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View Diary: The Swiss Vote against Religious Freedom (257 comments)

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  •  See the first paragraph of my diary. (6+ / 0-)

    Saudia Arabia in no way enjoys the reputation for democracy, human rights, and international neutrality and evenhandedness that Switzerland does. You are basically saying that it is a good thing that Swizterland is a bit more like Saudia Arabia now.

    ¡¡Sí se pudo!!

    by Anak on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 10:08:05 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Missing the point (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      auapplemac, IreGyre, GrannyGeek

      If you act like a doormat, you will get walked on.  Glad to see some places in Europe standing up for themselves, that's all.
      Btw, I used to have the Church of God of Prophesy next door to where I lived.  They put a speaker in their steeple to broadcast their service to the surrounding area.  Me and some others complained and got the damn thing silenced.  I'm not into anybody being in-your-face with their religion.  If you are polite to me, I'll be polite back.  This is something that many people of all faiths need to learn.  Including many who practice Islam.

      •  Don't see the point in replying to you... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, lazybum

        but see my post above. Gastarbeiter. You know what that means? Europe needed and invited cheap labor in.

        ¡¡Sí se pudo!!

        by Anak on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 10:17:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I find it difficult to understand how having (8+ / 0-)

        minarets erected in my country takes anything away from me. It neither breaks my leg nor steals my purse.

        Revelation speaks of "those who claim to be Jews and are not, but are liars." I've always wondered how many American "Jews" are of this group. -- A RW blogger.

        by Kimball Cross on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 10:29:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well if you were tourism director (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          createpeace, GrannyGeek

          Of some Alpine village that drew most of its visitors because it had preserved authentic historical detail from the middle ages, a big hulking minaret in the middle of town might indeed steal your purse.

          Should be allow minarets in Colonial Williamsburg? Or smack dab in the middle of New Orleans' French Quarter? How about next to Stonehenge? At what point does preserving your historical and cultural heritage cross the line into racism?

          •  There are exactly 4 minarets (7+ / 0-)

            in Switzerland, as I wrote above. One of them is a tiny little thing in an industrial part of town.

            You are assuming, like Swiss voters, that a minaret anywhere equals a total distruction of the native culture. There are no minarets hulking in the middle of any Swiss village. That you just assume it is the case is rather scary.

            But don't let the facts get in your way.

            ¡¡Sí se pudo!!

            by Anak on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 11:09:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am not assuming anything (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              There has been a very aggressive campaign funded by wealthy Saudis to promote the establishment of traditional mosques and traditional religious authority everywhere that there are Muslims. Since there are to date probably few significant Muslim populations in Alpine villages the threat to traditional architecture and culture are fairly limited.

              On the other hand we have seen a similar development in Israel where the Haredi are increasingly demanding that all secular Jews adapt themselves to the Haredi rather than historically the other way around.

              I don't have anything against Muslims, but when as in Phoenix recently they decide to import honor killings I think I want to draw the line.

              Equally I am not anti-Semitic, but when recent immigrants (mostly) start rioting in Jerusalem because somebody operates a new parking lot on Saturday I think authorities should draw the line there.

              When I was a little boy there was little to no non-Christian programming on Sunday morning TV or AM radio in the United States and most stores were closed. Really it was only the introduction of televised football, golf and car racing that broke down that taboo. Not only don't I want fundamentalist Christians to take me back there, I don't want Ultra-Orthodox Jews, traditional Latin Rite Catholics, or Sharia advocating Muslims to insist on the same deference that white Protestant churches did back then.

              Secularism generally is under assault on many fronts in many countries. I really don't want to have to refight the Enlightenment.

              •  Oh, so your argument is against religion per se. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                capelza, lazybum

                So do you think this new policy against minarets should have included church spires?

                •  While I do not answer for the person above, (0+ / 0-)

                  Personally, yes!  I would absolutely support such a measure, applying it equally to all religions.  I live in England and Christian architecture has become part of the fabric of this country over a thousand and more years, therefore it would be difficult to reverse that situation. A law, however, similar to the Swiss one, applied to ALL modern religious architecture, of any faith, absolutely.

                  Religious architecture is about projecting power and authority. It shouts "I stand here as the sole arbiter of truth and wisdom, bow down to me."  This can be seen now in the modern skyscrapers, temples to the worship of the modern god, WEALTH.

                  I would also advocate another reform, removing the tax exempt status of all religions.  Frequently nowadays the 'church' be it Islam, Christian or other uses it's position of authority within the community to peddle a political view, while claiming a special right of protection from criticism.  No more should this be tolerated, if religion wants to play in the political arena then it should pay it's taxes and to use an American euphemism 'take it's licks'.

                  In all the problems of the world, religion has never been the solution.

                  •  So where do you draw the line? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    capelza, Anak

                    Do we stop at architectural regulation or should we go a bit further?  Should we prohibit people from wearing anything that identifies a religion?  Or maybe prohibit anyone from publishing religious materials?

                    No offense, but religious hostility isn't a very democratic position.

                •  'Should have' (0+ / 0-)

                  Well I would certainly go with 'could have'. And to the extent that a new church was architecturally out of scale or design with some particular city or town would not object.

                  My main point is that cities and towns bar all kinds of structures and uses and often enough architectural features for all kinds of reasons.

                  In Europe and American cities and towns grew up often enough centered on a cathedral or church, it is a little late to unring that bell. But these days it is just not true that you could just build a church anywhere you wanted with a steeple or not. On the other hand trying to ban minarets while allowing steeples probably wouldn't pass constitutional muster.

                  On my website I put up a post called 'A Minaret at Stonehenge' asking if people would take religious freedom quite that far in their own back yard with their own cultural icons. Or would that be different somehow.

              •  I'm disgusted with the charedi rioting (0+ / 0-)

                in Jerusalem. But this is actually more parallel to the situation in Switzerland: The Ashkenazic charedim have been in Jerusalem for almost 200 years, long before any of the secular or national-religious Jews.

                All my IP addresses have been banned from

                by charliehall on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 06:49:24 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  If your argument is supposed to be a defense (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza, Kimball Cross, Anak, charliehall

            of the Swiss model, that'd be tantamount to saying "Because minarets shouldn't be allowed in the middle of the French Quarter, we need to ban the construction of minarets in the state of Louisiana entirely."  

            That's just ridiculous.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Mon Nov 30, 2009 at 01:35:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  No Surprise if Swiss Copy Saudis (0+ / 0-)

      Same standards for all, right? That's what equality means.

      Greenspan admits his free market faith was "a mistake" - Reliance on self interest creates a flaw "in how the world works."

      by Otherday on Sun Nov 29, 2009 at 10:13:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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