The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

Religious Symbols

Via Malcolm Brabant, BBC News, Athens

The Greek Orthodox Church is urging Christians across Europe to unite in an appeal against a ban on crucifixes in classrooms in Italy.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled last week that the presence of crucifixes violated a child’s right to freedom of religion.

Greece’s Orthodox Church fears the Italian case will set a precedent.

It has called an emergency Holy Synod meeting for next week to devise an action plan.

Although the Greek Orthodox Church has been at odds with Roman Catholicism for 1,000 years, the judicial threat to Christian symbols has acted as a unifying force.

The European Court of Human Rights found that the compulsory display of crucifixes violated parents’ rights to educate their children as they saw fit and restricted the right of children to believe or not to believe.

Worthy symbols

The head of the Greek Church, Archbishop Ieronymos, shares Catholic complaints that the court is ignoring the role of Christianity in forming Europe’s identity.

It is not only minorities that have rights but majorities as well, said the archbishop.

One of his subordinates, Bishop Nicholas from central Greece, lamented that at this rate youngsters will not have any worthy symbols at all to inspire and protect them.

Crucifixin San Remo town hall 6.11.09
The mayor of one Italian town displayed a 2m high crucifix in protest

Football and pop idols are very poor substitutes, he said.

The Greek Church has ostensibly intervened in this case in response to an appeal by a Greek mother whose son is studying in Italy.

But without doubt it is concerned that its omnipotence in Greece is under threat.

A human rights group called Helsinki Monitor is seeking to use the Italian case as a precedent.

It has demanded that Greek courts remove icons of Jesus Christ from above the judge’s bench and that the gospel no longer be used for swearing oaths in the witness box.

Helsinki Monitor is urging trade unions to challenge the presence of religious symbols in Greek schools.

The socialist government here is also considering imposing new taxes on the Church’s vast fortune, but at the same time is urging it to do more to help immigrants and poor Greeks.

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52 Comments

  1. November 13, 2009    

    Thanks for posting this.

    Greek Helsinki Monitor contributed a third party intervention to this case in favor of the applicant. The case has implications for Greece too as the Court’s judgment implies.

    BBC NEWS
    Italy school crucifixes ‘barred’

    The European Court of Human Rights has ruled against the use of crucifixes in classrooms in Italy.

    It said the practice violated the right of parents to educate their children as they saw fit, and ran counter to the child’s right to freedom of religion.

    The case was brought by an Italian mother, Soile Lautsi, who wants to give her children a secular education.

    The Vatican said it was shocked by the ruling, calling it “wrong and myopic” to exclude the crucifix from education.

    The ruling has sparked anger in the largely Catholic country, with one politician calling the move “shameful”.

    The Strasbourg court found that: “The compulsory display of a symbol of a given confession in premises used by the public authorities… restricted the right of parents to educate their children in conformity with their convictions.”

    It also restricted the “right of children to believe or not to believe”, the seven judges ruling on the case said in a statement quoted by AFP news agency.

    European identity

    Mrs Lautsi complained to the European court that her children had to attend a public school in northern Italy that had crucifixes in every room.

    She was awarded 5,000 euros ($7,400; £4,500) in damages.

    Vatican spokesman the Rev Federico Lombardi said the European court had no right intervening in such a profoundly Italian matter, the Associated Press reported.

    “ The compulsory display of a symbol of a given confession in premises used by the public authorities… restricted the right of parents to educate their children in conformity with their convictions. ”
    Court ruling

    “It seems as if the court wanted to ignore the role of Christianity in forming Europe’s identity, which was and remains essential.”

    He told Italian TV: “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.”

    ‘Italian tradition’

    Many politicians in Italy have reacted angrily.

    Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini said the crucifix was a “symbol of our tradition”, and not a mark of Catholicism.

    One government minister called the ruling “shameful”, while another said that Europe was forgetting its Christian heritage.

    The government says it will appeal against the decision.

    The BBC’s Duncan Kennedy in Rome says that it is customary in Italy to see crucifixes in public buildings, including schools, despite the constitution saying that there should be a separation of church and state.

    The law requiring crucifixes to be hung in schools dates back to the 1920s.

    Although a revised accord between the Vatican and the Italian government ended Catholicism’s position as the state religion in 1984, the crucifix law has never been repealed.

    Some conservatives have already complained about schools dropping nativity plays to avoid upsetting Muslim children.
    Story from BBC NEWS:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/8340411.stm

    Published: 2009/11/03 22:47:14 GMT

  2. November 13, 2009    

    819

    03.11.2009

    Press release issued by the Registrar

    Chamber judgment1

    Lautsi v. Italy (application no. 30814/06)
    http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view.asp?action=html&documentId=857732&portal=hbkm&source=externalbydocnumber&table=F69A27FD8FB86142BF01C1166DEA398649

    CRUCIFIX IN CLASSROOMS:

    CONTRARY TO PARENTS’ RIGHT TO EDUCATE THEIR CHILDREN IN LINE WITH THEIR CONVICTIONS AND TO CHILDREN’S RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF RELIGION

    Violation of Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 (right to education)

    examined jointly with Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion)
    of the European Convention on Human Rights

    Under Article 41 (just satisfaction) of the Convention, the Court awarded the applicant 5,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage. (The judgment is available only in French.)

    Principal facts

    The applicant, Ms Soile Lautsi, is an Italian national who lives in Abano Terme (Italy). In 2001-2002 her children, Dataico and Sami Albertin, aged 11 and 13 respectively, attended the State school “Istituto comprensivo statale Vittorino da Feltre” in Abano Terme. All of the classrooms had a crucifix on the wall, including those in which Ms Lautsi’s children had lessons. She considered that this was contrary to the principle of secularism by which she wished to bring up her children. She informed the school of her position, referring to a Court of Cassation judgment of 2000, which had found the presence of crucifixes in polling stations to be contrary to the principle of the secularism of the State. In May 2002 the school’s governing body decided to leave the crucifixes in the classrooms. A directive recommending such an approach was subsequently sent to all head teachers by the Ministry of State Education.

    On 23 July 2002 the applicant complained to the Veneto Regional Administrative Court about the decision by the school’s governing body, on the ground that it infringed the constitutional principles of secularism and of impartiality on the part of the public authorities. The Ministry of State Education, which joined the proceedings as a party, emphasised that the impugned situation was provided for by royal decrees of 1924 and 1928. On 14 January 2004 the administrative court granted the applicant’s request that the case be submitted to the Constitutional Court for an examination of the constitutionality of the presence of a crucifix in classrooms. Before the Constitutional Court, the Government argued that such a display was natural, as the crucifix was not only a religious symbol but also, as the “flag” of the only Church named in the Constitution (the Catholic Church), a symbol of the Italian State. On 15 December 2004 the Constitutional Court held that it did not have jurisdiction, on the ground that the disputed provisions were statutory rather than legislative. The proceedings before the administrative court were resumed, and on 17 March 2005 that court dismissed the applicant’s complaint. It held that the crucifix was both the symbol of Italian history and culture, and consequently of Italian identity, and the symbol of the principles of equality, liberty and tolerance, as well as of the State’s secularism. By a judgment of 13 February 2006, the Consiglio di Stato dismissed the applicant’s appeal, on the ground that the cross had become one of the secular values of the Italian Constitution and represented the values of civil life.

    Complaints, procedure and composition of the Court

    The applicant alleged, in her own name and on behalf of her children, that the display of the crucifix in the State school attended by the latter was contrary to her right to ensure their education and teaching in conformity with her religious and philosophical convictions, within the meaning of Article 2 of Protocol No. 1. The display of the cross had also breached her freedom of conviction and religion, as protected by Article 9 of the Convention.

    The application was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights on 27 July 2006.

    Judgment was given by a Chamber of seven judges, composed as follows:

    Françoise Tulkens (Belgium), President,
    Ireneu Cabral Barreto (Portugal),
    Vladimiro Zagrebelsky (Italy),
    Danut? Jo?ien? (Lithuania),
    Dragoljub Popovi? (Serbia),
    András Sajó (Hungary),
    I??l Karaka? (Turkey), judges,

    and Sally Dollé, Section Registrar.

    Decision of the Court

    The presence of the crucifix – which it was impossible not to notice in the classrooms – could easily be interpreted by pupils of all ages as a religious sign and they would feel that they were being educated in a school environment bearing the stamp of a given religion. This could be encouraging for religious pupils, but also disturbing for pupils who practised other religions or were atheists, particularly if they belonged to religious minorities. The freedom not to believe in any religion (inherent in the freedom of religion guaranteed by the Convention) was not limited to the absence of religious services or religious education: it extended to practices and symbols which expressed a belief, a religion or atheism. This freedom deserved particular protection if it was the State which expressed a belief and the individual was placed in a situation which he or she could not avoid, or could do so only through a disproportionate effort and sacrifice.

    The State was to refrain from imposing beliefs in premises where individuals were dependent on it. In particular, it was required to observe confessional neutrality in the context of public education, where attending classes was compulsory irrespective of religion, and where the aim should be to foster critical thinking in pupils.

    The Court was unable to grasp how the display, in classrooms in State schools, of a symbol that could reasonably be associated with Catholicism (the majority religion in Italy) could serve the educational pluralism that was essential to the preservation of a “democratic society” as that was conceived by the Convention, a pluralism that was recognised by the Italian Constitutional Court.

    The compulsory display of a symbol of a given confession in premises used by the public authorities, and especially in classrooms, thus restricted the right of parents to educate their children in conformity with their convictions, and the right of children to believe or not to believe. The Court concluded, unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 taken jointly with Article 9 of the Convention.

    ***

    This press release is a document produced by the Registry; the summary it contains does not bind the Court. The judgments are accessible on its Internet site (http://www.echr.coe.int).

    Press contacts
    Frédéric Dolt (tel : + 33 (0)3 90 21 53 39) or

    Stefano Piedimonte (tel : + 33 (0)3 90 21 42 04)
    Tracey Turner-Tretz (tel : + 33 (0)3 88 41 35 30)
    Kristina Pencheva-Malinowski (tel : + 33 (0)3 88 41 35 70)
    Céline Menu-Lange (tel : + 33 (0)3 90 21 58 77)

    Nina Salomon (tel + 33 (0)3 90 21 49 79)

    The European Court of Human Rights was set up in Strasbourg by the Council of Europe Member States in 1959 to deal with alleged violations of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights.

    1 Under Article 43 of the Convention, within three months from the date of a Chamber judgment, any party to the case may, in exceptional cases, request that the case be referred to the 17-member Grand Chamber of the Court. In that event, a panel of five judges considers whether the case raises a serious question affecting the interpretation or application of the Convention or its protocols, or a serious issue of general importance, in which case the Grand Chamber will deliver a final judgment. If no such question or issue arises, the panel will reject the request, at which point the judgment becomes final. Otherwise Chamber judgments become final on the expiry of the three-month period or earlier if the parties declare that they do not intend to make a request to refer.

  3. November 13, 2009    

    DEUXIÈME SECTION

    AFFAIRE LAUTSI c. ITALIE

    (Requête no 30814/06)

    ARRÊT

    STRASBOURG

    3 novembre 2009

    http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view.asp?action=html&documentId=857732&portal=hbkm&source=externalbydocnumber&table=F69A27FD8FB86142BF01C1166DEA398649

    (…)

    c) Le tiers intervenant

    45. Le Greek Helsinki Monitor (« le GHM ») conteste les thèses du Gouvernement défendeur.

    La croix, et plus encore le crucifix, ne peuvent qu’être perçus comme des symboles religieux. Le GHM conteste aussi l’affirmation selon laquelle il faut voir dans la croix autre chose que le symbole religieux et que la croix est porteuse de valeurs humanistes ; il estime que pareille position est offensante pour l’Eglise. En outre, le Gouvernement italien n’aurait pas même indiqué un seul non-chrétien qui serait d’accord avec cette théorie. Enfin, d’autres religions ne verraient dans la croix qu’un symbole religieux.

    46. Si l’on suit l’argument du Gouvernement selon lequel l’exposition du crucifix ne demande ni salut, ni attention, il y aurait lieu de se demander alors pourquoi le crucifix est exposé. L’exposition d’un tel symbole pourrait être perçue comme la vénération institutionnelle de celui-ci.

    A cet égard, le GHM observe que, selon les principes directeurs de Tolède sur l’enseignement relatif aux religions et convictions dans les écoles publiques (Conseil d’experts sur la liberté de religion et de conviction de l’organisation pour la Sécurité et la Coopération en Europe (« OSCE »)), la présence d’un tel symbole dans une école publique peut constituer une forme d’enseignement implicite d’une religion, par exemple en donnant l’impression que cette religion particulière est favorisée par rapport à d’autres. Si la Cour, dans l’affaire Folgerø, a affirmé que la participation à des activités religieuses peut avoir une influence sur des enfants, alors, selon le GHM, l’exposition de symboles religieux peut elle aussi en avoir une. Il faut également penser à des situations où les enfants ou leurs parents pourraient avoir peur de représailles s’ils décidaient de protester.

    (…)

  4. Xenos
    November 13, 2009    

    This is a typical case, in my view, of conservatism versus modernity. An Italian national wished to bring up her children in a modern context, free from the overbearing influence of the Church. Yet, the Italian courts ruled that the Christian Cross is no longer a religious symbol but a part of secular society! I can imagine the Greek courts coming to the same ridiculous and dishonest conclusion — simply to preserve the status quo.

    The question in Greece, is how many like-minded Greeks will challenge the state institutions in the name of modernity. I doubt that the jurisprudence of the ECtHR will be enough to stop the Greek Church from its traditional behaviour of control and exploitation.

  5. November 13, 2009    

    Xenos

    You are not reading the Greek press. The court on Monday ruled that there is a need of a law implementing the “new developments in case law” -as it said- to remove them but in so doing acknowledged that there is a problem. This has been a great development in the Greek context.

    Panayote

  6. AntiMultiCulturalism
    November 13, 2009    

    What is going on here? Since when is the Cross offensive?
    How is a Cross violating someone’s religious rights?
    I mean what is next? Penalizing the public Sign of the Cross? Tearing down churches? I mean why not, what else is “offensive”? Lets just destroy all of cultural and historical notions and return to the Stone Age eating lice, no one will be offenced then because we will all be so fucking stupid.

    I am sorry for the outburst, but this is exactly what I was talking about “communities within the community”. Immigrants just don’t want to be a part of European culture, they don’t want to be a part of the countries they are living in and they still want

  7. AntiMultiCulturalism
    November 13, 2009    

    our history and tradition! I know many will say that is the cost for multiculturalism, but multiculturalism only has costs.
    Why can’t immigrants just accept the fact that Europe has the right to keep alive what makes Europe European?

  8. Cyd
    November 13, 2009    

    Why can’t immigrants just accept the fact that Europe has the right to keep alive what makes Europe European?

    Because they do not care and are told they do not have to care by the usual suspects. Secondly, and just as importantly, they are not European.

  9. November 13, 2009    

    There are arguments by courts.

    If you want a serious discussion comment on what the courts say instead of outbursts.

    Those who asked for the removal of religious symbols are not migrants if you care to read the info.

  10. HOMELAND SECURITY
    November 13, 2009    

    For them it would be better to discuss about the ability of european human cows to give mothermilk. If they won’t give milk for 3 years they shouldn’t breed. It’s a crime against nature stealing baby animals the mothermilk away like it is to fuck up every beach with sunbeds and umbrellas.
    word!
    in the stone ages no need for me!
    -GOD
    hope ya have enough nails to cross me again…

  11. Cyd
    November 13, 2009    

    Those who asked for the removal of religious symbols are not migrants if you care to read the info.

    Irrelevant considering the morons who did ask for it, which are usually nation hating, self loathing, guilt tripping, PC spewing, vile Europeans that are out to “protect” the sensitivities of the immigrant population at the expense of the native hosts. That is usually how the PC game works and then immigrants, who do not buy this PC crap but certainly know how to use it for their benefit, begin to use the same tactics to demand more rights and perks for themselves.

    You people should acquaint yourselves with the plight of the US and her long battle with racial equality and the black population before you go on about such absolute idiocy as this. It leads to many, many problems. Just ask the French.

  12. November 13, 2009    

    DD

    I do not intend to discuss with (anonymous) people who call me a moron.

    P.D.

  13. Xenos
    November 13, 2009    

    This anonymous guy is a nasty piece of work, Panayote. His personal insults to me are far worse than “moron”. I also refuse to discuss with vermin.

  14. Cyd
    November 13, 2009    

    Listen up you two sensitive souls. I have no problem calling each of you the same names with the same tone right to your faces the next time I am in Greece if that somehow justifies my anger with your incessant, unsubstantiated, nation wrecking ideas. Fair enough?

  15. Cyd
    November 13, 2009    

    I also am fed up with each of you running to your mother superior on this blog whenever you get pushed to support your stupid ideologies that is at the expense of the native population. Whether you realize it or not, your suggestions have dramatic negative impacts on real people that inhabit the land mass called Greece. And you expect people to go along with what amounts to national suicide in a calm and rational fashion?

  16. HOMELAND SECURITY
    November 13, 2009    

    Yeah, yeah.. as the “native” powwow will kick ya out anyway ya gotta get to greece asap. But doncha forget to face the actual strongest anti-authoritarian movement in europe. Whatcha think forces the state into prison-reforms and even a one million euro headhunt regarding the case of Konstantina Kouneva? Pussy “Lefties ” and “Marxists” at stake? NOPE: ANARCHISTS!
    INDIAN LAND FOR INDIAN PEOPLE
    fighting terrorism since 1492
    HOMELAND SECURITY

  17. Post Disagreement
    November 13, 2009    

    Panayote Dimitras says:
    November 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    There are arguments by courts.

    If you want a serious discussion comment on what the courts say instead of outbursts.

    Those who asked for the removal of religious symbols are not migrants if you care to read the info.

    ………….

    Mr. Dimitras…

    The fact is that in Italy whether one likes it or not (and in Greece also) there is an official religion, which no one is mandated to participate in but understood as one of the pillars of the society.

    Next are they going to ask us to remove the cross from the Greek Flag?

    Religion and culture overlap. Greeks may not be 100% observant but it is a part of our history and culture…even moderate agnostics and atheists can acknowledge that.

    If someone was forced to recite a prayer thats a different story, but having a Cross in the class room?

    Does the secular person think that they should hide the fact that Italy is historically and culturally based on Roman Catholicism? Are they afraid just knowing that fact and seeing a cross is going to turn them into a Christian?

    This is why I say the EU is the EUSSR.

    There is no such thing as someone having the right to not have a religious symbol in sight of their vision.

    Next wearing one on your necklace will be banned.

    Next the New Testament will be an illegal book because it offends Jews.

    This is not about forced participation in religion…its about being tolerant back to the dominant culture of the society and its symbols.

    A more important conversation is to discuss the justice of this ECB controlled fiat currency called the EURO which is debt based and issued by a private banking cartel.

    This creates artificial lack and adds unnecessary interest and burdens to the citizens/workers.

    If a government needs money it should print it self and deliver into the economy as services and public works and low interest rate loans to private businesses.

    Also, if this banking cartel was dethroned perhaps the third world would get a chance of developing without the burden of servicing these IMF and World Bank debts

    instead the biggest issue in life is some atheist or jew has to see a cross in school and is getting psychological problems over it.

    NWO, centralized bureacrats out of touch with the majority = tyranny and slavery.

  18. Xenos
    November 13, 2009    

    DD: you should consider banning all posts from outside Greece. It seems that most of them are from extremists either of the fascist or the politically correct variety. Furthermore, they understand nothing of Greek reality as they do not live here.

  19. Post Disagreement
    November 13, 2009    

    Xenos.

    there you again..Banning any kind of disagreement if its from outside Greece.

    Presumably then you would ban someone who shared all your views but was posting from outside Greece, let say from Brussels or ..Helsinki (I believe thats in Finland).

    I think anybody posting here has lived , lives in Greece, just because people travel for tourism, education or family etc does not mean they should have no input about Greece.

    Perhaps one can say NON-ethnically Greek people should not say a word about life in Greece, or Non-citizens of Greece, but then that makes no sense either…because you have criticized Israel over Gaza (which is fine by me) and I presume you do not split time between Greece and Israel in terms of where you live..yet you commented….which is your right.

    I think this desire to ban speech and expression is very much fascism from the Left which is just as bad if someone from thr Right wanted to keep you from speaking and sharing a dissenting view.

  20. Xenos
    November 13, 2009    

    PD: the evidence is that Greeks in the USA and Australia are rabid nationalists, who have no fucking idea of anything. I am not interested in their opinions, nor am I interested to debate with them. There are also some others on the Left who are equally obnoxious, from outside Greece. They are all no-hopers, full of shit.

    I suggest, btw, that you rethink your ideas about who and what other people are. Once, I mentioned the general complex ethnicities of many people (including myself) in the UK and elsewhere and you chose to invent things. Kindly desist, and listen to what people actually tell you. I have never told you that I am Jewish: it is something you imagined.

    I also suggest that Greek people try to mature a little and grow out of this boring Left-Right debate. Most of Europe is tired of the crap from political parties, and wants problems to be solved. None of the political parties has any solutions, so why bother with this nonsense? We need intelligent solutions, not dogma.

  21. Xenos
    November 13, 2009    

    Me: well done! You are a modern person, with a real sense of values. I wish more people like you would speak up.

  22. Baby Shaq
    November 14, 2009    

    As I’ve always thought. Arm Chair Greeks residing comfortably in the land of opportunity (USA) getting their nice fat salaries and eating off the Tit of America, and blabbing about how Great Greece is. Come to Greece CYD and see how fucked up this country is that they can’t even keep the damn streets clean, and graffiti from strangling us (even in Kiffisia and Kolonaki). It’s a dump! Oh, Ellada! Give me a break. Go back to Starbucks in Manhattan and try to convince yourself that America isn’t as good as third-world Greece! We live here, you don’t!

    I can’t take Local Greeks seriously until the damn anarchists are thrown in jail for destroying property, and they receive actual jail sentences.

  23. Post Disagrement
    November 14, 2009    

    Well you know what you so-called liberal secular humanists need to know..is that you should be careful what you ask for ..you might get it…a secular low birth rate society + islamic immigration…=Eurabia and/or atheistic social darwinism…
    how will that world be for you?

    Denigrate the role of Christianity and then you denigrate Humanism too..its a warped version of Christianity with the spiritual and miraculous aspects denied while taking the golden rule and warping to promote all sorts of extreme suicidal policies.

    But if people as a whole go to reject religion and God then the logical conclusion is not Humanism (atheistic “christianity”)
    but something more along the lines of what these folks have to say:

    especially at 2:00 and 5:45

    then continued:

    at 2:49

    You know I consider myself Christian but since you all hate it and are trying to warp the golden rule into promoting suicidal policies perhaps your right..we should give up this principle and listen to people like Zeena and then see how society will change for the better and will inform all these policies related to human rights.

    Hip hurray death of Christianity and hail the new atheistic social darwinist order…hmm…I guess we have been there done that haven’t we..i.e. 60 years ago..

    You guys are such extremist that your sowing the seeds of a backlash that is going to go the other extreme and its going to be ugly..

    i.e do you think i Eurabia you will have freedom of religion?
    do you think atheistic social darwinists are going to give a fig about human rights?

    I really hope more moderate voices and policies come through other wise we will keep swinging back and forth between extreme right and left in Europe.

  24. Cyd
    November 14, 2009    

    Baby Shit says:

    As I’ve always thought. Arm Chair Greeks residing comfortably in the land of opportunity (USA) getting their nice fat salaries and eating off the Tit of America, and blabbing about how Great Greece is. Come to Greece CYD and see how fucked up this country is that they can’t even keep the damn streets clean, and graffiti from strangling us (even in Kiffisia and Kolonaki). It’s a dump! Oh, Ellada! Give me a break. Go back to Starbucks in Manhattan and try to convince yourself that America isn’t as good as third-world Greece! We live here, you don’t!

    I can’t take Local Greeks seriously until the damn anarchists are thrown in jail for destroying property, and they receive actual jail sentences.

    Are you even able to comprehend the English language, Baby Shit? You see, I do not wear rose colored glasses when it comes to Greece, her people, and how the nation runs as I am quite intricately involved in all aspects of it. I am not an Arm Chair Greek residing comfortably in the land of opportunity (USA) getting their nice fat salaries and eating off the Tit of America, and blabbing about how Great Greece is you ignorant fuck. I am a Greek who resides in places THAT INCLUDE Greece.

  25. Cyd
    November 14, 2009    

    DD: you should consider banning all posts from outside Greece. It seems that most of them are from extremists either of the fascist or the politically correct variety. Furthermore, they understand nothing of Greek reality as they do not live here.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Oh yes, after THOROUGHLY evaluating the situation, akin to your thoroughly immigration analysis, you’ve come up with this “solution”, have you? LMAO!

    Idiot.

  26. Xenos
    November 14, 2009    

    Cyd is intricately involved in Greece, hahahah. The cretin travels back and forth and thinks he is an expert on everything. Probably some money-grubbing business type with a fat ass.

  27. Cyd
    November 14, 2009    

    I am firmly aware how you, others of your ilk, and the other losers here love to pigeonhole people in order to maintain your sense of faux superiority. Examples include “non-native”, fat assed sloppy American, money grubbing and such. Know this as a certainty, I am none of your neat and tidy stereotypes, you ignorant pathetic fraud. Know also, every time you have attempted to box me in has been an utter failure as you could not be any more wrong which leads me to think just how right are you about all other aspects where you throw out your proclamations? Needless to say, I have you sized up as the incompetent, lower tier “academic” that you are. If you feel the need to disprove this, by all means do so. I do enjoy a good comedy act just as much as the next person and I will be here to point out the retard that you truly are.

    Probably some money-grubbing business type with a fat ass.

    I fully reject this smear as I have no interest in stealing from my homeland. I, unlike this Lout, actually care about my people and try to do what is best for them as I have come to the realization at this point in my life that I want my homeland to be there for my children and grandchildren. Not that making money is some form of “perversion” as this filth alludes, it is not. However, that is not how I am intricately involved with Greece.

    Just a thought though…I wonder how our resident vermin expects to support mass immigration without the help of “money-grubbing business types” with and without fat asses?

  28. Baby Shaq
    November 14, 2009    

    Ok, Cyd, looks like I got your attention and hit a nerve. You say you don’t wear rose colored glasses. Fair enough.

    So, (when you here in Greece) what are you doing to help clean up the streets, i.e., remove the graffiti, dog shit on the pavement, litter strangling the otherwise beautiful landscape of this country?

    I don’t care about Greeks’ Past, I care about it’s present! It’s filthy like other Balkan countries I’ve visited. If Greece really wants to be considered European, it should mirror other Northern European capitals and start cleaning up!!!

    So, do you talk to other Greeks about how clean some other countries are? Do you volunteer your time in Greece to help educate the Greeks on why they should not turn their country into an ashtray?

    If you notice, I don’t bring up political issues, because I have no interest in that. My complaint with Greece is that I want to live in strict, clean, organized, anarchist FREE Greece where criminals who destroy public property are properly prosecuted and imprisoned.

  29. November 14, 2009    

    Me: if you want that – which is what the European Court wants too – then you should advocate it starting with the child’s school as other(s) will do soon – are you willing to do that?

  30. Cyd
    November 14, 2009    

    I am Greek, as fully Greek as anyone else. No one can claim that they are more Greek than I am.

    Well, I am making that claim, as I do not believe you are Greek at all. Any true Greek knows that Greek Orthodox is intertwined in the very fabric of Greek identity. That is our history. For someone to write this:

    I don’t believe in any religion. I have a child in school. I don’t want him indoctrinated or prosetylised into any religion at all, whether it’s Orthodox Christianity or anything else.

    I want him to be free to decide these things for himself and to be able to discuss them without feeling any pressure or feeling like an outcast. I want to be able to guide him with my values, not those of a state-endorsed religion.

    I hope they get rid of the crosses and icons in all public facilities. They belong in churches and in private homes, not in schools and public buildings.

    Indicates you are a foreigner, whether you were born in Greece or not. So much for second and third generation immigrants assimilating and becoming Greek, as the Lout asserts.

    I notice he agreed with your comment. LOL What a surprise that you were able to fool him, as well as Dimitras.

  31. Sawthis
    November 14, 2009    

    “The whole of Greece seemed to me a cut-price theme park of broken marble, a place where you were harangued in a high-minded way about Ancient Greek culture while some swarthy little person picked your pocket . . . The Greeks were not Greek, but rather the illiterate descendants of Slavs and Albanian fishermen, who spoke a debased Greek dialect and had little interest in the broken columns and temples except as places to graze their sheep . . . the Greeks struck me as being more xenophobic than the French, and more ill-tempered and irrational, in a country more backward than Croatia . . . Greece is the degraded fringe of Europe, basically a peasant society, fortunate in its ruins and its selective memory . . More than any other place I had seen so far on the Mediterranean, Greece was purely a tourist destination, a theme park of shattered marble and broken statues, and garbled history.”

  32. Cyd
    November 14, 2009    

    To sawthis:

    1) Context and link, otherwise it is as worthless as you are.

    2) Irrelevant in that Greeks, no matter what is thought of them, have the same human rights to exist as they see fit as anyone else.

    3) Even in your quote above a mention is made how immigration has affected Greece already…

    The Greeks were not Greek, but rather the illiterate descendants of Slavs and Albanian fishermen, who spoke a debased Greek dialect and had little interest in the broken columns and temples except as places to graze their sheep

    And now further mass immigration will somehow “cure” this problem?

  33. Xenos
    November 14, 2009    

    For the benefit of the totally ignorant here, I can inform you that there are plenty of Greeks who are Catholic, Protestant, Muslim and secular (e.g. born as Orthodox and reject it).

    The fatasses in the USA who say otherwise are talking out of their ignorant fat asses. And of course, they will tell you that “real Greeks” are all Orthodox, because these people are nationalistic racist morons, with no grip on reality.

  34. Cyd
    November 14, 2009    

    For the benefit of the strawman spewing and red herring throwing, brain dead Lout in the readership, I never said real Greeks are all Orthodox. I said real Greeks know that the Greek Orthodox religion is deeply intertwined in the identity of Greece and Greeks. I, as a person who is not very religious, do not follow Orthodoxy or any religion, yet I do not “hate” it or shun it as your supposed “modern Greek” does. I know this is a fine distinction and it will be difficult for you to grasp, though it is the truth. Something you have trouble with.

    As to the claim of

    that there are plenty of Greeks who are Catholic, Protestant, Muslim and secular (e.g. born as Orthodox and reject it).

    I’m sure there is plenty of evidence of this and not some anecdotal malakies where a handful of “Greeks” told you this, right MALAKA? LOL

    According to the State Department, an estimated 97% of Greek citizens identify themselves as Greek Orthodox.

    Three percent are not Greek Orthodox, huh? Let’s see who they are…

    Estimates of the recognized Muslim minority, which is mostly located in Thrace, range from 98,000 to 140,000,(between 0.9% and 1.2%) while the immigrant Muslim community numbers between 200,000 and 300,000. Albanian immigrants to Greece (approximately 700,000) are usually associated with the Muslim faith, although most are secular in orientation.

    LMAO! Malaka!

  35. Baby Shaq
    November 14, 2009    

    Cyd, you said you don’t see Greece with Rose Colored Glasses. OK, fine. So, when you come to Greece for your visits, do you tell the local Greeks in Athens about the filthy streets, with litter, dog poop, graffiti, cigarette ashes etc that seem non-existent in Northern European/North American Continent cities? Do you tell them about how those FOREIGN citizens actually care about their country and it’s environment?

    I’m sure that in some USA/German/UK cities (poor areas) you might see such things, but certainly not in wealthier areas like you do in Athens (Kolonaki, and Kiffissia) and you see the same pigs throwing their cigarettes, walking their dogs and not picking up their poop etc).

    You see, my complaint is not with politics, or immigration really. I just want Greeks in Athens to quit being such pigs! Clean up this city!! I do my part. Do you do your part as a Greek?

  36. Cyd
    November 14, 2009    

    So, when you come to Greece for your visits, do you tell the local Greeks in Athens about the filthy streets, with litter, dog poop, graffiti, cigarette ashes etc that seem non-existent in Northern European/North American Continent cities?

    Not just visits and stop trying to box me in. You do not know me or what I do. To answer your question, yes. More than you’d ever know.

    Do you tell them about how those FOREIGN citizens actually care about their country and it’s environment?

    Yes

    I’m sure that in some USA/German/UK cities (poor areas) you might see such things, but certainly not in wealthier areas like you do in Athens (Kolonaki, and Kiffissia) and you see the same pigs throwing their cigarettes, walking their dogs and not picking up their poop etc).

    Correct and on two occasions, I’ve seen pieces of shit urinate right onto the street. Pathetic does not even begin to describe it.

    You see, my complaint is not with politics, or immigration really. I just want Greeks in Athens to quit being such pigs! Clean up this city!! I do my part. Do you do your part as a Greek?

    Yes, and more. I am not excusing the behaviour of Greeks as I am more appalled than you.

  37. Cyd
    November 14, 2009    

    Everything you’ve said about my comment is baseless, as is your definition of a “true” Greek. It’s your opinion and you’re welcome to it, but everyone has one.

    Yeah, well, it is more than opinion and I gave my reasons as to why I do not think you are Greek and you have not done or said anything that makes me think otherwise.

  38. Xenos
    November 14, 2009    

    Cyd: you are a gullible fool. Did you ever ask where those figures come from, and if they are correct? I imagine not. So, they are propaganda from the Greek state and are baseless: OK?

  39. Post Disagreement
    November 14, 2009    

    Xenos:

    I do recall that you stated in the comments on this blog a while back that you were British and some Jewish heritage. This of course does not imply your religious affiliation.

    Anyway whatever you are by “blood” or religion is not so much the point as that if you told me you were German I would turn around and make nasty statements about all Germans to show to you what it sounds like.

    You make comments like “Everything Greeks do is illegal”

    Now how do you expect people to react to that? really?

    Everything Jews do is illegal
    Everything Blacks do is illegal
    Everything Albanians do is illegal
    Everything Muslims do is illegal

    How come if someone made any of the above statements most people would be outraged but when you say such broad things abouts all Greeks its okay?

    This is why I am sure that even reasonable things you have to say are not appreciated or respected.

    You’ll say Cyd insulted.. you.. thats one person. A Jewish person cheated me in a business deal does this mean its okay for me to say ALL Jews are backstabbers?

    Most people in all countries do not like mass immigration or demographic changes and they are not inevitable changes they are policy and lack of policy driven.

    If stiff fines were imposed on Greek businesses that hired illegals and penalties were to be had the magnet would stop.

    If they really need people and can not find them locally then they can ask the government(society) to invite workers from abroad after demonstrating thet attempted to get local labor.

    And I do not think most people would mind accepting some number of asylum seekers..its just determining what that number should be and that the EU needs to be willing to accept some as well
    …………

    since this blog is about religious symbols..

    I agree with Cyd I am not religious I do not go to Church on Sunday but we are not talking about whether someone is forced to pray or not..we are saying that this religion was and is part of the culture. Just like we do not worship except for perhaps a handful of neo pagans Athena and Zeus, we would not say how offensive to me as a Christian to have my child have to learn about such things and see statues like that inpublic places like museums.

    If a parent who is atheist or Jewish or Muslim does not want their children to be forced to recite a prayer thats one thing.
    But to say now lets get rid of religious symbols of the dominant culture because it offends people who are not of that belief or cultural tradition is just silly. This is not the United States or some secular country. It is a country with an official religion and a religious history.

    Lets take it to the next step..if it bothers them to see it in school..then when walking past a church and seeing it on a church building they will be offended too.

    You are not going to escape the fact that you are in a country where most people either really believe in what those symbols represent or believe in the tradition and cultural aspects if they are not such strong believers in the religion itself.

    We are talking about human rights here.

    Are non Orthodox children forced to become Orthodox?
    are they having property and food denied to them?
    are they being beaten for their difference..NO

    so, lets stop the hystrionics of extremist comparing human rights violation with having to tolerate some expression of the dominant culture having to be eyeshot.

    the black christians being murdered and raped in Sudan by Arabic Mulattos Muslims is the same thing as “me”‘s little precious being traumatized by having to have an icon in eyeshot of their view at school. Perhaps little precious is offended by the cross on the flag to.

    Thats a good question…

    *************PANAYOTE, DIVA and XENOS…**************

    IS Greece violating human rights in your thinking because it has a Cross on its flag?

    I would be interested to hear the answer and reasoning behind that, after all the flag is on all public buildings and in schools as well.

    *******************************************************

    Xenos Cyd is actually correct about the 97% Orthodox number..

    it is not that 97% all go to church on Sunday..

    it means that 97% are affiliated with the Church to varying degrees.

    it is true that there are about 30,000 Protestants 50,000 Catholics and 7,000 Jews, and non-immigrant muslims n thrace at 120,000…plus avowed atheists would equally 3% (closet atheists and agnostics who have their names on the church books and are not interested in removing them we can not account for).

    The 2,000,000 illegal and legal immigrants are not counted in this number..if they were and all of them were not orthodox it would still mean roughly 80% off the total population is affiliated with Orthodoxy in some way and probably 90% with some Christian belief…you figure a portion of Albanians are catholic and orhtodox and most bulgarians are also orthodox as are ethiopians, and most philipinos and polish people are catholic.

    NON believers should not be forced to participate in a prayer they do not believe in but they should have the tolerance to respect the presence of religious symbols in public environments…i.e. the fglag has a cross on it too..what do you do then? Statues and depictions of Athina are religious symbols….and cultural symbols too..i.e. most Greeks do not mind seeing statues of Greek gods but they do not worship them and do not feel compelled to practice ancient Greek religion.

    Same way an atheist Greek can choose to appreciate and respect the symbols of the religious majority as a cultural and artisitic expression while at the same time not attributing for themselves any real acceptance of the supernatural claims associated with that religion.

  40. Cyd
    November 14, 2009    

    Excellent post Post Disagrement. Too bad it falls on deaf ears.

    Cyd: you are a gullible fool. Did you ever ask where those figures come from, and if they are correct? I imagine not. So, they are propaganda from the Greek state and are baseless: OK?

    Why, of course. All information, websites, links, Wikipedia, pretty much every under the sun that makes you look like a fool who does not know what the fuck you are speaking of is “propaganda”. Too bad the rest of us are not privy to your little secret book with all the right answers. LOL

  41. Xenos
    November 15, 2009    

    You are both just idiots. One of you denies the prevalence of illegality in Greece and the other has the stupidity to cite Wikipedia as a source, which shows his low IQ. There is no point in trying to explain anything to fools.

  42. Post Disagreement
    November 15, 2009    

    More name calling Xenos.

    at least this time you did not say all Greeks are fools.

    I think you are a fool. You think by insulting the people you live among and being racist against them you are going to get them to cherish, adopt and appreciate your positions.

    You dismiss and ignore my legitimate questions.

    And then you call me names.

    I do not deny that illegal things go on in Greece I take exception to your bigoted and hostile anti Greek statement
    “Everything Greeks do is illegal”

    Secondly, and more importantly, the logic your proposing is that because illegal things go in Greece that any attention to any opposition to a specific (and demographic/social/economic/nationhood issue affecting the country) illegality namely illegal immigration is off limits.

    This is not logic.

    Again first you appeal to 1) EU/International Laws ( which by the way does not necessarily mean your positions are defensible by them) and then you go to 2) everything is illegal so why bother about this other illegal thing.

    or to use the logic of baby shaq we should be upset about litter and graffiti before we concern ourselves with migration issues.

    even if you were talking about the Greek government, although you did not qualify it that way, all Governments under the sun are corrupt including, if not especially the UK, its just on a different higher level as the Uk is a bigger player.

    I am not a fool I just notice when people are being racist and nasty against my people, and get nasty when someone does not support their position..

  43. Cyd
    November 15, 2009    

    You are both just idiots. One of you denies the prevalence of illegality in Greece and the other has the stupidity to cite Wikipedia as a source, which shows his low IQ. There is no point in trying to explain anything to fools.

    I’m afraid to say that the only fool and only mendacious, idiotic lout here is you. You have had a tremendous amount of information given to you and a few very apt questions put to you. You behave in a hostile, childish, belligerent manner and go off in a huff as if everything is “beneath” you when pushed to defend your position. The problem for you is that I have dealt with dipshits like you before in other aspects of life and you all behave in similar fashion when confronted because you are 1) truly stupid, 2) take a position that is indefensible, and/or 3) have your entire reputation at stake for a faulty ideology. Yeah, well, that’s not my problem but it certainly is yours. I believe you exhibit all three above and I enjoy showing you for the mental lightweight that you are. As a recent example was your defense of multicultural Greece was:

    And why should Greece “go multicultural”? Because it always was — the national identity is faked — and that is the way a globalised world has to go. That does NOT mean that Greek identity is lost: it merely means that you allow immigrants to settle, and their children to become Greek citizens. This actually Greece needs, with its low birthrate, and settlement immigration is far less problematic than the 1922 Exchange of Populations. I agree that, at this moment, there is no work for immigrants and it’s not the right moment to propose such policy.

    HAHAHAHA!

    Yes, I get a good laugh whenever I read such a poorly thought out answer from a supposed “academic”. I not only think but know you are a fraud. Anyone who brushes aside any form of information without truly understanding what that information is, is an academic fraud. Anyone who disregards an information source such as Wikipedia as propagandized, without acknowledging that HIS information sources are just as propagandized if not worse, is a liar, stupid, and definitely an academic fraud. The thing that frustrates you so is not our “inability to understand” your explanations, because, let’s face it, any monkey can understand the bullshit you peddle. No, what frustrates you is our unwillingness to go along with your lies, as your lackeys do after a good browbeating.

    It is no coincidence that the only people you get along with are people who swallow your bilge in toto. Your treating of others here, forget about me or PD, but others who are sympathetic with your views but have some issues are treated in similar fashion. So, to any logical person, the problem lies squarely with you and not EVERYONE else. Only lunatics think everyone else is crazy. Remember that is it may come in handy one day and sooner than you think.

  44. Cyd
    November 15, 2009    

    PD, he has no answers. At least he has no answers that stand up to any sort of scrutiny. He expects you to either believe his bullcrap and pretend it makes sense for a variety of reasons or he labels you “an idiot”.

  45. Baby Shaq
    November 15, 2009    

    CYD, Ok, thanks for clarification. It appears we think alike on issues of cleanliness. My dream would be for Greece to be like Sweden, with Bicycle routes everywhere, and Greek police in bulk ticketing/arresting (as needed) the citizens for any infraction like litering, graffiti, destroying property etc.

    My elderly Greek neighbor said that during the early 1970s apparently things were different. People were more respectful and obeyed the laws. I did not live in Greece then so can’t confirm if it’s true.

  46. De&Ts
    November 15, 2009    

    Me’s comments are quite respectable. To some of the commentators above, let’s not forget that the vast majority of Greeks are still Orthodox Christian, at least nominally.

  47. Xenos
    November 15, 2009    

    Of course the majority of Greeks are Greek Orthodox: but it is not 98%. The source of this figure is concealed, but is alleged to be either from the 1991 Census or the police register of taftotitas. In the case of the Census, the data are secret and the counting according to the Foreign Ministry was carried out by the Secret Service. The taftotita data are even more suspect, because the y rely on a formal declaration made (in many cases) before the Greek Civil War. Before 1999, no Greek dared to admit being anything other than Orthodox because of the massive discrimination in every area of Greek life. (I exclude the Minority from this discussion, although they are Greeks.)

    So, you have secret data from 1991 or decades earlier, that nobody can check, nobody can comment on, and a claim that 98% of Greeks are Orthodox. It is completely unacceptable to state this as a fact, because it is no more than state propaganda.

    And of course, for you dimwits, the CIA and wikipedia merely repeat the propaganda and have no data at all.

  48. Cyd
    November 15, 2009    

    Of course the majority of Greeks are Greek Orthodox: but it is not 98%.

    Well, you’ve had two days to come up with the exact figure in your mind, idiot. What exactly is the number of Greek Orthodox Greeks, since you are adamant what it is not.

    By your (retarded) quote:

    that there are plenty of Greeks who are Catholic, Protestant, Muslim and secular (e.g. born as Orthodox and reject it).

    What exactly constitutes the scientific term, “plenty”, fraud?

  49. Xenos
    November 15, 2009    

    FUCK OFF, RETARD.

  50. Cyd
    November 15, 2009    

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Just as I suspected.

  51. Baby Sham
    November 16, 2009    

    Xenos, please don’t use that sort of language, my 13 year old reads this blog. We holiday in Greece regularly and we found this blog after the riots, so please refrain from using vulgar and abusive language as we read this blog regularly.

    By the way, I have a brother with learning difficulties and he’s been called “retard” all his life. This word is offensive and you should retract it and apologise. I hope you don’t use this word regularly as it really hurts people, i know how it has effected my brother for much of his life.

  52. Xenos
    November 16, 2009    

    Baby Sham: I have assumed that minors don’t read blogs like this, so the language I use is for adults. Of course, I would never use the word “retard” meaning it literally, and I apologise if you found it offensive. I have always believed in protecting people with genuine learning disabilities or handicaps of any sort, and would never do anything to upset anyone in that way.

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