Quebec Bill 21.

Introduced to bolster state secularism, Bill 21 prevents judges, police officers, teachers and public servants holding some other positions from wearing (religious) symbols such as the kippah, turban, or hijab while at work.

 Is it OK for public servants to wear religious symbols?

Well …. is it?

Meanwhile ….


127 thoughts on “Quebec Bill 21.

        1. This is quite true, but, man, it would sure make me feel wonderful if we could officially ban Evangelical Christians and their overlords, the GOP, in America. Yeah, it would piss ’em off and cause ’em to whine ‘n cry ‘n moan, but, god dammit, it would truly put a smile on my face.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Yep! Look what happened when “The Church,” or Mosques, or Synagogues officially banned, in whatever categories, premarital sex, sex out of wedlock, pornography, extra-marital sex, and even Immaculate sex after JEBUS was popped out!!!

          You can take the sexual-being out of natural sex, BUT you can never take the innate sex-drive out of the sexual-being.” 🤓🧐

          Or is it… You can take the horn out of horny, but you can never take the horny out of the horns??? 🤔

          Liked by 3 people

  1. Every religion beside Islam needs to be banned because Islam is the only true faith. It says so in the Koran. Therefor, all religious iconography, clothing, and jewelry that isn’t allowed in the Koran needs to be destroyed. Sorry, Christians, but you all picked a false faith. It says so in the Koran.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think people should be able to express themselves. For some people it’s their need to wear a religious symbol. For others it may be the need to be visibly transgendered. In many ways it’s no different to me wearing clothing displaying my support for my football team. As long as the person is not acting in a manner calculated to intimidate or harm others then it’s fine by me. The law should look more at the behaviour of individuals than what they wear.

    ps – I have Sikh ex-colleague who now resides in Canada – wonder what he makes of it all!

    ps – I come under the heading of ‘Christian’ with a strong belief in Evolution and other scientific discoveries. (I have been reading some of your other interesting debates) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you followed the link there was some interesting perspectives.
      One Muslim woman agreed with the ban o n the burka s she saw it as a symbol of oppression – forcing women to wear an article of clothing based on someone else skew idea of decency.

      Religion always encourages some ”interesting” discussions.
      Feel free to have your six-penneth.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I saw her view which is fair enough. I’ve seen the counter views from other Muslim women in a variety of press articles in the UK. It is, as they say, an ongoing debate!


        1. The problem seems to be one of cultural indoctrination and traditionally, religion gets a Free Pass regarding a number of issues.

          However, in general,freedom of religion only flourishes in a secular democracy, which is ironic.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Religion seems to do ok in the UK which is largely secular (whether we’re a democracy is doubtful currently) but France has a long standing record of seeking to remove religions from society in general. No wonder Quebec feels the need to follow their lead. I guess the issue is how much control over the individual’s freedoms we should allow any state to exercise – this is not just about religion, at least I don’t think it is.


          2. I think that’s a debate for the Muslim community. Though personally I feel that is an unacceptable restriction on an individual, it’s something they will need to reach a consensus on themselves. Like all religious strictures, things move with the times – but slowly, Christianity is around 400 years ahead of Islam so changes that happened in the Christian church some time ago will eventually happen in the Islamic faith as a result of pressure from within. Religions, like governments, eventually have to adjust to the needs and wishes of their community – though somewhat more slowly and with much gnashing of teeth. We are already seeing some cracks in the form of leniency towards women driving in some islamic states so it is just a matter of time.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. When one considers that apostasy is deemed punishable by death in some Muslim circles perhaps all aspects of Islam should be open for debate, especially if practice of the religion ( or any religion for that matter) is in a secular democracy?

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Wasn’t it once so in the Christian Religion – but Islam’s rules are not mine to alter. Every club has rules that are most easily changed from the inside. Me or you shouting ‘Wrong’ from outside only causes further entrenchment by those wishing to maintain the status quo.


          5. People are religious largely as a result of cultural indoctrination.
            In a secular democracy such as the UK why should certain aspects of supposed religious law be allowed equal status/footing as secular law? Sharia courts for example.

            Liked by 2 people

          6. You already said the first bit before 😉 As I understand it Sharia Law has no Legal standing in the uk except in allowing Muslim banks to act in its accordance (ie no-interest lending) UK secular law is riven through with Christian church legalities dating back to the time of Henry viii – divorce law has it’s foundation then – and even earlier. Like it or not, religions have played a key part in forming law, often because most of them provide guidelines aimed at encouraging proper behaviour towards other human beings.

            It has been good chatting. I’m sure our paths will cross again – often about more mundane but happy things like the birds in the garden 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          7. That sounds good, but reality indicates otherwise. And I happen to think we should grant reality preference.

            Just take a look at Muslim reformers and how the virtue-signalling illiberal Left throught the ‘enlightened’ West can’t wait to heap cries of bigotry and racism and Islamophobia on these very people for daring to criticize in any way this barbaric Iron age religion (Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Maajid Nawaz, and so on… you know, the REAL reformers). The Southern Poverty Law Center is a prime example of a multi-billion dollar human rights ‘watchdog’ that posts the names of these reformers and claims just how evil they are, how we should withdraw support from their efforts, ban their speaking, deplatform their invitations to speak, and all the usual tools of the Regressive Left in action). Good luck reforming anything with such ‘allies’ in place.

            For those reformers in Muslim majority countries, all too often their lives end when they are accused of blasphemy… again for daring to even question the legitimacy of these barbaric holy words as well as the laws and punishments that are justified by them. Whereas similar scriptural justification under Christianity and Judaism have been understood to be open to interpretation and/or ‘inspired’ by some version of god, the Koran (or Q’ran or Quaran or whatever) is held by ‘good’ Muslims to be THE WORD OF GOD. Period. No reformation is possible under this god-commanded injunction.

            No interpretation of the Koran is necessary or even questioned; to do so is tantamount to blasphemy and the injunction from the Koran is clear. Death. Therefore, no reformation either from within or from without Islam is probable as you assume in your opinion of inevitable historical evolution of religious ideas unless or until the rest of us pull our collective heads out of collective asses and understand this problem is the fundamental problem that differentiates Islam from any society that tries to uphold human rights and reasonable accommodation for batshit crazy religious perniciousness like Islam.

            Liked by 2 people

          8. Then again, I see the ruling as being biased against ALL expressions of religion, but only for the higher ups. A middle ground might be: wear it, if you feel comfortable with it, no matter your rank. Or don’t wear it. Just don’t make it who you are as a person.


  3. Yes, I’m watching this unfold with great interest.

    When the bill was first read in the provincial legislature (called the ‘national assembly’), all the usual social justice and religious accommodationist suspects lined up and gave voice to the Officially Hurt from Bigotry view but the Bill continued merrily on its way and into law. The repsonse was absolutely typical: everyone wanted their virtue signalling to be recorded and so they were going to sue, take it to the Supreme Court, carry out civil disobedience, yada, yada, yada. But – Lo and Behold! – almost everyone has since backed down and it’s back to business as usual sans any new religious paraphernalia. Because the law is grandfathered in, some government employees are allowed a ‘special’ exemption. But – Oh! – the pain and suffering from the persecuted religious billboards!

    Quebec is famous for being very sensitive to anything that threatens its minority cultural status – called ‘special’ by many from Quebec – in Canada. The provincial government acts like a federal government in certain federal areas like pensions and birth certificates and has a very strong say in immigration. Because some 20K refugees that came into Canada illegally last year had a majority of them be settled in Quebec – particularly Montreal and particularly Muslims – the government of Quebec had to address the public concern this raised. This Bill thus found favourable political ground from across the political spectrum as well as the cultural … including many from religious minorities who had strongly advocated in the recent pass to take down the huge cross from the ‘national’ assembly because it represented only Christianity and we can’t have our elected public officials being seen as biased against… well… mostly against against those poor brown-skinned, victimized, and persecuted Muslims. This Bill was an extension of this political push to get the predominant religion (Catholicism) out of the governing house that represents the public domain and also in response to a previously failed Bill to have newcomers take an oath to respect Canadian values. The SJWs especially in the Press hate this notion of insisting all values are equal no matter how barbaric or unenlightened they are because, well, because we can’t hold these poor victimized Muslims to the same standard as we do Christians, you see, because… well… because doing so makes one a racist and Islamaphobe. That’s the mantra. So… many religious people used to advertising their religious allegiance even when representing Quebec society in their civil servant jobs suddenly found themselves having to uphold their previous opinion that was aimed at the Other now aimed by logical extension right back at them: public officials should represent the public and not the predominant or even subdominant religions to which each may individually believe!

    Good times!

    At its heart, the Bill goes after those who wish to eat their cake but have it, too. When we work for the public, we don’t have the right to use this position as a platform to promote our individual beliefs. That is an abuse of position. That the religious don’t like it because it undermines their inflated sense of self importance and being special (look how humble I am! where this corpse on a cross or keeping this woman in the liberating black body bag) is a sure sign it’s good public policy. Wear whatever you want off the public job but when you represent the public, lose the religious advertising or find another job.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. “… by these signs shalt thou know them …”

    Perhaps this is a good reason they should all ‘come out’ as it were, declare themselves? So—

    —so as long as it is discreet enough it would perhaps be a good thing, and they should be encouraged? I’m hip~!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Much the better time to declare themselves, no? Personally (if I voted at all) I’d think twice about voting for some power-seeking oaf with a Nazi badge proudly displayed, or a Moslem, or a ‘proud of it’ active Christian/Jew/etc.

        I like it when folks declare themselves right up front — especially when MY taxes go towards their tenure.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Single or married, the wannabe Pres would be an idiot to declare itself an atheist if trying to score votes in a religious-nut country. (Ya want the job, ya gotta walk the talk and strut the stuff … ya know what I mean?)

            Liked by 1 person

          2. They would never have had a chance, for sure. I suspect more than a few ‘christian’ presidents or candidates were doing the church and pray thing because their society demanded it. Reagan was the first president who was not only Catholic but (gasp) divorced. Kennedy was the first Catholic and we all survived that, the Pope stayed out of it.

            Now religion is assumed, but not brought up. I like to think we have loosened the reins, slowly.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. I disagree with this legislation. I don’t know how many Muslims it impacts, but it also impacts Sikhs. This is half of my cultural heritage. I knew many in Canada growing up. They aren’t proselytizing their religion, they are just wearing what their religion tells them to wear. I don’t see how what someone is wearing is evidence of pushing their religious values on the public. Nor do I see it as a particular effective means of secularizing a society. When I see people of different faiths working together that sends a more important message to me about our ability to be actually a secular society. I also don’t see the banning of certain religious garb as effective in reducing extremism, or preventing theism from entering the public sphere. What it will do is ensure that religious groups form more of their own schools since many people now can’t be public school teachers, and in general creating more insularity among different religions. The law sounds like it is meant to put people on equal footing, but it is instead exclusionary and is the wrong way to go if one wants to make a society secular.

    I’m honestly more worried about anybody who is worried about their teacher or their local police officer wearing a turban or a hijab, than I am about the person wearing the turban or the hijab.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. How about a teacher or public official garbed in full on burqa?

      I remember … back in the day … there was a bit of a how-to-do in the UK over a Sikh apparently not being able to comply with the newly promulgated law requiring all motorbike riders and passengers to wear a crash helmet. Seems innocuous on the face of it, but it caused quite a few hitherto unanticipated complications.
      Can’t remember the outcome, but this was just one example of a UK having to confront problems that inevitably arise when cultures ”clash” . and even more so when these cultures are built upon religious mores.

      Man-made ”laws” based upon superstitious or religious nonsense
      should have no place in society.
      They are all symbols of division, a tribalist mentality and not inclusive.
      ”What’s mine is mine and what’s your is yours. Touch mine and your gonna get yours ….. pal!”


      1. Sikhs have an option for helmets. They can wear their hair in a bun…cover it with a cloth, and then put the helmet overtop. Most Sikhs know that. It’s done in the military as well when a helmet is needed. Interesting that was the original purpose of the turban. When metal wasn’t available for helmets, tightly wrapped bulk of cloth around the head, protected from sword slashes.

        I don’t disagree that all religiously commanded clothing is ridiculous. If there is a God, I just don’t see how he could give a damn about what they wear. My point is that legislating these things away is not an effective means of dealing with the issue. It’s going to create more division, not less.


      2. In regards to a full burka, I’ll admit it makes me unconfortable to see, knowing its intent as a tool of suppression to women. But I know how traumatic this might be to a fully indoctrinated individual to just prevent her from wearing it, or giving them less places to go in secular society in which they can be themselves. Having them meet more people unlike themselves actually helps them make the decision to not wear the burka anymore. Restrict laws that isolate them aren’t the answer.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “But I know how traumatic this might be to a fully indoctrinated individual to just prevent her from wearing it, or giving them less places to go in secular society in which they can be themselves.”

          Ah yes, the bigotry of low expectations.

          This is nothing more than an extension of assuming some group identity defines the individuals we assume constitutes it, that the individual must demonstrate this group identity in order to be an individual, while being exempt from having to justify or be accountable for what the identity actually represents. This is an imposition on the individual and not a personal expression by the individual. And so we use this notion that to question the superiority of the imposed group identity over the individuals who constitute it creates victims unless we, too, go along with the charade.

          And it is a charade.

          I will point out that no groups exist without the individuals who constitute it and so the base unit is the individual as real people in real life and not the group identity to which they have been assigned. That group identity is the artificial construct and not something we should try to protect in law. If you represent the court, put on the robe. If you wish to represent the military, put on the uniform. And so on. These symbols are representatives of the role being carried out and not an integral symbol of the person who wears it.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Your response is expected. Let’s make it simple. Provide evidence that legislating away religious garb leads to increased secularization of a society. Your the one that thinks the law is a good idea so the ones is on you to see that this is a data driven solution to fighting against extremism or whatever you think it’s helping. To me when the government starts banning all religious practice as a government this is what communism tried to do. I’ve heard you were a fan. As sciency folks I’m sure we have tons of data that will demonstrate how when a teacher isn’t wearing a hijab society becomes less religious.

            What’s great is that your viewpoint does Christianity’s with for them. In societies where that religion dominates they would love to have a society where people are under the illusion that no other religion exists. So keep up the good work I guess.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. ” Let’s make it simple. Provide evidence that legislating away religious garb leads to increased secularization of a society.”

            No one is legislating away religious garb. People can wear whatever they want… in their personal lives. Where the law draws its line is while exercising the powers and duties of some public office where personal preferences are not welcome. And I don’t think you’ve really thought through your support of personal preferences while acting as a public servant here… other than assume that banning religious symbols for those working as public servants MUST be some form of discrimination. Well, it is and it isn’t; it’s the only reasonable policy fair to everyone including the religious in the same way dictating a speed limit and enforcing restrictive laws of the road is fair to everyone. The rules SHOULD supersede the rights of individuals to use public roads however they prefer. I think it’s a really bad thinking to presume that such restrictive laws are antisocial because they impede personal preferences! Well, yeah. Try driving where personal preferences make the rules and then try to argue common rules are harmful because they discriminate against those who wish to drive only by personal preferences!

            When people are working as agents of the public, empowered by the public, paid by the public, then one puts aside one’s personal beliefs – just like we expect from judges and police officers and government pharmacists and military personnel presumably. In these cases, everyone seems fine with having these agents don uniforms to represent the position they hold and the power they exercise while doing these duties and most assuredly not a platform for the personal beliefs or preference of the individuals who don them. It’s not unreasonable at all. What is unreasonable is presuming religious expression by such civil servants is somehow a special exemption to this common rule, that it is reasonable to abuse the public position by making it a personal platform and then claiming one has the ‘right’ to promote one’s biases and bigotries by donning these symbols yet still using these position. I don;t think it’s reasonable to claim any rules that stop this promotion of personal preferences must be discrimination! Cart, meet horse.

            Judges, like police officers, are not allowed to make up law or use the legal system or courtrooms to be extensions of or to promote their personal beliefs. Their job is to apply or enforce the law. Don’t you think this is actually reasonable versus using these positions to advance their own preferences? I don’t know why you seem to think the sky will fall if we demand the same principle widely employed throughout our society be respected for all employees of all public services.

            Why the special privilege for the religious?

            Take the principle you advocate further and see how well it works in practice. Why, for example, should a pharmacist be allowed to use personal beliefs to dictate to you as a client what prescriptions you may or may not have? Why should a police officer be allowed to decide how vehicles are adorned because of personal preferences or which laws agree with their personal beliefs and then use the position of public authority to then enforce only these… claiming that to restrain such personal preferences is discrimination!

            Also, don’t you think it’s a step in the right direction to make the public square as secular as possible so that all may enter it and use its services – including the religious – without encountering symbols of personal preferences and special considerations these folk impose on all for the benefit of these few?


          3. Your logical fallacies about. You are comparing a judge using their religious beliefs to make decisions about what to do in a court case to wearing clothing. Again, I wait for any evidence that supports banning religious garb from public employees has any negative impacts at all to the public. Please provide links. And anybody who doesn’t wear the garb can do the same thing. It’s almost like clothing doesn’t say anything about how biased one might be in their job.

            And no I’m not a conformist…I don’t care much about uniforms I can still tell that Sikh or Muslim cop is a cop. I can still tell the woman in a hijab in front of me is a teacher if I’m in the classroom. I expect professionals to do their job. If they try pushing their personal religious beliefs where they don’t belong then I care, but again people with or without the garb may do that. It wasn’t like it was a bunch of people dressed like reverends or priests who refused to cover birth control pills for their hobby lobby employees.

            So until you show me the data, I consider your position awash in faulty logic.

            Liked by 2 people

        2. Once you say this or that gives me a problem, but such and such is okay you are asking for it. One reason why xians have a habit of calling for religious tolerance. They don’t want others pointing fingers and saying, ”Yeah, but look at them and their bloody stupid religious habits. Damned heathens!”

          Let’s all go and celebrate our atheism in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, or Afghanistan and display all our Atheist Gear and Atheist Symbols draped around our Atheist necks.

          Survival chances of a chocolate kettle in a blast furnace.

          Imagine if there is some tribe that worships a particular deity that demands its adherents wear attire adorned with the feathers of he Giant Condor?

          Or a tribe whose religious practices include the killing of a leopard to demonstrate their manhood?

          I think we would all generally agree that such practices are barbaric and should not be given a free pass based on religious/tribal/ cultural grounds.

          My ancestors came from Cornwall in the South West of England and before that somewhere in Europe – Saxons probably.
          Part of my religious heritage includes displaying the skulls of the enemies I have vanquished. and the occasional virgin sacrifice.
          Granted, finding a virgin these days might be a bit tough, but I’m sure there are enough Manchester United supporters who could substitute as vanquished enemies.

          Stupid, yes?

          Could you explain why your religious/cultural practices are any less stupid?

          Let’s ask God what he thinks?


          1. Let’s all go and celebrate our atheism in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, or Afghanistan and display all our Atheist Gear and Atheist Symbols draped around our Atheist necks.

            Survival chances of a chocolate kettle in a blast furnace.

            I am not sure what your argument is here. Because the countries immigrants come from are intolerant towards atheist expression of clothing, we should do the same in the west?

            Your slippery slope arguments here don’t really fly with me. They are kin to suggesting that gay marriage will lead to someone wanting to marry their sister, or a toaster. Where religious practices cause genuine harm such as female circumcision, or the killing of an undomesticated endangered species, this is not equal to basic religious clothing made of common cloths or metals. Neither is any religious minority in Canada asking to sacrifice virgins or display skulls of their enemies. This is clothing. I’ll make you the same offer I made tildeb. Show me that banning religious clothing is a main factor in creating a secular society through some scientific studies and I’ll happily entertain the notion that this law has some value. Are Muslim cops in Canada chopping off the hands of burglars? Are teachers in a hijab or burka in public schools promoting their religious values in the classroom against public school curricular standards? If so I’d love to see that data. But I’m sure if that is happening there are plenty of religious people without the garb who are doing the same thing. And like much of the clothing Arabs and Indians wear, the tradition to wearing it even predates the religion. What if I just want to wear a head covering because I like the way it looks? What if I think the turban is just a good look for me? Should I be banned wearing something because it is utilized by a religion? On the matter of clothing I am happy to let Catholics wear their cross around their necks. I don’t see any inherent harm to others in religious garb, and if there is harm to themselves then it is up to us to convince them of that through reason and through an exposure to diversity, not through legislation.

            The better analogy you were looking for is that maybe we should legislate women’s clothing to be less revealing to reduce sexual promiscuity and rape. It’s almost like that’s been tried and been a big failure. Hmm…what countries make silly rules about what people can wear thinking that it will solve societal ills? I mean literally you are saying lets take a group of people from countries where they are told what they can and cannot wear, and lets legislate them in our country to tell them what they can and cannot wear…and this will enlighten them to become more secular? On the country they will see that they are no different than where they came from and we simply just don’t like them.

            I’ve grown up seeing the literature that gets passed around…my grandfather got a letter assuming he’d be a supporter of a movement to prevent Sikhs from wearing a turban as an RCMP. These letters aren’t filled with arguments about concern for secularity. They come out when white people get worried that brown people are taking their jobs. The language of the letters I have read are racist. Sikh RCMP are some of the best cops Canada has.


          2. If one is allowed all must be allowed.
            However, all are not the same.
            While some may seem benign, others are obviously not.

            If we are going to allow prayers at council meetings for example, then all prayers and religious observance should be allowed.

            You can see how this quickly becomes untenable?
            While the average Sikh or Christian or Muslim might present nothing but an annoyance to some the more extreme are the ones pushing for their rights to be observed.
            Once upon a time when Christianity dominated the West we all toed the line in varying degrees.
            (Look at the furore the abortion issue causes – largely because of religious issues.)

            As cultures became more interspersed there has also been a rise in polarization. Secular democracies will usually try to bend over backwards to be seen to be impartial.

            They try to champion human rights while accommodating religious and cultural mores.
            Why for example do we still tolerate Jewish circumcision of babies?
            Or any circumcision for that matter?
            Again, when religion is the excuse to oblige people to do things tacitly or overtly problems arise.

            How much influence are you personally prepared to allow?
            What would you consider to be the cut off point before you felt government should step in on your behalf?


          3. I’m for allowing people to wear the clothing…practicing prayer is a different matter. Again, I don’t see how legislating clothing prevents somebody from trying to include prayer. None of the behaviors that you fear happening are going to disappear because we told a cop he couldn’t wear a turban or a school teacher a hijab or burka. Clothing is not proselytization! If they aren’t making other people wear it, and aren’t trying to force their religious views on others, I really don’t care.

            The rise in polarization is not because secular people are concerned, it’s because right wing conservative Christians are concerned. Let’s try to put the blame where it lies, which are white Christians. WHy do you think that when the Satanist try to put their stuff next to the 10 commandments on government buildings the Christians usually relent and say take it all off? It’s not because they are concerned with separation of Church and state is because they’d rather make it appear as though Christianity has no competitors than many. Exposure to more religions can only lead to more secularity. Forcing religious practices on other people is proselytizing and I will always fight that, but this is a separate issue than the clothing they wear.


          4. I think it’s discrimination against brown people. What do you think is the data driving the bill that demonstrates that religious clothing erodes secular values?


          5. ” Clothing is not proselytization! If they aren’t making other people wear it, and aren’t trying to force their religious views on others, I really don’t care.”

            Ah, I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning!

            I guess you don’t care if a proud and Christian Klu Klux Klan teacher wears the white hood to class, eh? None of the parents of different racial students should care because, well Swarn will assure them no one’s trying to proselytize. It’s just some clothing. You probably don’t care if a judge proudly wears a Nazi emblazoned robe listening to a case that involves a Jew and will insist that such displays are fine because, hey, it’s only a piece of clothing and certainly aren’t trying to force their views on anyone.

            Come on, Swarn. These are symbols that possess meaning and wearing them advertises the agreement the person has with this meaning. So, of course, that meaning is going to be front and center when the individual performs some public job.

            The simple question to ask yourself is if the symbols don’t matter beyond the person wearing them and have nothing whatsoever to do with the job they are performing, then why wear them on display? Why even make a fuss if the rules apply to everyone to not display any religious symbols when doing their public job?

            This law removes a religious privilege from then public square – boo hoo – and does not undermine the equality rights and freedoms of all citizens but enhances it. You bet wearing these symbols to promote their ideas while performing public service jobs is the entire reason why this issue matters so much to the religious.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. Your views on this issue are equally full of hypocrisy and it’s awesome how you compare Muslims to the KKK. Please your so fill of shit with your demands for data on proof on others but are unwilling to provide a modicum of data of your own. A woman wearing a burka it’s not a reminder of terrorism. People wear their garb and separate it from professional responsibility everyday. Just as people without it so horrible things. I guess FOX news fear mongering has got to you too. It’s cool when conservative Christianity gets liberals to do the work for them.

            Liked by 2 people

      3. ARK:

        A whole kettle of kippers in this one point. It could be answered— “Hey! Ya wanna live here, ya comply with our laws, Bub!”
        With of course the usual tolerant courtesies extended to boney fido visitors. (Just like the Meccanese do in Mecca, for example …)

        Liked by 1 person

  6. After reading some of the comments, the thought occurred to me … if (obvious) religious garb were prohibited in public arenas, would this include the overly religious Pentecostal women who wear “normal” clothing, yet to the extreme in order to cover up their femininity? Would they be censured as well?

    From the comments, it seems to me this is a very sensitive — and somewhat contentious — issue. The obvious answer? Get rid of religion!


    1. I worship the God of the Giant Arse. To show my devotion to Him, I wear pants with the ass end cut out so my arse is always hangin’ out in the breeze. And, yes, many times people have run up to me and kicked me in that arse trying to get me to cover it up, but I simply REFUSE to do so! Look, you worship your god your way, and I’ll worship mine my way–with my arse hangin’ out for all to see. May the God of the Giant Arse bless and keep you and yours free from gun-carrying madmen, and may He forever keep you supplied with the finest toilet paper one can buy. There’s nuttin’ worse than using the restroom and not having proper t-paper to clean yourself. All hail the Giant Arse God!!!! $Amen$


    2. oh Nan, you do get right to the heart of the matter. That would also include Amish displays of their religion (which is everything from hats to shoes and buggies,) Hassidic Jewish women would no longer be allowed to dress ‘appropriately” in public (wigs, arms covered, etc.) and would Hassidic men be forced to shave? to lose those hats? –dress is often not just clothing covering the naughty bits, it is what we ARE; I have no objection to any of it, it’s part of who we are as people.
      In a way, forcing people to look like everyone else is often forcing them away from the religion or the lifestyle they embrace.

      And many people wear the clothes of their religion because the clothes are PART of their religion. It’s not praying, its not a display, it’s what they wear. To deny that is to deny them their personal rights. As well tell a woman she is not allowed to wear blue jeans, or red sparkly dresses.

      What I do find offensive (in a mild mannered way) is the kissing of the gold cross around your neck, or the sign of the cross as a kind of warding off of evil, or the Klan outfit or Nazi swastika, which is not religious, but definitely symbolic. As an example: I grew up Catholic, and even though we had our own symbols (the rosary, the sunday missal, the little gold cross around the neck) it was still considered tacky to Present in public. Only very old Italian ladies could carry the rosary with them, and use it publicly. =) And no one interfered with old Italian ladies. Ev-er.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just to be clear, Bill 21 makes the display of religious symbols by new public sector workers illegal (as well as face coverings). It is a grandfather bill, meaning it affects all new employees or pertains if older employees switch jobs and has invoked what’s called the Notwithstanding Clause (all Provincial legislatures can invoke this under the Constitution), meaning it is exempt from federal charges for 5 years based on federal law like the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The very first act once this bill was passed was the removal of the large cross from Quebec’s legislature.

        Quebec had a difficult time separating itself from the Catholic Church. It took what amounted to a revolution to do this, which we now call the Quiet Revolution. A tipping point was reached in the early 60s when it was revealed the orphanage system run by the Catholic Church on behalf of Province had increased its stipend per child by reassigning orphans (the government paid a small per diem of about $1.00 for each orphan in care) to be classified as mentally ill (the government paid a per diem of about $1.80 for each resident). Over 40,000 children were affected and no longer had any benefits or services like school or exemption from labour but were deemed as patients. Few Canadians today who weren’t affected directly even know of this shocking institutional abuse and are still unaware of the long term effects on these children, but it has been profound. (We only hear about the residential school system – also run mostly by the Catholic Church – and the effects on indigenous people, of course, so that we can continue to buy into the ideology that Canada was guilty of ‘colonialism’ and ‘racism’ that brought about and supported this abuse. Au contraire… because these systems of institutional abuse were considered ‘moral’ and ‘right’ BECAUSE they were organized and run by the Catholic Church!)

        So this disentanglement from religious influence is a particularly sensitive issue especially in Quebec, whose various governments have tried with different levels of success to create a secular state. As I mentioned previously a large influx of illegal and legal immigrants to Quebec – highly sensitive as well to anything that undermines its French culture – who then bring their various religious beliefs and display them in their roles as representatives of some government institution like education and law, generates a high degree of anxiety and increasing displeasure from those who have lived through Quebec’s history with interfering religions and who understand the need to separate the state from religion.

        This law is not directed at Muslims as many people try to portray; it is in response in part to a huge fight with orthodox Jews who have worked tirelessly to try to get gyms and places of business to darken their windows so that the female form cannot be seen from public places like streets and parks and other businesses. There was another huge fight with Sikh students demanding to bring concealed weapons into the classroom. Of course, religious ‘freedom’ was always the defense, that religion was being ‘attacked’ when constraints were suggested, and never was the idea of promoting and imposing ‘reasonable accommodation’ on the public by religious people ever identified as the cause of this ongoing division between Quebecers.

        So the government continues to try to set reasonable boundaries to reduce the constant friction religion introduces into the wider society and always faces the same charge of ‘attacking’ the religious and the privileges they presume belongs only to them.

        All this Bill does is try to create a public service environment free of this religious display. So, of course, the sky is falling and the religious and those who think they are ‘defending’ the freedom of religion line up to make all the usual claims of bigotry and persecution and discrimination and victimization for the poor religious people who cannot imagine their open displays and demands would ever be the central cause for this strife.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for further explaining what’s behind the Bill.

          Turns out it isn’t merely discrimination against brown people after all. Who knew, right?

          Quelle surpise!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. God knows, but I’ll pray that we will be free of it one day. If it arrives it will be a blessing. and I for one will say a heartfelt : ”Thank Christ for that!”


          2. I think it’s a process that (painfully for some) weens us from the superstitious breast, which means I think it requires people to mature and develop beyond their infantile emotional needs. I know that sounds condescending but recognizing that truth I also think is the cost of growing up and becoming a whole person… independent and responsible for one’s self. yes, it’s hard and often a struggle but, hey… that’s real life.

            I think Freud was on to something important (Civilization and its Discontents) when he described religious beliefs as the means of seeking and finding the same feeling of ongoing parental security by this parental substitution, a substitution that can be maintained forever which addresses the fear of abandonment. I think identity politics contains this same feature, this social need to belong to a group that feeds this same emotional security issue and the fear of abandonment.

            What do you think?

            Liked by 1 person

          3. I think Freud was definitely on to something! His outlook perfectly describes the role of religion … particularly those who believe in an all-loving god that watches over and cares for them. And yes, I would agree it’s apparent in identity politics as well.

            If I were younger and had more ambition, I would love to write a book and expand on Freud’s perspective. Methinks I would be able to FILL the contents with examples.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. I think … that within the bounds of ‘decency’ anyone should be allowed to wear anything they likes, Guv. So a few poseurs run around with swastikas and iron crosses and red stars and wee crucifice—what does this promptly tell the world about them?

    If I had to proudly display a symbol-jewel it might be an empty gold circle badge, or an infinity symbol. Even a wee Christ-less crucifix—

    —as explained to me by a ‘charismatic’ Christian once as being an “empty cross” (to him it symbolised the resurrection of a living man who got down and toddled off to eternity leaving the relic behind. To me it was one of the most powerfully pungent symbols of Christian Truth Man could even dream up … but there ya goes, we takes wot we sees, no?).

    By these signs shalt thou know them: perhaps everyone should be compelled by law to wear a wee symbol 24/7 when in public, displaying their religious inclinations? (Except for folks like me, who don’t believe in such compulsions … so my own personal pelt would be undecorated*.)

    * For those that may miss the point—think about it.


    1. Or we could do the actual reasonable thing and just allow people of whatever religious or cultural persuasion to choose for themselves if they would like to wear religious garb/symbols or not instead of creating laws forcing or preventing them from doing so.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Letting people choose if they want to wear religious garb and not being forced to do so like in Nazi Germany or forced not to do so is not the same thing as suggesting Intelligent Design ought to be taught in public schools.

          I find your comment random and mostly unrelated in relationship to what I actually wrote and meant.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s all about religion after all, no?
            Religious dress codes are generally imposed, tacitly or overtly.

            All religious symbolism should be removed from the public sector.


          2. If you represent the public, then I don’t think one’s personal preferences should matter; if you don;t like the rules, don’t work there. Seems pretty simple to me.

            The diversity on display in places like Montreal is astounding and that’s all to the good. Lots of events, cultural fairs, wild night life, tremendous diversity in foods and clothing, and so on. All of this is fabulous. But when representing everyone in some public role, then lose the personal preferences.

            Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s not reasonable, CR.

        Such a policy of respecting personal choices like this in a professional setting is highly divisive. It undermines the profession these folk represent. It serves only to confuse people about their personal preferences for their professional responsibilities. These are two separate things. And that’s why these professional areas have specified codes of conduct and statements of missions and ethics. This what you sign up for when you wish to be a recognized professional. It’s not personal. And intentionally so becuase THAT is what’s reasonable.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. @tildeb

          I wasn’t responding to the Original Post, but rather Argus’s seemingly broader, but facetious statement:

          “By these signs shalt thou know them: perhaps everyone should be compelled by law to wear a wee symbol 24/7 when in public, displaying their religious inclinations?”

          By saying 24/7 and “in public” he’s not specifically just talking about in schools, etc. I was responding to this particular comment. I suppose I should’ve italicized that bit in my initial response to make it clearer.

          Please read my comments in context in the future. Your attention to this matter would be greatly appreciated!

          P. S. I agree that various establishments and professions have a right to create standards of professional dress. Although there are all sorts of exceptions to the rule at least here in the states.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I think people should dress for their role of the moment. A ‘suit’ should be dressed in that, not in flowing robes. Badges or insignias discretely worn should cause no offence, though.


      1. Sure. Two reasons. The first is that it has initiated the Notwithstanding clause which preempts any federal jurisdiction for 5 years so no Charter challenges can be launched until that time period is reached, and the second is that the State has the legal privilege of ruling on forms of expression. Always has.

        The way it has been explained to me is that if the principle of freedom of expression in the Charter is used successfully to back up a challenge to this law prohibiting the government from ordering and enforcing that the display of religious symbols while representing the public will be weaned out over time but grandfathered into the public service now, it will in effect strike down Canada’s hate laws and remove any legitimacy and precedence for legal standing of court rulings by human rights commissions and tribunals that constrain or ban things expressions like holocaust denial, Nazi symbols, White Nationalism publications, KKK advertising, and so on. The baby and the bath water are a package deal here. You can’t have it both ways: those who wish Bill 21 to be overturned are, in effect, arguing that people should be able to yell, “Fire” in a crowded theater as protected expressions of speech.

        Personal expression is constrained by law all the time and quite rightly so as part of governments responsibility for maintaining peace, order, and good governance.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I submit that a charter of rights that grants the government authority to suspend those same rights via a “notwithstanding clause” isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.


          1. Re: the old South African flag.
            In August 2019 the Equality Court ruled that public displays of the flag would be classed as hate speech, although exceptions would be allowed for “cases of journalistic, academic and artistic expression”.

            I was under the impression that, in certain States similar laws applied to the Confederate Flag.
            Certainly displaying it has caused a considerable amount of upset in some quarters.
            Maybe I misread or misunderstood the situation?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Thanks.

            So displaying an old flag is now classed as hate speech in South Africa, but singing “Kill the Boer” isn’t? Strange.

            In answer to your question: ‘m a free speech absolutist, so I oppose any limitations premised on spurious claims that certain forms of expression be prohibited by law and deemed hate speech because they might potentially hurt someone’s precious fee-fees.

            Stephen Fry summed it up for me quite nicely:

            “It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what.”


          3. By the same token, if someone doesn’t like another person saying they are “offended” … it’s all “free speech” so essentially, complaints on either side are off the table.

            The problem arises when people are physically harmed because of their words. And this happens all too frequently … even in “free speech” America.

            Liked by 2 people

          4. Fortunately, no one has been harmed while displaying any sort of political or religious regalia and the sight of a crowd of men walking down the street wearing white bed-sheets and pointy hats with eye holes cut out, holding flaming brands could simply be a bunch of friends going to a fancy dress party.
            It is always unwise to make assumptions on the spur of the moment.

            Liked by 3 people

          5. “Fortunately, no one has been harmed while displaying any sort of political or religious regalia”

            Yeah, well . . . demons and vampires beg to differ.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. Right, our governments do put reasonable limits on free speech, in exactly the same way the Quebec government is putting a reasonable limit on displaying religious symbols when working on behalf of the people who pay their salaries (as well as make illegal any face-covering). The idea that religious belief should be reason for exemptions from reasonable and fair rules common to all is not a question of freedom of expression but special pleading that is finally being denied.


          7. Apologies. The first part of my comment went missing.

            What exactly constitutes a reasonable limitation? The only instances that come to mind are those where it can be demonstrated your clothing or jewelry creates a safety hazard or diminishes your ability to perform your job — neither of which is likely to be the case in positions dealing with the public outside of emergency services personnel.


          8. Put it this way: why should personal religious expression while carrying out the duties of some publicly funded job be necessary? I don’t think it is, but it does bring something into these jobs. Why introduce this personal religious expression into jobs that represent the public in the first place if it isn’t intended to have effect? This is why I say it is a privilege that is now being removed and not a fundamental right under attack.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. By what calculus does a fundamental charter right (i.e. freedom of conscience and religion; freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression) become a mere “privilege” that can be removed on a whim? And if I want to proudly wear His Noodley Appendage on my lapel at work, of what concern is it to anyone who sees it?

            “But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

            -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

            Liked by 1 person

          10. It’s ironic you quote Jefferson, who not only made it abundantly clear that there has to be a wall of separation between personal religious beliefs and carrying out the duties of a public representative but acted accordingly. His publicly funded university, for example, has no chapel and he was instrumental confiscating large tracts of public land ‘awarded’ to various denominations to collect rents from to return these to the public trust from which they came.

            Extend your thinking process into larger examples: do you feel it entirely appropriate for a police officer to wear the symbols of, say, white supremacy while working as a police officer… perhaps in a predominantly black community? (Quebec is particularly secular.) Or a judge to wear robes adorned with the Ten Commandments while deciding on Freedom From Religion case? (Quebec is particularly sensitive to non-integration minorities.)

            Such personal beliefs have no place for expression by public employees in the public domain who by nature of the Office they represent working as representatives of the public are not free to do so. As Jefferson explained to the Baptists, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”

            When one is acting on behalf of the State – that’s the key point Jefferson emphasizes: acting – one is FULLY on one side of that wall (and ACTS because he or she is empowered by the State to do so, to exercise special authority not granted TO the person as the employed individual but as a representative of the ‘whole American people’, with assigned duties AS the official representative who holds that public office). And that side is the State, SEPARATED from individuals promoting personal religious beliefs but using the public position to advertise them. This is the identical argument used to ban public employees from wearing personal expressions of political affiliation by banning the symbols of partisan political parties to be worn while at work in a public capacity.

            You confuse the personal domain of rights and freedoms with the domain of the public and presume the former should be allowed to maintain those in the public. This is not done… and for very good reasons. It doesn’t matter who is wearing the police or military or judicial uniform: it matters what the uniform represents and so the wearers are expected to act according to the rules and regulations that accompany these positions. Again, once the personal domain is entered, then you are free to wear whatever symbols turns your crank (but now this principle is encroached with legally censuring any symbols deemed ‘hate’ or ‘discriminatory’ here in Canada. Where’s the outcry from the virtuous?).

            Why people can’t wrap their head around this necessary and unifying principle of separation between the personal and the public is a mystery to me… other than I encounter the same befuddled thinking when it comes to religion and it seems good thinking leaves the building.


          11. No. The irony is that you’re inadvertently arguing against the very thing you’ve highlighted (“the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions”) in Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists.

            My quote was taken from a treatise on religion and government found here:

   (p. 176, PDF p. 177/211)

            In the sentence immediately preceding my quote he wrote:

            “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others.”

            And further down:

            It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors? Fallible men; men governed by bad passions, by private as well as public reasons. And why subject it to coercion? To produce uniformity. But is uniformity of opinion desireable? No more than of face and stature.

            The wall of separation between church and state is an argument that religious beliefs should not shape government policy and government policy should not regulate religious beliefs.

            So the bigger picture is this: it shouldn’t matter what government employees wear — be it a Leafs Jersey, a Justin Bieber T-shirt, a peace sign, a cross pendant, a turban, a kippah or [gasp] a MAGA hat — so long as every member of the public is served impartially in accordance with the law. And thus far, you’ve provided no evidence of any such improprieties taking place under a relaxed dress code. In fact, changes to the RCMP dress code in 1990 granting Sikh officers the freedom to wear beards and turbans have shown no adverse effects on their ability to perform their duties with due diligence.


          12. If what you argue here were true, then there is and can be no restraint on any government official or representative from expressing their individuality in the protected areas while working as that official or representative. There would not be, could not be, military law, for example because such a law would infringe on the personal freedom and personal rights.

            Yet these restriction really are quite legal. So where have you gone wrong here?


          13. But that’s not been my argument. My point is that there is a vast difference between implementing dress codes that serve a useful function, like personal protective equipment (PPE) codes to improve worker safety, and one’s that only serve to scratch some ideological itch.

            And legal does not necessarily equate to moral, or just. Slavery, anti-miscegenation, and anti-blasphemy laws were once legal but now aren’t.


          14. Oh, c’mon, Ron. You’re talking hazmat suits about safety and I’m talking about constraints on dress like in the military, police, the judiciary, and yes, even schools. It’s not an ‘infringement’ on the individual’s freedom of expression or civil righhts to put these contraints in place when acting as an agent or official of the public. That IS the argument here because that is the issue at hand. Not safety equipment. Constraints on attire. Thsi si why Ark and I keep raising the issue of the KKK or full burka both of which are clearly symbols that have meaning beyond ‘personal’ expressions protected by civil law. These constraints are reasonable and not an attack against civil liberties because they do not cross the boundary between Church and State. Every individual – just like those in the military or judiciary – remains fully free to wear whatever symbols they want when NOT acting as agents and officials of the public. The constraint ONLY comes into play when they accept these public roles, which means they MUST accept the personal constraints when acting in these roles. That is reasonable.


          15. Yes, I’m pointing to a scenario where a dress code could actually be justified while your engaged in special pleading. Until you present evidence that the quality of service received from employees wearing religious garb is inferior to that of public servants who don’t, you have no case. Nor does the Quebec government; which is why it will have to invoke the notwithstanding clause — yet again — to bypass the charter rights you claim are not being infringed.

            As I mentioned in a previous comment, the RCMP has allowed Sikhs the freedom to wear their beards and turbans since 1990.

            Your military argument is also a bust, because Chapter 2, Section 3 of the Canadian Armed Forces Dress Instructions grants religious and spiritual accommodations to Sikhs, Muslims and Aboriginals. Here is the link for your reference:

            Click to access new_dress_regs_-_a-dh-265-000-ag-001_12jul16-eng.pdf

            Turning to the Ontario Human Rights Code, we read that “refusing to make an exception to dress codes to recognize religious dress requirements” is considered unlawful discrimination unless this would cause undue hardship because of cost, or health and safety reasons:


            And I trust you can figure out why someone wearing a KKK outfit or Nazi uniform in public would face social opprobrium.


          16. @ Ron
            So what do you consider is the motivation behind enforcing these dress codes?

            Why has this (apparently) never been an issue until recently?

            Could it have anything to do with a perceived (real or otherwise) increase in religious extremism?


          17. In one word: xenophobia.

            Quebec has always been hostile to outsiders. Though religious adherence has declined significantly, the majority of residents still identify as Catholic and francophone. Stating “Muslims not welcome” wouldn’t go over very well, so this legislation is just a clever way of disenfranchising them from holding positions within government, because they know that Christians can discretely tuck their crosses under their clothes (or robes) to satisfy the legal requirements — an option not available to those who express their religious views via articles of clothing or head-wear. The hypocrisy is further highlighted by the fact that there’s still a crucifix hanging behind the speakers chair in the national assembly.

            Liked by 1 person

          18. Although xenophobia undoubtedly plays some role in people’s ‘natural’ distrust of outsiders, to classify the intention of this Bill as its source is ‘woke’ speech that misrepresents what’s true in order to push an ideology of being forced to tolerate the intolerable. What’s true is that Quebec has a significant divide between the urban and rural areas of the Province part of which is a significant difference in general rates of religiosity. The Quiet Revolution was a very intentional – even if slow moving – urban social movement to get religion out of the public domain where it had long played such a significant role in everything and used taxpayers money to do so. This was a driving issue especially in urban politics versus a traditional way of life in rural politics and so tension was and remains a standard element. The Muslim influx into first urban and now rural areas in particular has very much helped increase this same tension but with a different religion and, ironically, has brought both rural religious traditionalists as well as urban secularists together to put the brakes on overt religiosity in public services (especially in education where burka-clad women really are teaching children of religious and non religious parents) and so we FINALLY enough political agreement to see the large cross removed from the legislature without politically destroying the political party willing to do this. Again, this is part of long standing secularization process.

            None of this has come about because of xenophobia. Xenophobia is used widely today as code for the ‘woke’ to demonize anyone who stands against increasing religious privilege in the public domain when it comes not to Christianity or Judaism but Islam and any other minority religion. The same tactic is used when granting special status and privilege to any other minority group in the public domain: call those who question this privilege as some kind of Nazi and/or ‘phobe’. The means to do this privileging so is through using the Charter, where the idea of mandated tolerance for differences between individuals in the private domain has been judicially twisted to mean special privileging for ‘vicitimized’ groups in the public… much to cheering of the Woke who assume anything other than privileging means discrimination. The Woke see this imposed group privileging in law is a victory for their ideological moral superiority they confuse tolerance and respect for individuals with the replacement of mandating tolerances for privilege and neither see nor address nor admit the growing division and segregation this causes between individuals… and in much the same way as the Constitutional right to bear arms for a well armed militia has been twisted into meaning every individual has the right to own whatever armament they desire. Also it’s the same tactic to claim ‘discrimination against the individual’ should anyone dare to suggest reasonable reasonable restraints in the public domain. The Woke then use this legal precedent to then bring additional privileging for other ‘vicitmized’ groups into the public domain… constantly using ‘individual rights and freedoms’ as the excuse to impose more and more public privileging of these groups. The trick here is to disguise the exercising reasonable restraint in the public domain to be synonymous with restricting individual ‘freedom’. In both cases (and in many others where special privileging is now being imposed on all and under the public dime) we are told to go along and shut up or be vilified as some kind of ‘phobe versus these group identities. With every legal precedent set for group privileging, we lose another battle for the core liberal value of individual rights and freedoms in law and replace it with group rights and group freedoms without any group responsibilities. This is why Ron will not address the legal principle at stake of allowing Sikh children to wear concealed knives to school while telling others they may not because… religious freedom is a Charter right. To question this privileging of a group in public policy means one is being xenophobic, discriminatory, and exercising thinly veiled bigotry against these individuals, you see. It’s a shell game where privileging means equality and calling for equality means bigotry. This is the DoubleSpeak we’re being fed and too many people are swallowing it without question in order to signal their virtue to the woke. It’s widespread and pernicious and growing ever more powerful.

            Liked by 1 person

          19. What do you call it when Quebec’s premier, Francois Legault, says:

            “I don’t see this as a religious sign. I see this as being part of our history and part of our values. We have a cross on our flag. I think that we have to understand that our past, we had Protestants, Catholics, they built the values we have in Quebec. It’s part of our history. I think we have to recognize that and not mix that with religious signs.”


            Because I’d call that the epitome of privileging one group over another.

            And when Quebec mandated the use of French, it also privileged one group (francophones) over all others.

            So let’s stop pretending that this is anything other than yet another trampling of human rights in “la belle provence”.


          20. That’s rich to be accused of ‘special pleading’ to insist on equality and then give links where ‘special pleading’ is necessary for the religious to wear their symbols overtly in spite of dress codes while acting as an agent or officer of the public! When one has to refer to precedent of legal exemptions in order to try to justify an ‘infringement’ on Charter freedoms, one has entered the world of doublespeak. And the allowance for turbans – including exemptions from wearing mandatory motorcycle and bicycle helmets let us not forget or removing headgear in Legions as a sign of respect – at the time when these exemptions were sought raised exactly this same argument and predictions that have come true now as the religious symbols gain even more prominence in the public domain by those performing public duties.

            What’s even richer is that the religious feel exempt from having to justify the exemption on how these symbols somehow help or aid in carrying out assigned duties but, instead, play the victim card that the State is being a bully to these poor victims who bring the problem to the forefront – ‘victims’ who insist Sikh students must carry a concealed 8 cm knife to school – the kirpan – or their ‘Charter Rights’ have been infringed. This idiocy knows no reasonable bounds because the religious have no reason to insist in introducing them in then first place: sure, we can ban gangs from wearing their colours to school but we can’t ban the religious from doing exactly the same thing because they feel entitled to this special privileging of their advertised gang allegiance to the point where there is no legal difference between such privileging and ‘Charter Rights’. The acceptance and privileging of religious symbols – no matter how dangerous or demeaning the symbols are to the individual automatons who feel they must in the public service was a mistake then and continues to be a mistake now; there is no good reason for it other than privileging religion in the public domain. And there is no end to it.


          21. If the facts are on your side, pound the facts. If the law is on your side, pound the law. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table.

            Because essentially, that’s what you’ve been doing, tildeb: pounding the table. A mere two comments ago you appealed to legal precedent in support of your argument for suppressing charter rights. Yet when confronted with legal precedents in support of same charter rights — i.e. examples of where the law is not on your side — you deem them doublespeak. Nor have you demonstrated that wearing religious apparel impedes the delivery of government services. So the only thing you can do is rant and rave about the sanctity of dress codes because . . . reasons.

            I realize that the Canadian Constitution doesn’t have an Establishment Clause, but that is the principle that I am defending here. And just so we’re on the same page, here is Cornell Law School’s interpretation of that principle:

            The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.” This clause not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another. It also prohibits the government from unduly preferring religion over non-religion, or non-religion over religion.


            In other words, any legislation regarding religion — whether pro or con — violates the principle of state neutrality. And telling people what they may wear, or where and when they may wear it, clearly constitutes a violation of state neutrality.


          22. The harm is widening the crack in our legal system and governance understanding which basic unit of the citizenry owns rights and freedoms.

            The harm is the legal switching from this basic unit of the individual as the owner of rights and freedoms to awarding legal privileging with groups who demand and receive legal status as the owners of rights and freedoms.

            A good example of this harm is the privileging that must occur in law to allow Sikh students to carry concealed weapons to a public school in the name of ‘individual freedom of religious expression (it’s neither individual nor a shared expression with the non religious) while disallowing other individuals who belong to a different gang – like the Blood or Crypts – the same exemption. One group is privileged in law over another and this is then imposed on all.

            What is harmed is the principle of individual equality rights with this replacement of group rights. And it is incompatible with liberal classical values. When taken to its logical conclusion, this ideology is toxic to individual rights and freedoms and is already constraining and punishing individual freedom of expression through human rights tribunals and commissions.

            Liked by 1 person

          23. Hey Ron, don’t you find it interesting that government employees are denied the ‘right’ to wear any political party affiliation symbols and no says, “Boo” to that because there is general agreement that it is inappropriate for such employees to demonstrate partisanship in the political sphere when on the public dime that includes funding from all political parties affiliates.

            But when it comes to religion… well then, the sky is falling and our rights and freedoms are under ‘attack’ if we try to remove the ‘party’ affiliation!

            I’m curious… in principle, what’s the difference? Or could it be… religious privilege once again raising its ugly little head in the public domain and the religious soldiers and apologists line up to lend this privilege their support?

            Liked by 1 person

          24. I’m in favour of allowing employees to wear either. The law is clear: only government is forbidden from promoting political or religious views — not the individual.


          25. Good question. In a ruling from 1969, the Supreme Court opined:

            First Amendment rights, applied in light of the special characteristics of the school environment, are available to teachers and students. It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. This has been the unmistakable holding of this Court for almost 50 years.


            However, that ruling applied specifically to students wearing armbands in school.

            An ACLU pamphlet titled “Free Speech Rights of Public School Teachers in Washington State” gives the following advice:

            Do I have free speech rights as a public school teacher?

            Yes, but there are many limitations, especially for a K-12 teacher. Generally, the First Amendment protects your speech if you are speaking as a private citizen on a matter of public concern. However, if you are speaking as part of the duties of your job, your speech will not necessarily have the same protection. What you say or communicate inside the classroom is considered speech on behalf of the school district and therefore is not entitled to First Amendment protection. Certain types of speech outside the school might also not be protected if the school can show that your speech created a substantial adverse impact on school functioning or that your speech was made in accordance with your job duties.



          26. No, because hate groups are not considered a protected class under U.S. law. (or anywhere else, for that matter)


          27. What I’m talking about here is legally defined as laicity of the State (its English translation):

            The laicity of the State is based on four principles: the separation of State and religions, the religious neutrality of the State, the equality of all citizens, and freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. But it is important to note that this term used specifically in Bill 21 also has a very strong French component of discouraging any mixing of government and religion. To better understand:

            “Laïcité ([]), literally “secularity”, is a French concept of secularism. It discourages religious involvement in government affairs, especially religious influence in the determination of state policies; it also forbids government involvement in religious affairs, and especially prohibits government influence in the determination of religion. However, laïcité doesn’t preclude a right to the free exercise of religion.” (From wiki)

            The Bill specifies it applies to any public employee who (from wiki):

            “carries a weapon, including police officers, courthouse constables, bodyguards, prison guards and wildlife officers,

            Crown prosecutors, government lawyers and judges

            School principals, vice-principals and teachers

            A grandfather clause exempts some public workers as long as they continue to hold the same job, at the same institution. The law also details rules that require people to uncover their faces to receive a public service for identification or security purposes, such as taking public transit with a reduced-fare photo ID card. However, people who have their faces covered for medical reasons or to do their jobs are exempt from these rules.”


          28. That just about covers what I have been trying to understand. Appreciate the detail. Being stuck down here in Darkest Africa one is never sure exactly what goes on in the civilised world.
            While some may see this as tacitly targeting ”brown people” – to use Swarn’s term – and it might be hard for some to not see this as a knee-jerk reaction to certain Muslim proclivities – perhaps the more forthright Muslim stance regarding dress codes is what prompted authorities to sit up and take notice, re-look at the current laws and act accordingly to ensure all religious groups don’t adopt a more in your face attitude of: ”Well if they can do it so can we … watch this!”

            I remember my old man getting a bit upset when I came home as a 14 year old enthusing about certain political aspects of the UK as taught by my history teacher, Mr. Eldred. Concerned I may turn into a Radical Communist he made inquiries to the headmaster about certain aspects of the curriculum!
            Ah … impressionable young minds, eh?

            Liked by 1 person

          29. My take on the matter is that the answer is more nuanced than that. A public school teacher would be permitted to wear a religious symbol in class but would not be permitted to inject his religious opinions into the school curricula.


          30. As the Burka is a highly visual representation of Islam does this not convey a more overt message than say a cross hidden under clothing?
            And would the average school feel the same about a teacher if they turned up for work in a full on Knights Templar get up, Red Cross emblazoned on their coat?


          31. Well, a Burka definitely stands out in a sea of casual casual wear, but wonder if such a scenario is even remotely possible in a secular society given tha that it’s highly unlikely an observant Muslim woman would be permitted to teach in a public school, let alone in a mixed classroom of boys and girls.

            However, after further investigation I’m forced to concede that current laws do not support my opinion because state courts have upheld decisions to prohibit teachers from wearing religious garb in order to maintain religious neutrality.


            Nonetheless, I maintain that this represents an overreach of the law.

            Liked by 1 person

          32. I donpt hear or come into contact with much religious fanaticism of any sort down here, and most people seem pretty chilled.
            Which is not to say it isn’t there, but I never see/hear it.
            I got used to the local Mosque and the calls to prayer as I got used to church bells.

            To me, the long term and somewhat hard line objectives of the more extreme aspects of religion have no place in my world, and if this means nipping any such things in the bud then so be it.
            Religions are worldviews and this comes with a myriad of complications tacit and overt.
            I have no desire to outlaw religion, but will gladly agree in outlawing some of the practices if they in any way infringe on the public sphere.

            Liked by 1 person

          33. Likewise on the fanaticism part. I only ever encounter it on the Internet. As the rest, I’m fairly open-minded. I subscribe to the motto of live and let live, and only object if someone’s religious or political opinions impinge upon my freedoms.


          34. Government is a body entirely composed of individuals. So if the government isn’t allowed whatever, then that means it applies to the individuals who constitute it.


          35. More precisely, government is composed of individuals wielding political power. So the overriding concern should be that no group of individuals be granted the moral right to do things that would be deemed immoral when done by individuals.


  9. Just an interesting update about Bill 21.

    Canada is currently in the midst of a federal election and this Bill now plays a central role in determining which party will gain power and whether it’s a majority of minority government. Of particular interest is Quebec. All federal leaders have paid lip service to the idea that this Bill will require a Charter challenge headed by the federal government against this province’s law brought into being by Bill 21. The Bill enjoys about a 70% approval rating by the people of Quebec but is misrepresented in the rest of the country as some kind of discriminatory law needing federal correction to align with the ‘woke’ ideology that people’s personal identities should take precedence over the neutrality established by the law over public employees while working in positions of public authority… but only in regards to religious expression generally and Islamic dress specifically. No other ideological identity is allowed and most Canadians suddenly see the sense in this policy but, hey, religion you know.

    The interesting thing here is that only one political party clearly and unequivocally supports the Bill and this is the Bloc Quebecois, a separatist party from Quebec that was basically in ashes only a few months ago but is now rising like a phoenix in popularity in Quebec to the point where it looks like it will probably hold the balance of power in a minority government. And – like Trump’s rise in the US in response to the ‘woke’ ideology sweeping the Democratic Left – we will in most likelihood get to enjoy a fractured federal government beholden to a separatist party due to the ‘woke’ ideology sweeping Canada’s Left and infecting every federal party.

    I have yet to encounter a supporter of woke ideology who understands that the political role their ‘woke’ support plays is not to establish any kind of achievable and unified e pluribus unum tolerant and respectful ideal as they constantly tout but to reliably and consistently promote division and fracturing of populations into ideological silos led by ever-more extreme ideologues who compete for power. Every time.

    Liked by 1 person

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