Friday, April 1, 2011
More special treatment for the religiously challenged
Last week I discussed the Mormons in Utah who are largely given a pass on practicing bigamy/polygamy by Utah authorities. But they aren’t the only ones who demand (if not receive) special treatment by virtue of their superstition.
Recently American Muslims and Muslims of foreign birth passing from Canada into the US have been complaining that they have had certain of their religious precepts breeched by Border security. Horribly intrusive things like asking a Muslim woman to remove her veil to show her face and confirm her identity. It’s just too much of an imposition. They are quick to shout “freedom of religion” and invoke the Forth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure to protect their religiously required modesty.
Here’s a flash for those Muslims who want to be remained veiled on their drivers’ licenses, and who refuse to show their face to female Border Patrol agents: Your right to practice your religious delusion stops where it becomes a demand for special treatment not extended to people of other faiths or no faith at all. I can’t expect to cross the border into the US unchallenged wearing a Freddie Kruger mask, nor have my local DMV office put my preferred photo of me wearing a towel over my face on my driver’s license. Don’t want to expose your face? Don’t drive a car, and don’t attempt to enter/re-enter the country... problem solved.
Then there are the Sikhs whose male adherents are required by their religion to wear a ceremonial dagger at all times. They want to wear it on planes, in courthouses, and on public school property in violation of statues that prohibit the carrying of any weapons. If I can’t carry my secular pig sticker on a plane, their supernatural delusion and customs do not grant them a special pass to be armed.
If my own personal religion prevented me from being finger printed, it doesn’t excuse me from the practice in order to obtain security clearance, or a secure a pistol permit. My options are clear. Forego the job requiring security clearance and don’t carry a pistol concealed.
Look, religionists of foreign custom ... here’s the thing: You can walk around veiled, armed, and otherwise encumbered by your religious idiocy all you like. But when it comes down to being treated special and excused from common convention because of it that’s where accommodation of your religious rights come to a screeching halt.
If your god/ gods are going to be offended by you not wearing a knife for a few hours, or his briefs will get in a wad by your face being shown for thirty seconds, then you need to realize that you scraped the bottom of the belief system barrel and your imaginary god is an asshat. Find a new one. If your husband will have to kill you after the fact in order to protect his honor... you picked the wrong husband. Find another.
They have as much right to practice their religion as I have to not have religion, it’s all good. But the choice is theirs. They can adapt to this country’s culture, laws, and expectations of behavior, or forgo the benefits this country has to offer. Frankly, I don’t care which. Just shut up.