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is not "banned". However, it is not recognised by the Ministry of the Interior as a religion, so it does not benefit from various special privileges granted to religions with respect to other forms of organisation.

For example, the "Church" of Scientology has been "persecuted" in France by being billed for taxes, as it made considerable profits, which is incompatible with its status as a registered non-profit association.

I believe it currently operates in France as a company (SARL).

I'm not clear on how this relates to freedom of conscience.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 10:53:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not clear on how this relates to freedom of conscience.

eurogreen:

However, it is not recognised by the Ministry of the Interior as a religion, so it does not benefit from various special privileges granted to religions with respect to other forms of organisation.
It appears the French State is in the business of recognizing and granting various privileges to religions, too? So what does that make of secularity and separation of church and state.

My whole point in any case is that attributing special importance to platonic ideals of secularity, separation of church and state, or freedom of conscience, or whether some state or other is a theocracy, is not only fraught with problems when one tries to make the terms precise in relationship with real-life examples, but is also not very instructive in the end.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 11:14:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well at least Greenspan admitted, finally, that he fucked up on Bush tax policy. Is this an example of freedom of conscience, to say I screwed up?

A lot good it will do us over here, when the costs of the Bush tax breaks for the wealthy, which caused enormous deficits, will have to be paid for by the middle class. If the right wing Republicans get their way and estend them, of course, the middle class will have to pay even more.


by shergald on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 12:12:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't the US grant privileges to religious organisations, too? Taxes come to mind.

Migeru:

My whole point in any case is that attributing special importance to platonic ideals of secularity, separation of church and state, or freedom of conscience, or whether some state or other is a theocracy, is not only fraught with problems when one tries to make the terms precise in relationship with real-life examples, but is also not very instructive in the end.

On this we certainly agree. And it's the most important point.

"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char

by Melanchthon on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 12:26:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would disagree. In a theocracy, the concepts of law and religion are one and the same. In modern Western societies (although the Ancient Greeks also based their socio-political order on this principle) the law is built more on the system of philosophical thought. The latter can change basd on social priorities at a given time. The former is immutable.
by Lynch on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 01:54:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That may be the funniest set of errors I've read in a long time.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 03:14:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're gonna have to do better than that buddy :)
by Lynch on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 04:53:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok that's the most utterly ridiculous set of errors he's seen in a long time.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 05:11:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you capable of AR-TI-CU-LA-TING ?
by Lynch on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 05:14:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes I am, but don't know as it's really worth my while

I would disagree. In a theocracy, the concepts of law and religion are one and the same.

Thats an extremely narrow view of what a theocracy, Iran by your description does not qualify as a Theocracy (In fact no government in the world qualifies by this standard)

In modern Western societies (although the Ancient Greeks also based their socio-political order on this principle) the law is built more on the system of philosophical thought.

Well your knowledge of Greek government is sadly lacking too (In fact a majority of  ancient Greek city states would qualify more as Theocracies than Iran would) The idea that Modern western government is based on systems of philosophical thought is stretching things extremely. Influenced by yes, but ascribing a secular basis is an amazing reach that should be beyond any honest consideration

The latter can change basd on social priorities at a given time. The former is immutable.

Well that statement avoids any knowledge of history The world changes, so even the most severe Theocracy is going to be faced with changing situations, making Immutability an impossibility.  Theocracies also have  a history of changing as social priorities change, for example,  the marriage of priests in  the Vatican has at times been allowed and not allowed, and has changed in accordance with social changes  inside the church

So Basically on the three major points inside your statement, youre wrong on all of them, badly

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 04:34:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not only are you arrogant, but you're also ignorant. Those two really don't breed promising offspring when they form a couple.

Regardless... as the issues exposed in this sub-thread merited a more detailed analysis, I took the liberty to publish a diary entitled "On Religion and the Law" which might be insightful to you. In that diary, you and Colman will have ample room (if you so choose) to explain why what I said constitutes the funniest, most utterly ridiculous set of errors you've seen in a long time. Then again, if you opt to respectfully walk away from that discussion, I will certainly understand.

by Lynch on Fri Aug 20th, 2010 at 03:34:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Id hardly say im Ignorant, or should I ask the university who gave me a degree where I spent a good deal of time studying ancient Greek philosophy and politics for my money back?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Aug 20th, 2010 at 09:59:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Take the money.

by shergald on Fri Aug 20th, 2010 at 11:04:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I take it that's a 'NO'
by Lynch on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 01:33:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is also the issue of conscience clauses. Such privileges are examples of "freedom of conscience."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Aug 18th, 2010 at 01:57:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think it's specific to religions.  I think it's nonprofits in general.  I may be wrong, though.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 12:31:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sort of.

Recognised religions have stronger protections under US law due to the 1st Amendment than other nonprofits.

So who recognises religions? Well, that's where it gets funny. I suppose the IRS does. Or the courts, if the religion in question disagrees with the IRS ruling...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Aug 22nd, 2010 at 06:14:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, let's see : the fact that some alleged religions are granted special status, and others not, is a freedom of conscience issue? Sounds more like a tax issue to me. Or is that the same thing? Obviously, there's a judgement call involved.

Ad absurdam : can I register my business as a religion? Please?

I agree with your (apparent) point that eliminating all recognition of religion by the state is the only option entirely consistent with secularity. The only real problem with this is how to handle the Catholic real estate.

However, I dispute your larger point that the debate is not very instructive. A real-life example : I take strong issue to the fact that I can not marry a citizen of (for example) Israel or Morocco without converting to the religion into which my potential bride was born (and perhaps not even then). This is an intolerable infringement of human rights, and a consequence of those governments delegating the institution of marriage to religious authorities. I'm sure you'll agree that the citizens of both countries would be objectively better off if this delegation ceased, i.e. if marriage were secularized.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 06:08:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
eurogreen:
Ad absurdam : can I register my business as a religion? Please?
L. Ron Hubbard - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Some documents written by Hubbard himself suggest he regarded Scientology as a business, not a religion. In one letter dated April 10, 1953, he says that calling Scientology a religion solves "a problem of practical business [...] A religion charter could be necessary in Pennsylvania or NJ to make it stick."[111] In a 1962 policy letter, he said that Scientology "is being planned on a religious organization basis throughout the world. This will not upset in any way the usual activities of any organization. It is entirely a matter for accountants and solicitors."[111] However, in his work, Hubbard emphasizes the importance of spirit and mind over the physical body. He says, "... The body can be best studied in such books as Gray's Anatomy and other anatomical texts. This is the province of the medical doctor and, usually, the old-time psychiatrist or psychologist who were involved in the main in body worship."[112]


By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 19th, 2010 at 06:15:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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