Will Britain Ban Crosses On Its Own Union Jack Too?
British government is determined to argue at the European Court of Human Rights that the Christians be banned to wear crosses and other Christian jewelry at work, a move that would allow employers to sack them if they do not comply with this requirement.
The move is already seen by some people in Britain and around the world as another blow to the Christianity, in a country that was shaped, like all the countries in Europe, by Christianity and still has a flag that has three crosses on it.
UK is thus entering the trend in Europe, which has taken many steps toward restricting some manifestations of the Christian faith in the name of a “political correctness,” which dictates that the religious minorities should not be “aggressed” by religious symbols of the Christians.
Italy won a case against the demand to strip the walls of the Italian schools of crucifixes, as the European Court of Human Rights decided that the crucifixes could stay in the classrooms.
The case for the British government is being made easier to prove given that the archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said that the crosses have become mere jewelry, and are a “substitute for true faith.”
The bishop expresses a Protestant point of view, which has been heard in England since the days of Henry VIII, the King that broke off ties with Rome and became the leader of the Church of England.
The British government argues, according to Telegraph, that the wearing of the cross is not “a requirement of the faith,” thereby not falling under the Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion; to change religion personally or publicly, and to manifest religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
The limitations to this practice, the article says, are imposed by interest public safety, protection of public order, health and morals, or the protection of freedom and rights for others.
The fact that a government presumes to define which item is relevant and which is not based on the mere assertion of a Protestant bishop is rather unsettling, when it comes to religion, but it could work in as far as the Protestant people are concerned, given that it has been a Protestant idea for over five centuries.
However, in Britain reside people that belong to other Christian denominations, such as Catholics, Eastern Orthodox or Coptic Christians. The churches of these people do not allow the government to decide for them which is relevant for the faith or not.
One of these Christian people is Nadia Eweida, a Copt Christian which was suspended from the British Airlines for refusing to take off the cross, which the employers believed was violating the BA uniform code. Eweida will participate in the debates at the ECHR.11