The battle over Christmas decorations is not isolated in America as other countries in the Western World are having discussions at the governmental level about how to handle Christmas displays, especially nativity scenes, in the Christmas Season. Now, a new Italian legislation has been put in place to potentially punish any teacher who places a band on Nativity scenes during the Holidays.
The Italian Senate has introduced a new bill that would punish teachers who choose to ban Nativity scenes in the classroom in an attempt to avoid offending their non-Christian students. According to the Christian Post, this bill is being put forth by the same political party to which Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni belongs. With that in mind, there is real support behind this bill that gives it a chance to pass.
Italian Senator Lavinia Mennuni is championing the bill with hopes of ending what she calls “an attack on the deepest values and traditions of our people.” She continued, explaining that this bill is in response to some “embarrassing and unacceptable decisions by some schools to ban Nativity scenes, or to turn Christmas into an improbable winter festival to avoid giving offense to practitioners of other religions.”
Mennuni continued, explaining that the bill is meant to defend the culture of Italy, a largely Roman Catholic nation, in the face of continual attacks against the Christmas Holiday. With this bill, she hopes to preserve tradition in the nation and stop teachers from keeping the nativity scenes away from the young eyes of students in their schools.
Riccardo Magi of the opposing left-wing party took major issue with this bill in a quote shared by The Guardian. Magi quickly shared his opinion that the current party that Mennuni is a member of would not allow a migrant family like that of Jesus into the country as a sort of retort against the person instead of attacking the bill itself.
Magi said, “[This is] the same right wing, led by Giorgia Meloni, for whom today, the holy family fleeing from persecution would probably end up in a detention centre, maybe in Albania, waiting to find out from some judge in Italy whether or not they are worthy of setting foot on Italian territory.”
According to the bill, some school headteachers have even gone so far as to rename Christmas as the “Winter Festival,” celebrating as if the Holiday did not exist and not allowing students to acknowledge the Christian faith. The bill describes it as “a festival devoid of any historical and cultural commemorative context pertaining to our nation and which, lacking any ethical content, is destined to assume a purely hedonistic-consumeristic connotation.”
Much like America, where the use of Nativity scenes as decoration at many Government buildings across the country has caused turmoil to certain anti-Christian groups, Italy is facing an issue of free speech and freedom to express religion. The battle to defend Christmas seems to be raging on all across the globe, with plenty of Christian countries feeling the pressure to use legislation to allow its citizens a right to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
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