Symbology

A lot of Christians wear a cross of some description, a lot of Christians are also getting a wee bit peed off with the current government too with its insistence on gay marriage and what appears to be a mild persecution of their faith. The government may come to regret this later, but we’re in the here and now and looking at a double standard.

Telegraph.

Christians do not have a right to wear a cross or crucifix openly at work, the Government is to argue in a landmark court case.
In a highly significant move, ministers will fight a case at the European Court of Human Rights in which two British women will seek to establish their right to display the cross.
It is the first time that the Government has been forced to state whether it backs the right of Christians to wear the symbol at work.
A document seen by The Sunday Telegraph discloses that ministers will argue that because it is not a “requirement” of the Christian faith, employers can ban the wearing of the cross and sack workers who insist on doing so.
The Government’s position received an angry response last night from prominent figures including Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury.
He accused ministers and the courts of “dictating” to Christians and said it was another example of Christianity becoming sidelined in official life.

To my mind,the government is actually right in the detail, but acting in gross hypocrisy in the wider sense of what it does appear to allow. They are correct in stating that it’s not mandatory for Christians to wear crosses, a lot of Christians don’t after all. It’s not mentioned in the Bible and is in a lot of cases just a piece of jewellery, no matter the personal significance of it to the wearer. It’s not for example mandatory as in the case of Sikhs with turbans and hair cutting, along with the kara bracelet. However, in the case of the NHS which is technically a branch of the state Muslim women are allowed to wear a hijab whilst nursing and despite claims by some Muslims that this is a religious symbol, it isn’t. It’s not mentioned in the Quran and it’s only mention in the hadiths is An-Nur 24:31, which doesn’t explicitly say that the head should be covered, it just talks about modesty. To wear the Hijab is certainly NOT an Islamic obligatory on women. It is just an innovation of Islamic men suffering from a piety/sexual complex who are so weak morally that they just cannot trust themselves to keep their hands off women.

The Government claims the two women’s application to the Strasbourg court is “manifestly ill-founded”.
Its response states: “The Government submit that… the applicants’ wearing of a visible cross or crucifix was not a manifestation of their religion or belief within the meaning of Article 9, and…the restriction on the applicants’ wearing of a visible cross or crucifix was not an ‘interference’ with their rights protected by Article 9.”
The response, prepared by the Foreign Office, adds: “In neither case is there any suggestion that the wearing of a visible cross or crucifix was a generally recognised form of practising the Christian faith, still less one that is regarded (including by the applicants themselves) as a requirement of the faith.”

I suspect it’s time to get the popcorn out, because if I know about the hijab, you can bet that those bringing the case know about it and whilst two wrongs don’t make a right, they do make for interesting court cases.

7 comments for “Symbology

  1. Les
    March 13, 2012 at 6:46 am

    The Churches can beat the government by making the wearing of a cross mandatory. This measure would receive the support of jewellers.

  2. Les
    March 13, 2012 at 6:54 am

    I think muslim men insist on their women wearing the jihab because they are afraid that other men will be attracted to their. It is not often that you hear a muslim say, “Are you looking at my bird?” If he did the answer might be, “For all I know it could be your transvestite uncle.” Fight ensues.

  3. March 13, 2012 at 7:15 am

    The points you raise aside (and I’m not going to weep if the government falls into an elephant trap disguised with a hijab!) but more to the point, why is the government wasting time with this in the first place?

    What do they gain from it? That’s what I can’t figure out.

  4. March 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Am truly confused by this.

    1. We are – constitutionally – a Christian country.
    2. Christians have been wearing crosses visibly for centuries.

    How then is this now a problem?

  5. Mudplugger
    March 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    The wider issue is where any individual’s personal religious belief prevents them completing their job.

    Examples such as Muslim shop assistants who decline to sell alcohol (yet they applied for a job in a shop which sells alcohol), Christian doctors and nurses who decline to participate in legal abortions (despite applying for a job which conducts legal abortions), Catholic adoption agency staff declining to provide the service to gay couples (despite applying for a job which legally places adoptees with gay couples) and civil registrars refusing to conduct gay ceremonies (despite applying for a job which conducts legal gay ceremonies). There’s no end to the examples, but it’s the principle that matters.

    If someone applies for a job, they are expressing willingness to conduct every aspect of that job – if not, they have applied falsely. If someone already has the job and they feel unable to accommodate any new lagal facet, they retain the option to resign.

    The same is true of religious adornments. Make it abundantly clear at the point of application, then it’s up to the applicants to decide what matters most – a job or a principle, be that a cross, a hijab or a ceremonial dagger. If a Sikh decides he’s not willing to remove his turban to do a particular job or ride a motorbike, that’s his decision of principle – I respect his personal decision, just as he should respect the basic rule.

    We are not a Christian country – we happen to have an unfortunate legacy of an established religion which is proving hard to dislodge. The more issues like this are used to emphasise the idiocy of all the sky-being fairy-tale nonsense, the more we may hope to see a quick end to it all and for grown-up 21st Century logic to prevail.

  6. Monty
    March 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    But no government has any legal competence to determine what the dress requirements of any religion should be. Nor whether any group identity even qualifies as a religion for that matter. They really should not be involved with such controversies in the first place, because the whole thing is so undefineable and hotly contested.
    The only sensible and rational stance for the law to take, is to grant no status whatsoever to any religious garb or practice, and allow employers the right to stipulate their own dress code in their own premises, subject only to the normal rules of public decency.

  7. LJHills
    March 15, 2012 at 9:14 am

    The (Anglican) nuns at my old school wore rather large crucifixes as did various visiting chaplains, deans and the odd bishop – one assumed putting them on daily was all part of going to work.

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