22.6.07

the silver ring thing thing


so we have another 'religious jewellry' case on our hands. this time its a school girl sporting a 'purity ring'.

I never know what I think about these cases. it seems to me that we have more pressing things to focus our attention on.

for instance the girl is pressing the case under Article 9 of the Human Rights Act which says:

ARTICLE 9

FREEDOM OF THOUGHT, CONSCIENCE AND RELIGION

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

2. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

now it strikes me that a good majority of people do not have this right. significant numbers of Christians are in hiding and persecuted for their faith.

in light of this, what do we Christians think we are doing when it becomes something that we wear round our necks or on our fingers that defines us? I am still married to my husband even if I don't wear a wedding ring. I am still a Christian even if nothing that I wear signifies that I am a Christian.

I hope that it is the life that I live that defines the truth of my identity.

on the other hand, surely it is schools who need to lighten up about a little bit of jewellry. when I was at school we used to hide our hands up our sleeves when teachers were close by. perhaps we just need an episode or two of 1980s Grange Hill to sort things out.

2 comments:

Karen said...

Trisha Yates! Take those ear-rings off at once.

Dave Williams said...

I think that where there are religious freedom issues here or even specific attacks on Christianity then there is nothing wrong with seeking for as long as possible and as much as possible to preserve those freedoms. This doesn't need to take away from our understanding of what Christians overseas face.

What we don't need here is the silver ring thing to be upheld as protecting a weird minority religious right. That will gain nothing and distracts from a real debate about attitudes to sex and sexuality across society.

I suspect that a lot of the people that are jumping on the religious jewellry band wagon at the moment are more interested in race and nationality. It's not really -what can I do as a Christian but a sense of "If Muslims and Hindus who by implication are usually non-white can do something then isn't it time that good old white anglo saxon British people had some rights too. (Actually it was my mum that made this insight into me). That's a far more worrying situation to be in.