U.S. commission accuses Western Europe of ‘very aggressive secularism’

#1
A US panel criticized Western European countries Tuesday for “aggressive secularism” as it released a report on religious freedom that took aim at laws banning full-face veils in public.

For the first time, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom — whose members are appointed by the government — included a chapter on the region in its annual review of tolerance of other faiths around the world.

Because Western Europe generally has a very good record, “it’s easy to overlook the fact that there are some questions and problematic issues emerging there” related to religious dress and customs, commission chair Katrina Lantos Swett told reporters.

“In some countries a very aggressive secularism is putting people of religious faith in uncomfortable and difficult positions.”

The report focused in particular on restrictions in Western Europe on religious attire and symbols, ritual slaughter, circumcision, and the building of mosques and minarets.

“These, along with limits on freedom of conscience and hate speech laws, are creating a growing atmosphere of intimidation against certain forms of religious activity in Western Europe,” the report said.

U.S. commission accuses Western Europe of ‘very aggressive secularism’ | The Raw Story


The fact that some nations have put scientology on the list of cults that people need to be wary of still grates with the US...hence this parts of the report:

"The review also referred to measures against religious groups characterized as “cults” and “sects,” saying France has the most extensive restrictions but also mentioning Germany, Austria and Belgium."

Poor souls....what are Tom Cruise and John Travolta going to do about this....
 
#2
“In some countries a very aggressive secularism is putting people of religious faith in uncomfortable and difficult positions.”
Don't they know that's a priest's job?
 
#3
Perhaps they are worried that all the oppressed zealots will move to America along with their attire, slaughter and buildings.
 
#6
I believe we've been Daily Mail'd.

The report focused in particular on restrictions in Western Europe on religious attire and symbols, ritual slaughter, circumcision, and the building of mosques and minarets.
No it didn't. The report is 371 pages long with only a handful mentioning Western Europe and almost no mention of the UK. It's a commentary, rather than a criticism; and each comment is backed up with specific facts. It's well written, even-handed and actually focuses on:

On its 15-nation list of the worse offenders, USCIRF includes eight that the U.S. State Department also considers "Countries of Particular Concern": Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan.But as in years past, the commission wants the State Department to add seven more: Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Vietnam.

From: USCIRF Cites 15 Countries For Religious Freedom Violations
Full report: http://www.uscirf.gov/images/2013 USCIRF Annual Report(1).pdf
 
#7
This is what the report actually writes (page 281-2):

During the past few years there have been increasing restrictions on, and efforts to restrict, various forms of religious expression in Western Europe, particularly religious dress and visible symbols, ritual slaughter, religious circumcision, and the construction of mosques and minarets. These, along with limits on freedom of conscience and hate speech laws, are creating a growing atmosphere of intimidation against certain forms of religious activity in Western Europe. These restrictions also seriously limit social integration and educational and employment opportunities for the individuals affected.

This commission also has issues with the fact that

"The French law also penalizes, with imprisonment or very large fines, anyone who coerces a woman or a minor to wear a full-face veil “by threat, violence, force, or abuse of power or authority.” While seeking to address concerns about coercion, if too broadly applied this provision may raise questions of parental rights and freedom of choice. To date no charges have been brought under this section.

The same commission also notes and seems to regret that:

Nevertheless, EU members Luxembourg and Sweden and non-EU members Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland continue to ban all slaughter without stunning, including ritual slaughter.

I am glad to be part of a country which is thus accused !
 
#8
To quote a very old Book ...... "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone"
If this august [and I use the term with tongue in cheek] body was an international entity instead of an adjunct of US government which views the problem from an American perspective, then it might just have some credibility.
 
#9
A US panel criticized Western European countries Tuesday for “aggressive secularism” as it released a report on religious freedom that took aim at laws banning full-face veils in public.

I wonder why not like these good ol boys will be too chuffed when they are told they need new holiday clothes for the european vacation this summer. Still cant see them quoting the report when some burka types start appearing in the US bible belt.
ku_klux_klan_03.jpg
 
#10
They are right of course. Europe has too many busy bodies wanting the nanny state to intrusively shove secularism down the throats of the few remaining Godly in the perversely inverted name of human rights.
 
#11
They are right of course. Europe has too many busy bodies wanting the nanny state to intrusively shove secularism down the throats of the few remaining Godly in the perversely inverted name of human rights.
Given the number of European monarchies where the Head of State is required by law to be a member of a church or where freedom of religious belief is enshrined in law, I disagree that the Godly are at any disadvantage. They're just having to play on a level proselytizing field for the first time in a millennium and without their traditional tools of fire and sword.
 
#12
I don't think aggressive secularism will ever reach the heights of accomplished aggressiveness achieved by religious nutjobs of most established religions right through history to the present day, so I reckon the Godly are pretty safe as league leaders.
 
#14
Somewhat obscene when an official body advocates the mutilation of children.
Good point, I have never heard of a secularist dragging his daughter down to the bazaar so the barber could perform a non-medical vaginoplasty with a rusty razor, he might, though, perform an aggressive non-circumcism which would cause outrage in some quarters and might even get him and his kid killed.
 
#15
The same commission also notes and seems to regret that:

Nevertheless, EU members Luxembourg and Sweden and non-EU members Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland continue to ban all slaughter without stunning, including ritual slaughter.

I am glad to be part of a country which is thus accused !
You're talking complete shit. The two words that turn that from a fair and accurate statement into an expression of regret or accusation of wrongdoing are words that you've put there.

You're arguing with yourself. Get a grip.
 
#16
"Fair and accurate statement" ? really ? If this is what you really think, yes, I am not going to agree with you.

On the other hand, you seem to be the only one to be convinced that those statements are "fair and accurate"....
 
#17
The Swiss did try to ban Kosher food entirely back at the beginning of the last century, disappointingly the Jews did not leave. One reason the Swiss Jewish community has sided with Muslims to protect their religious liberties.
 
#18
I don't think aggressive secularism will ever reach the heights of accomplished aggressiveness achieved by religious nutjobs of most established religions right through history to the present day, so I reckon the Godly are pretty safe as league leaders.
Oh, I don't know. The various form of communist seem to have given it a jolly good old try, despite religion having a good couple of thousand years headstart. I've got a vague feeling that some of the minor twentieth century low-key scuffles (eg, World Wars 1 and 2) might actually have been political not religious. Silly of me, I know, but I also suspect one or two religious people might have advocated peaceful resolution of problems now and again. Still, if we let ourselves be influenced by historical facts, where would we be? ...
 
#19
Given the number of European monarchies where the Head of State is required by law to be a member of a church or where freedom of religious belief is enshrined in law, I disagree that the Godly are at any disadvantage. They're just having to play on a level proselytizing field for the first time in a millennium and without their traditional tools of fire and sword.
Ah yes you can mostly practice your faith just as long as you don't frighten the agnostic horses.

But in some countries you may find yourself rather easily in hot water if you infringe on the freshly invented inalienable rights of the child, get too obsessed with the non-existant right to life of the unborn, follow scripture on food preparation or God forbid cast doubt on the sanctity of gay marriage being consummated in your B&B. Basically cross any conformist PC lines as a matter of conscience and the inquisitors may come knocking and before you know it the kids are off in some home being touched up by some bearded nonce with a sociology degree.

And these are often the same countries when religion was more in favor that were rather eager to take children away from brazenly unmarried mothers or sterilize the racial suspect. The authoritarian impulse is no prettier when it hugs trees than when it loved baby Jesus.

Contrast this to the US where the appalling Pastor Phelps can accuse the whole place of being a country of sodomite idolaters and picket millitary funerals that he claims are God's punishment for sin and remain protected behind the Fifth Amendment and be fiercely defended by folks who violently disagree with him.

Course the Septic Godly when they do get the whip hand are straight up everybody's toilet parts pruriently checking for off scripture intrusions but it does not make erring in the other directions necessarily a good thing.
 
B

benjaminw1

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#20
Good point, I have never heard of a secularist dragging his daughter down to the bazaar so the barber could perform a non-medical vaginoplasty with a rusty razor, he might, though, perform an aggressive non-circumcism which would cause outrage in some quarters and might even get him and his kid killed.
Nah, a secularist would have already killed the daughter before she was born...
 
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