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Religious Freedom Insanity

  1. May 28, 2003 #1
    "Religious Freedom" Insanity

    So I was reading the USA Today today (Wed, May 28, 2003). I read that that a woman who is an islamic convert received in Feb 2001 a Florida driver's license that had a photo of her face covered in a veil. She got a letter from the state 9 months later warning that it would revoke her license unless she got a new photo of her uncovered face.

    So no the ACLU is defending her in a court case.

    I think that this is lunacy. We can't allow anyone to do whatever they want because their religion says so. There are very secular reasons for laws such as not covering your face on your photo ID. If your religion contrasts with those laws, then you must comply with them anyway. You can still be a following of whatever religion you want, but the law should reign above it.

    Think about it. Suppose I make up my own religion in which I must kill all newborn males. Oops, I guess those murder laws don't apply to me...
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2003 #2
    Yes I remember hearing about this a couple of months ago. I agree completely with what you say. If people want to live in a country that doesn't uphold that person's customs and traditions, then they have to live by the rules, simple as that really.
     
  4. May 29, 2003 #3
    There is always room for compromise...she is going to have to give a little if she wants to drive.
     
  5. May 29, 2003 #4

    jb

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    what does Islam say about women driving? and would a veil obstruct her vision at all?

    if she wants to drive, she needs to follow all the rules the rest of us need to follow.
     
  6. May 30, 2003 #5

    russ_watters

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    I don't think it was an issue, because when the Koran was written, cars were very slow.
     
  7. May 30, 2003 #6
    So touchy..

    I think the thing here is :

    A drivers Liscence is not a right.

    It is an earned priveledge.

    If you cannot earn it (by uncovering you face for example) it sucks being you.
     
  8. May 31, 2003 #7
    It's actually pretty reasonable.... here's the deal:

    She is suing under a law, Florida's "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," which was passed a few years ago. Such acts are quite common; a federal one passed in 1993 but was declared unconsitutional. Basically they say that the government cannot substantially restrict your free exercise of religion, unless they are furthering a "compelling governmental interest" and they are using the "least restrictive means" to do so.

    IMO, these acts are very good things: they are meant to cut down on needless, intrusive meddling by government bureaucracies, especially in "special cases" that the legislature might not have thought of. This should be a good thing whether you're liberal or conservative. We've all had experience with annoying, rigid bureaucrats who insist on following some policy to the letter even when it's patently pointless and burdensome.

    At the same time, if the legislature feels a restrictive law is important anyways, they can simply amend the RFRA to exempt the law they want; this is the done w.r.t the drug laws.

    From what I understand the woman is arguing that since the state exempts many people from the photograph requirement for other reasons, it should exempt her too. I don't know who has the right of it; but if it's not truly a real requirement, then it's not unreasonable that her exemption should stand. And if the court decides this, and Florida disagrees, all the legislature has to do is pass a law saying so.
     
  9. May 31, 2003 #8
    I don't think that an unmasked photo should be a requirement for her and not for others...I think that it should be a requirement for others. I disagree with the fact that other people have had exemptions.

    We can't let people do just anything in the name of religion. Otherwise, once can say that he belongs to the Babyeaters religion, and therefore cannot be arrested for eating babies.
     
  10. May 31, 2003 #9
    Well, everyone beat me to the good points

    That's ridiculous when you think about it (but there maybe some compromises as Zero suggests). It defies the purpose of having a photo ID in the first place.
     
  11. May 31, 2003 #10
    Can't they find her a transparent veil or something?
     
  12. May 31, 2003 #11

    Hurkyl

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    She doesn't want a photo ID, she wants a driver's liscence. :frown:
     
  13. Jun 1, 2003 #12
    Well, the two go hand-in-hand. Driver's licenses are photo IDs. That's the it's been, and it seems a little extreme to change the whole system for somebody's veil. And they are that way for good reason. When the officer pulls you over, he wants to know that it's you who the picture on the license is of.
     
  14. Jun 1, 2003 #13
    It's another one of those things that could and probably would open a floodgate of similar appeals should her appeal be successful unfortunately.
     
  15. Jun 1, 2003 #14
    So, can she have her father, brother, or husband take a picture, and have it put on her licence?
     
  16. Jun 1, 2003 #15

    russ_watters

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    Huh [?]
     
  17. Jun 1, 2003 #16

    kat

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    Are they going to force her to take off her veil to check if the picture of her without her veil matches? lol
     
  18. Jun 1, 2003 #17
    heh

    Seriously, people should not be driving with masks on. Even a wide-brimmed hat is too much to be wearing while driving.

    About the father/brother/husband thing, I don't know if anyone has thought of that, Zero. But I don't see how that's useful if she will never de-veil herself in public, anyway.
     
  19. Jun 2, 2003 #18
    Well...you just have to wonder, though...I think alot of people are just against it because it is a different religion from theirs. Americans, for the most part, protested the idea that our military should make a single compromise when in Saudi Arabia, but we expect other cultures to compromise to better fit what we want.
     
  20. Jun 6, 2003 #19
  21. Jun 13, 2003 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    Interesting. While driving is a privilege and not a right, what about the need for a photo ID. A person must have one by law in most places.

    My religion prevents me from removing my gloves in public. Try to get my thumbprints and I'm going to the ACLU!
     
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