The commission further ruled that members of the general public could not request to be served by another worker in the case of being confronted with a government employee wearing headscarf, nor ask to be served by someone else because the clerk speaks with an accent (Duh!)
The second ruling is not as stupid and unnecessary as it sounds. It is becoming somewhat of a public sport to taunt women wearing not only veils but head scarves. The anti-religious movement is growing bolder and bolder.
On Tuesday a group of mostly academics published a declaration demanding that the province become officially and practically secular (very much like the United States government.)
In a published document entitled "Déclaration des Intellectuels pour la laïcité" (Declaration by Intellectuals in favour of Secularism) a group of mostly academics puts forth the case for keeping religion out of public life.
The first thing that struck me is their profound conceit in naming themselves "intellectuals" a term usually bestowed upon oneself by others. I can't fathom a group of Anglos publishing a manifesto and calling it a "Declaration by V.I.P.'s in favour of Secularism.)
It must be a cultural thing, because I have actually seen a room called the "Salle de reception VIP" at Montreal's Trudeau airport. Again, in English culture, it is presumptuous and uncouth to refer to oneself as a "VIP" or an "Intellectual."
At any rate the so-called 'declaration" is a legal-like defence of secularism and pretty much repeats the old arguments as to why Quebec public life should be religion-free. I won't get into that discussion here.
What bothers me is the incredible intellectual dishonesty in Section Two of the declaration entitled;
2. La laïcité fait partie de l'histoire du Québec
(Secularism is part of the Quebec History)
This section is utter nonsense. Anyone who signed, should be ashamed to have put their name on such an obvious misrepresentation.
The declaration sets out to prove that the drive for secularism today, isn't anything new and certainly not a reaction to the current debate over immigrants, accommodations, Hasids, veils, Islamists and Kirpans, etc. etc.
Ridiculous. If you believe that statement, I've got a good deal on some swampland in Florida for you.
The declaration gives one or two lame-ass examples of the so-called attempt to rid Quebec of religion in the past, but as everyone knows, Quebec has been dominated by religion and the Catholic Church for 350 years, with a break from that domination beginning only in the 1960's. The power of the Church wasn't really broken until the mid 1970's, so any talk about a history of secularism is trash.
The following statement in that declaration neatly sums up the 312 word, nonsense account of how Quebec has always cherished secularism;
Whaaaat!!!! Ha! Ha! Ha! I can't think of any statement less true.
"Secularism is part of the historic landscape of Quebec"
Before the 1960's Quebec was the least secular jurisdiction in North America.
The Church's control over the people of Quebec was so absolute that priests told women how many children to have and men what kind of work to do. They even imposed their own poll tax. Priests were wielded more power than elected politicians!
Even public schools were run by the Church and this until the 1970's.
Until the schools were finally de-confessionalized, French speaking Jews, Muslims and other non-Christians were sent to Protestant English schools because Priests wouldn't tolerate heathens sitting in the same class as Catholics.
Even in these Protestant English schools, a healthy dose of Christianity was doled out on a daily basis, starting with the morning rendition of the "Lord's Prayer" and a selection from the little red hymn book, that each student kept in their flip-top desk. Every Quebec-bred, non-Christian over fifty years old can belt out "Onward Christian Soldiers" with the best of the Sunday school crowd.
Secularism in Quebec. Where? When?
A crucifix still sits over the Speaker's chair in Quebec's Parliament and town councils across Quebec still insist on Christian prayers before town hall meeting.
To pretend that Quebec had a inkling of secular tendencies in the past, is a blatant lie, because it hardly has any now.
By the way, looking over the long list of signatories I couldn't find an Anglo name and of course the manifesto is only available in French..... How's that, for the open and plural society that the declaration describes!