German state orders crosses mounted at government buildings

Bavaria's state premier, Markus Söder, has ordered that crosses be hung up in all state buildings in the southern German state. He called the move an "avowal of Bavarian identity."

Bydw

German state orders crosses mounted at government buildingsBavaria’s conservative government is ordering Christian crosses to be placed at the entrance of all state administrative buildings.

The regional government says the crosses shouldn’t be seen as religious symbols, but are meant to reflect the southern German state’s “cultural identity and Christian-western influence.”

German news agency dpa reported that Tuesday’s decree won’t affect municipal and federal government buildings in Bavaria.

Crosses are already compulsory in public schools and courtrooms in predominantly Catholic Bavaria.

The governing Christian Social Union — the Bavaria-only wing of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party — is hoping to avoid losing its state majority to Alternative for Germany, a party on the right whose anti-Muslim campaigns have struck a chord with some German voters.

Unconstitutional?

Söder went on to claim that the directive was not a violation of constitutional rules about religious neutrality because it was a symbol of “Bavarian identity” rather than religion. Bavaria remains a majority Christian state and one of the most Catholic regions in the country. In 2016, 50.5 percent of the population were categorized as Roman Catholic and another 18.8 percent as Protestant.

Söder’s directive applies only to buildings housing agencies of the state of Bavaria — not to local district buildings or federal buildings, over which his government has no authority — though it does apply to all school classrooms and courts.

The move quickly attracted online ridicule (with Twitter users photoshopping other objects into Söder’s hands), as well as outrage from Germany’s political opposition, who saw the move as a cheap attempt to head off the right-wing populist vote before Bavaria’s state election later this year.

“Why can the CSU never think of anything that brings people together, instead of trying to divide the country at every level?” wondered Jan Korte, leader of the Left party’s parliamentary group in the federal parliament. “Söder’s unconstitutional crucifix decree is not just the clumsiest election campaigning, but also exploitation of religion for personal reasons.”

Christian Lindner, head of the business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP), also tweeted his disapproval, saying, “The way Markus Söder and the CSU constantly exploit religions for their party politics, reminds one of (Turkish President Recep) Erdogan. The constitution has no religion!”German state orders crosses mounted at government buildings k

Or diminishing the cross?

Meanwhile, legal experts have been arguing in the media about whether the Bavarian government’s decree constitutes a violation of German neutrality laws. Thomas Schüller, Catholic theologian at Münster University, called the decision “borderline, because … the state is supposed to present itself as neutral in its worldview.”

Schüller also said Söder’s statement equating the cross with Bavarian cultural identity and history “diminished it into a folklore symbol.”

“Those who exploit the cross politically in this way don’t understand even the first thing about the theology of the folly of the cross verse (1 Corinthians 1:18) — the cross as a thorn for the powerful and a sign of hope for the weak,” Schüller told DW via email.

Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, council chairman at the German Protestant church federation (EKD), welcomed Söder’s order — though with some caveats. Those who hang up a cross must also take its message seriously, he told Bavarian public TV station BR.

“This stands for human dignity, stands for charity, stands for humanity,” he said. The son of God, he added, had been tortured to death on the cross. “If we take that seriously, then we stand on the side of those who are vulnerable,” he said.

The director of the EKD’s legal institute, Hans Michael Heinig, said the move did open legal questions, and said it “threatened a banalization” of the cross.

Sourcedw

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Complete List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

What’s the significance of having a central bank within a country and why should you concern yourself, your family and colleagues? Central banks are illegally...

Racial wounds rip open under a president with a history of exploiting them

President Donald Trump has spent much of his adult life building his brand around racial divisions.

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

Fukushima nuclear plant facing new disaster

​Fukushima nuclear plant has 9 days to prevent ‘unsafe’ overheating Fukushima operator TEPCO has been forced to switch off the cooling system at mothballed Reactor...

California Getting Closer To Force Lawmakers To Wear Donors’ Logos Gains Steam

A transparency group in California on Tuesday announced it had collected 40,000 signatures to place an initiative on the ballot that would require state...

Over 30 Million Bees Found Dead In Elmwood Canada

Shortly after 50,000 bees were found dead in an Oregon parking lot (read more here), a staggering 37 million bees have been found dead in...

A Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dropped 26,000 Bombs in 2016

According to an estimate conducted by Micah Zenko, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and national security expert Jennifer Wilson,...

150,000-Year-Old Pipes Baffle Scientists in China: Out of Place in Time?

Oopart (out of place artifact) is a term applied to dozens of prehistoric objects found in various places around the world that seem to...

Legendary Artist David Bowie Dies at 69

Legendary rock artist David Bowie has died at 69, after an 18-month battle with cancer, his publicist confirmed to SkyNews. The news was also...

For The First Time Ever, US Federal Guidelines Recommend A Plant-Based Diet

Nutritional experts of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommend a predominantly plant-based diet for health and environmental reasons. In 2010, the UN released a...