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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 01:29 PM
Original message
French Find New Ban on Religious Symbols Cuts Both Ways
http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGB720IZO2E.html

PARIS (AP) - They arrived as they do every December: gaily wrapped gifts destined for children at a kindergarten in rural northern France.


But this year, teachers unwrapped a few, took a look and sent all 1,300 packages back to City Hall. The presents were innocent, but strictly speaking, illegal: seasonal chocolates shaped like Christian crosses and St. Nicholas.

As Christmas approaches, France is awakening to the realization that a new law banning conspicuous religious symbols at schools - a measure used mainly to keep Muslim girls from wearing traditional Islamic head scarves to class - can cut both ways.

"It's an unhealthy political affair. Absolutely regrettable," said Andre Delattre, mayor of the northern town of Coudekerque-Branche, which has shipped the traditional chocolates to local schools for 11 years.

"What's the point? It's the children who are being penalized for this difference of opinion," he said. "They've been deprived of a festive moment."

The law, which took effect in September, bans overt symbols such as Islamic head scarves, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses at public schools.

more

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Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. I understand what
they were trying to do, but anyone could have predicted this direction wouldn't work.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
14. Then help me understand....
what are they trying to do?
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #14
32. France is a secular society by law.
Their government takes seriously the separtion of church and state. So they have banned religious symbols like Muslim head scarfs and large crucifixes from public schools and other secular institutions.

Time Magazine had a good article on this, doing a pro-ban/anti-ban comparison. Here's that article if you're interested: http://www.time.com/time/europe/magazine/article/0,1300 ...

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PsychoDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 05:40 AM
Response to Reply #14
64. Sez it all here.
"a measure used mainly to keep Muslim girls from wearing traditional Islamic head scarves"

But sounds like the law is cutting both ways. The law meant to discriminate against little muslim girls is keeping all kids from sweets.

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AliciaKeyedUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 06:18 AM
Response to Reply #14
68. They are trying to discriminate against Muslims
It's pretty obvious.
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dolo amber Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #68
108. The way I understood it
Edited on Tue Dec-14-04 09:11 AM by dolo amber
it was meant to protect students from harrassment and/or violence. It just so happened that at the time the law was introduced the main targets of such crimes were the young Muslim girls, but it was meant to curtail those actvities by declaring ALL *conspicuious* religious symbolism illegal.

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AliciaKeyedUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #108
165. If you follow the rest of the thread
Sure seems like more than that.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. Let them eat their candy crosses at home
Sheeeeezz. Candy crosses?? Never saw one in my life.. This is just the "other side" trying to subtly get around the rules..


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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
15. Well....can't the original law just be wrong?
Are you for no public (i.e. non-governmental officials) expressing their religious beliefs in an innocuous way like clothing?
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. That''s EXACTLY what I am for.
There is no "innocuous" way to wear "religious" clothing these days..

I was raised Catholic, and other that my first communion dress, we wore NO "iconic" clothing EVER..

The "MY Jesus can kick YOUR_______'s ASS" mentality simply MUST stop.

If religion is an overriding importance in a family, then THOSE children should be sent to religious school, where overt displays of faith are encouraged and welcomed...

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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. So you want to get rid of the First Amendment....or at least
half of it?
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Nope.. I do not support the govt meddling in religion
Edited on Mon Dec-13-04 03:05 PM by SoCalDem
NOR do I support religion meddling in government.

PUBLIC schools that supply education to children of ALL faiths, and accept federal money supplied BY people of ALL faiths, should leave the religious training where it belongs.. In the home, in the church..

schools have a it hard enough finding time to teach kids to read, write and do math.. they should not waste one second having to mediate between deuling religions ...
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. But what about the government meddling in the "free exercise" ...
...of religion. Surely you aren't suggesting that the student is an agent of the government while they are attending a public school?
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Sorry.. no more verbal "leapfrog"
Edited on Mon Dec-13-04 03:20 PM by SoCalDem
:hi: I've said all I have to say on it :hi:
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. And geez, I thought it was a conversation.....where two people learn.
Oh well...sadly too common these days regardless of one's ideology.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #17
31. I really don't care if its innocous or not.....
For a government to tell its citizens what they can and can't wear in public regarding religion only(I don't believe there's any state law regarding jeans or berets) is a bunch of bullshit.

It has nothing to do with separation of church and state, its about the limitation of free expression in terms of one's religion. Now this is France so obviously our 1st amendment doesn't apply. But that doesn't dismay me any less that any government would take such an action.

Is it the end of the world? Of course not. But it certainly isn't what I would consider a blow for freedom.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. Agreed, Rinsd
I only used "innocuous" to point out the extreme his position was leading to.
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tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #31
55. There is in FL. No bandanas. Not religious, secular, but a clothing
rule. Europe takes its secularism seriously.

And fundamentalist, no matter what flavor, cannot help but push against the envelop.
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Turley Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 06:02 AM
Response to Reply #55
67. I wouldn't be so sure about that
Spain, Italy, Portugal, the Catholic areas of Germany, Switzerland, Austria....all those places don't come anywhere near what France has done.

My kids get religious instruction in school. They just recently took part in the annual St Martin's Day celebration, they all have Christmass trees in school, get a visit from St Nicholas with a bag full of chocolate Santas. In short, they do all the regular traditional Christmas stuff (and Easter too).

Compared to the rest of Europe, France's stance is extreme.

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tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 06:30 AM
Response to Reply #67
70. But France has more problems than the areas you mention.
Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Catholic areas of Germany, Switzerland, Austria are predominately, what I call, "nominally" Catholic. They attend Mass once a week and don't stand on street corners preaching the "Rapture."

But then, in Europe, they don't handcuff and haul 10 year olds to the police station for having scissors in their backpack, or try to prosecute honor students for taping a science lecture.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 07:29 AM
Response to Reply #70
72. But isn't it sad that what you imply is that religious diversity....
necessarily breeds religious oppression.
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Turley Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #70
74. You made a blanket statement
"Europe takes it's secularism seriously"

I merely point out that that's not necessarily the case.
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genieroze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #67
93. Your kids go to a private school? That's the point kind of.
I actually have no problem with anyone wearing anything, just as long as it's not vulgar, like see through shirts etc... I think if Muslim girls want to wear scarves and Jewish boys skullcaps, and Christians wear crosses, fine with me. Just as long as the state doesn't say you MUST wear those things. Just as long as it's inclusive and not exclusive. How come Christians can wear small crosses? Catch my drift? They are definitely discriminating against Muslims and Jews. Separation of church and state doesn't mean separation FROM church and state. It just means that the state shouldn't dictate religion. By allowing Christians to wear even small crosses and not allowing others to dress according to their beliefs, France is endorsing Christianity. I think the point is if you keep on chopping off toes to save the foot eventually you won't have a leg to stand on.
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Turley Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #93
95. No Typical German public school. nt
.
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genieroze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #67
100. I bet your kids school doesn't ban Muslim girls from wearing scarves. eom
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Turley Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #100
104. No it doesn't
Religious instruction is once a week for Catholic, Protestant, and Islam. It's not required but most kids go. Hessen has taken a relatively moderate stance on headscarves. Teachers and Students are allowed to wear them.
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genieroze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #104
107. Excellent. Sounds inclusive not exclusive.
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PsychoDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 05:42 AM
Response to Reply #31
65. Agreed.
And well stated.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
34. "the body of chirst" - "the body of christ" - "the body of christ"
Edited on Mon Dec-13-04 04:10 PM by TankLV
I couldn't resisit - it's too damn easy!

All we had were those wafers and bread cubes!
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Squatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 07:48 AM
Response to Reply #2
79. Ummm...this is FRANCE, everybody
They do not necessarily ascribe to same moral code that the US does. They do not have a tradition of separation of church and state, as far as I'm aware.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #79
82. But most posters on this thread are expressing their wishes for the
U.S.A. So, the debate is relevant.
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Squatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #82
84. If you say so...
We should probably worry about fixing our own problems before calling for the heads of the French government.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #84
86. Ummm....again.....
pay attention....this debate is about how this issue plays in our own country. Thanks for playing.
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Squatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #86
96. Ummmmm....right....
post #12, followed immediately by post #16?

"A dig at the French..."

And then you post

"So you would amend the First Amendment?"

WTF :shrug:
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #96
98. I was responding to his statement that ...
"Religion is a cancer". Note that he did not say "French religion is a cancer". I think my followup was quite reasonable.

I am VERY impressed that you have so much time on your hands to research all of my posts. Its nice to know someone cares.
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Radical Activist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
3. That's what they get for
Edited on Mon Dec-13-04 01:47 PM by Radical Activist
being prejudiced idiots when they passed that law. I guess they have no equivalent to a first amendment. At least not one that is being taken seriously.
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Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 04:15 PM
Original message
quite the contrary
They have it and take it very serious. The prejudiced idiots were the ones busy writing BS about the law.

--snip

Article 1er
La France est une Rpublique indivisible, laque, dmocratique et sociale. Elle assure l'galit devant la loi de tous les citoyens sans distinction d'origine, de race ou de religion. Elle respecte toutes les croyances.

--snap
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. Eating a cross? or St Nicholas?
Maybe it is just as well that this practice be discouraged. If I was a practicing Christian I might think it a little odd.
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CornField Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
5. Uhmm.."Islamic head scarves, Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses"
Why was the word "large" used? I'm sorry, but if a Jewish person is not allowed to wear a skullcap and an Islamic person is not allowed to wear a head scarf, why on earth should a Christian person be allowed to wear a "small" cross?
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Visibility
The law doesn't ban the possession of religious symbols, just the display of them. Small crosses are usually worn on necklaces and can be tucked under the collar where it isn't visible. The exception was placed there to ensure that nobody was prosecuted if one slipped out.

A large cross is visible even under a shirt, so they were banned.
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manic expression Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #9
40. So, in essence
Edited on Mon Dec-13-04 04:28 PM by manic expression
the law is actually discriminatory, as it automatically allows for Christians to wear religious items while Muslims and Jews have to "deal with it". That's just wrong. This law is disgusting.

ON EDIT: I wasn't directing that at you at all, just the issue at hand.
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passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
6. This here is just too stupid to comment on!
Like do muslims eat chocolate pigs?
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
7. It's the whole point of being a secular country.
You don't allow just some forms of religious symbols and not others, not if you're really truly secular.

The problem is that Christian symbolism is so embedded, so prevalent, that most of us don't even notice it.
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passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. The US is not a secular country is it?
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Flagg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. You got that right.
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Laughing Mirror Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. In God We Trust
Trouble is, whose God?
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. In Elvis We Trust. n/t
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #8
35. "...one nation, under God..."
Edited on Mon Dec-13-04 04:10 PM by intheflow
We swear our presidents in on Bibles. There's a big creche waiting for a baby jesus on the lawn of the Colorado State House (bizarrely surrounded by snowmen). Our National Parks offer only Chrstian services to visitors vacationing during the summer. The Grand Canyon has bible quotes on placques in the park, but no quotes from other religions.

The US is far from secular.

Welcome to DU, passy.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
36. Well, yes Virginia, it is.
AMazing how ignorant some are on that subject.
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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
56. technically yes, we just don't always enforce the rules.
we are a Secular Constitutional Democratic Republic. just keep repeating that until you remember it -- it's a very important thing to know.

we can have any law on the book, it doesn't mean anything until it is enforced. often america didn't bother to enforce the secular aspect of our governance protecting both church and state. a shame really, because it raises generations of people ignorant of our rules and ideals. and our manner of secular separation is probably the most tolerant of those written on the law books. before we lost our nation to madness we were a very free society, or at least tried to move in that direction.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
26. This is directed at private citizens.....
I can see defense of separation of chruch and state in a secular country. Not allowing public/government buildings to be adorned with religious symbols but this deals with the person themselves.

This is saying a person is not allowed to display their individaul beliefs in a public place. That I just don't agree with.
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Ms_Mary Donating Member (714 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #26
97. Agreed. This cross I have around my neck right now
is a personal symbol of what I believe. We use our bodies and our clothing and our possesions to speak to the world. When I wear my "Think, It's patriotic" shirt, that sends a message. If I wear a pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness, that sends a message. If I wear a peace symbol, that sends a message.

This is my body, my face and how I choose to present myself to the world. It does not offend me for people to wear symbols of their faith. I like the expression of diversity. I would like to see wider acceptance of all kinds of beliefs and expressions. I don't want to see people unable to voice themselves at all. To me, that's wrong.
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cattleman22 Donating Member (356 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #7
136. Are you saying that a secular country strips religion away from people?
It is one thing to say that government agents can not be overtly religious when performing a government function. But it is entirely different for a government or a government agent to strip away a private person's religious expressions.

It seems to me based onyour post that you think in a truly secular country, that no religious expression by anyone would be allowed.
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makhno Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
12. Ah, a dig at the French and a boost to religious zealotry
Good to see AP got its marching orders correct this holiday season.

Keep up the good fight, France. Religion is a cancer.
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passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Or Opium according to the father of communism.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #13
25. Marxism not that bastard child communism. (nt)
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. So you would amend the First Amendment? n/t
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Squatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #16
81. The French do not have a First Amendment...
:freak:
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 07:54 AM
Response to Reply #81
83. And, as I said in post #82....
...most posters on this thread (including the one I responded to) are expressing their wishes for the U.S.A. So, the question is relevant.


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Squatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #83
85. And like I said, if you say so, Bub.
Edited on Tue Dec-14-04 07:55 AM by Squatch
:shrug:
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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #12
28. If the government is to be truly separated from the "church"
And we are to maintain our freedoms, wouldn't the government have to allow ANY religious expression? While government agencies and agents would not be allowed to express their beliefs while on duty, wouldn't a private citizen be able to wear a cross, head-scarf or whatever without the government being able to tell them to take it off? Wouldn't the government staying out of all "religious" issues mean that the they can't ban anything for religious reasons?
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. You expressed yourself better that I could on this.
Thanks.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #28
39. Excellent post (nt)
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makhno Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #28
48. From a libertarian point of view, perhaps
But then, should the government also stay out of anti-social behaviors such as drunk driving or pedophilia? This is somewhat hyperbolic, perhaps, but the point remains that there is a vast difference between holding a belief and attempting to proselytize others with the goal of diverting them onto a path of irrationality and mysticism.

The organized practice of religion, channeled as it is through corrupt institutions that abuse their unjustly gained moral and financial privileges, should be banned. Religion - and mysticism in general - is a distraction from the logical thought that forms the foundation of modern society. As such, banning public religious expression could be seen in a similar light to regulating other activities that undermine social progress.
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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #48
51. Since we are specifically talking about religion here
Edited on Mon Dec-13-04 06:38 PM by hughee99
I don't see this as an argument that government should stay out of any "anti-social" behavior. I guess more to the point, I don't see religion, in and of itself, as "anti-social". Drunk Driving and pedophilia are both examples where one person is violating another's rights (pedophilia), or at least putting others at risk (drunk driving). I find it difficult to draw the analogy that someone wearing a cross or headscarf is doing any damage to society like the behaviors you've compared them to.

Do you consider the mere display of a religous item "proselytizing"? Is a person who stands up on their soapbox, to try to convince those who are willing to listen, that their religion is the way to go, violating anyone else's rights? What would make them different from an environmentalist who stands up and suggests that people may need to change their lives? Do you feel it's the government's place to determine what is and isn't "irrational" and ban anything they determine to be "a distraction from the logical thought" because it "undermines social progress"? Does the goal of every public expression have to be directed toward social progress?

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AliciaKeyedUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 06:22 AM
Response to Reply #48
69. So religion is like pedophilia
I see you fit in with the French position quite well. Thankfully, you are in the micro-minority.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #48
73. The brush you wield is waaay too broad, IMO.
To state that any organized practice of religion is an anti-social behavior is just a wee bit more than I could agree with. :eyes:
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #48
121. Blind adherence is blind adherence....
"but the point remains that there is a vast difference between holding a belief and attempting to proselytize others with the goal of diverting them onto a path of irrationality and mysticism."

Well we can see how pleased you are with religion so this is likely to be fruitless but I will continue. How is simply wearing clothing an attempt to proselytize? If this simple act of religious observance is an attempt to proselytize how is there a "vast difference between belief & an attempt to proselytize"?

"The organized practice of religion, channeled as it is through corrupt institutions that abuse their unjustly gained moral and financial privileges, should be banned."

Funny, that's how I tend to feel about the government.

"As such, banning public religious expression could be seen in a similar light to regulating other activities that undermine social progress."

Why stop with religion? Why not ban all behavior we see as undermining social progress? After we've banned all the obstacles to progress, utopia should be footsteps away. This is criminalization of a person's beliefs. This is kind of the fork in the road where the Stalinist vision of communism made a very wrong turn.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #12
54. Hard to believe the Founders were influenced by the French
France wouldn't know a bill of rights if a giant copy of it fell from the sky.
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
19. and the problem with banning all religious symbols is? does
this mean that snakes are outlawed too?
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
23. If Jesus can appear on a grilled cheese, then why not French toast? n/t
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #23
43. err, isn't that freedom toast? n/t
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
30. Excellent! What's good for one is good for the next.
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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #30
38. Or what's bad for one is bad for the next...
I certainly applaud their efforts to enforce the law fairly. I wouldn't suggest that they ban one "religious practice" and not another (I'm not sure how truly religious eating a chocolate Santa Clause) because of the particular religion, but... It's not really the enforcement that I have an issue with so much as it is the law itself. Freedom is being given up in this case by all individuals, but I fail to see anything that is gained for the society as a whole. Can anyone help me with this?
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 04:15 PM
Response to Original message
37. France's constitution does not guarantee free speech
That's a mistake, imo. I think that free speech - even hate speech - has to be protected. It's a release valve.

Let people say or wear anything that they wish. Let others express what they think of the first group's opinion.

The alternative - suppressing free speech - forces the expressions underground. People become resentful. They get a movement going.

The Ku Klux Klan lost a lot of support when they were finally allowed to start marching around in public. Turned out that the vast majority of Americans hate their guts. When the Klan was forced to meet in secret, then their "cause" had a certain appeal.

I think that France has made a mistake.
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Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #37
41. pardon?
--snip
Dclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen

Article 11
La libre communication des penses et des opinions est un des droits les plus prcieux de l'homme : tout citoyen peut donc parler, crire, imprimer librement, sauf rpondre de l'abus de cette libert dans les cas dtermins par la loi.
--snap

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Flagg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #37
45. No hate speech is not allowed because France has a history
the US can't claim (yet).

60 years ago our country sent thousands of jews to death camps.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 03:47 PM
Response to Reply #45
162. Free speech, by my definition, includes hate speech
I understand why France outlaws hate speech, but I think it is a mistake. I bring it up because I think the U.S. may be headed down the same wrong path.

Outlawing hate speech just makes it more appealing.
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Mr. Sinister Donating Member (75 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 04:53 PM
Response to Original message
42. I guess bindis are out too
What if I want to practice my own religion that
requires I wear a yellow shirt? Because no one
knows I am expressing myself religiously I can
get away with it. Somehow that seems unfair and
a little discriminatory. What if I constantly announce
that all clothes I where celebrate the creatrix
would I be required to come to school naked?

strange.
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Niccolo_Macchiavelli Donating Member (641 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
44. what makes you so upset?
it's just in school. skull caps, crosses, pentagrams whatever can be worn elsewhere.

Its school and it's a sign that creation myths and other fairy tales are for home or church.

It's the about kids and learning. they are there to be teached logic and facts. Moliere, JJ Rousseau, Kant, Darwin etc.

You may carry guns by your constitution but you aren't allowed having them bording the planes. is it a limitation? yes. is it good? yes because it would be negative for security.

Keep Religion out of school a limit to liberty? yes. good? yes because frigging religion is a personal thingy and bugging others with it is harming the educational environment. and education is still (somewhat) important in fuzzy old Europe.

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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 05:42 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. Okay
"Its school and it's a sign that creation myths and other fairy tales are for home or church.

It's the about kids and learning. they are there to be teached logic and facts. Moliere, JJ Rousseau, Kant, Darwin etc."

This isn't about teaching religion or creationism or whatever. Explain how education is so adversely affected by students wearing traditional religious attire that it becomes a neccesity for the State to issue a law banning it? Does the mere presence of the symbol unfdo the teaching? Are they talisman's that ward off logic? What is it?

"You may carry guns by your constitution but you aren't allowed having them bording the planes. is it a limitation? yes. is it good? yes because it would be negative for security."

Now there's a leap. Religion is a de fact weapon and is dangerous?

"Keep Religion out of school a limit to liberty? yes. good? yes because frigging religion is a personal thingy and bugging others with it is harming the educational environment. and education is still (somewhat) important in fuzzy old Europe."

Yeah fuck that freedom of expression sentiment. Be good ORDERLY pupil and DO NOT INTERFERE with the education process by WEARING something as dangerous as a yalmulke or headress.
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. and never wear all black during the Inquisition. n/t
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Niccolo_Macchiavelli Donating Member (641 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #46
53. well
religion is to reason as a gun is to security.

I see you have a problem when you can't show off your religion 24/7 and rub it in everyones face. The rule is harsh. I know. I admit those symbols don't have to have an impact, but like a knife in the plane - why take the chance? at the end, strike the root, religion and reason don't mix. You don't go naked to school,in a scout uniform or with mommas dominatrix latex either. They've been banning to slutty outfit because it was severly distracting the boys. so when it harm learning it gets banned. Do you go to work with a shirt "my boss stinks"? i guess not... there are limits on expression everywhere but not allways.

religion or reason?
principle or measure?
symbol or tangible?
ring or finger?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

difficult questions all along...
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Ms_Mary Donating Member (714 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #53
101. Wrong.
I am religious and perfectly reasonable. My beliefs do not impair my use of logic, reason and scientific thought. For some people, with narrower beliefs, it does, but you can't apply that to every person with any faith.

Now, if I were to take this cross on my necklace and try to exorcise you, then you'd have a case. But if I'm minding my own business, I'm hurting no one. By your logic, one should not be able to express any thought or opinion on one's attire. I've never had a student complain in any of the classes I used to teach that they couldn't concentrate on formatting their Word document because my necklace was preventing them from learning.
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #53
118. If you ban religion, how could those clowns that lead the flocks of sheep
live without their tithe money? It's an injustice to
all sheep hearders!
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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #46
57. OOOH, that's an interesting philosophical topic!
"Now there's a leap. Religion is a de fact weapon and is dangerous?"

hmm, at first i'd say no, but then when i think of it in terms of institutional religion... then yes. because religious institutions are invasive, self-sustaining, and aggregating entities, just like all institutions. so all institutions must be defined and relegated to particular spheres, otherwise they'd permeate everywhere and attempt to control everything. hmm, yes, i think that's my opinion at the moment. religion, as an institution, is just as corruptible as any other self-sustaining abstract entity aggregating power that outlives a human lifespan. so if they are just as corruptible then they must be defined so as to prevent their imminent corruption.

for its own preservation from transforming into a weapon, the institution must be restricted and regulated. but, like other institutions, cannot be overly suppressed because then they'd just go underground where they are without restrictions and regulations. the median choice is to accept and validate it, but to give it form through judgment and its incumbent restrictions inherent in the act of definition.

i think that's my take on it so far. ooh, that was a fun exercise.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #57
156. Interesting take....
"hmm, at first i'd say no, but then when i think of it in terms of institutional religion... then yes. because religious institutions are invasive, self-sustaining, and aggregating entities, just like all institutions. so all institutions must be defined and relegated to particular spheres, otherwise they'd permeate everywhere and attempt to control everything. hmm, yes, i think that's my opinion at the moment. religion, as an institution, is just as corruptible as any other self-sustaining abstract entity aggregating power that outlives a human lifespan. so if they are just as corruptible then they must be defined so as to prevent their imminent corruption."

We could say the same of government ;-)
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NuttyFluffers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #156
159. in fact, you must say the same thing about gov't
for it too is an institution. which also explains why in regulated versions its sphere doesn't get involved in religious sphere decisions. where the two overlap, the secular takes over to defend the citizenry physically, and the religious to succor adherents spiritually. thus definition and separation is maintained and the two institutions can thrive by not bleeding into the other.

once they start mixing though, trouble occurs, they evolve into gravely dangerous weapons. history can be used as repeated evidence of the truth of this, therefore maintaining separation is the only sound course of action. hmm, yes, a very fun exercise. :)
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passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 01:46 AM
Response to Reply #46
58. French schools make French citizens
That is the purpose of the French educational system.
The law was passed to force Muslim girls and Jewish boys to integrate.
The problem I think is that people of an Islamic or Judaic faith are much more active within their religion. The Catholic French are not much Catholic anymore. If one were to compare attendance at churches compared with synagogues and mosques one would find that the levels of participation in one's faith is much much lower for Catholics.
The French have taken some aspects of their religion into their society over the centuries, when the Revolution came and the State was separated from the Church many Christian values had already founded the basis and the ideology behind it.
Many of the humanist philosophers were religious men, they saw in Christianity the gualit and fraternit (equality and brotherhood) of the French national motto. They added libert as a sign of the breakdown of the class society and the ridding of the monarchy and aristocracy.
My point is that the French are not tolerant when it comes to other religions like the English are for example. This kind of headscarf issue is a cheap trick to score political points.
The rightist government was simply hoping to regain voters from the far right, the additional spin they put on it, that headscarves were a sign of oppression for young Muslim women helped them get support from the left.
It is rather cynical as headscarves are not even a symbol of Islam, but more a cultural addition in some parts of the world. Not all Muslim women wear headscarves, many millions in Indonesia and Turkey don't.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 06:39 AM
Response to Reply #58
71. and U.S. schooling fabricates U. S. citizens
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passy Donating Member (780 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #71
135. Maybe growing individuals might be more constructive.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #44
75. The only problem you have if you try that in the USA, is that pesky...
...First Amendment.
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VegasWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #75
119. At least the 1st allows us freedom FROM religion too. n/t
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #119
125. Well, let's take a look at 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."

After reading it, I guess it would depend on what you mean by "freedom FROM religion". It definitely prohibits the Government from establishing a religion. I guess that could be construed as "freedom FROM religion" in a very narrow way. It surely doesn't give you the freedom from encountering religion in every day life. Do you want that?

Also, there's that pesky second religion part to the amendment: "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". That would tend to be a big problem to several posters on this thread wishing for similar laws (to the French ban) in the U.S.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-16-04 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #44
166. In some ways, the USA is still ahead.
Yes, there's plenty of racism & xenophobia here. But most of us really aren't worried about our whiteness being threatened by the swarthy hordes. And that's more the target here than religion.
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
49. I think it's about trying not to have a divisive atmosphere
If the society were 100% one particular religion (like a church presumably is) - it is not divisive for everyone to eat chocolate crosses or wear headscarves.

Societies like ours and the French are becoming more mixed. It seems like the questions going forward end up being - "are we going to be more or less divided?"& "Are we going to encourage the divisions or are we going to try to minimize them?" - esp. in a public school sort of setting.

I think generally - from my experience - that certain religious groups of people are going to remain strongly cohesive based on the strength of the bonds developed through their religious organization. So it seems to me the question is for the public schools is about how much people will be able to advertise/emphasize their divisions.

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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 02:07 AM
Response to Reply #49
59. Should it be the public schools goal
to encourage or minimize the devisions by enforcing a policy that not only removes any official establishment of a religion (which I am for) but also by takes away personal freedoms (which I am against)? Since presumably, many of these people will act differently in society then they act in school under these rules, would it not be better to introduce the children at an early age to the diversity, rather than forcing everyone to "assimilate" in school, and only experience diversity outside of the schools. If we are going to accept that these differences will continue to exist, are we doing a disservice to the children by not exposing them to it in a somewhat "controlled" environment?

"I remember seeing a filmstrip from the 30's where they tried this before but I had a hard time understanding it because the narration was in German" --George Carlin
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #49
76. So it seems to me, that you are against diversity....
...and that diversity should necessarily result in a loss of freedom. I don't want to go there.
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m0nkeyneck Donating Member (274 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
50. before passing judgment...
was it plain chocolate or did it have a peanut butter or caramel filling?
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BonjourUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-13-04 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
52. The law is not wrong just because such a joke happened in a...
.lost little village.

In september, at the beginning of the school year, only 73 young French girls came at school with a veil. Only 3 continued to refuse of unwearing it. After a discussion with teacher all doffed it.
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neweurope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 04:26 AM
Response to Reply #52
60. The law is right.
The chocolate-cross thing I find a little quaint but logical nontheless. Next year the candy will have different shapes and everything will be ok.

France is secular, period. That means no religious symbols in public places. A school is a public place. If you do not agree with this you have absolutely no argument when they'll hang the ten commandments in your courtrooms as has been proposed.

What is bothering some of you here? The "large cross" thing probably means crosses at the walls of public buildings. In Europe - well, most parts of Europe anyway, some oldfashioned Catholic areas see things a bit different - religion is supposed to be a private thing. These American guys who dance and sing on German streets wailing at everybody "Jesus loves you" we find pretty offensive - or ridiculous. It's fine being religious - I even believe that a bit more religiosity wouldn't harm us - but PLEASE go to church, pray at home and don't stuff you beliefs into everybody's face.

Why is the US getting more and more obsessed with religious questions? Threads on this subject always get very many answers. What's going on here?
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 05:13 AM
Response to Reply #60
61. The "Land of the Free" isn't.
> Why is the US getting more and more obsessed with religious questions?
> Threads on this subject always get very many answers. What's going on
> here?

I think a lot of it is down to repressed jealousy ... France is being
about as objective and consistent in its application of its laws as a
country can be whilst the country with all the oft-quoted "amendments
for freedom" is sinking into a rabidly right-wing Christian theocracy,
despite everything that the good people here can do ...

Personally, I admire France for sticking to the rules rather than just
making a "special case" for a couple of boxes of chocolates. From past
experience, a wedge would be driven into that "special case" that would
result in a gap large enough to drive a modern cathedral through.

Nihil
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #61
78. Yes, I have no problem with oppression of personal freedoms....
Edited on Tue Dec-14-04 07:45 AM by tx_dem41
as long as its objective and consistent. :eyes:
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Turley Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 05:18 AM
Response to Reply #60
63. Just who are you talking about?
I've never seen any Americans wailing "Jesus loves you" in the streets of Germany. Seen plenty of Germans doing it though. Every single day.
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neweurope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #63
80. I see them in the pedestrian zones of every large city.
And I have never seen Germans do it. And I've been living in this country a long time :)
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Turley Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #80
89. So have I
I've worked in Frankfurt for 13 years. Every single day I pass by the gaggle of proselytizers in the Hauptbahnhof and another one in the Hauptwache. They're all Germans. Usually they're playing a guitar, a tamborine, and honking on recorders. The less-musical just clap along.

Upstairs in the Zeil there is usually a group of Africans who engage in a bit of wailing. The only proselytizing Americans I've ever seen in Germany are Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. Of course they don't do any wailing, just a bit of needling.

Don't you find it quite strange that our experiences in Germany are the exact polar opposite? I can walk five minutes from where I am now and take some digital pics of about 20 Germans doing exactly what you say they don't do. Maybe you just need to open your eyes a little wider. I can't imagine anyone living in Germany who isn't acutely aware of these people.
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neweurope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #89
94. Haven't seen the Africans on the Zeil but everytime I'm there
there is an American group. It gets on my nerve a little; the last thing we need after having gobbled up so much of your culture already is your missionaries.
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Turley Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #94
99. That's amazing
Walk through there everyday and I've yet to see this American group. Perhaps you don't recognize the difference between black Americans and black Africans. And all of my German colleagues think it's funny you've never seen German "Predigers" singing their "Erweckungslieder" in any U-bahn station in Germany. They figure you're either blind or live in a Dorf somewhere. I think you only want to talk crap about Americans.

Next time you're in Frankfurt walk down in the Hauptwache. Go up to the people playing guitars and see if you can find a Yank among them. Good luck.
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neweurope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #99
103. No, I'm not wanting to talk crap about Americans.
A friend of mine twice now even had American missionaries RINGING HIS DOORBELL.

I'm able to distinguish an Afroamerican from an African, thank you. And the guys I'm talking about aren't black.

Furthermore I'm not trying to annoy you or anybody else. I'm merely stating what I've seen. If meanwhile there really ARE not only Americans, but also Germans singing religious songs on a workday in public then I can only state I don't like it at all. And suppose that they've been infected by Americans.

Now maybe we can return to France :)
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Turley Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 09:07 AM
Response to Reply #103
105. "And suppose that they've been infected by Americans."
Prejudice exposed. Thoroughly.
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neweurope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #105
109. That has nothing to do with prejudice but with experience *sigh*
Everything American unfortunately is being gobbled up over here as you very well know if you really live here. And public preachers definitively are NOT a German invention. And I've never heard of them having a history in the other European countries I know. I DO keep hearing of them in the US though.

If I were so terribly prejudiced I wouldn't be here trying to find (and finding) the "other America", believe me.

And I do NOT understand why you keep shooting at me.
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Turley Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 10:20 AM
Response to Reply #109
113. Well it started with this:
Edited on Tue Dec-14-04 10:21 AM by Turley
<i>These American guys who dance and sing on German streets wailing at everybody "Jesus loves you" we find pretty offensive - or ridiculous.</i>

If no one knew better you'd have gotten away with convincing people it's only Americans doing this. Fortunately, I know better. Six Germans sitting next to me find your claim Germans don't do this as "lcherlich".

Somehow, everything that you find annoying necessarily has its Genesis in America. I find attitudes like that annoying myself but frankly it's typisch Deutsch.

As for gobbling up everything that you think is American I can only say, take your Dieter Bohlen, your Verona Feldbusch, your Big Brother Idioten im Container, your Bild Zeitung, and your Dolly Buster in the Jungle and stick it in a pipe and smoke it.

Worry about your own Schlock Culture before you start worrying about ours. And don't even begin to tell me you imported that crap from the U.S.
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neweurope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #113
116. But I am worrying about mine. That's one of the reasons why yours
interests me so much :)

You rattled off the names of those third-class-TV-clowns much faster than I ever could by the way, I don't watch TV.

And no, it is not true that I think everything I find annoying in Germany has its genesis in America. Where have I said that, please? There is a hell of a lot wrong in my country that is totally and originally German.

I'm sorry if I gave you a wrong impression :)

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Turley Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #116
157. Was that supposed to be
a "subtle" dig at me? Or did you mean for it to be so transparent?

I don't watch TV either chum, but as you very well know it is only necessary to turn on the car radio, or spend some time online at AOL Deutschland and you're bombarded with more lowest common denominator cultural garbage than you'll ever need in your lifetime.

In any case your central point, that street-preaching in Germany is primarily an American phenomenon, is complete and utter nonsense. Anyone who's spent appreciable time in Germany will recognize that immediately.
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neweurope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #157
160. If you prefer to think so.
I still do not understand what I've done to you for you to overreact this way, but please don't explain. I would like to end this now.
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Turley Donating Member (585 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 03:34 PM
Response to Reply #160
161. I call B.S. when I see it
if you think that's over-reacting that's your problem.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #60
77. Isn't a sidewalk a public place as well?
And, a park? They are both constructed and maintained with public money.

I am not obsessed with religious questions. I am obsessed about my own personal freedom.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #77
133. "I am obsessed about my own personal freedom. "
I may make that my tagline if you don't mind.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #133
134. I would be honored, Rinsd. n/t
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ArthurDent Donating Member (191 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #60
102. The law bans Orthodox Jews, religious Muslims, and ohers...
... from public schools. I agree that there's no problem w/banning of chocolate crosses -- if given out by the teacher. That would be a lower-level examples of a huge cross on a wall.

But:
* What if I (a student) come to school with Xmas cookies with my lunch? Should I be forced to smash them/throw them out/be put in detention/fined?
* What if I come to school wearing a yarmulke or head scarf? Should it be "take it off or go home"?
* What if I quietly and privately say Grace after Meals after eating lunch?
* Should I be able to wear a tshirt that says "Jesus Loves Me?" What about something clearly religious, but not quite as overt?

It seems to me that banning this is forcing believers out of the public square, which means that purveyors of these rules are not asking for a secular society, but an atheist one.
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 05:15 AM
Response to Original message
62. There was another alternative they didn't think of:
The teachers could have broken all the chocolates into smaller bits and used them to make chocolate chip cookies or some other delight. No one needed to know what was the original form.

Hell! I plan to raid every party held by my christian friends and bring home tons of leftovers. Then I can praise Odin for the bountiful raid and win favor with the Valkyries in order to get into Valhalla. :D

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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 05:52 AM
Response to Original message
66. Ideologically, I'd fit in well with the French
But the government there was incredibly stupid for doing this. Secularism is not an inherently bad thing, but one should not sacrifice freedom of speech upon the altar of secularism. If anything, secularism means that the government itself does not endorse or discriminate against any religion but treats everyone as equals regardless of religion.

This measure is too authoritarian. I cannot support it with the principles I hold. This is what they get for doing it. Perhaps the French will come around and realize the full consequences of what they did and abolish the law. In the end, it's their choice, not mine.
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neweurope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 08:01 AM
Response to Original message
87. I really do not think we have to worry about the French of all people *g*
Some of you argue as if the freedom of the individual were in danger there. Nothing could be more wrong. Everybody can believe what he wants, you can build a mosque or a church or whatever you want, you can express yourself publicly... But being a secular state they do not tolerate religious symbols in their public buildings.

And that is right. That country has a reason for being secular, you see. The Catholic church for hundreds of years held much to big an influence in Europe. You see, in Europe we try to learn by our mistakes.

When you tolerate - say - the Ten Commandments or a cross in a Court of Law THEN you are discriminating. Discriminating against Muslims and every other religion which doesn't have their symbols in that court house. Of course you could try to display all of them, including peyote buttons and the like - how many religions do you have in the US? Quite a few I believe - and make the whole thing look like an ethnomuseum.

And as to your worry that there is no freedom of speach or religious belief in France: Look at your own country... THERE lies the problem. In a year you won't be able to recognize the "Land of the Free".

Which makes me sad.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #87
88. But you never address (in this post) the distinction between the state
Edited on Tue Dec-14-04 08:14 AM by tx_dem41
...displaying the symbol and a private citizen displaying the symbol in the building. I am against the latter and strongly for ALLOWING the latter. That's the personal freedom issue that the posters on this thread are having a problem with.
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termo Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #88
91. another personal freedom issue
you cannot be naked or half-naked on the beach in summer, that is another personal freedom issue. it is not forbidden in france.

there is collision between personal freedoms of persons, that is why there are laws restricting freedoms to a certain point in order to enforce civil peace. else it is anarchy.

This law (from 1905 and not 2003 or 2004) is also about political symbols too, this point is wrongly forgotten...
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #91
92. So lets bring this back to the USA for a second....
since most (or none) of us live in France....would you be for a law that states that you cannot wear a religious or political symbol in public facilities? How would you define a "religious" or "political" "symbol"?
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neweurope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #92
106. But you CAN wear a religious symbol in public in France.
You will NOT be arrested or otherwise mistreated if you wear a cross on a neckchain or something like that!

But in school overly religious symbols are just out and I think that's right.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #106
110. Ummm...I realize that.
But, that wasn't my question. But, now I realize you DO live outside of the US, so possibly MY question was misdirected.
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termo Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #92
111. peace of cake
it is the way around, religions define their symbols to reconize their group.

a KKK hat is also a standard white hat, but it identify yourself.
a Skull cap is also a piece of clothes, but it identify yourself.
a Hammer and a sling blade, a christian cross, the list is very long and I don't have enough knowledge of religions, but for people in these groups and outside these group, it is a symbol that make identification possible.

this law is old (1905) and generic, but everybody focued on the scarf.

about the scraf... 2 possibilities:

1) it is not a religious symbol and therefore, like a baseball cap, a beret, sun-glasses or any stuff you have on your head/face, you remove it in school (it was like that when I was in school in france in 80s) just because it is polite (you also remove your jacket, you don't fart, you don't burp, etc...).

2) it is a religious or political symbol and therefore it is not authorized.

in both case, you don't cover your head/face in the classroom.
I leave it to concerned people to defined if the scarf is a religious symbol, but in both case, it won't be weared in the classroom.

but that is not the biggest issue... some student refuse (don't want or are not allowed ??? guess) to practice sport (swimming pool), to learn natural sciences (reproduction, evolution) or even to learn history (holocaust).

science vs religious faith,
historical facts vs religious blindness,
make your choice. :tinfoilhat:
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countryjake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #87
112. Heh heh, funny you should mention peyote....
I agree with most all you've said here, but I think what you don't get from lots of these responses, is that the USA operates under a Judeo-Christian dominance & it always has, no matter what the founders intended. It is a government founded under a principle of hierarchy rather than harmony & our First Amendment neither allows the government to establish any religion nor can it prevent (supposedly) anyone from exercising religious practices.

Historically & right up to this day, the USA has denied the rights of peoples whose spirituality is directly bound to their identity...no First Amendment rights for those whose culture recognizes the value of the whole, rather than the importance of an individual; no freedom of religion for those who feel that all of nature itself is sacred rather than ridiculous manmade trinkets; no respect for those who prefer to worship in an unspoiled, undefiled ancient sanctuary rather than some massive ton of brick & stone, assembled to honor invisible gods; no recognition of a religion without organization, language, or boundaries.

Ideally, a secular society could also be pluralistic & respectful of diversities within its population. Unfortunately, the dominance of monotheism & its spirit of striving for perfection to attain salvation, (ironically, in another world) by its very nature, denies the acknowledgement of any cultures who do not support that end.

I was originally skeptical of France's new law, as I can't help but think of all the Native American children whose braids & headdresses were whacked off, in the push to civilize & educate them in the ways of the American Constitution & Jefferson's wall of separation. Christians are apt to persecute those who wrap their spirituality in their very appearance & I'll be interested to see if France can uphold that law & eliminate the pervasion of ALL religious symbolism in their public schools. Upholding a double-standard, as they do here, achieves nothing.
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neweurope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #112
114. I liked your post very much but I truly see no double standard here.
They'll find out that they so far have allowed many more christian symbols than they realized simply out of old habit. But I have all faith in the French correcting that quickly.

It reminds me of Germany: A law was passed forbidding teachers to wear religious clothing which was supposed to mean muslim headscarves. They had completely forgotten that in some regions they still have nuns teaching *g* and now the church is shouting bloody murder ;)
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termo Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #114
115. there is one big double standard
France did the separation of state and church at the beginning of 20th century when Moselle and Alsace were German (north east of France), then at the end of WWI, Moselle and Alsace were reintegrated in the lands.

They are not bound by the constitution changes which occured when they were german: priests are state employes... which is a double standard and unacceptable.

:wow:
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neweurope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #115
117. Really? Sounds strange. I have to read up on this.
It would be more like the American federal system - but given the strong centralism in France it really looks weird.
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termo Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #117
120. strange historic double standard.
my home town is in Meurthe et Moselle (in Lorraine) few km away.

google "1905 moselle alsace" ... plenty of links, I just copy paste an english one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alsace-Moselle

"Alsace-Moselle is still under the pre-1905 regime established of the Concordat, which provides for the public subsidy of the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, the Calvinist Church and the Jewish Religion as well as public education in those religions (parents may refuse religious education for their children)."
:wtf:
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neweurope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #120
122. Thank you!
I've passed through your home town by the way, I have a vacation in France every year :hi:
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termo Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #122
124. you are welcome
do you know Longwy ?
if not, try on www.ebay.com

:hi:
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neweurope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #124
140. No, I'm not sure I've been through there.
Just googled it though, Fayence and steel, well, steel used to be. Do you live there?
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countryjake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #114
123. Same problem here in the US...
There are old-order Christian sects of anabaptists who very much identify themselves with their garb & hair styles & head coverings. In the past few years, a small rural school full of Born-again Baptists, who look down upon these Old Baptists, tried to restrict the bonnets worn by some of the Anabaptist girls...part of becoming a member requires the wearing of those bonnets. I never could find any follow-up to the case, but I would suppose that the anabaptists wouldn't have been thrown out of school, even tho the nature of the two churches is different as night & day, with the Born-agains evangelical & pushy & the Anabaptists unassuming & pious.

Another interesting thing with these Old Order sects is some will not have their pictures taken, yet they drive cars & have driver's licenses (without photo ID). That was disputed last year, as they have been given exemption for decades, but with all the new Homeland Security crapola, suddenly they must now comply.

The thing that's a bit sad about the girls with their bonnets is that their religion also doesn't encourage education & the ones who remain in school after they join their church are exibiting defiance to their elders by wishing to learn. Their church has given in to progress gradually over the years & reformed & split off & dealt with much modern thinking in the youth, just to maintain its membership, but the bonnets have never been in question (the men wear hats, too). Nowadays, I'm sure that religion is suffering a whopper of a crisis, due to these restrictive & changing times.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #114
126. A German having faith in the French. (and vice versa) ...
why it truly is a NEW Europe! ;)
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countryjake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #126
127. Hey tx_dem41 !!
Do you agree that a public school is supported by the government?
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #127
128. Yes....by "the government"....
I can't wait to see where this is going....hit me.
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countryjake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #128
129. Know anything about "the wall of separation"??
Any public school that would allow or promote religious display is not in accordance with the First Amendment.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #129
130. Yes, I know about the wall of separation....
As quoted to Jefferson's letters to the Danbury congregation (think I have that name right).

Ummm, check your caselaw. The SC has a problem with the school promoting or "abetting" (for lack of a better term) a particular religion. It has never outlawed a PURELY student-initiated display of religion (as in the example of a student wearing a cross or scarf).

Care to point out a SC case that proves your statement?

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countryjake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #130
137. Google it yourself.
Try Texas vs. the Big Sandy School District. (or something like that, not sure exactly) They said a classroom must create an atmosphere conducive to learning & conform with the discipline of the district.

Symbols which support values that are in contradiction to the schools educational mission are not to be promoted, so if a student's display of religion is such that it becomes disruptive or intrusive upon that mission, it really shouldn't be allowed. Picture little black kids sitting in front of little white kids wearing nasty armbands, for instance. Would you consider that allowable?
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #137
139. I am assuming you mean Santa Fe ISD vs. Doe...lets see what they said...
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=...

One key holding is the following:

"The District argues unpersuasively that these principles are inapplicable because the policy's messages are private student speech, not public speech. The delivery of a message such as the invocation here--on school property, at school-sponsored events, over the school's public address system, by a speaker representing the student body, under the supervision of school faculty, and pursuant to a school policy that explicitly and implicitly encourages public prayer--is not properly characterized as "private" speech."

So, in other words, the problem that the SC had with the school district was that it was TOO entangled in the invocation before the football games. Justice Stevens, in his opinion, gives examples of this when he states:

"Rather, the school allows only one student, the same student for the entire season, to give the invocation. The statement or invocation, moreover, is subject to particular regulations that confine the content and topic of the student's message"

There's lots more good stuff in there. Read it if you have the time.
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countryjake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #139
141. No, this...
Edited on Tue Dec-14-04 01:14 PM by countryjake
"In 1993, a federal court ruled that punishing Native American students for a violation of a district's hair-length restriction violated the students' sincerely held religious beliefs under the free exercise clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the students' right to symbolic expression. Alabama and Coushatta Tribes of Texas v. Big Sandy Indep. Sch. Dist., 817 F.Supp. 1319 (E.D. Tex. 1993), remanded without opinion, 20 F.3d 469 (5th Cir. 1994). But see: Karr v. Schmidt, 460 F.2d 609, 613-614 (5th Cir. 1992). At least for now, however, it appears that the basic issue of school district regulation of male student's hair-length has been resolved in favor of Texas school districts."

This was remanded by a 5th Circuit Court in 1994, right?

It's hard to find anything on it, but they did lose & were told they could not "appear" any different than other kids, even tho they wore their hair long as a symbol of moral and spiritual strength, in accordance to many southeastern tribes. That school district contended that such practice was contrary to a dress code designed to create an atmosphere conducive to learning, to foster respect for authority, & to ensure that the conduct and grooming of students creates a favorable impression for the District and the community. They failed to acknowledge that a hairstyle might represent a religious belief or the boys right to freely express their own personal spirituality in accordance to their culture. Sound like discrimination?

Here's the link I got it from:

http://www.schoollawsection.org/Hunn.html


It's clear down at the bottom, last case.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #141
144. I don't believe you read that correctly....from an FSU Law school site...
Edited on Tue Dec-14-04 01:28 PM by tx_dem41
http://eda5232-85.fa01.fsu.edu/religiousneutrality.htm

While free exercise challenges to the public school curriculum have been rebuffed, schools must accommodate religious objections in other contexts. As a general rule, school officials may not compel student dress or appearance codes that conflict with sincerely held religious beliefs (Moody v. Cronin). For example, native American students successfully challenged hair length restrictions on religious grounds, even though the restrictions were implemented to foster a learning atmosphere, minimize disruption attributable to appearance and hygiene, prepare students to enter the workplace, and ensure that students present a favorable impression for the district in the community (Alabama and Coushatta Tribes v. Big Sandy School District). Similarly, a school district must permit an excused absence to a student in order that the student may observe a religious holiday (Church of God v. Amarillo Independent School District). However, school officials are not required to reschedule graduation in order to avoid a conflict with the Sabbath observed by some graduates (Smith v. North Babylon School District).



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countryjake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #144
147. What does this say?
"The ruling was appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which remanded for a determination whether the long hair restriction violated the students' rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). However, the case was settled without further decision and prior to the Court's decision that RFRA was unconstitutional. The Educator's Guide to Texas School Law, Kemerer and Walsh, 4th Ed., University of Texas Press, 1996; But see: City of Boerne v. Flores, 117 S.Ct. 2157 (1997)."

"At least for now, however, it appears that the basic issue of school district regulation of male student's hair-length has been resolved in favor of Texas school districts."
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #147
149. Okay I got it....
"the case was settled without further decision and prior to the Court's decision that RFRA was unconstitutional."

In other words, since the case was settled there was no court decision that became precedent due to the settlement of the case.

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RuleofLaw Donating Member (345 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
90. Please educate yourself before you post
Too many people here have no idea of either French law, French history or European law.

First, France does have a first amendment, they have freedom of religion and plenty of other rights. In fact, the rights European citizens are enjoying are greater than here in the US. Now, where would one find those rights? Try the The European Convention on Human Rights, ROME 4 November 1950, http://www.hri.org/docs/ECHR50.html#C.SecI
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Convention_on_Hum...

The European Convention on Human Rights has been called the "jewel in the crown" of the Council of Europe and was adopted to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe.

France, Germany and Belgium, who are all considering legislation to ban obvious religious symbols from public schools and government positions are members of the Council of Europe.

On the issue of religious freedom, the European Convention on Human Rights states:

ARTICLE 9

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.


To read the entire European Convention on Human Rights, click here. http://www.hrcr.org/docs/Eur_Convention/euroconv.html

There are many other rights enumerated, not mentioned in the US Bill of Rights, including:

The right to life
Freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment
Freedom from forced labor or slavery
The right to Liberty and to a Fair trial
Freedom from facing retrospective crimes or penalties
A Right to Privacy
Freedom of conscience
Freedom of expression
Freedom of assembly
The right to marriage and family
Freedom from discrimination

What has the convention meant to the signatory states:
Austria modified its rules concerning treatment of prisoners in hospitals. Belgium introduced measures for subsidizing French-speaking schools in the Flemish area. Denmark amended the law on custody of illegitimate children. Germany had to legally recognize transsexuals. The UK outlawed corporal punishment in state schools. Scotland had to abandon the use of Temporary Sheriffs.


By being a signatory to the Convention France is obligated to follow the convention and citizens can take their complaints directly to the European Court of Human Rights.

As for France's history, please remember that the tyranny under the French kings, that lead to the revolution, was strongly supported by the church.

So before you make statements like France doesn't have a first amend meant, please educate your self or ask for help.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #90
131. Article 9 is worthless....
"1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance. "

Very nice synopsis of something I support except there's no mention that these rights shall not be infringed upon. Which makes sense because of the following passage.

"2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. "

Seems kind of vague and allows the State to limit expression when it feels like it. The banning of headscarves I suppose is the French State's reaction to an ever growing Muslim population. Yeah that sounds like a decent enough reason to ban religious expression in public places. See here's the difference in the US

"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. "

"There are many other rights enumerated, not mentioned in the US Bill of Rights, including"

Educate thyself....most of these rights are in the Bill of Rights and one is the 13th amendment. In addition one of the fears of the founders was that some fool(and trust me they have tried) would say that only the rights enumerated counted so we have our 9th amendment

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people"
"The right to life
Freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment (8th)
Freedom from forced labor or slavery (13th)
The right to Liberty and to a Fair trial (5th, 6th & 7th)
Freedom from facing retrospective crimes or penalties (is this another way of saying double jeopardy? If so, tack on the 5th)
A Right to Privacy (this one I'll give you, though many feel our 4th amendment covers this)
Freedom of conscience (I am curious as to the meaning of this one)
Freedom of expression (1st)
Freedom of assembly (1st)
The right to marriage and family
Freedom from discrimination"

"So before you make statements like France doesn't have a first amend meant, please educate your self or ask for help."

France does not have 1st amendment like the US. In the US government is neither allowed to adopt religion nor attempt to stamp it out. The US 1st amendment is a wonderful concert of freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of religion and such a law as the one being discussed would likely be ruled unconstitutional in this country.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #131
132. Wow...clause 2 in Article 9 is a real killer...
Renders the whole thing useless.
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cattleman22 Donating Member (356 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #132
138. You are right, article 2 is a strange concept
It seems to me to be saying that people in France may practice a religion only if the government allows them to do so. That is in stark contrast to the US in which government may only do something if the people allow government to do so.
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RuleofLaw Donating Member (345 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #138
143. No it does not
Proportionate) Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. "

Notice the requirements:

The limitations must be prescribed by law.

Must be necessary and, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

For instance in CASE OF METROPOLITAN CHURCH OF BESSARABIA AND OTHERS v. MOLDOVA, the Court found that Moldovias refusal to recognize the church, was a violation of Article 9:

" 119. According to its settled case-law, the Court leaves to States party to the Convention a certain margin of appreciation in deciding whether and to what extent an interference is necessary, but that goes hand in hand with European supervision of both the relevant legislation and the decisions applying it. The Courts task is to ascertain whether the measures taken at national level are justified in principle and proportionate.
In order to determine the scope of the margin of appreciation in the present case the Court must take into account what is at stake, namely the need to maintain true religious pluralism, which is inherent in the concept of a democratic society (see Kokkinakis, cited above, p. 17, 31). Similarly, a good deal of weight must be given to that need when determining, as paragraph 2 of Article 9 requires, whether the interference corresponds to a pressing social need and is proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued (see, mutatis mutandis, among many other authorities, Wingrove v. the United Kingdom, judgment of 25 November 1996, Reports 1996-V, p. 1956, 53). In exercising its supervision, the Court must consider the interference complained of on the basis of the file as a whole (see Kokkinakis, cited above, p. 21, 47)
http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/portal.asp?sessionId=...


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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #143
146. It still leaves loopholes you can drive a mack truck through...
...and your cited case decision doesn't close them through its further use of vague language.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #143
154. That's the thing about government....
Throughout history when people have formed government, government has sought to increase its power over the people.

"Must be necessary and, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others"

Doesn't this sentence reach out and grab you? Its like a grab bag of government excuses throughout human history form limiting the people's rights. It's why assholes in this country claim the Patriot Act is necessary because of the times.
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Niccolo_Macchiavelli Donating Member (641 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #138
148. yeah its hard when one can't air ones view 24/7
"2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. "

I really don't know how to begin with this. But when you encounter a nazi, a ardent religious nutcase, or just someone with a t-shirt with a slogan you don't like you can walk away. In school you (the children) don't have that option. you (the children)have to be there BY LAW and there is no homeschooling option unless you are a teacher (AFAIK). Freedom of expression is fine but just if the audience is free to leave you alone.

It's kind of a reverse duty from the state: in military you are required to have an uniform, while in school which is a forced service from the state to you you sorta don't may have one.

Don't may wear the 2 feet cross, the scarf, the scull cap in class?

:nopity:

it's a school and not a church...

:wtf:

freedom goes until someones other is touched...and in a situation that one can't evade/avoid you thats pretty quick.
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tx_dem41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #148
150. If what you say was SC precedent, why would the following FSU law
school site:

http://eda5232-85.fa01.fsu.edu/religiousneutrality.htm


state the following?:

"While free exercise challenges to the public school curriculum have been rebuffed, schools must accommodate religious objections in other contexts. As a general rule, school officials may not compel student dress or appearance codes that conflict with sincerely held religious beliefs (Moody v. Cronin). For example, native American students successfully challenged hair length restrictions on religious grounds, even though the restrictions were implemented to foster a learning atmosphere, minimize disruption attributable to appearance and hygiene, prepare students to enter the workplace, and ensure that students present a favorable impression for the district in the community (Alabama and Coushatta Tribes v. Big Sandy School District). Similarly, a school district must permit an excused absence to a student in order that the student may observe a religious holiday (Church of God v. Amarillo Independent School District). However, school officials are not required to reschedule graduation in order to avoid a conflict with the Sabbath observed by some graduates (Smith v. North Babylon School District)."
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #148
152. "yeah its hard when one can't air ones view 24/7"
That;s exactly the point. Freedom of speech and expression don;t have freakin time limits. One can argue social grace but this is the State issuing a law.

"I really don't know how to begin with this. But when you encounter a nazi, a ardent religious nutcase, or just someone with a t-shirt with a slogan you don't like you can walk away."

Yes a simple solution.

"In school you (the children) don't have that option. you (the children)have to be there BY LAW and there is no homeschooling option unless you are a teacher (AFAIK)."

Again I must ask how is wearing clothing a disruption to the education process? We're not talking about children stanidng up an reciting verse from the Talmud, the Koran or the Bible here. We're talking wearing traditional religious clothing.

"Freedom of expression is fine but just if the audience is free to leave you alone."

That's a bizarre interpretation of free expression. I too agree that your right to do something stops when you are infringing on the rights of others. But explain how wearing religious clothing is doing that. Then explain how the religious person being prevented from observing their religion is NOT an infringement of their rights.


"Don't may wear the 2 feet cross, the scarf, the scull cap in class?

:nopity:

it's a school and not a church... "

You must love the concept of the free speech zone then. You only have your rights in certain locations.
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Niccolo_Macchiavelli Donating Member (641 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #152
163. lets see if i can put this in english (still nnew)
That;s exactly the point. Freedom of speech and expression don;t have freakin time limits. One can argue social grace but this is the State issuing a law.

"Of course theres limits! Do you go around naked in summer when its hot in town? is this "freedom?"

I guess not. It's social standard not go around nude unless (FKK-Areas).

"Again I must ask how is wearing clothing a disruption to the education process? We're not talking about children stanidng up an reciting verse from the Talmud, the Koran or the Bible here. We're talking wearing traditional religious clothing."

Obviously it has been an issue of provication between cults so they have drawn the line in very firm. The point is that religion is myth with philosophy and school is science. it's a clear mark what path is boss "in school".

With reasonable people such rules aren't necessary. but for more extreme zealots it's necessary to show that ten commandments, sharia and thora don't mean shit right now.

Where i live its allowed (but frowned on) to "show off" religion. allthough i hardly ever met someone in my classes who got conned or had a problem because of creed. it's usually a very personal introvert matter

"Freedom of expression is fine but just if the audience is free to leave you alone."

That's a bizarre interpretation of free expression. I too agree that your right to do something stops when you are infringing on the rights of others. But explain how wearing religious clothing is doing that. Then explain how the religious person being prevented from observing their religion is NOT an infringement of their rights.

it's not a interpretation of free speech, it's (as you say)a limit to it. Limiting eachs right tries to limit the collisions of rights human vs human.

Usually the rules are introduced/applied, where sane reasoning fails. Religion is such a case - see East, see West and France is somewhere inbetween.

At the end rules are always limits or reins. but as long there are multiple persons no one will be completely free.

in some society not receiving is a regarded more of a right than beeing able to emit at least at times. At least all can complain about the rules and can unite...(slight irony here)


"You must love the concept of the free speech zone then. You only have your rights in certain locations."

not sure what kind of freeper you think i am, but i favor limiting the no-free speech zones to where they are absolutely necessary to what kind of speech necessary.

doesn't involve your "let's-protest-a-half-days-journey-from-a-POLITICAL-event-zones" because it's there where you can suggest changes on rules either by suggestion or getting elected. it's there where freedom should be excercised to be able to prtage in the creation of the limits and standards the society in which one lives shall exists.

my 2 socialist-commi-(green) cents
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #163
164. I don't think you're a freeper.....
I just think in your zeal to defend this French law, you are losing sight of the bigger freedom picture. We're not enemies here. And while I understand a few DUers are anti-religion period, we should not cheer on a law simply because it does what some of us would like to be done.

"Obviously it has been an issue of provication between cults so they have drawn the line in very firm. The point is that religion is myth with philosophy and school is science.

Tha same reasoning is used to quell possibly rowdiness at Bush protests by moving them where they can't be seen or heard.

"it's a clear mark what path is boss "in school". "

Yes and that boss is the State not the message I want to send to a critical thinking populace.

Free speech zones are exactly what we are talking about in terms of time and place, the government gets to determine where they are uusally citing security among other needs(traffic etc is also) thrown in. How is that freaking free speech? It isn't.

Just like this law while not the ned of the world(actually less troubling than fee speech zones) is NOT an expansion of freedom.
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Niccolo_Macchiavelli Donating Member (641 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-16-04 04:53 PM
Response to Reply #164
167. i'll try to bring my point across witha metaphor then
Edited on Thu Dec-16-04 05:24 PM by Niccolo_Macchiavelli

in our forests we protect the planted saplings with wire netting to protect them from the deers.

while we do not do that to grown up trees as this would hamper their growth.

school is an obligation, enforced by police (in germany police hunts class cutters) because without a basic education democracy dies.

uneducated fall for any demagogue, thats why keeping uneducated at low numbers is a or should be a prime directive. what is teached is influenced by elected people(elected by adults) who oversee the boards that assemble teaching plans etc.

comparing religion ban in school and free speech zones is comparing

a native american reservation ("contained" freedom)to a government facility(subject to unfreedom) in siberian wilderness (free)


edit:spelling
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-16-04 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #164
168. I don't think it's "anti-religion" as much as it's
"everything has its place"..

School (public school) should be a place where ALL kids are taken at face value..not as "that jewish girl over there" or that "little buddhist boy" ..or the "Catholic kid in third period"..


It's the same reason I hate the hyphenated-American thing too..

Where you came from, and how you worship is a PERSONAL thing..In the PUBLIC/SHARED world, we should all present ourselves as the individual we ARE...not the "slice of the ethnic/religious pie" we are to our families/church/club.

When there is an immediate "identifier" (remember the yellow stars?), people need look no further to make snap judgements of who we are, what we think, who we hate...etc..

Public school is the HOPE for getting past the tribalism/cultish/religious stuff that poisons young minds..

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cattleman22 Donating Member (356 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #148
153. Freedoms end when the rights of others are violated.
How does a person wearing a scull cap or a cross violate any one else's freedoms or rights?
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RuleofLaw Donating Member (345 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #131
145. For your information
Freedom from facing retrospective crimes or penalties: This is not the same as double jeopardy.

It makes it illegal to make retroactive law. Meaning you cannot punish somebody for something that was not punishable at the time of the crime. There is no such guarantee in American Law.

Currently many foreigners in the US are being deported because of crimes committed in the past. At the time of the crime, these offenses were not deportable offense so many entered into plea bargains, and some even served their time. With the new immigration law of 1996 the government can now deport people based upon these old crimes, thus punishing people retroactively.

With regards to the 1st amendment, it is not absolute: For instance the government is allowed to regulate religious conduct when it is balanced with individual rights.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #145
151. So you cherrypick one aspect?
Edited on Tue Dec-14-04 02:11 PM by rinsd
I didn't claim superiority. I stated you were wrong in your assertion that rights were not enumerated. And you were. I was unsure of one aspect and I was corrected.

I am not aware of any retroactive prosectuion where a new law is introduced. If you mean immigration law has been changed so that convicted felons are no longer granted green card status or citizenship rights, what is the issue? There is no right to live and work in a certain country nor it is a right ot be granted citizenship there.

Maybe you have a better example but this doesn;t involve a rights restriction.

"With regards to the 1st amendment, it is not absolute: For instance the government is allowed to regulate religious conduct when it is balanced with individual rights."

Which country's 1st, France or US?
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BonjourUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
142. WHAT IS OUR FRENCH REALITY ABOUT THIS ISSUE ?? Quick responses :
Before anything, we are not awful freedom killers. With the first muslim and the first jewish communities nobody can name us like that.

I had decided to stop trying any explanations about the ban of the religious symbols. Our culture is absolutely different of yours. For you (or for many) it's a fight against the freedom and for us it's a guaranty for it.

This feeling is shared by almost all of us. Because except the extremists, the same ones you and us are fighting, this law doesn't disturb anybody.

Keep these stats in your mind :

Catho, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim or anything else, our religious practice is the same : 4 to 8% pratice a religion. We can be born in a traditional environment but that's all.

In 2003, for instance, only 1300 young girls with muslim family tradition wanted to wear an headscarf. BUT many few of them wanted to do by their own choice

The law only was a recall. The religious symbols were banned before. But the law fixed again the rules.

In september 2004, at the beginning of the school year, only 73 young French girls came at school with a scarf and after a discussion with their teacher they doffed it
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #142
155. I don't think its an awful freedom killer.
Like I said before its not the end of the world. But when you engage in the restriction of one's right to practice their religion as they see fit, I don't see how that is in any way a guarantee of freedom prvided their religion doesn't involve human sacrifice.

"In september 2004, at the beginning of the school year, only 73 young French girls came at school with a scarf and after a discussion with their teacher they doffed it"

Government are to protect the minority and not to enforce the tyranny of the majority. In addition parents make their kids do alot of things the kids don't like which the State does not bother with. The goverment intrudes only in extreme cases such as physical or sexual abuse.

Again, this isn't some draconian free speech issue. But it is not some blow struck for freedom.
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BonjourUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-14-04 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #155
158. We live very very well like that for two hundred years
And a last stat :

The young French girls with muslim family tradition were very more numerous for asking such a law than others (84%)
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