Oh for gods’ sake! For Nan

Nan has a post up titled What say you? about  the banning of religious symbols.

Here is my take.

 

The Agony Aunt Column.

Dear Aunty Jane:

Topic. Religious Symbols and their effects on my sensitivity.

As a young lad, growing up in a village in England, part of my paper round (route) took me past a church cemetery where the display of numerous crosses and statues of angels in various poses of angst or severe constipation (I’ve never been able to work out the difference) has, I believe, scarred me for life.

Years later, after I had left home, the church closed because most of the community gave up believing in Christianity. Eventually, the local county council bought the land, bulldozed the church, and erected a crematorium.

Yet hardly had the first few ashes been scattered did the council run into serious trouble and were forced to cease operations. They found themselves on the receiving end of a huge public outcry.

Records show that the church was deemed a British Heritage Trust site, being the very first church in history to hold a National Bingo Championship and for a short while during the mid 13th Century was used as a brothel for returning Crusaders.

What tipped the scales, however, were the three letters of complaint in Braille from blind 103 year old holocaust survivor, Hymie Bernstein, who lived in the retirement village next door.

Mister Bernstein cited emotional distress due to religious sensitivity as the reason for his complaint. Namely, his 14 year old incontinent cocker spaniel, called Jesus Aitch, crapped on the carpet every time a funeral procession passed the entrance of the retirement village on it’s way to the crematorium.

After remaining empty for nearly two years, the owners of the retirement village purchased the crematorium from the council for 10 pence and converted it into a hospice.

In a sense it was fitting, or ironic that, the first occupant – albeit temporary – was Hymie Bernstein. After undergoing a *religious conversion he had married his 68 year old Christian fundamentalist nurse, Ethel Leakwell. Sadly, Hymie died on the night of their honeymoon after suffering a heart attack, leaving his not inconsiderable fortune to Ethel.

Within 12 months of Hymie’s death most of the residents of the retirement village had made use of the services of the hospice and the village was all but empty, save for Ethel’s 86 year old mother, Gladys, who took up with a 72 year old bi-sexual Muslim paediatrician, Mohammed Fatwah.

Mister Fatwah was severely assaulted by a group of Manchester United football supporters who were convinced that a paediatrician was a pervert who preyed on young children.

It was because of this intolerance that Mohammed and Gladys, along with a travelling companion, famous wedding planner, baker and Christian Buddhist LGBT activist South African, Everhardt Koch, decided to move to Tibet.

Once her mother had left, Ethel purchased the retirement village, bulldozed it and converted it to a cemetery, the first two small daffodil covered plots being earmarked for herself and Hymie, whose remains are currently in an old tin tea caddy on the mantelpiece above the fireplace and have definitely not been snorted by Hymie’s great grandson who had recently popped around for a visit.

By the way,all the angel statues in the cemetery are winged representations of Elvis. Some say they too look severely constipated.

*Hymie’s religious conversion had occurred after he became convinced his foreskin had regrown while reliving himself at a public urinal.

However, according to Italian Catholic priest, Willy Notalotti, who was standing in the adjacent stall when Hymie had his miraculous revelation, Hymie had forgotten to unzip his pants and instead held the priest’s penis while his own had remained in his trousers, where he peed down his leg.

My question, Aunty Jane, is:

At this somewhat late stage of my life, do you think I should move back to my old village and enquire about doing another paper round as a way of confronting my childhood religious sensitivity issues?

Yours Faithfully

Religious Bedwetter.


170 thoughts on “Oh for gods’ sake! For Nan

      1. Divorce was made legal in the 1790’s, but then made illegal again during the Restoration. I know there were cases of rich people who stayed legally married but physically separated. I presume poor people just had to hate each other in close quarters 😀

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        1. In case anyone’s wondering, we poor people STILL hate each other in close quarters. Personally, as a poor person, I hate a lot of other people too, but, luckily, for them, I’m not in close quarters with most of ’em. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Didn’t we have this discussion a few months ago? My position hasn’t changed: i.e., you either support an individual’s inalienable right to freedom of expression, or you don’t. The Quebec government has repeatedly demonstrated that it doesn’t; which renders Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms a toothless document, not worth the paper it’s written on.

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        1. The ‘good’ of then Notwithstanding clause is to constrain the courts from rewriting and reinterpreting legislation and put the onus to do so back on legislatures.

          I think there is confusion about what is a ‘right’/’freedom’ – namely, an entitlement – and what is a reasonable constraint on the vague meaning that accompanies these rights/freedoms. For example, is someone entitled to wear symbols of their choosing at all times?

          Well, not in Canada.

          The courts have determined that you may not wear a Nazi symbol, for example, and the ‘reasonable constraint’ in Section One of the Charter is used here and already passed challenge. To be reasonable, the limit of that constraint must be proportional to the objective. Does the legislation meet – or is proportional to – what are called the 3 criteria laid out in the Oakes case:

          The limit has a “pressing and substantial objective;”
          The limit infringes on the Charter right as little as possible to meet its objective (aka the “minimal impairment test”);
          The benefit of the limit is greater than the harm caused by limiting the right or freedom.

          The third criteria is the most difficult for governments to meet. Quebec’s Bill 21, regarding the wearing of religious symbols by officers of the Public with authority, and there are two ways to do this. The obvious one is to meet this Charter challenge and demonstrate the wearing of such symbols causes not just harm but greater harm than limiting the right or freedom of religious expression. The other way is more clever, I think: use time to support the case of minimal harm.

          I suspect the legislation has invoked the notwithstanding clause to accomplish two things: allow the law to be in effect to demonstrate little if any harm to anyone over ten years, and time to demonstrate that there is no real limiting of religious freedom over ten years.

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          1. No guff, eh?

            The latest involves a proposed Bill to make conversion therapy illegal… not just for sex-based therapy but gender! Good grief is absolutely the right response. Now, when I become Ruler of the World…

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          2. Thanks for the long essay, but you never answered the question:

            What good is a “guaranteed” right that can be rescinded at any time?

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          3. I thought you being facetious, Ron. My bad.

            Every single person in this country – regardless of any introduced constraints that occur with their employment – is still free to express themselves. They just have to do it outside of work in this case. I should think this freedom would be obvious to you. The right has been constrained and bounded by very specific employment conditions and not, as you say repeatedly now, rescinded. Why you think it has been rescinded is a mystery to me.

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          4. You seem to forget, that the government is not a private employer. Moreover, it’s legally bound to uphold the constitution which prescribes the limitations of its powers. This is civics 101, Tildeb. And there’s no reason to wonder why I think the charter rights of Quebec residents have been rescinded, because Bill 21 and the Quebec legislature’s use of the notwithstanding clause to pass said legislation serve as an attestation to that fact. And absent any evidence that the mere sight of someone’s personal attire — be it religious or otherwise — causes direct physical harm to others (rather than just some farcical claim of emotional “triggering”) your argument is not only without substance or merit — it’s also anti-constitutional.

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        1. Personally, I say let them wear whatever they want. It’s a marvellous opportunity to parody religion. Being served by a woman wearing a pasta drainer at the Titles Office does more to frame the silliness of religion than a million words put in blogs.

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          1. Only those who wear metal colanders are righteous. Those who don those cheap plastic strainers are heretics and will drink stale beer for all eternity.

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        2. Sorry, but Tildeb makes a case that’s factually and technically substantive. Most rights exist with some form of conditionality. You can drive, but not while drunk. You can marry, but not before a certain age – and so forth. And rights are even further limited when balanced against derivations of the property rights of other citizens. In my establishment I can set rules of dress, for example. As an employer I can set out a number of rules that limit an employee’s ‘rights’. Free speech may allow you to call your boss an imbecile, but he will have the freedom to fire you. The idea of one right trumping all others doesn’t really exist in law. Even the right to life, which most people presume is absolute, is challenged in a number of circumstances.

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          1. You’re correct. Private employers can set the terms and conditions of employment. But in this instance, the employer happens to be the provincial government of Quebec — a public employer that’s duty-bound to follow the charter rights set out within the Canadian Constitution. And Tildeb has failed to present evidence that dealing with civil servants who wear a cross, turban, kippah or hijab causes anyone direct harm, which would be the only acceptable moral justification for banning their use and restricting an individual’s right to freedom of expression.

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          2. Ron, it’s constrained freedom within a very specific and defined provincial context. It is applicable to all in that province. Reframing this provincial matter to insist such imposed neutrality on all is therefore discriminatory to some on the national level (the Supreme Court deciding first if it’s a Charter issue and secondly if they are willing to hear it) is an interesting use of language that I think is oblivious to the political ramifications. How that privilege for a few magically becomes a ‘shared’ right to be imposed on all I think is at the heart of this issue and it will be interesting (to me, at least) to see if and how the Supreme Court rules on this. Remember, a major concern I have as a Canadian is how this will affect separatist politics when a decision by this court may rule directly against the wishes of the vast majority of Quebecers. I suspect very few people who assume such constraint must be discrimination of the religious have little if any concern or appreciation of this aspect. I think for most people outside of Quebec who are against Bill 21, they simply don’t care about any of this in their zest to appear virtuous by being against what they’ve been told is religious discrimination in Quebec. They are far more concerned with privileging their religious gang colours in the public domain than holding the country together.

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          3. Oh, and I’ve already raised the issue of harm done to the Yazidis when they have to interact with provincial representatives who wear the uniform of people who committed atrocities against them and their communities, or sexual abuse victims or 30,000 orphans by Catholic orphanages later reclassified as mentally ill child patients who must face allies of their abusers… very often Catholics and the other Christians who facilitated this ongoing abuse. Or the Indians who lost relatives in the Air India bombing triggered by being served in an official capacity by Sikhs. And the list of harm goes on and on… any time and anywhere people who have suffered at the hands of religious gang members must submit to the authority of gang members in positions of public authority. The triggering, Ron… the triggering. And it’s necessary because…. religious folk want to be privileged to wear these gang colours in an official capacity in the name of ‘freedom’. Well, why should the freedom of these people who are triggered by such encounters be of no concern when in their minds in causes ongoing harm?

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          4. Triggered, eh? I shake my head in disbelief wondering what’s become of Canada? What has reduced a once proud nation that fearlessly stormed the beaches of Normandy to liberate Europe from Nazi occupation into a mass of frightened children fleeing for cover at the mere sight of a man wearing a turban in public or the sound of a misused personal pronoun on a university campus? If “diversity is our strength” — as Mr. Trudeau insists — why do so many Canadians act as if it were a horrific weakness?

            And why do these human rights melodramas only ever play out in Quebec? Don’t you find it strange that none of the other provinces have felt a need to enact such laws, yet their residents seem to get along perfectly fine together without them? Go figure.

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          5. Would you be interested in taking Anjem Choudary off the hands of the Brits?

            Super chap with a wonderful pluralistic outlook!
            Just what Canadians need, I reckon.

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          6. Isn’t he a piece of work? Using rights and freedoms to undermine rights and freedoms… on the public dime! He has his supporters in Canada. Please don’t give them any ideas that bringing such a wonderful fellow to Canada is the ultimate act of tolerance and respect for diversity. Too many Canadians would go along with that just to signal their virtue.

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          7. The two cases Tildeb cited are good examples of specific situations. And they’re part of a principle that’s not only present but a requirement in civil codes or constitutions of practically the entire free world. In France we call it the Obligation of Impartiality and Neutrality. I believe the code goes as far as mentioning that includes the “appearance of” neutrality and impartiality. I’m pretty sure that if you look it up, Canada will have some variation of a code of this type. So when someone applies for a public servant job (or any job), they have to consider the requirements of that position. Otherwise we get soldiers who refuse to use weapons or Jehovah’s Witness doctors who refuse to do blood transfusions. Catholic court clerks who refuse divorces etc. etc.

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          8. Yet the province of Ontario, right next door has not only permitted the freedom of expression of its employees, but passed legislation mandating the accommodation and recognition of religious dress requirements.

            http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/religious-rights-fact-sheet

            And to date, nobody has been “triggered” by the sight of people who wear religious attire.
            Yet the province of Ontario, right next door to Quebec has not only permitted its employees the freedom of expression, but passed legislation mandating the accommodation and recognition of religious dress requirements.

            http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/religious-rights-fact-sheet

            And to date, nobody has been “triggered” by the sight of public servants who wear religious attire.

            Nor were there any reports of such incidents prior to the introduction of Quebec’s new legislation. In fact, a crucifix that once adorned the National Assembly drew little to no attention from anyone until someone pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of selectively permitting Christian symbolism in the legislature, while simultaneously denying same consideration to non-Christians. And it’s removal was met with vociferous protest.

            So Tildeb’s argument has no foundation in reality, so far as it pertains to this particular matter.

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          9. Sure it does, Ron. But I hear these people complaining about having to deal with religiously-draped officials… officials they try to avoid at all costs including pulling students from public school (and then homeschooling or paying for private) that has a teacher who proudly wears her gang colours as an Public Official. They tell me nothing can be done because the human rights tribunals and all the do-gooders do not serve them – the REAL victims of REAL abuse – but the gangs who claim their colours are an expression of individual freedom. The look of disbelief I have seen on their very angry faces tells the truth of just how backwards and intolerant we have become in the name of progress and tolerance.

            The scope of abuse by religious organizations when empowered in the public domain is undeniable and even more so in Quebec than in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area that constitutes well over half of the Ontario population 500 kilometers away but ‘right next door’ to Quebec.) This area is FILLED with recent immigrants (whose children are first generation Canadians) and receives a huge amount of special attention politically and privilege when possible for any government trying to gain power). To refer to this province’s population as if to make the Quebec population seem less tolerant is comparing apples with oranges in the same way comparing Saskatoon’s historical Ukrainian ethnicity with Vancouver’s large immigrant Asian and Sub-Asian populations would be just as inappropriate.

            Quebecers in particular have had to disengage their provincial institutions (which many consider ‘national’ institutions because of Quebec’s unique historical situation) from the terribly abusive grip by the religious. Not just Catholic. It is a fascinating history of what I think could be accurately described as a slow moving by very determined social revolution and very effective to the point where 70% of Quebecers understand and appreciate in ways most Canadians cannot grasp how precious public neutrality really is. Quebecers I talk with tell me the ROC (Rest of Canada) are both stupid and naive to think religious privilege in the public domain doesn’t carry with it a deep social harm that is committed daily every time a person has to face these gang colours. In the case of Ontario’s HRC (Human Rights Commission and Tribunals) rulings (like the now infamous ruling concerning mandatory pronouns that launched Jordan Peterson’s principled refusal into him speaking globally about the dangers of this woke ideology the HRC embodies), I have been told such ‘tolerant’ rulings are nothing more than official lipstick on the pig of religious differences that are empowered by such rulings. If you really wish to be woken, just ask a Toronto police officer what this religious division looks like in daily action. Justifying differences, not promoting unity and cohesion, is what such rulings guarantee. I happen to think this is the major reason why Quebecers have earned the right to offer the ROC sound advice and a good example to be followed: get religious gang colours out of public institutions and back into the private domain where they properly belong. You are not your religion and constraining your right to promote your religious ideology when acting as an Official of the State is not individual discrimination. Take off the hijab and teach like any other individual of any religious persuasion. Take off the cross and doctor like any other individual of any religious persuasion. Take off the kippah and process driving licenses like any other individual of any religious persuasion. Take off the dastar and police like any other individual of any religious persuasion… because RELIGION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE JOB AND NO ROLE TO PLAY IN CARRYING OUT THE OFFICIAL DUTIES.

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          10. Because I have an out there sense of humour I am in agreement with John Z in that it would be hilarious to be greeted by a government official wearing a spaghetti strainer on his head, and maybe an ”official T-shirt” or lapel badge confirming his FSM affiliation.

            At this point in time few, if any, would take such a person seriously, and although said individual might become highly offended if one were to snigger at him/her while filling out a new car licence form the most likely reaction from members of the public would be bafflement and maybe outrage that local guv’ment was employing such nutters.

            However….
            if you were a recent refugee from say …. a country where the FSM religion held sway and one particular nasty branch of this religion slung people off rooftops, or flogged or stoned women to death for eating corkscrew pasta instead of spaghetti, and one of those women happened to be your late mother – you might be excused for feeling a tad peeved having to confront one of these folk at the local DMV.
            Or worse, if your kid came home from school and told you of the man in the spaghetti strainer hat – ” like those who killed mum” -who was teaching history.

            Just a thought … Har bloody har… 🙂

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          11. It appears you’ve written a treatise on the failures of multiculturalism. Perhaps you should submit it to the Globe and Mail or National Post so TROC gets as woke as Quebec. And while you’re at it, you should petition the Canadian parliament to ask the MP for Burnaby South to either resign or remove his turban, lest anyone get triggered by his appearance. 🙂

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          12. Triggered? You misunderstand the concept of the impartiality and neutrality, and the appearance thereof.
            Affiliations of any kind create a form of bias. This isn’t about feelings or buzz words like “triggered”. The idea of freedom of expression of employees is in itself fairly ridiculous. When one is at work, they’re being paid for their time. It’s not a platform for self expression. Much less self expression at the expense of the tax payer. People can even masturbate with crucifixes or korans – but they should do it on their own time, on their own dime, and in their own property.

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          13. My opinions on the matter are informed by the thoughts expressed within the First Amendment :

            “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

            . . . and from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists:

            Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & 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 & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

            https://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html

            I realize that Quebec is not bound to the follow the U.S. constitution, but the point I’m making is that separation of Church and State means the state may not regulate religion, not that public employees must surrender their right to silently express their religious beliefs via icons, symbols or other apparel.

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          14. You come at the topic with good intentions, but I think you should explore the limitations of those concepts. What does the “regulation of religion” really mean? What was the intent of the right?

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          15. The intent was clear: the state may not interfere with your religious beliefs and that your religious beliefs could not inform public policy. Many of the delegates at the constitutional convention were devoutly religious men but agreed that instituting a state religion (like the Church of England) would only increase the inter-sectarian hostilities within the the colonies. Thus the reason for the establishment clause within first amendment. The constitution also states that no religious test shall ever be required as qualification to hold public office under the U.S. government — a stark contrast to the various religious discrimination clauses that had worked there way into some of the state constitutions at that time.

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          16. So you think a dress code set out by an employer constitutes interference with a religious “belief”? That’s what I think you’re confused about. The right to believe in a religion doesn’t extend to imposing it on another free citizen – and especially not if you’ve signed up for a job where a requirement is impartiality/neutrality.

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          17. There’s no confusion. Neutrality applies solely to enacting legislation or policies that preference one religion over another and has nothing to do with restricting individuals from expressing their private beliefs in public. And being served by the Jewish man with a kippah or the Sikh gentleman with a turban or the Christian woman with the cross or the Muslim woman with a hijab or the pastafarian with an FSM pendant presents absolutely no imposition on others.

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          18. ”And being served by the Jewish man with a kippah or the Sikh gentleman with a turban or the Christian woman with the cross or the Muslim woman with a hijab or the pastafarian with an FSM pendant presents absolutely no imposition on others.”

            Hmmm ….. Methinks that is a rather sweeping generalisation Mr. Ron.

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          19. You raise a good point. Can they still be deemed as religious symbols if an atheist comes to work wearing a Hijab , a cross and a collander?

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          20. *Smile*
            In truth, I really don’t care and this is one of those topics that gets very silly, very quickly.
            I will leave you in the capable hands of Tildeb.
            I’m off to have dinner and afterwards watch a film.
            Have fun.

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          21. Absolutely not. The neutrality statutes including the *appearance* of neutrality apply in the entire developed world and regard tax payers being able to use government services without feeling excluded. If someone believes their religion is so important they can’t follow a basic dress code it means they’re probably not capable of treating taxpayers with impartiality in the first place. Which is why many countries, including France, have prohibited religious symbols in all government buildings and schools as a general rule. And it works very well.

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          22. The federal government’s Human Rights Commission ruled that Sikh school children in Montreal (where thee issue was first addressed) could take knives and swords concealed in their clothing to school.

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          23. This is the kind of thinking the NRA wishes everyone would be forced to follow… in the name of non-violence, of course.

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          24. Wow! And here I was thinking I was making a bad joke! Reality makes satire look dull by comparison, eh. Damn, if people really were banned from wearing MAGA hats, who’d I make fun of?

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          25. Whoopie! That article just made my day! If bakers can deny cakes, then bartenders can deny hats. (I know, I know … a slight difference but the principle is the same.) LOVE that Bar Manager!

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          26. Not familiar with this … ?? Google says it was a series on HBO … may now be on Amazon Prime. Anyway, what’s the connection with MAGA hats?

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          27. Funny! Wish everyone would react to the hat like these people did! (Except the motorcycle guy.)

            You know, of course, he has a new one out for his 2020 campaign. Ugh! Gag!

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          28. Feelings are not proper tools of cognition. What you feel is irrelevant when it comes to making sound decisions about what is morally right or wrong.

            And legal does not equate to moral. Slavery was once legal, as was child marriage and stoning to death people accused of witchcraft.

            The underlying principle is that no individual possesses the moral right to initiate force against another another individual — which includes telling others what they may place upon their heads or wear upon their bodies. Nor is there any means or mechanism by which a group of individuals can acquire the moral right to do something they themselves do not have the moral right to do as individuals.

            As pointed put in an earlier comment, no other province in Canada has implemented such a policy and no one in those provinces is complaining. The province of Quebec has a long history of suppressing anglophone rights and is doing this solely as an end run to keep out the adherents of non-Christian faiths.

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          29. Sure, they’re complaining – from coast to coast to coast – but the woke not only don’t hear them, they wave away legitimate concerns and examples of harm by labeling them as ‘hate’ speech committed only by bigots and racists and therefore not worth any further concern.

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          30. I’m still waiting for the medical evidence of physical harm experienced by casting your eyes upon a turban or kippah or cross or hijab.

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          31. I used the term ‘triggered’ to elicit the same meaning widely accepted by the woke, the idea that psychological harm and emotion trauma should be considered and not – as you would prefer – only physical harm. That such triggering is the case for thousands of people – people who have SAID and TESTIFIED as much on many public occasions – seems to be the cost the supporters of religious gang colours expect everyone else to pay or be called a bigot if they dare to criticize this mandatory toleration.

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          32. What can I say, Tildeb? Offense is taken, not given. I don’t acknowledge your labels anymore than I acknowledge the labels thrown at me by the political lefft.

            My stated position is crystal clear: you do not have a moral right to initiate force against others or command them to do your bidding; and no matter how much you wish to sugarcoat it, compelling others to do things against their will is immoral.

            I’m arguing for the rights of the most vulnerable minority in society: the individual.

            That I need to explain this principle to someone who identifies as a “classical liberal” . . . is beyond comprehension.

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          33. Why do you continue to refuse to recognize the constraint in question, namely that when WORKING as a public official with public authority, it is reasonable to try to achieve neutrality. Why is this neutrality defined by you as discriminatory? Why do you presume every person has the RIGHT to import the personal into the authoritative position in the public domain and so to constrain it in any way is therefore incompatible with a Charter right?

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          34. Why? Because aside from being both immoral and unconstitutional, the constraint in question is entirely unnecessary. Permitting employees to silently display their religious affiliations doesn’t constitute a state endorsement of religion any more than permitting employees to silently display their tastes in music, sports and film constitutes a state endorsement of those activities. Now, if those employees were to begin openly proselytizing their beliefs while on duty or affixing religious symbols to public property — then you would have a solid case; but otherwise, not.

            As Mr. Jefferson noted in his reply to the Danbury Baptists: “the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions”.

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          35. “Because aside from being both immoral and unconstitutional…”

            When you assume these to be true about Bill 21 before looking at the issue addressed by Bill 21, you are presuming the conclusion. This is a thinking mistake, Ron. You keep on committing it. It is neither immoral nor unconstitutional for all kinds of good reasons that you reject entirely by fiat.

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          36. If it’s not unconstitutional why does paragraph 30 of the bill invoke the notwithstanding clause to override sections two and seven to 15 of the federal charter?

            The only one ruling by fiat here is the National Assembly of Quebec.

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          37. As I said earlier, because it stops the knee-jerk reaction by the religious and woke supporters who, like you, assume it must be discrimination rather than reasonable neutrality and then have the courts go along with this sentiment out a misguided sense of privilege masquerading as fairness… as the kangaroo Human Rights Tribunals have been ruling without reasonable checks or balances for the past 20 years. The reason to invoke the notwithstanding clause is to give Quebec time to demonstrate this fact of harmless neutrality.

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          38. Yes. I heard you perfectly the first time. You’re ok with suppressing charter rights for political ends so long as it doesn’t affect you.

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          39. Again, these are your assumptions of bigotry and discrimination at work. Again, you are factually wrong to grant your assumptions a priori acceptance as if true. They are not true.

            I am okay with supporting public neutrality by those who are supposed to represent the public when exercising public authority. I am not okay with privileging the religious in the public domain.

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          40. Pick one, Tildeb: you either have the freedom to express your opinions, or you don’t. And privileging of opinion disappears when everyone can express their opinion without restriction.

            “Freedom is indivisible – there is no ‘s’ on the end of it. You can erode freedom, diminish it, but you cannot divide it and choose to keep ‘some freedoms’ while giving up others.” ~Ronald Reagan

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          41. Now you are insisting on a false dichotomy: either/or. No one is stopping anyone from anything. What this law does is constrain the wearing of religious symbols while working as an Official with public authority. Once that work is done, people are free to wear whatever they want. That’s why it’s a constraint in a very specific circumstance and does not infringe on anyone’s rights any more than, say, constraining alcohol consumption to zero for public transit drivers when working.

            I think it is a sign of something wrong when reasonable constraint in specific circumstances is framed to be an unreasonable blanket attack against all individual rights. Because this is so patently disingenuous a framing of the specific constraint under review, it raises the question of what is REALLY going on to substitute such obvious poor and distorting rationalizations as if reasons. That might be worth thinking about.

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          42. “No one is stopping anyone from anything. What this law does is constrain the wearing of religious symbols”

            You’ve refuted yourself in two sentences.

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          43. This is just getting silly, Ron. Now you’re quote mining me by dropping the part of the sentence that refutes what you just said. I said, “What this law does is constrain the wearing of religious symbols while working as an Official with public authority.

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          44. Being constrained from some private pursuit or behaviour at work is nit bigotry, discrimination, or some fatal blow to one’s equality rights. Very often, it’s actually quite normal.

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          45. Freedom to express or not to express — that is the question. Jewelry, clothing and personal grooming choices are all just forms of personal expression.

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          46. …all of which are constrained for reasons of employment all the time but don’t have people crying to the courts nor call employers bigots and attacking freedom. For that, you need religious gang members to step up and call neutrality discriminatory.

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          47. In the first case, the employer insisted employees had to BUY the company’s clothing and in the second the dress code applied only to females. Neither of these cases ‘bolsters’ your case that is clear only in your own mind, that neutrality is discriminatory.

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          48. Yes, And? Your argument was that there were no non-religious-based dress code lawsuits. Furthermore, you’ve argued that employees who don’t like the dress code policy set out by their provincial employer have the options of finding other employment. So why make a distinction if that employer is a private entity?

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          49. Ron, your argument is that neutrality is discriminatory because it is, that anything that constrains personal expression of religious belief in the form of symbols including working as a neutral representative with authority of the public is a violation of one’s Charter rights, that there is no reasonable constraint possible in the case of religious expression. It doesn’t matter how any or many of your proposals are deconstructed and shown to be misguided, ignorant, or even factually wrong. It doesn’t matter how any or many of your arguments in support of your assumptions are shown to not apply, to be unreasonable, to be composed only by assumption. It simply doesn’t matter, does it?

            You have chronically and intentionally misrepresented the issue at hand and have yet to successfully address why neutrality is discriminatory other than claiming it is, that anyone who questions that assumption is by your definition motivated to do so because of bigotry and discrimination regardless of the many, many examples used where the same reasonable constraint is applied for those working in the public domain without a mass movement to the courts on the basis of discrimination. So you go out and find two examples taken to court that weren’t about the public domain, that were neither reasonable nor aimed at a neutral policy under discussion, but exactly the opposite.

            And you continue to assume your case stands on its own merit regardless of anything anyone introduces to seriously challenge that presumption. Because of that intransigence on your part to engage in the actual issue and prove that neutrality is discriminatory in this case of religious symbols worn by Officers of the public exercising public authority, I am going to leave you to your entrenched position which, by the way, fits these definitions: demonstrating intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself and the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, religion, or sex.You want religious symbols to be exempt from the government public policy of religious neutrality presented by public employees who are Officers of the public and who exercise public authority. You think to install neutrality must be discriminatory and you’re going to stick with that regardless. So consider our conversation done.

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          50. However, as has so often been pointed out, religion is afforded undeserved privilege and gets a free pass in so many instances, and it damn well should NOT.

            Liked by 1 person

          51. You’re right. Permitting religious beliefs to dictate public policy is indeed an undeserved privilege. But permitting someone to express their beliefs — religious or otherwise — is not.

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          52. It is if said individuals contravene work place dress code regulations, and that is the bottom line, and for the foreseeable future remains the only logical/commonsense way of establishing any form of neutrality in the workplace.

            In other words .. ”suck it up.”

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          53. Suit yourself (pun intended), but remember this: “it’s the law”, “It’s our policy” and “suck it up” are not factually grounded arguments for compelling others to act against their own interests.

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          54. Shouldn’t a public official exercising public authority do so not out of self interest as you insist must be respected but out of public interest?

            Liked by 1 person

          55. Can’t both public and private interests be satisfied simultaneously? All other things being equal, how does someone’s choice of clothing or headdress or personal grooming alter the quality of service provided?

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          56. If personal religious expression in the workplace is deemed to create an unstable environment then such expression should be prohibited.
            Or, perhaps you’d like Anjem Choudary dictating policy?

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          57. Now you’re conflating personal clothing choices with political activism. But let’s take your argument at face value: if seeing (pick your choice – gays, atheists, women, Man U fans, blacks, liberals, conservative, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Asians, Hispanics, trans-gendered people, etc) in the workplace is deemed to create an unstable environment then such people should be prohibited.

            Do you get the point? These arguments are based on feelings and prejudices rather than a sound moral code.

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          58. It’s not the people being constrained here, Ron: it the religious symbols. You conflate the two. But symbols are not people and people are not symbols. Constraining the use of symbols in specific circumstances is not constraining people’s rights… unless you presume any constraint is an unreasonable attack against everyone’s rights. Is this true? Do you advocate there should be no constraints on, say, drinking alcohol for drivers and pilots and surgeons and teachers, that to support certain reasonable restraints must be based only on emotions and discrimination and prejudice? Seriously?

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          59. Ark’s point was that constraints are acceptable if they disrupt the workplace.

            Religious symbols and garments do not harm anyone unless they are removed and wielded as weapons.

            So the actual argument is really: people opposed to seeing religious symbols will cause disruption in the workplace.

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          60. Nope. My personal clothing has no religious denotation, (The fact I am an atheist is immaterial)neither does it suggests that I support Liverpool, am a Jimi Hendrix fan, or even went to some US university. ( I actually have one such sweat shirt.)

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          61. There is a bit of a difference in a chap wearing a bowler hat and a Sikh wearing a turban.
            And religion so often gets a ”free pass.” – consider tax laws etc.

            Is this fair or right?

            Should an airline be allowed to impose a dress code and ban, for example , me from wearing all my Liverpool football fan regalia ? After all, my devotion to my club is practically religious.

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          62. Alright, then tell me : What is the difference other than that it boils down to personal likes and dislikes?

            To put this in context: in the interests of neutrality, should we ban all sports regalia to avoid offending the sensibilities of those who dislike Man U?

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          63. Is wearing a Burka considered a personal like?
            I don’t think so.
            Therefore, if a company can set a dress code – an airline for example – then a government-run organisation should be allowed to set similar dress codes.
            Few people bat an eyelid over school uniforms.
            Furthermore, religious symbols, whether artifacts or dress are a subtle means of conveying that ”you” the non-wearer or wearer of different religious symbols or dress are wrong.

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          64. I don’t know how many women in western societies wear a burka of their own volition, but U.S. Congresswoman Illhan Omar has stated she wears a hijab by choice. So shouldn’t that decision be left up to the individual. Her body, her choice — right? Or does that only apply to issues everyone agrees with?

            Contracts between private entities are entirely voluntary. If either party is unhappy with the terms and conditions it can walk away or negotiate for better terms.

            Now, in theory, the state is beholden to the people, and not the other way around. But in reality , contracts between you and the state are seldom voluntary or negotiable. Sure, you can ‘walk away’ by moving to another political jurisdiction; but that only substitutes which monopoly power you’re forced to deal with. So its incumbent to set strict limits on the powers of the state, rather than the individual.

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          65. When I say feeling I’m not talking about a mild sensation. I mean a female citizen has the right to access birth control without being confronted by a member of a religion which says she’ll go to hell for doing so. A gay tax paying citizen like me has the right to access public services without being confronted by people from a religion that condones the killing of people like me. That’s not a *feeling*, it’s the opposition to an idea or belief promoted by the groups people wearing religious symbols embrace.

            Unfortunately the way you’re jumping around topics simply doesn’t pan out. You began by attempting to apply American law to Canada, now you’re arguing Canadian customs in other provinces are the standard. The fact of the matter is if you want to use the American standard at all you have to first demonstrate it’s better than the standard in countries which have enforced secular laws and neutrality for civil servants. I’d argue citizens are better served in France than in America where there are cases like Kim Davis, and other public servants who refused to marry gay people thus refusing to do the job the’re paid to do.

            Liked by 2 people

          66. You paint with a broad brush. Not every religious person is anti-abortion or opposed to SSM, and not every non-religious person supports abortion or SSM.

            There’s no such thing as a right not to be offended, because once you open that door you’ll never run out of things that people find offensive. For eample, the Fleur de Lis is symbolic of Catholicism and slavery, so one could easily argue that the province of Quebec be required to remove all flags from all public buildings in order to comply with its policy of maintaining religious neutrality. And I’m hoping that someone in Quebec will eventually take that challenge all the way to the Supreme Court.

            Nonetheless, your example highlights the key differences between the American and European conceptions of how a society should operate. The former subscribes to the notion of negative rights (the right to be left alone), while the latter subscribes to the notion of positive rights (the right to command that others fulfill an obligation). The first holds that individuals may not be denied the right to express their opinions no matter how abhorent those opinions may be. The latter enacts “hate speech” laws to stifle opinions deemed too objectionable for public discourse.

            As to your accusations that I’m jumping around, my response is this: I drew upon various sources of information to explain my position and explicitly acknowledged that U.S. law does not apply to Quebec. However, Quebec is beholden to honour the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and has chosen to circumvent that obligation by invoking a clause that grants it a five-year exemption from complying.

            The ultimate test of whether or not a law is moral is whether you would still support it if were applied in reverse. If the majority of the population deemed rainbow flags offensive hate speech would you still be supportive of that measure or would you you object?

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          67. Your comment demonstrates there are gaping holes in your knowledge, particularly regarding history, background and context of legal rights – so substantial that it would take an enormous amount of time for me to explain it all to you. So I’ll just clarify that the US is the country that most restricts expression in the entire developed world. This fact is dissimulated by not enacting hate speech laws but instead there are food libel laws that say you can’t criticise certain foods on television or radio. Words are regulated in various mediums. Women can be arrested for taking their tops off *in their own property*. The Supreme Court has ruled that ” the state has the constitutional authority to ban public nudity, even as part of expressive conduct such as dancing, because it furthers a substantial government interest in protecting the morality and order of society”; Janet Jackson’s nipple got millions in fines for appearing momentarily in public. Tobacco companies and chemical companies (like Dupont) successfully used laws to limit the “free speech” of critics for most of the 20th century. So the myth of an idyll of free expression is just that, a myth.

            Regarding rainbow flags, what we’re talking about is a dress code for neutrality set forth by an employer, so if someone wanted to go to work wearing nothing but a rainbow thong or in full dominatrix attire, I’d stick with the point that that doesn’t conform to the dress code the employer is *entitled* to require. And again, on their own time, they can wear said thong and even a rainbow ball gag to go along with it. But the minute you sign up for a job, you sign up to the conditions of that job.

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          68. You can spin it any way you like but the fact remains the government of Quebec is squashing its resident’s federal charter rights to freedom of expression.

            And I don’t share your obsession to dress code conformity. When I visit a public institution the only thing I care about is the competence of the person providing the service. I don’t care if they worship God, Allah, Satan, Xenu or the lint in their pockets.. And I honestly couldn’t care less if they provide the service dressed in a three piece suit, cutoffs and a t-shirt or buck naked with the choker around their neck.

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          69. Wait, wasn’t your argument based on US law? Now it’s Canadian? Or are you going to fall back on, and I paraphrase: “the law doesn’t really matter because slavery was legal”?
            As I explained before, as did Tildeb, rights are a balance. One citizen doesn’t have absolute rights if that means the next citizen suffers the consequence. Not to mention rights aren’t some sort of free for all which mean you can do anything you want at any time. They exist as principles of action. The principle behind freedom of religion is the protection of religious minorities, as in non-discrimination. That means people of all faiths (or lack thereof) will be treated equally before the law. Not that someone can claim female genital mutilation is part of their religion and is therefor a protected practice.
            And just so we’re clear, impartiality for civil servants including a neutral dress code isn’t “my” obsession. It’s a basic standard set forth by nearly *every* developed country in the world. That includes Austria, Denmark, France, Belgium, Italy, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and Sweden, just to name a few. So we’re not talking about some extreme requirement in authoritarian countries, but a simple and basic standard to facilitate the smooth running of government services.

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          70. My reason for citing the U.S. constitution was provided in at least three previous comments. If you’re still unclear, please scroll back and re-read them.

            The crux of my argument is premised on two axioms:

            – no individual has the moral right to initiate force against another individual, and
            – no group of individuals can obtain or delegate moral rights they do not possess as individuals.

            In other words, no individual or group possesses the moral right to initiate acts of genocide, murder, torture, theft, rape, slavery, forced servitude, FGM, male circumcission, battery, fraud, involuntary confinement, etc. against another individual, or to compel others to do things against their will.

            So with that mind, let’s review the facts under consideration:

            – Canadian provinces are obligated to follow the Canadian Constitution

            – the province of Quebec has outlawed certain objects and types of clothing to promote a state policy: Quebec’s values (which includes state neutrality on religion).

            – this policy compels individuals to dress (or refrain from dressing) in a certain way

            – this policy is not universally applied (i.e. it has exceptions)

            – this policy also violates Canadian Charter rights, primarily the freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief, opinion and expression

            Hence my reason for stating that the policy is both immoral and unconstitutional.

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          71. Ron, there’s no force and no compelling. If people feel they cannot carry out their public duties unless they adorn themselves with religious regalia, then don’t do the job. No harm, no foul.

            There is simply a restraint on Officers, when working in the capacity of a Officer able to exercise this public authority, from importing religious symbols while acting as such Officers in order to establish government mandated neutrality.

            Yet look at the outcry if one attempts to constrain private religious beliefs from being imported and displayed in the public domain by those exercising public authority! What’s singularly lacking in this outcry are good reasons for establishing in law this privilege where, it seems obvious to me, these symbols have no business or role being displayed. It doesn’t matter whether or not some people are comfortable being confronted by Officials displaying their religious allegiance; the point is to respect the right of all citizens to be served by Officials with authority free of these symbols. The other consideration is to have those who wish to privilege religious symbols explain why all symbols – like political party affiliations, racial supremacy affiliations, economic preferences and affiliations, ethnic preferences and affiliations, language preferences and affiliations, and so on – must be welcomed by all to satisfy the wishes of some when exercising public authority and how this mandatory in-your-face acceptance is somehow necessary or equality legal rights are extinguished throughout the land.

            Liked by 2 people

          72. Tildeb,

            Our conversation cannot progress until you address the specific points I presented. Your argument thus far has been “yes, but …”

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          73. I’ve re-read them and you’re not making linear arguments. You jumble different concepts.
            Reviewing your two axioms:
            “No individual has the moral right to initiate force against another individual”
            To consider a dress code for employees an “initiation of force” is a fairly ridiculous stretch. If that theory had been taken seriously *anywhere* at *any time in history*, dress codes, uniforms and the like would have been deemed illegal. Legal principles function on universality. If the principle is that determining a certain attire for a certain function is an abuse (in the case of your suggestion of initiation of force), then that has to apply across the board. And unlike what you suggested previously a civil servant employee wouldn’t have some sort of extra rights as compared to a private employee. Employers are legally entitled to set standards. That’s established law.
            “No group of individuals can obtain or delegate moral rights they do not possess as individuals.”
            For this you give examples of criminal activity, and then cleverly insert “to compel others to do things against their will.” Sorry, but there you’ve entered absolute non-sensicality. The state has and does have every right to set standards of many, many kinds. Behaviour, public order, regulations, guidelines and so forth. The state controls how much and how little a person can wear on a regular basis. In fact the US House banned the use of hats on the house floor in 1837. “Every member shall remain uncovered during the sessions of the House.”
            In 2017 there was a landmark case on the topic in the European Court of Justice (C-157/15 Achbita): “Judges said that the dismissal of a Muslim employee who insisted on wearing a headscarf – despite an internal company rule prohibiting any sign of political, philosophical or religious beliefs – did not constitute a breach of EU law”
            EU judges said that the internal rule, which banned signs from all religions or political affiliations, did “not introduce a difference of treatment that is directly based on religion or belief”
            The court ruled the neutrality standard didn’t target a specific minority unfairly – as to constitute ethnic or religious discrimination. Rather it was “objectively justified by a legitimate aim, such as the pursuit by the employer, in its relations with its customers, of a policy of political, philosophical and religious neutrality, provided that the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary.”
            Needless to say that people who apply for civil service jobs can still worship the gods of their choice. Frequent the religious institutions of their choice, follow the religious diets of their choice, educate their children in their religion, and when they’re not being paid to perform a specific service they can wear whatever they choose, religious or otherwise. That is from any angle the philosophical and legal spirit of freedom of religion.

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          74. There’s nothing jumbled about it. My reference to the first amendment and Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury baptists set out to explain what was meant by the term “separation of church and state” — namely, setting state limitations on actions that affect public policy, not public opinion. To illustrate my point: there is a distinct difference between expressing an opinion that everyone should (or should not) wear religious symbols and drafting legislation that mandates everyone must (or must not) wear religious symbols. The former does not curtail anyone’s freedoms while the latter does.

            Which brings me back to my original observation: you are arguing for what’s legal, while I am arguing for what is moral, primarily because that which is legal may no necessarily be moral — and vice versa.

            You maintain that enforcing a dress code does not involve the initiation of force. But when played out to it’s logical conclusion all legislation carries the threat of physical force. Walk around naked in public and you will be arrested. Refuse to abide by the dress code policy in the National Assembly of Quebec and you will be physically removed the building.

            And consider the frivolousness of the entire debate: people arguing over the legality of other people’s personal clothing and jewelry choices and demanding restrictions based on little more than personal slights and imaginary harms.

            Clothing serves only one useful function: to protect you against the elements and environmental hazards. All the rest is a matter of opinion.

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          75. I’m sure it’s not your intention but your arguments are mathematically unsound from an Aristotelian logic perspective.
            Systems of governance in the Western World are framed by general principles set forth in constitutions and rights charters. Those principles serve as guidelines and are interpreted in civil codes and statutes aka laws. What’s in the codes and statutes is then tried and tested in the legal system where regulations are adapted and applied to real life situations and often modified to confront particular local circumstances. Three layers that span the theoretical, to codification of the theoretical, to the practical application.
            When you cite a principle and suggest it should be applied in literal form as an absolute, you mangle (or jumble) the structure and also the discussion.
            Now if you want to make a purely moral argument, your first step has to be to demonstrate why an absolute form of freedom of expression and religion (as you interpret it) – which frankly doesn’t exist in any country, should be applied in Quebec?

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          76. You are correct. Western nations have established constitutions.

            And Part 1, Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that everyone (in Canada) has the following fundamental freedoms:

            (a) freedom of conscience and religion;
            (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
            (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
            (d) freedom of association.

            https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html#h-39

            More importantly, Quebec legislators freely acknowlege this bill will have to ovvrride those rights:

            http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/5783042/19-021a.pdf (see p. 10, Para..30)

            These are indisputable facts.

            So the onus isn’t on me to explain why the supreme law of the land should apply, but for the province of Quebec to explain why it should not.

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          77. Strange. Yesterday you wrote “consider our conversation done” and I let you have the final word. Yet here you are less than 24 hours later resuming the conversation you claim to have abandoned. Are you having a Joe Biden moment?

            Liked by 1 person

          78. Actually, Ark, there was. And it’s been going on for decades. The push back against this Bill has changed tactics by trying to pretend it’s a White-v-Brown skin thing but it’s been an ongoing problem the secular Quebecois have been winning for about 60 years now with religion is full retreat… until the perception of targeting Muslims was widely touted. Today’s religious apologists are using that as their stick to try to push back and, sure enough, otherwise reasonable and intelligent people stop thinking and nod in unison for privilege to be protected by equality laws. And they’re getting away with it.

            Liked by 1 person

          79. And they’re getting away with it because to stand up to this privilege is to be immediately called a bigot and racist because the ideology is that only bigotry and discrimination could be the reason. Add to this the vast self-censoring otherwise reasonable and intelligent people implement and you have the right conditions for someone like Ron to believe neutrality is discriminatory, that privilege is fair, that public offices should be used to promote and protect the display of partisan religious symbols in the name of equal freedom. This is the inversion of language I have often pointed out is the hallmark of PoMo ideology, what is termed Criticial Social Justice… because it ain’t critical or justice but has to go through socializing everyone to believe otherwise or, if not, just shut the fuck up.

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          80. Ye and no. Each new wave of immigrants to North America faces discrimination upon arrival. Before the Muslims it was Jews, Catholics, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Irish, eastern Europeans, Asians, Pakistanis and Indians, etc.

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          81. Maybe, but the dress code thing only became an issue around the time Islamic terrorist attacks began to make headlines.
            After all, when the IRA were bombing London and other parts of the British mainland no one gave a monkey’s uncle about Catholics in local schools, now did they?

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          82. The underlying issue is that Quebec’s French-speaking population wants to disenfranchise its minority populations in order to preserve its colonial heritage. They did it to anglophones and now they are doing it to non-Christians. This is just a convenient way to say non-whites not welcome.

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          83. Horseshit.

            I know lots of anglophiles in Quebec who do not feel or think for a moment they have been ‘disenfranchized’. Yes, they’re pissed about signage where French must be in larger font than English, and some are peeved that services grant precedence to French. Big deal. It’s Quebec and by Constitution has powers that are different than other Provinces. They have their own legal code, for crying out loud. But it in no way do the language laws in Quebec constrain anyone’s freedom of expression in the same way taking off religious symbols when acting as an Official of the public when acting by public authority does not stop anyone from donning whatever religious symbols they want outside of the job. Their Charter freedoms – including expression – are not denied as you keep on saying but merely constrained in a very specific PUBLIC context.

            Ron, you constantly present this issue as if it pertains to everyone everywhere all the time and that the Big Bad Government is denying Charter rights with a motivation you think is bigoted. You’re factually wrong at every turn in your opinion and you seem unable to break out of your little bubble world of Belief where denying religious privilege with neutrality is the WORST form of discrimination. It’s just total horseshit. This repeated uncorrected misrepresentation by you is so gross and so intentional that it amounts to lying… over and over and over again. You are wrong.

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          84. Your comment highlights the fundamental differences in our worldviews. You tacitly support statism and collectivism, but I march to a different beat: individualism and liberty.

            Keep pounding the table, Tilbeb. I’ll keep pounding the facts.

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          85. Sorry you feel that way, Tildb. But rest assured that I fully support your right to express your opinions, and won’t petition big-daddy government to suppress them.

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          86. At the heart of your comprehension problem is an inability to see beyond the literal.
            Take freedom of assembly, does that override the property rights of others? No. Does it mean people can leave work to assemble and still be remunerated? Not without some sort of agreement with their employer.
            Or perhaps an easier example for you to understand is with freedom of speech. Does it have limitations? Yes! How many? Many! Libel and defamation are crimes. Fraud, as in using your freedom of speech to say you have a cure for cancer when that isn’t true is also a crime. Yelling fire in a crowded theatre as Tildeb mentioned: crime.
            Get the difference between the principle, the codification and the practical application?
            Laws regularly modify general principles in some way. That’s the nature of the system. The point is modifying them while sticking to the spirit of the principle. You’d have to believe that religion begins and ends with the symbols alone to believe this law violates the principle.

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          87. My position reflects the opinions expressed by the Supreme Court justices of Canada. Here are the main guidelines they provided in deciding an appeal for a hate crime conviction:

            In a free society such as as our own, where the privilege of speech can induce ideas that may change the very order itself, there is a bias weighted heavily in favour of the maximum of rhetoric whatever the cost and consequences. But that bias stops this side of injury to the community itself and to individual members or identifiable groups innocently caught in verbal cross-fire that goes beyond legitimate debate. (p. 725)

            . . . and the Criminal Code violations that limit freedom of expression:

            – defamatory libel (s. 297)
            – advocating genocide (s. 318)
            – inciting hatred that would lead to a breach of peace (s. 319)

            Further down they reiterate that:

            Freedom of expression was entrenched in our Constitution and is guaranteed in the Quebec Charter so as to ensure that everyoned can manifest their thoughts, opinions, beliefs, indeed all expressions of the heart and mind, however unpopular, distasteful or contrary to the mainstream. (p.729)

            https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/695/1/document.do

            So unless you can demonstrate that wearing religious apparel or jewelry violates the criminal code of Canada, the Quebec prohibition against their display remains unconstitutional

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          88. Sorry, but no. Your position isn’t supported by the evidence you mention. BTW, your quotes are from a 1966 report cited by the court, not findings by the court. There’s a difference.
            That case was about antisemitic statements. Here we’re talking about something more complex, the balancing of an employer’s right to set a dress code or neutrality statute vs. an individual’s right to express their religion during employment hours.
            Have you heard of something term called Dichotomous Thinking? Every argument you’ve made thus far is in that form. This manner of interpreting information is sometimes linked to the Autism spectrum (especially Asperger’s) but it’s commonly seen in people who grow up in highly religious environments. Evangelical Christians rely heavily on Black & White thinking patterns to reinforce group cohesion and maintain ideological control. The problem with this is in cases like these we’re talking about a scale where a whole range of rights and responsibilities are balanced. Not an either or, but a when and how.

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          89. What we’re talking about is freedom of expression, and the Supreme Court justices’s opinion on what acceptable limits: defamation and threats of harm.

            To recap: you have presented neither legal nor moral justifications for restricting what a person may wear.

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          90. So you missed the parallel case on religious symbols (a headcovering) judged by a panel of international jurists which I cited? Like for like. LOL!
            Instead you think we should consider a case with completely different circumstances as more relevant?
            If you don’t understand the differences between the cases, you should probably give the topic a miss altogether.

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          91. Except Quebec isn’t located in Europe. As such, it’s not subject to European law. And I made it clear that we were discussing Canadian law on several occasions lest you now attempt to pretend otherwise.

            So my point stands: you have presented neither legal nor moral justifications for restricting what a person may wear.

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          92. I am not au fait with the reasons cited in European cases. (aside from the Burka/face covering things in relation to some areas of terrorism) Do you know what they are?

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          93. I presumed you would know as you are disputing what he and Tildeb are writing.
            The short version will do, I am about to watch a movie.

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          94. They’re both throwing shit at the wall and hoping something will stick. It doesn’t matter what the European court decides because Canada and the United States are guided by their own constitutions.

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          95. Have you heard of the concept of International Law? Did you not know Supreme Courts consider international prcedent?
            Or are you only interested in US constitutional precedent? Don’t embarrass yourself now.

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          96. LOL. You mean like when you implied the US Bill of Rights should apply to Canada or when you cited a 1966 study as if the words were from the CSC? Sure, Ron. Continue regaling us with your brilliant intellect 😂

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          97. Except I never made such an assertion. Add lack of reading comprehension to your list of embarrassments, as well.

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  2. Oh, come onnnnnnnn~! If we all moved back home when our security is shaken or foundations rocked it would get a bit crowded there. No, Sir!
    Reality has to be faced and angels gripped.
    So get alongside your God and His Profits, be at piece with world and all will be well. (I know, He told me so in his Good Book “Hurrah For Little Noddy”) (but it’s a bit allegorical and may be too much for the avridge punter).

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      1. Here’s my comment to Barry that Nan keeps in moderation on her site. My question: is what I say here worthy of being moderated do you think?

        Yes, yes, yes. Being called a bully is nothing new to me after addressing religious folk who make the standard reference to atheists being immoral by religious definition and who then claim hurt feelings when directly challenged by such a mean old atheist. The tone, tildeb, the tone! Only in a world where religious privilege and unnecessary incursion into the public domain is seen as ‘tolerant’ and any push to neutrality is assumed to be a form of bigotry can those who are challenged claim victimhood and then have others go along with it. It’s a standard response reflective of atheists who are called ‘butters’ (I, too am an atheist, tildeb, but…).

        Barry, there is no qualitative difference assuming those in NZ who might resent kowtowing to religious sentimentality in the public domain (where it has no business being) are by your definition bigots and the 70% of Quebecers who have clearly stated the demand for religious neutrality by those state officers who hold authority. Yes, you may regret using the term ‘only bigots’, but you should regret assuming bigotry must be the case in the same way people may regret writing the term ‘immoral’ when referencing non believers but should not assume this must be the case, either. And if you do so, you should reasonably expect a rather uncomfortable tone by those you have unnecessarily demeaned who dare to challenge you on this intolerant assumption you make.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. tildeb, you were put in moderation because you continued to attack Barry. It may not seem like that to you, but that’s how it came across to me … and it’s my blog. 🙂

          You often offer some very good perspectives … things that make one think … but you occasionally do it in a rather abrasive manner and tend to make it personal rather than just offering observations.

          Like

          1. Attack? Where’s the attack in this comment? This comment explains why Barry’s opinion is like the believer who assumes non belief IS immoral by definition (and so to challenge that definition becomes its justification, that the challenge is immoral. So, of course, it’s personal.

            To all intents and purposes, Barry called anyone who questioned the public expression of private religious beliefs, when working as an Officer of the state, a bigot. Of course, he qualified that by saying this is the case in New Zealand (of course it’s not), and further qualified it as saying this is more of common perception than his own (who appointed him nation spokesperson when I know Kiwis here in Canada who are disgusted with this tendency by government to raise identity politics into every national institution?) when he didn’t even recognize why even that presumption is already the very bigotry he condemns in these others. Because he doesn’t like the term being used by evidence against him, of course he regrets using it in his comment. But the intention is still there, isn’t it?

            If people are not challenged on their bigotry, on their hypocrisy when speaking as if a representative of some ‘victimized’ group, then how on earth can such bigotry be challenged? How can anyone criticize anything to do with identity politics under these restrictions without be moderated? Where’s the moderation against Barry’s smearing comment?

            Do you see the privilege you grant and by which you operate?

            To criticize the opinions of others (as I often do) is chronically misrepresented by those being criticized (relying on the assumption by the hosts that they have stellar character and nothing but good intentions when smearing others grants them the privilege to do so without cost. Of course, such a smear job is not viewed as an unnecessary and provocative ‘attack’ against some innocent; it’s perfectly fine. The crime is in the response using the same tactic! My comments to Barry were fully in RESPONSE to an unnecessary and provocative attack against “anyone” who dared disagree over the mandatory public acceptance of private religious beliefs as a NECESSARY part of their identity when working in the public domain as a officer of the public. What you call an ‘attack’ by me is actually a legitimate and reasonable response to the unchallenged personal bigotry and hypocrisy that Barry committed without even a hint of reproach by anyone other then me.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I stand by my decision.

            Notice how you defend yourself using Barry’s name? This is part of the problem. Why not just defend your perspective without mentioning names? It can be done because many others do it.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. This is Ark’s blog so I’m not going to use up his space to say anymore on this.

            While I have deleted your last comment to Barry, I’ve also removed moderation because, as I said, you often offer some very thought-provoking comments that stimulate discussion. All I ask is you try to avoid making it “personal.” Thanks!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I liked BOTH tiledb’s AND Nan’s final comments, because in his passion tiledb makes some good points. But Nan is also very well within her rights as far as policing tone and personal attacks.

    So there!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, well within her rights, I agree. I’m simply questioning the reasoning she gives for withholding THIS comment from being published in that perhaps someone else can point out what I’m missing, that the offensive comment is offensive in this sentence or that paragraph. I’m not seeing it.

      Like

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