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Author Topic: Is this protected under freedom of religion?
Storm Saxon
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I think it is.

http://tinyurl.com/235ydc

quote:

A student has been suspended from school in America for coming to class dressed as a pirate.

But the disciplinary action has provoked controversy – because the student says that the ban violates his rights, as the pirate costume is part of his religion.

Bryan Killian says that he follows the Pastafarian religion, and that as a crucial part of his faith, he must wear 'full pirate regalia' as prescribed in the holy texts of Pastafarianism.

The school, however, say that his pirate garb was disruptive.

Pastafarians follow the Flying Spaghetti Monster (pictured), and believe that the world was created by the touch of his noodly appendage. Furthermore, they acknowledge pirates as being 'absolute divine beings', and stress that the worldwide decline in the number of pirates has directly led to global warming.

Pirates of the Carribbean
A man in full pirate regalia

Pastafarianism gained wide attention when its key prophet, Bobby Henderson, wrote to the Kansas School Board during the height of the controversy over 'Intelligent Design' being taught in science classes. His letter, also published on his website, demanded equal time be given to the teachings of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as was given to ID and evolutionary theory.

Since then, the Flying Spaghetti Monster has gained countless followers worldwide, although there are those who remain spagnostic.

The school, in North Buncombe, North Carolina, remains adamant that their decision to suspend Killian for a day has nothing to do with his religion, and quite a lot to do with his repeated refusal to heed warnings against wearing pirate outfits.

Sure, why not. I think the students might titter a bit at first, but they'll get over it.

I think, to be fair, anyone who wants to should be able to say what their religious beliefs are. Then make the laws apply to all religious people equally.

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The Pixiest
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If he *really* and *truely* believed in the FSM, then sure.

Otherwise he's just thumbing his nose at real faiths. (real as in, people really believe them. Not that I think they're true.)

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DonaldD
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Too late...
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Storm Saxon
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Doh. I looked at the thread titles, but didn't read all the threads.

Sorry, Tao.

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Storm Saxon
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quote:
Originally posted by The Pixiest:
If he *really* and *truely* believed in the FSM, then sure.

Otherwise he's just thumbing his nose at real faiths. (real as in, people really believe them. Not that I think they're true.)

How do you know he doesn't *really* and *truely* believe?
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Clark
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I think it's a bit rediculous, but we can't pick and choose which between "real religions" are protected and which are the "crazy weirdo religions" that we don't like.

There could be a few aspects of a pirate costume that might be inappropriate. Swords, real or fake, don't belong at school, nor should he be allowed to have a bird on his shoulder, or a large hat that would make learning difficult for other students.

I'd be interested to know if there is a specific problem the school has with the outfit, or if it really is just that he's dressed like a pirate.

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The Pixiest
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SS: That's why I put a condition on it.

Clark: Actually, we DO pick and choose. All the time. Members of smaller churches are frequently denied conscientious objector status, for instance.

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Sunshine
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What do his parents think about this?

And Quote

The school, in North Buncombe, North Carolina, remains adamant that their decision to suspend Killian for a day has nothing to do with his religion, and quite a lot to do with his repeated refusal to heed warnings against wearing pirate outfits.

[ March 30, 2007, 04:50 PM: Message edited by: Sunshine ]

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Storm Saxon
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quote:
Originally posted by The Pixiest:
SS: That's why I put a condition on it.


Right, and I asked for elaboration. How do we know if he really and truly believes?

Further, why does it matter if, say, someone 'really' believes something? If something is wrong, isn't it wrong no matter what, regardless of depth of belief?

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Haggis
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If pantaloons, puffy shirts, and trifold hats are not covered in the school dress code, I see no problem with wearing a pirate outfit to class.

If they had just ignored it, it probably would have gone away on its own.

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Sunshine
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I wonder if he had a parrot. And a patch. And a bottle of rum. And a wench. They must have a wench.

[ March 30, 2007, 06:11 PM: Message edited by: Sunshine ]

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The Pixiest
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SS: Well, with 6 billion people in the world I suppose it's guaranteed that SOMEONE will really believe it, so good point.
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Everard
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So, pixiest, your standard is that people should be able to practice their religion freely if they "really, truly" believe it?

How do we find out, then, which people we can prevent from practicing their religion?

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The Pixiest
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Ev: Good question. How does the government currently do it when deciding who gets tax exemptions?
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Everard
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i don't know. i'm interested in hearing you expound on your stated position.
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The Pixiest
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I don't know either, that's why I asked you. But it seems a logical starting point.
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Everard
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institutions seem to be very different then people.
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The Pixiest
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Ok, then my previous example of Conscientious Objector status. Those are person by person.
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The Pixiest
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Ev: *shrug* Ok, I don't have a lot invested in this. How would you sort it out or would you open the door for any whackiness at all so long as they said it was their faith?
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Everard
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If we're going to protect faith, and say people can practice it freely, then we have to open the door for any whackiness as long as people say its their faith, and it doesn't harm anyone else. And we have to interfere at the same level of harm for all claims of faith.
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The Pixiest
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So if Pirate Regalia is verbotten we can do the same for a Burka?
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Everard
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Yes.
Which is why we have to let him wear his regalia if he claims is a demand of his faith. Either that, or start a new inquisition up to find out whether people actually believe what they claim, or not.

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The Pixiest
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I would think the "actually believe" requirement would only be for the whacky faiths like FSM and IPU. Things that are obviously parody religeons.

But I think your way is better. Ban the Pirate, Ban the Burka.

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Everard
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Actually, i'm saying we shouldn't ban the pirate because then we can stop people from practicing their religion, no matter what the religion is.

Ban the pirate, ban the burka, ban the christmas tree.

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hobsen
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The ACLU has posted summaries of some fifty cases involving freedom of religion, some of which are such gross violations they are hard to believe:
quote:
The ACLU of Michigan (2005) filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Joseph Hanas, a Catholic, who was criminally punished for not completing a drug rehabilitation program run by the Pentecostal group. Part of the program required reading the Bible for seven hours a day, proclaiming one's salvation at the alter, and being tested on Pentecostal principles. Staff confiscated Mr. Hanas's rosary and told him Catholicism was witchcraft.
quote:
The ACLU of Louisiana (2005) filed suit against the Department of Corrections on behalf of a Mormon inmate, Norman Sanders, who was denied the right to practice his religion by being denied access to religious texts, including The Book of Mormon, and Mormon religious services.
quote:
The ACLU of New Jersey (2004) appeared as amicus curaie in opposition to a prosecutor's act of striking potential jurors from a jury pool based on the fact that the prosecutor perceived those individuals to be "demonstrative about their religion."
http://www.aclu.org/religion/govtfunding/26526res20060824.html
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Redskullvw
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The first two I'd agree with Hobsen.

The third however I would not agree with. If I were a defendant, and I was looking for a jury of my peers in a case involving some aspect of religion, I'd want my peers to be Catholic or at least agnostic so that their point of view and perception matched mine. I wouldn't want a hindu sikh in a turban, a buddist monk in saffron robes, an orthodox jew wearing the full regalia, or even a muslim woman dressed in a burka sitting on my panel. If by visual evidence I could confirm their religion, or at the least suspect their religious leanings by dress and acts, I'd challenge them right off the jury until I ran out of challenges.

If I were a prosecutor going for a death penalty, I don't think I'd want a bunch of Catholics on the panel- he'd never get a conviction in the penalty phase because devout Catholics would never grant a death penalty.

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DonaldD
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Sikhs are not considered Hindu. They are distinct Dharmic religions, and unlike Buddhism, they are theistic and have separate scriptures.
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Redskullvw
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It was early-before coffee-too early to keep my visible cues of world religion affiliations straight.
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Zyne
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Pixiest:
quote:
How does the government currently do it when deciding who gets tax exemptions?
They don't test "really" or "truely" or even truly. A tiny bit of googling reveals that the FSM church has qualified as a 501(c)(3):

http://www.churchofreality.org/wisdom/irs_tax_exempt_status/

Obviously a "parody religeon"? Not to all.

So, bring on the peg legs.

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hobsen
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quote:
The Church of Reality adopts the FSM as our fictional deity. As long as we know it is fictional there's no conflict with Realism.
This declaration makes sense to me. And the question whether the Church of Reality is "really" a church makes no practical difference as it is not a business. As with the Oregon Society of Concerned Lepidopterists - if there is such a thing - it has reason to be tax exempt. Also the link provided is unclear as to whether the Church of Reality was approved as a church, or simply got final approval as a not-for-profit group. They could make it into a church easily enough if two or three members agreed to meet weekly in someone's home, and they seemingly intend to do something like that. Gatherings concerned with the nature of ultimate reality fit within the broad definition of religion; and they could ultimately all decide that reality is as described by evangelical Christianity, although that seems unlikely.

[ April 01, 2007, 11:06 AM: Message edited by: hobsen ]

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