Religious freedom: The freedom to discriminate?

On Monday, François Legault, the leader of a political party (the CAQ) in Quebec, proposed the creation of a provincial body that would police various organizations, especially mosques, to be sure they were upholding Quebec values.

Criticism of the idea is already flaring up in many quarters, including in the media. One radio station today — Tommy Schnurmacher’s show on CJAD — held a forum in which a few participants decried the idea as “thought police” who might even find a radio program like the one in which they were participating to be “against” Quebec values.

Of course, the politician’s initial proposal is just one of the many global responses to the perceived threat of Islamization and the actions of ISIS.

One of the participants echoed some thoughts I was having: most religions discriminate in one way or another, i.e. against women, against LGBTQ people, etc.

Personally, I am not against the idea of “values police” if their true function is to nip things like Islamic extremism/terrorism in the bud. And I came away from the CJAD program thinking that it might not be a bad idea if we prohibit religions from discriminating against anybody. For example, a father should not be able to punish a son because he is gay or transgender — it happens all the time. A man should not be allowed to force his wife into religious subjection to him, etc.

In other words, it may be time to stop giving people the freedom to discriminate in the name of religion and religious freedom.

What do you think?

— Jillian

3 thoughts on “Religious freedom: The freedom to discriminate?

  1. Never seen throughout human history where this has been possible. After all you’re talking about a species that tried to play golf on the moon. Wait, Nazi-Germany did give it a go but not the golf that is

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  2. I fail to see why religious institutions should be given special dispensation to discriminate in any way. The Church of England, in England, recently voted to allow women bishops. If they had been any other organisation it would have been illegal for them to be discriminating against women with regards to job promotion purely on the grounds of their gender. They seem to think they have done something marvellous by bringing themselves into line with the rest of society. And they wonder why the rest of society views them as out-of-touch dinosaurs. To be frank, with the C of E, women run it anyway, at the grass roots level, and that probably holds true for most of the various flavours of the Church. Christian women are not treated like possessions…

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