A recent editorial in the Toronto Sun caught my eye. Alan Shanoff wrote about a religious group in Alberta called the Hutterian Brethren, who are arguing before the Supreme Court of Canada that they should be exempt from having their pictures taken for driver's licenses. It seems the Hutterian Brethren take very literally the second commandment, which states, in part:
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth (Exodus 20:4).According to the Brethren, this commandment prevents them from voluntarily having their picture taken, which they interpret as 'making an idol.' Leaving off the fact that they seem to be quoting the verse out of context, and misinterpreting their own scripture, their argument is that the Government of Alberta, in refusing to issue driver's licenses to people who decline to have their picture taken, is infringing on their right to freely practice their religion.
Actually, their argument is slightly more complex than that. According to the Shanoff article, the Government of Alberta is preventing them from "continuing their communal way of life." Whatever that means.
Those of you who have been reading AWV for a while probably know my response to this. As I did for Mr. Balinder Badesha a few months ago, I have a couple of questions for the Hutterian Brethren:
1) Does your religion prevent you from posing for a driver's license photo?We know the answer to this question, because it is the basis of their argument before the Supreme Court. (In case you weren't paying attention, their answer to the first question is, "yes."
2) Does your religion require you to operate a motor vehicle?Now, here's the thing, uh, Brethren. If you try to answer, "yes," to this one, I'm gonna hafta ask for some kinda, you know, documentation. You're gonna hafta show me where, in your Holy Book, God says, "thou shalt operate motorized vehicles on public roadways." 'Cause, you know, I've read it, and I'm pretty sure that isn't in there.
So, for the record: requiring you to adhere to the law does not, in any way, infringe upon your right to believe silly things. Case dismissed.
Also, Alberta beef. Mmmm!