Posted by: John | February 12, 2008

Is it time to disestablish the CofE and re-evaluate Christmas?

I refer to Peter Black’s comments earlier regarding cultural exceptionalism – whereby people have opt-outs from the law on the grounds of faith.

One finds this in employment practice too – people allowed to have particular days off to meet the needs of their faith/spiritual calling. I have no problem as long as they give me time off for my cultural needs (Gay Pride? Eurovision? Cheltenham Gold Cup?) and make up the time worked (which does happen).

My view is that this has become very estabishment biased – ie why should I take two weeks off at the shittiest time of the year due to someone elses` religious commitments? My own view is that Christmas is a good thing in that it breaks up the worst time of the year weatherwise – the lights make us feel brighter, cards and goodwill come out on display etc. However, i would think a few days is enough.

Those that need extra should take it as annual leave while the rest get the extra holidays we haven’t taken added to our own annual leave when WE need them – ie August school holidays, seeing auntie on her birthday, going to special bike trials, whatever it may be for that particular individual.

I remember in one place having to plead to have the Wednesday to Friday before Eurovision off as I wanted to go to the rehearsals – this was as much my own cultural need as anybody elses. In any case who is to judge? The fact that i’d asked in good time and had worked without leave for a long time seemed to cut no ice until the pleading.

The other point to raise is that it is unequal – most people with the money (ie senior management) take the chance to go somewhere sunny thus increasing economic and health inequalities.

No, best to have the holidays without the compulsory days at Christmas (Christmas should be a long weekend or a few days whenever 25th falls).

As for the latest CofE business don’t make me laugh – we all know what it’s really about – shoring up power in the CofE by giving opt-outs for others. I think it’s about time this party said it was for equality under the law for each individual as a Liberal principle. All the unofficial opt-outs should be investigated or made transparent.

Thus disestablish the CofE until it requests equality under the law. All people barred from employment through the job advert (or dissuaded perhaps a better word?) should be allowed to challenge these on the grounds of reasonableness (hint: Manchester City Council is a big culprit). Obviously you have to love cats to join the Cats Protection League as a paid employee and have to be a Liberal Democrat or a Lib Dem sympathiser to be a paid employee for us.

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