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Author Topic: Canadian Sikhs allowed to wear small daggers in public schools  (Read 7734 times) Average Rating: 0
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TomS
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« on: March 03, 2006, 02:11:14 PM »

How STUPID is this?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Canada backs Sikh dagger rights the country's Supreme Court has ruled.

In an 8-0 judgement, the court reversed the ruling of a Montreal school board, which banned Gurbaj Singh Multani from wearing his dagger, known as a kirpan.

The kirpan is deemed sacred by Sikhs as a symbol of power and truth.

School authorities banned the kirpan in 2001 after an objection by a parent concerned about pupil security.

Announcing the judgement, the Supreme Court said that a total ban on kirpans violated the country's Charter of Rights.

The charter guarantees total religious freedom within Canada.

Safety debate

"Religious tolerance is a very important value of Canadian society," Justice Louise Charron wrote in the judgement.

"If some students consider it unfair that Gurbaj Singh may wear his kirpan to school, it is incumbent on the schools to discharge their obligation to instil in their students this value that is... at the very foundation of our democracy."


 As a parent, is the life and safety of a child more important than religious freedom? I think so
Claude Bouchard
Quebec Federation of Parents' Committees ÂÂ

The government of Quebec had backed the Montreal school board, which imposed the ban.
Parents campaigning for tighter restrictions on weapons in school were dismayed by the ruling.

"My first reaction as a parent is a feeling of insecurity," Claude Bouchard of the Quebec Federation of Parents' Committees, told Reuters news agency.

"As a parent, is the life and safety of a child more important than religious freedom? I think so."

Old tradition

The ruling did allow some restrictions to be imposed on kirpans worn in public, including limiting their length and keeping them sheathed and worn underneath clothes.

Nevertheless, Gurbaj Singh Multani, who was 12 when he was suspended and then removed from his school, welcomed the judgement.

"Everybody stood for their rights. I got it. I'm happy," he said outside the court.

Orthodox Sikhs have been required to carry kirpans since the 17th century, and insist it is not a weapon.

About 250,000 Sikhs live in Canada, with 10% considered orthodox.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/americas/4770744.stm
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2006, 03:08:50 PM »

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Announcing the judgement, the Supreme Court said that a total ban on kirpans violated the country's Charter of Rights. The charter guarantees total religious freedom within Canada.

Apparently this "total religoius freedom" does not extend to Christians preaching from the Bible on certain controversial issues (e.g., homosexuality).
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2006, 03:13:29 PM »

Usually the kirpan nowadays is completely dull I was told while in India.  A sharp pencil picked up and used to stab would be more lethal.
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2006, 03:55:15 PM »

Usually the kirpan nowadays is completely dull I was told while in India.  A sharp pencil picked up and used to stab would be more lethal.

So then, if my religion called for it, I should be able to carry a gun to school, as long as it is loaded with non-lethal rock salt? Right?

It's a slippery slope you inhabit. A weapon is a weapon. Period. It has nothing to do with how effective it is.
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2006, 04:31:57 PM »

or the rastafari kids should get to smoke weed in the boys room, all in the name of religtious freedom (boy would there be mass conversions to rastafarianism! yikes!)
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2006, 04:49:41 PM »

Not only are the daggers dull, but they are often sewn into their sheaths so that they cannot be taken out.
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TomS
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2006, 04:59:07 PM »

Not only are the daggers dull, but they are often sewn into their sheaths so that they cannot be taken out.

Then they can carry plastic ceremonial ones.
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2006, 05:07:48 PM »

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Then they can carry plastic ceremonial ones.

No they can't. Carrying an actual kirpan is a *requirement* for Sikhs who have been baptized into the Khalsa. It's not a symbol, it's something they are *commanded* to do. Not wearing a kirpan is tantamount to renouncing their faith. It's not something they're going to give up -- if Sikh children are prevented from wearing their kirpans to school, then Sikh children will not go to school. Thankfully the Canadian government has seen that this situation benefits nobody, and allowed Sikhs to carry kirpans.
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2006, 05:18:48 PM »

..then Sikh children will not go to school.

So be it.
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2006, 05:23:48 PM »

So then, if my religion called for it, I should be able to carry a gun to school, as long as it is loaded with non-lethal rock salt? Right?

It's a slippery slope you inhabit. A weapon is a weapon. Period. It has nothing to do with how effective it is.

The more I think about the way things are in the real world, the less I find slippery slope arguments to be convincing.  A pencil is a weapon, but it is not banned from school.  In the cafeteria of schools, once can pick up a plastic knife with a serrated edge.  A dull blade with no point and hence no function at all locked in a sheath is hardly dangerous.
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2006, 06:29:17 PM »

I know it isn't quite the same as a dager, but I know most of my classmates and I carried pocket knives to school.  It didn't turn into bringing swords or anything like that.  And the smoking of the pot does happen, in most every school, right under the radar of the teachers.  They used to smoke it at my high school, but by the time the smell was filling the hallways they were already done.
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2006, 07:01:51 PM »

So then, if my religion called for it, I should be able to carry a gun to school, as long as it is loaded with non-lethal rock salt? Right?

It's a slippery slope you inhabit. A weapon is a weapon. Period. It has nothing to do with how effective it is.

It comes down to an issue of freedom vs. safety, and whenever that question is presented we should always side with freedom. You can not replace responsibility with legislation; if the kid uses his dagger to kill someone, hang him, otherwise no harm is done.

'Wise men do not blame the knife for murder, nor wine for drunkenness, nor strength for insolence, nor courage for wrecklessness. No, they blame the men who make wrong use of the gifts of God and punish them.' -- St. John Chrysostom
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2006, 07:31:51 PM »

It comes down to an issue of freedom vs. safety, and whenever that question is presented we should always side with freedom. You can not replace responsibility with legislation; if the kid uses his dagger to kill someone, hang him, otherwise no harm is done.

'Wise men do not blame the knife for murder, nor wine for drunkenness, nor strength for insolence, nor courage for wrecklessness. No, they blame the men who make wrong use of the gifts of God and punish them.' -- St. John Chrysostom

On one hand, I'd say things are different because we are dealing with children/minors compounded with a volatile eastern religion.  On the otherhand, you have a very reasonable point....just that the "liberals" wouldn't stand for the needed harsher punishment for transgressors.

I have to say though that St. John Chrysostom quote is a real winner (in all seriousness).
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2006, 07:53:57 PM »

You think they would be able to carry these on an airplane?

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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2006, 08:03:09 PM »

Travelling by airplane is not a necessity - I would say that educating children is.
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« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2006, 08:06:25 PM »

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On one hand, I'd say things are different because we are dealing with children/minors compounded with a volatile eastern religion.

"Volatile" Eastern religion? Sikhs are not Muslims.

Quote
You think they would be able to carry these on an airplane?

They are not, and this causes Sikhs some manner of distress. There is a difference, however, between checking a kirpan in as luggage, and having it transported with one on the same vehicle, being reunited with it once the plane lands, and being wholly without one's kirpan, as would be the case attending school without it.
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« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2006, 08:16:09 PM »

Travelling by airplane is not a necessity - I would say that educating children is.

Carrying a "blade" is not a necessity. If they can;t carry them on airplanes, then they can do without them for 7 hours at school.

They should follw the example of France and ban ALL religious symbols.

... and being wholly without one's kirpan, as would be the case attending school without it.

OH! THE HORROR!!! Deal with it.
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« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2006, 08:18:27 PM »

By that same logic, confession isn't a necessity.  Clearly it is, in our religion, and clearly in their religion carrying a kirpan is as well.
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« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2006, 08:28:59 PM »

By that same logic, confession isn't a necessity.

Not to another human it isn't.

So WHAT if it is their religion? It is a possible danger to others.
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« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2006, 08:53:10 PM »

Quote
OH! THE HORROR!!! Deal with it.

Sikhs have chosen to die rather than give up the 5 K's. It's not something they're going to "deal with", nor should they be expected to. To willingly abandon one of the 5 K's is to abandon their faith and their vows, as serious as a Christian denying Christ.

Anyways, don't you have some billygoats to be eating?
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« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2006, 09:02:25 PM »

Sikhs have chosen to die rather than...

"Stupid is as stupid does"
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« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2006, 09:10:29 PM »

How stupid is this? VERY!

This is the west.  We dont carry side arms in to school rooms.  Have we lost our senses?  What this does is open a legal Box of worms where those who for whatever religious reasons feel the need to carry something that could be construed as a weapon for defence.  This is nuts!  Where is the sensibilities of the courts on this?  I just cant believe that this is being condoned by any lawful authorities.  We are definitely on a slippery slope to total disorder inthe classroom.  This will morph into ways not even envisioned by us now, but we will wonder how we got there when we get there.

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« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2006, 09:11:40 PM »

ALL SO WE WONT OFFEND.  HOW NOBLE?  GAG.
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« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2006, 09:31:45 PM »

So if this is required by their religion then what would be the religious consequences of a believer not wearing this dagger?  I saw this on the Canadian news last night and cracked up.  I wonder if a Sikh incarcerated in prison can walk around with his blade?  I don't think so!
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« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2006, 09:34:23 PM »

So if this is required by their religion then what would be the religious consequences of a believer not wearing this dagger?

In a strange twist on the Orthodox Holy Fire tradition, I believe that their turban will burst into flames.  Grin Cheesy
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« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2006, 09:44:43 PM »

For my final post on this topic, I give you THE expert on these types of subjects: Mr. Barney Fife and his famous quote

http://www.wavsource.com/snds_2006-02-27_114802943139276/tv/andy/nip_it3.wav

BTW you will have to copy and paste it into your address box - they don't allow linking. It's worth it.
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« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2006, 10:02:39 PM »

Tom

Quote
They should follw the example of France and ban ALL religious symbols.

What if someone is a pantheist, should globes be prohibited in schools? For that matter, what about classes on earth science!? That is explicitly teaching about a religion, even if those tricky teachers try to hide it behind the cover of "science" and "fact". And all those trips to the planetarium, we know it's really just religious indoctrination!  Grin Seriously though, at what point do you stop? Who gets to decide what a "religious symbol" is? And if the already-held, explicitly religious symbols are the ones that are banned, then what happens when a new religious symbol arises? And how many people need hold to a religion, and believe something to be a religious symbol, before it falls under the ban on all religious symbols?
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« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2006, 10:25:02 PM »

The "taking things to an extreme" argument is not an argument.
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« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2006, 10:30:20 PM »

Neither is dismissing a point out of hand, just because you consider the variables to be too extreme, a proper rebuttal Smiley You don't like the extreme examples I gave? Then answer the question using more likely possibilities. Should WWJD bracelets be banned? Crosses on necklaces? How about various wiccan and pagan symbolism that gets worn to probably every school in America every single day, but which the teachers are probably completely unaware of? Since parking lots are school property, should religious bumper stickers be banned? Statuettes? Crosses?
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« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2006, 10:36:39 PM »

Should WWJD bracelets be banned? Crosses on necklaces? How about various wiccan and pagan symbolism that gets worn to probably every school in America every single day, but which the teachers are probably completely unaware of? Since parking lots are school property, should religious bumper stickers be banned? Statuettes? Crosses?

It should be left up to each local school board.
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« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2006, 10:42:35 PM »

So if this is required by their religion then what would be the religious consequences of a believer not wearing this dagger?  I saw this on the Canadian news last night and cracked up.  I wonder if a Sikh incarcerated in prison can walk around with his blade?  I don't think so!

Dont be too sure, for in this age of relevancy a good lawyer could probably make a good case for the Sikh to wear one even in prison.  Maybe out of soap?
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« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2006, 10:46:35 PM »

Tom,

Ok, [now editing post to reflect your modified answer], that sounds fair enough (regarding the school board), but since you've obviously taken a strong stance on this issue, I think it would be nice for you to answer the part of my post that gets at the actual criteria through which you decide what to ban.

1. Who gets to decide what a "religious symbol" is?

2. Who defines religion? (e.g., some consider secular humanism and satanism religions, others don't)

3. What happens when a new "religious symbol" arises? That is to say, how many people need be adherents of a religion before you have to investigate their religious imagery?

4. How do you determine whether something is a religious symbol worthy of being banned, or only a common thing that some people happen to use for religious purposes? Are virginity rings religious? How about pro-life t-shirts? Atheists could use these things just as easily as theists.
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« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2006, 10:48:22 PM »

So if this is required by their religion then what would be the religious consequences of a believer not wearing this dagger?  I saw this on the Canadian news last night and cracked up.  I wonder if a Sikh incarcerated in prison can walk around with his blade?  I don't think so!

Are there Sikh children going to school in the lower 48?  And if so, will they follow suit?

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« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2006, 10:51:56 PM »

1. Who gets to decide what a "religious symbol" is?
2. Who defines religion? (e.g., some consider secular humanism and satanism religions, others don't)
3. What happens when a new "religious symbol" arises? That is to say, how many people need be adherents of a religion before you have to investigate their religious imagery?
4. How do you determine whether something is a religious symbol worthy of being banned, or only a common thing that some people happen to use for religious purposes? [/quote]

The School Board, or a similar elected body, makes these decisions based on input from the public.

Are virginity rings religious?
No, they are antiques.

How about pro-life t-shirts? Atheists could use these things just as easily as theists.

No, they are not religious, but they should not be allowed.

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« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2006, 10:53:27 PM »

(Can you tell I like Sikhism?)

Quote
"Stupid is as stupid does"

They've also killed for it. Sikhism is not a proselytizing religion, and does not seek to dominate other peoples like the Muslims, but they have no problem with armed resistance to injustice. Look at what happened to Indira Gandhi.

Quote
We dont carry side arms in to school rooms.

The kirpan is not a sidearm. It's a small iron sword, often blunt, kept sheathed and worn tied to the shoulder under the clothing.

Quote
So if this is required by their religion then what would be the religious consequences of a believer not wearing this dagger?

A Sikh who willingly abandons one of the K's has broken his vows to God, and must repent, make up for his wrong if necessary, and re-undergo the Amrit baptism ceremony, just as if he were a new initiate.

Quote
Are there Sikh children going to school in the lower 48?  And if so, will they follow suit?

There are hundreds of thousands of Sikhs in the US, so yes. There were several dozen at my high school alone (easily recognizable by their turbans). To my knowledge, they carry the kirpan.

(Incidentally, for those of you interested in martial arts, Sikhism has produced a truly awesome one, gatka, that's actually effective for fighting (as opposed to sport) and has been used in actual warfare -- see here for some videos of it in action.)
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« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2006, 10:56:30 PM »

Tom,

So let me see if I understand. Your basic methodology here is that you call something stupid and speak against it vehemently. Then, when pressed to explain on what principles you are basing your objections, you pass the buck to someone else and say that it is someone else who must make the decisions. Have I got that right?  Grin
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« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2006, 11:00:54 PM »

Tom,

So let me see if I understand. Your basic methodology here is that you call something stupid and speak against it vehemently. Then, when pressed to explain on what principles you are basing your objections, you pass the buck to someone else and say that it is someone else who must make the decisions. Have I got that right?  Grin

No, not at all. I was very clear on why I object to it - IT IS A WEAPON. What is confusing to you? I am quite willing to make the decision. Elect me to the board!

CALIFORNIA LAW:

Ceremonial Daggers Allowed in School

Students who are members of the Sikh religion may wear ceremonial knives ("kirpans") while attending classes in the Livingston Elementary School District. The Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court's injunction allowing the Sikh pupils to wear the "kirpans" despite Education Code provisions banning knives at school. The knives must be hidden under clothing and sewn into sheaths. The order remains in effect until the trial scheduled for October 1996, takes place. A lengthy dissent to the order was written by Judge Charles Wiggins who wrote that "the plan of accommodation, which allows 7 ,8 and 10 year-old children to carry 7-inch knives to school, compromises school safety." Cheema v. Thompson (9th Cir. 1995) 36 F.3d 1102; Order and dissent filed 8/1/95.

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« Reply #37 on: March 03, 2006, 11:24:42 PM »

What confuses me is that you don't seem to want to answer the questions I posed. Wink Since you say that you would indeed be quite willing to make the decisions if on a school board, let's suppose hypothetically that you were part of the (public) school board at Anastasios High School in Tomberry, MD. Now let's suppose that the board has appointed you to come up with criteria for determining what is and is not religious imagery, so as to avoid any perceived subjectivist bias on the part of teachers, or law suits claiming discrimination, at a later time. What guidelines would you lay out?
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« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2006, 12:09:08 AM »

Great idea about hanging the kid who uses his dagger as a weapon (you know, the disturbed one who decides to carry a sharp dagger, not sewn into the sheath and make it easily accessible in case someone gives him crap - at least in his distorted mind).

...uh....unless you are the parent of the classmate that got stabbed to death

In the US rastafaris are NOT allowed to smoke weed for religious reasons
early mormons were NOT allowed to have two wives
and I think some native american tribe got pretty p-o'd when they weren't allowed to smoke peyote

there are limits on religious freedom
what if some fringe group decided child sacrifice is now necessary?

and regarding the slippery slope, recently a mom (in the news) whose son attended an inner city school was angered that he got suspended for carrying a firearm to school because it made him "feel safe." All it would take is some quack to see a precedent in the Sikh ruling and find a way to allow kids to carry guns to school (ceremonial ones with wax bullets, sewn into the holster and worn under the clothing, of course)

How old are some of you debating this? And do you have kids?
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« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2006, 12:12:01 AM »



They should follw the example of France and ban ALL religious symbols.



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« Reply #40 on: March 04, 2006, 12:13:01 AM »

The "taking things to an extreme" argument is not an argument.

Which your slippery slope argument was a form of.
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« Reply #41 on: March 04, 2006, 12:13:23 AM »

Catholics started their own schools
conservative protestants have carried forward that tradition
let the Sikhs start their own schools

And let the governments of both Canada and the US give every family vouchers to send their kids to the school of their choice

It's NOT gorvenment money -it's OUR money taken by the power of the state
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« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2006, 12:18:31 AM »



How old are some of you debating this? And do you have kids?

Again, a kirpan is not a weapon and cannot be used as such.  Hence, there is no comparison.  As far as age goes, don't fall into the trap of ageism.  It just doesn't work.  Some of us went to school with Sikhs that carried kirpans and we didn't feel threatened, so we could bring our personal experience to bear.  One could also argue that if you are personally invested in the issue (to use your example, one has children) that he is biased.  So really, we should argue the issue on its own merits, not play the "I'm older than you and have more experience, therefore I can dismiss what you have to say" game.

As for your later argument about letting them start private schools, I think this is an excellent idea and would be a good solution to the problem.

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« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2006, 12:33:28 AM »

I believe the problem with public schools in the US and Canada is that the common wisdom of the parents of the students has been ignored. Professional educators and extreme groups working throught the courts have set the agenda in the schools.

To the degree that parents are invested and it is their kids, they should have the lion's share of the say.

It's not ageism. You could be a single 60 year old with no kids, nieces/nephews, grandkids.
Or you could be a twenty-something. But if you don't have kids in the local school, it's not your business, for the most part (I'm over stating to make a point).
Sorry, that's the way I see it.

But thanks for the props on the private school issue.

What do you think of vouchers (or are we dirfting toward the taboo of american political discussion?)
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« Reply #44 on: March 04, 2006, 12:59:12 AM »

Just as a matter of interest I had a look at images of Kirpans on google. Some of them are rather beautiful, but still looked a bit pointy to me.

Perhaps those who have had the experience of seeing them in RL could explain how they are blunted and how, if they are permitted in schools, parents can be assured that Sikh pupils aren't wearing the pointy type instead of those that are blunt. Especially, if they are worn concealed.

Thanks. Smiley


 
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« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2006, 12:59:29 AM »

Quote
In the US rastafaris are NOT allowed to smoke weed for religious reasons
early mormons were NOT allowed to have two wives
and I think some native american tribe got pretty p-o'd when they weren't allowed to smoke peyote

But Native Americans *are* allowed to take peyote (it is eaten, not smoked), as they did for thousands of years before Europeans came. And Lukumis (practitioners of Santería) are allowed to sacrifice animals to their gods. If Rastafarians put up a big fight to be allowed to smoke ganja, it's not at all clear that they would not be allowed to do so.

Quote
there are limits on religious freedom
what if some fringe group decided child sacrifice is now necessary?

Are you seriously suggesting there's any reasonable comparison between practices that harm nobody, such as wearing a kirpan or eating peyote, and child sacrifice? If you are, I question your sanity.

Quote
But if you don't have kids in the local school, it's not your business, for the most part

Hey, you don't want me to have a say in local schools, stop funding them with my tax dollars.

Quote
Some of them are rather beautiful, but still looked a bit pointy to me.

How about this? No cutting edge. There's still a point, but there are dozens if not hundreds of objects students use every day that are just as pointy. Protractors, nail files, pens, chopsticks, scissors, etc. I used a fountain pen in high school that could have caused just as much damage as one of these. Do you propose to ban all pointy metal objects, or is a kirpan somehow special because it's used ceremonially and has a pretty handle and sheath?
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« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2006, 01:04:11 AM »

They should follw the example of France and ban ALL religious symbols.

Any occasion you cite the example of France to buttress your argument.....

You, in the greatest of French traditions, have surrendered to your opponent.
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« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2006, 01:09:19 AM »

How about this? No cutting edge. There's still a point, but there are dozens if not hundreds of objects students use every day that are just as pointy. Protractors, nail files, pens, chopsticks, scissors, etc. I used a fountain pen in high school that could have caused just as much damage as one of these. Do you propose to ban all pointy metal objects, or is a kirpan somehow special because it's used ceremonially and has a pretty handle and sheath?

I actually didn't propose anything. I asked a question. Smiley
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« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2006, 01:13:52 AM »

Quote
I actually didn't propose anything. I asked a question.

Fine. All kirpans have a point. It's not a particularly sharp point, and one could do a lot more damage with an ordinary pair of scissors than with a kirpan. If parents are worried about a dull-bladed dagger-shaped religious implement carried in a sheath that's sewn shut beneath the clothing, yet ignore the dreadful peril of scissors-carrying students that fill our schools, then I submit that the problem is not with the kirpan.
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« Reply #49 on: March 04, 2006, 01:16:45 AM »

Fine. All kirpans have a point. It's not a particulary sharp point, and one could do a lot more damage with an ordinary pair of scissors than with a kirpan. If parents are worried about a dull-bladed dagger-shaped religious implement carried in a sheath that's sewn shut beneath the clothing, yet ignore the dreadful peril of scissors-carrying students that fill our schools, then I submit that the problem is not with the kirpan.

Thank you for your reply - and yes, I can see your point. (no pun intended) Roll Eyes
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« Reply #50 on: March 04, 2006, 01:18:33 AM »

Perhaps a solution to this problem is to have everyone carry a dagger...An armed society is a polite society.
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« Reply #51 on: March 04, 2006, 01:22:01 AM »

Perhaps a solution to this problem is to have everyone carry a dagger...An armed society is a polite society.

LOL

Although, some of those huge "bling" crosses look pretty lethal. Smiley
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« Reply #52 on: March 04, 2006, 01:33:26 AM »

the "child sacrifice" was the extreme end result that likely would never happen, but precedents in the legal system DO lead to pretty strange places VERY far afield of the original exception,

THAT was my point.

Don't get into the MY tax dollars argument. If you never own a car, are we not to use YOUR tax dollars to build bridges and roads? If you never get cancer are we not use use YOUR tax dollars to fund cancer research? etc. etc.
Also SOMEONE'S tax dollars went to education YOU. But as for whether kids should bring weapons to school, ceremonial or otherwise, the PARENTS should decide that NOT you. BTW my kids are out of school now so I SHOULD
NOT make that decision either, at this point. If my kids move back to where I live and I have grandkids in the district I will have some secondary say in the matter.

YOUR tax dollars and MINE should go to educating the next generation. Just give parents CHOICE with vouchers. Then all the Sikh kids can carry their daggers to Sikh school. And all the Santeria kids can bring animals to school to sacrifice. And especially inner city parents will be empowered to send their kids to a school of their CHOICE.
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« Reply #53 on: March 04, 2006, 01:37:44 AM »

Quote
the "child sacrifice" was the extreme end result that likely would never happen, but precedents in the legal system DO lead to pretty strange places VERY far afield of the original exception,

I'm sorry, but there is a qualitative difference between wearing a kirpan and child sacrifice. One does not logically lead to the other.

Quote
If you never own a car, are we not to use YOUR tax dollars to build bridges and roads? If you never get cancer are we not use use YOUR tax dollars to fund cancer research? etc. etc.

I don't think so, but the fact that my tax dollars go into such gives me a say, however small, in how such things are run.

Quote
Just give parents CHOICE with vouchers.

Nope. Vouchers are not the answer. However bad it is to take my money and give it to an institution in which I have minimal say, it is worse to take my money and give it to an institution in which I have no say. The solution is to abolish publically-supported schooling altogether.

Quote
And all the Santeria kids can bring animals to school to sacrifice.

The hell? Why in the world would a Lukumi sacrifice an animal at school?
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« Reply #54 on: March 04, 2006, 01:45:43 AM »

But as for whether kids should bring weapons to school, ceremonial or otherwise, the PARENTS should decide that NOT you. BTW my kids are out of school now so I SHOULD
NOT make that decision either, at this point. If my kids move back to where I live and I have grandkids in the district I will have some secondary say in the matter.

NO, it is religious expression, the parents DO NOT get to make the choice. The primary purpose of our constitution is to protect the minority from the majority. The Constitution gurantees BOTH the freedom of religion AND the right to keep and bear arms, for us this should be (as it was) an open and shut case...there is not 'school safety' clause in the constitution, so, quite frankly, it's not even an issue.
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« Reply #55 on: March 04, 2006, 01:46:07 AM »

Concerning the airplane argument...had everyone been armed on 9/11 do you really think those planes would have flown into the world trade center? I stand behind my belief that the solution to these problems is to uphold the right to keep and bear arms...freedom or death.
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« Reply #56 on: March 04, 2006, 01:49:15 AM »

Quote
.

!
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« Reply #57 on: March 04, 2006, 01:50:35 AM »

!

Accidently hit the post button prematurely.
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« Reply #58 on: March 04, 2006, 01:59:19 AM »

sorry but the keep and bear arms is an anachronism when there were state militias and the citizenry was sort of equally armed with the federal govt.

Now days...
You CANNOT own a bazooka, anti-tank gun, grenade launcher, mortar, let alone an attack helicoptor or cruise missile. You can own all the guns at the gun show and if the govt. wants to take you out, they can and they will (if is is politically expedient, of course). Your shotgun or .357 magnum or 9mm ain't gonna protect you from the federal government and keep freedon alive.

ALL guns should be outlawed except for long rifles for hunters who should have to go through rigourous psychological testing and background checks to own them.

There are too many freakin' guns. Get rid of them.

Just last night at the arena by which I work a kid was shot after a high school basketball game. I don't need to be walking to my car and be shot by some 15 year old who thinks its a freakin' video game and he can shoot me and then press the re-set button and start all over again
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« Reply #59 on: March 04, 2006, 02:04:08 AM »

I was not really saying there is a comparison between a dagger and child sacrifice. Do you not understand the idea of stating the outrageous to make a point? Were you once a fundamentalist protestant where you must take everything literally?

Again, the animals at school was rhetoric.

Geez!
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« Reply #60 on: March 04, 2006, 02:07:59 AM »

For those of us who aren't American/Canadian, would someone explain what vouchers are?

Thanks Smiley
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« Reply #61 on: March 04, 2006, 02:12:44 AM »

it is an argument in american politics that parents should be given tax vouchers to be redeemed for tuition at whatever school the parent sends their child to. Rather than the monolpoly of government owned and opereated schools that have been co-opted by the academic elite and teacher's unions.

the only other alternative is to BOTH pay taxes to support the government run schools AND pay tuition to send you kid to a private school - which is what we have currently; vouchers at this point are still a dream
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« Reply #62 on: March 04, 2006, 02:14:28 AM »

hmmm
someone in favor of vouchers for education (must be a Republican)

someone for gun control (must be a Democrat)

hmmmmmmmm
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« Reply #63 on: March 04, 2006, 02:15:46 AM »

Concerning the airplane argument...had everyone been armed on 9/11 do you really think those planes would have flown into the world trade center?
Not if we assume that every US citizen is sane, but the Oklahoma bomber, the Unibomber, the assasins of JFK & John Lennon and most murderers in the US are US citizens. So if history is anything to go on, I don't think I'd like to board a plane full of US citizens who are armed.
You seem to have a great deal of faith in humanity GiC. Unfortunately, I do not share it. Wink
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« Reply #64 on: March 04, 2006, 02:18:03 AM »

sorry but the keep and bear arms is an anachronism when there were state militias and the citizenry was sort of equally armed with the federal govt.

It goes hand in hand with the philosophy, 'The tree of liberty must be refreshened from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.' If the people do not have the means to rebel against the government, they are not truly free.

Quote
You CANNOT own a bazooka, anti-tank gun, grenade launcher, mortar, let alone an attack helicoptor or cruise missile.

These are unconstitutional violations of our most sacred of rights. Violations that the supreme court has not directly upheald, but has rather decided not to rule on...for they know that the constitution says and are afraid of it.

Quote
You can own all the guns at the gun show and if the govt. wants to take you out, they can and they will (if is is politically expedient, of course). Your shotgun or .357 magnum or 9mm ain't gonna protect you from the federal government and keep freedon alive.

You miss much of the point, 'freedom or death' means death more often than it means freedom, if they're going to kill me, fine, but let me die with a gun in my hands and at least the chance to fire back...this is a death with honour, a death that all true men pray they will die.

Quote
ALL guns should be outlawed except for long rifles for hunters who should have to go through rigourous psychological testing and background checks to own them.

They can pry mine from my cold dead hands and I pray to God that he will grant me a steady arm and a sure eye to send a few of them to hell before they kill me.

Quote
There are too many freakin' guns. Get rid of them.

'They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.'

Quote
Just last night at the arena by which I work a kid was shot after a high school basketball game. I don't need to be walking to my car and be shot by some 15 year old who thinks its a freakin' video game and he can shoot me and then press the re-set button and start all over again

Going back to Chrysostom again: 'Wise men do not blame the knife for murder, nor wine for drunkenness, nor strength for insolence, nor courage for wrecklessness. No, they blame the men who make wrong use of the gifts of God and punish them.'
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« Reply #65 on: March 04, 2006, 02:18:59 AM »

Not if we assume that every US citizen is sane, but the Oklahoma bomber, the Unibomber, the assasins of JFK & John Lennon and most murderers in the US are US citizens. So if history is anything to go on, I don't think I'd like to board a plane full of US citizens who are armed.
You seem to have a great deal of faith in humanity GiC. Unfortunately, I do not share it. Wink

My argument does not require that every US citizen is sane, just that a majority are.
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« Reply #66 on: March 04, 2006, 02:21:05 AM »

I can't even read the rest of your reply without replying!
Don't give me Thomas Jefferson's claptrap about refershing the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots

that's easy to say, s long as it isn't your blood or mine

Balderdash
boo on you
get real!
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« Reply #67 on: March 04, 2006, 02:22:25 AM »

I can't even read the rest of your reply without replying!
Don't give me Thomas Jefferson's claptrap about refershing the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots

that's easy to say, s long as it isn't your blood or mine

Balderdash
boo on you
get real!

You are free to comment on your own honour, or lack thereof...but do not make assumptions about mine.
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« Reply #68 on: March 04, 2006, 02:28:57 AM »

Thank God that George Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton and other federalists won the day in America and not the Jeffersonians, and other radicals who supported the French mob.
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« Reply #69 on: March 04, 2006, 02:35:41 AM »

Thank God that George Washington, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton and other federalists won the day in America and not the Jeffersonians, and other radicals who supported the French mob.

We anti-federalists were not entirely without our victories...the Bill of Rights, which has become the basis for American freedom and liberty, is the result of a compromise with the anti-federalists. Imagine the freedoms we could have ensured if we had our way; yes there would have been more war and conflict, but this is a very very small price to pay for freedom.

The freedom of speech
The freedom of the press
The freedom of religion
The right to keep and bear arms
The right to be secure in your person and property
The right to trial by jury
et cetera
et cetera

You can thank the anti-federalists for all these.
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« Reply #70 on: March 04, 2006, 02:39:31 AM »

it is an argument in american politics that parents should be given tax vouchers to be redeemed for tuition at whatever school the parent sends their child to. Rather than the monolpoly of government owned and opereated schools that have been co-opted by the academic elite and teacher's unions.

the only other alternative is to BOTH pay taxes to support the government run schools AND pay tuition to send you kid to a private school - which is what we have currently; vouchers at this point are still a dream

Thanks BrotherAidan
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« Reply #71 on: March 04, 2006, 02:41:33 AM »

Does anyone have statistics on how many people in Canada or the US have been attacked with a kirpan?  My guess is that the number would be close to zero...
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« Reply #72 on: March 04, 2006, 02:45:16 AM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=8343.msg110082#msg110082 date=1141454493]
Does anyone have statistics on how many people in Canada or the US have been attacked with a kirpan?  My guess is that the number would be close to zero... [/quote]

I didn't even know what a kirpan was until today. Isn't the internet wonderful?
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« Reply #73 on: March 04, 2006, 02:49:05 AM »

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Were you once a fundamentalist protestant where you must take everything literally?

Even worse, I'm a lawyer-in-training.
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« Reply #74 on: March 04, 2006, 03:01:11 AM »

Quote
I didn't even know what a kirpan was until today. Isn't the internet wonderful?

My area haw a fairly large amount of immigrants from Asia, mostly Chinese and Indians (including Sikhs).  So I am use to being around them from my high school.  Never once did I feel threatened by the presence of tirpan.  IME, Sikhs tend to be some of the most non-violent people I've come across.  
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« Reply #75 on: March 04, 2006, 03:02:04 AM »

My argument does not require that every US citizen is sane, just that a majority are.
No, your argument requires that those who are insane do not have more lethal weapons than those who are sane.
Unfortunately, Timothy McVeigh did.
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« Reply #76 on: March 04, 2006, 03:20:02 AM »

I am surprised about this as an issue.  It has long been a ruling  from the Sikh spiritual leaders that the carrying of a picture of the small dagger meets the requirements of their faith.

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« Reply #77 on: March 04, 2006, 03:26:11 AM »

Quote
Unfortunately, Timothy McVeigh did.

Timothy McVeigh *was* sane. I highly disagree with his methods, and his racist connexions, but the basic thrust of his attack -- a highly targeted strike, not upon civilians, as with the 9/11 hijackers, but upon people, government officials, intimately involved in the operations of what he saw as an illegitimate and oppressive state -- is little different than thousands of similar operations conducted by the US government itself.
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« Reply #78 on: March 04, 2006, 03:28:57 AM »

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It has long been a ruling  from the Sikh spiritual leaders that the carrying of a picture of the small dagger meets the requirements of their faith.

*Some* leaders might have said that, but Sikhism has no clergy or centralized, universal, binding leadership. The majority of Sikhs reject this interpretation.
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« Reply #79 on: March 04, 2006, 06:14:49 AM »

[quote author=Νεκτάριος link=topic=8343.msg110086#msg110086 date=1141455671]
My area haw a fairly large amount of immigrants from Asia, mostly Chinese and Indians (including Sikhs).  So I am use to being around them from my high school.  Never once did I feel threatened by the presence of tirpan.  IME, Sikhs tend to be some of the most non-violent people I've come across. [/quote]

From my experience with Sikhs, I would agree. A family member was married to a young Sikh man. Sadly, it didn't work out, but I found his whole family to be delightful. The father in particular is such a devout and gentle man. I just didn't knew about tirpans - never even saw one. The family's English wasn't all that extensive, so I suppose it's understandable that the subject didn't come up.  It would have been so interesting to have known a bit more about their beliefs, too.  Smiley

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« Reply #80 on: March 04, 2006, 06:58:20 AM »

Timothy McVeigh *was* sane.
That's a matter of opinion.
he basic thrust of his attack -- a highly targeted strike, not upon civilians, as with the 9/11 hijackers, but upon people, government officials, intimately involved in the operations of what he saw as an illegitimate and oppressive state -- is little different than thousands of similar operations conducted by the US government itself.
I never realised that the US government employed people as young as this "colateral damage" from Timothy McVeigh's attack.
I fail to see a difference... or the sanity.
EDIT: I removed this image at the request of TomS and replaced it with a link to it. The image is the well known, distressing photo of the fireman carrying a dead child out of the debris of the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995.
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« Reply #81 on: March 04, 2006, 10:06:06 AM »

I never realised that the US government employed people as young as this "colateral damage" from Timothy McVeigh's attack.
I fail to see a difference... or the sanity.

First off, Timothy McVeigh didn't even have to use a weapon proper (i.e. a substance manufactured for the sole purpose of being a weapon), he used fertilizer...combustable materials are an essential part of our life, you cannot viably outlaw the materials needed to make a bomb...had he went into the building with a machine gun or RPG, he would have done far less damage, but instead he decided to use an agricultural product.

Secondly, while I disagree with some of the ideology of McVeigh and believe he went a little too far within our current social context (I can't recall who said that it's too late to work within the system, but too early to start shooting the bastards yet...but if I recall there's a good book out on the subject); however, he had justifiable reasons for being upset at the government (the bombing was done in retaliation for Waco) and a legitimate government target was hit, as the target is would be acceptable within by rules of war. The fact that there were children at a strategic target is the fault of the government, not McVeigh, so has the government learned and removed the presence of all children from other such strategic targets? Of course not, the propaganda value of them being hit in a attack is too high, the children don't mean anything to the state, but their deaths are priceless because of the emotionalism with which the media and Americans approach the issue.
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« Reply #82 on: March 04, 2006, 10:13:56 AM »

I thought I'd throw this quote in response to all the arguments in favour of safety, which are by their very nature cowardly, dishonourable, and unchristian (fear for one's temporal well being is a mockery of our faith in the final resurrection and contrary the most fundamental tenets of the Christian Religion).

'The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.' -- Tacitus
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« Reply #83 on: March 04, 2006, 10:42:14 AM »

"even worse, I'm a lawyer in training"

LOL - literally!

reminds me of the lyrucs to a Robert Cray song:
You can give me an hour alone in a bank
Pay all my tickets, wipe the slate blank
You could buy me a car, fill up the tank
 ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚ Tell me that a boat full of lawyers just sank  Smiley
But it ain't nothin' but a woman
Nothin' but a woman....

(hope you will take that in the fun it was intended!) Shocked
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« Reply #84 on: March 04, 2006, 10:56:46 AM »

"in favor of safety"

depends if one seeking his own safety or that of others

I don't think it is unchristian, given the recent mining accidents, to seek more safety for the workers in that industry, for example

or is it somehow christian to allow the unbridled greed  of the mine operators to prevail, because the workers should be seeking heaven, not safety in the workplace
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« Reply #85 on: March 04, 2006, 11:30:41 AM »

I fail to see a difference... or the sanity.

Please take that image down of the fireman carrrying the dead child. It is obscene.
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« Reply #86 on: March 04, 2006, 11:31:15 AM »

"in favor of safety"

depends if one seeking his own safety or that of others

I don't think it is unchristian, given the recent mining accidents, to seek more safety for the workers in that industry, for example

or is it somehow christian to allow the unbridled greed  of the mine operators to prevail, because the workers should be seeking heaven, not safety in the workplace

Well here's a non sequitur if I've ever seen one, arguing for societal security based on occupational safety. I dont even know where to start with Fallacious Argument...how do you dismiss the argument 'Johnny eats corn, pigs eat corn, therefore johnny is a pig.' I have nothing against a corporation instituting a policy of occupational safety, more often than not it makes good economic sense to do so. I really dont think that the government needs to get involved, the wrongful death suits will probably be enough of an encouragement for the corporations to take a more active approach on the issue of safety. Ultimately what I'm saying and that Thomas Jefferson and Tacitus were saying is that a society that makes security its goal will inevitably turn into a dictatorship and will, as a society, die. Freedom is very dangerous to a society and a people, but while security offers no long term benifits the long term benifits of Freedom are great. Then there is the fact that while some may be happy to live their lives as slaves and I have no objection to making such people slaves, giving them food, clothing, shelter, and security, but little more, I for one am not willing to live such a life and view death as a very small price to pay to avoid such a life. Perhaps a love for freedom and a hatred of anything that stands against it is in my blood, perhaps it's simply my cultural experience, but it is an ideal that I hold sacred; accordingly, I dispise, as unworthy of life, all who would stand in opposistion to it.

I know I have overused quotes already in this discussion, but I really can't help myself, so many before me have become embroiled in such struggles for freedom and liberty, and have spoken with far more eloquence on the subject than I could ever hope to, so I quote one of my favouriate founding fathers, Patrick Henry:

'Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!'
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« Reply #87 on: March 04, 2006, 11:32:42 AM »

Please take that image down of the fireman carrrying the dead child. It is obscene.

It's propaganda, but not obscene...death is a natural part of life, get used to it.
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« Reply #88 on: March 04, 2006, 11:41:12 AM »

It's propaganda, but not obscene...death is a natural part of life, get used to it.

But the murder of an innocent child is not. Either way, there are appropriate places for an image like this to be posted - it is not here.
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« Reply #89 on: March 04, 2006, 11:44:16 AM »

Please take that image down of the fireman carrrying the dead child. It is obscene.
I don't think it is obsene, nor propaganda as GiC suggests, however I will take it down because you asked me to Tom.
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« Reply #90 on: March 04, 2006, 11:56:26 AM »

But the murder of an innocent child is not. Either way, there are appropriate places for an image like this to be posted - it is not here.

From a historical perspective the death of small children, by violent or natural means, is probably more common that that of adults, I really dont understand modern America's phobia towards death. I'm as materialistic as the next guy, but death is inevitable.
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« Reply #91 on: March 04, 2006, 12:00:28 PM »

From a historical perspective the death of small children, by violent or natural means, is probably more common that that of adults, I really dont understand modern America's phobia towards death. I'm as materialistic as the next guy, but death is inevitable.
GiC, I think a bit of the "android" is surfacing here. Wink
I can understand TomS's reaction- he is the father of a small child.
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« Reply #92 on: March 04, 2006, 12:02:20 PM »

GiC, I think a bit of the "android" is surfacing here. Wink

The android is never far below the surface  Grin
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« Reply #93 on: March 04, 2006, 12:07:27 PM »

Thanks ozgeorge

I just object to the idea that violence and death is an acceptable image, yet if I posted a picture of a naked woman or a couple (male and female!) having sex, it is objectionable.
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« Reply #94 on: March 04, 2006, 12:10:25 PM »

Thanks ozgeorge
I just object to the idea that violence and death is an acceptable image, yet if I posted a picture of a naked woman or a couple (male and female!) having sex, it is objectionable.

The problem with posting pornography is not that it's objectionable, anyone who believes in the free flow of information should not object to speech or other publications simply because it is objectionable anyway. The real problem is bandwidth, porn sites take up a large amount of bandwidth, thus generally requiring different more expensive servers, generally speaking the concerns are purely practical.
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« Reply #95 on: March 04, 2006, 12:17:54 PM »

The problem with posting pornography..

Who said anything about pornography? And your reasoning and justification on WHY it would be objectionable is just loopy.  Cheesy

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« Reply #96 on: March 04, 2006, 12:22:47 PM »

Who said anything about pornography?

It's a generally accepted term for the posting of such pictures as you suggested. It is you who are applying society's negative connotations to the word, not me.

Quote
And your reasoning and justification on WHY it would be objectionable is just loopy.  Cheesy

Not at all, look around at various web servers that have policies against pornography, those that offer an explanation will rarely object to pornography on moral grounds, the objection is the amount of bandwidth. Pornographic sites tend to be fairly popular, with large numbers of images or video to download, more bandwidth means more money, which means which means a higher cost for the server. Simple economics, the only thing most businesses object to is not making money.
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« Reply #97 on: March 04, 2006, 12:24:28 PM »

Thanks ozgeorge
I'm sorry if I offended you.

I just object to the idea that violence and death is an acceptable image
Then don't look at what stands behind every altar in every sanctuary, in every Orthodox Church. Wink

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« Reply #98 on: March 04, 2006, 12:45:45 PM »

It's a generally accepted term for the posting of such pictures as you suggested. It is you who are applying society's negative connotations to the word, not me.

Dude. What is it with you an having to always get the last word in? Ahh, that's right, studying to be one of those know-it all priests or "theologin"  Grin
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« Reply #99 on: March 04, 2006, 02:24:53 PM »

I believe the problem with public schools in the US and Canada is that the common wisdom of the parents of the students has been ignored. Professional educators and extreme groups working throught the courts have set the agenda in the schools.

To the degree that parents are invested and it is their kids, they should have the lion's share of the say.

It's not ageism. You could be a single 60 year old with no kids, nieces/nephews, grandkids.
Or you could be a twenty-something. But if you don't have kids in the local school, it's not your business, for the most part (I'm over stating to make a point).
Sorry, that's the way I see it.

But thanks for the props on the private school issue.

What do you think of vouchers (or are we dirfting toward the taboo of american political discussion?)

I am looking at it from a perspective of religious freedom. And hence I believe I and all other religious people have a stake in the argument. For the record, I don't have kids in the public school, but I work in the public school.

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« Reply #100 on: March 04, 2006, 05:43:35 PM »

I thought I'd throw this quote in response to all the arguments in favour of safety, which are by their very nature cowardly, dishonourable, and unchristian (fear for one's temporal well being is a mockery of our faith in the final resurrection and contrary the most fundamental tenets of the Christian Religion).

'The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.' -- Tacitus

I would agree that fear for one's temporal well being, etc is, indeed, a mockery of our faith. Which is why I, personaly, would object to the concept of "going out with guns blazing" and taking as many with me as possible, which seems also to be a mockery of our faith. (Note: this isn't a point I bring up for debate, but my own personal conviction. I understand that others have a differing viewpoint. That is between them and God, just as my viewpoint is between me and God.)

However, though I am completely on the side of the religious choice of the individual with regard to the topic of this thread, which is the carrying of a religious symbol that is apparently less harmful than a set of eye-lash curlers (those things are deadly, believe me!) I would also disagree that, from the Orthodox persepective, death is to be considered "natural" and we should "get over it".

Perhaps I have missed something in the conversations that have preceded, and ask to be excused for any careless reading on my part. But I would respectfully suggest that if we don't mourn - I'm not speaking of perpetual morbidity or fear of death - but sincerely regret the death of each and every human being (with whom we are so closely bound, both in being made in the image of God and in being marred by our human weaknesses) as being completely unnatural according to God's creative purpose, we have missed a crucial point of our faith.

Today is Forgiveness Sunday for those of us residing in the antipodes and I, therefore, ask forgiveness for any offence I may have caused in posting to this forum at any time.

In Christ.    
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« Reply #101 on: March 04, 2006, 07:45:41 PM »

Ultimately what I'm saying and that Thomas Jefferson and Tacitus were saying is that a society that makes security its goal will inevitably turn into a dictatorship and will, as a society, die. Freedom is very dangerous to a society and a people, but while security offers no long term benifits the long term benifits of Freedom are great



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« Reply #102 on: March 04, 2006, 07:47:54 PM »

see above
I agree with this. But I do not see how an across-the-board no tolerence policy regarding weapons in public schools is a threat to societal freedom.

Not all freedoms are absolute. Citizens in the US do have the right to keep and bear arms, but I don't think we err or threaten all of our freedoms to limit that right and not extend it to three year olds or the mentally impaired, which as far as I know is not seen as tyranny but as common sense.

I think what has left alot of parents frustrated about public schools is that alot of the debates and issues are argued from absolutist positions on the left and the right by legal professionals, without a dose of common sense and so we end up with three year olds toting guns, so to speak (to make a play on the above reference - geez you have me so paranoid that you will quote me & skewer me that I feel like I have to explain everything).
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« Reply #103 on: March 04, 2006, 09:43:33 PM »

I agree with this. But I do not see how an across-the-board no tolerence policy regarding weapons in public schools is a threat to societal freedom.

That really depends, if school is mandatory (which is technically unconstitutional, but that's a discussion for another day), then it is an arm of the state, and are restricted in the same ways the state is restricted. They have to place freedom of religion, freedom of speech, right to keep and bear arms, right to privacy, etc. above school safety and creating a learning enviroment...why? because the constitution provides for the aforementioned rights, it doesn't even mention education much less school safety and creating a enviroment for learning. If school is not mandatory, then they can expect people to give up rights while they are there, and if they violate the rules, even if they have the constitutional right to, they can be forced out of the educational institution (though they cannot be criminally liable unless they commit an actual crime). The issue seems fairly straight forward to a strict constructionist.

Quote
Not all freedoms are absolute. Citizens in the US do have the right to keep and bear arms, but I don't think we err or threaten all of our freedoms to limit that right and not extend it to three year olds or the mentally impaired, which as far as I know is not seen as tyranny but as common sense.

I had a rifle when I was three...it's something every kid should grow up with...but, of course, you wouldn't want that because you'd end up with a lot of people who value the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

Quote
I think what has left alot of parents frustrated about public schools is that alot of the debates and issues are argued from absolutist positions on the left and the right by legal professionals, without a dose of common sense and so we end up with three year olds toting guns, so to speak (to make a play on the above reference - geez you have me so paranoid that you will quote me & skewer me that I feel like I have to explain everything).

I can understand the frusteration, but it comes from having schools an arm of the state, since they are mandatory extreme care should be taken to ensure that they do not interfere with constitutional rights. In my personal opinion, I believe the solution is to make school optional, if it's not mandatory you can have whatever rules the local school board wants...but as long as it's required, their first responsibility is to safeguard constitutional rights and only secondarily should they think of issues such as safety and education.
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« Reply #104 on: March 05, 2006, 12:12:52 AM »

GiC
thank you for that response; it makes sense within the strict constructionist framework from which it flows philosophically. I can respect that position while not fully agreeing with it.

personally, I would like to see the state's monopoly on education be broken; I am a big advocate of vouchers, as is already evident from my posts

I also wouldn't think it to be too awful if school attendance was no longer mandatory

BTW, when you take time to address and educate others with a measured reponse in these discussions, rather than going on the attack (or so it sometimes seems) you make yourself far more understandable

I think you must be pretty smart and are obviously well read and sometimes just can't help yourself by "going in for the kill" so to speak; if you are training for the priesthood, please try to soften that tendency out of pastoral considerations. You will educate and persuade far more with gentleness than with aggressive argumentation.

thanks for the measured response
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