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25 June 2007 @ 10:50 am
Just... why?  
"A 16-year-old girl has gone to the High Court to accuse her school of discriminating against Christians by banning the wearing of "purity rings"."  


Hmm. I have nothing against Christianity, or any religion, but I'm not a religious person myself. I'm agnostic. I have nothing against abstinence either if that's what you feel you need to do, and if you need a ring to remind you of that then knock yourselves out, it's none of my business.  

But taking a school you don't even attend anymore to the High Court over some purity ring? That seems excessive to me. The school hasn't even placed a specific ban just on purity rings, they have a no jewellery policy as many British schools do. Miss Playfoot's argument is that "Sikh and Muslim pupils can wear bangles and headscarves in class". This is an interesting line to take... she is clearly likening her ring to these other religious items, but there's quite a significant difference. Whereas certain branches of Sikhism and Islam require these items to be worn as a compulsory part of their religion, no branch of Christianity requires the purity ring. The Silver Ring Thing may require it, but that is not a religion.

But this brings us on to another debate... why is religion given precedence over other belief systems or pledges in this way? Let's say, hypothetically, that I am an anarchist. I want to express my belief by wearing a necklace featuring an anarchy symbol, like this one. By allowing Sikh bangles, Islamic headscarves and Christian crucifixes (which the school do actually allow, despite them not being required by the Christian religion), are they implying that my belief in the ideology of anarchism is somehow less important, or not on par with religious belief? If so, why? I don't believe in any of the major world religions, or indeed, any of the world religions full stop, so why should I sit back and allow people that do to have more rights than me? 

Similarly, I've promised myself that I'm going to lose weight by the time I go back to university. A ring reminding me of that would be pretty damned useful, just as I presume the purity ring is for Lydia for times when keeping the pledge becomes difficult. Why should Miss Playfoot be allowed her pledge ring, but not me? Is her pledge, being rooted in religion, more important than mine? If I said that God wanted me to lose weight, would I have more right to a promise ring?  

If I were Lydia, I'd take that line of argument claiming that the school are contravening her human rights and the human rights of all other students, and thus should allow all symbolic jewellery. I certainly wouldn't go around making wild claims to the media, such as "the real reason for the extreme hostility... is the dislike of the message of sexual restraint". No, love, it is because the school have a no jewellery policy. She sounds like a hysterical child, throwing her toys out of the pram. 

Having said that, I still don't think Lydia should win her case. The school has a uniform policy, and as the defence lawyers are arguing, by choosing to attend the school Lydia chose to accept that uniform policy, as we all do. End of story. Loads of my friends weren't allowed to wear their pentagram necklaces but did they sue? No. They put their heads down, finished their GCSEs and wore their pentagrams when they were no longer subject to the uniform requirements of the school.

But then, there's always one, isn't there?

Last night my boyfriend and I were extremely impulsive (well, for us) and decided that tomorrow, he's going to come down and see my little town for the first time! Aah! I've not seen him for two weeks which isn't long really, but it feels like ages. And we have another three months stretching ahead of us until university starts again. Boo. I'm quite enjoying being at home though, it's great to see my family and not have to worry about bills!

Oh, and how good was Doctor Who? I do have a question though. I thought we'd get at least a brief explanation of the Futurekind and the fate of the people in the rocket in 'Utopia'. So... what was the point of them, then? Filler material I guess, and more shoddy writing from Russell T. Davis. Hopefully, they'll tie in to the finale somehow...      
location: home
mood: awake
music: none, watching This Morning!