NewsTue Nov 17, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST
Italian Mayors Order Crufixes Put in Classrooms in Revolt against European Court Ruling
By Hilary White
ROME, November 17, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Poland's president, Lech Kaczynski and the leadership of the Greek Orthodox Church have both hit out at a decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) attempting to ban the display of crucifixes in Italian public schools. At the same time, a general revolt against the ruling in municipalities all over Italy has been started by public officials, who are now ordering the display of crucifixes in schools, and levelling fines for non-compliance.
The November 3rd ECHR ruling, made in response to a complaint by an Italian secularist campaigner, said that the display of crucifixes violated the religious rights of pupils.
During Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday in Warsaw, Poland's Kaczynski said that "nobody in Poland will accept the message that you can't hang crosses in schools."
"One shouldn't count on that. Perhaps elsewhere, but never in Poland," Kaczynski said.
The reaction from Poland has touched a national nerve in a country where crucifixes and other religious symbols were banned under the atheistic communist rule and are now a prominent symbol of national sovereignty.
Lech Walesa, the former president and leader of the Solidarity movement that eventually freed Poland from its Soviet-controlled communist dictatorship, challenged the court ruling in a TV interview Thursday, saying, "We must respect minorities but also protect the rights of the majority."
At the same time, Archbishop Ieronymos, the Archbishop of Athens and primate of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece has also spoken out, urging all Europeans to oppose the ruling, saying the court is ignoring the role of Christianity in forming Europe's identity. The Greek Church has intervened in the case in response to a Greek citizen whose son is studying in Italy, the BBC reports.
The reactions from Greece and Poland reflect the warning made recently by UK legal expert Neil Addison, who told LifeSiteNews.com that, because of the intricacies of European Union law, the Italian crucifix ruling is likely ultimately to affect all 27 member states.
Addison, an author and expert on anti-discrimination law, said that if the Italian government loses their appeal, the ruling could result in the enforced exclusion of all public displays of Christian symbols all over Europe. Addison specifically warned that in countries like Greece and Cyprus, the common display of icons in public places would be under threat.
In fact, since the November 3rd ruling was announced, a secularist activist group in Greece, the Greek Helsinki Monitor, has called for a similar ruling to be applied to that country. The group is urging trade unions to challenge the presence of religious symbols in Greek schools.
The BBC reports that the Orthodox Church plans to hold an emergency Holy Synod to hash out a plan to oppose the ruling.
Meanwhile, Italian papers are reporting a general revolt across the country against the Strasburg ruling. All schools in the League Monza in the Lombardy region, have been given seven days to ensure that crucifixes are displayed in every classroom. The mayor of Besana in Brianza, Vittorio Gatti, signed an order levelling a €150 fine for non-compliance.
Mayor Gatti said, "We will give principals time to adjust, but then the order will be respected."
In a statement published on the municipality's website, the mayor referred to the ECHR decision, saying, "We believe that the crucifix is a symbolic expression in Italy of the religious origin of such important civic values as tolerance, mutual respect, enhancement of the person, freedom, solidarity and rejection of any discrimination."
"I believe I have decided the right thing. I have always seen crucifixes in schools and I believe we should have respect for our traditions and defend them against those who do not even know what they're talking about," Gatti said.
The mayor of Priverno in the province of Latina, Lazio, central Italy, signed an order which provides for the maintenance of crucifixes in classrooms of primary schools throughout the municipality. Mayor Umberto Macci, instructed the municipal police to check that crucifixes are in place, with non-compliance to be fined €500. Citing 1924 and 1927 regulations on school furniture, which provided for the display of crucifixes in schools, the mayor said they are "an expression of fundamental civic values and Italian cultural values."
The mayor of Ascoli Piceno in the in the Marche region near the central east coast, said the crucifix expresses "in a symbolic way, the origin of religious values of the republican constitution. I am referring to freedom, mutual respect, appreciation of the person, solidarity and the rejection of any discrimination."
Mayor Guido Castelli cited state laws that agreed the display of crucifixes in classrooms "does not seem open to criticism over the principle of secularism" of the Italian State.
Please, enough with the cult of pop stars. Our kids need real heroes.
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Two things happen each time a significant pop culture figure dies: Christians attempt to dredge up some moderately conservative or traditional thing that figure said at some point during his long career, and mainstream media attempts to convince a society thoroughly bored with such things that the person in question was a ground-breaking radical. The two most recent examples are the androgynous David Bowie—a cringe-worthy and possibly blasphemous video of him dropping to his knees during a rock performance and uttering the Lord’s Prayer circulated just following his death--and the pop star Prince.
I’ve had to suppress my gag reflexes many times as I saw my Facebook newsfeed fill up with memes sporting quotes from Prince about his faith and articles announcing that the musician who “embraced gender fluidity before his time,” according to Slate and “will always be a gay icon” according to The Atlantic, was against gay marriage. Sure, maybe he was. But only a Christian community so shell-shocked by the rapid spread of the rainbow blitzkrieg and the catastrophic erosion of religious liberty would find this remarkable. After all, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton said the same thing barely one election cycle ago. As one obituary celebrating Prince’s paradigm-smashing sexual performances written by Dodai Stewart put it:
Dig, if you will, a picture: The year is 1980. Many states still have sodomy laws. The radio is playing feel-good ear candy like Captain and Tennille and KC and the Sunshine Band. TV hits include the sunny, toothy blond shows Three’s Company and Happy Days. There’s no real word for “gender non-conforming.” But here’s what you see: A man. Clearly a man. Hairy, mostly naked body…a satiny bikini bottom. But those eyes. Rimmed in black, like a fantasy belly dancer. The full, pouty lips of a pin-up girl. Long hair. A tiny, svelte thing. Ethnically ambiguous, radiating lust. What is this? A man. Clearly a man. No. Not just a man. A Prince.
Right. So let’s not get too carried away, shall we? I know Christians are desperate to justify their addictions to the pop culture trash that did so much to sweep away Christian values in the first place and I know that latching on to the occasional stray conservative belief that may manifest itself in pop culture figures makes many feel as if perhaps we are not so weird and countercultural, but this bad habit we have of claiming these figures upon their passing is downright damaging.
After all, parents should be teaching their children about real heroes, titans of the faith who changed the world. Heroes of the early church who stood down tyrants, halted gladiatorial combat, and crusaded against injustice in a world where death was all the rage. These men and women were real rebels who stood for real values. If we want to point our children to people they should emulate, we should be handing them books like Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness by the brilliant writer Eric Metaxas rather than the pop albums Purple Rain or Lovesexy by Prince. If parents spend their time glorifying the predecessors of Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus instead of highlighting heroes like William Wilberforce, they can hardly be surprised when their children choose to emulate the former rather than the latter.
The mainstream media’s adulation of these pop stars is equally irritating. The unspoken truth of these obituaries is that the flamboyant antics of Prince and the rest of the so-called rebellious drag queens populating the rock n’ roll scene have been mainstream for a long time already. Want to see dozens of bizarre body piercings? Weird hairdos? Purple mohawks? Dudes with nail polish? Strange tattoos? Easy. Just go onto any university campus, or any public high school without a dress code. With headphones wedged firmly in their ear canals, they can pump the cleverly commercialized “counterculture” straight into their skulls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
More than that, some of these courageous rebels have actually sued their employers to ensure that they can let their establishment-smashing freak flag fly at work, too. An Edmonton woman with 22 visible body piercings complained that her employer was unfair because apparently she was being discriminated against “based on body modifications.” Yeah! The Man must be told, after all. And if he doesn’t agree, we will lawyer up. I wonder what the shrieking rebels of the early days would think about the snivelling children of the current grievance culture.
So these days, the media’s eulogizing about aging culture warriors who went mainstream a long time ago rings a bit hollow. After all, most rock n’ roll stars these days look tame compared to what shows up in the children’s section at Pride Week. Freaky is normal now. Normal is radical. Welcome to 2016.
When Christians are posting nostalgic tributes to the rebels who helped inoculate their children against the radical views of Christianity in the first place, you know that the victories of the counterculture are complete and Stockholm syndrome has set in.
Target boycott climbs to over 1 million
April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Over 1 million people have signed a pledge to boycott Target over its new policy allowing men to access women’s bathrooms.
The American Family Association’s Boycott Target petition gained traction immediately, reaching the one million mark in only nine days.
“Corporate America must stop bullying people who disagree with the radical left agenda to remake society into their progressive image,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “#BoycottTarget has resonated with Americans. Target’s harmful policy poses a danger to women and children; nearly everyone has a mother, wife, daughter or friend who is put in jeopardy by this policy. Predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the policy to prey on those who are vulnerable. And it’s clear now that over one million customers agree.”
Target defended its policy in a statement saying that it believes everyone “deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally” and earlier this week, a Target spokeswoman defended the policy as “inclusive.”
The AFA said that unisex bathrooms are a common-sense alternative to allowing men unfettered access to women’s bathrooms.
“Target should keep separate facilities for men and women, but for the trans community and for those who simply like using the bathroom alone, a single occupancy unisex option should be provided,” the petition says.
The AFA warned that Target’s new policy benefits sexual predators and poses a danger to women and children.
“With Target publicly boasting that men can enter women's bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asked.
There have been numerous instances of predatory men accessing women’s bathrooms and intimate facilities in the wake of “transgender” bathroom policies allowing them to do so.
“We want to make it very clear that AFA does not believe the transgender community poses this danger to the wider public,” said Wildmon. “Rather, this misguided and reckless policy provides a possible gateway for predators who are out there.”
Amazing new video captures the flash of light the moment life begins
CHICAGO, April 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Life begins with a spark – literally.
Researchers at Northwestern University have documented the striking event in a new video that accompanies a study published this week.
At the moment of conception, the egg releases massive amounts of zinc, which creates a spark that can be seen with the aid of a microscope.
“It was remarkable,” said Teresa Woodruff, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school. “To see the zinc radiate out in a burst from each human egg was breathtaking.”
The research team had noted the zinc sparks before in mice eggs but had never observed the process in human beings.
“All of biology starts at the time of fertilization,” Woodruff said, “yet we know next to nothing about the events that occur in the human.”
One of the researchers, Northwestern chemistry professor Thomas O'Halloran, explained the science behind the process in 2014.
“The egg first has to stockpile zinc and then must release some of the zinc to successfully navigate maturation, fertilization and the start of embryogenesis,” he said. “On cue, at the time of fertilization, we see the egg release thousands of packages, each dumping a million zinc atoms, and then it's quiet.”
“Each egg has four or five of these periodic sparks,” O'Halloran said. “It is beautiful to see, orchestrated much like a symphony.”
Since the amount of zinc in an egg correlates with successful implantation and birth, the Northwestern researchers are highlighting that their research may be used to assist in vitro fertilization.
But that raises concerns given the grave moral issues with IVF, which involves creating numerous embryos that are either killed or frozen. Moral theologians also emphasize that IVF is an injustice even for the children who are born as a result, as they are created in a lab rather than in the union of man and woman.
The study may have far-reaching consequences the research team did not intend, such as strengthening public belief in the longstanding scientific consensus that life begins at the moment of conception/fertilization.
Many of those who saw the Northwestern video said it testifies to the beauty of life and the shallow lies that buttress the argument of abortion-on-demand.
“I saw this, and I was blown away by it,” said Rush Limbaugh on his nationally syndicated radio program Thursday afternoon. “For anybody in the mainstream media to openly admit that life begins at conception” defies arguments that an unborn child is only “tissue mass.”
Researchers released a separate video of the zinc spark taking place in a mammalian egg more than a year ago:
The paper, which is entitled “The Zinc Spark is an Inorganic Signature of Human Egg Activation,” was published by Scientific Reports on April 26.