Secularism charter slammed by Quebec politicians

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A proposed charter that Premier Pauline Marois says will help unite Quebecers will accomplish the exact opposite, according to her political rivals.


The Parti Québécois's proposed charter of Quebec values, would see religious symbols such as turbans, kippas, hijabs and visible crucifixes banned for public employees. Doctors, teachers and public daycare workers would be covered by the legislation.

Over the weekend, Marois said the charter would be a "strong uniting element between Quebecers."

But the leader of the Coalition Avenir Québec party, François Legault, disagrees.

"We hope that the Parti Québécois turns the page as soon as possible because we know that this debate will divide Quebec," he said.

However, Legault did acknowledge the principle behind the PQ's charter. He said too much religious accommodation has been made over the years and criticized the provincial Liberal Party for not defending Quebec's traditional values.

Written By: CBC News
continue to source article at cbc.ca

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    • In reply to #1 by AkumaBrad:

      If this is how they’re doing secularism, they’re doing it wrong.

      How’s that? Why is it wrong to suggest the government and their representatives present a non-religious face to citizens seeking government service?

      Your simple assertion that this is “wrong” remains unconvincing without some evidence from you to support it.

  1. Public servants should not be permitted to wear religious symbols at work, why?

    • We don’t allow political buttons because those buttons are intended to intimate and bully customers. Ditto religious symbols.
    • Doctors want to wear crucifixes to advertise their political positions on euthanasia, birth control, abortion, rape and homosexuality. If you are gay, a crucifix might as well be a swastika. It means “You don’t deserve to live.” The motivation is intimidation.
    • Day care workers want to wear crucifixes to encourage their young charges to become Catholic. The intent is get the children to transfer affection from the teacher to Catholicism.
    • In countries where immigrants hail from, these displays may be taken as a request for a bribe on the part of this church.
  2. If this were a corporation, an airline, a fast food company, a department store, a gym, WalMart, nearly everyone would say the corporation has the right to impose a corporate uniform or dress code. Why should the civil service be any different?

  3. Doctors and nurses are not supposed to wear watches or jewelry of any kind because bacteria accumulate in the cracks. I suppose it would be reasonably safe if they wore them under clothing next to the skin, well away from patients.

  4. In Quebec the majority support this measure. In the rest of Canada, the concern is for limiting religious freedom.

    Consider your view if a corporation had such a no-religious symbols policy, e.g. an airline, Wal Mart, a gym, a department store, a fast food restaurant. I think most people would say the corporation had the right to a dress code or uniform without adornment with religious symbols. Yet for some reason, the public hold the civil service to a completely different standard.

  5. For the religios, their religion is a private matter.

    Except when they want to ram it down someone else’s throat or insist that others kow tow to their rules.

    We have rights to, the right to live without being surrounded by their shite and their evangelising and proselytising

  6. However, Legault did acknowledge the principle behind the PQ’s charter. He said too much religious accommodation has been made over the years and criticized the provincial Liberal Party for not defending Quebec’s traditional values.

    Typical two-faced politician!

    • In reply to #8 by SaganTheCat:

      when it comes to doctors i think religious symbols should be mandatory unless they’re non-reliigous. this information is too important to hide from patients

      I think somebody proposed yellow arm-bands for Jews… oh, yes, that was Hitler. How did that work out, I wonder.

  7. “We have rights to, the right to live without being surrounded by their shite and their evangelising and proselytising”

    Lol…so I have a right to not be bombarded by atheists and materialists too. When I see someone espousing a belief I don’t have I don’t get offended…I can handle it. I’m mature enough to know that it’s human nature to want to showcase whatever it is you are passionate about. When an atheist tries proselytizing me, if I don’t want to have the discussion I say so. I don’t feel I need to run to mother government to protect my sensitive ears and eyes. Where in the constitution am I guaranteed freedom from people who disagree with me?

    • In reply to #9 by Donny10000:

      “We have rights to, the right to live without being surrounded by their shite and their evangelising and proselytising”

      Lol…so I have a right to not be bombarded by atheists and materialists too. When I see someone espousing a belief I don’t have I don’t get offended…I can handle it. I’m mature…

      But that’s not the same issue is it? If you can’t see the difference between someone forcing their genocidal, homophobic, slavery loving imaginary friend onto strangers and well, err. There is no atheist proselytising is there?

      We are talking about reality, god botherers are talking so much nonsense they can’t even agree among themselves. The biggest street fight would be among various theists just watch the US as they try to promote the right god but not all gods. How about the Middle East for another example of religions incapable of civilised behaviour?

      We’re not asking to not be told your opinion just your hate-filled religion, simple, eh!

    • OP – The Parti Québécois’s proposed charter of Quebec values, would see religious symbols such as turbans, kippas, hijabs and visible crucifixes banned for public employees. Doctors, teachers and public daycare workers would be covered by the legislation.

      In reply to #9 by Donny10000:

      I think you have illustrated the reverse projection of “faith-thinking”!

      “We have rights to, the right to live without being surrounded by their shite and their evangelising and proselytising”

      Lol…so I have a right to not be bombarded by atheists and materialists too.

      The OP is talking about government employees wearing appropriate clothing at work!

      Perhaps you can explain the features of the “atheist and materiast dress code”, you are referring to, as the people on this site (as far as I know) are unaware of it.

      When I see someone espousing a belief I don’t have I don’t get offended…I can handle it. I’m mature…

      But apparently not mature enough to recognise that doctors and medical staff for example need to wear sterile medicat kit, and administer “materialist” science based treatment! Of course you could go to a witch-doctor for a bit of mumbo-jumbo to illustrate your “mature” – “immaterial” understanding, while admiring the bone through his nose and feather head-dress!

      I’m mature enough to know that it’s human nature to want to showcase whatever it is you are passionate about. When an atheist tries proselytizing me,

      What discussions people have in their own time is their own business. How they use their time at work is their government employer’s business.

      if I don’t want to have the discussion I say so. I don’t feel I need to run to mother government to protect my sensitive ears and eyes.

      If you work in a government establishment, you don’t run anywhere and should not have to. The workplace is not a centre for anyone’s proselytizing. That is the point you missed!

      Where in the constitution am I guaranteed freedom from people who disagree with me?

      This is a strawman extention of the argument which falsely implies the regulations apply generally, rather than specifically to government workplaces.

    • In reply to #9 by Donny10000:

      “We have rights to, the right to live without being surrounded by their shite and their evangelising and proselytising”

      Lol…so I have a right to not be bombarded by atheists and materialists too. When I see someone espousing a belief I don’t have I don’t get offended…I can handle it. I’m mature…

      I don’t get offended and like you I’m a kick ass sort of character so I’m capable of putting my foot down when I have to. The issue is many people aren’t like that, they are susceptible and vulnerable. Moreover it’s not just opinions that are the problem here, religions aren’t in the least bit embarrassed by resorting to legislation to enforce those opinions on others and I’m clearly not just talking about some JW peddling his watch tower.

  8. More Canadians across the country support the idea than oppose it, but you’d be hard pressed to get that from the English-language media, who are OUTRAGED, I SAY! The media, of course, try to blur the distinction between rules for government employees (which this law refers to) and suggestions that all religious wear will be banned for everyone…

  9. Good luck with that Quebec! I feel a bit torn on this issue. Under my “dictatorship” I’d have no problem with rules such as the ones proposed- however the reality is this issue will create a lot of unnecessary strife and wasted energy when in reality there are a lot more pressing issues for politicians to deal with. It also distracts from the real issues at hand, especially in Quebec.

    Under my dictatorship, I’d spend more effort on education of the populous in the sciences and rational thinking with the goal being the remaining believers wold see the folly of their ways and drop the symbols voluntarily.

    I have a friend, as atheist as the rest of us who wears a cross given to her by her Grandmother. It is a treasured family heirloom and a memory of someone dear to her. Should she be forced to remove this necklace just because its the law? I don’t think so. jcw

  10. I heard Landry the former Premier of Quebec defend this bill. He has a quite thick French accent, mixes French and English, and uses English words in unfamiliar ways, so I missed most of it.

    1. Anyone in a position of authority or power should not in any way be pushing religion.

    2. Quebec rejects the notion of multiculturalism embraced by the rest of Canada, where immigrants are encouraged to keep the culture, customs, food etc of the homeland. Instead they should assimilate into the existing culture. This is more the American view. He said the problem with multiculturalism was Canada importing all manner of political fights and extremist views from all over the planet. The bill helped put all this wrangling aside.

    3. You are balancing the rights of people to wear religious symbols with that of people to avoid being intimidated by them. He seemed to think of the symbols as optional decoration purely for advertising religion, so he did not accept the argument blocking symbols would prevent some people from working for the government.

    4. He pointed out the law applied only to government workers on duty. If religious symbols are that important, work elsewhere.

    5. A uniform is a uniform. Almost nowhere are any exceptions made. (The RCMP allow Sikhs to wear turbans, and French Sikh soccer players in the boys leagues may wear them.) You could think of the bill as like a uniform.

  11. It is really nonsense that people have to wear clothing that advertises faith. It is just an arbitrary rule. However, people are killed daily for violating such rules. It is a rude thing to do, to push your religion on others. It is one of the disgusting features of many religions.

    I think the strongest argument against the bill is that some religions are so adamant, that the only option would be avoid work at the Quebec government because if you left off the jewelry, there would be extreme negative consequences. You cannot in good conscience exclude large groups of people from prime employment.

    I suspect had large group of atheists had taken to wearing 8 cm Darwin Fish or scarlet As, this bill would have been much more popular.

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