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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Britain says no to student's Christian purity ring

And so the downward spiral continues:

A teenager whose teachers had stopped her wearing a “purity ring” at school to symbolize her commitment to virginity has lost a High Court fight against the ban.

Lydia Playfoot, 16, says her silver ring is an expression of her faith and had argued in court that it should be exempt from school regulations banning the wearing of jewelry.

“I am very disappointed by the decision this morning by the High Court not to allow me to wear my purity ring to school as an expression of my Christian faith not to have sex outside marriage,” Playfoot said in a statement Monday.

“I believe that the judge’s decision will mean that slowly, over time, people such as school governors, employers, political organizations and others will be allowed to stop Christians from publicly expressing and practicing their faith.”

Playfoot’s parents are key members of the British arm of the American chastity campaign group the Silver Ring Thing, a religious group which urges abstinence among young people.

Those who sign up wear a ring on the third finger of the left hand. It is inscribed with “Thess. 4:3-4,” a reference to a Biblical passage from Thessalonians which reads: “God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin.”

During the case, Playfoot’s lawyers argued that the ban by her school in Horsham, West Sussex, breached her human rights to “freedom of thought, conscience and religion” which are protected by the European Convention on Human Rights.

Lawyers for the school denied discrimination and said the purity ring breached its rules on wearing jewelry.

They said allowances were made for Muslim and Sikh pupils only for items integral to their religious beliefs and that, for the same reason, crucifixes were also allowed. But it argued that the purity ring was not an integral part of the Christian faith.

Playfoot said in her statement she would consult her legal team to consider whether to appeal.

This is, at the very least, disappointing.

First of all, why a ban on jewelry to begin with? If some kid wants to wear a ring, is it really going to bother anyone? I never understood schools that did that. I mean, if there's a dress code, I can understand not allowing anything ostentatious. But a ring, or a necklace underneath a blouse, or modest-sized earrings, are not going to hurt anyone, or be a distraction, or anything like that.

I mean, I went to Catholic school. We wore uniforms and were still allowed to wear necklaces, rings, earrings -- any kind of jewelry we wanted as long as it wasn't ostentatious.

And why on Earth would a school want to discourage its students from abstaining from sex? I would think they would want to promote that ring and what it stood for, not punish her for wearing it. That just doesn't make sense.

Well, hang on. I forgot that Britain is overrun with moonbats today, so scratch that. In the United States, we're running as fast as we can in that direction, too, so who knows?

On top of that, they allow Muslim and Sikh students to get around the jewelry ban, but why not this? They say they allow crucifixes too, but who knows if that is true or not? And if it is, I'd be willing to bet it is only because banning crucifixes would be too vulgar a display of anti-Christian bias.

And how can they not understand how it is a symbol for Christianity when it has a Christian verse enscribed onto it? Although, I'd be willing to bet they understand it perfectly fine.

Whatever the truth behind the banning of this ring is, even in the best possible scenario it is still, at the least, saddening -- that a girl will be prohibited from wearing a ring encouraging chastity and abstinence, two things schools should be promoting.


Angry White Guy said...

"I mean, I went to Catholic school. We wore uniforms"


Gredd said...

Heh, big long article and that's the line you focus on. :)

Gredd said...

Oops, forgot to add that I hope the girls continue to fight it. Crap like this can't go unchallenged (protest is patriotism, amirite!?)

Angry White Guy said...

Well, I am male...

Joe said...

However irrational a ban on jewelry may be, if it's consistently enforced, I have no problem with it and find the attempt to find a religious excuse absurd. Frankly, the girl's complaint is just as absurd as the feel good crap coming from the left, especially concerning burkas.

Angry White Guy said...

Her complaint is that it ISN'T consistantly enforced.

They don't have to abide by it, so she is of the opinion that it's fine for her.

And she is, in that regard, correct.

Huck said...

I basically agree with Cassy on this point. What's the harm in wearing a ring. And if it is a private symbol of faith, so be it. It's not hurting anyone.

Then there's the sticky issue of the jewelry ban. I don't agree with the ban on jewelry; but it's there, so how does one deal with this?

Seems to me the question then boils down to rules enforcement. The school says it allows execptions to the rule if the jewelry is an integral expression of faith. The Christian cross is a universal symbol of Christian faith. And so it is permitted. Along these lines, I imagine the Jewish yarmulke or Star of David symbol might also fit this definition of a universal faith symbol to Judaism. So they are probably allowed. As would be, presumably, any other religion's universal symbols. But an abstinence ring? While it might have religious significance for these girls, it means nothing to me as a symbol of my Christian faith. So, I can see how the school might not consider these rings to be exceptions to the "no jewelry" policy, as silly as I think this policy is.

If these girls can have the rings acquire religious significance, what would prevent the most gaudy bling from acquiring a similar status? All it would take for a huge gold necklace and medallion to receive a "religious" exemption is for the gangbanger wearing it to claim it has religious meaning and to inscribe a Biblical verse on it somewhere as proof. Here is where the arguments made by the girls tend to fall apart. They are trying to make these rings universal symbols of Christianity when we all know that they aren't.

To me, it seems that their rightful beef is with the "no jewelry" policy, not with claims of anti-Christian discrimination.