Is France, one of the only secularist nations, actually secular?

This is a somewhat popular debate topic, largely popularized by the passing of controversial anti-religious laws, such as the banning of the burqa. this alone is evidence for me, that France is not secular, because there is a relationship between church and state. I'd love to hear a counter-argument for this, but it really is a thorn in the atheist's side right now.

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I don't get it.

How does banning of the burqa create a relationship between the State and the Catholic church, Islam or any other religion in France ? What are the other 'anti-religious laws' to which you refer ? Where is this a popular topic for debate ?

Like Napoleon, I can't say that I get it either. I know they have banned the burka. All western nations have banned slavery, even though it's sanctioned by the Old Testament, New Testament, and Koran. Is banning slavery anti-religious also?  Finally, I'll admit I don't live in France, nor am a French citizen, so I don't know if they have specifically passed other laws affecting religion.

My presumption is that banning the burqa is a government enforced directive aimed at hindering the practice of a specific belief system that is not tied to a strictly secular law. I don't think that makes France a non-secular state, but it does make France a nation which indulges in some degree of religious oppression, which is along similar lines of thought.

One anti-religious law does not necessarily constitute a state endorsement of an opposing religion, but it could be a step in that direction. If additional laws were passed with the aim of preventing Muslims from practicing their faith it could constitute a tacit endorsement of non-Islamic beliefs, be they Christian, Jewish, Secular or otherwise.

I do t think banning slavery is anti religious since slavery is a practice that has historically spanned the entire world for religious and secular reasons and is not inherently tied to one specific with as the burqa is to Islam.

I find it a troubling trend, even speaking as someone with strong views against many practices inherent to Islam. The government that opposes one religion could use the same tools against others, and even against non believers. Government discrimination against people based on their belief is wrong. Authoritarianism is authoritarianism, and I will always oppose the side of the thought-police.

Now, if French politicians could demonstrate a secular, non discriminatory social interest in banning the burqa I would consider it. So far they have not. The arguments regarding security measures are, from what I can tell, fishing for a problem where none exists. To my knowledge there have been no security incidents in France that hinged on the perpetrator having worn a burqa. It's possible I am wrong on that last point.


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