There’s a lot to dislike in the Quebecois government’s recent bill that would outlaw the wearing of religious symbols by public servants—presumably including everyone from police officers to teachers to hospital clerks. But the government isn’t entirely wrong in its concern about religious wear in public.
I’m on record as opposing this government, or any Canadian government, placing restrictions on head coverings except in the extreme and easily remedied cases of identification. I’ve put those arguments here, here, and here.
What is particularly odious about this recent legislation is that the Quebecois government is mandating symbolism that says, “Religion should be kept out of public life” while insisting that it is intending merely at symbolism that says, “The state is religiously neutral.”
If the latter were really the government’s concern, however, then letting people wear any religiously-themed clothing or jewelry (that, of course, didn’t interfere with their work—common sense has to apply here) would be a fine way of demonstrating the state’s neutrality. “We welcome into public service Jews wearing kippahs, or Sikhs wearing turbans, or Christians wearing crosses, or Wiccans wearing pentagrams, since all such people are indeed our neighbours and our fellow citizens.” Period.
The rest of the article can be found HERE.