Friday, June 22, 2007

Lydia Playfoot 'Purity Ring' Case in High Court and The State of Modern Britain

So Lydia Playfoot is finally getting the opportunity to have her case heard. This is very high profile and is headline news on the BBC (A Video here). Should she be allowed to wear a ring symbolising her commitment to chastity until marriage? Is the school discriminating against her when other faiths are allowed to wear expressions of their beliefs that involve jewelry?

This is difficult subject for me to comment on though I do feel passionately about Christians being discriminated against and applaud anyone who stand up and fights the madness that is Political Correctness. I go to the same church as Lydia and her family. Phil, her father, is Kings Church's main leader. The church is the first in the UK to run the Silver Ring Thing (SRT). Andy Robinson, the youth leader of my church heads up SRT in the UK. Therefore it is something I am very aware of and connected to.

I think this is really two issues:

  • Should Millais School ban or allow the wearing of jewelry by it pupils?
  • Is the ring that the SRT encourages the youth to wear a Christian religious symbol on a par with what is required by other religions.

The first point is I think what this case should be about and is the point worth fighting for. Personally I think the school should either completely ban any jewelry or item that does not conform to standard uniform policy. Or allow, within reason, the wearing of such items. The whole health and safety argument is nullified if exceptions are made. I cannot see how allowing some exceptions and not others is either fair or workable as this case highlights. The slope is simply too slippery to start down. I have every sympathy for those of other faiths that have a requirement for specific items to be worn. But sooner or later if you make exceptions everyone is going to pipe up and say their beliefs require them to wear a certain item. Where do you stop before alienating and discriminating against genuine beliefs and the loony fringe? As much as it flies in the face of the PC brigade I think there is no middle ground.

As for if the ring in question is a required item of the Christian faith then I have to say no, it is not. There are no symbolic items required by Christianity. The Bible does require a modest dress code for women. But there is no 'requirement' for a Christian to wear any symbolic items representing a part of the faith. The SRT ring is a small unobtrusive ring worn on the wedding finger to symbolise the persons commitment to chastity until marriage. It is a good talking point to use, it is not required though. It is a personal choice to wear it as a reminder of your vow of chastity before God as is a wedding ring a vow of commitment to your spouse before God.

I hope regardless of the outcome that Lydia continues to stand up and be counted for her belief and that it impacts her friends to think about their sexual activities and that there is an alternative that is 100% safe and is by far the best approach to dealing with this countries massive problem with STD's, underage sex and unwanted pregnancy leading to abortion.

I am sure God is saying well done good and faithful servant, whatever the outcome!

The State of Modern Britain

If you follow the BBC link and look at the 'Have your Say' views once again we should be proud of our lovely tolerant views in the UK..........Not! So many of the comments are just plain ignorant and the arguments put forward are weaker than a wet paper bag. This shows the state of modern Britain and the utter hypocritical intolerance embedded in our secular humanistic society. People making judgments when they simply do not know the facts, know the people involved or have any understanding of the issue at all. It makes me so sad reading these comments and thinking that things will only get worse I fear.


Amanda Wheeler said...

I can't believe a school would ban someone from wearing a ring that symbolizes chastity until marriage.

What is this world coming to?

Anonymous said...

Might seem a slightly left-of-field comment, but what if a pupil at the school were married (which they could be from 16-years-old onwards) and the school had a 'no jewelry without exceptions' policy? Would the school be justified in requiring the pupil to remove her / his wedding ring when in school? Equally, would you think that wearing a wedding ring is 'required' for a Christian or, at least as was the tradition, for Christian women?

Some items of clothing or jewelry that are worn for religious reasons have become such an important part of the tradition of that religion or the culture where that religion is the main belief system that, for the wearer, it is the same as if it were prescribed formally in the founding 'text' of the religion, e.g. the Bible or Qur'an. This could, in fact, be said of the different forms of Muslim veil, which some scholars say are not obligatory for women to wear. So if Muslim girls are allowed to wear the hijab in the school in question, it is consistent to allow Lydia to wear the chastity ring, which is the exactly the same sort of badge of faith for her as the veil would be for a devout Muslim. And, you could say, that these rings are an attempt to establish a new Christian tradition, just as the wedding ring is an old tradition.