Does Quebec's Desire to Remain "French" Exclude Religious Minorities? -- Sightings
During the late 18th century, Europeans and Americans began to wrestle with the relationship of religion and culture -- including the state. The First Amendment sought to balance competing concerns -- religious and secular. The State couldn't endorse any particular religion, but people were free to express their faith as they pleased, as long as it didn't impinge on the rights of others (at least that's the idea). The French vision, on the other hand, sought to erase as much as possible the religious element from public life. This is a vision that emerged in places like France, Turkey, and Mexico. Religion is to be private -- and sit outside the public square.
Thus, we have this essay, for in Quebec, a French majority, French speaking Canadian Province, in the interests of protecting French culture in the province, a law has passed that impinges on the rights of religious minorities. In this essay we're introduced to the issue and its implications. For those of us living south of the border, this raises questions about how a Christian majority treats religious minorities. The First Amendment is relatively supportive of the rights of religious minorities, but that doesn't mean Christians don't try to limit the rights of these minorities. So, I invite you to read and consider the message here.