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Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

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Sigma Dome
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Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Sigma Dome » Mon May 04, 2009 5:20 am

I was reading through this proposal as it looks like it stands a good chance of, if not being voted on by the WA proper now being resubmitted and gaining more support, and I was taken aback.

Nowhere in the past WA resolutions has it been stated that the government had to establish a separation of church of state; indeed, in Res. 2 Articles 2 and 3, it is established that nations in general have high sovereignty over matters such as government, religion, internal affairs, et. al. Although some of these sovereign rights have been chipped away through carefully-written resolutions, one that has not been yet taken is the removal of the state-endorsed religion. The closest that such law has come to fruition is in Res. 30, Freedom of Expression Act - but even here the law stops at preventing reprisal for expressing reasonable dissent without regard to the official status of a given group.

This proposal ostensibly makes public education more fair and 'free', but it does so by essentially adding the separation of church and state not explicit in any other act of the WA. It hides its true purpose behind a traditional "someone please think of the children!" appeal that is often so successful in getting otherwise marginal laws passed.

I propose three remedies: either rewrite the law such that a nation with a thus-far legally established state religion would be permitted to give vouchers to parents for private secular education without a complete reformation of the public school system, drop this pretense and go all-out with a proposal specifically separating church and state, or let the individual nations decide within their own sovereign bounds how to handle the situation. As it stands, however, I feel this proposal is flawed and requires redirection.

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Omigodtheykilledkenny
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Omigodtheykilledkenny » Mon May 04, 2009 8:44 am

The proposal was obviously written by an adolescent who is resentful toward his parents for sending him to Catholic school. That said,

Forcing a separation of church and state walks a very fine line between freedom of religion and banning theocracies, which is illegal under the rules. (And might also help explain why the WA and the UN before it has been very wary when touching on religious liberty issues). Mandating secular public education by itself may not be illegal, but is certainly a stupid idea, as it really is a silly thing to bother the international community over, and would do little else than piss off a lot of nations who prefer to institute their own public curricula without WA interference.
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Tessaglia
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Tessaglia » Mon May 04, 2009 3:19 pm

I firmly agree with the respondent above.

Neither the Crown nor the elected representatives of the people of the Kingdom of Tessaglia believe that the Church and the State should influence each other and the Kindom's tenets hold as truth that a firm dividing line between the two must be drawn. Therefore, we applaud the spirit in which this Proposal was written.

However, the Crown's firm stance is that no matter what the Kingdom's position on Church and State may be, the World Assembly has no place dictating a position regarding the subject to it's Member Nations.

The World Assembly must continue to regulate for the greater good without diminishing the diversity found in the numerous nations which make up the honorable body.

Respectfully,

HM Shawn Garza
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Absolvability
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Absolvability » Tue May 05, 2009 8:38 am

The World Assembly must continue to regulate for the greater good without diminishing the diversity found in the numerous nations which make up the honorable body.


I can agree with that, especially with respect to Theocracies. Would it be legal to grant Theocracies some sort of exemption in the matter? Or to consider their school systems to be private in nature?

I like this proposal and would hate to see it fall short simply because we ought not meddle in such affairs. I disagree, for one thing. The best education is a secular education. As far as religious education goes, well, isn't that what a church is for?

Or maybe we could mandate that other views are also taught. Evolution, for example, has been proven by the Rogue Nation's scientists to be a correct theory, though it is still a theory in that science is ever-changing. We certainly shouldn't make evolution the main focus of everybody's curriculum, but it should be included. If only to reinforce the freedom of religion that the CoCR gives us.
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Omigodtheykilledkenny
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Omigodtheykilledkenny » Tue May 05, 2009 10:30 am

Evolution, for example, has been proven by the Rogue Nation's scientists to be a correct theory, though it is still a theory in that science is ever-changing. We certainly shouldn't make evolution the main focus of everybody's curriculum, but it should be included. If only to reinforce the freedom of religion that the CoCR gives us.

Evolution is not a "religion," but I am happy to see it has finally been "proven" correct by your mad scientists; it hasn't been actually proven virtually anywhere else; that's why it's called "theory" and not "fact."

As far as religious education goes, well, isn't that what a church is for?

If you're honestly going to suggest that all Catholic, Baptist, Adventist and other parochial schools close up shop just because you don't like religions running schools, then we might as well skate right over the line and ban theocracies as well. May not be "legal" in the strictest sense of the word (or in any sense), but since when have you cared about the rules?
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Bears Armed
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Bears Armed » Tue May 05, 2009 11:13 am

Omigodtheykilledkenny wrote:
Evolution, for example, has been proven by the Rogue Nation's scientists to be a correct theory, though it is still a theory in that science is ever-changing. We certainly shouldn't make evolution the main focus of everybody's curriculum, but it should be included. If only to reinforce the freedom of religion that the CoCR gives us.

Evolution is not a "religion," but I am happy to see it has finally been "proven" correct by your mad scientists; it hasn't been actually proven virtually anywhere else; that's why it's called "theory" and not "fact."
The standard usage of the word "theory" by scientists is to designate "An idea that is solidly supported by proper evidence", i.e.one that is "proven" within the limits of our current knowledge, not just "an idea": To scientists, in the context of science, It's effectively interchangeable with 'Law'... For example, I've read textbooks that referred to "The Theory of Gravity" rather than "The Law of Gravity".

There's a three-stage process _
Idea: "Maybe this is how it works";
Hypothesis: "If it works like this then an experiment should have 'that ' result";
Theory: "It works like this, as proven by the facts that (etc)".
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Absolvability
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Absolvability » Tue May 05, 2009 12:05 pm

[quote=Bears Armed]The standard usage of the word "theory" by scientists is to designate "An idea that is solidly supported by proper evidence", i.e.one that is "proven" within the limits of our current knowledge, not just "an idea": To scientists, in the context of science, It's effectively interchangeable with 'Law'... For example, I've read textbooks that referred to "The Theory of Gravity" rather than "The Law of Gravity".[/quote]

Thank you very much; I couldn't have said it better myself. I only used evolution as an example. It was obviously meant to be compared to creationism, since it seems that most (if not all?) religions that establish some sort of 'god' or higher power incorporate that into the beginning of existance.

I certainly wasn't proposing that religious schools close up shop. If they are private schools they can do whatever they like. If they are public however, I think they should not exclude anything. Again, evolution was just an example. I'm not very religious but I thought that was a thing we're all familiar with.

[quote=omigodtheykilledkenny]but since when have you cared about the rules?[/quote]

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Philimbesi
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Philimbesi » Tue May 05, 2009 12:15 pm

If they are public however, I think they should not exclude anything. Again, evolution was just an example.


And what about the nations of this body that are theocracies? Where the government and the church are one, what does the delegate from Absolvability suggest they are they do to?
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Absolvability
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Absolvability » Tue May 05, 2009 12:46 pm

[quote=Philimbesi]And what about the nations of this body that are theocracies? Where the government and the church are one, what does the delegate from Absolvability suggest they are they do to?[/quote]

To be honest, I don't know. I was brainstorming a few moments ago. Trying to supply a few vague suggestions in hopes that we might collaborate and come up with ideas. I think this is a worthy piece of legislation if we can provide answers for those very questions.

I said something along the lines of "is it possible for all schools inside of a Theocracy to be considered private?" I'd like an answer to that.

No title of respect is really needed, though I appreciate the effort. If you insist on doing so, you may refer to me as Magistrate. I am not the regional Delegate.
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Philimbesi
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Philimbesi » Tue May 05, 2009 1:20 pm

I think you might find that what you want is already the case. I know in the USoP we don't fund any secluar public education with tax monies as there is a total separation of church and state. Secular schools, as well as non secular schools that are private in nature generate their own funding.

However you will find there are degrees of separation as there are degrees of inclusion. To some the government can fund religious activities as long as equal representation is achieved ergo public monies can be spent, as long as the government does elect one particular religion as the state religion. Others are the exact opposite, the church of whatever is the only church and public schools will teach the gospel of whatever alone.

That's why the WA can't really dip into this kind of thing.
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Omigodtheykilledkenny
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Omigodtheykilledkenny » Tue May 05, 2009 2:16 pm

Bears Armed wrote:The standard usage of the word "theory" by scientists is to designate "An idea that is solidly supported by proper evidence", i.e.one that is "proven" within the limits of our current knowledge...

Well then, I guess that means O.J. definitely did it.

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Maerngau
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Maerngau » Tue May 05, 2009 6:41 pm

Absolvability wrote:[quote=Philimbesi]And what about the nations of this body that are theocracies? Where the government and the church are one, what does the delegate from Absolvability suggest they are they do to?


To be honest, I don't know. I was brainstorming a few moments ago. Trying to supply a few vague suggestions in hopes that we might collaborate and come up with ideas. I think this is a worthy piece of legislation if we can provide answers for those very questions.

I said something along the lines of "is it possible for all schools inside of a Theocracy to be considered private?" I'd like an answer to that.

No title of respect is really needed, though I appreciate the effort. If you insist on doing so, you may refer to me as Magistrate. I am not the regional Delegate.


The representative of Maerngau respectfully asks,

what is the point of making an international law if we are going to, immediately, stipulate that it only applies to certain member states that, in effect, volunteer to have the proposal apply? This seems in effect to be a piece of legislation whose only purpose is to comment on how well certain states" Like" the policies of certain other states.

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Marx-Rawls
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Marx-Rawls » Tue May 05, 2009 11:03 pm

The Republic of Marx-Rawls supports this proposal. With respect to the issue of the theocracies, the first point to note is that this does not violate the rules because it does not mandate the separation of church and state. Secondly, it would be unwise to not apply the resolution to all states. Equality among states is important in the World Assembly. If, however, an exemption for theocracies were included, the resolution would not become pointless. There are presumably countries that are not theocracies but do not have fully secular public education. Relationships between religion and the state are diverse; it is not a simple dichotomy between theocracy and secularism. There many points in between on the continuum of relationships between religion and the state.

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Omigodtheykilledkenny
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Omigodtheykilledkenny » Wed May 06, 2009 6:46 am

Marx-Rawls wrote:The Republic of Marx-Rawls supports this proposal.

You support what proposal? None has been posted here.

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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Philimbesi » Wed May 06, 2009 7:13 am

Marx-Rawls wrote:The Republic of Marx-Rawls supports this proposal. With respect to the issue of the theocracies, the first point to note is that this does not violate the rules because it does not mandate the separation of church and state.


And those nations in this body who's government is the church... therefore where public schools are by law non secular.. this doesn't mandate a separation there? How so honored ambassador?
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Absolvability
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Absolvability » Wed May 06, 2009 7:40 am

Philimbesi wrote:And those nations in this body who's government is the church... therefore where public schools are by law non secular.. this doesn't mandate a separation there? How so honored ambassador?


Actually, I think the Representative from Marx-Rawls makes an interesting point. That a separation of church and school does not constitute a separation of church and state.

When it gets right down to it, we all know that we can't ban theocracies. And who would want to? Not me. However, when one takes into consideration resolutions like the CoCR that enforce anti-discrimination laws in regard to religion, doesn't it seem like even a Theocracy should already be promoting knowledge of other religions? Or at least not persecuting. Forcing everybody into the same church is just about the same, if you ask me. And it only gets worse when you begin to incorporate it into the school systems. The point is this-- FREEDOM of religion.

But I'm not trying to suggest that we bend the rules in order to 'do what's right.' I'm suggesting that, for the most part, leeway has already been made for the enactment of secular schools. It seems, in fact, the logical next step. I've already said that we might consider all schools within a Theocracy to be private. Consider-- even if the VAST majority of the public funds them, it can still be considered private since, in a Theocracy, funding comes from a church rather than a government. So to speak. Or, if it can't be considered private, perhaps the schools in a Theocracy could be considered churches.

These are a few ideas for excluding Theocracies by including a definition of 'public' schools for the sake of the proposal, without breaking the rules as far as compliance goes.

Maerngau wrote:what is the point of making an international law if we are going to, immediately, stipulate that it only applies to certain member states that, in effect, volunteer to have the proposal apply? This seems in effect to be a piece of legislation whose only purpose is to comment on how well certain states" Like" the policies of certain other states.


We can't stipulate that any resolutions only apply to certain member states. That is illegal. It is also illegal to 'ban' Theocracies, much like it is illegal to ban capitalism or socialism. What we CAN do, if we're clever enough, is confine the resolution to a certain type of school... that, intentionally, Theocracies do not have.
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Philimbesi » Wed May 06, 2009 8:00 am

Absolvability wrote:Actually, I think the Representative from Marx-Rawls makes an interesting point. That a separation of church and school does not constitute a separation of church and state.
When it gets right down to it, we all know that we can't ban theocracies. And who would want to? Not me. However, when one takes into consideration resolutions like the CoCR that enforce anti-discrimination laws in regard to religion, doesn't it seem like even a Theocracy should already be promoting knowledge of other religions? Or at least not persecuting. Forcing everybody into the same church is just about the same, if you ask me. And it only gets worse when you begin to incorporate it into the school systems. The point is this-- FREEDOM of religion.


But I'm not trying to suggest that we bend the rules in order to 'do what's right.' I'm suggesting that, for the most part, leeway has already been made for the enactment of secular schools. It seems, in fact, the logical next step. I've already said that we might consider all schools within a Theocracy to be private. Consider-- even if the VAST majority of the public funds them, it can still be considered private since, in a Theocracy, funding comes from a church rather than a government. So to speak. Or, if it can't be considered private, perhaps the schools in a Theocracy could be considered churches.


Oh for the love of... Honored Ambassador... In a theocracy... the church IS the government!! It is by definition a government "ruled by or subject to religious authority. It's a church-state. Five minutes with a dictionary would allow your augments much more weight.

As such if the state is run by the church... then yes this it does constitute a form of separation of church and state. You are saying that the church-state... can't fund the schools unless they teach beliefs against the teachings of the church state.

Can you point me to the phrase Freedom of Religion in the CoCR? The CoCR protects against discrimination on religious basis. In other words a company in church-state can't refuse to hire you on the basis of the fact you don't subscribe to the churches ideology. It says nothing about an entire nation having to promote other religions. Clause 1d encouraged diversity education yes... HOWEVER 1) it's simply that encouraged, 2) it mentions nothing of requiring that education to be done publicly funded schools.
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Absolvability » Wed May 06, 2009 8:33 am

Philimbesi wrote:Oh for the love of... Honored Ambassador... In a theocracy... the church IS the government!! It is by definition a government "ruled by or subject to religious authority. It's a church-state. Five minutes with a dictionary would allow your augments much more weight.


I understand what the words mean. Trust me, when I'm not sure, I look it up. Lots of resolutions include their own definition of a word, however, to help define the perameters of effect. I'm discussing definitions that could be used to benefit our intentions here while protecting the rights of Theocracies.

[quote=Philimbesi]Can you point me to the phrase Freedom of Religion in the CoCR? The CoCR protects against discrimination on religious basis. In other words a company in church-state can't refuse to hire you on the basis of the fact you don't subscribe to the churches ideology. It says nothing about an entire nation having to promote other religions. Clause 1d encouraged diversity education yes... HOWEVER 1) it's simply that encouraged, 2) it mentions nothing of requiring that education to be done publicly funded schools.[/quote]

I could point you to it, sure, but I'd be pointing between lines. Which is why I said that this will be the 'next logical step.' And I speak of tacit/implicit promotion. Sure, we can't discriminate. But where's our follow-through? Keep in mind, Ambassador, that while 'encourages' appears to be a passive word, even it requires compliance. (game coding)
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Philimbesi » Wed May 06, 2009 8:49 am

I understand what the words mean. Trust me, when I'm not sure, I look it up. Lots of resolutions include their own definition of a word, however, to help define the perameters of effect. I'm discussing definitions that could be used to benefit our intentions here while protecting the rights of Theocracies.


When you make statements such as
in a Theocracy, funding comes from a church rather than a government.


I rather think you don't know.



I could point you to it, sure, but I'd be pointing between lines. Which is why I said that this will be the 'next logical step.' And I speak of tacit/implicit promotion. Sure, we can't discriminate. But where's our follow-through? Keep in mind, Ambassador, that while 'encourages' appears to be a passive word, even it requires compliance. (game coding)


The law does what the law says ambassador. A church state could simply sponsor a lecture series entitled "How 'insert name of ideology here' relates to our church"... and be in compliance with 1D. They don't (nor should they have to) teach the other ideology in their schools which a secular education act would dictate.

Further it has nothing to do with the how a nation rates livestock or whatever you mean by game coding.
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Absolvability » Wed May 06, 2009 9:23 am

Again, I'm just mentioning a few ways it could be said. Although I have to agree that the sentence you quoted was incorrect.

Does the Representative of Philimbesi have any suggestions? The founder of this thread seems fairly uninterested at the moment. I don't plan on hijacking anybody's idea for a proposal, but I want to help as much as possible. I've been a proponent of 'objectivity,' and I believe secular education is a HUGE step in this direction.
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Philimbesi » Wed May 06, 2009 10:03 am

Short of opposing any attempt to dictate what any nation can or can teach in their schools... no I have no suggestions.

We believe education is not something that we can regulate from here it should be left up to the nation to decide the topics that are taught and how those topics are taught.

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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Bears Armed » Wed May 06, 2009 10:19 am

Absolvability wrote:However, when one takes into consideration resolutions like the CoCR that enforce anti-discrimination laws in regard to religion, doesn't it seem like even a Theocracy should already be promoting knowledge of other religions? Or at least not persecuting. Forcing everybody into the same church is just about the same, if you ask me. And it only gets worse when you begin to incorporate it into the school systems. The point is this-- FREEDOM of religion.

The 'CoCR' allows exceptions "for compelling practical purposes", and although it includes one potential example of such a purpose this -- especially as the 'CoCR' does not say that it represents the upper limit of what's allowable -- is not enough to define that term's scope: As the 'CoCR' does not mention any right of appeal to any WA tribunals (or other 'outside' bodies), either, it is consequently up to each member nation's law-courts to decide whether any exceptions claimed by their governments are compatible with compliance... and in Theocracies (and probably in other nations with 'established' churches, too), isn''t it likely that they'd decide that "teaching people the right beliefs" is an acceptable reason for such an exception?

Absolvability wrote:
Philimbesi wrote:Can you point me to the phrase Freedom of Religion in the CoCR? The CoCR protects against discrimination on religious basis. In other words a company in church-state can't refuse to hire you on the basis of the fact you don't subscribe to the churches ideology. It says nothing about an entire nation having to promote other religions. Clause 1d encouraged diversity education yes... HOWEVER 1) it's simply that encouraged, 2) it mentions nothing of requiring that education to be done publicly funded schools.


I could point you to it, sure, but I'd be pointing between lines.

"between the lines" doesn't count: If the resolution doesn't explicitly say so then member nations are not required to do this.
Absolvability wrote:Bear it in mind Ambassador, that while 'encourages' appears to be a passive word, even it requires compliance.(game coding)
"Encourages" still only asks nations to do something, it doesn't actually require that they do so: [OOC] That's why proposals whose operational clauses only "Encourage" or "'Urge" normally belong at the 'Mild' level, because they don't have significant effects on the nation's stats.[/OOC]
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Absolvability » Wed May 06, 2009 10:43 am

Bears Armed wrote:"between the lines" doesn't count: If the resolution doesn't explicitly say so then member nations are not required to do this.


I know that. I'm saying that this is an established precedent to move on from.

Bears Armed wrote:... and in Theocracies (and probably in other nations with 'established' churches, too), isn''t it likely that they'd decide that "teaching people the right beliefs" is an acceptable reason for such an exception?


That's precisely what I mean. I am trying to unencumber Theocracies from the resolution, if it ever reaches fruition, without so much as expressly excluding them, which would be illegal due to mandatory compliance.

Are you saying that this is indeed possible and legal? That we might unoffensively take advantage of the CoCR for the reasons above?

Bears Armed wrote:"Encourages" still only asks nations to do something, it doesn't actually require that they do so


Couldn't we make use of this also? I'm not trying to blanket anything, as it were.
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Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Urgench » Wed May 06, 2009 10:48 am

Bears Armed wrote:
The 'CoCR' allows exceptions "for compelling practical purposes", and although it includes one potential example of such a purpose this -- especially as the 'CoCR' does not say that it represents the upper limit of what's allowable -- is not enough to define that term's scope: As the 'CoCR' does not mention any right of appeal to any WA tribunals (or other 'outside' bodies), either, it is consequently up to each member nation's law-courts to decide whether any exceptions claimed by their governments are compatible with compliance... and in Theocracies (and probably in other nations with 'established' churches, too), isn''t it likely that they'd decide that "teaching people the right beliefs" is an acceptable reason for such an exception?



The language of this contribution is clear that it is only the opinion of the Free Bears of Bears Armed is it honoured Ambassador ? It looks like the honoured Ambassador is offering what they believe to be a definitive interpretation, something they were happy to reprimand us for doing only days ago.



In any case this interpretation is completely false and reeks of apology for atrocity and enormity. The CoCR is clear about the nature and extent of the kinds of compelling practical purposes for which it is licit to suspend the CoCR's provisions, it does not create a carte blanche for the worst crimes against human freedom and dignity imaginable. To continue to maintain this false view amounts to a sinister campaign of misinformation the purpose of which we may only guess at with trepidation.


Yours,
Last edited by Urgench on Wed May 06, 2009 11:00 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Maerngau
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Founded: May 04, 2009
Ex-Nation

Re: Proposal: Secular Public Education Act

Postby Maerngau » Sat May 09, 2009 6:17 am

Absolvability wrote:
Maerngau wrote:what is the point of making an international law if we are going to, immediately, stipulate that it only applies to certain member states that, in effect, volunteer to have the proposal apply? This seems in effect to be a piece of legislation whose only purpose is to comment on how well certain states" Like" the policies of certain other states.


We can't stipulate that any resolutions only apply to certain member states. That is illegal. It is also illegal to 'ban' Theocracies, much like it is illegal to ban capitalism or socialism. What we CAN do, if we're clever enough, is confine the resolution to a certain type of school... that, intentionally, Theocracies do not have.


Which is manipulative and contrary to the spirit of the WA.
Half Zandorff
Undersecretary for WA Relations
Grand Duchy of Maerngau
Factbook of the Grand Duchy of Maerngau

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