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Lucid
02-01-2011, 09:36 AM
http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpp/news/local/plymouth-canton-school-district-allows-ceremonial-dagger-20110201-mr#

CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) - A Detroit-area district says Sikh students are permitted to wear a small, religious dagger to school.

The decision by the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools reverses a ban put in place in December after a fourth-grader at a Canton Township elementary school was found with a dull, 3- to 5-inch kirpan.

Lucid
02-01-2011, 09:45 AM
The comments at the bottom of that article are especially good, many pointing out how students can't pray, wear religious t-shirts, etc, or how "under God" was taken out of the pledge of allegiance... and yet others are not only allowed to openly display their religion, but bring a weapon to school for it!

nursebeeme
02-01-2011, 12:59 PM
this is my son's school system!!! this happened before the Christmas break and a letter was sent home to all the parents...

then just this past week we got an email saying this knife thing could be worn if it was covered in cloth and worn under the clothes...

crazy!!!!!!!! my son could be expelled for bringing a plastic lego star wars gun to school!!!!

ziggy
02-01-2011, 02:41 PM
Time for the parents and taxpayers of this district to take over and remind these yayhoos who they work for.

Nova
02-01-2011, 04:04 PM
The comments at the bottom of that article are especially good, many pointing out how students can't pray, wear religious t-shirts, etc, or how "under God" was taken out of the pledge of allegiance... and yet others are not only allowed to openly display their religion, but bring a weapon to school for it!

Nobody has ever stopped anyone from praying, except that public school teachers can't lead students in public prayers because doing so provides government endorsement of religious beliefs.

It isn't possible to keep a human being from praying in his own mind.

And IMHO the ceremonial daggers should stay home.

Kimberlyd125
02-01-2011, 04:19 PM
See, I'm mixed on this one. I would NOT want a dagger in my child's school. But while looking up info on this, I found out that ALL BAPTIZED Sikhs must wear one at all times. I guess the only other way would be for this child to not go to school? I don't know. This one is tough.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirpan
The Kirpan (English pronunciation: /kɪərˈpɑːn/; Punjabi: ਕਿਰਪਾਨ kirpān) is a sword or dagger carried only by Baptized Sikhs. According to a mandatory religious commandment given by Guru Gobind Singh (the tenth Guru of Sikhism) at the Baisakhi Amrit Sanchar (a holy religious ceremony that formally baptizes a Sikh) in CE 1699, all baptised Sikhs (Khalsa) must wear a kirpan at all times[citation needed].

Physically it is an instrument of "ahimsa" or non-violence. The principle of ahimsa is to actively prevent violence, not to simply stand by idly whilst violence is being done.

United States of America
There have been several court cases in states of the USA relating to the legality of wearing a kirpan in public places. Courts in New York and Ohio have ruled that banning the wearing of a kirpan is unconstitutional.[10] In New York City a compromise was reached with the Board of Education whereby the wearing of the knives was allowed so long as they were secured within the sheaths with adhesives and made impossible to draw. In recent years the Sikh practice of wearing a kirpan has caused problems for security personnel at airports and other checkpoints; security personnel may confiscate kirpans if they feel it is necessary, but are advised to treat them with respect.[11] Sikh leaders chose not to attend an April 17, 2008 interfaith meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, DC rather than remove the kirpan.[12]

Lucid
02-01-2011, 04:33 PM
Nobody has ever stopped anyone from praying, except that public school teachers can't lead students in public prayers because doing so provides government endorsement of religious beliefs.

It isn't possible to keep a human being from praying in his own mind.

And IMHO the ceremonial daggers should stay home.

Well, I apologize, I was simply mentioning what the comments on the article were saying.

Kimberlyd125
02-01-2011, 04:47 PM
http://fateh.sikhnet.com/s/SikhIntro

The Making of the Khalsa
1699: Guru Gobind Rai (Singh) establishes the Khalsa

Guru Gobind Singh was the last Guru of the Sikhs in human form. He created the Khalsa, a spiritual brotherhood and sisterhood devoted to purity of thought and action. He gave the Khalsa a distinctive external form to remind them of their commitment, and to help them maintain an elevated state of consciousness. Every Sikh baptized as Khalsa vows to wear the Five "K's"

Kesh - uncut hair and beard, as given by God, to sustain him or her in higher consciousness; and a turban, the crown of spirituality.

Kangha - a wooden comb to properly groom the hair as a symbol of cleanliness.

Katchera - specially made cotton underwear as a reminder of the commitment to purity.

Kara - a steel circle, worn on the wrist, signifying bondage to Truth and freedom from every other entanglement.

Kirpan - the sword, with which the Khalsa is committed to righteously defend the fine line of the Truth.

Kimberlyd125
02-01-2011, 04:54 PM
Nobody has ever stopped anyone from praying, except that public school teachers can't lead students in public prayers because doing so provides government endorsement of religious beliefs.

It isn't possible to keep a human being from praying in his own mind.

And IMHO the ceremonial daggers should stay home.

From what I understand Nova, they are not ceremonial daggers. They are a MUST for all baptized Sikh. They have been a must since 1699.

This is a tough one. Because, if they are a must and these people MUST wear them to comply with their religious beliefs, how do you make them take them off?

But then again, if you allow these kirpans, then where is the line drawn???

WhyaDuck?
02-01-2011, 05:09 PM
This is a difficult issue, which has come up in a lot of districts. To say that this is a special privilege is not quite correct, since the kirpan is not a weapon as such but an insignia of devotion - as far as I know, Christians are not prohibited from wearing crosses, which are also insignia. And Nova is correct, the prohibition of religion in schools refers to the pushing of a faith by the teachers, not to the personal faith of the students, so as to avoid the appearance of the state sponsoring a particular church. I wouldn't compare something as significant as the kirpan to toy knives, etc. Also, it is my understanding that these daggers are not generally usable for violent purposes, as they are usually dull and pinioned into the sheath, and not much more dangerous than a pair of scissors. This is not a choice for baptized Sikhs, it is part of their identity. This is not a frivolous request on the part of this family, who might not have access to a quality Sikh parochial school.

This would not bother me if this were my son's school. Actually, I think it is a sign that zero tolerance without context might be starting to loosen its weird grasp.

Just my opinion.

Kimberlyd125
02-01-2011, 05:15 PM
This is a difficult issue, which has come up in a lot of districts. To say that this is a special privilege is not quite correct, since the kirpan is not a weapon as such but an insignia of devotion - as far as I know, Christians are not prohibited from wearing crosses, which are also insignia. And Nova is correct, the prohibition of religion in schools refers to the pushing of a faith by the teachers, not to the personal faith of the students, so as to avoid the appearance of the state sponsoring a particular church. I wouldn't compare something as significant as the kirpan to toy knives, etc. Also, it is my understanding that these daggers are not generally usable for violent purposes, as they are usually dull and pinioned into the sheath, and not much more dangerous than a pair of scissors. This is not a choice for baptized Sikhs, it is part of their identity. This is not a frivolous request on the part of this family, who might not have access to a quality Sikh parochial school.

This would not bother me if this were my son's school. Actually, I think it is a sign that zero tolerance without context might be starting to loosen its weird grasp.

Just my opinion.

ITA

But, there are a lot lot of school systems that have banned religious clothes and symbols. Especially public schools. Seperation of church and state thingy.

So, there is the problem.

I don't believe a baptized Sikh should be made to remove his/her kirpan. I also believe children of other religions should be able to show their love and faith also.

Also, from my "research" I have found where kirpans have been used in violent ways although they are not for that purpose. From what I understand, they are meant to protect yourself and others from violence.

WhyaDuck?
02-01-2011, 05:25 PM
ITA

But, there are a lot lot of school systems that have banned religious clothes and symbols. Especially public schools. Seperation of church and state thingy.

So, there is the problem.

I don't believe a baptized Sikh should be made to remove his/her kirpan. I also believe children of other religions should be able to show their love and faith also.

Also, from my "research" I have found where kirpans have been used in violent ways although they are not for that purpose. From what I understand, they are meant to protect yourself and others from violence.

Yes, it can be an issue, re: usability. Orthodox Sikhs claim the dagger must be usable in order to keep with the tenants of the faith. Others compromise by making the dagger not sharp (which is fairly common, I think), and others pinion it in its sheath. Still others allow for small gold dagger pendants as a symbolic presence (though this would not usually be acceptable at all to Orthodox Sikhs).

Generally, conditions are negotiated between the Sikh community and the school board, and safety precautions are made. In Quebec, for instance, kirpans must be worn in a hard sheath that no other student can access (to prevent another student using the kirpan) under the student's clothes, and it must be secured by a heavy fabric cover. I believe this was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2006.

Kimberlyd125
02-01-2011, 05:47 PM
Yeah I saw that about the 2006 ruling in Canada.

IMO it's a tough call to make.

Kimberlyd125
02-01-2011, 06:18 PM
http://www.ramgarhiagurdwara.org/images/5ks.JPG

LunaticFringe
02-01-2011, 06:35 PM
http://www.ramgarhiagurdwara.org/images/5ks.JPG


Ewww!

Kimberlyd125
02-01-2011, 06:43 PM
Not sure what part you are referring to. But they can not cut any hair on their body.

RLynne
02-01-2011, 07:17 PM
ITA

But, there are a lot lot of school systems that have banned religious clothes and symbols. Especially public schools. Seperation of church and state thingy.



I have to ask--is this totally accurate? I am not sure. I am aware of public schools not allowing school-sponsored groups to have religious clothes, symbols, etc. I am aware of public schools banning t-shirts, etc. that are deemed possibly offensive (e.g., denigrating various religions). I am aware of public schools not allowing religious displays (e.g. signs, etc.) at school-sponsored events. I am *not* aware of public schools prohibiting religious clothes/symbols. I could be wrong (and if I am, people, please educate me!). But I am *not* aware of any public school having a policy saying, e.g., that a student cannot wear, for example, a cross to school. I'll admit, I could be wrong--it's been a long time since I've closely looked at 1st amendment issues in the public school context.

With that said: I am not religious. I was raised Catholic, and am recovering :). I am a strong advocate of the separation of church and state. I also lean strongly towards civil liberties. I disagree with quite a bit of what the Catholic Church teaches...but I have no problem with a Catholic student wearing a Catholic t-shirts at the public schools my tax dollars pay for. I also have no problem with a Sikh student wearing a ceremonial dagger at the public schools my tax dollars pay for.

ziggy
02-01-2011, 07:41 PM
Catholic Rosary and Crosses banned from being worn visibly.
http://www.gazette.com/articles/school-105857-springs-cross.html

Yes, unfortunately it is happening more and more.

A teacher was told she could not wear a small gold cross necklace to class - that she would be fired if she did.

It's all the name of preventing gangs and wiccans from displaying symbols don't you know...

I'm not all for displaying everything you are about at school through your dress. I'd just as soon uniforms make an encore. School kids need to be concentrating - not getting distracted by every little thing they can to pick on or tease other kids - or for some kids to "get under the skin" of others. That's just my humble O.

nursebeeme
02-01-2011, 07:58 PM
as for a tough call to make... it surly was... we are in this district..

when it first came to light the district immediately notified all parents of the issue..

the resolution that came (by email almost a week ago iirc..I get emails from the school all the time so my timing may be off) I feel appropriately respects this religion ((allowing them to wear it to school)) but also is respectful of other school policies and issues ((they have to wear this encased and under the clothing))

this area is VERY DIVERSE... very much so...

I think there resolution is on par... that is just my opinion.

southcitymom
02-01-2011, 09:46 PM
I think it's cool. But then, I have no problem with religion and education being mixed.

kgeaux
02-01-2011, 11:06 PM
This is a difficult issue, which has come up in a lot of districts. To say that this is a special privilege is not quite correct, since the kirpan is not a weapon as such but an insignia of devotion - as far as I know, Christians are not prohibited from wearing crosses, which are also insignia. And Nova is correct, the prohibition of religion in schools refers to the pushing of a faith by the teachers, not to the personal faith of the students, so as to avoid the appearance of the state sponsoring a particular church. I wouldn't compare something as significant as the kirpan to toy knives, etc. Also, it is my understanding that these daggers are not generally usable for violent purposes, as they are usually dull and pinioned into the sheath, and not much more dangerous than a pair of scissors. This is not a choice for baptized Sikhs, it is part of their identity. This is not a frivolous request on the part of this family, who might not have access to a quality Sikh parochial school.

This would not bother me if this were my son's school. Actually, I think it is a sign that zero tolerance without context might be starting to loosen its weird grasp.

Just my opinion.

Children have been expelled from schools---not suspended, but expelled---for having fingernail clippers and inch long plastic star wars toys. Neither of those are weapons, either. One is a hygiene tool, the other is a toy. The school districts have taken the stance that their decisions in the cases I mention were due to having "zero tolerance" for weapons---in other words, the shape of the offending object is of paramount importance, while the INTENT of the object holds no importance at all.

I am a huge opponent of zero tolerance. Huge opponent. I also would not have a problem with allowing tbe little kirpan to be brought to school, but it's not only Christian crosses and kirpans----somebody is going to show up with a pentagram and claim to be a satan worshiper!

WhyaDuck?
02-01-2011, 11:32 PM
Children have been expelled from schools---not suspended, but expelled---for having fingernail clippers and inch long plastic star wars toys. Neither of those are weapons, either. One is a hygiene tool, the other is a toy. The school districts have taken the stance that their decisions in the cases I mention were due to having "zero tolerance" for weapons---in other words, the shape of the offending object is of paramount importance, while the INTENT of the object holds no importance at all.

I am a huge opponent of zero tolerance. Huge opponent. I also would not have a problem with allowing tbe little kirpan to be brought to school, but it's not only Christian crosses and kirpans----somebody is going to show up with a pentagram and claim to be a satan worshiper!

BBM

I don't actually have a problem with that either.

Nova
02-02-2011, 06:06 AM
Well, I apologize, I was simply mentioning what the comments on the article were saying.

No need for you to apologize, Lucid. You made it clear you were summarizing the article and I was responding to the article.

That business about the "children are forbidden to pray in school" always gets my goat. I was raised in a devout evangelical household and from an early age I was expected to nurture a personal relationship with God. I certainly wasn't taught to depend on public school teachers to lead me in prayer.

I'm not technically a Christian nowadays, but I still pray. And I still manage to pray when and where I please without the assistance of a public school teacher. :)

Nova
02-02-2011, 06:11 AM
From what I understand Nova, they are not ceremonial daggers. They are a MUST for all baptized Sikh. They have been a must since 1699.

This is a tough one. Because, if they are a must and these people MUST wear them to comply with their religious beliefs, how do you make them take them off?

But then again, if you allow these kirpans, then where is the line drawn???

It's not that difficult a line for me, though as a rule I am just as strongly in favor of freedom of religion as freedom of speech, etc.

Freedom of religion obviously isn't absolute; if it were, we'd have murderers claiming their religion requires human sacrifice. Just as with birkas and drivers' license photos, sometimes we have to make difficult choices.

No weapons at school is a relatively easy one for me. If it's really so important to Seikh children, let them make daggers out of felt. God will understand.


(BTW, I didn't mean "ceremonial" as in unimportant; I meant "ceremonial" as in Holy Communion is ceremonial.)

Nova
02-02-2011, 06:16 AM
Yes, it can be an issue, re: usability. Orthodox Sikhs claim the dagger must be usable in order to keep with the tenants of the faith. Others compromise by making the dagger not sharp (which is fairly common, I think), and others pinion it in its sheath. Still others allow for small gold dagger pendants as a symbolic presence (though this would not usually be acceptable at all to Orthodox Sikhs).

Generally, conditions are negotiated between the Sikh community and the school board, and safety precautions are made. In Quebec, for instance, kirpans must be worn in a hard sheath that no other student can access (to prevent another student using the kirpan) under the student's clothes, and it must be secured by a heavy fabric cover. I believe this was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2006.

Orthodox Sikhs need to home school, I guess.

Lucid
02-02-2011, 07:21 AM
No need for you to apologize, Lucid. You made it clear you were summarizing the article and I was responding to the article.

Thanks!

I remember when I was in high school, there was a prayer/study group. One of the guys even carried his bible around. But I know he was having trouble for it, because I specifically remember him complaining that kids "can walk the halls yelling swear words, but yet he can't carry his bible because its offensive". Not sure what the situation was, but it sounded to me as if a member/s of faculty had spoken to him.

That was 10 years ago, and I don't know how much things have changed in schools - but I know things can change fast, as during the 12 years that I was actually in school - that is when the "under God" part of the pledge was removed.

I have no idea if people really get in trouble for wearing religious things. My son is a first grader, and his school is right across the street from a huge private christian college. A lot of people in the area are somewhat religious, and those who aren't are pretty tolerant, seeing as it seems to be a large part of the community. So I know his school is slack on the religious thing - he still says "under God", something I marveled at when he first came home and told me the pledge of allegiance he'd learned.

Anyway, the fact that this kirpan is wrapped up and worn underneath clothes makes things a little better. My issue isn't the kirpan itself, but the fact that it is allowed while other kids are suspended/expelled for toy weapons and a simple lack of judgement to bring them in. It's not right for one kid to get suspended and always have this on his permanent record because of a toy, while his classmate walks around with a hidden dagger.

And I worry that the kids wearing the dagger are too young. Does a 4th grader have that kind of judgement, not to get fed up and pull it out if they get teased too much? I don't know. I would have thought so a few years ago - I remember the boys in my classes showing off their swiss army knives! - but then I hear about 8 year olds being fed up and attempting suicide. Things are different now. Even if they are somehow secured or hard to get to being worn under clothing, I'm sure a kid could still get it out, it just might take a few minutes. And I have no experience with knives or daggers personally - but I have heard that a dull blade is more dangerous than a sharp one. I don't know if that is true, but the fact that some kirpans are dulled down, blunt, etc doesn't really change things for me. As WhyaDuck posted, they need to be usable for the religion, so if they are already going against their religion by wearing useless secured blades, what is the point of wearing them at all?

southcitymom
02-02-2011, 08:34 AM
If the kirpan was a sharp, dangerous dagger, I'd say nope. But clearly, it is not.

Trident
02-02-2011, 08:55 AM
I'm old. I remember the days when the majority ruled and the ice man cometh with his horse, wagon, and blocks of ice for the ice box.

That said, I remember a time, not long ago, when the rules of the majority (like NO weapons of any kind, plastic or otherwise) were allowed in school buildings. How many kids got kicked out for water guns or even tiny, GI Joe, plastic "weapons"?

Now, I see WE, the people of the United States, are being possibly forced to break our RULES/LAWS and kowtow to the religious beliefs of the FEW. Test case, test case, good Lord, my hinky meter is flashing.

Once upon a time, when the majority DID hold sway, those in the minority either accepted the MAJORITY rule or took to alternatives, like a school for Sikhs. I see this is not being done here, therefore, the MAJORITY vote is being illegally disregarded in favor of the MINORITY. WHY? You cannot please everyone all the time - let the MAJORITY rule take effect.

Today there are many religions coming into this country. My grandfather was an immigrant, but he assimilated. He was smart enough to realize he had come here for a reason - FREEDOM. Today FREEDOM belongs to every new immigrant legal or otherwise with a different perspective or thought pattern. In some case Sharia Laws would be foisted upon free people who fought for this land, died for it, and risked death to give us a beautiful, bountiful nation. Now, we are supposed to accept and condone anything anyone wants to tell us is their belief.

When I move to Saudi Arabia, do they bow to my beliefs, change their laws, and allow me to do as I will under the guise of religious freedom? Does Israel allow Christians to evangelize? See what I mean? There are so many other examples, there isn't room here.

Why, I ask, are the MAJORITY of Americans being forced to bow before every religious belief that immigrates into OUR country? Religious freedom? Not really. Religious freedom only guarantees YOU can worship any way you want, but you cannot foist YOUR beliefs onto the MAJORITY of us. I see this being done in this case and many others. MINORITIES supposedly give way to MAJORITY, not the other way around. Wear daggers if you will in the schools, but do it in a private school, since you know the rules of the country you came to. Barring that, go back where you came from, wear your daggers in honor, just don't expect us to bow down to your beliefs. We should NOT have to; it should NOT even be an issue. Check your dagger at the door or go somewhere else.

My opinion only

Lucid
02-02-2011, 10:22 AM
I don't mind making room for other religions - I have always had a "live and let live" sort of attitude, and as long as people don't bother me about what I do or believe, I don't bother them. But it does get to me that the religion this country was founded on has been hidden as offensive - anything to do with religious holidays has been removed - "winter" break now instead of Christmas break, and other things - and now children of another religion are allowed to walk around wearing daggers (dangerous or not) in school.

Nova
02-02-2011, 03:34 PM
I'm old. I remember the days when the majority ruled and the ice man cometh with his horse, wagon, and blocks of ice for the ice box.

That said, I remember a time, not long ago, when the rules of the majority (like NO weapons of any kind, plastic or otherwise) were allowed in school buildings. How many kids got kicked out for water guns or even tiny, GI Joe, plastic "weapons"?

Now, I see WE, the people of the United States, are being possibly forced to break our RULES/LAWS and kowtow to the religious beliefs of the FEW. Test case, test case, good Lord, my hinky meter is flashing.

Once upon a time, when the majority DID hold sway, those in the minority either accepted the MAJORITY rule or took to alternatives, like a school for Sikhs. I see this is not being done here, therefore, the MAJORITY vote is being illegally disregarded in favor of the MINORITY. WHY? You cannot please everyone all the time - let the MAJORITY rule take effect.

Today there are many religions coming into this country. My grandfather was an immigrant, but he assimilated. He was smart enough to realize he had come here for a reason - FREEDOM. Today FREEDOM belongs to every new immigrant legal or otherwise with a different perspective or thought pattern. In some case Sharia Laws would be foisted upon free people who fought for this land, died for it, and risked death to give us a beautiful, bountiful nation. Now, we are supposed to accept and condone anything anyone wants to tell us is their belief.

When I move to Saudi Arabia, do they bow to my beliefs, change their laws, and allow me to do as I will under the guise of religious freedom? Does Israel allow Christians to evangelize? See what I mean? There are so many other examples, there isn't room here.

Why, I ask, are the MAJORITY of Americans being forced to bow before every religious belief that immigrates into OUR country? Religious freedom? Not really. Religious freedom only guarantees YOU can worship any way you want, but you cannot foist YOUR beliefs onto the MAJORITY of us. I see this being done in this case and many others. MINORITIES supposedly give way to MAJORITY, not the other way around. Wear daggers if you will in the schools, but do it in a private school, since you know the rules of the country you came to. Barring that, go back where you came from, wear your daggers in honor, just don't expect us to bow down to your beliefs. We should NOT have to; it should NOT even be an issue. Check your dagger at the door or go somewhere else.

My opinion only

I'll have to take your word on the ice man.

But the United States of America has a constitution that guarantees minority rights. The country was founded by men who feared the tyranny of the majority as much as they feared the tyranny of a king, and they wrote constitutional protections to ensure that the many couldn't dictate to the few when it came to fundamental freedoms.

Unless you are more than 220 years old, that was as true when you and I were kids as it is today.

In the case of the daggers, I think they are a security problem.

But they are hardly a case of a minority "imposing its beliefs" on the majority; Seiks don't require everyone to wear a dagger, no more than Jews require everyone to wear a yamulke.

Yes, things are done differently in Saudi Arabia. Is that the model you want for the U.S.A.? It isn't mine.

Nova
02-02-2011, 03:35 PM
If the kirpan was a sharp, dangerous dagger, I'd say nope. But clearly, it is not.

I'm not so sure. How long do you think it would take a 4th grader to sharpen a dagger? I know most would do no such thing, no more than Christian kids make daggers out of crosses; but it isn't "most" that are the issue.

Nova
02-02-2011, 03:47 PM
I don't mind making room for other religions - I have always had a "live and let live" sort of attitude, and as long as people don't bother me about what I do or believe, I don't bother them. But it does get to me that the religion this country was founded on has been hidden as offensive - anything to do with religious holidays has been removed - "winter" break now instead of Christmas break, and other things - and now children of another religion are allowed to walk around wearing daggers (dangerous or not) in school.

Authorities make mistakes. Telling a kid he can't carry a Bible at school is not just ridiculous, it's unconstitutional, in my opinion. (I'm assuming there were no other factors such as teachers telling children to carry Bibles, etc.) But to my knowledge, there is no constitutional provision barring religious displays EXCEPT on government property. You and your local KFC can put up all the Christmas trees you want.

This country was quite specifically NOT founded on a religion and the most important founding fathers--including Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin--weren't even Christians. (Their views varied; Jefferson, for example, saw Jesus as an important philosopher, but a human one.)

And if we're going with the "who got here first" rule, shouldn't we celebrate only Native American holy days? Since Native Americans, like nearly all cultures in the world, celebrated the Winter Solstice, "Winter Break" seems the proper terminology.

Kimberlyd125
02-02-2011, 05:21 PM
I'll have to take your word on the ice man.

But the United States of America has a constitution that guarantees minority rights. The country was founded by men who feared the tyranny of the majority as much as they feared the tyranny of a king, and they wrote constitutional protections to ensure that the many couldn't dictate to the few when it came to fundamental freedoms.

Unless you are more than 220 years old, that was as true when you and I were kids as it is today.

In the case of the daggers, I think they are a security problem.

But they are hardly a case of a minority "imposing its beliefs" on the majority; Seiks don't require everyone to wear a dagger, no more than Jews require everyone to wear a yamulke.

Yes, things are done differently in Saudi Arabia. Is that the model you want for the U.S.A.? It isn't mine.

Nova everything I've read said all baptized Sikhs MUST wear a kirpan at all times.

Nova
02-02-2011, 06:02 PM
Nova everything I've read said all baptized Sikhs MUST wear a kirpan at all times.

I understand. But when it comes to children, I side with security over anybody's religious custom.

They can make kirpans out of felt or cardboard, or they can homeschool, or they could just act like rational adults and change their customs--not that anybody does that when it comes to religion (i.e., I'm not suggesting Sikhs are specially stubborn or arbitrary).

This is obviously just how *I* would interpret the Constitution. Courts may well disagree.

southcitymom
02-02-2011, 06:35 PM
I'm not so sure. How long do you think it would take a 4th grader to sharpen a dagger? I know most would do no such thing, no more than Christian kids make daggers out of crosses; but it isn't "most" that are the issue.

Hey friend! :)

So wait - am I hearing you right? Should dull crosses also be banned since they could be sharpened into a weapon by a crafty 4th grader?

I fear I am missing your point, and I am sure that's all my fault!

ETA - I do agree if it's the wooden nature of the kirpan that is the issue, a felt one is a great idea. Still - it just doesn't strike me as a weaponish thing - though, of course, it is referred to as a dagger!

southcitymom
02-02-2011, 06:38 PM
i understand. But when it comes to children, i side with security over anybody's religious custom.

They can make kirpans out of felt or cardboard, or they can homeschool, or they could just act like rational adults and change their customs--not that anybody does that when it comes to religion (i.e., i'm not suggesting sikhs are specially stubborn or arbitrary).

This is obviously just how *i* would interpret the constitution. Courts may well disagree.

bbm

lmao!

southcitymom
02-02-2011, 06:40 PM
I want a symbol that shows I fight against evil at every juncture!! Maybe a rhinestone cape! :dance:

Kimberlyd125
02-02-2011, 06:58 PM
I understand. But when it comes to children, I side with security over anybody's religious custom.

They can make kirpans out of felt or cardboard, or they can homeschool, or they could just act like rational adults and change their customs--not that anybody does that when it comes to religion (i.e., I'm not suggesting Sikhs are specially stubborn or arbitrary).

This is obviously just how *I* would interpret the Constitution. Courts may well disagree.

I guess I don't see it as a custom. It has been a rule since 1699.
That's why I have said it's a tough call. IMO

Nova
02-02-2011, 07:22 PM
Hey friend! :)

So wait - am I hearing you right? Should dull crosses also be banned since they could be sharpened into a weapon by a crafty 4th grader?

I fear I am missing your point, and I am sure that's all my fault!

ETA - I do agree if it's the wooden nature of the kirpan that is the issue, a felt one is a great idea. Still - it just doesn't strike me as a weaponish thing - though, of course, it is referred to as a dagger!

No, you're not missing my point. You're just pointing out the hole I opened in my own argument. B----! :waitasec:

So I will close the hole by arguing that the difference is a cross is not by nature a weapon; a kirpan is, even if its use as a weapon is intended to be symbolic.

Here's how reasonable Sikhs are dealing with the issue:

Not all those who identify themselves as Sikhs carry or recommend carrying a kirpan usable as a weapon. Hardeep Singh Kohli, who identifies himself and most of the Sikhs he knows as secular Sikhs, criticised UK Sikh judge Sir Mota Singh QC for calling for Sikh schoolchildren to be allowed to carry the kirpan, saying "he thinks it's OK for kids to take knives to class. ... I'm simply not comfortable with knives being allowed into school. ...small, symbolic kirpans are attached to combs that Sikhs keep in their hair. Similarly, small kirpan-shaped pendants are worn around the neck, again fulfilling the criterion of the faith that the dagger be ever-present.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirpan


Look, all or nearly all religions descend from belief systems that at some point in the distant past practiced human sacrifice. But our ancestors eventually invoked reason on the subject and substituted symbolic sacrifices (such as Holy Communion) for actual blood offerings. (I'll apologize in advance to the Christians I just offended, but the practice of communion wasn't invented out of thin air.)

In my view there is no reason the application of reason to religion can't continue. As the Wiki paragraph suggests, many (probably most) Sikhs have already found symbolic remedies to the problem of arming children. The rest of the Sikhs can follow suit.

It never hurts any of us to apply a little reason to our faith.

WhyaDuck?
02-02-2011, 07:28 PM
I would suggest that sometimes the point of religion is that some things in it stay the same. Change is not the only way to be reasonable; one can apply reason to consistency, as well.

Nova
02-02-2011, 07:29 PM
I guess I don't see it as a custom. It has been a rule since 1699.
That's why I have said it's a tough call. IMO

I'm sure there's a distinction to Sikhs, but to outsiders such as I, a custom is a rule is a custom is a rule. I don't recognize any divine authority that requires the carrying of a dagger.

To use an extreme example, aren't we all demanding that Muslims everywhere interpret jihad as a symbolic process rather than a literal war on the infidel (and rightfully so)? Well, jihad is a "rule", too, and a far older one than the kirpan.

Religious rules change, often out of necessity, and reasonable and creative alternatives can almost always be found.

Nova
02-02-2011, 07:32 PM
I would suggest that sometimes the point of religion is that some things in it stay the same. Change is not the only way to be reasonable; one can apply reason to consistency, as well.

Excellent point and absolutely correct. Until your kid brings a knife to school with my kid.

I was not arguing that religious custom has no value nor that all such customs should be discarded. Keeping kosher has no meaning to me, but I don't belittle its importance to Orthodox and Conservative Jews. (On the contrary, I rather respect the commitment required.) But keeping kosher in no way poses a threat to others. Arming schoolchildren is another matter.

Nova
02-02-2011, 07:34 PM
By the way, a special thanks to all who are posting in this thread!

I'm not often on the side of limiting fundamental civil rights, so this is a very interesting debate to me. (It isn't that I'm sitting up nights worrying about 4th graders with tiny daggers.)

Kimberlyd125
02-02-2011, 07:41 PM
I'm sure there's a distinction to Sikhs, but to outsiders such as I, a custom is a rule is a custom is a rule. I don't recognize any divine authority that requires the carrying of a dagger.

To use an extreme example, aren't we all demanding that Muslims everywhere interpret jihad as a symbolic process rather than a literal war on the infidel (and rightfully so)? Well, jihad is a "rule", too, and a far older one than the kirpan.

Religious rules change, often out of necessity, and reasonable and creative alternatives can almost always be found.

There is a BIG difference IMO.
A kirpan is not meant to kill. JIhad is.
Surely you see the difference.

WhyaDuck?
02-02-2011, 07:43 PM
There is a BIG difference IMO.
A kirpan is not meant to kill. JIhad is.
Surely you see the difference.

Actually, Jihad is just a word meaning "faithful struggle," and doesn't necessarily mean violence or war, and is a religious requirement of Muslims - if some members interpret in violent ways, that doesn't mean that is the sum total of the concept's meaning. (The less violent interpretation is not a symbolic reading or an especially modern one, either.)

ETA: Sorry for going O/T.

Kimberlyd125
02-02-2011, 07:47 PM
Actually, Jihad is just a word meaning "faithful struggle," and doesn't necessarily mean violence or war, and is a religious requirement of Muslims - if some members interpret in violent ways, that doesn't mean that is the sum total of the concept's meaning. (The less violent interpretation is not a symbolic reading or an especially modern one, either.)

ETA: Sorry for going O/T.

I'm assuming Nova meant the violent actions of Jihad. I may have misread though.

Nova
02-02-2011, 07:48 PM
There is a BIG difference IMO.
A kirpan is not meant to kill. JIhad is.
Surely you see the difference.

Of course, I do. I said jihad was an "extreme" example.

But in the wrong hands, both customs can do harm, even lead to death.

Let's be clear: most Sikhs see the kirpan as symbolic, just as many (most? I don't know) Muslims see jihad as symbolic. But both are also understood by others as literal. We know about jihadists. But per Wiki, at least, some Sikhs see the kirpan as a necessary weapon to be used LITERALLY in the defense of virtue and/or others. Do you really want to trust a 10-year-old to make that call? I do not.

As far as I'm concerned, letting children carry daggers to school is a precise equivalent of yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater: it's the point where the individual's fundamental freedom has to yield to the safety of others.

Kimberlyd125
02-02-2011, 07:52 PM
Of course, I do. I said jihad was an "extreme" example.

But in the wrong hands, both customs can do harm, even lead to death.

Let's be clear: most Sikhs see the kirpan as symbolic, just as many (most? I don't know) Muslims see jihad as symbolic. But both are also understood by others as literal. We know about jihadists. But per Wiki, at least, some Sikhs see the kirpan as a necessary weapon to be used LITERALLY in the defense of virtue and/or others. Do you really want to trust a 10-year-old to make that call? I do not.

As far as I'm concerned, letting children carry daggers to school is a precise equivalent of yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater: it's the point where the individual's fundamental freedom has to yield to the safety of others.

I understand all that. BUT, if the family believes the child MUST wear it, what are they to do?
I guess the only choices are let them wear it or ban them from public school and let them go to private school or be homeschooled.

That's why I've been saying tough choice.

My DD is in middle school. And I've seen a little boy with the white thing on his head with the little ball looking thing on top of it. I never knew what religion he was until this thread. In looking up info, I've seen several of the exact head coverings on Sikhs. I wonder if he wears one under his clothes?
Short of a pat down, we may never know.

Nova
02-02-2011, 07:54 PM
Actually, Jihad is just a word meaning "faithful struggle," and doesn't necessarily mean violence or war, and is a religious requirement of Muslims - if some members interpret in violent ways, that doesn't mean that is the sum total of the concept's meaning. (The less violent interpretation is not a symbolic reading or an especially modern one, either.)

ETA: Sorry for going O/T.

You're not OT, but I'm not sure you are right about the original meaning of jihad. It has never been explained that way to me.

Islam was spread by the sword throughout the Middle East and most of North Africa in about a century; in less than 2 centuries it had made major inroads in India and threatened to take over Europe.

I think early Muslims took the concept of jihad rather literally.

WhyaDuck?
02-02-2011, 07:55 PM
Of course, I do. I said jihad was an "extreme" example.

But in the wrong hands, both customs can do harm, even lead to death.

Let's be clear: most Sikhs see the kirpan as symbolic, just as many (most? I don't know) Muslims see jihad as symbolic. But both are also understood by others as literal. We know about jihadists. But per Wiki, at least, some Sikhs see the kirpan as a necessary weapon to be used LITERALLY in the defense of virtue and/or others. Do you really want to trust a 10-year-old to make that call? I do not.

As far as I'm concerned, letting children carry daggers to school is a precise equivalent of yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater: it's the point where the individual's fundamental freedom has to yield to the safety of others.

As I have said from the beginning, this is not a clear cut or simple issue for me. Personally, I have no troubles with the kirpan, and I don't believe this is a frivolous matter (akin to taking toys to school), or a minority trying to screw the majority, etc. I can honestly see both sides of the argument. Really, my only interest in this is theoretical and academic, since I teach in the area of cultural anthropology of religions.

However, in general, I tend to prioritize freedom over security, but that is a personal rationalization of circumstances and objectives. It is also personal for me, as one of those minorities that should be grateful for what tolerance we are offered according to some.

Lucky that WS doesn't have to solve any of these issues, I guess.

Nova
02-02-2011, 07:56 PM
I'm assuming Nova meant the violent actions of Jihad. I may have misread though.

Not at all. My understanding is that moderate Muslims understand the term to refer to spiritual struggle; fundamentalists are more likely to understand the term as a literal call to violence on behalf of the faith. In comparison to the kirpan, I was referring to the violence, as you quite correctly read.

southcitymom
02-02-2011, 07:56 PM
By the way, a special thanks to all who are posting in this thread!

I'm not often on the side of limiting fundamental civil rights, so this is a very interesting debate to me. (It isn't that I'm sitting up nights worrying about 4th graders with tiny daggers.)

Devil's advocate ;) ...and a most charming debater!

southcitymom
02-02-2011, 08:04 PM
No, you're not missing my point. You're just pointing out the hole I opened in my own argument. B----! :waitasec:

So I will close the hole by arguing that the difference is a cross is not by nature a weapon; a kirpan is, even if its use as a weapon is intended to be symbolic.

Here's how reasonable Sikhs are dealing with the issue:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirpan


Look, all or nearly all religions descend from belief systems that at some point in the distant past practiced human sacrifice. But our ancestors eventually invoked reason on the subject and substituted symbolic sacrifices (such as Holy Communion) for actual blood offerings. (I'll apologize in advance to the Christians I just offended, but the practice of communion wasn't invented out of thin air.)

In my view there is no reason the application of reason to religion can't continue. As the Wiki paragraph suggests, many (probably most) Sikhs have already found symbolic remedies to the problem of arming children. The rest of the Sikhs can follow suit.

It never hurts any of us to apply a little reason to our faith.

BBM - those who died in ages past as a result of crucifixion may disagree with that!

That said, I share your desire to mesh reason and spiritual reverence to the highest good of our communities. The two are not mutually exclusive, of course.

I'm just difficult because it would tickle me pink to see a school filled with students sporting reverent spiritual symbols of many differing faiths and belief systems.

Truly, you should appoint me Queen of USA Education!

Nova
02-02-2011, 08:04 PM
I understand all that. BUT, if the family believes the child MUST wear it, what are they to do?
I guess the only choices are let them wear it or ban them from public school and let them go to private school or be homeschooled.

That's why I've been saying tough choice.

My DD is in middle school. And I've seen a little boy with the white thing on his head with the little ball looking thing on top of it. I never knew what religion he was until this thread. In looking up info, I've seen several of the exact head coverings on Sikhs. I wonder if he wears one under his clothes?
Short of a pat down, we may never know.

True. Some families may face difficult choices. I don't know how to avoid that. (And frankly, I'm not really all that sympathetic. Per source above, most Sikhs have already found symbolic alternatives. If a family is so literal they must have their 10-year-old wear a real knife, then I suspect there are other problems in that household that may be of greater concern to parents and children alike.)

As for the practicality of enforcing the rule, I'm not advocating we strip search 10-year-olds. But if the rule exists, then the first time a kirpan makes an appearance, the school can act--without waiting for another child to be injured. And that's really what matters.

WhyaDuck?
02-02-2011, 08:07 PM
BBM - those who died in ages past as a result of crucifixion may disagree with that!

That said, I share your desire to mesh reason and spiritual reverence to the highest good of our communities. The two are not mutually exclusive, of course.

I'm just difficult because it would tickle me pink to see a school filled with students sporting reverent spiritual symbols of many differing faiths and belief systems.

Truly, you should appoint me Queen of USA Education!

BBM

SCM, I agree. For me, the best way to assure freedom of religion is not to exclude it all, but to allow it all.

It's a difficult thing, balancing these priorities. Many religious minorities want their kids in mixed schools, b/c integration is a good thing, but secular schools can be difficult things to navigate, as many find it difficult to explain compartmentalization to children.

Oh well.

*shrugs, and goes to see whatever new penis enlarger story Steely has posted some place around here*

Kimberlyd125
02-02-2011, 08:10 PM
True. Some families may face difficult choices. I don't know how to avoid that. (And frankly, I'm not really all that sympathetic. Per source above, most Sikhs have already found symbolic alternatives. If a family is so literal they must have their 10-year-old wear a real knife, then I suspect there are other problems in that household that may be of greater concern to parents and children alike.)

As for the practicality of enforcing the rule, I'm not advocating we strip search 10-year-olds. But if the rule exists, then the first time a kirpan makes an appearance, the school can act--without waiting for another child to be injured. And that's really what matters.

BBM - I totally disagree. I'd say they are doing what they think is right. Not bending on their faith. Teaching their children that they are to take their faith serious.
Why would you suspect there are other problems in the household that may be of greater concern to the parents and children?

Kimberlyd125
02-02-2011, 08:11 PM
BBM

SCM, I agree. For me, the best way to assure freedom of religion is not to exclude it all, but to allow it all.

It's a difficult thing, balancing these priorities. Many religious minorities want their kids in mixed schools, b/c integration is a good thing, but secular schools can be difficult things to navigate, as many find it harmful to explain compartmentalization to children.

Oh well.

*shrugs, and goes to see whatever new penis enlarger story Steely has posted some place around here*
:floorlaugh::floorlaugh::floorlaugh:

Nova
02-02-2011, 08:11 PM
As I have said from the beginning, this is not a clear cut or simple issue for me. Personally, I have no troubles with the kirpan, and I don't believe this is a frivolous matter (akin to taking toys to school), or a minority trying to screw the majority, etc. I can honestly see both sides of the argument. Really, my only interest in this is theoretical and academic, since I teach in the area of cultural anthropology of religions.

However, in general, I tend to prioritize freedom over security, but that is a personal rationalization of circumstances and objectives. It is also personal for me, as one of those minorities that should be grateful for what tolerance we are offered according to some.

Lucky that WS doesn't have to solve any of these issues, I guess.

I completely agree, except that when it comes to children, I tend to privilege security over freedom.

I didn't actually mean to imply that I think this is a trivial matter. Certainly as a principle, it is central to how we understand our basic civil rights.

But I will admit I have become less patient of late with people's right to literalism in magical thinking, because there looks to be a good chance that right may sink us all.

Nova
02-02-2011, 08:18 PM
BBM - those who died in ages past as a result of crucifixion may disagree with that!

That said, I share your desire to mesh reason and spiritual reverence to the highest good of our communities. The two are not mutually exclusive, of course.

I'm just difficult because it would tickle me pink to see a school filled with students sporting reverent spiritual symbols of many differing faiths and belief systems.

Truly, you should appoint me Queen of USA Education!

As I certainly meant to imply with my mention above of the student told not to carry his Bible, I have no problem per se with students wearing or carrying personal religious symbols.

I can imagine a problem, however, if wearing a cross, say, becomes dictated behavior by a majority of the student body. This may be why some schools have banned all religious iconography; but I think we should be able to find a solution short of that.

You have my vote for Queen of USA Ed, if and only if you promise not to let the "Army of God" kids to bring their AK-47s to class!

Nova
02-02-2011, 08:22 PM
BBM - I totally disagree. I'd say they are doing what they think is right. Not bending on their faith. Teaching their children that they are to take their faith serious.
Why would you suspect there are other problems in the household that may be of greater concern to the parents and children?

Because I think fundamentalism (note the lower case "f") is intellectually lazy. And generally goes hand-in-hand with sexism, racism, xenophobia and, not uncommonly, child abuse.

There, I said it. Not PC, but I think the evidence of the world backs me up.

Nova
02-02-2011, 08:43 PM
You know, as a religious person who is also a humanist, I often consider this issue - b/c, honestly, if I felt humans were actually better off without religion, I would let it go very easily. But non-magical, rational state-controlled violence is just as deadly, and often more efficient. In that, I pause.

The vacuum left by "magical thinking" would likely be filled with something just as nasty, b/c, basically, humans are rotten creatures - we have tremendous capacity of violence and cruelty and prejudice. So, I guess we may as well keep something that does give important emotional and identity structures to so many, b/c what can we really expect in the place of it? Reason? Zyklon-B and the H-Bomb? For me, neither is all that compelling an alternative.

Granted, all extremism and fervent sectarianism is troubling to me, as someone who generally abhors conflict. (Despite the way I seem to be arguing here, I normally don't bother to do so.)

I would love it if violent people just didn't exist, and we all ran around on grassy hills, singing, like a Coke commercial. But, as it is, I will take those lovely moments of "going okay" between periods of crapulance, and not try to say who should give up what, as I can't honestly say what anyone should give up.

So, I guess one can say I am a devote middle-pather, with no answers whatsoever. You're all very welcome.

Given the discussion thus far, one would expect that I would have numerous arguments with this post. Surprisingly, I have none.

There is no question that reason can run amok--or more properly, faulty reasoning is employed to excuse the actions of people who have been run amok by their emotions.

I am not opposed to magical thinking and I readily admit to indulging in my own magical beliefs. But I think a healthy society can only be one in which the difference between faith and reason are understood, and each is allowed to temper the other. That isn't what you get when half the people think the world is 6,000 years old.

So I have no problem saying to Sikhs, the world has changed quite a bit since 1699. Schooling has changed immensely in the years since, and children now attend public schools in which there are far more children to be supervised by each teacher than there were in 1699. Sorry, but your kid has to leave the weapon at home.

(And, yes, I recognize the irony of picking on kirpans in a country like the U.S., where far too many children have access to handguns.)

WhyaDuck?
02-02-2011, 08:49 PM
And I had removed my post, recognizing the silliness of arguing against arguing. :crazy:

(I normally try to not harp so much, so I decided that that pontificating naval gazing speech of mine was, with credit to Brewer & Shipley, "one post over the line.")

Nova
02-02-2011, 09:30 PM
And I had removed my post, recognizing the silliness of arguing against arguing. :crazy:

(I normally try to not harp so much, so I decided that that pontificating naval gazing speech of mine was, with credit to Brewer & Shipley, "one post over the line.")

Whya, I will remove the quote from my post if you ask me to do so.

But I will do so with regret, because I think you make a number of important arguments. I don't see the post as "arguing against arguing," but as a necessary rejoinder to my argument, reminding us that "reason" has not proved a panacea for all human ills.

Your choice, but I think you criticize yourself too harshly...

WhyaDuck?
02-02-2011, 09:31 PM
Whya, I will remove the quote from my post if you ask me to do so.

But I will do so with regret, because I think you make a number of important arguments. I don't see the post as "arguing against arguing," but as a necessary rejoinder to my argument, reminding us that "reason" has not proved a panacea for all human ills.

Your choice, but I think you criticize yourself too harshly...

That's fine, Nova.

And I don't judge myself all that harshly - I generally can't bring myself to judge anyone. That's one of my greatest charms and saddest weaknesses.

Kimberlyd125
02-02-2011, 09:38 PM
Because I think fundamentalism (note the lower case "f") is intellectually lazy. And generally goes hand-in-hand with sexism, racism, xenophobia and, not uncommonly, child abuse.

There, I said it. Not PC, but I think the evidence of the world backs me up.

I don't see holding strong in your faith (popular or not) as intellectually lazy.
JMO

I see it as being strong and holding onto what you believe. I don't think people should "bend" to make anybody else happy.

Nova
02-02-2011, 09:55 PM
I don't see holding strong in your faith (popular or not) as intellectually lazy.
JMO

I see it as being strong and holding onto what you believe. I don't think people should "bend" to make anybody else happy.

And I don't think fundamentalism (still small "f") is the only way to stay strong in your faith. More often, it's just an excuse to go through the motions or to express one's fear of change and force others to do things your way and only your way.

Regardless of our belief system, we all worship (or refuse to worship) the God of an infinite universe with more stars and planets than there are grains of sand on earth. With phenomena as varied and miraculous as supernovas and black holes, but also spiderwebs and snowflakes.

To insist that this infinite God demands that children wear knives to school isn't just arrogant (though it certainly is that), it's blasphemy. (And if I have misunderstood Sikh theology (entirely possible) and the kirpan is not required by God Himself, then there's even less excuse for clinging to the custom.)

WhyaDuck?
02-02-2011, 10:00 PM
And I don't think fundamentalism (still small "f") is the only way to stay strong in your faith. More often, it's just an excuse to go through the motions or to express one's fear of change and force others to do things your way and only your way.

Regardless of our belief system, we all worship (or refuse to worship) the God of an infinite universe with more stars and planets than there are grains of sand on earth. With phenomena as varied and miraculous as supernovas and black holes, but also spiderwebs and snowflakes.

To insist that this infinite God demands that children wear knives to school isn't just arrogant (though it certainly is that), it's blasphemy. (And if I have misunderstood Sikh theology (entirely possible) and the kirpan is not required by God Himself, then there's even less excuse for clinging to the custom.)

For the Sikhs, G-d reveals his will through the Gurus, and the kirpan was mandated by the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh. So, it's kind of a Protestant notion to say that revelation brought through a guru is not G-d's will because it is mediated through an authority.

ETA: Though, I will say, I agree with your nuance of fundamentalism, and this is certainly not the only way to be devoted. It is also not exactly synonymous with orthodoxy or orthopraxy, IMO.

Nova
02-02-2011, 10:04 PM
For the Sikhs, G-d reveals his will through the Gurus, and the kirpan was mandated by the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh. So, it's kind of a Protestant notion to say that revelation brought through a guru is not G-d's will because it is mediated through an authority.

I didn't say that. I was merely allowing that I might not understand the exact nature of the requirement from a Sikh's point of view. If they believe it is God's will as revealed by a prophet, fine by me.

Now it's time to consider that the God of an infinite universe might have had a thought or two since 1699.

(ETA Sorry I hit "quote" before you added your ETA, with which I agree wholeheartedly.)

WhyaDuck?
02-02-2011, 10:09 PM
I didn't say that. I was merely allowing that I might not understand the exact nature of the requirement from a Sikh's point of view. If they believe it is God's will as revealed by a prophet, fine by me.

Now it's time to consider that the God of an infinite universe might have had a thought or two since 1699.

(ETA Sorry I hit "quote" before you added your ETA, with which I agree wholeheartedly.)

BBM

You're correct. The final guru (after the ten human gurus) is Guru Granth Sahib, which are the texts of Sikhism, which replaced the authority of the human gurus, and places authority with the community, itself. I suppose an orthodox Sikh could say since the community has not decided definitively to set aside the kirpan that G-d's will is that it should be kept.

But I will agree there is some room in Sikhism for negotiation of these traditions, which would be up to them. I am just not nervous enough about the kirpan to find it needed, I guess.

ETA: I should note that all of this is based on my woefully weak understanding of Sikh tradition, so my apologies to anyone reading who is shaking their head over my errors, etc.

Nova
02-02-2011, 10:36 PM
BBM

You're correct. The final guru (after the ten human gurus) is Guru Granth Sahib, which are the texts of Sikhism, which replaced the authority of the human gurus, and places authority with the community, itself. I suppose an orthodox Sikh could say since the community has not decided definitively to set aside the kirpan that G-d's will is that it should be kept.

But I will agree there is some room in Sikhism for negotiation of these traditions, which would be up to them. I am just not nervous enough about the kirpan to find it needed, I guess.

ETA: I should note that all of this is based on my woefully weak understanding of Sikh tradition, so my apologies to anyone reading who is shaking their head over my errors, etc.

"In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."

You've been our one-eyed man here today.

Kimberlyd125
02-03-2011, 09:59 AM
I found this entire article a very interesting read.

http://www.becketfund.org/index.php/article/367.html

Snipped:
For peacefully observing the commands of his Sikh faith, fifteen-year-old Amandeep Singh was suspended for eight school days last month from his school in the Greenburgh Central School District in Westchester County, New York. Despite the ninth-grade honor student's exemplary academic and disciplinary records, Principal Michael Chambless initially determined that Amandeep's kirpan, an element of Sikh religious expression, was a "weapon" and suspended him.

Amandeep became a baptized Sikh at age eight, requiring him, like 20 million other Sikhs worldwide, to follow the five Sikh articles of faith. The best known of these is the requirement to wear hair uncut in a turban. Another requirement is the kirpan, an item shaped like a sword that reminds Sikhs of their duty to speak out against injustice and stand up for the defenseless. In deference to school security concerns, school-age children like Amandeep typically wear a very small, blunt kirpan that cannot be used to harm anyone.


Also snipped:

"Such a ban would have been especially unfortunate because schools do allow students to handle numerous items much more dangerous than a kirpan such as scissors, mathematical compasses, screwdrivers, and baseball bats. Moreover, a recent Canadian study revealed that there has never been a single reported incident of kirpan-related violence in any North American school."


BBM
***much more at link***

Nova
02-03-2011, 02:43 PM
I found this entire article a very interesting read.

http://www.becketfund.org/index.php/article/367.html

Snipped:
For peacefully observing the commands of his Sikh faith, fifteen-year-old Amandeep Singh was suspended for eight school days last month from his school in the Greenburgh Central School District in Westchester County, New York. Despite the ninth-grade honor student's exemplary academic and disciplinary records, Principal Michael Chambless initially determined that Amandeep's kirpan, an element of Sikh religious expression, was a "weapon" and suspended him.

Amandeep became a baptized Sikh at age eight, requiring him, like 20 million other Sikhs worldwide, to follow the five Sikh articles of faith. The best known of these is the requirement to wear hair uncut in a turban. Another requirement is the kirpan, an item shaped like a sword that reminds Sikhs of their duty to speak out against injustice and stand up for the defenseless. In deference to school security concerns, school-age children like Amandeep typically wear a very small, blunt kirpan that cannot be used to harm anyone.


Also snipped:

"Such a ban would have been especially unfortunate because schools do allow students to handle numerous items much more dangerous than a kirpan such as scissors, mathematical compasses, screwdrivers, and baseball bats. Moreover, a recent Canadian study revealed that there has never been a single reported incident of kirpan-related violence in any North American school."


BBM
***much more at link***

Kimberly, I realize the fact that wearing the kirpan is a rule is very significant to you. But to me, men makes rules and they can make a new one. I do however think this business of lengthy suspensions for every offense has gotten out of control. Whatever happened to simply confiscating something and telling the kid not to bring it back to school?

I realize there are necessarily other objects at school that can be turned into weapons, but that is not their primary purpose.

Sikhs are relatively few in number, and we've already seen sources that say the majority do NOT wear the actual dagger to school (but wear a symbolic replica instead). So the fact that no kirpan has been used in an incident of school violence yet isn't too surprising; but it doesn't change the principle.

Kimberlyd125
02-03-2011, 03:15 PM
Kimberly, I realize the fact that wearing the kirpan is a rule is very significant to you. But to me, men makes rules and they can make a new one. I do however think this business of lengthy suspensions for every offense has gotten out of control. Whatever happened to simply confiscating something and telling the kid not to bring it back to school?

I realize there are necessarily other objects at school that can be turned into weapons, but that is not their primary purpose.

Sikhs are relatively few in number, and we've already seen sources that say the majority do NOT wear the actual dagger to school (but wear a symbolic replica instead). So the fact that no kirpan has been used in an incident of school violence yet isn't too surprising; but it doesn't change the principle.


ETA: While many think Jesus was "just a man" I disagree. And I pay close attention to the red words in my Bible. So, if the red words told me to wear something at all times, I would.
Sikh believe the guru requires them to wear it. IMO it's the same thing. I don't think they look at the guru as being "just a man" who made up a rule.

Confiscating something a child believes he must wear at all times would be cruel. IMO
I don't think we've seen sources that say the majority do NOT wear the actual dagger. I missed that.

Nova
02-03-2011, 03:32 PM
ETA: While many think Jesus was "just a man" I disagree. And I pay close attention to the red words in my Bible. So, if the red words told me to wear something at all times, I would.
Sikh believe the guru requires them to wear it. IMO it's the same thing. I don't think they look at the guru as being "just a man" who made up a rule.

Confiscating something a child believes he must wear at all times would be cruel. IMO
I don't think we've seen sources that say the majority do NOT wear the actual dagger. I missed that.

Check the Wiki link. I understand Wiki isn't gospel (pun intended), but it suggests there are many alternatives to the actual dagger worn in 1699.

I believe Jesus said something about "rendering unto Caesar." Well, nowadays, Caesar has a law against weapons at school.

Kimberlyd125
02-03-2011, 03:36 PM
Check the Wiki link. I understand Wiki isn't gospel (pun intended), but it suggests there are many alternatives to the actual dagger worn in 1699.

I believe Jesus said something about "rendering unto Caesar." Well, nowadays, Caesar has a law against weapons at school.

Alternatives for SOME. But if they believe in wearing the literal dagger, who are we to discredit it as some rule made by a man that should be changed because we are smart??? :waitasec:

I'm telling you if the red letters in my Bible said, "Wear a kirpan" I'd wear one.

My point is, just because you do not hold any "man's" words litterally and obey them, does not mean others see it your way.

It is their right to believe what they believe.

And, the kirpan's are not considered weapons in all schools. See opening post.

Nova
02-03-2011, 04:12 PM
Alternatives for SOME. But if they believe in wearing the literal dagger, who are we to discredit it as some rule made by a man that should be changed because we are smart??? :waitasec:

I'm telling you if the red letters in my Bible said, "Wear a kirpan" I'd wear one.

My point is, just because you do not hold any "man's" words litterally and obey them, does not mean others see it your way.

It is their right to believe what they believe.

And, the kirpan's are not considered weapons in all schools. See opening post.

What do you think you are telling me that I don't already know?

Yes, Sikhs and everyone else have a right to believe as they choose.

All rights, however, are tempered by other rights. Children also have a right to a safe environment in which to learn.

That's what we are discussing: which right prevails.

Declaring something a "rule" does not magically make it a right that automatically supersedes all other rights.

(And BTW, Jesus didn't speak English and no original manuscript of the Four Gospels survives. Nobody knows what he said or didn't say, which is one reason why it is helpful to use reason when viewing remarks attributed to him.)

Kimberlyd125
02-03-2011, 04:44 PM
What do you think you are telling me that I don't already know?

Yes, Sikhs and everyone else have a right to believe as they choose.

All rights, however, are tempered by other rights. Children also have a right to a safe environment in which to learn.

That's what we are discussing: which right prevails.

Declaring something a "rule" does not magically make it a right that automatically supersedes all other rights.

(And BTW, Jesus didn't speak English and no original manuscript of the Four Gospels survives. Nobody knows what he said or didn't say, which is one reason why it is helpful to use reason when viewing remarks attributed to him.)

Nova, that's a silly question. Don't you know everything??? :smile:

The kids are safe. Find me one example of a child being hurt at school by a Sikh with a kirpan. I looked for a while. I can't find one.

Maybe we should ban electricity in schools. You know a kid could stick their finger in the socket.

So what makes something right or wrong? Beliefs. Somebody's beliefs. You have to believe in something. You of all people should know the importance of being able to believe what you believe.

As far as not knowing what Jesus said, well that's your opinion. Being a believer means I don't need proof. My faith is proof enough for me.
Belittle those red words all you want to. I will continue to hold them at the utmost highest priority.

JMO

Kimberlyd125
02-03-2011, 06:02 PM
BTW, the first sentence in the above post was a joke. Hence the smilie.
Too late to edit to say that.

Nova
02-03-2011, 06:06 PM
Nova, that's a silly question. Don't you know everything??? :smile:

The kids are safe. Find me one example of a child being hurt at school by a Sikh with a kirpan. I looked for a while. I can't find one.

Maybe we should ban electricity in schools. You know a kid could stick their finger in the socket.

So what makes something right or wrong? Beliefs. Somebody's beliefs. You have to believe in something. You of all people should know the importance of being able to believe what you believe.

As far as not knowing what Jesus said, well that's your opinion. Being a believer means I don't need proof. My faith is proof enough for me.
Belittle those red words all you want to. I will continue to hold them at the utmost highest priority.

JMO

I think there is great wisdom in "those red words." I didn't belittle them. I stated the FACT that we have no record of Jesus' actual words. All we have are copies of copies of copies, and most of us can only read translations. (BTW, no two of the pre-printing press copies agree, so one can't really argue that the copies are exact.)

You have every right to attach great importance to the words you read. But it remains a FACT that Jesus' actual words are not available to you or anyone else.

And Sikhs have every right to attach divine significance to the teachings of their gurus. Nonetheless, most public schools ban weapons. IMO, security trumps anyone's right to follow 17th century customs. The same applies to the 1st century, which is why schoolchildren are not allowed to stone adulterers.

That Sikhs are few in number doesn't give them fewer rights, but neither should it automatically increase their rights. That nobody has been wounded by a kirpan so far doesn't change the principle. No school has been blown up by a hand grenade so far; that doesn't mean children should be allowed to carry them.

Kimberlyd125
02-03-2011, 06:11 PM
Like I said posts ago, they believe they have to have it. We can't change what they believe. So, there are only a couple options. Allow them to carry them, or kick them out of school.
We can't expect them to not carry them.

Nova
02-03-2011, 06:28 PM
Like I said posts ago, they believe they have to have it. We can't change what they believe. So, there are only a couple options. Allow them to carry them, or kick them out of school.
We can't expect them to not carry them.

Of course, we can expect their parents to behave like rational human beings. It may not happen, but we can give them the benefit of the doubt and expect it.

Assuming people are slaves to their religious superstitions is not just cynical, but dangerous. It's how a large number of the wars throughout history were started. (But no wonder the PP is full of posts insisting we can't deal civilly with Muslims! People do tend to project their own beliefs and traits onto others.)

And, yes, if Sikhs can't find a way to accommodate school rules, they can home school or send their kids to private schools, just like anybody else.

Kimberlyd125
02-03-2011, 06:39 PM
Of course, we can expect their parents to behave like rational human beings. It may not happen, but we can give them the benefit of the doubt and expect it.

Assuming people are slaves to their religious superstitions is not just cynical, but dangerous. It's how a large number of the wars throughout history were started. (But no wonder the PP is full of posts insisting we can't deal civilly with Muslims! People do tend to project their own beliefs and traits onto others.)

And, yes, if Sikhs can't find a way to accommodate school rules, they can home school or send their kids to private schools, just like anybody else.

See, this is why I have a hard time agreeing with you on this.
Why is it not rational to stay true to your beliefs?

Why are you considering people slaves who hold true to thier beliefs? Why is it dangerous? Wars are fought for many reasons. Yes, some religious, but it's life. It's been that way since the beginning and will be that way til the end.

I'm certainly not projecting my own beliefs on others because I'm not a Sikh, but I do see why they care so much about their kirpans.

If they are kicked out, I'm sure they will find other forms of education. Just as you suggested. But saying they are not rational and slaves to their religious superstitions is a bit much IMO.

As a matter of fact, how can you call someone's belief superstition?
That makes no sense to me at all.

Nova
02-03-2011, 06:41 PM
BTW, the first sentence in the above post was a joke. Hence the smilie.
Too late to edit to say that.

No problem and no offense taken. I took it as a joke.

Nova
02-03-2011, 06:49 PM
See, this is why I have a hard time agreeing with you on this.
Why is it not rational to stay true to your beliefs?

Why are you considering people slaves who hold true to thier beliefs? Why is it dangerous? Wars are fought for many reasons. Yes, some religious, but it's life. It's been that way since the beginning and will be that way til the end.

I'm certainly not projecting my own beliefs on others because I'm not a Sikh, but I do see why they care so much about their kirpans.

If they are kicked out, I'm sure they will find other forms of education. Just as you suggested. But saying they are not rational and slaves to their religious superstitions is a bit much IMO.

As a matter of fact, how can you call someone's belief superstition?
That makes no sense to me at all.

The "projection" remark wasn't directed at you personally, K. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear. But I stand by my argument that once we conclude that religious beliefs are rigid and unchangeable, we're left with little alternative but bloodshed. History shows that rather clearly.

As for superstition, here's a good definition:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superstition


A belief resulting from "a false conception of causation." Isn't that what we think everybody else's religion is? It's only our own that we find reasonable.

But in fact, faith and reason are mutually exclusive by definition. "Faith" is the positive word; "superstition" is the negative one. But they both describe the same phenomena.

As a matter of fact, I think carrying a dagger as a symbol of one's commitment to fight for right and virtue is a lovely idea. But insisting that the dagger be an actual dagger, rather than a non-lethal replica is silly.

WhyaDuck?
02-03-2011, 06:59 PM
Kimberly, I realize the fact that wearing the kirpan is a rule is very significant to you. But to me, men makes rules and they can make a new one. I do however think this business of lengthy suspensions for every offense has gotten out of control. Whatever happened to simply confiscating something and telling the kid not to bring it back to school?

I realize there are necessarily other objects at school that can be turned into weapons, but that is not their primary purpose.

Sikhs are relatively few in number, and we've already seen sources that say the majority do NOT wear the actual dagger to school (but wear a symbolic replica instead). So the fact that no kirpan has been used in an incident of school violence yet isn't too surprising; but it doesn't change the principle.

BBM

Just a small note - it is only a requirement for a small portion of the Sikh community, anyway - only "baptized" Khalsa Sikhs, who have adopted an extra overtly-devotional identity.

Carry on.

Kimberlyd125
02-03-2011, 07:05 PM
I just can't see calling someone else's beliefs superstitions. I do think that belittles them.
Maybe I'm wrong. But I would take GREAT offense to someone saying my beliefs are superstitions.

nursebeeme
02-03-2011, 08:07 PM
I simply must weigh in here... I am boots on the ground. my son is in this school system

1)it is a diverse area... many religions and beliefs represented.

2)this first came to light before the Christmas break and all parents/people residing in the district got a hard copy letter addressing the issue...that a child had brought a 'knife' to school.. it was deemed to be a religious symbol and the board said they would meet on the issue later ((mind you this is not a huge amount of kids sharing this belief but the board took it upon themselves to step back and take the time to evaluate what it would mean to kids who do believe in this))

-about two weeks ago.. long before the fox news "broadcast" we got a letter/email from the board saying that kids who feel the need to carry this item can do so at school but only if it is carried inside a fabric sheath underneath their clothing.

-so let the kids (my gosh!!! maybe a handful in our huge district!!) do this...

-I am sure if anyone abuses it or does anything otherwise it will be further revisited.

-we are a hugely diverse group in the metro detroit area.

-okay I guess that was about it.. but I am sincerley okay with it and my card~carrying Catholic son can proudly attend with all of his friends... whether they carry this religious item under their clothing or not..

-my only concern is that they all pass their science test which is coming up next week. I am sure all the kids are praying to whatever God they pray to that they do as are their parents.

adnoid
02-03-2011, 10:26 PM
...Yes, Sikhs and everyone else have a right to believe as they choose...All rights, however, are tempered by other rights. Children also have a right to a safe environment in which to learn...

This has come up in my area as well, a couple of years ago. I did some research at the time, and some of the local Sikh leaders were interviewed in the paper. (There was also a case of a Sikh girl running away and being reported missing to avoid an arranged, forced marriage, but I digress).

The point these folks were making is that wearing the knife is part of their faith, and that part of their faith includes both having the knife available for self defense AND for the defense of innocent third parties who are attacked. Their faith tells them they must have it, it must be useful as a knife (i.e. sharpened) and they must be able to draw it and use it in situations their faith considers appropriate. They also rely on the teachings of that same faith to not draw it when not appropriate, but a physical barrier would violate what they believe to be their religious duty.

To your point about a safe place to learn as being the high level concept, I really don't have a problem with someone who is a member of this faith carrying their dagger to school, under the presumption that advancing in the faith to the point where the dagger should be carried goes along with the education on when it may be used and when it may not. From what I understand of that teaching it's in line with my beliefs - I have various weapons, I'll use them for defense but never for aggression.

My point, which I don't make very clearly, is that safety in the schools does not come from the absence of weapons in a student's clothes, rather, it comes from the absence of malice in a student's mind. When I was in high school, which was a long time ago, I would bring guns to school so I could go target shooting with my friends afterward. I'd leave them in my car, but it was a small private school and I could have had them in 5 minutes if I wanted to. But not a single person on that campus was at risk because I had those guns in my car, because I had no intention or desire to hurt anyone. But now we have kids suspended or expelled for bringing a small knife to school in their lunch because it's a knife, not because it's used to harm or threaten anyone.

Now, to be consistent, if the Sikhs wear the dagger because their faith requires them to keep themselves safe and defended, and the school allows it, there is no basis on which to deny any student the ability to carry whatever they feel they need to be safe and defended. So should my daughter be allowed to pack a .357 to school if the Sikh kids have daggers? If not, why? Can I say it's a religious belief? Sure I can - one I came up with this afternoon. It's my religion, don't you start persecuting me for being a religious minority!

Cult: A small, unpopular religion.
Religion: A large, popular cult.

My opinions, which along with $7.95 will get you a cup of coffee at any Starbucks:

--Don't worry about the daggers;
--Don't worry about plastic knives, water pistols, kids with Tylenol or anything like that;
--Get rid of all this "Zero Tolerance" crap and let people use their brains
--Allow teachers to expel kids who threaten or bully other students - whether with weapons, fists or words.

Yes, I feel better now.

legalmaniac
02-04-2011, 12:29 AM
An interesting aside.........Baptised Sikhs are all required to carry the kirpan except if they are riding on an airplane, they are allowed to remove it, fly, and still keep to their faith. As there were not any airplanes available in 1699, I'm guessing they made up a new rule that would allow them to keep to the spirit of their tradition while enjoying the modern convenience of getting on an airplane.

Schoolaged Sikhs can carry the kirpan at all times.....if they are homeschooled. Their right to follow their own religious practices are important rights to protect......until their practices infringe on my childrens' rights to go to school without fear of violence from weapons carried from schoolmates.

Trident
02-04-2011, 06:42 AM
Like I said posts ago, they believe they have to have it. We can't change what they believe. So, there are only a couple options. Allow them to carry them, or kick them out of school.
We can't expect them to not carry them.

BUT, we can expect them to carry on their constitutional beliefs in private schools the same way the Catholic religion has done with Parochial schools. This is a viable alternative.

Trident
02-04-2011, 06:51 AM
I simply must weigh in here... I am boots on the ground. my son is in this school system

1)it is a diverse area... many religions and beliefs represented.

2)this first came to light before the Christmas break and all parents/people residing in the district got a hard copy letter addressing the issue...that a child had brought a 'knife' to school.. it was deemed to be a religious symbol and the board said they would meet on the issue later ((mind you this is not a huge amount of kids sharing this belief but the board took it upon themselves to step back and take the time to evaluate what it would mean to kids who do believe in this))

-about two weeks ago.. long before the fox news "broadcast" we got a letter/email from the board saying that kids who feel the need to carry this item can do so at school but only if it is carried inside a fabric sheath underneath their clothing.

-so let the kids (my gosh!!! maybe a handful in our huge district!!) do this...

-I am sure if anyone abuses it or does anything otherwise it will be further revisited.

-we are a hugely diverse group in the metro detroit area.

-okay I guess that was about it.. but I am sincerley okay with it and my card~carrying Catholic son can proudly attend with all of his friends... whether they carry this religious item under their clothing or not..

-my only concern is that they all pass their science test which is coming up next week. I am sure all the kids are praying to whatever God they pray to that they do as are their parents.

Quite frankly, I don't care what anyone does in private, or what religious beliefs they hold. To each their own.

My family fought in the Revolution, the Civil War. Where were the Sikhs then? Is any of their blood on this land of the free and the home of the brave? Sorry, but we founded this nations on certain principals, and freedom of religion was one of them. There will be no State religion, everyone may worship as they may, BUT, they did not say ANYONE'S religion was above the law.

I remember the "love it or leave it" sayings. Now I say, "obey the laws or go back where you came from". Not original, but very applicable in today's society. You have a dagger? My kid can't have a tiny, plastic GI JOE gun? Balderdash, insanity. Rot from within. Of course, this is only my opinion.

If you want/need to follow your religious beliefs, which do not correlate to the laws of your school district, be men enough/people enough to stand up for your religion - found, and fund your own schools. Until then, obey or go back where you came from.

I know this sounds harsh, but so where the dead bodies of our ancestors in the American Revolution, the Civil War. God, those picture stay in my mind. Yet, today, many who come here think we have to bow to THEIR beliefs. WHY? To me the blood shed by my people speaks volumes, they wanted freedom. They gave their lives for freedom, and yet, our freedoms are being eroded by little incursions of tiny, dull daggers, mosques being built where we "say" middle eastern terrorists attacked our country.

I say, "What in bloody 'ell is going on here? Is THIS what my ancestors died for? NO, it is not. Once we were a STRONG nation, we had principals, now? We have unemployment, no real products to sell. Daggers in school, Sharia laws? Not exactly a free nation, but a nation so free there are no absolutes and a nation/house divided against itself cannot stand - but of course our enemies know that. Problem is, we do not.

Once again, my opinion only





My opinion only.

Trident
02-04-2011, 07:19 AM
An interesting aside.........Baptised Sikhs are all required to carry the kirpan except if they are riding on an airplane, they are allowed to remove it, fly, and still keep to their faith. As there were not any airplanes available in 1699, I'm guessing they made up a new rule that would allow them to keep to the spirit of their tradition while enjoying the modern convenience of getting on an airplane.

Schoolaged Sikhs can carry the kirpan at all times.....if they are homeschooled. Their right to follow their own religious practices are important rights to protect......until their practices infringe on my childrens' rights to go to school without fear of violence from weapons carried from schoolmates.

GREAT POST, needs repeating. LOL. So, they can fly on planes, without the dagger 'cause they couldn't otherwise? LOL again. Wow, how convenient to their God-given rules, LOL.

Kimberlyd125
02-04-2011, 10:14 AM
BUT, we can expect them to carry on their constitutional beliefs in private schools the same way the Catholic religion has done with Parochial schools. This is a viable alternative.

Yes, I agree. And have stated that several times.
We only have two options.... let them carry them, or kick them out.
If we kick them out, I'm sure they will find other forms of education.

Lucid
02-04-2011, 12:16 PM
Yes, I agree. And have stated that several times.
We only have two options.... let them carry them, or kick them out.
If we kick them out, I'm sure they will find other forms of education.

My thoughts are that the schools shouldn't have to kick them out - and then possibly face lawsuits for discrimination or something. They should not expect the schools to allow this, knowing that any other child could never get away with bringing something like this to school - they should choose to educate their children by other means instead by their own will, instead of forcing the school into this position.

I think this is where the frustration is coming in for some, saying America is being forced to bow to other religions. Its not that the religion is here - it is that those who practice it simply expect the public to make room and make exceptions for them, even if their customs are against the law. They don't seem to have any interest in finding a law abiding way to practice their religion (at least those involved in this situation), they just want the public to let them do what they want. As many have said, they could build their own schools, but they don't.

I've never seen one of these kirpans. If they're dangerous, I wouldnt want them in schools, period. If they are not dangerous, then I don't care if they are there, but I also think, as many have said, the schools need to stop punishing kids just for bringing in a toy or something. That's extremely unfair to all the other kids.

But again, it shouldn't come down to the schools kicking the kids out for it - it is the parents responsibility to follow the rules, and if they don't think their child can fit in with those rules, then they need to find somewhere else for the child to go, rather than forcing this decision on the school. The school shouldn't have to choose between these two choices. The weapon rules were already there, and these parents chose to send their child to school with a kirpan anyway, and put up a fuss when it is taken away.

Kimberlyd125
02-04-2011, 12:43 PM
My thoughts are that the schools shouldn't have to kick them out - and then possibly face lawsuits for discrimination or something. They should not expect the schools to allow this, knowing that any other child could never get away with bringing something like this to school - they should choose to educate their children by other means instead by their own will, instead of forcing the school into this position.

I think this is where the frustration is coming in for some, saying America is being forced to bow to other religions. Its not that the religion is here - it is that those who practice it simply expect the public to make room and make exceptions for them, even if their customs are against the law. They don't seem to have any interest in finding a law abiding way to practice their religion (at least those involved in this situation), they just want the public to let them do what they want. As many have said, they could build their own schools, but they don't.

I've never seen one of these kirpans. If they're dangerous, I wouldnt want them in schools, period. If they are not dangerous, then I don't care if they are there, but I also think, as many have said, the schools need to stop punishing kids just for bringing in a toy or something. That's extremely unfair to all the other kids.

But again, it shouldn't come down to the schools kicking the kids out for it - it is the parents responsibility to follow the rules, and if they don't think their child can fit in with those rules, then they need to find somewhere else for the child to go, rather than forcing this decision on the school. The school shouldn't have to choose between these two choices. The weapon rules were already there, and these parents chose to send their child to school with a kirpan anyway, and put up a fuss when it is taken away.

People break rules all the time. If a child is enrolled in a school that does not allow kirpans and the family refuses to have their child leave the kirpan at home, the school has to act. Lawsuit or not.

But it looks like not all schools are taking action against the kirpan.

Lucid
02-04-2011, 12:47 PM
People break rules all the time. If a child is enrolled in a school that does not allow kirpans and the family refuses to have their child leave the kirpan at home, the school has to act. Lawsuit or not.

But it looks like not all schools are taking action against the kirpan.


Yeah, I know :crazy: I just wish people would do the right thing sometimes, instead of forcing it! In the world today, I bet they'd win the lawsuit too, which is frustrating. It shouldn't come down to that, but it does. I guess I was just pointing out what it SHOULD be like.

I can see why people are frustrated, though. To me, it is not so much about the weapon itself (unless its dangerous) as it is that it breaks a rule and they get away with it, where most kids wouldn't.

I wish I could find a picture of a kirpan, but all the ones I have seen so far are sheathed.

ETA: Found one. They DO look dangerous...

Nova
02-04-2011, 03:52 PM
I just can't see calling someone else's beliefs superstitions. I do think that belittles them.
Maybe I'm wrong. But I would take GREAT offense to someone saying my beliefs are superstitions.

A "superstition" is any belief that can't be verified by objective evidence. And that includes religious faith (including my own).

It isn't my fault if someone takes offense at my stating the obvious.

The social convention that we all pretend to respect every bit of nonsense everyone chooses to believe (as long as there's a building to go with it; we're allowed to mock the crazy homeless guy on the corner) is not only dishonest, it's dangerous because it aids people in clinging to their delusions. IMO, of course.

Nova
02-04-2011, 03:57 PM
This has come up in my area as well, a couple of years ago. I did some research at the time, and some of the local Sikh leaders were interviewed in the paper. (There was also a case of a Sikh girl running away and being reported missing to avoid an arranged, forced marriage, but I digress).

The point these folks were making is that wearing the knife is part of their faith, and that part of their faith includes both having the knife available for self defense AND for the defense of innocent third parties who are attacked. Their faith tells them they must have it, it must be useful as a knife (i.e. sharpened) and they must be able to draw it and use it in situations their faith considers appropriate. They also rely on the teachings of that same faith to not draw it when not appropriate, but a physical barrier would violate what they believe to be their religious duty.

To your point about a safe place to learn as being the high level concept, I really don't have a problem with someone who is a member of this faith carrying their dagger to school, under the presumption that advancing in the faith to the point where the dagger should be carried goes along with the education on when it may be used and when it may not. From what I understand of that teaching it's in line with my beliefs - I have various weapons, I'll use them for defense but never for aggression.

My point, which I don't make very clearly, is that safety in the schools does not come from the absence of weapons in a student's clothes, rather, it comes from the absence of malice in a student's mind. When I was in high school, which was a long time ago, I would bring guns to school so I could go target shooting with my friends afterward. I'd leave them in my car, but it was a small private school and I could have had them in 5 minutes if I wanted to. But not a single person on that campus was at risk because I had those guns in my car, because I had no intention or desire to hurt anyone. But now we have kids suspended or expelled for bringing a small knife to school in their lunch because it's a knife, not because it's used to harm or threaten anyone.

Now, to be consistent, if the Sikhs wear the dagger because their faith requires them to keep themselves safe and defended, and the school allows it, there is no basis on which to deny any student the ability to carry whatever they feel they need to be safe and defended. So should my daughter be allowed to pack a .357 to school if the Sikh kids have daggers? If not, why? Can I say it's a religious belief? Sure I can - one I came up with this afternoon. It's my religion, don't you start persecuting me for being a religious minority!

Cult: A small, unpopular religion.
Religion: A large, popular cult.

My opinions, which along with $7.95 will get you a cup of coffee at any Starbucks:

--Don't worry about the daggers;
--Don't worry about plastic knives, water pistols, kids with Tylenol or anything like that;
--Get rid of all this "Zero Tolerance" crap and let people use their brains
--Allow teachers to expel kids who threaten or bully other students - whether with weapons, fists or words.

Yes, I feel better now.

Well, adnoid, if you're going to include my rebuttal within your post, then there's really no reason for me to be here, is there? :)

(ETA: BBM. I'm sure the vast majority of Sikh children who carry kirpans do so responsibly, just as most gun owners don't shoot their neighbors. But a public school should be a weapon-free zone, not a testing ground to show who was paying attention in weapon-safety class. BTW, I went to a charter high school that was located in a farm/ranch area. Lots of older kids had rifles in their trucks and I thought nothing of it. But the country has twice as many people now; violence (like all social interaction) increases geometrically as population increases arithmetically.)

Nova
02-04-2011, 03:58 PM
An interesting aside.........Baptised Sikhs are all required to carry the kirpan except if they are riding on an airplane, they are allowed to remove it, fly, and still keep to their faith. As there were not any airplanes available in 1699, I'm guessing they made up a new rule that would allow them to keep to the spirit of their tradition while enjoying the modern convenience of getting on an airplane.

Schoolaged Sikhs can carry the kirpan at all times.....if they are homeschooled. Their right to follow their own religious practices are important rights to protect......until their practices infringe on my childrens' rights to go to school without fear of violence from weapons carried from schoolmates.

And exactly! Thank you.

Nova
02-04-2011, 04:03 PM
My thoughts are that the schools shouldn't have to kick them out - and then possibly face lawsuits for discrimination or something. They should not expect the schools to allow this, knowing that any other child could never get away with bringing something like this to school - they should choose to educate their children by other means instead by their own will, instead of forcing the school into this position.

I think this is where the frustration is coming in for some, saying America is being forced to bow to other religions. Its not that the religion is here - it is that those who practice it simply expect the public to make room and make exceptions for them, even if their customs are against the law. They don't seem to have any interest in finding a law abiding way to practice their religion (at least those involved in this situation), they just want the public to let them do what they want. As many have said, they could build their own schools, but they don't.

I've never seen one of these kirpans. If they're dangerous, I wouldnt want them in schools, period. If they are not dangerous, then I don't care if they are there, but I also think, as many have said, the schools need to stop punishing kids just for bringing in a toy or something. That's extremely unfair to all the other kids.

But again, it shouldn't come down to the schools kicking the kids out for it - it is the parents responsibility to follow the rules, and if they don't think their child can fit in with those rules, then they need to find somewhere else for the child to go, rather than forcing this decision on the school. The school shouldn't have to choose between these two choices. The weapon rules were already there, and these parents chose to send their child to school with a kirpan anyway, and put up a fuss when it is taken away.

I don't think we need to single out the Sikhs in this area. Most religions have had some conflict with public institutions at one time or another; it's just that Lutherans, say, have been here longer and worked out the conflicts long ago.

And it also bears repeating that the kirpan is an issue to a tiny minority of Sikhs. And even there, many, if not most, Sikhs affected have already found ways to honor their faith and obey school rules.

Kimberlyd125
02-04-2011, 04:05 PM
A "superstition" is any belief that can't be verified by objective evidence. And that includes religious faith (including my own).

It isn't my fault if someone takes offense at my stating the obvious.

The social convention that we all pretend to respect every bit of nonsense everyone chooses to believe (as long as there's a building to go with it; we're allowed to mock the crazy homeless guy on the corner) is not only dishonest, it's dangerous because it aids people in clinging to their delusions. IMO, of course.

But you are a steadfast supporter of Muslim rights. Muslim's freedom of religion.
But now all religious beliefs are dangerous "delusions". I'm done with the conversation.

That is BEYOND crazy to me.

Nova
02-04-2011, 04:23 PM
But you are a steadfast supporter of Muslim rights. Muslim's freedom of religion.
But now all religious beliefs are dangerous "delusions". I'm done with the conversation.

That is BEYOND crazy to me.

People have a right to their delusions. I've never said otherwise. I've also never denied that I have religious beliefs of my own, which many people would consider delusional.

That doesn't mean 10-year-olds have a right to carry weapons at school.

And that doesn't mean I am obligated to pretend a belief based on a leap of faith is a fact based on empirical evidence. That's true whether we are talking about Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Wiccans or myself.

If there is a contradiction here, please feel free to point it out to me.

legalmaniac
02-08-2011, 01:47 AM
GREAT POST, needs repeating. LOL. So, they can fly on planes, without the dagger 'cause they couldn't otherwise? LOL again. Wow, how convenient to their God-given rules, LOL.


**********************************************

Exactly.......If they can change there rules because they want to go on vacation/do business, they can change their rules if they want their kids to attend public schools.

eve
02-08-2011, 10:45 AM
This has come up in my area as well, a couple of years ago. I did some research at the time, and some of the local Sikh leaders were interviewed in the paper. (There was also a case of a Sikh girl running away and being reported missing to avoid an arranged, forced marriage, but I digress).

The point these folks were making is that wearing the knife is part of their faith, and that part of their faith includes both having the knife available for self defense AND for the defense of innocent third parties who are attacked. Their faith tells them they must have it, it must be useful as a knife (i.e. sharpened) and they must be able to draw it and use it in situations their faith considers appropriate. They also rely on the teachings of that same faith to not draw it when not appropriate, but a physical barrier would violate what they believe to be their religious duty.

To your point about a safe place to learn as being the high level concept, I really don't have a problem with someone who is a member of this faith carrying their dagger to school, under the presumption that advancing in the faith to the point where the dagger should be carried goes along with the education on when it may be used and when it may not. From what I understand of that teaching it's in line with my beliefs - I have various weapons, I'll use them for defense but never for aggression.

My point, which I don't make very clearly, is that safety in the schools does not come from the absence of weapons in a student's clothes, rather, it comes from the absence of malice in a student's mind. When I was in high school, which was a long time ago, I would bring guns to school so I could go target shooting with my friends afterward. I'd leave them in my car, but it was a small private school and I could have had them in 5 minutes if I wanted to. But not a single person on that campus was at risk because I had those guns in my car, because I had no intention or desire to hurt anyone. But now we have kids suspended or expelled for bringing a small knife to school in their lunch because it's a knife, not because it's used to harm or threaten anyone.

Now, to be consistent, if the Sikhs wear the dagger because their faith requires them to keep themselves safe and defended, and the school allows it, there is no basis on which to deny any student the ability to carry whatever they feel they need to be safe and defended. So should my daughter be allowed to pack a .357 to school if the Sikh kids have daggers? If not, why? Can I say it's a religious belief? Sure I can - one I came up with this afternoon. It's my religion, don't you start persecuting me for being a religious minority!

Cult: A small, unpopular religion.
Religion: A large, popular cult.

My opinions, which along with $7.95 will get you a cup of coffee at any Starbucks:

--Don't worry about the daggers;
--Don't worry about plastic knives, water pistols, kids with Tylenol or anything like that;
--Get rid of all this "Zero Tolerance" crap and let people use their brains
--Allow teachers to expel kids who threaten or bully other students - whether with weapons, fists or words.

Yes, I feel better now.

Agree with every word. Thank you Addie. I am a teacher of some pretty tough characters. We "had" to suspend a kid once for drawing pictures of swords on his notebooks. Another for fashioning a gun out of clay. This was part of our wonderful "zero tolerance" policy and the principal threw in a "terroristic threats" charge for good measure. It made me sick. Erroneous precedent and a lack of reasoning -- it disturbs me.

Mine are 9-12 at-risk kids. Luckily most of them have my back, but I have seen a look in a few kids' eyes over the years that made me ask for an escort out to my car and feel great relief when my tires weren't slashed. I probably tried to make them read out loud in class or something.

Don't tell anyone, but I sometimes "forget" I have a steak knife in my drawer I used for leftovers during lunch one day about 4 years ago.

Eve

legalmania
02-08-2011, 10:54 AM
What happened to separation of church and state? The word dagger and school, don't belong in the same sentence. This opinion was argued, was passed down, there should be no exceptions.

The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever from they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and State.'

http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_reli.html

legalmaniac
02-09-2011, 01:12 AM
The arguement is about individual rights....and the right to practice their religion, not about seperation of church and state.

Seperation of church and state is the issue in taking away prayer from the classroom and Christmas celebrations becoming 'winter holiday' concerts....forcing one religion on all students

Nova
02-09-2011, 09:56 AM
The arguement is about individual rights....and the right to practice their religion, not about seperation of church and state.

Seperation of church and state is the issue in taking away prayer from the classroom and Christmas celebrations becoming 'winter holiday' concerts....forcing one religion on all students

Again, nobody is stopping students from praying, nor can they. What is banned is teacher-led (i.e., government-sponsored) prayer.

Nobody is stopping churches from celebrating Christmas. The use of terms such as "winter holiday" simply recognizes that some people are celebrating Chanukah, some are celebrating Ramadan, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, etc.

How does this force "one religion on all students"?

txsvicki
02-09-2011, 10:46 PM
President Bush had the perfect solution, the voucher system, which he couldn't get passed. We need more free options besides the public school system. That way different churches and groups could get accredited and start their own schools. I'd much rather mine go to school with like minded teachers and kids. They can know now to be tolerant, but learn about different beliefs when they're older. They all just need to be protected and safe for now without losing all their rights. Public school seems like it's becoming a troubled ineffective old fashioned monopoly that needs to change asap.

Nova
02-09-2011, 11:53 PM
President Bush had the perfect solution, the voucher system, which he couldn't get passed. We need more free options besides the public school system. That way different churches and groups could get accredited and start their own schools. I'd much rather mine go to school with like minded teachers and kids. They can know now to be tolerant, but learn about different beliefs when they're older. They all just need to be protected and safe for now without losing all their rights. Public school seems like it's becoming a troubled ineffective old fashioned monopoly that needs to change asap.

I don't believe any child learns tolerance from going to school only with children like him or herself.

I think all children should go to public schools, which isn't to say public schools don't need plenty of work. But under the current system, parents with sufficient money can simply abandon the public school system and educate their own kids in private.

If the children of the rich had to attend public school alongside the children of the poor, public schools would improve in a New York minute.

None of this will ever happen, needless to say.

Pandora
02-10-2011, 07:58 PM
President Bush had the perfect solution, the voucher system, which he couldn't get passed. We need more free options besides the public school system. That way different churches and groups could get accredited and start their own schools. I'd much rather mine go to school with like minded teachers and kids. They can know now to be tolerant, but learn about different beliefs when they're older. They all just need to be protected and safe for now without losing all their rights. Public school seems like it's becoming a troubled ineffective old fashioned monopoly that needs to change asap.

Keep in mind that many private Christian schools have already stated clearly that they will NOT take any vouchers because the minute they do, the government can dictate to them what they can and cannot do. PA is trying to get vouchers passed into law under Senate Bill 1, but the politicians aren't getting the message from the private schools. Not everyone wants tax money.

bessie
02-11-2011, 09:09 AM
What happened to separation of church and state? The word dagger and school, don't belong in the same sentence. This opinion was argued, was passed down, there should be no exceptions.

The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever from they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and State.'

http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_reli.html
If separation of church and state is the argument used to prohibit students from wearing kirpan in public schools, then crucifixes and stars of David worn on chains around the necks of christian and jewish children must also be banned. Would you support banishing all religious symbols in public schools?

I've stayed away from this discussion because I have no school age children or grandchildren, and am generally reluctant to express opinions about matters in which I am not subjected to the consequences. Had I been faced with the issue of children wearing the kirpan when my son was in school, I'd like to believe that I would've given it a nod. On the other hand, I was a very protective mom, so I surely would have had some concerns. If the swords are banned, the action should rest on the issue of safety, imo, and left to individual communities to decide.

Nova
02-11-2011, 02:08 PM
If separation of church and state is the argument used to prohibit students from wearing kirpan in public schools, then crucifixes and stars of David worn on chains around the necks of christian and jewish children must also be banned. Would you support banishing all religious symbols in public schools?

I've stayed away from this discussion because I have no school age children or grandchildren, and am generally reluctant to express opinions about matters in which I am not subjected to the consequences. Had I been faced with the issue of children wearing the kirpan when my son was in school, I'd like to believe that I would've given it a nod. On the other hand, I was a very protective mom, so I surely would have had some concerns. If the swords are banned, the action should rest on the issue of safety, imo, and left to individual communities to decide.

I don't agree with your logic. No one is saying ALL symbols of the Sikh religion be banned, just weapons. If Christians wore swords as symbolic salutes to the Crusades, if Jewish kids carried Uzis in support of Israel, those would be banned as well.

And as I've said before, only usable daggers should be included in the prohibition. Cloth replicas or the tiny, symbolic imitations already worn by thousands of Sikhs should be allowed and are, I believe, constitutionally protected.

RoseRed
02-11-2011, 02:41 PM
I don't believe any child learns tolerance from going to school only with children like him or herself.

I think all children should go to public schools, which isn't to say public schools don't need plenty of work. But under the current system, parents with sufficient money can simply abandon the public school system and educate their own kids in private.

If the children of the rich had to attend public school alongside the children of the poor, public schools would improve in a New York minute.

None of this will ever happen, needless to say.

I am a long way from rich and my children went to a Christian Academy. It was our choice and do not regret it for a NY minute.

Kimberlyd125
02-11-2011, 03:15 PM
I am a long way from rich and my children went to a Christian Academy. It was our choice and do not regret it for a NY minute.

You have to do what is best for your children. For many families it takes a lot of sacrifice. But, the way schools are now sometimes it's a must if you want your children to get a good education.
We are very fortunate that our schools in my small town are community schools. We have our own school system and the support of the entire community. So our schools are better funded than most private schools.

People may think kids need to go to public schools to learn tolerance and other ways of life. But, they often learn MUCH more than what they should.

I think a good Christian academy is a great choice for families who want their children to get a good education in a morally acceptable environment.

Public schools are often not a place you want to send your children. :smile:

JMO

CaseyLPC
02-11-2011, 03:23 PM
The comments at the bottom of that article are especially good, many pointing out how students can't pray, wear religious t-shirts, etc, or how "under God" was taken out of the pledge of allegiance... and yet others are not only allowed to openly display their religion, but bring a weapon to school for it!

BBM
Just for clarification sake, the words "under God" were not in the original Pledge of Allegiance, they were added in 1954 during one of the 4 modifications to the pledge.

That being said, no gun, knife, or other obvious weapon should be allowed in our schools.

legalmaniac
02-16-2011, 06:04 AM
Again, nobody is stopping students from praying, nor can they. What is banned is teacher-led (i.e., government-sponsored) prayer.

Nobody is stopping churches from celebrating Christmas. The use of terms such as "winter holiday" simply recognizes that some people are celebrating Chanukah, some are celebrating Ramadan, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, etc.

How does this force "one religion on all students"?

******************************************

I didn't say it did.

I was correcting legalmania who said this was a seperation of church and state issue......it is NOT

Legalmania said this:
What happened to separation of church and state? The word dagger and school, don't belong in the same sentence. This opinion was argued, was passed down, there should be no exceptions.

The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever from they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and State.'

http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_reli.html __________________

So I replied:
[COLOR="Lime"]The arguement is about individual rights....and the right to practice their religion, not about seperation of church and state.

Seperation of church and state is the issue in taking away prayer from the classroom and Christmas celebrations becoming 'winter holiday' concerts....forcing one religion on all students/COLOR]

Nova
02-16-2011, 04:49 PM
Of course, the First Amendment is at issue here. Without it, we wouldn't even be having this conversation. The kirpans would be banned.

The issue is whether the student's right to carry a dagger as an act of religious devotion outweighs the right of all students to be safe from weapons at school. I say no. Others disagree.

legalmaniac
02-19-2011, 09:48 PM
If the US government bans kirpans in the whole country, THEN it is a first ammendment issue. No one is saying anyone can't have a kirpan. Some schools are saying you can't have one IN THAT SCHOOL. People who want to carry a kirpan can go to a different school or be homeschooled.

If I am a Neopagan, I embrace free love and public nudity. I would be free to do that.....in my home, the home of a friend, at my place of worship, or at a nudist colony. I can't do it at the local mall or my town center.

Trino
02-20-2011, 10:40 AM
How long will it be before some kid shows up pretending for a religious reason he's wearing this, especially a gang member? I taught school in a questionable area, and had students (female) who would show up to school wearing a scarf, saying they were Muslim. Caps and scarfs were prohibited unless worn for a religious reason. The girls I mentioned were definitely not Muslim.

Trino
02-20-2011, 10:43 AM
BBM
Just for clarification sake, the words "under God" were not in the original Pledge of Allegiance, they were added in 1954 during one of the 4 modifications to the pledge.

That being said, no gun, knife, or other obvious weapon should be allowed in our schools.

And, they were added mostly as an anti-communist idea. So, we have the communists to thank for "Under God," as well as the interstate road system - for better troop movement when the attack by the Soviets would come, of course (LOL).

Nova
02-20-2011, 03:45 PM
If the US government bans kirpans in the whole country, THEN it is a first ammendment issue. No one is saying anyone can't have a kirpan. Some schools are saying you can't have one IN THAT SCHOOL. People who want to carry a kirpan can go to a different school or be homeschooled.

If I am a Neopagan, I embrace free love and public nudity. I would be free to do that.....in my home, the home of a friend, at my place of worship, or at a nudist colony. I can't do it at the local mall or my town center.

The kirpan is a religious symbol and any prohibition of it is a First Amendment issue. It doesn't have to be banned coast-to-coast for the First Amendment to apply.

Whether the First Amendment right to freedom of religion trumps other rights, such as the right of children to be safe in school, is what we are discussing. No right is absolute. Courts have rules that the right of freedom of religion, like the right of freedom of speech, may be limited when it conflicts with other rights.

Likewise, if you can convince a court that your Neopagan nudity is an act of religious expression, then where and when you will be allowed to practice nudity will be a First Amendment issue. My guess is the courts will restrict your right to be nude in public, but I'll admit public nudity as religious expression isn't an issue I care enough about to research.

Nova
02-20-2011, 03:49 PM
And, they were added mostly as an anti-communist idea. So, we have the communists to thank for "Under God," as well as the interstate road system - for better troop movement when the attack by the Soviets would come, of course (LOL).

Well, it worked! I grew up saying "under God" in the pledge and I did not become a communist. Q.E.D. ;)