Wednesday, 30 July 2008

The right to be deluded

A Sikh schoolgirl has gone to court to win the right to wear a silver bangle or kara. Doing so is against the uniform policy of her school and so they excluded her for nine weeks. The court has found this constitutes religious discrimination.

Personally, the thought that an omnipotent God gives a toss whether you wear a bracelet or not is obviously bonkers. Admittedly it is not actually offensive; such as the idea that women should be veiled. But nonetheless I support the religious loons against the school every time.

As the parent of any teenager knows – or should know - banning your kids from dyeing their hair green or getting their nose pierced is a surefire way to transform a vague inclination on the kids’ part into a burning mission.

And the same logic that applies to teenagers applies to society as a whole. Banning religious groups from expressing their various superstitions is only going to marginalize them and provoke fanaticism.

The urge to suppress sadly seems to run deep. I’ve just had the uniform list from my youngest daughters’ secondary school. Skirts must be below the knee. Trousers must be black but not jeans or in a jeans-style cut. White shirts must have a collar but not be polo shirts. Blah-fucking-blah. All guaranteed to transform a happy-go-lucky child into a pissed off teenager. Genius.

Some petty-minded tyrant who didn’t get enough attention as child must have dreamt this shit up. Seems that these kind of people are drawn disproportionately to education. And government.

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