Monday, April 23, 2007

Is a cross a cross?

This is the question some people in Bavaria are asking themselves at the moment. And this is the reason:

A couple of months ago, the parents, teachers and even priests of a Bavarian town (Miesbach) have decided to replace the old crosses in the school rooms of the primary school (in Germany, crosses in school rooms are not uncommon, especially in Bavaria). Instead of the 'classic' cross complete with the body of Jesus Christ, they chose a 'modern' variety from South America with pictures more suitable for small children (as children usually attend primary school from 6 to 11 in Germany). Everybody was happy with this decision - except for the head of the local CSU (one of the major parties in Germany and the major party in Bavaria).

Now the main question is: is a cross a cross or is just a traditional cross a symbol of Christianity? Even the priests of the city (both the Roman-Catholic and the Protestant) have agreed that those crosses are suitable. Apparently the church itself does not know as much about the 'true' religion and it's symbols as a political party...

The leader of the CSU has already announced to use every possible means to stop that from happening - even though the crosses are already bought and the old ones are slowly falling a part and can't be repaired. There are vicious emails, letters to the editor in various newspapers and so on. For although the CSU can't stop the crosses from actually being changed, they can do a lot to make the public think it is wrong.

Not too long ago there was even a discussion about whether or not crosses should be displayed inside the school rooms. With more and more children from other countries (in which, quite often, Christianity is not the main belief) attending German schools, the 'worth' of the cross inside those rooms (originally showing the children that God is watching over them) has become questionable.

I personally think the new crosses are much better - especially for small children. And I've seen enough crosses in my life to know that a Jesus-figure on them is not necessary. And especially younger children can surely live without a tortured, dying man in their class room.

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