I have long been very keen on the idea of Europe - closer co-operation between our countries reducing the tensions that lead to warfare and conflict, and a modern version of the Pax Romana; the ability to travel and do business freely etc etc etc - all good things.
The trouble is, that's not the reality of Europe. In this morning's paper I read that the European Court of Human Rights has said that crucifixes should not be displayed in publicly financed schools.
No doubt Italians, being generally sensible people, will take no notice of this but more worrying is what it shows us about Europe. Because it is bureaucracy with no constituency and no power, it will allow any loony to come along with totally off the wall opinions, and will then make decisions about what the rest of us should be doing.
Particularly bearing in mind that the status quo is the situation where crucifixes have always been there in schools exactly whose rights are being infringed? The appeal was mad eto the court by a woman claiming that her two children were disturbed by the presence of the crucifix. Any sensible court would have responded by saying 'Don't be silly.' However, it seems that these days we live in an age of tyranny by minorities and the court ordered the Italian government to pay the woman £4500. Hopefully the government will ignore this outrageous command.
It is bad enough coping with our own government in its campaign against Christianity without having another, even more insane level of unaccountable bureaucracy. But this is the reality of Europe at present, and we must reject it.
And it's not only Christians who should be worried by this kind of thing. We need to defend each others freedoms. If only certain groups have freedom to make their voices heard, then there is really no freedom at all. If victory is won against the Crucifix today, who will be the target of the same insanity tomorrow?