Religion

Niqabs Are Harmful, But We Shouldn’t Ban Them

 

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Recently, perhaps due to Facebook’s overtly partial organisational algorithm, or perhaps due to the well-intentioned yet misguided efforts of those in my ‘friends’ list of a far left-wing or theocratic inclination, I have found myself continually stumbling across a particularly grotesque yet entirely unsurprising attempt by the obnoxiously prolific BBC Three to normalise that most egregious of crimes against the sound moral conscience: the monotonisation and deindividualisation of the female of the species.

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“I Only Teach My Children The Good Bits Of My Religion!”

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If you know anything about me, then you probably know that I’m not too fond of the idea of dogma, and I’m even less of a fan of bringing up children in any environment which parades it as a virtue. I don’t think I’m particularly alone in my view—in fact I’d wager that most people, upon being compelled to, would gladly denounce dogma and condemn those who are guilty of dispersing it. However, I’m also of the belief that a large number of these people completely misunderstand what it means to be dogmatic, and so are at risk of coming across as entirely hypocritical.

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Contraception and the Catholic Church

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Last September, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (more favourably known as Mother Teresa) was canonised by Pope Francis before tens of thousands of adoring fans, despite the controversial and injurious legacy she left behind. One cannot blame her supporters for their ignorance about her dangerous shortcomings—she was after all consistently displayed by the media and the Church as a compassionate samaritan who devoted her life to serving and assisting the poor, attracting a universal admiration which, as Hitchens put it, “few have since had the poor taste to question”.¹ But what of her numerous views and actions which acted as bottlenecks in the processes of peace and secular humanity? Remarkably, but not surprisingly, they all seem to have either been forgotten about, or become encompassed by the blanket of corrupt misrepresentation and hyperbole which surround her character. In addition to this, certain more questionable aspects of Bojaxhiu’s crusade have somehow developed into a source of much contemptible praise from many of those whom she manipulated with her fraudulent demeanour and unwarranted political influence. An example of one such aspect, and one which I find to be especially dangerous and short-sighted, is her stance on the use of contraceptives. I wish not, however, to focus this discussion on the sexual advice of this particular virgin, as I would rather steer the conversation towards the institution from which her myopic beliefs originated: the Catholic Church.

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Secularism is a No-Brainer

Have you ever noticed that there’s a stunning correlation between a person’s place of birth and their religious affiliation? Have you ever noticed that there’s a stunning correlation between someone’s parent’s religious beliefs and their own? I can’t count the amount of times that upon asking a theist why they subscribe to a particular religion I’ve been met with the response of ‘well, that’s just because I was born into it’. It’s amazing how often times religious people can so effortlessly point out the flaws in the doctrines of others, yet fail entirely to apply precisely the same rudimentary critical thinking to their own faith.

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