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Except that you have repeatedly refused to specify precisely what happened inside the church which merits such outrage. Because the actual outrage with which you sympathize is directed at a video on YouTube which could just as easily have been clipped together from stock footage, without Pussy Riot ever setting foot inside the church in question, or indeed within eight time zones of said church. The events in the church are wholly incidental to the moralistic thuggery.

The standard you repeatedly appeal to - consistently with the outrage being about the YouTube video rather than anything that happened in the church - is "offends religious sentiments." Blasphemy offends the religious sentiments of many people. Therefore, criminalization of blasphemy is a subset of the standard you propose.

You further propose that any building that a religious group uses for its occasional get-togethers should be subject to religious law at all other time, no matter its wider historical, aesthetic, cultural or architectural significance. That is a monopolization of cultural heritage which I frankly also find objectionable.

Mind, there are cases where a line must be drawn. Where it is difficult to decide which behaviour to criminalise and which not.

I'm not necessarily asking you to draw the line. I'm asking you to commit to an objective standard which can be applied by a disinterested, and therefore necessarily secular, observer.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 10:21:13 AM EST
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I'm not necessarily asking you to draw the line. I'm asking you to commit to an objective standard which can be applied by a disinterested, and therefore necessarily secular, observer.

Because we're assuming that if it comes to that, the judge presiding over a court case should be described as disinterested (and, therefore, secular).

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 10:34:00 AM EST
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Yes, the point of having courts is to have cases reviewed by a disinterested arbiter.

There is a name for the sort of society where there are different kinds of courts for different religious or ethnic groups, and you cannot appeal to a universal standard of jurisprudence. We call such a society "apartheid."

There is also a name for societies which raise the prejudices of a single religious group to the level of universal standard of jurisprudence. We call such a society "theocracy."

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:12:04 PM EST
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Increasingly, there are suggestions of incorporating religious law into European personal law. There was something about that in Britain some years ago
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, sparked a stormy debate when he appeared to suggest that some aspects of Sharia law should be adopted in the UK.
Brilliant gambit, where an Anglican Archbishop uses "tolerance of cultural differences" and Sharia to get Anglican law back into British personal law.

If you are not convinced, try it on someone who has not been entirely debauched by economics. — Piero Sraffa
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:28:01 PM EST
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There's nothing in principle wrong with the model of allowing religious people to resolve their differences using religious arbiters rather than real courts. Provided that using the religious arbiter requires informed consent from all parties to the case, and that the case can be appealed to a real court.

Then again, some elements of Sharia are already in European legal codes. Because Sharia contains a bunch of commonsense rules that every society needs, and which, therefore, the Sharia contains alongside all the bonkers stuff.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 12:43:55 PM EST
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The UK has Christian, Jewish, and Islamic religious courts and they work without too many problems, on the whole. As Jake mentions they are voluntary, both parties must agree to have their matter resolved there. There was absolutely nothing remarkable in Williams' remarks.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 01:23:36 PM EST
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It's remarkable if he wants to insinuate the more recondite forms of religious law into the law that the real courts use.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 02:14:20 PM EST
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Depends. Quite possible that Sharia has something to make contract law clearer. Pretty sure that it doesn't for family law. This is a debate that societies have to go through without excluding their Muslim minorities.
by Katrin on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:11:40 PM EST
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But equally without deferring to them simply on the ground that they happen to not have done the whole "five centuries of telling the church to sit down and shut the fuck up" thing.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 4th, 2012 at 03:24:08 PM EST
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