MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

Quebec Nationalists: Teachers Shouldn't Wear 'Religious Signs,' But a Crucifix Hanging in the Legislature Is OK

The Coalition Avenir Quebec claims the crucifix hanging in the National Assembly isn't a religious symbol.

Wikimedia CommonsWikimedia CommonsThe ethnic-nationalist party about to take power in Quebec wants to ban many government employees—including teachers—from wearing religious symbols to work. But the Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ) has no problem with one glaring religious symbol currently hanging in the provincial legislature.

The party's platform states that "religious signs will be prohibited for all persons in position of authority, including teachers." Incoming Premier François Legault has echoed that sentiment, saying, "I think if we compare to what's happening in many countries, it's reasonable for neutrality reasons—we want to make sure that a policeman or a policewoman doesn't show a religious sign in case the man or woman in front of him is from another religion."

The proposal's critics argue that it's an unconstitutional violation of freedom of religion. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for one, says he doesn't want the state to "tell a woman what she can or cannot wear." But if the proposed ban is found unconstitutional, Legault has suggested deploying the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, which permits provincial legislatures to override a court's decision on what is and is not constitutional.

Count me with the critics. The CAQ says it wants to ensure "the secularity of the state," and that's a worthy goal: Separation of church and state—and mosque and state, and synogogue and state—is certainly a good thing. But this ban would simply prohibit workers whose religions require them to wear certain clothing (like kippahs for Jewish men and hijabs for Muslim women) from being able to do so.

Plus, the party's stance is more than a little hypocritical.

For more than 80 years, a crucifix has hung above the speaker's chair in Quebec's legislature, the National Assembly. One might think that a party eager to secularize the state would call for the crucifix's removal. But the CAQ insists that this cross is a cultural symbol, not a religious one. "We have to understand our past," Legault told reporters this week. The French Catholics and British Protestants who settled the province "built the values we have in Quebec," he said. "We have to recognize that and not mix that with religious signs." A CAQ spokesperson tells The Globe and Mail that as a "heritage object," the crucifix is "part of our history" and thus shouldn't be removed.

That crucifix may indeed be an important symbol of Quebec's history. But there is no coherent way to claim that it isn't any less religious than the crucifixes, kippahs, and turbans worn by various public employees. And it looks a lot more like an official endorsement.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Just Say'n||

    "But this ban would simply prohibit workers whose religions require them to wear certain clothing (like kippahs for Jewish men and hijabs for Muslim women) from being able to do so."

    Your publication supported the candidate who backed a burka ban and wanted others to "bake the cake". How is that any different from these damn French Canadians?

  • Just Say'n||

    French Canadians are even worse than regular Canadians.

    Their proposal is the same as what France does (and not really any different from Gary Johnson's illiberal position): public support and recognition for recognized faiths coupled with burka bans and bans against any religious imagery of any faith within public buildings

  • Mickey Rat||

    But are they as bad as regular French?

  • Just Say'n||

    No one is worse than the French.

  • Fancylad||

    The thing that Americans (and a lot of Canadians) may be misunderstanding, is that Canada does not have an official separation of church and state.

    In the federal Quebec Act, Roman Catholicism is guaranteed and is for all intents and purposes the state (provincial) religion.
    In the rest of the country, Elizabeth as Queen of Canada provides all authority exercised in the governance of Canada, and functions as head of the Anglican Church of Canada.

    So the cross (or any Catholic symbol) in the legislature has a federal legal right to be there, and the province can make whatever laws it wants for its public buildings.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Your link is broken

  • Just Say'n||

    www.reason.com/blog/2016/01/06.....-for-presi

    In a wide-ranging conversation, Johnson told me that one of his chief concerns is the rise of sharia law around the world and the way he believes it underwrites Islamic terrorism, which he says is a major global problem and a rising threat here in America.

    Surprisingly for a libertarian, Johnson, who recently resigned as the CEO of Cannabis Sativa, a marijuana marketing form, said that he would sign a bill banning the wearing of burqas in America. Sharia, he insisted, was not an expression of religion but of "politics" and hence many of its practices could be banned or limited without running afoul of the Constitution.

    "Under sharia law," he argued, "women are not afforded the same rights as men." Under a burqa, how do you know if a woman has been beaten?, he asked rhetorically. "Honor killings are allowed for under sharia law and so is deceiving non-Muslims." Likening followers of sharia to members of the Ku Klux Klan, Johnson said that he wouldn't censor the speech of people promoting sharia law but would mount a cultural campaign to counter its growth here. He said the Islamic terrorism proceeds directly from the same sources as the thinking behind sharia and that the United States government must make sure it is not inadvertently funding sharia overseas.

  • ||

    I'll bet Pat Buchanan has some super woke opinions about sharia. I sure wish he would have run!

    *dreamy sigh*

  • Just Say'n||

    OK, that's fair. I never said that I agreed with Buchanan, nor did I say he was right on everything. I only said that I didn't think he was a bigot. And I most absolutely do not believe that Johnson is a bigot (just ill informed).

  • ||

    Would you describe Buchanan as "illiberal?" Because I've seen you put roughly as much energy into defending Buchanan's liberal bona fides as you put into attacking Johnson's (and Reason's).

  • Just Say'n||

    I don't believe I have ever defended Buchanan as a "liberal". I've defended his foreign policy and have said that I have not been presented with anything to prove that he is a "bigot".

    Someone could be "illiberal" and not be a "bigot". "Liberal" is not synonymous with all that is good in the world

  • Just Say'n||

    Further, I don't believe I've called ever called Johnson or Reason "illiberal". Their position on religious accommodation, though, is most certainly "illiberal". It is no different from the religious liberty that existed prior to the Enlightenment. The right to believe what you want in private, but to not act on those beliefs in public is essentially no different from the ancient Roman concept of religious liberty.

  • ||

    Their position on religious accommodation, though, is most certainly "illiberal". It is no different from the religious liberty that existed prior to the Enlightenment.

    Now you're confusing me, because elsewhere you're making what seems like a very important distinction to you between "religious liberty" and "religious accommodation," where here you are conflating them.

    It is no different from the religious liberty that existed prior to the Enlightenment.

    There were many different notions of religious liberty prior to the Enlightenment. They tended to involve various forms of "what you do in private is your own business, but if we find out about it you will be burned alive in the public square."

    Are you really saying that the form of "religious liberty" or "religious accommodation" advocated by Johnson and Reason is no different from this?

    Did you know that Islam doesn't actually require women to wear burqas? That burqas are mentioned nowhere in the Qur'an?

  • ||

    The right to believe what you want in private, but to not act on those beliefs in public is essentially no different from the ancient Roman concept of religious liberty.

    No resemblance to Roman concepts at all. Romans didn't care what the fuck you did as long as you paid homage to the Emperor as one of your gods. It was the refusal of Jews and later Christians to do that that got them into trouble. You're describing the Elizabethan compromise, which I address above as far as how much it resembles anyone's position today.

  • Just Say'n||

    "Romans didn't care what the fuck you did as long as you paid homage to the Emperor as one of your gods."

    Ah, yes, exactly. That would be the alternative

  • ||

    Ah, yes, exactly. That would be the alternative

    ?

    That's the one thing you respond to, with a response that doesn't even make sense?

  • Just Say'n||

    I've responded to all your tired points in all the many incarnations of the same lazy ideas that you have made below.

    And yes, that is exactly the point. The Romans, much like the age of kings, allowed for religious liberty in so much as people can believe what they want behind closed doors and provide homage to the Emperor or King. And that is what you are proposing. "If I don't get an exemption, then he shouldn't get an exemption". Everyone should be made to bow before state authorities, whether or not it violates their conception of salvation.

    Religious accommodation is no more "sticky" then the right to bear arms. Except with religious accommodation the same ludicrous arguments that the anti-gun crowd parrots are suppose to be accepted as thoughtful among a group of people that ostensibly oppose expansive government. Rather than asking "well can I buy a nuclear bomb" it becomes "well, what if my faith is hookers and blow" or "what if I want to sacrifice someone". These aren't clever notions, because we all realize that there are limitations that we willingly accept to natural rights. Your right to bear arms may not include your right to own a fighter jet and while that's not perfect, it's better than the alternative. Your right to not be forced to "bake a cake" may not include your right to make a human sacrifice.

  • Just Say'n||

    But, sure, let's pretend like religious accommodation is a brand new concept and hasn't existed since the founding of the US and has gradually expanded to include ever more people over time. Why not? We're already pretending like people who oppose religious accommodation actually believe in limited government.

  • ||

    I've responded to all your tired points in all the many incarnations of the same lazy ideas that you have made below.

    No, you haven't, you've descended into name-calling and point-dodging. My only points on Roman religious attitudes is that you don't know enough about them to discuss them and that they aren't relevant to this discussion. Try reading a book, or something.

    And that is what you are proposing.

    No, it isn't. You're not listening.

    The rest of what you say is just you flailing and trying to work in insults, so I'm going to ignore it.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The ancient Roman concept of religious liberty was you can worship any gods you like, but you must also make sacrifices to the gods of Roman State.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Which.means there is coerced religious worship.

  • ||

    The ancient Roman concept of religious liberty was you can worship any gods you like, but you must also make sacrifices to the gods of Roman State. Which.means there is coerced religious worship.

    Yes. My only point was that ancient Roman practices don't have anything to do with this discussion, as their notions of "religion" were fundamentally different from ours.

  • Just Say'n||

    That wasn't your point. But, regardless, their conception of religion was followed through in the era of kings, which, of course, you and Gary would have us return to

  • ||

    That wasn't your point.

    Yes, it was. You brought up Roman religions and made the analogy that "me and Gary" want to return to their practices. I pointed out that 1) you don't know what you're talking about and 2) Roman practice doesn't have anything to do with what's going on in this country today and is 100% irrelevant to this discussion.

    their conception of religion was followed through in the era of kings

    No, it wasn't. I've not only read, books on this, I've written one. The Christianity practiced in Europe in early Medieval times was only tangentially related to the official Roman church, and bore no resemblance to Roman paganism at all, really. In fact, Roman Christianity of the fourth century more closely resembled Roman paganism of the third century than it did European Christianity of the seventh century. And European Christianity of the seventh century more closely resembled European paganism of sixth century than it did, well, Christianity.

  • Just Say'n||

    I know using the interwebs is difficult grandpa, but I'm not sure what you require a link for? Are you just so perpetually trapped in 1968 that you're not familiar with anything since Dick's re-election?

  • ||

    How is that any different from these damn French Canadians?

    There is no difference.

    Just like that time you didn't want to see that Woody Allen movie is exactly the same as being Literally Hitler.

  • BYODB||

    If not liking Woody Allen makes me Hitler, then I'm quite proud to be Hitler.

  • ||

    You and me both, man, you and me both.

  • Woody Chip Hurrrrr?||

    Endorsing the least evil candidate is not the same as supporting everything said candidate says or wants or does.

  • Cy||

    MEH... I'm still a bit pissed about "under god" and that was WAY before me.

    How about just eliminating all public schools instead?

  • ||

    How about just eliminating all public schools instead?

    How will we ensure that people believe the right things?

  • Cy||

    I'm sure there are plenty of cops and priests around to correct any wrong think. I bet they're even willing to give them some good hard advice.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    British protestants wanted a crucifix? The crucifix is mostly a Catholic symbol. Every protestant church I have ever been in does not have them. Protestants (mostly, can't remember everyone) saw it as a graven image not to be worshipped under 1C Exodus. I'm thinking it was just the French Catholics.

  • General_Tso||

    My born-again (ex) girlfriend recoiled in horror when she saw the (sentimental, not religious) rosary beads in my car at the time, explaining that 'Christ was no longer on the cross!!1!'.

  • Just Say'n||

    Reminder: this is why the "religious liberty is a black hole" talking point is so profoundly illiberal. The notion that you will achieve "Laïcité" and complete secularism without carve-outs for some religions has never been achieved anywhere in human history.

    Which explains why the US long ago adopted the notion of religious accommodation and pluralism

  • ||

    Reminder: this is why the "religious liberty is a black hole" talking point is so profoundly illiberal. The notion that you will achieve "Laïcité" and complete secularism without carve-outs for some religions has never been achieved anywhere in human history.

    These two sentences directly contradict one another.

  • Just Say'n||

    They most definitely are not

  • ||

    The notion that you will achieve "Laïcité" and complete secularism without carve-outs for some religions has never been achieved anywhere in human history.

    What's your alternative to "complete secularism?" Where is your system in which all religions are treated equally and some are not privileged over others by the state? Where is your system in which the state doesn't define some religions as "real" and "protected" and others as not worthy of accommodation?

    Your first sentence declares this not a complicated issue that is potentially unsolvable but actually has clear answers, and then you go on to declare that no system has ever been devised that is capable of accommodating religious liberty.

    So which is it?

  • Just Say'n||

    Literally, the American notion of religious accommodation achieves all of that. The same notion of accommodation that was first advocated by Madison and Jefferson.

  • Just Say'n||

    The notion that of "Laïcité" will inevitably provide the facade of secularism while providing special privileges for majority religions. The American conception provides carve outs for all faiths. No doubt it is not perfect, but it is profoundly superior to forced secularism that results in essentially an established faith. This is exactly what is occurring in Quebec. It always happens

  • ||

    The American conception provides carve outs for all faiths.

    No it doesn't, and you know this already.

    No doubt it is not perfect, but it is profoundly superior to forced secularism that results in essentially an established faith.

    Agreed. But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about whether "religious liberty" is something that can be achieved in some obvious manner or whether it's fair to call the topic "a black hole" in which the correct policy answer is not always perfectly clear.

  • Just Say'n||

    "No it doesn't, and you know this already."

    How is that not true?

  • ||

    How is that not true?

    I'll give you three words:

    Mormons
    Rastafarians
    Native Americans

    If you can't do the math from there, then you're not sufficiently prepared to even have this discussion.

  • Just Say'n||

    Native Americans are allowed to use illicit drugs for religious services (that was the whole reason why RFRA was passed after the Supreme Court eliminated the Sherbert Test).

    Rastafarians are likewise allowed to use marijuana for religious services, although there are still ongoing cases related to that.

    The Mormon thing and polygamy is wrong. And the fact that the Supreme Court refuses to take that case is offensive.

    As it stands, the alternative would be for no faiths to receive any accommodation

  • ||

    As it stands, the alternative would be for no faiths to receive any accommodation

    Why is that the only alternative?

    And that's not what you're arguing, anyway. You're arguing that somehow Johnson and Reason have taken unacceptably "illiberal" positions on things like burqas (which are arguably not religious under your definition) and cakes (same), and now you're justifying that by saying that the US Gov has begrudgingly acknowledged in a few cases that it has unfairly criminalized people's religious practices? But still continues to criminalize others?

    And so therefore what? Gary Johnson is a closet communist? Doesn't really support religious liberty? You don't either, under your definition.

  • Just Say'n||

    In some version of Islam, burqas are considered to be religious garbs. Islam is not a singular faith like Roman Catholicism, there are different variants.

    There was a time when religious accommodation in the US was very limited and primarily was only provided to accepted Christian faiths and Mormons, along with Catholics to a lesser extent, were not afforded these accommodations. Gradually over time that has been expanded, much like gun rights.

    But, you insist that we should stop now that religious accommodation has been so expanded to include so numerous of faiths, because still it doesn't yet cover everyone. Perhaps we should think the same way about guns, because I can't own a fighter jet. If that's not illiberalism then I'm not sure what is.

  • ||

    In some version of Islam, burqas are considered to be religious garbs. Islam is not a singular faith like Roman Catholicism, there are different variants.

    Yes, like all religions. And therefore a decision must be made regarding which religious practices count as "real and sincere" and which don't. Most Islamic cultures don't put women in burqas. There is literally no support for doing so in the Qur'an, which just says that women should dress "modestly."

    Someone, somewhere has decided it's a religious requirement. What if they then argue that it's religious requirement to literally keep women chained to a wall or handcuffed either to their father or husband? Would you argue that that's a violation of the NAP and that there would be a "compelling state interest" in banning that practice?

    Are you starting to see that this issue isn't as cut-and-dried as you want it to be?

    But, you insist that we should stop now that religious accommodation has been so expanded to include so numerous of faiths, because still it doesn't yet cover everyone.

    You still haven't bothered to figure out what i'm trying to say.

  • Just Say'n||

  • Just Say'n||

  • Just Say'n||

    www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/p.....da34897b27

    Even Pastafarians, which is literally a faith meant to troll other faiths

  • ||

    There is a real "damning with faint praise" theme to your links, here.

  • ||

    "Hey, we didn't burn down that mosque!"

    "Hey, we didn't chase that guy out of the army for wearing a turban!"

  • Just Say'n||

    I don't even know what you're getting at. But, I assure you that I'm sure the Muslim and Sikh in those cases are pleased with the result.

  • ||

    I don't even know what you're getting at.

    I know you don't. I'm starting to suspect it's willful.

  • ||

    So contrast for me "religious accommodation" and "religious liberty" while maintaining your assertion that "the "religious liberty is a black hole" talking point is so profoundly illiberal."

  • Just Say'n||

    "Religious accommodation" is a part of "religious liberty". Religious liberty would include the freedom to worship, but also the freedom to live according to one's beliefs. These ideas were products of the Enlightenment. The alternative would be to return to the pre-Enlightenment truncated right of just "freedom of worship".

  • ||

    So is it your opinion that "religious accommodation" as currently practiced in the US solves the issue of "religious liberty?"

  • Just Say'n||

    The fact that religious accommodation, coupled with the lack of a state religion, and the fact that the state is not allowed to discriminate based upon religion provides for "religious liberty".

  • ||

    The fact that religious accommodation, coupled with the lack of a state religion, and the fact that the state is not allowed to discriminate based upon religion provides for "religious liberty".

    So I'm going to take that as an elaborate and heavily hedged "no, it doesn't really solve the problem, because the problem probably can't really be solved, but it sure comes closer than most any other society has ever come."

  • BYODB||

    No, it doesn't, since the state must recognize a faiths tax exempt status and PLENTY of faiths are not recognized by the state in this way.

    I'm not saying it's a bad system, rather that it too fails your test.

  • Just Say'n||

    That is not entirely true. The US even provides the Church of Scientology with tax exempt status (I believe the US is the only country to do so). Any church can receive tax exempt status in the US so long as they do not generate profit.

  • ||

    Any church can receive tax exempt status in the US so long as they do not generate profit.

    The essence of religious liberty.

  • Just Say'n||

    The essence of tax exemption

  • BYODB||

    Complete secularism itself has never existed, and in fact 'secularism' is a form of religion in certain cases, so this isn't surprising. People believe a lot of dumb shit with or without a religion.

  • Zeb||

    As I've often said, religious freedom can't exist separately from general freedom.

    If the new hookers and blow religion I just invented doesn't exempt me from the laws against hookers and blow, then there isn't really religious freedom. As soon as someone gets to judge what's a real or sincerely held religious belief or practice and what isn't, we don't really have religious freedom.

    To be clear, I don't say this as an argument against limited religious freedom and accommodation. As you observe, it's something of a practical necessity. And the alternative in the other direction is not good.

  • Just Say'n||

    No, your position is definitely consistent with less government. Totally. "If that guy got a tax exemption then I should get a tax exemption and if I don't get it then he shouldn't get it".

    And you've made this argument over and over again and it still is not true: the state is not suppose to judge whether or not your faith is sincere. The court must accept at face value that you are sincere in your belief and the only question is whether or not the state has a compelling interest to make you violate your faith.

    Good to know that you reject a practice that has been ongoing in the US since its founding.

  • Just Say'n||

    Again, it's surprise how many people believe that religious accommodation is a brand new concept. Perhaps, I don't know, read a book sometime?

  • ||

    Perhaps, I don't know, read a book sometime?

    Get over yourself.

  • Just Say'n||

    I'm sorry, do you have another question about human sacrifice?

  • ||

    I'm sorry, do you have another question about human sacrifice?

    Not one that you can answer, apparently.

  • ||

    the state is not suppose to judge whether or not your faith is sincere

    Yet it does.

    Good to know that you reject a practice that has been ongoing in the US since its founding.

    He didn't say anything like that. He's making the profoundly obvious observation that the government does not take all claims of religious faith equally seriously, and that "religious accommodation," which by definition is the government picking and choosing which practices count as "religious" is not synonymous with "religious liberty."

  • Just Say'n||

    "He didn't say anything like that. He's making the profoundly obvious observation that the government does not take all claims of religious faith equally seriously, and that "religious accommodation," which by definition is the government picking and choosing which practices count as "religious" is not synonymous with "religious liberty."

    Yet, it doesn't take into account the sincerity of your faith. This is exactly why I said read a book.

    His point is no more profound than saying "well, if the second amendment protects my right to bear arms then why can't I buy a tank".

  • Zeb||

    But I can buy a tank.

  • Zeb||

    I think you are reading comments a bit too fast or something. Square didn't say my observation was profound, but "profoundly obvious".

    Maybe I mischaracterized it talking about "sincerity". But courts do decide what does count as religious practice for these purposes. It happens. I'm not saying you think it's all perfect. I'm just say'n that it means we don't have real religious freedom and could do a lot better, even if we do better than most countries at it. And the best way to do it would be to only have the kinds of laws that a really staunch libertarian could support.

    I really don't understand what you are objecting to.

  • Just Say'n||

    Again. They don't decide what is and isn't a legitimate religious belief. At least they shouldn't.

  • Zeb||

    So we at least agree on what should be.

  • ||

    They don't decide what is and isn't a legitimate religious belief. At least they shouldn't.

    Take a deep breath and realize the gap between these two statements.

  • ||

    I'm just say'n that it means we don't have real religious freedom and could do a lot better, even if we do better than most countries at it. And the best way to do it would be to only have the kinds of laws that a really staunch libertarian could support.

    ^ This.

  • Zeb||

    "If that guy got a tax exemption then I should get a tax exemption and if I don't get it then he shouldn't get it".

    No, that's not what I'm saying at all. Please don't put words in my mouth. In fact, I made it clear that I think it is good that the accommodations that exist do exist. Some religious freedom is better than none. I just don't think it is real religious freedom. Nowhere did I say that the fact that my hookers and blow religion doesn't exempt me from laws against those things means that bakers must make gay cakes and Sikhs can have their beards cut off by force.

    I mean, we're all some kind of libertarian (or something similar) here. We all want the thing that I am saying is necessary for real religious freedom: that people have the right generally to do things that don't violate other people's rights. If we had that, there would be very few, cases where legal religious accommodation was necessary. So I really don't get what you are objecting to in what I say. Nowhere am I saying that if everyone doesn't get what they want, then no one should. I'm just making an observation on how what we have now is lacking when it comes to religious freedom.

  • Zeb||

    The court must accept at face value that you are sincere in your belief and the only question is whether or not the state has a compelling interest to make you violate your faith.

    Then the court is really fucking up. Look up cases involving various marijuana and ayahuasca religions if you are not familiar. The precedent set by the use of peyote by the Native American Church should mean that prohibition of certain substances is not a sufficiently compelling interest to restrict religious practices.

    Show me where I ever suggested even a little bit that current religious accommodations should be curtailed because of any of this.

  • Just Say'n||

    I'm not disputing that the court hasn't been perfect in adjudicating these cases. They weren't perfect in adjudicating guns or free speech.

  • ||

    If the new hookers and blow religion I just invented doesn't exempt me from the laws against hookers and blow, then there isn't really religious freedom. As soon as someone gets to judge what's a real or sincerely held religious belief or practice and what isn't, we don't really have religious freedom.

    ^ Exactly this.

  • Robert||

  • BYODB||

    You clearly haven't been in many protestant churches then.

  • ||

    Either hasn't been to many protestant churches or is confusing protestant for something else.

    Even for things like the Rosary, Virgin Mary, etc. they're not generally regarded as possessed devil artifacts as much as baubles with no religious value.

  • ||

    I should say, I had a roommate who dated a girl who identified as protestant and didn't believe in, not just premarital sex, but premarital physical relations/contact of any kind. So there are and have been all types out there.

  • BYODB||

    I went to school with Amish kids and Pentecostals, so yeah.

  • ||

    And the Anglicans in particular kept most of that stuff.

  • Zeb||

    They're only like half-Protestant.

  • Just Say'n||

    There are "High Anglicans" and "Low Anglicans". The "High Anglicans" are very similar to Catholics

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    Thanks, I must know mostly Calvinist (I know they were against them) and have had to go their religious services from time to time. Myself grew up Catholic so all protestants are nothing but dirty heretics.

  • Paloma||

    Protestants like crosses, not so much crucifixes. They never like anything fun or beautiful.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Oh Jesus.

  • Mickey Rat||

    So Trudeau is uncomfortable with telling women what to wear. Is he not uncomfortable with telling men what to wear?

  • BYODB||

    Wait a second, a Canadian province can override their charter? Interesting...

  • Echospinner||

    Secularity of the state is not the same thing as seperation of church and state.

    In seperation the state does not endorse nor oppose any religion. Secularity results in banning religious expression by individuals.

    I am Jewish. The crucifix does not bother me at all. I am bothered if I chose to wear kippah at work and am forbidden. Someone else might wear hijab, or anything. I don't care. We can work together that is all that matters.

    The history of Quebec and Jews. I will leave that for readers to discover.

  • ||

    In seperation the state does not endorse nor oppose any religion. Secularity results in banning religious expression by individuals.

    ^ This.

  • Just Say'n||

    ^ THIS

    The French version of Enlightenment (the profoundly inferior version) pursued "secularism", while the American version of Enlightenment has worked toward accommodation for religious adherents, while separate from government policy.

    The fact that Islam and other minority faiths are not ghettoized in the US, as opposed to how they are treated in France, shows that the US position is far more successful

  • ||

    The American model is vastly superior no question.

  • Just Say'n||

    I don't even know how people can even question it at this point. Religious accommodation has been vastly more successful than the illiberal attempt at forced secularization

  • BYODB||

    It does, however, have it's own set of flaws but nothing is perfect. The American version does end up with situations where religeous practices are curtailed by the state, as well as the state recognising or not recognising the validity of certain faiths in our tax policy.

  • ||

    The American version does end up with situations where religeous practices are curtailed by the state

    This is inevitable, though. Some religious practices involve human sacrifice. If I were to declare myself a Germanic Pagan Traditionalist, it would be a religious practice for me and my friends to band together and burn the neighborhood on the other side of the hill, and if they can't resist us then they are weak and do not deserve the honor of life.

    The NAP trumps religious liberty. It has to.

  • Just Say'n||

    This is a tired trope that has long been resolved. All that the American brand of religious accommodation provides is that the state must show that it has a compelling interest in curtailing a deeply held belief and that the least restrictive method be employed in furthering that state interest.

    Human sacrifice would fall under a compelling state interest.

    Why do people insist on pretending like religious accommodation is a brand new concept and that there are whole avenues up for debate? Even the civil rights acts provide for exceptions for religious adherents. These are old concepts dating back to the Constitution including the "no religious test" clause and the right of federal office holders to forgo swearing an oath (specifically included to accommodate Quakers)

  • ||

    Human sacrifice would fall under a compelling state interest.

    Why? What if the sacrificial victim were willing, as was generally the case in religions that practiced it?

    If everyone in a region agrees that men should fight one another for dominance and that the weak deserve to die, where is the state's "compelling interest" in curtailing it?

    Where is the state's compelling interest in forbidding Mormons and Muslims from practicing polygamy?

    It seems to me like your belief in "religious liberty" has a big 'but' attached to it, which someone recently was saying makes everything before the 'but' bullshit.

    Of course, might we might say that the notion of "religious liberty" is a bit sticky to work out in a political context. I'll avoid using the term "black hole" since you seem to find it offensive, but your increasingly passionate assertions that this issue is settled and not at all complicated don't signal a solid foundation here.

  • Just Say'n||

    You can go back in time and re-litigate these points. Maybe go and do that

  • Just Say'n||

    "Where is the state's compelling interest in forbidding Mormons and Muslims from practicing polygamy?"

    I never said that there was a compelling interest. As far as I know, the courts haven't confronted a case like that yet. But, let's end the practice now so we'll never get to that point, though. That sounds like a good idea.

    "It seems to me like your belief in "religious liberty" has a big 'but' attached to it, which someone recently was saying makes everything before the 'but' bullshit."

    That "but" is essentially no different from the NAP. So, I guess we can say that about every liberty.

  • ||

    So you fully accept the concept that the state can curtail your "living your life according to your religious principles" as 100% compatible with "religious liberty" as long as it has a compelling state interest to do so?

    But I thought you started out this thread by complaining that Reason and Gary Johnson are both "illiberal" in their approach to religious liberty because they suggest that there is discussion to be had around the topic of whether there could be a compelling state interest in maintaining public accommodation laws re baking or in banning the practice of forcing women to wear burqas?

    I'm having a hard time understanding where you disagree.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Polygamy has proven bad societal effects both in general and for women in particular. Especially in societies without a high death rate among young males.

  • ||

    You can go back in time and re-litigate these points. Maybe go and do that

    Would doing so make me more, or less, "liberal?"

  • Mickey Rat||

    Where the right to life is considered unalienable, it does not matter if a human sacrifice is willing or not.

  • ||

    So the right to life is unalienable even by yourself? You can be compelled to keep living against your own wishes?

  • Mickey Rat||

    Just as you cannot consent to be a legal slave. Liberty is an unalienable right as well.

  • Zeb||

    Obviously stopping human sacrifice is a much more compelling state interest than allowing free religious practice in all cases. But there are a lot of activities that fall in a much more ambiguous area. Above I mention drugs and prostitution (both of which have been part of traditional religious practices).

  • Just Say'n||

    OK, Zeb, then file the suit. This is why your point is so profoundly lazy. There is nothing clever in that question. Make a faith that says you believe in prostitutes and blow and then file suit to have the court adjudicate the question. In the meantime, I do not understand what your point is here other than that you are upset that anyone is afforded accommodation from state authorities.

    "Hey, if I can bear arms, why can't I buy nuclear weapons?" That's a clever question too, no?

  • ||

    OK, Zeb, then file the suit.

    Because the essence of liberty is asking permission.

    Make a faith that says you believe in prostitutes and blow and then file suit to have the court adjudicate the question.

    And the courts will take it totally seriously, right? On account of because they "have to."

    Stop calling people names and either gather up the loose strands in your argument or admit that you were being knee-jerk in your haste to criticize the "woketarians" on this.

  • Just Say'n||

    "Because the essence of liberty is asking permission."

    So did you also oppose efforts to expand the 2nd and 1st Amendment through lawsuits, too?

    "Stop calling people names and either gather up the loose strands in your argument or admit that you were being knee-jerk in your haste to criticize the "woketarians" on this."

    I don't think I've called anyone names. I got exasperated with the lack of good faith arguments. People are peddling hypothetical that are impossible to answer.

  • Just Say'n||

    I can't gather what is the basis for your argument other than you just don't like the fact that religious people are afforded accommodation. You refuse to accept that, like all rights, not everything is unlimited and that sometimes the process must be adjudicated in courts. I don't understand that argument, because such a process has occurred with all parts of the Bill of Rights.

    I feel as if this conversation is just going in circles. So, as it stands, I apologize Zeb for getting exasperated. And to Square, as well.

    I don't really know what more I can offer.

  • ||

    So did you also oppose efforts to expand the 2nd and 1st Amendment through lawsuits, too?

    You're still not following what I'm saying.

    If we have to expand the first and second amendments through lawsuits, then that would be symptomatic of those freedoms not being perfectly realized, no?

    You're taking Johnson's "public accommodation laws would seem to require this person to bake a cake" as "Johnson hates religious liberty and wants a French-style secularist theocracy, and the fake libertarians at Reason support him in this."

    You're refusing to acknowledge that "religious accommodation" is, by its nature, picking and choosing which religions get accommodated and which don't at the same time as you depend on acknowledging it to make your argument that Johnson is wrong.

    I don't think I've called anyone names.

    Besides "lazy," "illiberal," "go read a book," and "these are not good faith arguments," no - not at all.

  • Zeb||

    I'm not upset at all. I don't resent people who get accommodations for their religious practices. I don't know why you think I am. All I'm saying is that it is very imperfect and incomplete.

    You are a pretty smart and reasonable guy. But you seem to have a weakness for jumping to conclusions about people's motivations. This is not personal for me.

    My point is really nothing more than to say that the best way (and possibly the only way) to respect people's rights to freely practice their religions is to generally respect people's rights to be free generally. That's it. I never said anything about getting rid of accommodations and I don't think we should. Only that in a better world, such accommodations would be unnecessary, or at least much less necessary.

  • Just Say'n||

    Yes. I think I got confused when reading your remarks, Zeb. I'm sorry if some of my responses were dismissive. I got exasperated and confused on the varied comments.

    Again, I apologize for that. And, likewise, I apologize for any dismissive remarks toward Square, as well.

    Enjoy your Fridays. It's drinking time

  • Zeb||

    Enjoy your Fridays. It's drinking time

    Hear, hear!

  • ||

    Enjoy your Fridays. It's drinking time

    Toss one back for me - I'm stuck here for a few more hours, yet. No hard feelings - I dig into you on these things because you have a brain and know how to use it.

  • ||

    You are a pretty smart and reasonable guy. But you seem to have a weakness for jumping to conclusions about people's motivations.

    ^ This.

  • BYODB||

    I agree Square, the taxation issue is far less justified though and more important in my view. Tax exempt status is an odd award.

  • ||

    It's worst than that with the CAQ. Legault is a former Requisite and nationalist.

    Go to their website under language and culture and see their proposals. The infamous language police who go around with rulers and deeming ethnic words like 'pasta' and 'souvlaki' will have a clear mandate to - whatever the fuck they do. I call it harassing ostensibly free, tax paying citizens. They go as far as to demand merchants remove 'on/off' on telephones. You think it's retarded? Try living here and being on the wrong end of that. Lemme tell ya, the impulse to beat someone senseless is high and promotes ill-will.

    Still worse, they want to make a law that immigrants arriving here learn French within three years. If they fail to do so....well I'm not sure. Do they get deported? Which would be a human rights violation in my view. Do they get a fine? Most likely. That's what the L'Office de la Langue francaise (language police). Because punitive measures to 'protect' a language is always a good idea. 40 lashes? Public ridicule? Who knows? Frankie Nationalist won't say.

    Never mind the possible bad signal this sends to potential immigrants coming here. A rational person would say, 'fuck that shit. I'm going to Ontario. Or Vermont.'

    Moreover, he wants to establish committees where people can complain to if they don't see enough French (read: too much English). In other words, recourse for snitches to snitch on their compatriots.

    Once again, we're shooting ourselves in the foot.

  • ||

    Reason should look into the matter on language from a liberty perspective. I'm okay with Quebec taking reasonable measures to protect itself. But they always seem to go where jurisdictions in North American would never consider.

    Also, Legault (correctly) identified Quebec as an underperforming region in North American by most metrics. Low high school graduation rates, low productivity, persistent higher unemployment, high debt, and so on as compared to other places. We're a laggard for the most part. Mississippi North in many ways.

    Rather than focus on fixing these things, he goes for the very insular policies that put us there in the first place in my view. Knock it off already with the fear of English. It makes Quebecers look petty and weak (which they're not). Most Quebecers, if they knew (again, most don't exactly know what the language police does because it's under reported in the French media) and when we talk they can't believe it and think it's excessive.

    Worse, while Legault demands other speak French, there's a crisis in French language instruction here....among Quebecers as it's not even taught well. We speak 'joual' (country/rural French) according to the 'real' French in France.

    Then again, they're shit disturbers so who cares what they think, amirite?

  • Just Say'n||

    Quebec is too French. That is it's problem. France does this same word policing, insisting that every new word must have a uniquely French translation.

  • ||

    Yeh but they don't fine you for it like they do here.

  • Robert||

    L'Academie Francaise polices the language itself, deciding what is & what is not correct French. They don't make anyone use French.

  • vek||

    WTF is wrong with requiring immigrants to learn the language of where they move? Fuck you. That should be required before a country lets anybody in. If people don't want to integrate they should stay in their own fucking country. Multiculturalism doesn't work. It just creates a powder keg. Multiethnic MIGHT work with strict integration expectations... But I have my doubts even on that because of history and research on human psychology.

  • Sevo||

    "The Coalition Avenir Quebec claims the crucifix hanging in the National Assembly isn't a religious symbol."

    Ha, ha. That's GREAT!

  • vek||

    I hate them dirty Frenchmen... Especially French Canadians... But I support every areas right to self determination. They would have won their vote for independence in the 90s if it hadn't been for immigrants voting, so why should they have become less angsty since they've been drowned in immigrants?

    When are progs and open borders libertarians going to realize that people don't want to become minorities in their own homelands? That they don't want to watch their cultured be destroyed by mass immigration?

    Nationalism is rising because the opinion of the majority is being ignored by idiots who believe in an impossible multicultural utopia that will never work. We either need to get sensible now, or bad things will probably happen to set things right in the future.

  • Jayburd||

    "What can you say about an organization whose logo is a boy on a stick?"-John Larroquette

  • buybuydandavis||

    Reason's "freedom of speech" is now the individual freedom of government apparatchiks to indoctrinate your children in the religion of their choice at the mandatory government labor indoctrination camps for children.

    "Libertarian Moment!"

  • Hank Phillips||

    In 1976 the Prohibition Party and God's Own Prohibitionist republicans were injecting demands for a coathanger abortion amendment. This was to undo the LP's sin of providing SCOTUS with language suitable for striking down Dixiecrat antichoice laws in Roe v Wade. Meanwhile in Canada, Dr Morgenthaler--who single-handedly provided Planned Parenthood services--had been tried and acquitted twice by Quebec juries. Double-jeopardy protection evidently isn't a thing in Canada. But the Newly elected Parti Quebecóis dropped all charges against the good doctor and soon afterward Canada repealed ALL, repeat, ALL antiabortion laws. There is very little danger of Quebec turning fascist. Bavarian swastika-hanging in government buildings, however, is less reassuring.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online