Hijabs and religious head coverings okay in Congress, secular hats not? Religion once again gets a pass

As you’ve surely heard, Ilhan Omar was elected to the House of Representatives this year. She’ll be representing a district in Minnesota, and is one of the first two Muslim-American women to be elected to Congress. She’s also the first hijabi elected to Congress (the other woman, Rashida Tlaib, isn’t a hijabi). Omar always wears a fancy, high-rise hijab:

And she’s vowed that she won’t take it off, even though there’s been a ban on head coverings in the House since 1837. Here’s a recent tweet from her:

Note that she invokes the First Amendment—presumably freedom of religion—to justify wearing her hijab.  And now, according to NBC News and many other sources, House Democrats are proposing a rule change that will allow headscarves and other forms of religious headgear in Congress, a rule specifically designed for Omar but that will also allow yarmulkes and other forms of religious head covering. Likely future Speaker Nancy Pelosi is also on board with it:

Democrats say they will add an exemption for religious headwear under their new package of rules changes for the next Congress, which begins in January, so that the protection of religious expression is explicit. The language will also cover someone wearing a head covering due to illness and loss of hair.

“Democrats know that our strength lies in our diversity, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in a statement to NBC News. “After voters elected the most diverse Congress in history, clarifying the antiquated rule banning headwear will further show the remarkable progress we have made as a nation.”

“This change will finally codify that no restriction may be placed on a member’s ability to do the job they were elected to do simply because of their faith,” said incoming House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., who is working on the amendment with Omar and Pelosi. “The American people just elected the most diverse Congress in history and our rules should embody that.”

When I first heard about this, I wasn’t disturbed, as I thought they were simply deep-sixing a general rule against head coverings. While some members of Congress have been religious (Senator Joe Lieberman, an observant Jew, often wore a yarmulke outside Congress but not in the chambers), nobody has ever sought an exemption.  But that’s not the way it is: the kinds of head coverings that are allowed are specifically religious ones (as well as head coverings for head injuries or other medical issues—presumably bandages or wigs for those who have lost their hair via chemotherapy).

As I said, this doesn’t seem to be a hill one wants to die on, but not everybody feels that way. As a friend of mine wrote me:

I find that Congress would change the rules (or that Democrats are proposing such a thing) outrageous and dangerous.  More special rights for Muslims, of course….

Well, everybody gets Omar’s rights for religious headgear, so yarmulkes are okay too. One could argue, though, that Muslims feel especially entitled compared to other religionists, and will simply refuse to shed their religious practices when they conflict with secular custom—or rules in this place.

What made me rethink my indifference was this report, which notes:

The head-covering rule has vexed some lawmakers, notably Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who is known for her colorful hats and has pushed to get the ban lifted.

Under the proposed changes, Wilson would still be barred from wearing hats on the House floor.

And that means that this rule is for specifically religious garb, not any other form of head covering (I wonder if a colander would qualify, since it’s headgear of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster). Hats were worn in Congress before the rule was enacted, and I can see that some people, like Wilson, would want to wear them for decorative or non-religious reasons.

It’s clear, then, that this rule privileges those who wear religious headcoverings (or medically-mandated ones) and not secular headcoverings. And that seems a violation of the First Amendment—something that shouldn’t be happening in our nation’s legislative bodies.

Now the rule change is almost certainly a fait accompli, for Congress wouldn’t want to look Islamophobic, hijabs are now the equivalent of haloes for the Authoritarian Left, denoting some kind of admirable victimhood, and there is already a religious invocation that opens each session of Congress (Dan Barker and the Freedom from Religion Foundation are fighting it). And it worries me that Omar is threatening, in her tweet above, to fight for lifting other bans, which seems to me to invoke more privileging of religion—in her case Islam—over secular values. I add in passing that Omar has changed her position on BDS, now supporting it after her election (she wasn’t in favor of it before she was elected), and has emitted some pretty nasty tweets against Israel (see here), as well as calling it “an apartheid regime.” (Tlaib also supports BDS).

But never mind the Israel-hating. This new rule is part of religion’s general tendency to try to override secular laws in favor of religious laws or customs. Islam is only the most visible of these attempts, but we know how Christians are also asking for exemptions. I’m now on the fence against this new regulation, and so am taking a poll and soliciting readers’ views in the comments below. Please vote:

 

h/t: cesar

230 Comments

  1. Cicely Berglund
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    I think the ban on secular head coverings came into effect when only men got within sniffing distance of government.And likely was conceived as only applying to men since noone could conceive that women would ever enter.
    Where I grew up, possibly most places? men were not allowed to wear hats in church whereas women were required to wear a head covering. Still holds around the Pope? Different concepts for the sexes around what constitutes respectful behaviour. Ilhan Omar’s headdress is quite beautiful.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    I appose this law because it is wrapped in religion. Either allow hats or don’t. I notice part of the language says due to loss of hair. That would apply to more than half the guys in the room.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Appose?…

      Also

      Sub for like the 100’th time

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        O, that was bad…

    • Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure the loss-of-hair provision is intended to cover women who wear headscarves following chemo.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I thought of that but also figured so many of us going bald could use a snappy hat.

  3. Posted November 23, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The head-covering rule has vexed some lawmakers, notably Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who is known for her colorful hats and has pushed to get the ban lifted.

    If she is then penalised for wearing a hat she surely has a sure-fire lawsuit claiming that the law violates the “establishment of religion” clause and so is unconstitutional.

  4. Posted November 23, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I voted to keep the ban on secular hats. I’d hate to see MAGA hats on the Republicans in Congress.

    • A C Harper
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Or possibly KKK hoods? I think it would be unwise for anyone to wear one but as a demonstration of freedom of speech?

    • A C Harper
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Or lady-parts headgear for feminists?

    • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      To me, the hijab expresses a message much worse than MAGA.

  5. Posted November 23, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    What is the reason behind the original prohibition of hats?

    • Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Good question. It dates back to 1837 as some sort of reaction to British representatives wearing hats in Parliament. But hat wearing in Parliament was a way of expressing independence from the Crown, a sentiment I’d have thought the anti-monarchial Americans would approve.

      • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        I had a high school math teacher who insisted that one doesn’t wear headcoverings inside because of “respect”. (We normally wore a uniform without one, but on “free dress days” I wore a hoodie and got asked to remove the head part.)

        Presumably he would not complained about religious coverings, though given they were relatively rare in my school I have no idea …

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

          The former football coach for the Houston Oilers, Bum Phillips, an inveterate ten-gallon hat wearer himself, always doffed his cowboy hat when the Oilers were playing at home in the Houston Astrodome, on the theory that gentleman shouldn’t wear hats indoors.

          But even ol’ Bum made an exception for his players wearing their helmets during ballgames. 🙂

  6. Andrew
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    This is step one. Next, a Muslim prayer room in the building, then an ablution room, then halal food in cafeterias, and so on….Allowing religion into Congress is a recipie for disaster. I think it’s likely that now that certain areas have high enough concentrations of Muslims that they can elect their own to Congress, they will never vote for a non-Muslim again. Religion is tribal and divisive that way.

    • phil brown
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      “Next, a Muslim prayer room in the building, then an ablution room, then halal food in cafeterias, and so on…”

      What’s the problem with any of that?

      • dd
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Hmmmm….what about an abaya or niqab?

        In Europe, pork is not served in certain school cafeterias at all, although there is a diverse student body.

        What is your thought on this?

        • phil brown
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

          If a woman wants to wear an abaya, why not? It’s a problem if it is imposed on her.

          I think there’s a reasonable objection to the niqab in situations like congress, because facial expressions are an important part of communication.

          I don’t know the reasons for schools not serving pork (although it’s no real hardship to go without pork for lunch — we should be eating less meat anyway).

          • mikeyc
            Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

            “I don’t know the reasons for schools not serving pork..”

            Take a guess.

            • phil brown
              Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

              OK, I’m guessing that it’s cheaper just to serve meals that everyone can eat, instead of having lots of options, so they decide to cut pork because some kids can’t eat it.

              • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

                Pork is a cheap meat. Removing pork because of some people’s religious taboo inflicts extra cost on everybody else.

          • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

            “We”, yes, but children should eat enough meat.

        • Steve Pollard
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          A number of LEAs in the UK have been revealed as providing only halal meat in their school meals. There is now a bit of a backlash against this: see for instance https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2018/11/nss-presses-government-on-non-stun-meat-as-schools-row-intensifies This one will run and run…

      • Andrew
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        “What’s wrong with any of that?” That is like asking what is wrong with believeing that God’s law trumps any laws made by man. Why should we support this kind of view in the place where man’s laws are created? Regarding Halal for example, this gives religion the right to decide what food is served. It puts a priest between you and the food choices. If there is only one daily special at the cafeteria, now it needs to be halal in order not to discriminte against certain people. And religion takes a tax-payer funded fee for providing this halal service. When you provide a place to worship a God in a house that makes secular laws, that is saying that a likely non-existant God is so important he must be venerated and we set aside a special tax-payer funded room for you to pray to him. We then approve the idea that God is there to guide you how to vote on the next bill, the vote he wants, the way the holy book says. I don’t believe in providing a dedicated space for that kind of thinking. Religion gets in the way of our progress and hijabs are a prime example. Hijabs are placed on women at puberty because they are about sexual purity and control. Women then grow up and say “It’s my choice.” Really? Just ask the Jesuits or Sarah Haider. And we should be sending a signal to all Americans that religious ideas are subordinate to our collective ideas put forth in the Constitution and our secular laws. More than 50% of British muslims believe that homosexuality should be made illegal again, because of Islam. Im not supporting that kind of religious thinking.

        • Nicolaas Stempels
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          Good rant, Andrew!

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted November 25, 2018 at 5:42 am | Permalink

          Well said.

      • Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        What’s the problem with any of that?

        Designating rooms for sectarian worship in public buildings is unconstitutional. The Capitol building already has a ‘prayer and meditation’ room intended for individual use. If Omar seeks to have organized moslem prayer onsite, that would not fly.

        Producing Halal meat involved needless cruelty to the animals. All Halal butchery should be banned.

        • phil brown
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

          There was some discussion of halal in the UK a few years ago, when supermarkets were selling halal meat not labelled as such. People objected that halal was cruel(er) because the animals aren’t stunned, but it turns out that in most cases they are.

          https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/may/08/what-does-halal-method-animal-slaughter-involve

          • Sohan
            Posted November 23, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

            Halal status also requires that a pious Muslim invoke their god during the slaughter process. Same with kosher — only a Jew can conduct kosher slaughter. This is effectively religious discrimination, and acceding to those who demand halal or kosher (or worse, making that universal) is no different from acceding to a group who demands food that has been prepared by people of a specific race, sexual orientation, or gender.

            • phil brown
              Posted November 23, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

              And only a Catholic can be a Catholic priest, or a Jew a Rabbi. This is trivial stuff. My employment prospects are not significantly curtailed by the fact that I can’t engage in ritual slaughter.

    • tomh
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Religion in Congress? Surely, you jest. There is already a Prayer room in the Capitol building, established in 1954. The Congressional Prayer Room near the rotunda in the United States Capitol is a place set aside for prayer, for the use of members of Congress (who are 90% Christian.) The space is not open to tour groups or visitors to the Capitol. There are both House and Senate Bible study groups that meet regularly, heck, there is even a weekly Bible study group for Trump’s cabinet.

      (Christian) religion permeates Congress, just as it does American society, and the American legal system. But let’s not let the Muslims get their foot in the door, next thing you know they’ll be taking over.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Have you previously objected to the “prayer breakfasts” the Republican caucus seems to hold nearly every morning? How about to the congressional mess offering fish on Fridays during Lent?

      • GBJames
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know about Andrew, but I have objected to all that and more. That’s why I belong to FFRF.

        FWIW… I suspect the congressional cafeteria offers fish year ’round.

        • Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          Too bad FFRF defends designated prayer rooms, organized & promoted by the school administration, for moslems in public schools.

    • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      + 1

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I’m a firm believer that facially neutral laws, enacted without any evidence of discriminatory intent, should be enforced uniformly against all, without religious exemption.

    As to customs or rules like the one at issue here, I don’t think an exemption is required by the First Amendment’s Free Exercise clause, but I don’t think such an exemption is prohibited by the Establishment Clause, either — so long as the exemption does not discriminate for or against any religion. (NB: SCOTUS’s First Amendment jurisprudence on such “accommodation” issues — an area of law in which the First Amendment’s two religion clauses doctrinally intersect — constitutes a dog’s breakfast of inconsistency.)

    Based on this, I voted “no opinion,” although it’s not really a case of my not having an opinion.

    • rickflick
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      “dog’s breakfast”: UK informal. something or someone that looks extremely untidy, or something that is very badly done. Failures. another/the final nail in the coffin idiom.

      Good one.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        I don’t mind borrowing a good one from the Brits once in a while; hell, they damn near speak the same language. 🙂

        • rickflick
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          😎

  8. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Oh no

    I voted “no”

    But that would “prevent the free exercise theoreof”

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Sub

  9. tomh
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    It’s difficult to find any section of the legal code that isn’t permeated with religious privilege, what’s one more?

  10. GBJames
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    “No” unless I get to wear my Harris tweed baseball cap in, too.

  11. Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I voted “no”. To clarify: I would say that any headgear, religious or secular, that expresses a belief or position covered by the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of expression ought to be allowed (and indeed, any attempt to ban such headgear would seem to be unconstitutional). So wearing MAGA hats or FSM colanders as well as wearing hijabs or yarmulkes ought to be allowed. I have no problem with a rule that says that hats that are not bound up in “expression” are banned, though; that seems equivalent to banning, say, flip-flops or not wearing a shirt. It’s fine to impose a standard of dress, but expression, whether religious or secular, cannot be curtailed without (at a minimum) a clear, compelling overriding interest on the part of the government (which is not present here).

    • GBJames
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      How is any “standard of dress” not a restriction on free expression?

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Such lines are not so easily drawn; there is, after all, “artistic expression.”

      How ’bout a “Bong Hits for Jesus” hat?

  12. BJ
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I get this one. It’s rude to wear a hat in a nice restaurant, but it’s not rude to wear a turban. A person is wearing a turban because it’s part of their religious beliefs, not because they think the restaurant is casual enough that it should be allowed. I think this is a matter of intent and manners.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Good point

    • yazikus
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      I’m with you on this one.

    • GBJames
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      I think this issue is that religious intent is granted the exception. Why should it be?

      • BJ
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Like I said: intent. Religious head coverings shouldn’t be part of a dress code because dress codes are meant to imply the level of sophistication and/or seriousness and/or exclusivity of a place. Wearing jeans and a t-shirt to Per Se implies a disrespect toward the atmosphere, owner, and other patrons — the restaurant has a dress code because it wants to convey a certain tone and wants its customers to participate in that. Wearing a religious head covering does not violate the social rules or pact created by a dress code because of the intent and the reasoning behind the garb.

      • BJ
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        In other words to better relate it to your question, it’s not that it’s religious intent, but merely taking into account any intent. For example, the intent behind a bandage on one’s head after getting stitches isn’t to break a dress code that’s meant to convey formality, but to keep the wearer safe/help their wound heal.

        • GBJames
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          The reason I wear my Harris tweed baseball cap inside is that I am more comfortable when wearing it. My intent is to be comfortable.

          I value my own intent as much as that of a religious believer whose intent is to signal membership in a faith group. I would expect Congress to respect my intent as much as anyone else’s.

          • BJ
            Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

            Yes, your intent is your own comfort. That’s nice and all, but restaurants have dress codes, and a dress code is completely useless if people can break it solely because they “feel more comfortable wearing pajamas.” You can’t just equate any intent you want.

            • GBJames
              Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

              Actually, I haven’t been in a restaurant with a dress code for a very long time, except for the “no shoes, no service” type of code which is mandated by the health code.

              You’ve granted religious intent regarding clothing rules special elevated position over other sorts of intent. I’m simply unwilling to accept that. A religious person can live by the same rules the rest of us have to in public. (I don’t care what they do, for the most part, in their worshiping huts.)

              • BJ
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

                It’s the intent to follow one’s religion, but the religion mandates it. If someone is religious enough that they must follow the strictures of their religion when it comes to a head covering, then to disallow them to do so is to disallow them from serving. The military also made this change a few years ago.

                Of course, this has limits, so I’ll cut the reductio ad absurdum off right here before it starts. Head coverings are unobtrusive, but if someone’s religion mandated that they, say, shout “fuck all of you” every ten seconds, then that should not be allowed, because it would be disruptive.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

                I so badly want to start a religion that requires me to say “fuck all of you” every few minutes just because it is how I feel sometimes. 😀

              • Posted November 23, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

                Perhaps you just did.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

                “My religion mandates…” FFS, is that what you think should govern our government? Haven’t we had enough of this? (“My religion mandates that I not give you a marriage license…”)

              • BJ
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

                No, GB, I literally just said it shouldn’t govern our government. I literally just said there are strict limits, and this particular allowance hurts nobody. If you think religious head coverings shouldn’t be allowed, then you should be against crucifix and Star of David necklaces. I also literally precluded your reductio ad absurdum, and you did it anyway. If you insist on this strawmanning by ignoring my immediately preceding comments and you ignore my explanations, there’s no point in continuing.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

                There may be no point in continuing. But I’m only opposed to crucifix-wearing (etc.) if I’m prohibited from wearing jewelry that isn’t religious. I don’t understand why this is controversial. It is the exception for religion that is objectionable.

          • BJ
            Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

            Moreover, if you want more representation of minorities in Congress (and I assume you do, based on what I know of your previous opinions), you can’t then ban anyone who is from a religious minority and is religious enough to refuse to remove their religious head coverings. To forbid those coverings is to forbid them from serving, since their religion mandates that they wear it. You have nothing in your life that mandates you wear a hat; you just want to wear it because you find it more comfortable. I find pajama pants more comfortable, but I wouldn’t advocate for allowing anyone in Congress to wear them in the chambers.

            • GBJames
              Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

              Nobody is arguing for bans on people based on religion. We’re arguing for rules that apply to everyone equally. Rules ought not to be set that are exempted only for Pastafarians.

              • BJ
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

                I understand. And this rule does apply equally: if your religion mandates that you wear a head covering, you can wear it. There’s nothing unequal about that.

    • phil brown
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Are turbans banned from congress?

      • yazikus
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        If religious head-gear was banned until now, presumably? Can’t see much difference between a turban and a hijab.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      I agree. Culturally we find wearing hats indoors an expression of disrespect. However, a turban is not a hat. It’s a religious accoutrement that doesn’t harm anyone else. It isn’t a sign of disrespect to wear a turban. I may think all religion is stupid but these aren’t apples and apples to oranges and oranges.

      I find, however, this is demonstrative of a difference in Canada and the US that I always find intriguing. Canadians have allowed head coverings for ages. I say down thread that a leader of a federal party wears a turban as does our Minister of National Defence. The RCMP have permitted their officers to wear turbans for years. I think the Canadian position is that it is doing no real harm to allow someone this type of religious freedom. If there were a safety issue, that would supercede the religious freedom issue. They distinguish between religious freedom in clothing vs. fashion (a hat) and take this difference as something that needs to be treated differently.

      I think Americans feel we should all be treated the same. Therefore it’s an all or nothing thing. So regardless of if it is a fashion accessory or a religious accoutrement, doesn’t matter since all people should be treated the same and not doing so is unfair.

      I think Canadians may see fairness in treating people differently where Americans see fairness in treating people the same.

      • BJ
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        I wonder if the commonality of turbans in Canadian political life is a holdover from the English colonial adventures in India. I imagine that, like the UK, Canada had quite a few Indians move to their country, since it was (and I guess technically still is?) part of the Commonwealth.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

          Canada does have a fairly large Indian community (South East Asians and Chinese are the largest group of visible minorities in Canada with SEA making up 1.6 million) but, according to 2011 census data, there were only 454,965 Sikhs then and from those not all will wear turbans. In contrast, there are 1,053,945 Muslims but of course not all of the Muslims will be covering their heads either. So, I’m not sure why they came here, but they did. 🙂

      • BJ
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        “commonality” was the wrong word. I should have said “the common nature.”

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        But it is not a fairness issue really. It is a separation of religion and government. If this was a restaurant or a theater, then you can deal with fairness but this is congress. They had this law, no hats, I don’t know why. But you don’t make concessions for religions. They already have Chaplains in the place and that is also dead wrong. Pretty soon we are full of priests and religious hats. Lets either do away with separation and let religion take over the congress or not.

        • GBJames
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          It’s not a law. It is a house rule.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

            Correct, the no hat is a rule. But a change in the rule to allow religious items would still be a separation issue. If they just change the rule to allow all hats, then no problem. It is pretty simple.

            They could have a rule allowing a big hot tub on the floor and do Baptisms but that would be a religious thing also.

            • GBJames
              Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

              We’re in agreement.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          However, the wearing of a head covering shows the person’s personal religion. It isn’t pushing that religion on the state. It’s the same as wearing a crucifix. It shows that you are a Christian and a Christian is allowed to show their religious affiliation and even practice their religious faith within the state…they simply are not allowed to force their religion on anyone else.

          • BJ
            Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

            “It’s the same as wearing a crucifix”
            Excellent point! If the arguments Randall and GBJ are presenting are correct — that this is a matter of separating church and state, and no religious imagery should be represented in state functions — nobody should be allowed to wear a crucifix necklace or Star of David either.

            • Nicolaas Stempels
              Posted November 23, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

              Let them wear crucifixes, but then allow them to wear any necklace, that is the point, BJ.
              Colanders will be allowed, since religious, and MAGA caps, since religious too, but not a stetson or deerstalker. Sherlock Holmes cannot attend.
              Seriously, I think most voted no, because of the religious exemption clause.
              More importantly than hats, I think religions -churches, preachers, mosques and other temple organisations- should pay tax!

              • BJ
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

                “More importantly than hats, I think religions -churches, preachers, mosques and other temple organisations- should pay tax!”

                I sure as hell agree with that. I won’t reiterate all the reasons I disagree with you about the other subject, but on big matters like taxation, I’ll just give you a big “HELL YEAH!”

    • Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      I find it rude to wear a hijab anytime, anywhere. It’s an insult to our society’s principle of equality between the sexes.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        +1

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    … presumably bandages or wigs for those who have lost their hair …

    Shame on you! Now you’ve made me go and think about the late, un-lamented congressman (and convicted felon) James Traficant, owner of the undisputed worst rug in congressional history:

    • BJ
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure James Trafficant was just the result of a The Fly-like accident that crossed Phillip Baker Hall with Merle Travis.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      If the president is allowed, why not a congressman? Is the president not just above the law, but also above custom? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

  14. Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Well, let them put their money where their mouths are. How can we get some Pastafarians on the floor?

  15. Historian
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    This isn’t a hill to die on. The issue of wearing a religious head garb is trivial compared to Congress having a chaplain start each session. This is a religious issue that concerns me. What would happen if she were not allowed to wear the head garb? Would she wear it anyway? What would Pelosi do then? Have her forcibly removed? I don’t think so. Would Pelosi want a Democratic representative sue a Democratically controlled House? I don’t think so. Would Pelosi want to risk losing one constituency of the Democratic coalition – Moslems? I don’ think so.

    Pelosi’s best strategy is to allow the head garb and then move quickly on to other things. There may be a momentary ruckus, but it will be quickly forgotten.

    • yazikus
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      I’m thinking of conservative friendly-faiths that also requite headgear. Most of them would seem that the headgear (daily) requirement falls to women, which they are less likely to elect (thinking Amish, Mennonites, etc.) I’m having a hard time understanding why anyone is seriously against this. It is a harmless adjustment that will allow for greater representation.

    • GBJames
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      You’re suggesting a false choice, Historian. The fact that there are even worse accommodations of religion doesn’t mean that this isn’t yet another.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        I am with you on that…

      • Historian
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Of course this is an accommodation of religion. But, so what? There are many others much worse. In this country, in the real world, political realities require accommodations.

        In my view, atheistic purism in this matter will play into the hands of the right wing. What a foolish thing to do on a trivial issue.

        • GBJames
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

          “many others much worse”

          How do you manage to miss the point of your false choice?

          We shouldn’t have laws against burglary because murder is much worse?

          Why not have rules that don’t just apply to those of this or that religion? You want to loosen the rule here? Fine. Then do it for everyone.

          • Historian
            Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

            I submit you make the false choice when you compare burglary to murder. A much better analogy is comparing arresting every person who ever smoked a joint to murder.

            Those posters who are so vexed about this issue do not understand political realities. They are purists who share the same mental outlook as religious fundamentalists. This is a shame. As I’ve mentioned on other occasions, purists, of whatever ilk, represent a great threat to a civil, functioning society. They don’t understand that in the real world you rarely get everything you want.

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink

              If you don’t like the separation of religion from government then change the law, amend the constitution. Shall we dig up Jefferson to solve the problem? Going after this in tiny steps and constantly is why we have FFRF out there fighting this everyday.

              • Posted November 23, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

                I was gonna bring up the FFRF. It’s a slippery slope, and they fight both the big and small issues, as if you give up on the small ones, it emboldens the religionists to stick their snout further into the tent.

              • Nicolaas Stempels
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

                They already have their ‘snouts in the bottom of the tent’ by being exempt from paying taxes. Now that’s a biggie, immo.

            • GBJames
              Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

              Historian, your argument works equally well to rationalize acceptance of large Xtian crosses on public lands. Should we accept those in the interests of “political reality”?

              The political reality is that religion has always sought special carve-outs in government. Big carve-outs are different in size. So what? Little carve-outs are the seeds from which theocracies bloom.

              • Historian
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

                The issue here is what you mean by the word “accept.” Do I accept religious concessions as a matter of principle? No. Would I accept some of them in the sense that political realities dictate that the fight is not worth it? Yes. Presumably, you, as I, would like to see religion disappear or at least become insignificant. If such a goal is ever achieved, it will not happen overnight. Many more people need to identify as atheists. In any war, whether one of fighting or ideas, good generals know what battles are worth fighting. Sometimes, maneuvering rather than direct assaults will produce better results. In this particular instance, making a big ado over a trivial matter will give aid and comfort to Trump and Republicans (the party of Christianity). They would like nothing better for a Democratic House to tear itself apart by denying a Democratic member the right to wear a certain type of headgear. This is what I mean by political realities. Direct your energies to creating more atheists.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

                One of the ways to advocate for atheism is to refuse to accept (however you want to define it) special carve-outs for religion.

              • BJ
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

                Very well put, Historian. Most of society has some form of religion or spirituality as part of their lives. With Christianity alone, 75% of adults identify as Christian. You need to pick your battles and, furthermore, this isn’t even a battle that truly affects anything if we lose. It will affect us negatively if we win.

          • Barney
            Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

            Because you know some idiot will start wearing a MAGA cap; and then it will become a contest among the more extreme Republicans to wear slogan-bearing headwear. Allowing the wearing of headwear that the person genuinely wears in public all the time is dignified, and keeping (or maybe restoring) the dignity of Congress is a worthwhile objective.

            • GBJames
              Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

              I don’t know why some idiot with a MAGA cap on his head is any worse than some other idiot with a snowball claiming it is proof global warming doesn’t exist.

              Yeah. Idiots will use idiotic props. But the MAGAfied idiot you reference very likely wears it elsewhere, too. And he very likely thinks of himself as dignified.

              If you are advocating for a rule that says it is OK to wear what you wear in everyday life, fine. I’m on board. But if that only applies to faith-heads, I’m gonna have to object.

            • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

              I don’t see any dignity of Congress once hijabs are allowed. On the other hand, why insist for the Congress to have dignity, and what is the problem with MAGA caps?

              • Barney
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

                Slogans, on headwear or other clothing, tend to be undignified. It’s quite acceptable for a dress code to ban them. Someone likened this to a smart restaurant – and that’s reasonable; I’d expect them to tell people to take off caps with slogans on, or not wear T shirts with slogans on. This is indoors, so normal Americans don’t want to wear headgear there anyway. For those stuck with an arbitrary “you must do this, just because” rule, this means they can take part in the civic process.

                But if you think it’s imposssible to be dignified while wearing the hijab, I suspect there’s no satifying you on this – you’re fundamentalist about it.

              • Posted November 23, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

                I think slogans on clothing are even more inappropriate in the halls of Congress for the same reason they are not allowed where we vote.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

                Actually, you can have slogans (political or otherwise) on your clothing when you vote. You can also wear political buttons. But once you have voted you can’t hang around advocating for your candidate. It isn’t considered electioneering (banned) to wear these things while you vote.

              • Posted November 23, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

                Based on a little googling, it appears that SCOTUS struck down an MN law barring slogans near polling places but only because it was too vague as to what was allowed and what wasn’t. Other states’ laws may not share that problem, at least in principle. It’s likely a hard line to draw, as with the porn/non-porn one.

                https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/supreme-courts-mixed-decision-on-the-polling-place-clothing-case

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted November 24, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

                My cousin and my uncle both got booted from a polling station for wearing anti bush slogan T-shirts. This was in California during the George Bush election when he was running vs Obama.

              • Posted November 24, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

                Yes. I live in CA and we had some discussion of these rules on Nextdoor.com before the recent election.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted November 24, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

                I have to say that often my family embarrasses or annoys me, but I was proud of them for this. 😸

              • GBJames
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

                Yeah… my comment reflects the case in Wisconsin where I work at the polls in elections. (Part of our training.)

            • XCellKen
              Posted November 24, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

              Can’t they already wear MAGA shirts and pants ?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Do you think it could be a firing-offense for a Jew to refuse to work on Yom Kippur?

        How about a Jew, or Seventh Day Adventist, who refuses to work on their Saturday Sabbath? If they’re fired because of it, can they collect unemployment insurance (which is generally unavailable to those fired “for cause”)? Should Native Americans be subject to prosecution for their sacramental use of peyote (a practice that predates the existence of United States by centuries)?

        It’s not always so easy to draw bright lines in these cases — which accounts for why SCOTUS’s First Amendment “accommodation” jurisprudence is all over the place.

        • GBJames
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          Depends on the job, no? If a Christian firefighter was assigned to work on Christmas and refused, I expect that would be a firing offense.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

            Your answer if facile, GBJ. You realize Christmas is a federal holiday, in which the vast majority of employees are given the day off, right? And that there are, of necessity, special rules for emergency safety workers on such days? And that, even regarding such safety workers, supervisors generally make efforts to arrange schedules so that those who observe the holiday get the day off? Do you consider such religious accommodations unconstitutional?

            Or let me put it in stark terms: do you think it would be constitutional for a federal judge to hold a Jewish lawyer in contempt, under pain of imprisonment, because that lawyer refused to appear in court on Yom Kippur?

            • GBJames
              Posted November 23, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

              You keep bringing up other examples of religious privilege as if it justifies new ones. It doesn’t.

              • tomh
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

                I disagree. I think it justifies it easily. There are thousands of religious accommodations written into US laws, with new ones enacted with every session of Congress and state legislatures, with hardly a whisper of disagreement, yet a single harmless rule change to accommodate a Muslim, and there is a torrent of outrage. I wonder why that is.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

                The question — which you seem intent on dodging — is whether all such religious accommodation should be deemed unconstitutional.

                Well, should it? Or are you cool with accommodation for some religions, or in some instances for all religions, but not others? If so, how do you justify that as a matter of constitutional interpretation?

                You seem to think these are easy questions; they are not.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

                Are you asking me, Ken? I’m opposed to all religious privileges (by government or business entities governed by non-discrimination laws). I don’t object to allowing religious people to wear hats. I object to ONLY allowing religious people to wear hats.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

                @GBJ:

                So under your interpretation of the constitution, government employers should be prohibited from permitting Jews to take the day off on Yom Kippur?

                Native Americans should be imprisoned for their tribe’s traditional sacramental use of peyote?

                A Seventh Day Adventist fired for refusing to work a Saturday shift could be denied unemployment benefits?

                If so, I’ll give you points for consistency, but that’s an interpretation that leads to harsh results and essentially reads the “Free Exercise” clause out of the First Amendment.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

                Come on, Ken, it isn’t that hard.

                To be fair, and blind to religion, government should allow everyone some number of days that may be taken off for any reason the person wants. A jew who wants to take off for Yom Kippur is free to do so (assuming he isn’t needed for duty for emergency services) as long as an atheist is allowed to take off the same amount of time to make spaghetti.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

                @GBJ:

                It is that hard. I can keep sharpening the hypotheticals ad infinitum, but sooner or later the answer will need be addressed regarding whether any governmental accommodation of religion is permissible.

                Try this one: Should a Jewish judge be allowed to decline to hold court hearings on the Jewish holidays? Such a practice certainly can pose an inconvenience to others (including litigants and lawyers and jurors) who don’t share the judge’s religious convictions. Judges are charged with doing the people’s business, and it’s not like they can just reschedule court for another day when it’s not usually in session (like, say, Thanksgiving).

                It shouldn’t take too much a stretch of one’s imaginative powers to come up with similar examples.

              • BJ
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

                GBJ, you keep saying “NO exceptions for religion,” and every time Ken presents you with some, you dodge them. Just answer yes or no on them at this point.

              • tomh
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

                How about a few more?

                Should religions be exempt from health and safety laws in child care facilities?

                Should religions be allowed exemptions from copyright royalties when playing music at ceremonies? (For instance, a Texas mega-church playing 24 hours of music royalty free, which would have cost a secular organization thousands of dollars in royalties.)

                Should religions be allowed to deny medical care to their children in the free exercise of their religion, even to the point of the child’s death?

                We won’t even get into taxes.

                All of these and hundreds more are enshrined in various US federal and state laws, all in the name of free exercise of religion. The number of accommodations and privileges grow yearly, with virtually no pushback, as it is political suicide to be seen as anti-religion.

              • GBJames
                Posted November 24, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

                @BJ: I’m not dodging anything. I’m trying to convey a general principle by which we can and should deal with religious peculiarities. There’s no reason I should be expected to respond to each and every Gish-gallop imaginary example that Ken or you invent. I’ll state one last time the general principle, perhaps slightly different phrasing will get through.

                Religion should offer no special protections or privileges to a believer than are available to everyone. If a system needs flexibility allowing a believer to take of work on their special day, the same flexibility needs to be available to nonbelievers to take off on the day of their choosing. Believers should get no more days off than nonbelievers. If dress codes allow believers to wear hats in court/gym/school/Congress, then the codes should allow anyone to do so. If “decorum” is at issue, then everyone can agree to wear headgear without words or logos embedded.

                If we don’t base our rules of conduct on equality of application, and provide special rules for believers of this or that religion, we end up with prayer in schools, crosses in public parks, and chaplains in Congress. Yes, some of those already exist. They shouldn’t. We should be working to eliminate them where they do, not adding new privileges for the faithful.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 24, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

                @GBJ:

                It’s not a “Gish gallop”; it’s a Socratic narrowing of the issue by presenting hypotheticals that test the validity of the principle being put forward.

                So, if I understand you, you’d let a public university give students and professors the days off for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but only if it would, say, accommodate all the frat boys on campus by giving them a similar completely excused day off to hold a kegger, then turn around and let them do it all again 10 days later?

                That’s fine — harsh (since such accommodations will probably end up being offered to no one), but fine. But it raises the question: what rights (if any) do you believe the “Free Exercise” clause secures that are not already guaranteed by the First Amendment’s prohibition on an “Establishment of Religion”? Or is it a total nullity?

              • GBJames
                Posted November 24, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

                @Ken. Is this really worth continuing?

                Even frat boys should be treated equally when it comes to equality re: religious privilege.

            • Posted November 23, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

              Christmas being the last fed holiday of the year was a Jeopardy question this week. All the contestants missed it.

      • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        Agreed.

        I see the attempt to lift the ban as a sort of slippery slope. That doesn’t mean the concessions to Christianity aren’t even more problematic.

        Slightly off topic, I was proud of a family member for having stopped donating to the Dems and sending that money on to an atheist organization.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Or would they not participate in politics which would, in effect, restrict access to people that may best represent their constituency?

      • BJ
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        That’s a point I made as well. If one’s religion mandates, say, wearing a kippah (or yarmulke, as many others call it), then not allowing religious Jews to wear them in Congress bars them from serving there. If we want more minority representation in Congress, this is a very fair exception to make.

  16. Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I voted no. We don’t want to have hats in the senate. They block the view if people sitting behind you. Should we have a hat approval committee.
    Religious exemptions are unfair. We would then need a religious exemption committee to rule on whether a hat come under the rule or should be excluded. And what constitutes a religion and who designs their hats.

    Vote no on this rule change.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      “We don’t want to have hats in the senate.”

      Yeah, OG, but this is the House; they’re much cruder there. 🙂

      Hell, used to be, they’d attack each other with canes on the House floor.

      • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Lwt’s hope they have calmed down and are more civilized by now.

      • BJ
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        It’s funny how our House has become far more civilized than that of other nations, even in the First World. Very strange, considering the vituperative, uncooperative, and vicious nature of our current politics and its polarization.

        Perhaps we will soon see the coming to blows and shouting once again. Frankly, I would welcome it. It makes things a hell of a lot more interesting!

  17. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    This might appear not to be a hill to die on, but I think this is precisely how religion can penetrate all boundaries – it’s highly visible minutiae, trinkets and kitsch that advertise harmlessness, and therefore how could you be such a meanie, yet the baubles of religion still promotes the religion in full into every witness, like a magic spell….

    • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      I agree. It reinforces (with the government’s imprimatur) the idea that religion deserves special consideration and treatment.

      • tomh
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        “It reinforces (with the government’s imprimatur) the idea that religion deserves special consideration and treatment.”

        You realize, I’m sure, that religion already receives special consideration (with the government’s imprimatur), beginning with the Constitution, right up to the present day, when they are exempted from innumerable secular laws.

    • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Yes!

  18. yazikus
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Speaking of silly dress codes, last time I was on Jury duty I noticed that overalls were banned. Any attorneys afoot who know why that is? Seems discriminatory towards farmers.

    • GBJames
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure nearly all farmers own a wide variety of clothing styles.

      • yazikus
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Of course they do – but why is that article specifically not allowed?

        • GBJames
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          To discriminate against hippies?

        • Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

          The court likely thought that overalls were not dignified enough to wear in courts.

        • BJ
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

          They can get caught on the corners of the jury box, and nobody wants to see someone’es overalls ripped off in the middle of the courtroom 😛

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 23, 2018 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

            BJ — I figured if anybody would, you’d get a laugh out of the Pulp Fiction quote in my exchange with Old Guy at #22 regarding the difference between a foot massage and sticking one’s tongue in the holiest-of-holies. 🙂

            • BJ
              Posted November 23, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

              Haha I don’t get around to reading all the comments in threads this lengthy, but well done 🙂

              Is it as bad as giving a dictator a nuke? No. But it’s the same fuckin’ ballpark.

            • BJ
              Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

              You didn’t respond to my The Fly reference so, frankly, I did you a favor by responding to this one 😛

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

                As the guy said to his girlfriend after suggesting they do a “68,” I’ll owe you one later. 🙂

              • BJ
                Posted November 24, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

                Just FYI (though you’ve surely learned this by your age): 69’s are NOT fun and just don’t work. Bill Maher made a brilliant joke upon that basis the other night.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 24, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

                Hence, the “you do me and I’ll owe you one” punchline to the “68” joke.

                And I got your “learned this by your age” right here, sonny. 🙂

              • BJ
                Posted November 24, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

                Damn, I didn’t get that joke. I guess, the older you get, the more jokes you hear, so it’s bound to happen! 😀

  19. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    “More special rights for Muslims, of course …”

    I think we should keep in mind that whether rights are considered “special” often depends on whether they are being extended in the first instance to minorities.

    A rule regarding headwear enacted to accommodate hijab (or kippeh) seems “special.” But I’m old enough to remember when Sunday “blue laws” (prohibiting the sale of liquor, or even requiring the closure of businesses, on the Christian sabbath) were widespread. And I’m old enough to remember that, in jurisdictions with substantial Catholic populations, those liquor prohibitions were never enforced to outlaw the use of sacramental wine at Sunday Mass. I don’t recall Protestants and Catholics getting much Constitutional grief over that.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      What they do in church, stays in church. That is surely the way Catholics like it.

      I think blue laws still apply in some areas. Sometimes it’s by county. In Kansas you will see no liquor, wine or even beer in the grocery store. This law is for the Liquor store business…

      • mikeyc
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        In Connecticut one of those Blue Laws was that no alcohol could be sold (except in bars) after 8PM, but it wasn’t for religious reasons. It was because of Joseph “Mad Dog” Taborsky, who in the 1950s murdered liquor store owners after robbing them late at night. Taborsky was put on Death Row twice for two separate crimes, the second he committed after he was released from Death Row (he was released because a witness against him was shown to be insane). He was put to death in 1960, but because of his reign of terror CT, passed a law closing liquor stores at 8 PM. It has since been repealed (IIANM).

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

          I don’t doubt that that’s the case, Mikey. But the Sunday blue laws have an obvious religious purpose — to “Keep Holy the Sabbath.”

          And some of those are still on the books. The ones that aren’t were repealed not because they violate the Establishment clause, but, as in Connecticut (which bills itself as “the Constitution State”), because vendors and proprietors pissed’n’moaned that the blue laws interfered with their freedom to worship at the altar of the Almighty Dollar.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, I think the true meaning of “blue” laws is where religion affected or caused the law. In Iowa, for years you could not buy any alcohol before noon on Sunday. In parts of Texas you could not sell certain lines of products such as rakes, shovels mowers, so they had to rope those areas off if the store was open on Sunday. It was ridiculous. Kmart got around the law by closing on Saturday and then open all day Sunday. So the Kmarts were packed on Sunday because they were the only place open.

        • Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          In Connecticut one of those Blue Laws was that no alcohol could be sold (except in bars) after 8PM….

          Which for us meant it was time for a “Vista Cruise.”

  20. phil brown
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    What reason is there not to make accommodations for religious people, that have no impact on other people? There are sensible objections to face coverings, but what is offensive about covering hair?

    Aren’t we supposed to be concerned about the oppression of Muslim women, and, if so, shouldn’t we be against rules that might make them think twice before running for high office?

    • Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      I suspect most here would be in favor of either leaving hats out completely (as current law) or allow everyone to wear hats, not just the religious.

      • mikeyc
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Not me and I’m here. 😉

        I have no problem with any reasonable exceptions to such a trivial thing. It’s a dress code, it should not become a political issue.

        We ought to not allow anything of a overt political nature (No MAGA Hats or campaign pins or their equivalent) and insist that an unspecified decorum be maintained. Other than that, beyond my feeling that above all these days in politics we could use a dose of accommodation of other’s viewpoint, I feel we got bigger fish to fry.

        • Historian
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

          Mikey, I agree with you on this one. The issue is totally trivial. If it is constitutional for a chaplain to start off each session then certainly allowing a person to wear religious headgear is constitutional as well. On this thread we are seeing an outpouring of atheistic fundamentalism. Such purism is comparable to the unbending rigidity of the religious fundamentalist.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

            It’s also inconsistent with the existence of an express clause regarding the Free Exercise of religion in the First Amendment’s text.

            Like it or not, “religion” was singled out for special protection by our Constitution’s framers.

            Unlike so-called “Originalists,” I’ve no problem with the Constitution’s meaning evolving to meet changing circumstances and our nation’s unique experiences, but simply pretending the clause doesn’t exist isn’t a valid option.

      • tomh
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        You might be in favor of equal hats for everyone, but that’s not the way it works in America. Religious privilege is the law of the land.

    • Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      I have no problems with making accomidations for religious people as long as they obey the laws and the rules. In this case the rule is no hats in the house. Seems to me a reasonable rule. Hats are disruptive, ridiculous and undignified when worn inside.

      • Historian
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        “Hats are disruptive, ridiculous and undignified when worn inside.”

        What about wigs? All the Founding Fathers wore them. How would Mitch McConnell look wearing one? There is nothing inherently disruptive or undignified regarding clothing choices. Clothing styles change over time and we get used to this.

      • phil brown
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        She doesn’t want to wear a hat, though. She wants to wear a headscarf. I think many of us have seen such things worn indoors without experiencing alarm.

        • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          Unless the house is drafty or the roof is leaking there is no reason for a head scarf either. And it looks like a hat. Pretty bulky head scarf.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        “Hats are disruptive, ridiculous and undignified when worn inside.”

        You quoting Scripture on that one, Old Guy? ‘Cause it kinda sounds like it.

        Or, in Latin legalese, that’s what’s called an ipse dixit.

  21. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    “Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who is known for her colorful hats and has pushed to get the ban lifted.”

    Makes me wonder whether the hat ban was in effect in the House back in the glory days of Bella Abzug.

    Can’t imagine that hat-loving, leibedik mensch sitting still for that. 🙂

  22. Peter Welch
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    As long as the head wear does not block someone else’s view, I have no problem. But I do agree that all head coverings should be allowed, otherwise any new rule would violate church/state separation. With that said, I am no big fan of hijabs. I feel they symbolize the clear second class citizenship of women in Islam.

    What if a Haredi man had been elected instead of a Hijabi Muslim–a Haredi who wore the largest and tallest of the black hats? I wonder if he would have been allowed to wear his hat in Congress or if he had been allowed, would that permission have been celebrated? I don’t think so.

    I do understand that with a president in the white house who denigrates Muslims that part of reason a Hijabi is being celebrated is a push back against this most hateful, most racist, most incompetent, and least legitimate president in our history.

    • Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Trump was duly elected. There are no grounds whatsoever to say he is not ligitimate.

      • Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        Or legitimate for that matter.

        But seriously, if it is shown that he helped the Russians swing the election his way, then his election might indeed have been illegitimate.

        • Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          Legitimate until shown otherwise. I will be happy when the special counsel’s report comes out. Maybe these questions can be put to rest.
          I think it is highly unlikely that whatever the Russians did was the deciding factor in the election.

          • Mark R.
            Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            There were many factors and flukes, but the biggest factor is our undemocratic, minority-favoring electoral college.

      • GBJames
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        Only Obama was illegitimate, of course. Being born in Kenya and all, you know.

        • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          Some right wing radicals said that. Just as left wing radicals are saying that about Trump today.
          I am beginning to think you and Paula belong in that group. Left wing radicals out of the mainstream and out of touch. Still mulling it over. So far don’t have much hope for either if you.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

            Come on, OG. “Birtherism” was (and, for some benighted souls, still is) a baseless, racist, lunatic conspiracy theory from the most perfervid corners of the right-wing fever-swamp. Until Donald Trump jumped on the bandwagon, its highest-profile proponent was a wacko Moldovan-American dentist-cum-lawyer-cum-conspiracist with the unlikely moniker Orly Taitz.

            As Jules from Inglewood would put it, that ain’t in the same ballpark, ain’t in the same league, ain’t even the same fuckin’ sport as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election.

            • Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

              Don’t you agree that people who say Trump is illegitimate are pretty much radical left wingers.

              I am not defending anyone on the right. They deserve condemning. Trump used birthism to get attention and votes.

              I would expect you believe Trump is a ligitimate President and claims that he is not are baseless.

              I will not comment for a while on this. I am definity in the minority on this blog.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

                As I said on this site on the day of his inauguration (and have consistently maintained since), Donald Trump is the duly elected president of the United States. As to whether that election was legitimate, the jury is still out. But I have no objection to presuming it was unless and until shown otherwise (as by the special counsel investigation).

                I don’t know how anyone could ever know for sure many votes were actually changed due to Russian interference. But just 77,000 votes in three key states gave Trump the electoral college victory (despite losing the popular vote by 3 million ballots), and the Russians put in a whole lot of time, effort, and money trying to swing the election to Trump.

                If it is shown that Trump conspired with the Russians, directly or through intermediaries, to interfere in the 2016 election, I believe history will view him as an “illegitimate” president. (And I certainly will.)

              • Posted November 23, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

                It is ok to say those illegitimacy claims are baseless but not so baseless that they shouldn’t be investigated. Everything Trump does is suspect and it is not because we’re against him but that he has proven many times over that he lies about everything. He can’t lie all the time and still whine about how everyone is treating him unfairly.

              • Randall Schenck
                Posted November 23, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

                What most of us here at this site will say is Trump is without a doubt, the most corrupt, vile and disgusting person ever to enter the office. He is an embarrassment to us everyday.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted November 25, 2018 at 1:57 am | Permalink

        As long as the large discrepancies between exit polls and count in swing states where a republican was in charge is not addressed, I consider Mr Trump not duly elected. The word ‘usurper’ comes to mind.

    • Historian
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      I wouldn’t worry about headgear blocking someone’s view. Except when votes are being taken, the chambers are virtually empty when members give speeches. And when senators and representatives vote, they are rarely in their seats when doing so. All you need to do is watch C-SPAN to see this.

  23. Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    If this law passes, atheists need to get an official hat. I’m thinking perhaps a little pyramid or perhaps those red nested cylinder jobs that members of Devo wore.

    • Historian
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      This would not be law. It would be a rule outlining how the House operates.

    • John Conoboy
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      If you are a Pastafarian, who worships the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the official hat is a colander.

  24. Diana MacPherson
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I guess there aren’t many Sikhs in the US in Congress. In Canada we have many Sikhs in government who wear turbans, including our Minister of National Defence and the leader of one of our main political parties, the NDP. Sikhs in the RCMP have been wearing turbans for ages and many years ago there was a debate about allow head coverings in the legion because they didn’t want Sikhs wearing turbans there (even though they had no issue with them wearing their turbans when they were taking bullets for them). In the end, Sikhs were permitted to wear turbans in the legion but recently, there was a kerfuffle where people told a Sikh to “go back to his own country” and gave him the finger. I have found a strong correlation between resistance to this and racism.

  25. Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Thinking more about this, I see no reason for banning any headgear in Congress. I do not think there is a decorum issue. After all, no one wears shorts and tees to Congress. Get rid of the ban altogether.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Yes, make it instead about having a dress code that says to dress appropriately and in a way that respects the institution.

  26. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    A politician wearing some religious garb is a sign they are committed to their religion first, the country second.

    • Historian
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      This may or may not be true. You would have to examine each politician’s views on their own merits. But even if this is true for particular politicians, their constituents still voted them into office. This process is called democracy.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        If it was me (I know this is silly), I’d have left the religious show at home, because it is obviously an overt distraction and promotes my own personal religion.

    • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      That sounds a bit Trumpian.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        OH

        Yes

        So what I of course mean, is they’d be focused on representing the people of the country. It’s semantics.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Some evangelical politicians, such as Ted Cruz, actually brag about it, saying “I am a Christian first. I am an American second. I’m a conservative third. And I’m a Republican fourth.”

      • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        Imagine a politician saying I am a Muslim, or a Jew, first and an American second.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          “Sharia!!1!1!!”

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted November 25, 2018 at 2:08 am | Permalink

        I didn’t know about Mr Cruz, but I remember Mr Pence repeating: “I’m a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order” ad nauseam.
        Admittedly he did’t mention ‘American’.
        Maybe that would be a good question: “Mr Vice, are you a Christian first or an American first?” and then see him try to wriggle out of it.

  27. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a problem to ponder for the vast majority of those here who voted “no”: the First Amendment’s framers saw fit to write into its text an express protection for “the Free Exercise [of Religion].” Certainly, they didn’t intend that clause to be a nullity; it must mean something. So what does it mean, if not that under some circumstances government should accommodate religion?

    (Personally, I’d like to see whatever rights are protected by the Free Exercise clause subsumed into a broader “freedom of conscience” protected by the First Amendment’s Free Speech clause, applicable to the religious and the non- alike. But that ain’t the law as it exists today.)

    • Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      I agree. The First Amendment means something. Just as I accept someone’s right to say something I disagree with, I accept someone’s right to religious expression even though I view religion negatively. Also, it protects my right to express my atheism. What I do not support is using government to promote religious ends, as some are wont to do.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      To me it means the government will not interfere with your right to any religion you want to go with. You are protected from things like what was going on prior in some states. They tended to select a favorite religion and then favor that religion. Sometimes providing tax support of that religion as well. Madison and Jefferson argued and fought against this stuff in Virginia. It is a two-way street. You get to have your religion but your religion also must stay out of government in every way. If you want religion to have a say in government then you may lose your religious freedom.

      • Posted November 23, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        “You get to have your religion but your religion also must stay out of government in every way. If you want religion to have a say in government then you may lose your religious freedom.”

        No. The Constitution does say what the people can have. It says what the government cannot do.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted November 23, 2018 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          Not sure I even understand your last sentence. The govt. shall not establish a religion and will not prohibit the free exercise thereof. If you want your religion to have special treatment by or in government you just risked your free exercise. Go read Reynolds vs United States. Everson V Board of Education. Look at what the states were doing prior to the 1st amendment. They were selecting their preferred religion and the rest were toast.

          You don’t get to have your cake and eat it too.

          • ThyroidPlanet
            Posted December 3, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

            Can you fill this out a bit? It sounds like asserting the right to wear a hijab in Congress is “special treatment”, but is that what you’re saying?

            Also where do I find these legal cases online?

  28. Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I have a real problem with dress codes in general. IMO, people should only be mandated to wear clothing for safety reasons (e.g., fireproof lab coats in chemistry labs).

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Add a little cover-up requirement for those in the buffet line, too. 🙂

  29. CJColucci
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Until this story broke, how many people knew or thought that Jews couldn’t wear yarmulkes in Congress? What, if anything, did they think then?

    • Posted November 26, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      I actually found it remarkable that given the history of Judaism in the US that nobody had complained about it.

  30. Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Excellent post. I just wish to point that I think “opposing it” (BDS) should be “supporting it” – this is how I understand the sentence.

  31. Lee
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I fear the explosion in hat use in the halls of Congress will be yet another distraction and means of polarization. I would feel more comfortable if the requirement against head coverings were upheld, with the exception that if someone had a strong reason to do otherwise, was required to seek a waiver from an ethics committee. Valid justifications for allowing head gear would include medical necessity, religious *requirements* (e.g. the person would be in danger of sanction by their religion if they did otherwise), etc.

    Be it remembered that representatives are there to *represent* the people of their district, not the members of their religious sect. They are not there to visibly inject religion into one of this secular country’s most secularly sacred processes.

  32. Posted November 23, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Headgear is superfluous to good ideas.
    If religion get’s a pass, then ALL get a pass.
    I like the idea of an array of hats diminishing religious headgear as nothing special, zero meaning other than a head
    warmer (as we know it is)
    What comes out of the headgear wearers mouth is what really needs to be scrutinised, the headgear is loaded with deference (to god, to vikings?) to status and identity.
    Can’t be bothered with all the baggage.
    You could look cool or daft, which might push your ideas or degrade them. Risky but colourful…
    So make a BIG stand for a display of subservience to your ideals but for people of reason it should be easy to negate a “hat” from the talking coming from under it.

  33. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Jerry —

    I think most state universities make some accommodation so that Jewish professors and students are excused from attending regularly-scheduled classes on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Do you think that accommodation of religion is unwise (or unconstitutional)?

    I’ve certainly never thought so, but I don’t subscribe to an interpretation of the constitution that says government is prohibited from accommodating religion (and have difficulty in seeing how it could be reconciled with a constitutional interpretation that does).

    • Posted November 26, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      In the universities I’ve attended (Canadian public, which legally is the only thing available, and one US private – CMU, which is quite secular) one is asked for something like accommodation requests, including excused absences, in advance.

      CMU also did the “floating late day” policy in many courses, too, which I thought was a great idea for other schedule flexibility – useful because students take increasingly varied packages of courses. (One has N days of late for assignments for the semester. No questions asked, no penalties. But also NONE granted beyond the N.)

  34. Gabrielle
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Gurbir Grewal is the Attorney General of New Jersey, a position he’s had since 2017. He is a Sikh and wears his turban on the job. Do those who oppose the headscarf in Congress also oppose a person such as Grewal serving in Congress, unless he agrees to remove the turban?
    Congress already has some arcane rules on appropriate dress, that are outdated. It’s only since last year that women have been allowed to wear sleeveless dresses in the House or in the lobby adjacent to the House chamber, where reporters gather. It was only after an uproar over a CBS reporter being thrown out of the lobby that the rule was changed.

  35. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Would it be fair to request them to prove their Sincerely Held Beliefs?

    Doesn’t matter because they aren’t required to pass a religious test.

    So

    hijab.

  36. George
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Here’s my issue with a hostile posture here (and know that I’m a rabid, hardline athiest). The 1st amendment argues for no ESTABLISHMENT of religion. Not for its absence. I’m ok allowing religious expression in pubic service. Observant NYPD Sikhs want to wear turbans? Ok. Lieberman wears a yarmulke? Let him have it. Omar wants her hijab? Fine. What’s the issue? There is no secular equivalent here. No secular requirement for clothing…except that you wear some. This doesn’t hurt us. At all. We lose nothing if this lady is allowed to wear a scarf. We should have no dog in this fight.

    As long as Omar isn’t insisting that the whole House convert and wear hijabs as well, who cares?

    Man, the US climate report came out today and we’re all gonna die. Priorities.

    • BJ
      Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      “The 1st amendment argues for no ESTABLISHMENT of religion. Not for its absence.”

      Great point succinctly said. Thanks.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted November 24, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      +1

  37. W.Benson
    Posted November 23, 2018 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    I just voted “yes” because it was a bad f**king choice. Apparently Xians are allowed to use crucifixes and Mormons magic underwear when congress is in session, why not religious halos, horns, scarfs or whatever to identify the lame brains? The 1837 rule as I understand it, was for the sake of decorum: Men should not wear hats inside a house. The rule should be, in my view, elected member of congress can wear what they please. After all, this is (still) America.

  38. Posted November 23, 2018 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Wear a backwards baseball cap and declare it the official headwear of Ceilingcatism.

    -Ryan

  39. Neil Wolfe
    Posted November 24, 2018 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    If politicians are going to advertise their religious affiliation they should also make their financial affiliations clear.
    “Politicians should wear sponsor jackets like Nascar drivers, then we know who owns them.” -Robin Williams

  40. Pray Hard
    Posted November 24, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Islam gets a pass, ISLAM. Just say it … ISLAM.

  41. eric
    Posted November 24, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Meh, this seems like it could be a reasonable accommodation. As long as they (1) make reasonable exceptions in other cases (I’m thinking someone who has lost their hair due to chemo), and (2) don’t allow religious people to abuse the privilege by wearing high-fashion “religious” garb just because they can, I’m okay with it.

  42. Don
    Posted November 24, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I voted no because generally I don’t like carve outs for religion. I would rather see a rule allowing all head covering or maybe require respectful and dignified dress that would allow her headscarf but might prevent some of the more ridiculous things people may try as stunts. I also realize that no rule or law is perfect and if someone wants to push the limits they will find a way. Finally, I agree that this really isn’t a hill to die on.

  43. Hempenstein
    Posted November 24, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Bernie Sanders, after years of steadfastly refusing to join the Democratic Party, joined and immediately started carping about their rules. Whenever any of my uber-Left friends friends would complain about resistance to this from the Dems, I always replied that it was just human nature to resist complaints about your organization from someone who just joined it.

    Now we have someone else who is about to join a group immediately wanting an exception for herself, while virtue-signalling that it includes people with medical needs.

    She might have better luck first tallying up all those who wear wigs, put a bit of hair in hers, and claim that it’s just another wig.

    Or, demand that the rule apply to wigs, too, and stop there. That would prevent Agent Orange from appearing on the floor with his rug.

  44. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted November 26, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    This is how the Democrats are pissing away what little credibility they had as being a viable alternative to the Trumpettes. Submitting to absurd demands from religious folks when done by governments at any level in the USA is a violation of the constitution which the Trumpettes will gleefully use to promote their agenda.

    • GBJames
      Posted November 26, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      This will have pretty much zero negative affect for Democrats. Most will be supportive. There’s only a subset of us atheists who are arguing about is.

  45. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 28, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    “Let us be absolutely clear about one thing: we must not confuse humility with false modesty or servility.” -Paulo Coelho

  46. Steve Slaughter
    Posted December 9, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    This goes against church and state plain and simple


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