Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Reasonable and unreasonable arrangement

Quebec is the seat at the moment of a "debate" on what should and shouldn't be done to accommodate religions and minorities. The debate as been shimerring for year/month with stories like the Kirpan in school, having special school and such for religion but as been sparked into a fire by three and an half recent event: the covering of windows by a YMCA to accomodate a jewish community desire not to be exposed to woman doing sport in revealing clothing, a directive by a police force to it's officier that if a person of a minority looked unconfortable talking to a female officer to step back and let the man officer handle it, a few small communities publishing a code of conduct/asking the governement to change the "charte des droits et liberté" to be clearer and finally a policeman song critizing unreasonable arrangement.

The question really is: where do we draw the line? When do we say no what you are asking is against our law and our values? For exemple would it be acceptable in the name of religion to forbid woman from working in a CLSC because their are some religious group near by says woman working are doing the "adversary" (devil equivalent for most religion) work? Should all gym be forced to put in one way glass to be sure no religious groups is offenced by the clothing worn by people inside? Should religions have special tribunal for their own member that follow the laws from their religious text?

Personally I think we should first decide what rights take precedeence on what other right, is the right of woman to be equal to men in our society more important the the right of people to follow the teaching of a religion? My opinion goes that we should go that the first right of any person is to be treated fairly without regards for anything beside his or her existance. For exemple every woman have the right to work, dress or talk as they wish (as long as it is legal) they can choose to refuse to work, talk or dress in anyway following any religion or none but they cannot impose that other woman follow her choices. And then we should decide how we want other right organised, is religion more important then voting and stuff like that.

Services should be provided with arrangement for rights in the limits that the same arrangement are availlable to everyone. For exemple, if religion x don't want to be examined by woman and can demande that only men treat them well someone from another religion might demand to be treated by a woman or a men. If none are availlable you have the choice between waiting or taking what is availlable, in an emergency situation life take precedence to religious preference. In non emergency situation well, the question becomes more touchy I would prefere if for minors it was impossible to refuse life saving treatement (like blood transfusion) but that adult be allowed to refuse treatement for themself if they choose....

I was going to write more but I just had a revelation about arrangement. Those exist to help and allow minorities and immigrant to integrate into our society (and at least in part to our culture), if the arrangement help to do that it is a reasonable arrangement, otherwise it is not. Our goal is not to create smaller sub-society in our society but to integrate everyone into our society, growing and learning from the experience. We should ask communities to be willing to work toward becoming part of our society while we try to help them toward the same goal. If they are not willing to become part of Canada and they want to be PoPaulistant inside Canada with no compromise possible we should ask them to return to PoPaulistant, it's where they want to be obviously.

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