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Britain fights Christians' right to wear cross, infuriating activists
In Britain, women are fighting for the right to wear cross necklaces over their uniforms.
March 12th, 2012
02:05 PM ET

Britain fights Christians' right to wear cross, infuriating activists

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

London (CNN) -
Christian activists in Britain are furious at the arguments their government will use against them when Europe's highest court considers whether employees have the right to wear crosses that show over their uniforms.

Britain will argue that the two Christian women at the center of the case had the option of quitting their jobs and working elsewhere, so they are not covered by European human rights law, according to legal papers obtained by CNN.

"Employees who face work requirements incompatible with their faith, and have the option of resigning and seeking alternative employment, cannot claim for a breach of Article 9" of the European Convention on Human Rights, Britain will argue.

The government will also say that wearing a cross is not a requirement of Christianity, so wearing one in public is not protected by the law.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

The European Court of Human Rights has agreed to hear the case of the two British women, who say their employers discriminated against them by refusing them allow them to display their crosses, calling them violations of their policy on uniforms.

The British government is the defendant in the case, and is being taken to court by British Airways worker Nadia Eweida and nurse Shirley Chaplin.

The British Home Office told CNN Monday that the United Kingdom is not in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.

But Andrea Minichiello Williams, head of the group Christian Concern, said the government's line of argument is "extraordinary."

And she said Christians are increasingly being marginalized in Britain.

"Christians are losing their jobs. They are being forced from the public square," she said, declaring that the government's argument that Christians could quit and work somewhere else "smacks of the beginnings of totalitarianism."

A source familiar with the intricacies of the case called the British government position "incredibly crude and stupid."

"They have come up with the most extreme argument, that fundamentally religion is protected by your ability to leave and seek alternative employment," said the source, who is not authorized to speak about the case on the record and asked not to be named.

"It's a very hostile argument. You wouldn't say a black man can be sacked, that a homosexual can be sacked," the source said.

She also criticized the head of the Church of England, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who said Sunday that "the cross itself has become a religious decoration."

Williams' spokesman, David Brownlie-Marshall, said the archbishop's words were being taken out of context.

Williams was preaching about the need to think intensely about the meaning of the cross, rather than the object itself, his spokesman said, and was not referring to the court case.

The head of Christian Concern said that isn't good enough.

"It's not a time for the archbishop of Canterbury to be obscure and incomprehensible," she said. "It's time for him to find his voice. He needs to be clear that for many the cross is the symbol of Christianity, and he needs to empower Christians up and down the country to wear the cross as a symbol of hope."

The second-highest ranking archbishop in the Church of England took a much stronger line Sunday.

Archbishop of York John Sentamu said the government is "beginning to meddle in areas that they ought not to."

"People should be able to manifest their faith," he said, citing Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, as the two Christian women do.

Christian Concern is supporting Eweida and Chaplin at the European court in Strasbourg.

But the source familiar with the case said the Christians have an uphill fight, saying it is "highly unlikely that a European court will anger a national government" by ruling against it.

A top thinker on the role of religion in society, on the other hand, argued that the case should never have ended up in court in the first place.

"In these cases, it would be wise for all parties to take a breath, back off from the courts and go back to the negotiating table," said Elizabeth Hunter, director of the British think tank Theos.

"We need to learn to deal with our differences like grown-ups," she said. "Not by restricting the rights of people of faith to what the state says is a requirement, nor by privileging them at the expense of others, but by listening and doing the difficult, necessary, case-by-case compromising."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Britain • Church and state • Religious liberty

soundoff (950 Responses)
  1. Easternsailor

    When u r on the airplane and do not wear any sharp jewelry and for the safety! But the Great Britain is new name for the WASP. I am the son of John The Baptist, Every hill shall be make low and every valley shall be full fill.

    March 13, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  2. Easternsailor

    The Holy Spirit is the Creator of blest. The bliss is the wrong doctrine.

    March 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  3. Nii

    If there is no example worldwide of the nurses and flight attendants wearing jewellery on the job then the women are wrong for going against professional standards. If not one company cannot force its workers to do things which are against their conscience.

    March 13, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Against their conscience? It is a piece of jewelery! Longer chain, goes under uniform, problem is not fu.cking solved! These women just want to push for a descularlization of Britain, plus get their 15 mins.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      That's supposed to be "problem is now".

      March 13, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      @ HawaiiGuest: After attempting to decypher the run on sentence ending this post, I wouldn't worry about a typo.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Reverting to grammatical errors indicates that you have no rebuttal to my post. The typo, while merely one letter, made a large difference in the over all meaning of the post.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Just because the restaurant down the street doesn't make their employees wash their hands, doesn't mean that no one can.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      @HawaiiGuest: The run on sentence I was refering to was in Nii's post.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @lunchbreaker

      Unfortunately the same principal will apply. I don't think I've agreed with Nii's posts ever, but grammatical errors on an open forum are unavoidable, and to point them out will not do anything.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      I was just saying that I would not feel bad about one typo when the post you responded to contained far worse grammatical errors. Poor attempt at humor , obviously.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      @lunchbreaker

      Sorry. Humor translates poorly in written format at times. Same with sarcasm, and some forms of satire.

      March 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  4. TC

    This seems to have been blown out of proportion. I am retired military. I wore a uniform and I wore my cross under it. This is not a hit against expression of religion. We are talking about material objects on a person's body and uniformity is important in many trades and profesions.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • i wonder

      TC,

      Are uniformed military personnel given any restrictions on the wedding bands that they can wear?

      Google "Christian Wedding Rings" for some lulus - crosses, holy fish, a tiny scripture verses, even one with a crown of thorns!

      March 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • i wonder

      p.s. – Google Images

      March 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • TC

      Ring policy is pretty standard – can wear up to 3. Conservative, needs to meet safety standards. Whetehr it has a cross or fish or star or whatever – doe not matter. Can't be neon orange, etc that would clash with uniform.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Religion starts wars

      Prayer doesn't do jack

      March 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • TC

      You are correct – prayer doesn't do jack for those who do not believe or put forth the effort at folling God's commandments. Thanks Capt Obvious

      March 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Nii

      whenever someone claims that religions starts wars that person forgets that atheism as a religion does start wars n persecutes other religions in places where it is the established religion. B4 the barrage of "...it is like collecting stamps..." hits, if u r a stamp collector put your hands up! lol

      March 13, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Jesus

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! .

      March 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Prayer changes things
      Proven .

      March 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Jesus

      "Prayer changes things
      Proven"

      You've been proven a LIAR over and over again on this blog.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      Error 404: prayer not found

      March 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • Jack

      @ religion starts wars, your right about that, my privates are bit dry. I spend all that time on my knees and what do I get in return? Prayer doesn't do me, or the dishes for that matter.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  6. Don't Tread On Me

    And where I live, racist Sikh immigrants get laws changed so they can be excluded from wearing hard helmets at work or motorcycle helmets while riding motorcycles.

    March 13, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Do they have kevlar turbans?

      March 13, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  7. Reality

    Dear Citizens of Britannia

    Again, putting things in perspective with a prayer:

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
    ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

    (references used are available upon request)

    March 13, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • William

      Did ya do the homework Mike from CT assigned ya?

      March 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • .....

      Hit report abuse on reality inappropriate bull sh it posts

      March 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • TC

      Very lame. You make no point or prove any belief. Another failed atheist.

      March 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Reality

      They are called the Infamous Angelic Cons:

      Joseph Smith had his Moroni.

      "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      Some added references to "tink-erbells".

      newadvent.org/cathen/07049c.htm

      "The belief in guardian angels can be traced throughout all antiquity; pagans, like Menander and Plutarch (cf. Euseb., "Praep. Evang.", xii), and Neo-Platonists, like Plotinus, held it. It was also the belief of the Babylonians and As-syrians, as their monuments testify, for a figure of a guardian angel now in the British Museum once decorated an As-syrian palace, and might well serve for a modern representation; while Nabopolassar, father of Nebuchadnezzar the Great, says: "He (Marduk) sent a tutelary deity (cherub) of grace to go at my side; in everything that I did, he made my work to succeed."
      Catholic monks and Dark Age theologians also did their share of hallu-cinating:

      "TUBUAS-A member of the group of angels who were removed from the ranks of officially recognized celestial hierarchy in 745 by a council in Rome under Pope Zachary. He was joined by Uriel, Adimus, Sabaoth, Simiel, and Raguel."

      And tin-ker- bells go way, way back:

      "In Zoroastrianism there are different angel like creatures. For example each person has a guardian angel called Fravashi. They patronize human being and other creatures and also manifest god’s energy. Also, the Amesha Spentas have often been regarded as angels, but they don't convey messages, but are rather emanations of Ahura Mazda ("Wise Lord", God); they appear in an abstract fashion in the religious thought of Zarathustra and then later (during the Achaemenid period of Zoroastrianism) became personalized, associated with an aspect of the divine creation (fire, plants, water...)."

      "The beginnings of the biblical belief in angels must be sought in very early folklore. The gods of the Hitti-tes and Canaanites had their supernatural messengers, and parallels to the Old Testament stories of angels are found in Near Eastern literature. "

      "The 'Magic Papyri' contain many spells to secure just such help and protection of angels. From magic traditions arose the concept of the guardian angel. "

      March 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  8. GodPot

    If your Church had a nice manicured lawn that they posted a sign that read "Please keep off the grass" how would you react to a member of the NAACP showing up and suing you for discrimination since you are saying that Black people are not allowed on their lawn? After laughing in their face, you would likely call them crazy and dismiss them, which is exactly what you should be doing with Andrea Minichiello Williams.

    March 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  9. GeorgeBos95

    Oh, please. These women CHOOSE to wear the crosses, and employers have a right to define the uniform they wear be clear of religious symbols.

    Either quit and get a different job, or stop wearing the crosses. But a violation of human rights?

    Oh, please.

    March 13, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • GodPot

      "have a right to define the uniform they wear be clear of religious symbols." They do have that right, but again, they are not demanding that the uniform be "clear of religious symbols" they are demanding that the uniform be clear of jewelry regardless of whether it's religious or not. Anyone on this board complaining of religious freedom being infringed is a moron or an idiot and has not read the real story, only what this nutbag Andrea Minichiello Williams has claimed which is far far far from the truth.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  10. Bonnie

    This so-called "symbol" of "Christianity" is completely false. "You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like ANYTHING that is in the heavens above, or the that is on the earth underneath or that is in the waters under the earth." Exodus 20:4. The IMAGE or "cross" is actually the evidence of falseness toward God. The cross is the IMAGE of the wild beast of lies and distortions of God's word. Revelation 13:11-18. Remember, Constantine invented the cross idea and image.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Price Grisham

      I believe most Christians understand that verse to refre to an image that is used as an idol, which directs attention away from God (such as worship of the golden calf, and even golden calves, in the Old Testament), rather than a cross, which directs attention toward Christ and His resurrection. Of course, the word Christian itself means "little Christ" so we are to represent our Savior in such a way that others will be drawn to Him and love Him, too.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Someone should alert just sayin of this expectation. I've rarely seen anyone I'd be less drawn to emulate.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Bonnie

      Price, in the interest of assisting you in understanding and accepting the truth, please read Deuteronomy Chapter 4, verses 15-20 where God clearly warns against ANY form of symbolic image. Remember, Satan is the great deceiver and father of the lie (John 8:44) and if we study Jesus' teachings found at Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we can clearly understand that there is no "trinity" and also how far that "churches" have deviated from the truth, twisting and misrepresenting the incorruptible word of God to their own eventual destruction.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      LET's Religiousity Law #3 – If you habitually spout off verses from your "holy" book to make whatever inane point you're trying to make, and not once does it occur to you to question whether your book is accurate in the first place, then you are definitely mentally retarded..

      March 13, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Bonnie

      Dictionary definition of IDOL:A person or thing DEVOTEDLY admired. IDOLATRY:Excessive admiration or devotion. Yes, Price, imagery and devotion to it, diverts the devotion that only God deserves away from Him, that's why He strongly tells us not to create symbolic images. Think about it, "churches" promote worship, honor and adoration of the "cross" – as in the celebration of the Veneration of the Cross. This IS Idolatry and the cross IS the modern-day "golden calf".

      March 13, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • GodPot

      It's okay Bonnie, this issue isn't about how the cross is at best a pagan symbol and at worst a horrible torture device idol Christ would never have sanctioned. But this debate is not about that, it's about not being allowed to wear JEWELRY! That's it, no more discussion needed.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  11. myweightinwords

    I can't believe anyone is actually wasting time with this.

    There isn't enough information in the article, really, but IF the employees are uniformed employees, their employer has EVERY right to forbid jewelry of any kind. IF they make an exception based on the REQUIREMENTS of a religion, say a head covering or scull cap or beard, they STILL have the right to refuse an exception for something that is NOT a requirement, such as a necklace.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  12. GodPot

    To anyone who thinks this is a religious rights issue...Please learn to do more research on a subject before showing in your posts how ignorant you are on a subject. This issue has NOTHING to do with religion or religious rights. This is a dress code policy issue, plain and simple. Here is what the conversation would look like:

    "Okay everyone listen up, we are no longer allowed to wear jewelry over our work clothing.
    "Hi Boss, so can I wear this cross necklace over my sweatshirt so people can see it?"
    "Is a necklace jewelry?"
    "Yes."
    "Then no, you can't wear it over your clothes, but you may wear anything you like as log as it doesn't show"
    "Can I wear this bracelet that says Love & Peace?"
    "Will it show over your uniform and is it jewelry?"
    "Yes."
    "Then no, you cannot wear it if it shows."
    "So you hate Christians and Peace & Love!! You Monsters!!"
    "No ma'am, that is not what we said..."
    "Call America!! Freedom!! Rights!! Cross!!! Jesus!! Aaaggghhhh!!!!
    "Bloody heII..."

    March 13, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  13. David Johnson

    If I am employed by McDonald's, then I should obey their dress code. If not, I should go elsewhere.

    I must admit, I am always turned off by people displaying religious jewelry. It is a reminder of how stupid people can be.

    Jesus was nothing more than an urban legend.

    Cheers!

    March 13, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Urban legend????
      How about the writings of Josephus and Tacitus?

      March 13, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • GodPot

      "Urban legend???? How about the writings of Josephus and Tacitus?"

      Does the fact that Robert L. May existed and wrote the book "Rudolph the Red nosed reindeer" in 1939 add any credence to Santa having a workshop in the North Pole? Josephus and the supposed Jesus were not contemporaries, Josephus wasn't born until 37 CE, and also claimed he was the messiah for a time. So much for him "proving" anything about the life of Jesus.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Does a historian have to live during the same period as the person he wrote about? If so, that would pretty much discredit all the history books you and I have read.

      A very small minority of modern atheist argue that Jesus never lived. Most history scholars believe he was a person and not invented by Christians.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • GeorgeBos95

      How about the writings? They're fiction.

      It's remarkable to me how people claim God is omniscient and omnipotent, yet can't explain his failure to follow through on anything.

      "It's God's will" is such a lame explanation ... and praying to, say, move a tornado?

      Paganastic beliefs are so silly .... and yet people persist in applying those beliefs as facts.

      They're not.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      @ Robert
      Odysseus was a real person but I doubt you believe the odyssey was a true story. The bible is basically the same thing except there is less real evidence that Jesus actually existed. He might have, but to take the bible as true based on that flimsy idea is just as silly as me thinking the Greek gods are real because of the odyssey. Grow up and let go of your imaginary friend in the sky, reality is much more exciting.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • J.W

      If Jesus never existed then why was there not more controversy over his existence earlier? For the most part the idea of Jesus being a myth started in the 1700s.

      March 13, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Reality

      One more time:

      From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published similar books with appropriate supporting references.

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      There is also a search engine for this book on the left hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

      Added suggested readings:

      o 1. Historical Jesus Theories, earlychristianwritings.com/theories.htm – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books on the subject.
      2. Early Christian Writings, earlychristianwritings.com/
      – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

      30-60 CE Passion Narrative
      40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
      50-60 1 Thessalonians
      50-60 Philippians
      50-60 Galatians
      50-60 1 Corinthians
      50-60 2 Corinthians
      50-60 Romans
      50-60 Philemon
      50-80 Colossians
      50-90 Signs Gospel
      50-95 Book of Hebrews
      50-120 Didache
      50-140 Gospel of Thomas
      50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
      50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
      65-80 Gospel of Mark
      70-100 Epistle of James
      70-120 Egerton Gospel
      70-160 Gospel of Peter
      70-160 Secret Mark
      70-200 Fayyum Fragment
      70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
      73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
      80-100 2 Thessalonians
      80-100 Ephesians
      80-100 Gospel of Matthew
      80-110 1 Peter
      80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
      80-130 Gospel of Luke
      80-130 Acts of the Apostles
      80-140 1 Clement
      80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
      80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
      80-250 Christian Sibyllines
      90-95 Apocalypse of John
      90-120 Gospel of John
      90-120 1 John
      90-120 2 John
      90-120 3 John
      90-120 Epistle of Jude
      93 Flavius Josephus
      100-150 1 Timothy
      100-150 2 Timothy
      100-150 T-itus
      100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
      100-150 Secret Book of James
      100-150 Preaching of Peter
      100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
      100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
      100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
      100-160 2 Peter

      3. Historical Jesus Studies, faithfutures.org/HJstudies.html,
      – "an extensive and constantly expanding literature on historical research into the person and cultural context of Jesus of Nazareth"
      4. Jesus Database, faithfutures.org/JDB/intro.html–"The JESUS DATABASE is an online annotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament."
      5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bissar24.htm
      6. The Jesus Seminar, mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/seminar.html#Criteria
      7. Writing the New Testament- mystae.com/restricted/reflections/messiah/testament.html
      8. Health and Healing in the Land of Israel By Joe Zias
      joezias.com/HealthHealingLandIsrael.htm
      9. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
      – ( Added references available upon request)

      March 13, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Mike from CT

      One more time: (is my hope)

      the author identifies himself as the apostle Peter (1:1), and the contents and character of the letter support his authorship (see notes on 1:12; 4:13; 5:1–2,5,13). Moreover, the letter reflects the history and terminology of the Gospels and Acts (notably Peter’s speeches). Its themes and concepts reflect Peter’s experiences and his associations in the period of our Lord’s earthly ministry and in the apostolic age. That he was acquainted, e.g., with Paul and his letters is made clear in 2Pe 3:15–16 (see notes there); Gal 1:18; 2:1–21 and elsewhere. Coincidences in thought and expression with Paul’s writings are therefore not surprising.

      From the beginning, 1 Peter was recognized as authoritative and as the work of the apostle Peter. The earliest reference to it may be 2Pe 3:1 (see note there), where Peter himself refers to a former letter he had written. 1 Clement (a.d. 95) seems to indicate acquaintance with 1 Peter. Polycarp, a disciple of the apostle John, makes use of 1 Peter in his letter to the Philippians. The author of the Gospel of Truth (140–150) was acquainted with 1 Peter. Eusebius (fourth century) indicated that it was universally received.

      The letter was explicitly ascribed to Peter by that group of church fathers whose testimonies appear in the attestation of so many of the genuine NT writings, namely, Irenaeus (a.d. 140–203), Tertullian (150–222), Clement of Alexandria (155–215) and Origen (185–253). It is thus clear that Peter’s authorship of the book has early and strong support.

      Nevertheless some claim that the idiomatic Greek of this letter is beyond Peter’s competence. But in his time Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek were used in the Holy Land, and he may well have been acquainted with more than one language. That he was not a professionally trained scribe (Ac 4:13) does not mean that he was unacquainted with Greek; in fact, as a Galilean fisherman he in all likelihood did use it. Even if he had not known it in the earliest days of the church, he may have acquired it as an important aid to his apostolic ministry in the decades that intervened between then and the writing of 1 Peter.

      It is true, however, that the Greek of 1 Peter is good literary Greek, and even though Peter could no doubt speak Greek, as so many in the Mediterranean world could, it is unlikely that he would write such polished Greek. But it is at this point that Peter’s remark in 5:12 (see note there) concerning Silas may be significant. Here the apostle claims that he wrote “with the help of” (more lit. “through” or “by means of”) Silas. This phrase cannot refer merely to Silas as a letter carrier. Thus Silas was the intermediate agent in writing. Some have claimed that Silas’s qualifications for recording Peter’s letter in literary Greek are found in Ac 15:22–29. It is known that a secretary in those days often composed doc.uments in good Greek for those who did not have the language facility to do so. Thus in 1 Peter Silas’s Greek may be seen, while in 2 Peter it may be Peter’s rough Greek that appears.

      Some also maintain that the book reflects a situation that did not exist until after Peter’s death, suggesting that the persecution referred to in 4:14–16; 5:8–9 is descriptive of Domitian’s reign (a.d. 81–96). However, the situation that was developing in Nero’s time (54–68) is just as adequately described by those verses.

      The book can be satisfactorily dated in the early 60s. It cannot be placed earlier than 60 since it shows familiarity with Paul’s Prison Letters (e.g., Colossians and Ephesians, which are to be dated no earlier than 60): Compare 1:1–3 with Eph 1:1–3; 2:18 with Col 3:22; 3:1–6 with Eph 5:22–24. Furthermore, it cannot be dated later than 67/68, since Peter was martyred during Nero’s reign.

      March 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  14. Eleni Rigual

    If we name the name of Christ, if we are truly His disciples, it is of far more eternal worth that we bear the Cross than wear a cross. For His Name's sake we can expect to suffer far worse than the issue presented in this article. Right now, as I write this article, there is a Pastor in Iran facing execution for being a true Christian, having converted from Islam. This is the type of suffering we should expect as His followers. The Lord Himself told us that a servant is no greater than His Master. May God give us His enabling grace to persevere to the end.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  15. Nii

    The dress code of sportsmen disalows abusive attire or dangerous jewellery. If it can be proven that a necklaace violates this then cross or not it must go otherwise it has no significance.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What are you smoking, Nii? This is just gibberish.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:13 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Suck on a .45 and spare us from anymore of your incoherent mutterings.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Nii

      Tom Tom I knew u won't be able to understand! No surprise there! lol

      March 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • Nii

      When were flight attendants forbidden wearing of jewellery. I have seen pictures n jewellery helps them look good which is the second reason we fly. Otherwise why do they advertise them? Nurses I know are to forego some things. Being a flight attendant is not military, nor Burgher King or Ho.oters.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      British airways has a blanket ban on neck jewelery being visible over the uniform. Does not specifiy any religion, it is ALL neck jewelery. These women are in the wrong and merely looking for a little bit of fame.

      March 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, right. Because everyone ELSE thinks you're brilliant and articulate.

      Your posts are nearly unintelligible, and you rarely, if ever make a coherent point.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  16. der

    What's the problem? Drag a full sized cross around if you like. Just don't tell me about your religion unless I ask, otherwise I will tell you in no uncertain terms to get out of my face and stop proselytizing.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:02 am |
  17. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    "The government will also say that wearing a cross is not a requirement of Christianity, so wearing one in public is not protected by the law."

    If anyone HAD read the article, they'd have seen this. There is no requirement that Christians wear visible symbols of their faith. The fact that some of you think there is discrimination here is evidence of your stupidity.

    As I posted earlier, anyone who thinks he/she needs to wear a cross that is visible to others is a hypocrite. You claim you believe in an omniscient being who sees all you do and knows all you think. Such a being doesn't need to see a cross on your chest to know you believe. You are wearing such a symbol purely to show off your supposed faith to others-you are using it to brag, to set yourself apart, to be "special" in public.

    If you really believed, you'd show your faith by your acts and not worry about your jewelry.

    March 13, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Also the fact that these women wear a uniform in the performance of their jobs. Uniforms imply conformity to standards.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Just so. If the employer states that religious jewelry, or jewelry of any kind, is not part of the required uniform, then it's not. Period.

      I don't have the right to demand that I be allowed to wear a swastika to work if I'm a neo-Nazi.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's not comparable, I know, but arguing that an employer must allow an employee to wear any symbol he or she finds meaningful when in a required uniform is ridiculous.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Lol

      Are you joking?

      Who is the state to say what people should do with their faith or not?

      If I feel the need to have a cross is only my problem!!!!

      In addition, all muslims can have their visible beards and nikab, why Christian can't?

      OMG what is happening in Europe?

      March 13, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, bs. Can you show that female employees of BA are permitted to wear burkas to work over their uniforms?

      Did you even READ the article?

      March 13, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Lol

      Not in this article, in many other..

      Your hate in visible, you know that you are not fair.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You speak no sense. I not bother read you posts.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  18. Lucifer's Evil Twin

    Does no one actually read the article before vomiting their 2 cents?

    March 13, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You must be new here.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Nonimus

      Facts just get in the way, right?

      March 13, 2012 at 9:36 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      No Tom Tom, you know i'm not new here. But aside from us providing counter-point to the theists' rantings... I wonder at the people who make comments about the article itself, without a lick of comprehension about what the article even says.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sorry, sarcasm doesn't post. I know you're not new here. I was joking about the fact that most of the posts here are from borderline illiterates whose attention span is not adequate to actually read any of the articles.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  19. Snarkytart

    So, is banning of ALL necklaces the solution to avoid offending the few?? Hmmmmmm Interesting.

    March 13, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • momoya

      Snarky, the article implies that no jewelry is permissible; these christians want special treatment and rights others don't have.. The ti.tle of the article is stupid, and CNN should be ashamed to have allowed it.. The issue has nothing to do with religion, but it has to do with some people who want special privilege to alter the dress code for themselves but not for others.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Nonimus

      For an employer, yes, it probably is the answer, especially if you want any work done rather than proselytizing.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  20. DL of Indiana

    Christians have degraded their holiest symbol by allowing it to be used in stickers, craft projects and CHOCOLATE CROSSES. Religionists need to keep it to themselves.

    March 13, 2012 at 9:05 am |
    • John in VA

      Christians are also called to profess their faith publically DL. That would include showing the symbol of their faith in public(cross or fish) like Christians have been doing for thousands of years.

      March 13, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • momoya

      @ john

      Christians don't get special treatment to violate a dress code.. That's what this boils down to.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nonsense. Christians are NOT required to wear special jewelry, clothing, or hairstyles to broadcast their beliefs. There is no reason they should be permitted to do so if other employees aren't permitted to ignore the uniform requirements of the employer.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @John – Oh yes, the christards and their stupid bumper stickers. Plenty of them speedbumps in VA.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • LinCA

      @John in VA

      You said, "Christians are also called to profess their faith publically"
      And they are free to do so, on their own time.

      March 13, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • Easternsailor

      Whoever does that it is the propaganda and sorry! It is not the Holy Catholic Christian.

      March 13, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.