Excesses of religious accommodation

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture
Excesses of religious accommodation

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I thought I'd spin this off from "I don't like niqab but I love religious freedom..." because I think that while religious freedom (including protection from discrimination on the basis of religion, and accommodation of religious belief) is certainly important, "religious freedom" also seems to have become -- and some would like it to become -- the basis for other, different forms of discrimination.  It's not quite as bad here in Canada as it is in our neighbour to the south, but I think it warrants our attention.

6079_Smith_W

Well I'll weigh in, if I may.

I don't envy our American cousins their insane and dangerous religious culture, but I do like how things shake down there sometimes.

http://kfor.com/2015/07/02/satanic-temple-looking-for-new-home-for-bapho...

http://time.com/3972713/detroit-satanic-statue-baphomet/

For some reason we never get quite so crazy up here, so we never get stuff like this:

By the way, It is the Ten Commandments sculpture I consider the excess. I think Bamophet is great.

(though we did get the "horny devil" scuplture on the former site of the columbus monument in East Van... for a few hours).

 

 

6079_Smith_W

On an issue closer to home:

Our province deciding to build nine new schools which are catholic/public joined at the hip is a desparate attempt to shore up a system which has outlived its purpose:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/province-announces-plan-to-bu...

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I agree.  I was just mentioning this to my wife the other day.  I find it fascinating that the U.S. -- despite formal recognition of a "separation of church and state" -- will still go ahead and put a "Ten Commandments" plaque in a public building, and at the same time they're so literal-minded and absolute about rights that they'll also approve a Flying Spaghetti Monster monument outside of a courthouse.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Our province deciding to build nine new schools which are catholic/public joined at the hip is a desparate attempt to shore up a system which has outlived its purpose:

The whole Catholic school system merits a huge asterisk, because it's not the result of some over-broad interpretation of freedom, but rather a very specific, very explicit agreement signed a long time ago.  And I totally get that any politician or party who wants to reverse that agreement is signing their own death certificate, even in 2015.  I'm not really sure what the solution is, unless it's some kind of Charter challenge or similar.  And generally I believe that "a deal is a deal" and I rarely suggest otherwise, but if the deal also granted Catholics (and only Catholics) the right to discipline their child with a rod, or to retain indentured servants or to drive while hopped up on communion wine, I think we'd have to collectively -- and in the face of some protest, surely -- simply declare that deal the product of a less enlightened time, and therefore up for review.

In the case you mentioned, I'd definitely rather that the local school board NOT buddy up with the Catholic system on this.  Find the money to build whatever secular public schools are needed, and let the Catholics find the money for theirs.  The government is only on the hook to ALLOW separate schools, not to make them more financially viable or accessible.

6079_Smith_W

It is even thornier than that, because in our city some of the best Native culture and language programs are under the Catholic system.

Should it be that way? No. But it is. So I am not going to argue in favour of just axing the whole thing. But I don't support Brad Wall's attempt to expand a system which is something completely different now than it was when it was first established.

In short, I agree.

Though we also had a hospital in this province ripped out of the hands of the Catholic church not too long ago when the board got caught snooping through patient records to see who had had tubal ligations. So it can happen that fast when someone steps over a line, and when push comes to shove the government is in charge.

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
But I don't support Brad Wall's attempt to expand a system which is something completely different now than it was when it was first established.

Well, me neither, but then at least part of my thesis in this thread is sure to be that "religious freedom" is also different now than it was when it was first established.  Not TOTALLY different -- people are still persecuted, or discriminated against, on the grounds of their religion -- but different in the sense that I think religious freedom is often less about protecting the unpriveleged and the weak, and more about a clever, legal way for the now priveleged to attack the weak.

Pride bus buddy is a good example of that.  His freedom to believe in whatever God he wishes to, and to pray as he wishes to, wasn't in question.  For him, "religious freedom" was just a blunt weapon to hit homosexuals with.  I know that his ploy failed completely, but I'm also mindful that his employer terminated him for breach of their social media policy (and because he was a probationary employee, so they could terminate him easily).  If he'd had 10 years with Calgary Transit, and a good employment and safety record, what would they have done?  How will they handle it the next time?

6079_Smith_W

Well it always has been, as you said earlier, a two-edged sword. And I think a lot of it comes down to who has the power.

If you want to look at separation of church and state in terms of how many clerics are in government, the NDP definitely comes out on top. Several of its founders were ministers, and have a string of leaders who were clerics. The head of the Green party is on the same path. But there is a big difference between that and churches being involved in state institutions like schools, hospitals, and the Native child concentration camps we had here for a centurly.

There is also a big difference between that control, and the persecution that happens against those who don't have that power.

Not trying to steer this away from your intent, which I think is good. Just pointing out that it is two very different things, which all come down to power and ethics.

I'd post Paul Martin's speech to the commons about marriage equality and the passage of C-38 (I may yet do so in the other thread) but it is not about excess; It is actually about a balance which gets it right, IMO.

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Pride bus buddy is a good example of that.  His freedom to believe in whatever God he wishes to, and to pray as he wishes to, wasn't in question.  For him, "religious freedom" was just a blunt weapon to hit homosexuals with.  I know that his ploy failed completely, but I'm also mindful that his employer terminated him for breach of their social media policy (and because he was a probationary employee, so they could terminate him easily).  If he'd had 10 years with Calgary Transit, and a good employment and safety record, what would they have done?  How will they handle it the next time?

They would have still disciplined him and no arbitrator or human rights tribunal would overturn it. Progessive discipline in labour law says a long term employee with a clean record would not be likely subject to termination although if he persisted in bringing negative press to his employer they would still fire his ass. Individual rights are meant to be shields not swords and that concept still comes into play in every hearing where freedoms are invoked. Driving a bus for the public means that an employer has the right to tell you that you have to drive all the public not just ones that you approve of. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
But there is a big difference between that and churches being involved in state institutions like schools, hospitals, and the Native child concentration camps we had here for a centurly.

I don't really disagree.  I'm much less interested in the personal beliefs of the representatives of the people than in whether they'll put their own personal beliefs aside when it comes to it.  That's why I declined to join the pile-on on KM Shanthikumar.  I disagree with his opinions, but as long as he's willing to keep them to himself, I'm OK with that.

Compare him to Monia Maziqh, who (if I recall correctly) was upfront about her unwillingness to vote in favour of equal marriage.  I'd love to be able to say that progressives rejected that crap, but if you go spelunk the history of it, seems like a lot of folk were just fine with that.  It's OK not to play for your own team so long as you don't go out and score on your own goal, I guess.

Oh, and since this is as appropriate a thread for it as any other, the NDP "Faith and Justice Caucus" kind of made me want to barf.  I do support people's right to their own minds and their own thoughts, but wanting a party to formalize and recognize those really did seem to me just too similar to the way religious zealots south of us can always find a crack small enough to shimmy through. 

Want to discuss your God as a private citizen, with other private citizens?  I'll support that.  Want your political Party to bless it and recognize it as special and basically make you an advisory committee?  I can't get behind that.  If it's not going to be about your religion influencing government then it doesn't need to happen in a government context.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Progessive discipline in labour law says a long term employee with a clean record would not be likely subject to termination although if he persisted in bringing negative press to his employer they would still fire his ass.

No argument here, other than to wonder why he would have to bring negative press to his employer in order to be terminated.  If he's a bus driver, couldn't they terminate him for refusing to drive the bus?

Quote:
Driving a bus for the public means that an employer has the right to tell you that you have to drive all the public not just ones that you approve of.

I don't think he was specifically refusing to drive homosexuals, so much as refusing to drive a bus that was skinned up in celebration of Pride.

And I guess I think that the nexus of the issue is in the idea that if you drive a bus that endorses "Pride" that that means that you somehow also have to endorse Pride -- that the state, or your employer is forcing you to "like it".  I don't think that's implied at all, any more than a Canada Post mailcarrier delivering your subscription copy of "Gay Times Magazine" is endorsing homosexuality. 

6079_Smith_W

I don't think there would be grounds if he refused to drive a bus they never asked him to. On the other hand... smearing them in the press for something they never did?

And personally I don't have a problem with  faith and justice caucus so long as they keep it to the issues of faith that are actually helping the community, and not trying to shove dogma down people's throat.  After al, we have organizations like Kairos and the MCC which are doing that sort of stuff right.l

And I don't have a problem with you not liking it.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I don't think there would be grounds if he refused to drive a bus they never asked him to. On the other hand... smearing them in the press for something they never did?

Yes, in this case that's correct.  He wasn't asked to drive the bus, so "pre-refusing" to drive it probably wouldn't be actionable.

But I was considering -- and also felt that kropotkin1951 was considering -- how this might have played out if the employee in question weren't so easy to terminate, even without a specific reason.

Suppose he had not been a probationary employee, and suppose he had been asked to drive that bus (with the understanding that he's not being asked to "love it" or kiss men, or dance atop a Pride float.  Should his employer have had the right to terminate him for that?  Or, at the very least, instigate whatever progressive discipline would normall follow when an employee simply refuses to do their job?

This would be an example of exactly the sort of thing I was thinking of when I spawned this thread:  individuals trying to claim that participating in any way with something they disagree with -- even when it's their JOB -- is some kind of oppression that they need "religious freedom" to save them from.

Here's another example:  remember when Canada Post employees felt that having to deliver a newsletter from James Sears somehow violated their freedom of religion?

My thinking:  it's your job as a mail carrier to deliver whatver Canada Post puts in your bag, and it's Canada Post's job to decide, in compliance with Canadian laws, what does or does not constitute deliverable mail.

Quote:

One temporary worker, who is Jewish, saw the flyer and refused to deliver it, saying it offended him on religious grounds, Whitfield said Wednesday.

At first, the worker was threatened with discipline, then after the union became involved, he was asked to deliver a portion of the flyers, she said.

“All we’re asking of Canada Post is to be mindful and to respect the carrier’s religious rights and those that found it offensive,” Whitfield added. “Canada Post should have known the trash they were putting out there.”

So... next to be undeliverable:  my 2016 "Bacon Lover's Calendar".

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Starbucks’s red cup controversy, explained

Quote:
In a world filled with many items, there is none more divisive right now than the 2015 Red Starbucks Cup™. On the surface, it might look like a simple crimson container sized to hold either 8, 12, 16, 20, or 30 fluid ounces of the life-giving dark nectar we know as coffee.

But it's much more than that.

In certain pockets of the US, it speaks to something larger than the vessel from which we drink our hot, caffeinated beverages. To some, the naked red cup, unadorned with symbols like holly or snowflakes, is an affront against the Christian faith, a cut against Christianity. For others, it's a chance to beat their chests and scream about Christian and conservative stupidity into the faceless void of the internet.

These are clearly the End Times.

Trump: 'If I become president, we're all going to be saying "Merry Christmas" again'

I can't help but notice that our own new leader, Justin Trudeau, has made no such promise.  When will Canadians be allowed to -- or perhaps forced to -- say 'Merry Christmas' again, legally and without persecution???  Like all good folk, I'm weary of the endless load of "Have a Good One" cards and "Happy Wintertime" greetings I'll be receiving in December.  Is our world so backward, so messed up, so detached from reality that we can't all formally and officially acknowledge that Jesus of Nazareth was born on December 25, 0AD, to cleanse mankind of our sins?  I mean, we can't even state facts anymore???

Unionist

Jesus wasn't born on December 25. And there's no such thing as 0 A.D. Both of those are falsehoods, not facts. Let me know if you need sources.

BTW, 42 days till Xmas! Happy shopping!!

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Hold onto your hat Magoo... it is most likely that the little bastard* came into the world in late September.

*used in its most technical sense Surprised

quizzical

where's the proof he actually came into this world at all?

what was the transitional year called if not 0? ;)

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Jesus wasn't born on December 25.

Riiiight.  And Queen Elizabeth wasn't born on May 24.

I know my Bible.

Quote:
And there's no such thing as 0 A.D.

0AD was the year before 1AD.

I know my math.

Quote:
it is most likely that the little bastard* came into the world in late September.

If so, it's not that God and Mary weren't married or anything.  He was clearly just 3 months premature.  Born with a full head of hair, and a beard, sure... but premature.

Quote:
where's the proof he actually came into this world at all?

Well, not on any Starbucks cups, that's for sure!

 

 

 

Unionist

quizzical wrote:

what was the transitional year called if not 0? ;)

The system goes straight from 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. Don't blame me, I didn't make up some system based on some carpenter's kid by another father.

[url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/0_%28year%29]Explanation.[/url]

Quote:
Year zero does not exist in the Anno Domini (or Common Era) system usually used to number years in the Gregorian calendar and in its predecessor, the Julian calendar. In this system, the year 1 BC is followed by AD 1.

ETA: Geez (so to speak), Magoo, do your research!

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
ETA: Geez (so to speak), Magoo, do your research!

Unionist, founder of the controversial "Jews for Geez" movement.

Unionist

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
ETA: Geez (so to speak), Magoo, do your research!

Unionist, founder of the controversial "Jews for Geez" movement.

Christ, I'm outed!!!

Also, this (and many other such sources):

[url=http://www.livescience.com/42976-when-was-jesus-born.html]When Was Jesus Born?[/url]

Bottom line: they don't know what date or what year.

 

quizzical

know the co-opting pagan stuff. i just don't think of him actually existing.

imv if you can prove almost everyone else in the New Testament storytellers club existed but NOT Jesus, did he really exist?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Are you saying this was Photoshopped?

[IMG]http://i63.tinypic.com/2q1e3ww.jpg[/IMG]

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Only if that were a kitten in his arms.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Kittens have changed a lot in the last 2015 (or 2014) years.

Unionist

The lamb symbol, both in the original story (Passover) and the metaphorical version in Jesus, is pretty sad.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Don't feel sad for the lambs.  They grow up to be sheeple.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Unionist wrote:

quizzical wrote:

what was the transitional year called if not 0? ;)

The system goes straight from 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. Don't blame me, I didn't make up some system based on some carpenter's kid by another father.

[url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/0_%28year%29]Explanation.[/url]

Quote:
Year zero does not exist in the Anno Domini (or Common Era) system usually used to number years in the Gregorian calendar and in its predecessor, the Julian calendar. In this system, the year 1 BC is followed by AD 1.

ETA: Geez (so to speak), Magoo, do your research!

But you forget the Chesterfield Act and the missing 11 days from 1751. With all that confusion its hard to say what day Santa Claus was born on. It seems that the only thing that is really set in stone in this mythology is the date of the Easter bunnies arrival.

Quote:

In England and Wales, the legal year 1751 was a short year of 282 days, running from 25 March to 31 December. 1752 began on 1 January. To align the calendar in use in England to that on the continent, the Gregorian calendar was adopted: and the calendar was advanced by 11 days: Wednesday 2 September 1752 was followed by Thursday 14 September 1752.[2] The year 1752 was thus a short year (355 days) as well.

As well as adopting the Gregorian rule for leap years, Pope Gregory's rules for the date of Easter were also adopted. However, with religious strife still on their minds, the British could not bring themselves to adopt the Catholic system explicitly: the Annexe to the Act established a computation for the date of Easter that achieved the same result as Gregory's rules, without actually referring to him.[3] The algorithm, set out in the Book of Common Prayer as required by the Act, includes calculation of the Golden Number and the Sunday Letter, which (in the Easter section of the Book) were presumed to be already known. The Annexe to the Act includes the definition: "Easter-day (on which the rest depend) is always the first Sunday after the Full Moon, which happens upon, or next after the Twenty-first Day of March. And if the Full Moon happens upon a Sunday, Easter-day is the Sunday after." The Annexe subsequently uses the terms "Paschal Full Moon" and "Ecclesiastical Full Moon", making it clear that they only approximate to the real Full Moon.[4]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendar_%28New_Style%29_Act_1750

 

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
And there's no such thing as 0 A.D.

0AD was the year before 1AD.

 

And I imagine you are convinced that a millennium starts with years ending with 3 zeros. Maybe I should alert the mods. Innocent Those nutty conspiracy theorists are everywhere I tell you...

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Don't feel sad for the lambs.  They grow up to be sheeple.

Not to mention being immensely popular in New Zealand (and, apparently, parts of Scotland and Wales).

lagatta

Oh, those little ones get gobbled up in Italy and Greece, and other Mediterranean lands. Yes, it harkens back to sacrifice ... especially when Geez (that blond surfer guy with the teensy shepherd's crook) is referred to as the Lamb of Gawd.

And the Seder where Geez tells the gang that their wine is His blood and the flatbread His body...

Slumberjack

Young lamb is just devine..

abnormal

bagkitty wrote:

Hold onto your hat Magoo... it is most likely that the little bastard* came into the world in late September.

*used in its most technical sense Surprised

Not necessarily - after all, the early Jewish Christians believed that Joseph was the father of Jesus (none of this virgin birth stuff).

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Group of doctors challenge policy requiring referral to services that clash with morals

Quote:
A group of five doctors and three professional organizations is challenging a policy issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario that requires doctors who have a moral objection to the treatment sought by a patient to refer them to another medical professional who can provide the service.

The group — which includes the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada, the Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians’ Societies and Canadian Physicians for Life — says the policy contravenes doctors’ right to freedom of religion and conscience under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It wants the court to immediately strike down the part of the policy that requires a referral “made in good faith, to a non-objecting, available and accessible physician, other health-care professional or agency.”

Well, no one can say that the government didn't try, in good faith, to compromise with god-bothering doctors, but evidently even letting a staff member refer a patient to another doctor could prevent them from getting into heaven or something.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

If their religion interferes with their ability to do the job, they should find another profession or specialize in something that won't put them in that awkward position. Orthopedics, geriatrics, dermatology, pulmonary, etc, etc. It's not like they don't have options.

6079_Smith_W

Don't they already do that in Ontario with justices of the peace? I know here in SK the Human Rights commission was having none of it, though the Wall government tried to weasel their way around ig.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

A large part of this playing out with doctors has to do with their unprecedented professional autonomy.

All the same, I'm waiting for the first paramedic to decide that treating a patient is in violation of their morals too.  I have no doubt that some of them would, if they thought they could.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Thought it was reasonable to cross-post this to this thread.

Quote:
A new Missouri bill would target abortion providers and sanction employment and housing discrimination against people who use birth control or have an abortion. Blessed be the fruit.

If you have a good feminist analysis of this to offer, post it there, not here.

If you think (or don't think) that God-botherers just got another free pass to control others (with uteruses) then post here.  Or both!  They're not exactly exclusive of one another.

quizzical

and they believe they're better than the followers of Islam.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I'd certainly agree that in a material sense (and a statistical one) people -- women people, anyway -- in much of the U.S. have more to fear from Xtians than from Muslims. 

And in terms of attitude toward reproduction rights, they're kind of the same, and by that I mean "exactly the same".  Thank God for God, right?

Some philosopher suggested that if God didn't exist, we'd have to invent Him, but fuck sakes, don't I have enough to worry about??  Now I have to help invent an omnipotent Superhero who lives in outer space and grants wishes to those who think them hard enough???