: Christianity Under Attack

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Nailed to the Cross

In the latest annals of “Let’s get real,” we turn to the travesty that occurred recently in Italy.  Recently, an Italian court was forced to remunerate “moral damages” of 5,000 lire (approximately $7,400 in U.S. dollars) to one Soile Latusi, a Finnish immigrant who had achieved Italian citizenship and who had sued the nation for the right to remove crucifixes displayed in her children’s public school classrooms.   The ruling in favor of Latusi (who is not, as you may suspect Catholic) came not from an Italian tribunal but from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg. Said court declared that the image of Christ upon the cross sullied the principles of secular education, as per their following proclamation:

 

“The presence of the crucifix could be … disturbing for pupils who practiced other religions or were atheists, particularly if they belonged to religious minorities. The compulsory display of [such symbols] … restricted the right of parents to educate their children in conformity with their convictions.”

 

How could this happen in Italy, a country so staunchly Catholic that the most pious of all earthy realms, the Vatican, chose to establish itself within The Boot’s own borders?  It happened, ostensibly, out of a need to shield young minds from iconography that differed from their own, from exposure to a religion not their own.  Beyond the ostensible, what really happened in Italy last week?  And what, in fact, has been happening to Christianity over the last decade?   Christianity is, in this writer’s eyes, under systematic attack.

 

Before anyone snatches up a sword and a shield to set off on a Crusade, bear with me while I make this honest confession, prior to supporting my convictions with further proof.  Born into the Catholic faith, I made a well-considered decision to leave the Church many years ago.  I hold no allegiance to the Catholic Church, or rather, to the men designated by other men to direct the faithful here on the earthly plane.  I do, however, hold fast to my intelligence as well as my spirituality, the latter of which is defined by my personal relationship with God, and not by any organized religion.

 

What occurred in Italy recently had its precedent established in October 2003 when a zealot, Mr. Adel Smith of the Union of Muslims of Italy, demanded that the crucifixes hanging in the secular classrooms of his child be removed.  In addition to the elimination of the crucifixes, Smith (a convert of Islam hailing from a Scots heritage) insisted that prayers from the Koran be displayed in his child’s school.  He made additional demands deeply insulting to Catholicism, Italian culture, and Renaissance art, demands that were refuted.  The victory that he did win, however, was the obliteration of Christ, hanging in silent effigy over the school children, depicting the moment after he commended his spirit unto the Lord.

 

Hold onto your outrage for one more moment, please, because what happened on our own shores surely must have put the wind beneath Adel Smith’s wings along with the bats in his belfry.  In the summer of 2000, a court in Wyandotte county removed a statue of the Ten Commandments adorning a public area in Kansas City.  The court took this extraordinary action so as to waylay a lawsuit threatened by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), which was once, in my estimation, an organization of integrity and good intent.  The ACLU, you see, asserted that since the Commandments violated the Constitution’s edict of separation between church and state, God’s law must topple from public display.

 

Applying the Wyandotte wedge, the ACLU later achieved the same dismantling at a courthouse in Miles City, Montana (September 2003).  Two month later, it repeated this act when it convinced U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson to remove the Commandments in the State judicial building in Montgomery, Alabama.

 

Anyone with a modicum of intelligence, who chooses to read the Ten Commandments objectively rather than as a religious manifesto, can see that they represent a code of honor, a code upon which our justice system is based — particularly the directives that address theft, slander, and murder.

 

The Bible postulates that the Commandments, emblazoned on two stone tablets, were handed down directly from God (Yahweh) to Moses.  If we remove the Commandments as Commandments, we thus remove God from the equation.  And if we remove God from the justice system as well as our school systems — if we, in effect, obliterate a higher power — to whom, then, are human beings accountable?  To each other?  To those who wage war upon each other in the name of religion?

 

Islam, for those uneducated in is tenets, is not a violent religion; Mohammed never established it as such.  He founded the Five Pillars of his religion upon the Golden Rule manifested in the Ten Commandments and further strengthened by the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Mohammed urged his followers to honor the prophets of both Judaism and Christianity; for upon the beliefs of those faiths, he created his own.  Any disciple of Islam who truly follows the Koran, as opposed to propaganda that oppresses and twists its truths, knows this to be true.

 

Christianity was born out of the belief in a God that did not judge; a God that forgave.  No records exist of Jesus Christ’s whereabouts between his 30th and 33rd years upon this earth (the 33rd being the year that he was crucified). Conjecture has it that during that time, Jesus made a pilgrimage to the East, to study religion there.  The very principles of Christianity seem to support the thinking that this faith is based not completely, but largely, upon the doctrines of Buddhism.

 

If the world’s great faiths are truly interrelated, if all of them honor a being or beings greater than ourselves, what then, is all the fuss about?  In honoring Mohammed as well as Jesus Christ and Buddha, the crucifixes must remain in place, as must the Ten Commandments.  If the human race cannot see past the icons and rituals of individual religions to the very heart of each faith, and the increasingly pressing need to live by that Golden Rule, we are forever doomed to wage jihads and crusades.  We are forever doomed to walk this earth in a deep-seated mistrust, resentment, and ultimately, hatred of each other.  We are forever doomed to a world besieged by violence conducted in the name of religion.  Is this the world that we want to leave our children?

 

For those interested in my sources for this article, I provide you with the following few links:

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8340411.stm

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/03/italy-classroom-crucifixes-human-rights

 

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j7ePwV7h1sb1YI9XU_nt7Ui3m_iAD9BO3LR01

 

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/1103/p06s24-woeu.html

 

http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/10-26-2003-46959.asp

 

http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/08/27/ten.commandments/

 

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,98267,00.html

 

http://www.catholic.org/prwire/headline.php?ID=5235

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