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Religious freedom versus the law - Page 2

post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
No. Not even a little bit. That endangers his life and the lives of everyone around him, which is not at all the same. This is the same as someone who doesn't wear a seat belt, if you get in an accident not wearing one, it's the same to anyone else but more dangerous to you.

Yosemite, I find the fact that people are allowed to die if they don't have insurance completely despicable. I can only hope that when we finally do get universal health care here, people don't develop your attitude about it. Remember, here he would be following the law and would be involved in a car accident. I'm not sure why you're completely fine with him dying while following the law because he ostensibly doesn't have insurance.
I don't know about where you live, but if we are caught NOT wearing a seatbelt we are fined which is how this whole thing with the motorcycle started out. He was fined for not wearing a helmet and he started the whole legal process to avoid paying the ticket. Amazing isn't it!

I really don't believe people should be allowed to die if they don't have insurance, but to deliberately put yourself in harms way by not following the rules of the road should prevent anyone from draining the public health system should an accident occur.

If he were to get into an altercation with a car he may well be hurting someone else as well as the emotional trauma of someone seeing his brains all over the road after they hit him with the car certainly does impact other people.

But we digress. The whole point of this thread was do we or do we not agree with him being exempt from the law. I don't think anyone should be exempt from the law. If there is no law (as in your state) then it's not even an arguable point - no law, no problem. But here in Ontario, it IS a law and it should be obeyed just as any other TRAFFIC law. This nonsense about human rights is all about him not wanting to pay a TRAFFIC ticket IMO and he's looking for a way out. Our legal system is stupid enough to probably allow it just so they don't look like they are being politically incorrect or prejudiced. He'll appeal (and take another 3 years of the court's time and taxpayers' money), and another judge will probably overturn the first judge's verdict. This will go on for many years likely and in the meantime he won't be paying his fine.
post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I don't know about where you live, but if we are caught NOT wearing a seatbelt we are fined which is how this whole thing with the motorcycle started out. He was fined for not wearing a helmet and he started the whole legal process to avoid paying the ticket. Amazing isn't it!

I really don't believe people should be allowed to die if they don't have insurance, but to deliberately put yourself in harms way by not following the rules of the road should prevent anyone from draining the public health system should an accident occur.

If he were to get into an altercation with a car he may well be hurting someone else as well as the emotional trauma of someone seeing his brains all over the road after they hit him with the car certainly does impact other people.

But we digress. The whole point of this thread was do we or do we not agree with him being exempt from the law. I don't think anyone should be exempt from the law. If there is no law (as in your state) then it's not even an arguable point - no law, no problem. But here in Ontario, it IS a law and it should be obeyed just as any other TRAFFIC law. This nonsense about human rights is all about him not wanting to pay a TRAFFIC ticket IMO and he's looking for a way out. Our legal system is stupid enough to probably allow it just so they don't look like they are being politically incorrect or prejudiced. He'll appeal (and take another 3 years of the court's time and taxpayers' money), and another judge will probably overturn the first judge's verdict. This will go on for many years likely and in the meantime he won't be paying his fine.
I'll agree, it would have been much better if he had complained about the law prior to being ticketed for it. But I don't think that it's just about not paying a ticket-- how much is the fine versus how much is he paying his lawyer to fight it?

My point isn't that nobody will be hurt in an accident, but rather that his bare skull isn't going to cause more (and may cause less) damage than a helmet. Emotional trauma... well, for the most part, it isn't seeing a stranger's body that causes an issue, it's usually about the sudden realization that you, too, might have been killed.

Either way-- not wearing a helmet MIGHT cause an injury, could possibly put him in the hospital, etc. Forcing him to wear a helmet is actually in direct violation of his religious beliefs.

I do think he is allowed to put himself at higher risk of harm in order to follow his religious convictions. We all might think it's stupid or silly, but to him his soul is at stake and that might be more important than his life on earth. People in other religions do the same thing, and I can't help but wonder if Christianity, the major religion in both our countries, had a head-covering rule if there would be a helmet law at all in the first place.

We make exceptions all the time for religious reasons to laws, and I do think it's valid. Maybe even important, as we have a whole host of groups coming together trying to live under one government. It doesn't work just to say maybe the ones who don't agree with the status quo should just go back to the country where they're the majority so that they can live as they please. We should all be able to live as we please, and IMO, letting the guy not wear a helmet just isn't that big a concession.
post #33 of 48
Who says, "we should all be able to live as we please"? Who said that and where did that come from? That outlook has to be one of the most immature things I have heard in quite a while.
If you REALLY believe that, you are doomed to a life of disappointment because that is not how life is or is supposed to be.

When you go live in a country you abide by THEIR laws, that is it, pure and simple. AND, if you don't like it go back to your own country. That is not a mean statement, it is fair.

The founding fathers NEVER said "we should all be able to live as we please", not even close.
post #34 of 48
We'll just have to agree to disagree. As a many generation Canadian I'm just tired of all things Canadian being brought into question and ruled against so nobody's feelings are hurt and their "rights" protected. I'm seriously starting to wonder if, as a Canadian from many generations back and some native Indian in my background, I have any rights any more. I don't have any problem with other people practicing their religion in their churches/mosques/temples, whatever but don't bring it into our schools and laws. I hardly think that were I to move to India/Iran/Pakistan/Arab Emigres, etc. that I would be allowed to walk around with a mini-skirt and halter top on nor would I expect them to change their laws so that I could wear those items by saying my religious beliefs say I don't have to cover my body and to not allow me to do so is against my religious beliefs. IMO it amounts to the same thing.

They made the choice to adopt this country and IMO that means they also adopt the rules and laws of the land. Nobody forced them to come to Canada and Canada should not be FORCED to change our laws to accommodate them. Freedom of religion is certainly allowed to all peoples, but there is a point where I believe it is taken much too far.

As Adymarie said, where do you draw the line? Let those religions that sacrifice animals be allowed to practice their religion too even though the majority of us believe that to be wrong? Well, heck, let's not violate their religious beliefs! Sorry, I can't agree.
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
Who says, "we should all be able to live as we please"? Who said that and where did that come from? That outlook has to be one of the most immature things I have heard in quite a while.
On second thought, it was a bad choice of words. I don't mean we should be able to do whatever we want, and screw everyone else. I do mean that people should be able to live according to their own belief system to a reasonable extent. The founding fathers (which is irrelevant because we're talking about Canada, but whatever) did say that everyone has the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which for this man would include not being able to wear something that violates his beliefs.

If you looked at what I was talking about, it would have been pretty obvious that I wasn't just saying people should be able to live in disregard of everything but what they want. It was a response to Essayons who said "he needs to move someplace where a helmet isn't required by law" and other similar sentiments.
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
We'll just have to agree to disagree. As a many generation Canadian I'm just tired of all things Canadian being brought into question and ruled against so nobody's feelings are hurt and their "rights" protected. I'm seriously starting to wonder if, as a Canadian from many generations back and some native Indian in my background, I have any rights any more. I don't have any problem with other people practicing their religion in their churches/mosques/temples, whatever but don't bring it into our schools and laws. I hardly think that were I to move to India/Iran/Pakistan/Arab Emigres, etc. that I would be allowed to walk around with a mini-skirt and halter top on nor would I expect them to change their laws so that I could wear those items by saying my religious beliefs say I don't have to cover my body and to not allow me to do so is against my religious beliefs. IMO it amounts to the same thing.

They made the choice to adopt this country and IMO that means they also adopt the rules and laws of the land. Nobody forced them to come to Canada and Canada should not be FORCED to change our laws to accommodate them. Freedom of religion is certainly allowed to all peoples, but there is a point where I believe it is taken much too far.

As Adymarie said, where do you draw the line? Let those religions that sacrifice animals be allowed to practice their religion too even though the majority of us believe that to be wrong? Well, heck, let's not violate their religious beliefs! Sorry, I can't agree.
I can't agree that animal sacrifice is okay either-- which is why I said "reasonable." Killing animals is not reasonable, neither are things like polygamy, child abuse, etc, which are also sometimes defended with religious beliefs. Not forcing a man to wear a helmet is pretty reasonable, and does it really affect anybody else? You are all still free to wear helmets anytime you want.

Canada shouldn't be forced to change anything, that's true. But it's also true that the countries you're comparing it to, with theocracies, are not the sort of places we should aspire to be like.

And, saying "I can't do this because my religious beliefs forbids it" is much different than saying "I should be allowed to do this because my religious beliefs do not forbid it" as in your miniskirt example.

When do you feel your rights are violated because of other people's rights being granted? If you have any specific examples, then I'd have agree. Nobody should feel like their culture is being stolen in the goal of accommodating another, but I just don't think that's the case with the helmet law.
post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
When do you feel your rights are violated because of other people's rights being granted? If you have any specific examples, then I'd have agree. Nobody should feel like their culture is being stolen in the goal of accommodating another, but I just don't think that's the case with the helmet law.
It's not so much a question of my rights being violated as it is that we as a nation are expected to change rules and laws to accommodate others and lose part of our heritage, i.e., RCMP uniform for one example.

Perhaps your feeling on the helmet law is more because you live in a state that has no law and you believe in that state and no helmet law. I live in a province where there is a helmet law and I believe in that province and that helmet law so basically I'd say we have the same feeling on the issue.
post #38 of 48
Immigrants to this country are often treated better than Canadians that have lived here for generations. Within a few hours of entering our country they are given subsidies and other perks that Canadians have no access to, even the poorest of Canadians don't get half the help that immigrants get. I just don't think it's fair to be honest. I believe we SHOULD help immigrants get started in this country, but I also strongly believe we should help our poor and needy as well. Unfortunately, the poor and needy Canadians have to take a back seat while we "tend" to the immigrant needs first.
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Immigrants to this country are often treated better than Canadians that have lived here for generations. Within a few hours of entering our country they are given subsidies and other perks that Canadians have no access to, even the poorest of Canadians don't get half the help that immigrants get. I just don't think it's fair to be honest. I believe we SHOULD help immigrants get started in this country, but I also strongly believe we should help our poor and needy as well. Unfortunately, the poor and needy Canadians have to take a back seat while we "tend" to the immigrant needs first.
That isn't fair, no. It might be kind of utopian of me, but I think everyone who needs help should get it, and of course the people who are already there should probably get it first except in dire circumstances (like people fleeing genocide, etc).

The judge in the Sikh's case, however, ruled that the helmet law does in fact violate his religious freedom but that public safety issues supersede that right.
post #40 of 48
Who gets to make the decisions on what is "reasonable"?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
I can't agree that animal sacrifice is okay either-- which is why I said "reasonable." Killing animals is not reasonable, neither are things like polygamy, child abuse, etc, which are also sometimes defended with religious beliefs. Not forcing a man to wear a helmet is pretty reasonable, and does it really affect anybody else? You are all still free to wear helmets anytime you want.

Canada shouldn't be forced to change anything, that's true. But it's also true that the countries you're comparing it to, with theocracies, are not the sort of places we should aspire to be like.

And, saying "I can't do this because my religious beliefs forbids it" is much different than saying "I should be allowed to do this because my religious beliefs do not forbid it" as in your miniskirt example.

When do you feel your rights are violated because of other people's rights being granted? If you have any specific examples, then I'd have agree. Nobody should feel like their culture is being stolen in the goal of accommodating another, but I just don't think that's the case with the helmet law.
post #41 of 48
If he can't wear a helmet because of his religion, then he can't ride a motorcycle.

Sorry, but you can't just change the laws because you feel like it - Just like if you are a vegetarian, you don't eat meat - You don't change the law so that no one can eat meat just to satisfy your needs (BTW This is not an attack on veges )

And I bet this was over a piddly small fine that would have just been easier if he had of paid it.
post #42 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by jane_vernon View Post
If he can't wear a helmet because of his religion, then he can't ride a motorcycle.

Sorry, but you can't just change the laws because you feel like it - Just like if you are a vegetarian, you don't eat meat - You don't change the law so that no one can eat meat just to satisfy your needs (BTW This is not an attack on veges )

And I bet this was over a piddly small fine that would have just been easier if he had of paid it.
Here's the thing-- this is more akin to vegetarians being forced to eat meat than it is to vegetarians trying to pass a law that nobody else can eat meat either. The sikh isn't trying to get the court to rule that nobody is allowed to wear a helmet, he is trying to get the court to rule that he doesn't have to.

Of course it would be easier for him to just not ride a motorcycle and avoid the whole issue, but for some reason or another he doesn't.
post #43 of 48
I'm a pretty live-and-let-live kind of person, but I think if a person leaves their own country and goes to live in another, they should select one whose laws they can live with. If there's some compelling reason to go there, regardless of some law(s) they don't like, perhaps a case can be made for working from within that country to change its laws -- BUT, you do that before you've broken the law and been penalized for it, not as a way of getting out of the penalty.
post #44 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
Not in Nevada, he wouldn't, we have helmet laws here.

I know, that big, bad America, we are so rotten aren't we? We don't ever help anyone in need.
Well, we can't, because doing so will drive up all your premiums!
post #45 of 48
I just want to add that in Canada (don't know about any other country), driving a motorized vehicle is NOT a RIGHT - it is a PRIVILEGE and anyone not abiding by the rules of the road are susceptible to that PRIVILEGE being taken away, so technically, his RIGHTS were not violated, he just does not have the PRIVILEGE of driving his motorcycle without a helmet.

So on this basis alone, he should be ordered to pay the fine and stop this nonsense and stop wasting the courts' time and taxpayer's monies and let them get to some serious cases, like murder, rape, etc. In fact, if I were the judge (just call me Judge Judy), I'd up the fine to include time already wasted on this whole issue which is really a non-issue since he had no rights violated.
post #46 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
I can't agree that animal sacrifice is okay either-- which is why I said "reasonable." Killing animals is not reasonable, neither are things like polygamy, child abuse, etc, which are also sometimes defended with religious beliefs. Not forcing a man to wear a helmet is pretty reasonable, and does it really affect anybody else? You are all still free to wear helmets anytime you want.
But what may be reasonable to you may not be reasonable to someone else. It may be reasonable for a person to sacrife animals if that is part of their belief system. If you put 10 people together of different backgrounds that all live in your city, you will never get all 10 to agree with what you think is reasonable. Some or even most may, but as long as there is some dissention "reasonable" cannot be determined.

And why is your reasonable the right reasonable?

Laws are laws for everyone.
post #47 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by adymarie View Post

And why is your reasonable the right reasonable?
When did I ever say my own personal opinion should be final arbiter? I don't think that at all.

IMO, there is a line at which we can say on one side, most people would think something is a reasonable concession in a multicultural society, and on the other side most people would say it isn't. Obviously there are all kinds of things on the fuzzy line, and not everyone would always agree. But throwing it out just because not everyone thinks that same way would mean throwing out a good number of our laws on other subjects as well.

This might be one of the fuzzy cases, I'm simply arguing that it's a request that makes sense to me.
post #48 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I just want to add that in Canada (don't know about any other country), driving a motorized vehicle is NOT a RIGHT - it is a PRIVILEGE and anyone not abiding by the rules of the road are susceptible to that PRIVILEGE being taken away, so technically, his RIGHTS were not violated, he just does not have the PRIVILEGE of driving his motorcycle without a helmet.

So on this basis alone, he should be ordered to pay the fine and stop this nonsense and stop wasting the courts' time and taxpayer's monies and let them get to some serious cases, like murder, rape, etc. In fact, if I were the judge (just call me Judge Judy), I'd up the fine to include time already wasted on this whole issue which is really a non-issue since he had no rights violated.
That makes perfect sense to me.
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