Pope eyes religious symbols in public


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VATICAN CITY (Agence France-Presse) -- Religious symbols should be allowed in public places, Pope Benedict XVI told a group of Italian Catholic legal specialists yesterday.

"Hostility to all forms of recognition of the political and cultural importance of religion and in particular the presence of any religious symbols in public institutions ... is not a sign of healthy secularism, but the degeneration of secularism," the pope said...

should religious symbols be allowed in public places..? In Britain, after the muslim school teacher was ordered to remove her veil or get the sack, and after the christian woman being told she couldn't wear a cross in the british airways incident recently I sat and pondered this for a while- whether religious symbols should be everywhere or nowhere, and I'm no nearer coming to a definite conclusion as to where I sit... yes, these symbols are usually harmless, but how often do we meet a person and see they have a crucifix or a scarf on their heads and make assumptions about them based on these symbols? If the symbols helped us to unite with each other, this would be great, but they often seperate and divide too, and I dont know if its worth the hassle... I have some pagan friends, and they have been physically and verbally attacked by ppl purporting to be xtians, soley on the basis they're wearing pentacles and smell of pachouli oil, and when the news broke about the nicab (sp?) debate here in england in my town a few muslim girls where targeted and had their veils forcibly taken from them by thugs. Apparently in germany it is an offence to wear a swastika, although I might be wrong, and so although these symbols can be positive, a way of identifying the denominations of the ppl u meet, they can also be used to make ppl targets...