Friday, November 06, 2009

Making an ass of human rights


The Tablet 7 November 2009

Making an ass of human rights

What is a crucifix? It is not a symbol of the almighty power of the Catholic Church, but a representation of one innocent man’s agonising death at the hands of the state, after torture and a sham trial – in other words, a gross human-rights violation. Catholics believe that that innocent man is also the Son of God, but the depiction is realistic, not metaphysical. The decision of the European Court of Human Rights to order the removal of crucifixes from the walls of state schools in Italy is therefore one of the worst examples of human-rights legislation bringing the wrong result for the wrong reasons. The real damage is to the cause of human rights itself: the decision makes not only the law look an ass but also the court and the convention it is supposed to uphold. To Catholics, moreover, Christ’s suffering on the Cross is a sign of his human and divine solidarity with all who suffer cruelty and injustice, an example that has comforted and encouraged countless victims of torture and oppression down the centuries. Read fulll text here

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