Monday, July 16, 2007

Common sense beats "Chastity Ring"

Some brief background: A 16-year-old girl, Lydia Playfoot, took her school to court after they told her she wasn't allowed to wear a "Chastity Ring" to classes. The ring is inscribed with "1 Thess 4:3-4", which is a bible passage about keeping yourself pure of sexual sin.

Playfoot's argument was that it was an expression of her religious beliefs, and since Muslim and Sikh pupils were allowed to wear headscarves and bangles then it would be discrimination to prevent her from wearing her ring.

That seems like a disingenuous argument to me, since Ms. Playfoot's ring is not a part of her religion, the way a crucifix would be. It's an expression of her personal beliefs and opinion, not a religious symbol.

It's possibly also important to note that Ms. Playfoot's parents are run the UK branch of the chastity ring group "Silver Ring Thing" from their church in Horsham; it originated in the United States (surprise!).

Anyway, she lost her court case, and in pessimistic fashion declares that this ruling signifies "that slowly, over time, people such as school governors, employers, political organisations and others will be allowed to stop Christians from publicly expressing and practising their faith".

Now, far be it from me to applaud someone's freedom of expression being limited, but I'm very glad to see her lose this case.

I'm utterly, utterly fed up with Christians crying foul and playing the underdog every time they think their religion is being trampled - even in cases like this, where it's clearly not.

I'm sure Ms. Playfoot wouldn't be so supportive of a Satanist pupil trying to express their spiritual beliefs in a similar manner, so to portray this as a religious dispute is a feeble and misleading attempt at drumming up sympathy for Christians - a religion that's gotten to a position of world dominance, in one denomination or another, by conquering the world and trampling over "primitive" belief systems.

So, lighten up, Lydia. Your religious rights are secure, and no amount of legal posturing is going to create a believable tale of Christianity Under Siege - not in a country with a Christian majority, at any rate.

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