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Old 10-02-2013, 01:16 PM
 
1,701 posts, read 1,995,779 times
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There has been a debate going on in Quebec regarding a proposed ban on religious clothing and apparel for all government employees. So, if you work for the Government and are Muslim you cannot wear a headscarf, burqa; and if you are a Christian, you cannot wear a cross around your neck.

A few countries in Europe, like France have already instituted such bans. For example in France, the Charter for Secularity in School bans religion in schools. So Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jewish kids cannot wear anything that displays an association to any religion.

What thoughts do atheists on this forum have about such policies/bans? Your first instinct might be to say - "all religious clothing is non-sense and serves no purpose", or something on the lines of - "I don't care about religious clothing".

But this is a rather complicated issue. For years many atheists have fought to get religion out of public life. Is banning religious clothing a step in the right direction? Or is this simply an attack on religious freedom - a right granted by constitutions of MOST Western countries.

French Assembly Votes to Ban Religious Symbols in Schools - NYTimes.com

Quebec charter: Good idea or attack on basic freedoms? - The Globe and Mail
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:26 PM
 
3,404 posts, read 2,251,388 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
There has been a debate going on in Quebec regarding a proposed ban on religious clothing and apparel for all government employees. So, if you work for the Government and are Muslim you cannot wear a headscarf, burqa; and if you are a Christian, you cannot wear a cross around your neck.

A few countries in Europe, like France have already instituted such bans. For example in France, the Charter for Secularity in School bans religion in schools. So Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jewish kids cannot wear anything that displays an association to any religion.

What thoughts do atheists on this forum have about such policies/bans? Your first instinct might be to say - "all religious clothing is non-sense and serves no purpose", or something on the lines of - "I don't care about religious clothing".

But this is a rather complicated issue. For years many atheists have fought to get religion out of public life. Is banning religious clothing a step in the right direction? Or is this simply an attack on religious freedom - a right granted by constitutions of MOST Western countries.

French Assembly Votes to Ban Religious Symbols in Schools - NYTimes.com

Quebec charter: Good idea or attack on basic freedoms? - The Globe and Mail
I tend to see it as an unwarranted imposition of religious freedom, but I see it through an American lens. Clearly the French secularism (and similarly Turkish secularism) has its roots in different ideas than American secularism. Our secularism evolved to protect religion from the interference of government, where theirs appears to be the other way round. It leads to different lines being drawn around religious expression.

-NoCapo
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:49 PM
 
1,701 posts, read 1,995,779 times
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Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
I tend to see it as an unwarranted imposition of religious freedom, but I see it through an American lens. Clearly the French secularism (and similarly Turkish secularism) has its roots in different ideas than American secularism. Our secularism evolved to protect religion from the interference of government, where theirs appears to be the other way round. It leads to different lines being drawn around religious expression.

-NoCapo
The line between religious freedom and religious oppression is very blurry in many cases. A five year old kid wearing a religious garment to school is a sign of religious freedom or oppression?

And even in America, there have been many cases against absolute religious freedom. The case that stands out the most is one where the Supreme Court banned polygamous relationships. Mormons had argued that they should be allowed to enter polygamous relationships (under religious freedom). Was this imposition by the Supreme Court unwarranted? Who was being harmed when consenting Mormon adults were entering polygamous relationships?
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Redmond, WA
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When I see local people wearing religious clothes whether Islamic in nature or Christian I take pride in knowing that I live in a diverse country. My lack of a belief does not play into it at all.

I agree with NoCapo, in America we are a little skittish when it comes to these types of laws because what's next: jewelry in the shape of a cross? Tattoos depicting Jesus? Once we open that door and allow our government into our private affairs, it becomes open season. The mandate aspect of Obamacare is a good example of how most Americans view the intrusion.

As far as what some of the other countries have done, I have no opinion, I have been to Europe, and they need to do what is best for their citizens. They have their own laws, needs, cultures, customs, and unique histories to put the issue in a perspective that can't be compared to other places like America.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
The line between religious freedom and religious oppression is very blurry in many cases. A five year old kid wearing a religious garment to school is a sign of religious freedom or oppression?

And even in America, there have been many cases against absolute religious freedom. The case that stands out the most is one where the Supreme Court banned polygamous relationships. Mormons had argued that they should be allowed to enter polygamous relationships (under religious freedom). Was this imposition by the Supreme Court unwarranted? Who was being harmed when consenting Mormon adults were entering polygamous relationships?
Sure, and different countries and cultures have drawn the line in different places. In my opinion things like outlawing Mormon polygamy were well over the line, but I am looking at it from a different vantage point in history. Plus, I tend to lean libertarian, so I wan the government to interfere as little as possible anyway.

I do think there are some lines that should be drawn, but I don't know that I have a hard and fast method for drawing those lines.For example, I think polygamy should have been integrated into our definition of marriage, but I am not a fan of allowing minors to be married, parental consent or no. There seems to me to be too much of a potential for coercion there. I certainly think that in most cases religious garb or symbols should not be regulated. I can see the case for requiring a visible face for ID photos, or at the very least some alternative biometric ( fingerprint, etc...), but I tend ot think banning headscarves or crosses or whatever is a bit much.

-NoCapo
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Redmond, WA
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Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Plus, I tend to lean libertarian, so I wan the government to interfere as little as possible anyway.



-NoCapo
This X 1,000
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:15 PM
 
1,701 posts, read 1,995,779 times
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^^^ In a perfect world, yes.

But the government as it stands today is in the business of creating laws that uphold Christian Values.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Space Coast
1,988 posts, read 4,634,410 times
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I don't care if people wear clothes that refer to their beliefs as long as they aren't shoving it down my throat. After all, I like being able to wear my FSM tee shirt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Plus, I tend to lean libertarian, so I wan the government to interfere as little as possible anyway.
and ditto to this!
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,577 posts, read 7,280,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
There has been a debate going on in Quebec regarding a proposed ban on religious clothing and apparel for all government employees. So, if you work for the Government and are Muslim you cannot wear a headscarf, burqa; and if you are a Christian, you cannot wear a cross around your neck.

A few countries in Europe, like France have already instituted such bans. For example in France, the Charter for Secularity in School bans religion in schools. So Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jewish kids cannot wear anything that displays an association to any religion.

What thoughts do atheists on this forum have about such policies/bans? Your first instinct might be to say - "all religious clothing is non-sense and serves no purpose", or something on the lines of - "I don't care about religious clothing".

But this is a rather complicated issue. For years many atheists have fought to get religion out of public life. Is banning religious clothing a step in the right direction? Or is this simply an attack on religious freedom - a right granted by constitutions of MOST Western countries.

French Assembly Votes to Ban Religious Symbols in Schools - NYTimes.com

Quebec charter: Good idea or attack on basic freedoms? - The Globe and Mail
As an atheist, I'd like to see religion out of public life.

What that means is:

1) I want the state taking no affirmations of religion whatsoever. Permitting individual religious expression is not an affirmation of religion by the state.

2) I want individuals to chose to reject religion.

I have absolutely no interest in seeing the state prohibit religious expression in public in general.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
30,881 posts, read 31,773,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandman249 View Post
^^^ In a perfect world, yes.

But the government as it stands today is in the business of creating laws that uphold Christian Values.
What Christian values are you talking about?
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