thebadPoll: Crucifixes in state schools

There has been some controversy over recent weeks about the decision of a Valladolid judge to order that crucifixes must be removed from state school classrooms as their presence contravenes the Spanish constitution which declares that the state must be wholly secular.

Faith was arguably the most obvious divide in the ‘two Spains’ of the past, but most observers feel that the relevance of the Church in social and political issues has shrunk since democracy. What do you think? Should the crucifixes be removed or allowed to remain?

6 thoughts on “thebadPoll: Crucifixes in state schools

  1. One of the first things I did upon coming to Spain, the first time back in ’96, and again a year ago, was to read the Constitution, and a few “Royal Decrees” on real estate.

    The Spanish Constitution is actually somewhat ambiguous on the topic of separation of Church and State…

    “…Ninguna confesión tendrá carácter estatal. Los poderes públicos tendrán en cuenta las creencias religiosas de la sociedad española y mantendrán las consiguientes relaciones de cooperación con la Iglesia Católica y las demás confesiones…”

    I don’t really know if it’s necessary, according to the Constitution itself, but removing religious symbols from public schools sounds like the fair thing to do.

  2. In a similar way, the Irish constitution did acknowledge that the Catholic church had a ‘special position’. it went on to acknowledge that there were some other religions as well, see extract from the original version below

    note that both these articles were deleted from the constitution by referendum in 1973.

    I guess that the point is that these things might have been appropriate once but…

    Section 2: The State recognises the special position of the Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church as the guardian of the Faith professed by the great majority of the citizens.
    Section 3: The State also recognises the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Religious Society of Friends in Ireland, as well as the Jewish Congregations and the other religious denominations existing in Ireland at the date of the coming into operation of this Constitution

  3. It’s niggling really if the constitution is the only thing used when deciding this. Those of us who live in Spain all know that laws and “rules” here are extremely flexible and are only enforced when it is politically expedient to do so. You only have to look back to the “ley de costas” which had been on the books since the 80’s but was only recently enforced. The judiciary in the country is really only independent in theory, and even that can be questioned.

    What really should be used is common sense here. The Catholics may be terribly offended that some don’t choose to believe in their invisible friend, but that is the way things are in modern Spain. There are those who believe in other invisible friends and those who don’t have one, but all are citizens, aren’t they? If these fundamentalists choose to turn their backs on Europe and the idea of equal rights for all, no problem. Give back the billions in EU grants and they can return to their theocratic little hole whence they came and get ready to start doing some dirty work and get off the dole, as the immigrants will be leaving too….unlikely. It is shameful that a private citizen has to go through what he is going through in Valladolid, when it is the governent’s job to do such things.

    These fundamentalists might even have the most minuscule excuse if there wasn’t a Catholic option in education paid for by the state, but alas that isn’t the case either. There are many state-funded Catholic and “concertados” that are faith based out there, all publicly funded.

    What we have is a classic case of hurt feelings. Disbelief by a group of nutters that there actually are those who don’t believe in their invisible friend. The lovely irony is that the more they complain, the more they seem like their bitter enemies in theocratic states like Saudi Arabia.

    In regards to countries having religion on their books. Look at the U.S, Jefferson was agnostic, if not an atheist and the American constitution was quite secular, yet look no further than their dollar bill, “In God we Trust.”

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