This just in: the world is stupid. Again.
A Sikh girl, attending a school with a no jewellery policy, was excluded for wearing a religious bracelet. The report on this, which was dripping with shots of the girl staring bleakly through windows, detailed how she was winning support and legal advice on the issue.
To me, it seems reasonably simple. No jewellery. Religious jewellery is still just jewellery, worn for entirely personal reasons. See my rant on Secular\Non Secular fashion for my feelings on that nonsense. Calling it an article of faith means nothing, or it should do, but it obviously doesn’t; the girl has won the case, and can now wear the jewellery at school because her faith is considered more important than the rules at the institution she attends.
Her lawyer, or whatever the hell she is, said that the ruling shows “you must have a very good reason to interfere with someone’s religious freedom.” It would seem that knowingly flouting the rules of your school because you consider yourself above them is not a good enough reason. Even though the jewellery means something only to members of that particular faith – because of the lumps of personal belief that make them think in such a way – other people are impinged upon. I doubt that other girls in the school are now allowed to wear jewellery based on beliefs of an aesthetic nature, but religion? Fuck yeah! Let’s have it!
This whole thing seems so inordinately stupid that I can barely articulate my reasoning. I shouldn’t have to. I feel like I’m trying to explain why sunlight is important. Why should the unauthorised beliefs of one person – beliefs rooted in superstition and unproven supernatural claims – be treated any differently to other beliefs? Why does God even care? Does this mean that I could demand to wear my hair down for aesthetic beliefs and then sue my bosses when they demand that I tie it back? Could I wear shitloads of makeup and then refuse to take it off at work because to force me to do so would be to infringe upon my stylistic freedom?
No. There’s seldom an outcry when a secular style or fashion is banned from a workplace or school, because the beliefs that lead people to dress in such a way are simply considered less important than the entirely delusional belief that God Wants You To Wear A Fucking Hat. Or jewellery. Or a dot over your eyes. Or tattoos. Or let your hair grow in odd places. Or whatever. Why the giddy fuck should religion be unquestioningly allowed to affect ANYTHING outside the head of the believer? What special privileges should it receive to languish so far outside the norms of society and law? I believe there’s a penis in my cellar that created the world, and he wants me to wear satin; if I made such a claim to escape the fashion rulings of my workplace and society, I would be laughed at and probably kicked a little bit.
But claim that unauthorised texts masquerading as divine law require you to [action]? Go for it. You’re untouchable.
I’m sighing, but no-one can hear me.