General Question

flo's avatar

Who is right, the no religious clothing etc., at work side or the freedom of religion side? See detail.

Asked by flo (12381points) 2 months ago

This is not necessarily about particular counrty/countries.
Who is correct, the side that says something like freedom of religion:
the side that says something like protect the non believers from influence, fear etc.?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

29 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

In government funded places, like schools/courts/parliament/etc: no religious symbols (for the place and its employees only).
Everywhere else: wear what you will.

Darth_Algar's avatar

It’s not an either/or thing, as far as I’m concerned. As a non-believer I’m not going to melt at the sight of someone wearing a cross, a kippah or a hijab.

flo's avatar

But how about the debate that the other side presents? This question is not saying choose a side, but why is whichever side you believe is correct, correct? Or why is the side you think is wrong, wrong.

JLeslie's avatar

Government and schools no religion. It needs to be clarified though. Specifically, I mean the people in charge, like principals, coaches, and teachers can’t be leading prayers or preaching a certían religion, nor should they have religious symbols in their classroom. Allowing children to have their own religious items is a little more of a grey area. Can they wear religious jewelry, like a cross? I’d say yes, but it wouldn’t upset me if it was decided that they can’t.

Can a child say a prayer before lunch? Sure, they can say their own prayer, but what if it becomes a large group of kids who do it together? The majority of the class? Then is it a problem for those who don’t pray? Maybe.

flo's avatar

Edited; I think some city council meetings start with a prayer! I couldn’t believe my ears.

flo's avatar

…in a western democracy by the way.

flo's avatar

@JLeslie very interesting aspects of the thing.

JLeslie's avatar

@flo While I was living in Memphis they did away with city council starting with a prayer if I remember correctly. We could ask Yellodog. I was shocked it was happening too, but then it isn’t very unusual for clergy to speak before a presidential speech. We cross lines in America a lot.

JLeslie's avatar

Sorry for multiple posts. Mostly, I like the rules at school to be fairly stringent regarding clothing and dress at schools to protect children. It might infringe on freedom of expression and religion, but I don’t think I care. Children can be cruel, and children can easily feel left out or singled out. A parent insisting their daughter wear a head scarf might be setting their daughter up for ridicule. An atheist child will feel on the outside if God and Christ are part of the daily classroom, and those parents will likely worry about the influence.

Secular education does not promote atheism and secularism, it just leaves it alone to be practiced outside of the school environment. A lot of religious people don’t believe that though, and that’s really a travesty in my opinion. Secular government and separation of church and state has allowed religion to flourish in America. Many countries that had religion in government have seen large declines in religion in the last 30 years.

flo's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t see any problem with multiple posts by the way.
And there is the bills with in “God We Trust”? in USA

jca2's avatar

While at work, the employer has the right to create a dress code and if they say no religious symbols on clothing, then it’s no religious symbols on clothing.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m more concerned with K-12 than other public and government places in terms of dress.

I think there should be rules about covering one’s face inside a government building, so no sun glasses even might be reasonable. In many banks in South Florida there are signs to remove your sunglasses. But, I don’t see a problem with a hijab or a hat. The court might require men to remove their hats, and so maybe the hijab could be considered the same? I don’t think so though.

The same as I think it’s ok for a Jewish person to wear a yarmulke in court, I think a hijab is ok. Or, make it all not ok. Some Muslims will say the hijab isn’t religious. Ok, then no head coverings are ok, not even the old lady who wants to wear her babushka. You can’t pick on one group.

flo's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t understand why courts dictate no hats , sunglasses maybe. But what if medical reason?

JLeslie's avatar

I’m guessing etiquette. Men are supposed to remove their hats indoors. When I was a kid if a boy wore a baseball hat to class the teacher made him take it off. My husband to this day removes his hat in certain circumstances. When we first dated he always did, but now it’s so commonplace the places we’ve lived he doesn’t worry about it for the most part. He doesn’t where his baseball caps daily, but enough that it comes up.

kritiper's avatar

It’s only wrong when the person sporting said religious stuff starts spouting off about religion.

seawulf575's avatar

I can’t speak to the laws of other countries, but in the US we view religious freedom as being one of our basic rights. If you are at work you are generally allowed to wear religious trappings (within reason). For instance, if you were Jewish and felt you had to wear a yarmulke, it should be okay. Preaching on company time would not be acceptable, though. For that matter, if you wear a cross necklace, you should be allowed, providing you aren’t challenging industrial safety guidance (such as working around energized circuits).
I personally feel that when the government steps in to curtail your religious freedoms, you are getting onto a slippery slope. It opens the door to all sorts of marginalization of freedom.

Zaku's avatar

It’s a good example of an issue that is not a simple binary two-“sided” thing.

There are probably specific exceptions, but in general I would say both positions have merit:

1) An employer (or school or other organization) can be allowed to specify a dress code as a condition of employment (or participation in certain activities).

2) In situations where mostly there is no dress code, then religious garb should be allowed.

Those are two separate things, though, and yes they can overlap and be at odds.

In general there should not be dress codes that aim to exclude and marginalize some groups or religions over others, particularly in a place like The United States of America is supposed to be, where there is supposed to be no official religion and freedom of religion is one of the main principles on which the country was founded and which many people still cherish.

In France, however, there is a vastly stronger traditional position of French Catholicism as the dominant religion, which is opposed both by secular humanist positions, and challenged by France’s history of colonialism and it’s non-Catholic minority population. That situation makes the example in your second link much more charged, complex, and specific.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@flo “This question is not saying choose a side, but why is whichever side you believe is correct, correct? Or why is the side you think is wrong, wrong.”

Saying that one side is wrong and the other is right is choosing a side.

flo's avatar

The key word is why, (which is not in my OP), but it is in my post after that.

flo's avatar

@JLeslie, and @seawulf575 and @Zaku I’m reading your responses.

flo's avatar

Ok, but religious clothing is different

Darth_Algar's avatar


In your original post you specifically ask us, and I quote, “who is right”. That is very much asking to pick sides. As I said: it’s not an either/or thing. Sorry if I’m not giving you whatever answer you’re trying to fish for here, but I stand by my initial response.

LostInParadise's avatar

I am conflicted on this. A person has a right to express religious belief by wearing a cross or yarmulke, but I find it unnerving to communicate with someone whose entire body is covered, with only the eyes peeking out.

flo's avatar

@LostInParadise But the other side says if a judge or a police officer is wearing a religious item some people may say/think Never mind, how likely is it he/she is not going to be against me feeling re. whatever they were about to do.
Re. niquab and burqu’a though I never see it mentioned in this context, I guess no one wearing those items has wanted to work in this positions, I don’t know.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t think government employees should wear religious symbols while at work.

flo's avatar

I made an error addressing @LostInParadise since it’s “I am conflicted on this.”

flo's avatar

@JLeslie But according to the other side the law books say freedom of religion allows it. The thing is some say It’s not religious requirement to have to wear those items it’s cultural, and so that it doesn’t apply.

JLeslie's avatar

Separation of church and state trumps freedom of religion in my opinion. In fact, law trumps religion. You can’t break a law in the name of religion.

People have the freedom to practice their religion in their places of worship, homes, and quietly inside themselves, like saying a prayer that isn’t bothering anyone else. But, if your religion infringes on someone else’s right to feel free or safe then it’s not ok. Sometimes it might not be breaking a law, but the workplace is different then just walking down the street.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther