Tesco moves to define legitimate religion
Cranmer has warned for years of the absurd consequences of religious relativism and New Labour’s obsession with ‘equality’ and its nonsensical anti-discrimination agenda which demands that every creed be treated with equal reverence and respect and that no offence may be given to anyone about anything.
This sort of incident has been looming for years, and His Grace is delighted by the legal issues which arise as a result of this appalling discrimination. Certainly, it is humorous, and, being British, we will laugh at it. But we are in a context in which the Pagan Police Association are granted holidays to practise withcraft, and in which employees may wear bangles, hijabs and turbans but not crosses.
The issue of the persecution of and discrimination against the Jedi fraternity raises very important issues relating to the definition of religion and at what point a belief system becomes legitimate and officially recognised by the state (or Tesco, which amounts to the same thing).
The reality is that Tesco does indeed permit women wearing hijabs into their stores without let or hindrance. They would probably also admit women wearing burkahs to survey the halal section, fearful of the consequences of a lawsuit on the grounds of religious discrimination and the consequent Muslim backlash which might ensue. Islam and Islamic attire are somehow ‘recognised’ and deemed to be ‘legitimate’, though there is nothing written in law which states this: they simply enjoy the religious liberties which have developed over the centuries.
Jedi, according to the last census, outnumber both Sikhs and Jews in the UK. Indeed, there are reported to be half a million worldwide, so numerical adherence cannot be the criterion upon which Tesco makes its judgement about legitimacy. Jedi are reported to possess a ‘church’ and a creed, they adhere to doctrine and submit to the ‘Force’.
It is presumptuous of Tesco to challenge Morda Hehol (Daniel Jones) the UK leader of the Jedi on the basis that ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all went hoodless without going to the Dark Side’.
There is no stipulation in the Qur’an for women to wear either hijabs or burkahs, and Muslim women far more well-known than Obi-Wan Kenobi all go ‘hijab-less’ without joining the kuffar.
The leader of British Jedis now feels ‘victimised’ and ‘emotionally humiliated’ by the experience.
Cranmer exhorts him to pursue the matter through the courts, for although many international and regional human rights instruments guarantee rights related to freedom of religion or belief, none attempts to define the term ‘religion’. The absence of a definition is not peculiar to international human rights conventions; most national constitutions also include clauses on freedom of religion without defining it. Thus we are presented, on the one hand, with important provisions guaranteeing fundamental rights pertaining to religion, but on the other hand the term itself is left undefined. Of course, the absence of a definition of a critical term does not differentiate religion from most other rights identified in human rights instruments and constitutions. However, because religion is much more complex than other guaranteed rights, the difficulty of understanding what is and is not protected is significantly greater.
Theologians and philosophers may have the luxury of imprecision, but lawyers and judges do not.
It would greatly assist if the judiciary would establish a little case-law clarity on what now constitutes a legitimate religion in the UK, who is judged to be a messenger of God, what doctrine may be preached, what creed followed, and what liberties may be removed by Tesco.
And Cranmer would be more than happy to start a collection to assist with the Jedis’ legal expenses (and he will even put them in touch with one of the foremost legal minds in the area of religious liberty).