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JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

A READER WRITES:

“We are a secular Nation, church and state must always be separate. Ban the veil. A citizenship ceremony is a State function…”

That’s actually quite inaccurate.

The writer thinks he lives in the United States apparently.

This province spends countless millions each year on Catholic education, an unthinkable arrangement in the United States.

Until quite recently, the Lord’s Prayer was a regular part of public schools and many formal gatherings.

Being a secular humanist, I do not favor such practices, but I also recognize the past political compromises they represent in a country which does not have founding documents so uncompromising as America’s.

I ask whether Sikhs must remove their turbans and other symbols for this ceremony?

And Jews their yarmulke, or in the case of ultra-orthodox, their huge hats and beards which effectively cover faces and even lips?

Are nuns required not to wear habits if they belong to an order still using one?

Are Protestants required to remove the cross on a chain often worn around their necks? Helena Guergis used to march around with a rather large one. I don’t recall any objections.

The writer simply does not know what he is talking about.

But then neither does the minister, Jason Kenney.

The proudest garb any of us can wear is tolerance, but it seems to be in short supply these days.

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