Cultural Insensitivity

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bdog
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Re: Cultural Insensitivity

Postby bdog » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:14 am

Stu Levitan wrote:bdog, i thought i described what i mean, will try again. an important religious holiday is one where observant adherents to a faith refrain from secular activity, attend worship service, practice specific rituals and hold ritualized feasts. in my world, that's rosh/yom and the first two Seders, and i greatly appreciate that my city protects me from having to choose between following my faith and participating in local government. i think that's a sign of respect, not entanglement. if there are a meaningful number of observant adherents to other faiths with similar restrictions, i think they should be respected as well.the more that faith is represented in the community, the more serious the restrictions, and the more observant its adherents, the greater the need for accommodation. (btw, i don't expect the city to go so far as to accommodate my attendance at shabbat services or morning minyan.) (funny story -- I got a parking ticket last year when morning services ran late, which i didn't challenge based on religious activity). does that answer your question?


This is the best comment you've had on the subject yet. But it still irks me. I will have to ponder it more.

Added: ok, pondered it more. This part:

Stu Levitan wrote: if there are a meaningful number of observant adherents to other faiths with similar restrictions, i think they should be respected as well.


"A meaningful number" - not going to debate what this is or who getsnto decide. Let's just say that for now the Sikhs, Muslims and whatnot just don't have the numbers. Now put yourself in their shoes. There's 50,000 Sikhs in Madison but only 500 Jews.

The city tells you sorry Stu, you just don't have the numbers so there will be no accomodations for Jews. Now remember you can't have the Landmarks meeting next Tuesday because it's (insert Sikh holiday here). Wouldn't you be a little stewed Stu?

Galoot
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Re: Cultural Insensitivity

Postby Galoot » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:41 am

Again, I see zero reason why our government has to "accommodate" any religious holidays. By doing so, the government is providing preference for that religion. The Founders were quite clear that this is not acceptable.

If you look at the history of church/state separation in the U.S. and even before the Founding, you will find that there are many examples of leaders of various religions insisting that the U.S. government not give any particular recognition to religious holidays of any religion, including their own.

Stu, you have no case other than "they really ought to take my specific holiday into consideration, because they have done so before".

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Re: Cultural Insensitivity

Postby wallrock » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:45 am

I'm as secular as the next guy but I don't see too big a concern with accommodation so long as it's viewed as a means of maximizing the opportunity for public participation. Avoiding meetings on Yom Kippur should be like avoiding meetings on Monday nights when the Packers are playing.

fennel
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Re: Cultural Insensitivity

Postby fennel » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:53 am

wallrock wrote:... like avoiding meetings on Monday nights when the Packers are playing.
You really expect the Packers to come to the meetings?

Henry Vilas
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Re: Cultural Insensitivity

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:54 am

I asked if any Catholic knew about the current Holy Days of Obligation, but I guess no foron is that observant, so I looked it up. Currently there are six (the circumcision of Jesus was dropped). Many occur on weekdays. Should government stop so Catholics can go to Mass and avoid eternal damnation?

Just wondering.

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Re: Cultural Insensitivity

Postby Stu Levitan » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:12 am

What time of day is that Mass? Does attendance prevent secular work the rest of the day? Does a substantial percentage of area Catholics observe this Holy Day?

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Re: Cultural Insensitivity

Postby jman111 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:35 am

Stu Levitan wrote:I challenge you to find a single instance when I demeaned, disregarded, or disrespected anyone based on religion, or any other protected status category.

I'll start here:
So Steb joins Peripat, and Bdog in calling for the city to adopt policies making it more difficult for Jews to participate in local government. Got it. Good to know.
Their casual anti-Semitism is exactly why the city needs policies like this.

Unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism seem quite disrespectful to me, wouldn't you agree?

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Re: Cultural Insensitivity

Postby jman111 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:40 am

And as for disregarding,
Stu Levitan wrote:if there are a meaningful number of observant adherents to other faiths with similar restrictions, i think they should be respected as well.

I'd say this shows a lack of regard for those who don't meet Stu's "meaningful number" threshhold.

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Re: Cultural Insensitivity

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:44 am

Stu Levitan wrote:What time of day is that Mass? Does attendance prevent secular work the rest of the day? Does a substantial percentage of area Catholics observe this Holy Day?

If one has a day job, then government meetings in the evening would conflict with evening Mass. There is probably as high a percentage of observant Catholics as there is of observant Jews. Over 21% of Madisonians are Catholic while under 1% are Jewish.

DCB
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Re: Cultural Insensitivity

Postby DCB » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:30 am

jman111 wrote:Unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism seem quite disrespectful to me, wouldn't you agree?

Don't forget his comparisons to slavery.

DCB
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Re: Cultural Insensitivity

Postby DCB » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:35 am

Stu Levitan wrote:What time of day is that Mass? Does attendance prevent secular work the rest of the day? Does a substantial percentage of area Catholics observe this Holy Day?

I think you're making a strong case against your own position. You, an apparently intelligent person, is ignorant of the details of other religions. Does that make you a horrible, hateful person? No, it just makes you a normal person.

And, really what's the big deal if you miss a few stupid fucking meetings? Is the world going to end if the Most Pious Stu Levitan can't participate?

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Re: Cultural Insensitivity

Postby Meade » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:45 am

DCB wrote:And, really what's the big deal if you miss a few stupid fucking meetings? Is the world going to end if the Most Pious Stu Levitan can't participate?

First they came for the Most Pious Stu Levitan's few stupid fucking meetings...

...and I didn't speak up because, really, what's the big deal if the Most Pious Stu Levitan misses a few stupid fucking meetings...

... finally, they came for my few stupid fucking meetings
and there was no one left to speak up.


By the way, and in all seriousness, sarcastically characterizing Stu as "pious" reflects bigotry toward anyone and everyone of any religious faith.

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Re: Cultural Insensitivity

Postby snoqueen » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:02 am

If the city's rules about religious holidays only reference Jewish and Christian holidays they need to be updated.

This could happen two ways.

We could update them such that we throw the whole thing out, leaving all the city's religions to fend for themselves and keeping government secular. People with scheduling issues could work it out together, with whoever scheduled the meeting, or by assuming whatever city meeting is scheduled will be OK without their personal attendance for one night.

Or, we could expand the city's list of religious holidays to include other religions. This would require a list so people could know what dates to avoid when scheduling city meetings. If we go this route, obviously someone will have to be point-person for organizing the effort. That person obviously should care about religions, think this is important, and be reasonably well-acquainted with city procedures and key personnel.

I nominate Stu Levitan.

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Re: Cultural Insensitivity

Postby Huckleby » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:44 am

wallrock wrote:I'm as secular as the next guy but I don't see too big a concern with accommodation so long as it's viewed as a means of maximizing the opportunity for public participation. Avoiding meetings on Yom Kippur should be like avoiding meetings on Monday nights when the Packers are playing.


This is exactly where I'm coming from, I was also thinking about the Packer games. My other example was small towns that cancel schools and meetings during deer hunting season.

I agree in principle with all the arguments being made about separation of church and state. Plus, there obviously are too many religious groups and holidays in a place like Madison, you inevitably get some favoritism. If resentment over favoritism become a problem, then maybe you have to cancel all accommodation policies. But until there is a problem, stick with a generous spirit.

Huckleby
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Re: Cultural Insensitivity

Postby Huckleby » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:48 am

snoqueen wrote:If the city's rules about religious holidays only reference Jewish and Christian holidays they need to be updated.


Why stir up a hornet's nest? Let sleeping dogs lie. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Where's the actual harm in the squeaky wheel getting the grease? A stitch in time gathers no moss.


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