German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a burqa ban in Germany saying she could support a nationwide prohibition on Islamic veils covering the face:
"The full-face veil is not acceptable in our country," she told delegates in Essen, sparking rapturous applause. "It should be banned, wherever it is legally possible."
In considering this I'm wondering if it isn't high time religions begin to be restricted in, at very least, their more ridiculous contentions. I don't believe we in America can or perhaps should do that considering our constitution. However I can foresee a time in the future where the climate either has changed to the point that we can incur a change to our constitution about religions, or it will become unnecessary.
The danger in it becoming unnecessary and not changing the constitution is that it could one day come back around to bite us. Once you stop believing in what can be dangerous thought, when there are laws allowing that dangerous thought, those laws really should be changed to support the general beliefs and even paraphernalia.
For instance, the use of flags from the German Third Reich (1933-1945) is currently subject to legal restrictions in a number of countries. However, the public display of Nazi flags is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which guarantees the right to freedom of speech.
Although certainly at this time in history, restricting religions is untenable in the United States, if certain elements of religions begin to be restricted in other countries, the mindset is bound to traverse the oceans and enter the United States. Even something as minimal as clothing in a religion, would open the door to other elements of religions, certainly the more ridiculous ones, to become restricted. If not by law, by peer pressures and by the Zeitgeist of a nation or hopefully one day, the entire world.
Our current laws have allowed for such ridiculous religions to exist as the Church of Latter Day Saints, the Seventh Day Adventists, Johovah's Witnesses, all of which have laid the groundwork for the more recent and truly ridiculous existence of Scientology. A so called religion that bullied its way through the US government to achieve tax shelter status, the gold standard in America of what is and what is not a religion.
Religion has caused serious issues in US government of recent years in a variety of ways. It has come up against science as not an alternative to science but some theist groups contend that science is actually an alternative to religion.
Since it has clearly been proven that when choosing between science or religion for governing human social structures that science far outweighs the productivity and reliability over that of religion, stopping religious belief, or as science would refer to it, magical thinking, something also involved in psychology regarding the mentally ill, it is necessary to restrict religion to personal belief and not management of groups of humans through a government such as that of the United States.
The US has clearly tried to have a secular government IN ORDER FOR people to be able to have their religion in a country with many religions. Not to prefer one over others.
Terrorism. Domestic or otherwise, all apparently in some way, religiously based. A base belief they hold, they say they follow, beliefs either based in a religion, or subverting a religion's teachings, that needs to be delegitimized.
They are not combatants in war. They are not even really criminals, but mentally ill individuals, associated with mentally ill groups, caught up in a mentally ill mind worm of a theistic based ideology.
And so we need to deligitimize their beliefs, their ideologies.
This is not about believers who mind their own business. Who do not try to inject the non observable into government. This is about the bad players, the dangerous, those who espouse what would in any other case be considered a mental illness.
Most of the time they need to be labeled mentally ill and put into mental institutions, under high monitoring and for the rest of their lives. Other times they should simply be labeled criminal.
The death penalty has been shown to not be a deterrent, but an antiquated and archaic revenge act by the state, a state that should never kill its own citizens.
If nothing else, we'd get them to stop blaming religion for their actions and admit it is about economic issues, cultural issues, or just plain greed and desire for power.
We don't need to treat them with kid gloves as mental patients, but we do need to treat their beliefs with disregard, disgust and disrespect.
We should also be calling out religious bigotry for the social if not mental illness that it invokes, the racist doctrine it promotes whenever it does (even if the religion doesn't teach that though it not infrequently does), the dysfunctional social irritation that it can evoke.
In a country that was in part based on religious freedom, the one thing left out is the insanity of beliefs in some cases. We meant to protect religious believers, but we never considered protecting those people from others who have taken up the ridiculous and the damaging.
Which scares religious believers. Why? Because you quickly come to see what is ridiculous and what is not.
It is high time we put religion in its place. That we call out what is ridiculous. That we do not kowtow to ancient beliefs just "because" or because they have been around for so long.
It's almost as if our children held silly beliefs as young children and refuse to dis-invest themselves of those beliefs as adults. And the fact that many others hold those same childish beliefs, validates their desires and so therefore, we all should give them sacred status.
Time to grow up.