Job and belief, which one is more important?
by Cheng Hu on September 8, 2013 - 12:58pm
Parti Québécois government introduced a proposed legislation which called "Charter of Quebec values" that interdicts social workers from wearing religious symbols in the workplace. This proposal has led to an intense debate in the province. It makes many people choose between their beliefs and jobs. Some say that religious symbols do not do any harm to the society and if this proposal becomes a law it may be hard for them to find workers in some specific area such as daycares. Moreover, some people say that they may leave Quebec because they do not want to give up their belief and identity for their jobs. Some others suggest that religious symbols is one of the way to publicize religious which should not happen in public service especially the field of education such as schools or daycares where the students should have the same environment of study and if someone what to integrate in the society they have to accept the laws of that society.
This proposed legislation of Parti Québécois government causes the value conflict between the supporters and opponents of this proposal. For the opponents, they consider the freedom of belief and individual freedom as their principal value. They suggest that is their rights to decide whether wearing religious symbols or not, but not the government. The proposal also interdicts their freedom of beliefs. However, for the supporters, they consider the fairness as their principle value therefore there is “no place for religious propaganda (PQ proposed 1)” in the public service which should give everybody the same feeling. Also, opponents consider the personal benefits as their ethical principles while the supporters consider the social benefits as theirs.
In my opinion, this proposal should not become a law. It is true that the religious symbols that the public workers wear may have an implicit religious influence on others; however, this influence is too little compares with religious speech or religious practices. For example, in the school, as long as the teachers do not give a religious speech of any specific religion, the religious symbols do not influence the students' point of view or values, because in the class, students focus more on what the teacher says whether what the teachers wears. Moreover, freedom of beliefs and individual freedom are the principal rights of the human being; no one should interdict anyone from using these rights. Some supporters say that people have to accept the laws if they want to be accepted in the society, however, a proposal that is not suitable to the society should not even become a law. Quebec is a province that contains multiple cultures and religions. Many people consider their religion as one of the most important part of their life. If this proposal really becomes a law, many people may have to choose between their beliefs and Quebec, and many people may leave. This may also cause a decrease in economy in Quebec because of the outflow of the labor force.
This proposal is asking a question to everybody in Quebec: Job and belief, which one is more important for you?
CBC News. “PQ proposed religious symbols ban draws storm of protest.” CBC News post 21 August 2013, last updated 22 August 2013: Web