Sorry it's been so long since my last thoughts.
Over the last few days I've been reading many articles and opinions about a certain senator's proposal for control of the burqa in Australia and possible penalties for wearing the burqa in certain places or for parents forcing their children to wear the burqa against their will.
I'm sure we have all heard of the Separation of Church and State but for those of us who need a refresher it's pretty self explanatory. People weren't happy with the idea of certain churches pulling the strings of government when their objectives don't necessarily match the objectives of the nation and it causes unequal representation of members of that church while members of other churches (or no church at all) are left out in the cold.
Now separating government from religion has been a mostly positive thing and greatly encourages religious equality. This principal can be extended to cultural identities as well as religious such as in the case of the burqa. Indeed Australia has long boasted of it's multi-cultural population and it's acceptance of all people but now it seems we were just fibbing and it was more a case of "we welcome all cultures as long as we like them and are allowed to tweak them to suit us".
It seems to me a lot of people have forgotten that separating the state from your religion or culture is a two-way street. If you don't want religion having a hand in your politics you can't want your politics having its hand in religion. If government introduces legislation dictating what people can and cant wear or how parents may dress their children a dangerous precedent is set.
Even if we consider it in an economic sense it seems a terrible idea. Legislation costs money in having teams of people drafting and amending the bill before it is passed, paying all our hard-working federal representatives to review it and vote on it then the cost of trying to have our police officers enforce this ridiculous premise of determining whether a parent is forcing their child to wear something or not. I certainly don't want to pay for all of that even if there were value in disallowing people from wearing certain things.
Maybe we will find our way back to a true path of multiculturalism and forget about trying to change people to suit us.