If you read the non-technical aspects of this blog at all, you know that I often rail against the miserable failure that is our President, and that I am very saddened by the slippery slope of civil rights violations down which we are sliding in this country.
I suppose I might take solace from ridiculous laws passed in other countries, in this case France. But I don’t take solace in that fact. From the article: “Chirac said a full ban would contradict France’s tradition of freedom of expression, while taking no action would fail to protect children, especially girls, from being forced to adhere to religious rules that curtail their liberty.” If a government purports freedom for its citizens, then it has to be real, fresh, organically grown, free-range freedom or it doesn’t count. Religous freedom is one of the most fundamental freedoms any culture can allow, and banning religious apparel from children in public schools is not that far from creating a state sanctioned religion. Children spend a large percentage of their time in school, and the rules, regulations, and social norms of the classroom do at least as much as family time at home to inculcate values, beliefs, and expectations. While the goal of “protecting children” is certainly nobel, is it really protection when children are taught by their teachers and school administration that their religion is unacceptable? Is it really protection if the school is actively attempting to derail a family’s core beliefs?
It doesn’t help the case any that “small, visible” symbols may still be warn, such as a cross or other medallion.