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The Cross has been banned in school, a sign of the times?


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#1 Peter

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 08:14 PM

the precious life giving cross
has been banned from a secondary school in Melbourne Australia.
The school principal claims that 99.9% of parents support the ban, a claim I do not believe. The student who was told to remove her cross feels discriminated against. Many others would feel the same. It seems that secular society is becoming more brazen in attacking any outward display of religious convictions, surely a sad state of affairs.

#2 Scott Pierson

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 01:04 AM

Sadly the same thing happens here in the United States as well. It is sad that the devil can make his presence so obvious in lands that nominally at least are majority Christian. In the US there are organizations such as the ACLU who would like nothing better then to remove any public display of love or loyalty to Christ. The devil must really love the whole drive to divorce God and the precepts of Christian morality from school, public life, and the government.

I will pray for the Christians at that school, that God might grant them victory. thank you for bringing this up. I think it would be good for a student who isnt Christian say a jew ,muslim, or wiccan to wear one of their religious symbols and see if the same thing happens to them.. if not you would have pretty good proof that it is specifically targeting Christians. Last Christmas a school had a picture of a menorah and star of david and another poster of a Christmass tree and the school made them take down the Christmass tree because it was a "religous symbol" lol. How many people venerate (or consider a holy symbol) the Christmas tree:rolleyes: . Some schools wont even allow "Christmas colors" and snow flakes.

#3 Olga

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 03:56 AM

It is interesting to note that the Christian denominations which voiced their concerns on this ban were Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Uniting churches. (For those who may not know, the Uniting Church was formed in Australia some 30 years ago from a merger between the Methodist, Congregational and Presbyterian churches.) Where were the representatives of the Orthodox Church, of whatever "nationality"? This is particularly ironic, as Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria, has the largest population of people of Greek ancestry outside Thessaloniki, if not Athens itself.

Dare I suggest that the girl at the centre of this controversy need not stop wearing her cross, as she can wear it hidden by her clothes, thus bypassing the ban. There is something to be said in wearing one's cross against one's body, it gives a greater feeling of closeness to the cross and all that it represents.

#4 Irene

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 06:08 AM

I saw the girl wearing her Cross on television and it is a small and discreet, most people wouldn't notice that she was wearing it. The girl was neatly dressed and in tears because wearing her Cross is an important part of who she is and what she believes in.

It is probably not a comfort at all, but, before the story reached the media, at the same school that banned the Cross, a Greek Orthodox girl had already applied for and been granted an exemption to wear her Orthodox Cross to school.

In Christ
irene

#5 Chrissi

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 08:15 AM

It is probably not a comfort at all, but, before the story reached the media, at the same school that banned the Cross, a Greek Orthodox girl had already applied for and been granted an exemption to wear her Orthodox Cross to school.


It is sad that an exemption is needed in order to wear a symbol of our faith, and at some schools in Australia kids are asked to remove their crosses for certain classes (sports for example), saying that there is a choking hazard. While in technical terms a chain could get caught and present a choking hazard, part of our faith is the knowledge that that same cross is protecting us, and until others understand that, kids in many countries will be asked to remove their crosses no matter what percent of the country is Orthodox.

It is ironic that they think they're protecting their students when really they're asking people to remove a source of protection.

In Christ,
Christina

#6 Peter

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 08:18 AM

I am aware that the school allows people to wear religious 'jewellry', after applying for, and being granted an exemption. The implication of this is, of course, that wearing the cross is a privilege given by the secular authorities of the day, not a God given right. This smacks of religious discrimination.
Like Olga, I am also wondering why the Orthodox are silent on this issue, perhaps they are not aware of what has transpired?

A poll was conducted today on "the Age" website, a mainstream media outlet, with the question posed being: should religious 'jewellry' be allowed at schools. Interestingly, 52% of the respondents said 'yes' and 48% said 'no'.

#7 Irene

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 10:30 AM

Like Olga, I am also wondering why the Orthodox are silent on this issue, perhaps they are not aware of what has transpired?


It only takes one person to change this, to start making noises, to start getting other Orthodox people to care enough to protest about this religious discrimination. Just on this thread there are people from 3 different states in Australia who are concerned about this issue. Too often we are caught up in feeling small and helpless, hoping for a spiritual giant to come along and lead us, fire us up with the Christian fervour of the Saints of the past.

Our lives are too full of "noise", phones, television, computers, everything takes up so much time and dulls our senses. It is scary how much time is wasted on meaningless tasks. It is scary to me how important issues are forgotten so quickly because of day to day living.

I didn't realise that schools have been making children remove their Crosses before participate in sporting activities. I am very dissapointed, no horrified by this. People who are not Orthodox do not understand how important wearing the Cross is to us.

If we never talk openly about these issues, how are people supposed to know about this about us, about our beliefs? I went to school with, worked with, and had friends who were probably Orthodox, (some were Greek and also I have vague memories of small icons in their possession and homes) but it was years before I learnt that there was such a thing as the Orthodox Church.

In Christ
irene

#8 Peter

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 12:51 PM

To Mister Moore:

You Deny A Young Girl The Right To Profess
Her Faith In Christ - Shame On You

You Encourage Others To Do The Same - Shame On You

You Discriminate On The Basis Of Religion - Shame On You

You Have Learnt Nothing From Mankind's Persecution Of Christianity And Other Faiths Over The Millenia - Shame On You

You Are A Principal In Charge Of Child Students, Yet You Let Them Down Spiritually - Shame On You

We Protest Most Strongly At Your Antagonistic Action,and We Implore You To Reverse Your Decision.

We Do Not Believe That 99.9% Back The Ban, Prove It. If You Cannot, - Shame On You.

Christianity Has Been Around Longer Than Its Persecutors, And Will Continue Long After Your Legacy.

The Precious Life Giving Cross We Will Not Give Up, Not For You Or Anyone.

Consider Your Shame,

Peter Stefanis

#9 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 02:02 PM

Interesting. I have heard from many sources that wearing crosses prominantly as jewelry is FROWNED upon in Greece by the ORTHODOX! Priests wear crosses on the outside, not laity, who wear their crosses UNDER their clothing. I'm not saying it is right or wrong, but it is certainly another perspective.

The pop singer Madonna often wears a cross prominantly. I would rather NOT be associated with her, personally.

#10 Scott Pierson

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 12:03 AM

The pop singer Madonna often wears a cross prominantly. I would rather NOT be associated with her, personally.


lol I heard she ditched the whole Kabbalah thing a while ago.. too many of her friends were getting upset about having to buy magical Kabbalah trinkets from her. I've head that any time someone came over she would hound them to buy Kabbalah bracelets and "kabbalah water" :D
I guess in her new concerts she climbs up on a big mirrored Cross like she is being crucified. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14170747/

#11 John Charmley

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 12:20 PM

Having 'lurked' here for a while, and having been impressed by the tone of this community, I finally decided to join - but posting is another matter! However, a current news item seems relevant to this thread, and so I thought I would brave it.

It might interest members of this community to learn that in Scotland a footballer has been cautioned by the legal authorities for crossing himself before a football match. The reason given was that his action was 'provocative'; the idea being that the Protestant supporters of the other club might have taken offence and rioted.

It might be noted that a Government Minister, Ruth Kelly, who is a member of Opus Dei has questioned the wisdom of the relevant authorities.

Given Our Lord's words about rendering unto Caesar those things that are his, how should Christians respond to such events?

John

#12 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 01:29 PM

Let your conscience be your guide? I suspect there is probably not ONE way to respond, but each person must consider an appropriate response through prayer and perhaps discussion with one's priest.

#13 Christina Williams

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 04:30 PM

Dear John

I read the headline about the incident but not the whole story..........my hubby and I have been living in Spain for a good few years and this sort of response would have been unthinkable.

It is a rare thing NOT to see a player cross himself as he runs onto the pitch.........just what point they were trying to make eludes me.

#14 John Charmley

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 06:26 PM

Dear Christina,

I note from the evening news that the authorities are now retreating from their previous position and are saying that the footballer made other gestures, and that it was for these that he was censured; a sign, perhaps that they realised that, at the moment, this was a step too far. But given the attempts to use 'winterval' instead of Christmas on the part of some British councils, and the reluctance of state schools to fulfil their obligations under the 1944 Education Act to start the school day with an act of Christian worship, the signs of the times tell us what we in the west already know - that we live in a post-Christian culture. These signs might suggest an anti-Christian element is beginning to predominate?

Compared to what Orthodox Christians have suffered behind the old Iron Curtain, and to what the Coptic Orthodox suffered in Ethiopia and still suffer in Egypt, these things are small beer; but perhaps we should be vigilant, if only on the 'thin end of the wedge' principle?

John

#15 John Charmley

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 08:58 AM

I notice that a British Hospital Trust has decided to get rid of hospital chaplains as part of a 'cost-cutting' exercise; a spokesman explained that they could put the money saved to better use!

I wonder what could be better for hospital patients than to have the comfort of God's word when they need it.

I wonder how much the hospital would save if it got rid of its spokesman; how many chaplains would that pay for?

In Christ,

John

#16 Irene

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 01:25 AM

I notice that a British Hospital Trust has decided to get rid of hospital chaplains as part of a 'cost-cutting' exercise;


How sad John, How much comfort must these chaplains have given to worried and grieving relatives over the years. ...In Christ irene

#17 John Charmley

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 04:49 PM

Dear Irene,

It is very sad. When you consider that in the Middle Ages (and later) hospitals were largely run by the religious orders, and there was then a real sense of looking after the whole person, it is a sad comment on the priorities of the modern world that hospital managers think that chaplains are superfluous to requirements.

We all need spiritual medicine, and to deprive the sick of it just because they are in hospital (and may need it more) borders on the cruel; still, one must be charitable and not attribute to malice that which can be explained by stupidity. It does, though, provide a real sign of the times we are living in here in the UK. I wonder what the practice is elsewhere?

In Christ,

JOhn

#18 Father David Moser

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 06:51 PM

It is very sad. When you consider that in the Middle Ages (and later) hospitals were largely run by the religious orders, and there was then a real sense of looking after the whole person, it is a sad comment on the priorities of the modern world that hospital managers think that chaplains are superfluous to requirements.


I just ran into the head chaplain at one of our local hospitals yesterday He is a trainer certified by ACPE (chaplain training and certification) and I took a course from him long ago and we have kept in touch since then. He told me he is taking anew position at a hospital in another town which was Roman Catholic but which is now a "public" hosptial. He is going there because they know that spiritual care is important but don't know how to do it in this new context. He ran the program here for many years and so now he is going there to help set it up.

Now "spiritual care" in hospitals is pretty "ecumenical" and not even necessarily Christian - but at least there is a recognition of the need to care for the whole person still evident in most institutions in the US.

Fr David Moser

#19 John Charmley

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 05:55 PM

Now "spiritual care" in hospitals is pretty "ecumenical" and not even necessarily Christian - but at least there is a recognition of the need to care for the whole person still evident in most institutions in the US.

Fr David Moser


Father David,

It is, I suppose, another sign of the times that spiritual care is now ecumenical, but that is, at least, better than in some UK hospitals, where there seems to be a hard-edged antipathy to the spiritual dimension.

The UK is, I fear, a post-Christian country. Although Schools still have an obligation under the 1944 Education Act to provide an act of worship for their pupils, it is ignored more often than not. Oddly enough, in areas where there is a large Muslim or Hindu community, Schools seem happy enough to meet their spiritual needs, whilst ignoring those of the host community.

Students I teach at University have, in most cases, no knowledge at all of Christianity or of its role in shaping their country. I find it so sad that many young people turn to 'Eastern religions' when they finally acknowledge their spiritual urges - as though Christianity originated in the West! One of the great advantages Orthodoxy has is its ability to draw such young people - if only they can be exposed to it.

For various reasons Orthodoxy in this country has not has a strong sense of mission, but in these times it needs to acquire it. Although not (yet) Orthodox myself, I have found my life enriched by my encounter with it.

In Christ,

John

#20 Chrissi

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 07:33 AM

The UK is, I fear, a post-Christian country. Although Schools still have an obligation under the 1944 Education Act to provide an act of worship for their pupils, it is ignored more often than not. Oddly enough, in areas where there is a large Muslim or Hindu community, Schools seem happy enough to meet their spiritual needs, whilst ignoring those of the host community.


I thought I'd add to this point as an Australian (recently graduated) student.

When I started high school we had compulsory scripture which taught the very basics from a "standard" view point. I did not attend this scripture, though, because it did not teach things as we see them, and at such a young age my mum did not feel that I needed this influence. I agree. Instead I had to sit in the library and "entertain" myself for the 40 minute class every Monday.

I also remember young Christian groups coming to the school and doing activities that were designed to teach about religion in a round-about sort of way. I found them to be quite radical in their use of technology (especially music), and it was "amusing" to me when they gave out prizes for good answers (ask an obvious question get an obvious answer sort of thing). My friends used to go to these things only to get out of class for a day. It seemed to me that the school only had these sorts of things because it was required for them to do so (I'm not sure if that is actually the case, but most likely it is).

In Christ,
Christina




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