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jdavidb (1361)

jdavidb
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http://voiceofjohn.blogspot.com/

J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.

Journal of jdavidb (1361)

Friday December 12, 2003
03:39 PM

Lost in space

[ #16312 ]

France is going to order religious people to do something they believe is wrong in the name of separation of church and state. I don't see how this isn't comparable to telling people they can't go to church. How in the world is ordering people to violate one of their religious tenets "separation of church and state"?

the law against head scarves and other religious symbols in schools, including Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses

These are not comparable. The Christian religion does not mandate the wearing of crosses, and if I understand correctly, the Jewish religion does not mandate the wearing of skullcaps. However, some versions of the Muslim religion do mandate the wearing of headcoverings for women.

President Jacques Chirac, who has previously made clear his opposition to head scarves in schools

I thought France elected this guy because the other guy was a bigot. Is the selection really that bad over there?

``If you make me choose between breaking the law and breaking the Quran, I'll break the law,'' he said, referring to the Muslim holy book. ``Today, they forbid us from wearing veils. Tomorrow, they'll forbid us from being Muslims.''

More power to him. As the Bible says, we ought to obey God rather than men. As long as my God doesn't command me to violate anyone else's rights, noone should have a problem with me doing whatever I think God said, whether they agree or not.

Not all Muslims oppose banning head scarves.

This will no doubt be used to justify forcing even those who disagree to violate their faith, and it completely ignores freedom of religion. The Muslims themselves did this to the Jewish Karaites in the middle ages, insisting that they follow the sect of Orthodox Judaism which mandated obedience to the Oral Tradition of the Rabbis (which eventually became the Talmud and is considered "Oral Torah" comparable to the "Written Torah" of the Bible) when the Karaites believed the Oral Tradition was a violation of their religion.

Is there some reason people can't stay out of each other's lives?

I note with interest that privatizing the school system would solve all this problem. I've been refreshed to repeatedly make this observation over and over again since I agreed with Sarah that we would homeschool our children.

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  • Let me give the opinion of a French atheist. That law is pure insanity, and that's not the first insanity that is done by this government. Instead of attacking religious fundamentalism and intolerance by teaching history of religions in schools (*), they attack little symbols. How much easier, isn't it. Consequence : some Muslims and some Jews will feel persecuted, there will be more private schools, (I'm totally against privatization of education BTW), and more Zacharias Moussaouis will grow in the shadow
    • Thanks. You at least help restore my faith in the French people, if not their government. :)

      I'd question the government's role in attacking religious beliefs, though. Again, as long as no rights are violated, people should be allowed to believe whatever they want (and as long as they are willing to fact the consequences of their beliefs). For example, a Muslim may be allowed to hate Christians so long as he does not engage in violence toward them. (And so long as he is willing to accept the fact that

      --
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • We can't obviously mind-control everyone, forcing them not to hate their fellows :) But the main purpose of a democracy is to provide a safe place for citizens, where they can enjoy their freedom without being paralyzed by the fear of seeing their synagogue burnt (taking an example from real life.) Thus I don't think at all that a government should attack any religious belief -- religion is not the government's business. But it should make efforts to prevent, as much as possible, the spreading of fundamenta
          • But the main purpose of a democracy is to provide a safe place for citizens, where they can enjoy their freedom without being paralyzed by the fear of seeing their synagogue burnt (taking an example from real life.)

          I disagree that "main purpose of a democracy" is to protect minorities. In fact, bigotry and hatred of minority groups can flourish in a democracy. As someone said "A Democracy is three wolves and
          two sheep voting on what to have for dinner."

          Am I against democracy? No. As Winston Churchill

          • I disagree that "main purpose of a democracy" is to protect minorities.

            Right. That is the job of a Republic. :-)
        • I don't mind, in principle, the idea of forbidding head coverings, or any other thing a public school wants. The problem is that you have a system that is set up for all the people of a nation (the public school system). That is a problem in a diverse, multiethnic, multireligious, society, as it will always create conflicts like this.

          Who is to say which religious freedoms are necessary to allow for, and which are not? Why should the government be making any such decisions? But if they don't, then who w
          • If a nation lets its communities go down the path of seperation, balkanization and isolement, it's a sign it's about to explode. Coming from a family of immigrants, having lived among immigrants, I can testify that public school is the single most important entity to help a nation to form a coherent entity, and to absorb the new blood from immigration.
            • If a nation lets its communities go down the path of seperation, balkanization and isolement, it's a sign it's about to explode.

              The French perspective seems to be one of safeguarding the culture. Many Americans share this view as well.

              I view liberty in this matter as paramount, however. Society is an aggregate of many individuals and their choices. Some may view one language as more desirable than another and may wish to force this choice on others. Allowing people to choose their language, howeve

              --
              J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
          • Who is to say which religious freedoms are necessary to allow for, and which are not?

            There's a simple answer to that. Your rights end at my nose. You can do anything you want so long as it doesn't directly affect me. So you can engage in any religious activity you want as long as you're not doing anything to me, or I consent to whatever you do to me. You can wear headcoverings, but you can't force me to. You can sacrifice your animals, but you cannot sacrifice mine, or a human being. (If someone f

            --
            J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
            • There's a simple answer to that. Your rights end at my nose.

              It's not that simple. The obvious examples are classes teaching about sex and abortion and evolution. Should we refuse to teach about them so no one's rights are abrogated? If they are taught, does that constitution such an abrogation at all?

              And what about my right, as a Christian and citizen with free speech, to say that anyone who does not accept Jesus Christ is going to hell? Does that harm someone's nose, or does preventing me from sayin
              • Should we refuse to teach about them so no one's rights are abrogated? If they are taught, does that constitution such an abrogation at all?

                The question wouldn't arise if we didn't confiscate wealth to provide a free education. :D But you knew that.

                And what about my right, as a Christian and citizen with free speech, to say that anyone who does not accept Jesus Christ is going to hell? Does that harm someone's nose, or does preventing me from saying it harm my nose?

                That one's simple. Saying that

                --
                J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
                • That one's simple

                  No, it isn't. You might have your own idea about it, but many people -- including courts and legislators -- will disagree with you. There's no clear direction in our laws on the matter.