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Ja, we shall invade this Austrian poll

Hey, I thought Europe was more secular…so why is this poll going the wrong way? Oh, because it’s in Catholic Austria.

In German:

Sollen Kruzifixe aus den Klassenzimmern verbannt werden?

17,68% – Ja, denn Religion soll Privatsache bleiben.

77,04% – Nein, denn das Christentum hat in Österreich jahrhundertelange Tradition.

5,28% – Egal, es liegt sowieso an den Eltern, ihren Kindern Religion nahezubringen.

Auf Englisch:

Should crucifixes should be banned from classrooms?

17.68% – Yes, because religion should remain a private matter.

77.04% – No, because Christianity has centuries-long tradition in Austria.

5.28% – Doesn’t matter, it is up to the parents to bring their children up in a religion.

Can a bunch of Americans reverse this trend? That would be weird.

Comments

  1. robyn slinger says

    Google translate at its finest. The headline actually says the complaint comes from a “religionless mother”.

  2. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    Count now stands at:

    22.23 private matter
    72.76 should be allowed
    5.01 doesn’t matter

  3. Marek says

    I’m an atheist in catholic Poland, pretty close to Austria (geographically and mentally) , and I want crucifixes kept in schools and parliaments. Not because it’s an old tradition, but I read about Dan Ariely’s experiment with the Ten commandments and the MIT honor code. If this voodoo makes people behave better, let’s keep it.

  4. Pen says

    Can a bunch of Americans reverse this trend?

    Ahem! That would be internet as in international! OK, well let’s see if we can.

  5. drigeolf says

    Just to clarify, when they say banning crucifixes, do they mean little necklaces that people wear? If so, I’m fine with people wearing them in school, since it is a non-invasive expression, which should be protected.

    Or are there big crucifixes on classroom walls? Which is obviously unacceptable.

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but I read about Dan Ariely’s experiment with the Ten commandments and the MIT honor code.

    Why aren’t you linking to it so we can look at the relevance. Funny how some evidence doesn’t what some godbots think…

  7. JohnnieCanuck says

    So just what percentage of viewers on this site are USAians? 60% – 70%?

    Perhaps an unscientific poll is what we need to find out. Wait…

  8. steve84 says

    Unfortunately the European Court of Human Rights ruled in an Italian case that crosses don’t indoctrinate anyone. :rolleyes:

  9. steve84 says

    Oh and the German Constitutional Court ruled in a similar case in Bavaria (the southern part of which is culturally very similar to Austria) back in the 90s. It said that having crosses in schools violates students’ religious freedom and also the requirement for the government to stay neutral and not show preferences. In practice nothing much as changed though because the crosses are only removed when someone complains. No idea how they get away with ignoring the ruling like that.

  10. Ulysses says

    Ja, we shall invade this Austrian poll

    Jawohl Herr Doktor Professor Myers! Befehl ist Befehl.

  11. luslustigtig_ says

    @Marek

    That TAM speaker doesn’t mention the number of subjects that took part in his study nor what their backgrounds were. I think the presence of a big ol’ crucifix could inspire negative behavior under different circumstances, though. Just imagine being the only student in the class with Turkish grandparents; because of the crucifix, your classmates might feel legitimated in bullying you about your (presumed) religion and race.

  12. luslustigtig_ says

    Anyway, if signing the “MIT honor code” had the same effect in the study as thinking about the Ten Commandments, why can’t the schools put up secular academic honor codes in place of crucifixes?

  13. moarscienceplz says

    I’m an atheist in catholic Poland, pretty close to Austria (geographically and mentally) , and I want crucifixes kept in schools and parliaments.

    Sure. The will of the Christian majority has been imposed on the non-Christian minority many times before in Europe with no problems at all. Just ask the Polish Jews. Oh wait, you can’t. They’re dead.

  14. Charlie Foxtrot says

    Hmmm, “Austria” looks pretty much the same as “Australia” – so yeah, I’ll go vote on that!

  15. says

    Just to clarify, when they say banning crucifixes, do they mean little necklaces that people wear?

    Or even worse, do they mean actual crosses with people nailed to them?
    Because while I understand that classroom behavior has to be controlled, there are just some punishments I think are too harsh.

  16. says

    Or are there big crucifixes on classroom walls?

    yes, they are. that’s what they’re talking about. Same as in Bavaria.

  17. Rob says

    Can a bunch of Americans reverse this trend?
    That’s a bit US-centric dontcha think? We internationalists have helped bump the result to 28%.

  18. gardengnome says

    Count another international vote!

    Can anyone clarify? I though it was a ‘cross’ if unadorned and a ‘crucifix’ if it has, to quote a young lady in a jewellery shop years ago, “a little man on it”.

  19. says

    I read about Dan Ariely’s experiment with the Ten commandments and the MIT honor code. If this voodoo makes people behave better, let’s keep it.

    What are the possibilities of making people behave better without “voodoo”? What are the risks of this having negative side-effects? What are the various options for different kinds of “voodoo”?

  20. steve84 says

    @gardengnome
    Yup. Cross may refer to both maybe, but a crucifix always has a Jesus figure on it. Which is very common for Catholic iconography. Protestants tend to prefer simpler symbols.

  21. says

    I though it was a ‘cross’ if unadorned and a ‘crucifix’ if it has, to quote a young lady in a jewellery shop years ago, “a little man on it”.

    yup. Austria being Catholic, they are talking about crucifixes; the crosses in question do have a jesus attached to them.

  22. busterggi says

    I voted for the ban. The bible says to make no graven images so they’ll either have to actually crucify someone or commit a mortal sin.

  23. Christian says

    Or are there big crucifixes on classroom walls?

    Depends. They’re certainly not standardized but in some instances they can be quite big. Here is a google image search on crucifixes in German*) and Austrian schools.

    *) AFAIK most German states don’t have crosses/crucifixes in schools or courtrooms.

  24. Christian says

    painting eyes on walls has a similar effect

    Heheh, does it work? ;p

  25. steffp says

    The linked article says that legally, crosses/crucifixes on classroom walls are allowed in classes with a majority of Christian pupils. In the reported case it turned out that less than 50% of class were registered Xians. Austria and Germany keep church tax registers, so the decision is easy. Apparently crosses are hung by default, until some parent does the math and complains, then the corpus delicti is removed.
    As for the poll – Wien HEUTE is a free daily advertiser distributed merely in public transport vehicles. Its journalistic standards are sub-tabloid. Presently 5301 participants…
    Austria has a 64.8% Catholic majority, followed by Nones (25%), Muslims (6.2%) an Lutherans (3.8%). Those values vary widely between rural and urban areas, with stronger concentrations of Nones in urban areas like Vienna, where often Xian pupils are a minority.

    @28
    Eyes on walls – see Kathmandu

  26. timberwoof says

    Jafafa Hots asked,

    Just to clarify, when they say banning crucifixes, do they mean little necklaces that people wear?

    The article is about crucifixes on walls. One reader jumped to the delusion that if such are banned, so will be veils and Stars of David worn by students.

  27. IslandBrewer says

    “Ha, I thought Europe was more secular”

    Austria is probably the most conservative country I’ve ever visited (outside of the Middle East). I’m certainly not surprised by the polling results.

  28. yubal says

    # 27

    According to the German supreme court it is legal to have crucifixes displayed in German classrooms but you have to remove them when at least one pupil complains about them.

    (“You are allowed to show them but you can’t force me to look at them”)

  29. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    Count

    36.05 no
    59.64 yes
    4.31 doesn’t matter
    Total 5808

    When I clicked on it to get the latest numbers, it seemed to take my vote again.
    These are not experienced poll takers, are they?

  30. Christian says

    um, yes. that’s why i mentioned it

    Sorry, I guess I just failed at humor. It was just a tongue-in-cheek remark because of your avatar.

  31. Christian says

    According to the German supreme court it is legal to have crucifixes displayed in German classrooms but you have to remove them when at least one pupil complains about them.

    And we all know that most people don’t want to rock the boat so the chances that “Lattengustl” has to be removed are pretty much nil.

  32. says

    What steve84 said @ 11+12.
    Also, if Jesus had been killed on the electric chair, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  33. says

    @ Lyn M

    it seemed to take my vote again.

    Good point. I went and voted again too. (It should not be too hard to write a little routine… ;)

    Ja: 37.83%
    Nien: 58.01%

    For those of you on Firefox: Shift+Ctrl+P and paste address into the address bar of the window that opens. (Hides cookies to allow multiple votes.)

  34. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    Interesting Theo. I did nothing but click the link again, and there I was with the vote page enabled. So I clicked. I mean … clearly they wanted me to.

    And it’s now:

    38.51 No
    57.38 Yes
    4.11 Meh

    Total votes 6152

  35. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    By the way, in that total 6152, there are probably less than 2,000 that are mine.

  36. Marcus Hill (dripping with unearned privilege) says

    I’ve been called many things in my life, and I can usually let insults slide. On this occasion, however, I’m livid. If you call me “American” one more time, poopyhead, I’m rage quitting.

  37. says

    I am having a lot of trouble getting through. Probably the attempt to contact facebook is snagging on the Great FireWall of China.

    Anyhow: Ja 39.02%, Nein 56.89% We could try and plot where the two graphs are going to intersect now, given the timestamps and the scores. When does the computer beat out YHWH?

  38. birgerjohansson says

    I have never been to Austria or Poland, but I think the Bishop of Rome* is more powerful in the latter country.
    gnise
    *To use the phrase for El Presidente used by those who do not recognise him as E l S upremo of christianity.

  39. Antares42 says

    The article quotes a letter to the editor that argues against a ban, stating

    wenn man die Kreuze abhängt weil Religion in der Schule nichts zu suchen hat, dann darf man dort auch kein Mädchen mit Kopftuch…

    i.e. if one started banning crosses on the wall, then one must also ban religious symbols / clothes worn by the students. The typical canard. Not understanding that it’s a BIG difference whether the school authorities or the children acknowledge a religion.

    Another thing @29 (steffp): “crosses/crucifixes on classroom walls are allowed in classes with a majority of Christian pupils” – if I read the passage in the article correctly, the regulations don’t only allow crosses, they mandate them: “in allen Klassen Kreuze aufzuhängen sind” means “crosses are to be put up in every room.”

  40. birgerjohansson says

    my elbow hit the keyboard, courtesy of Lord Tpyos, master od bad speling.

  41. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    Well, this poll is going the right way,

    40.11 No
    55.88 Yes
    4.01 Meh

    Total: 6357

  42. lasius says

    @49

    In your sentence the german phrase should be in the accusative case, so: “den Herrn”.

  43. Sili says

    Austria is probably the most conservative country I’ve ever visited (outside of the Middle East). I’m certainly not surprised by the polling results.

    Going by the rev. Vladimir Ilyitch Ulyanov (pbuh), Denmark is the most conservative country. – “When all other countries have been swept by the Communist Revolution, Denmark will still be conservative.”

    –o–

    Jawohl Herr Doktor Professor Myers! Befehl ist Befehl.

    Pretty sure “Doktor”, as a personal title, is attached directly to the name – i.e. it takes precedence over the professional title.

  44. Antares42 says

    @55 (Sili)

    Yes, “Professor Doktor Myers” would be the correct form.

  45. Moggie says

    JohnnieCanuck:

    So just what percentage of viewers on this site are USAians? 60% – 70%?

    Impossible to say. As we’ve learnt over the past few years, even Americans can’t agree on who is truly American.

  46. David Marjanović says

    43,19% – Ja, denn Religion soll Privatsache bleiben. (2930/6784)

    52,99% – Nein, denn das Christentum hat in Österreich jahrhundertelange Tradition. (3595/6784)

    3,82% – Egal, es liegt sowieso an den Eltern, ihren Kindern Religion nahezubringen. (259/6784)

  47. says

    Now at:
    43,89% – Ja, denn Religion soll Privatsache bleiben. (3023/6887)
    52,32% – Nein, denn das Christentum hat in Österreich jahrhundertelange Tradition. (3603/6887)
    3,79% – Egal, es liegt sowieso an den Eltern, ihren Kindern Religion nahezubringen. (261/6887)

  48. David Marjanović says

    yes, they are. that’s what they’re talking about. Same as in Bavaria.

    Often, yes. The implications are, however, slightly different: Bavaria has Catholicism as part of its tribal identity, distinguishing itself from the Protestant Franks and the Protestant northerners in general. Austria isn’t so much specifically Catholic as simply conservative. Pay attention to how the “no” answer reads: it follows the Three Austrian Arguments – “that’s always been that way”, “that’s never been that way”, “but then anybody could come and… [dogs and cats living together, general madness & chaos]“.

    See, Vienna tried to have a revolution in 1848. It was brutally and thoroughly trounced. The effect on the mentality of the whole country has been enormous.

    and I want crucifixes kept in schools and parliaments. Not because it’s an old tradition, but I read about Dan Ariely’s experiment with the Ten commandments and the MIT honor code. If this voodoo makes people behave better, let’s keep it.

    I’m sure it doesn’t.

    Every classroom has a crucifix, the federal coat of arms, and a photo of the emperor president hanging on the front wall. People are so used to it, they don’t even notice they’re there. Many of the classrooms I was in happened to have stuff standing around in front of those symbols, blocking the view, just because nobody cares!

    I’m sure the voodoo only works if people actually believe in it. Not many people go to church every Sunday (way fewer than in Poland!), and the trend has been steeply falling for decades.

    the preview showed the link trashed

    Yeah, preview does that.

    Jawohl[,] Herr Doktor Professor Myers! Befehl ist Befehl.

    Tsss. :-) That’s a Prussian sentiment, not an Austrian one! The Austrian equivalent is smilingly toadying up to him, or (better yet) doing what he orders before he orders it.

    Also, Professor comes first.

    Just imagine being the only student in the class with Turkish grandparents; because of the crucifix, your classmates might feel legitimated in bullying you about your (presumed) religion and race.

    Grandparents? There are very few people in Austria whose grandparents were born in Turkey but whose parents weren’t. And kids whose parents were born there, or who were born there themselves, are (in the big cities) simply too numerous to bully for being “foreigners”. (Religion isn’t a big deal, because most Turks are quite moderate Muslims; “race” doesn’t figure, because the concept of “white” is much broader than in the USA.)

    HEUTE is a free daily advertiser distributed merely in public transport vehicles. [Just the subway actually.] Its journalistic standards are sub-tabloid.

    Worse: it belongs to the infamous tabloid Kronen Abstand Zeitung, which is read daily by half of the country.

    When I clicked on it to get the latest numbers, it seemed to take my vote again.

    Or, y’know, somebody voted at the same time. The readership of Pharyngula is so huge that there’s often somebody voting every second.

    “Lattengustl”

    :-D Didn’t know that one. Are they already so subversive in Bavaria?

    if I read the passage in the article correctly, the regulations don’t only allow crosses, they mandate them: “in allen Klassen Kreuze aufzuhängen sind” means “crosses are to be put up in every [class]room.”

    Correct. Every classroom has to have a cross, a “federal eagle” and a photo of the president.

    In your sentence the german phrase should be in the accusative case, so: “den Herrn”.

    In that case (sorry) also “den allmächtigen Gott”.

    “When all other countries have been swept by the Communist Revolution, Denmark will still be conservative.”

    LOL!

    Hey, Bavaria of all places had a communist takeover in 1918 :-þ

    Pretty sure “Doktor”, as a personal title, is attached directly to the name – i.e. it takes precedence over the professional title.

    No, “Professor” is or used to be an academic title, too, received upon successfully defending a thesis called Habilitation that was recently mostly abolished in Germany but still exists in France.

    However, Doktor is traditionally considered part of the name and therefore goes closer even than Magister. I don’t know if that’s actually true, legally speaking (it’s not in Germany, even though most people believe it is); this belief comes from times when doctors were automatically ennobled (and titles of nobility had to be used at every occasion).

  49. David Marjanović says

    Bavaria has Catholicism as part of its tribal identity, distinguishing itself from the Protestant Franks and the Protestant northerners in general.

    Similarly, Poland has Catholicism as part of its national identity, distinguishing itself from the Protestant northern Germans and the Orthodox Russians/Byelorussians/Ukrainians. (And more recently the godless communists.) The Lithuanians are just as Catholic, but that’s OK, the shared history is such that the Polish national epic begins with an ode to “Lithuania, my fatherland!”.

    That must be part of the reason why Spain and even Italy are so much more godless now than 30 years ago. Croatia will be interesting to watch.

  50. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    44.41% – Ja, denn Religion soll Privatsache bleiben
    51.83% – Nein, denn das Christentum hat in Österreich jahrhundertelange
    3.76% – Egal, es liegt sowieso an den Eltern, ihren Kindern Religion

    6955 Total votes.

  51. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    @ David Marjanović

    It is taking my votes over and over. I tested it. Seems to be a loose system.

  52. says

    That was among the more socially useful things I’ve done today. It was fun!

    What’s “pharyngulate” in German?

  53. unklesam says

    Hot diggity…Mine was vote #3716 for, and there are currently 3715 against

  54. says

    49,67% – Ja, denn Religion soll Privatsache bleiben. (3970/7992)
    46,97% – Nein, denn das Christentum hat in Österreich jahrhundertelange Tradition. (3754/7992)

    @ unklesam

    This would mean we sailed into the lead at about 3:00 pm. My prediction was incredibly accurate!

  55. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    50,32% – Ja, denn Religion soll Privatsache bleiben.

    46,39% – Nein, denn das Christentum hat in Österreich jahrhundertelange

    3,29% – Egal, es liegt sowieso an den Eltern, ihren Kindern Religion

    Total 8185

    Nice movement there.

  56. David Marjanović says

    Pharyngulieren?

    What else? :-)

    Wir haben die Umfrage pharynguliert!