IN Queensland this week, a young school student was apparently told was told to remove a small cross she was wearing because it was deemed offensive to other religious traditions.
Another child in the same state was told to remove a necklace which featured Saint Christopher.
It comes the same week that a popular Norwegian TV anchorwoman was ordered not to wear a necklace with a tiny cross while reading the news on air. The order reportedly came after the station received complaints.
Siv Kristin Saellmann acquiesced to the demand to remove her cross, but said: “What I don’t like is that people out there can just call in and tell my boss what I should and I shouldn’t wear.
“I didn’t wear the cross because I wanted to be provocative,” she said. “I am a Christian, but right now I see the cross everywhere. It’s part of the catwalk. It’s part of fashion. It’s not like only Christians wear the symbol. I didn’t think that people would react.”
In Canada, lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban the wearing of “conspicuous religious symbols” and religious clothing such as turbans and scarves by public sector workers in Quebec.
The prohibitions would apply to civil servants, teachers, police, firefighters, doctors, nurses and public day care employees.
Meanwhile, France has reaffirmed its ban on “overt” religious symbols — headscarves, Jewish skullcaps or Sikh turbans for example — from French state schools.
There is a strange anti-religious hysteria going on. In this curious secular world, wearing a veil is tantamount to issuing a challenge to a fight. And so is wearing a cross.
Why are public signs of religious faith so offensive?
What the secular cultural elite seem to find most objectionable about religion is that it is able to express a powerful sense of faith. And that is sometimes seen as subversive in a society insecure about its own values.
We once considered one’s right to display religious symbols a freedom.
When did we start caring so much about whether someone was outwardly Jewish, Christian, Muslim or Hindu?
It seems there are always ways around silly restrictions.
Christians are forbidden to wear crosses in most Muslim-controlled nations but a contractor in the Middle East got around that problem when he asked a local jeweller in a Muslim country to make three gold fish necklaces.
Second century Christians used the fish symbol to avoid persecution when identifying themselves to other believers.
The Muslim jeweller, who had no idea of their real significance, later reported he was now making them for Muslims who thought the fish symbols fashionable.