European Convention On Human Rights and Crucifixes in Italy

imageStanley Fish in the New York Times Opinionator Online section writes:

In these columns I have often remarked that religion-clause jurisprudence is characterized by contortions that would be the envy of Houdini. But nothing in American jurisprudence is as contorted in its reasoning as a recent decision (Lautsi and Others v. Italy, March 18) by the European Court of Human Rights.

The question at issue was whether an Italian law requiring the placing of crucifixes in public classrooms violates a clause of the European Convention On Human Rights that recognizes “the right of parents to ensure … education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.” Reversing the judgment of a lower chamber, the Grand Chamber by a vote of 15-2 answered no, it doesn’t.

Why not?

Read the full column: Religious Symbol or Cultural Symbol? – NYTimes.com