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Religion and Politics:

05/26/2005 01:33 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I found Dan Carol's post below to be quite interesting, and I agree with some parts of it. I also realize that, with the subtitle "A Modest Proposal," it may be deliberately exaggerated for effect.

But I wonder (especially because it echoes things I've heard from others) about his item 7, "That we may need (must need?!!!) to create neutral spaces where people wear white t-shirts and robes and don’t wear religious symbols or gang colors of any kind." No Jews wearing yarmulkes? No people (Christians, Jews, others) wearing religious jewelry? Sorry, no Sikhs allowed -- after all, devout Sikhs feel they must wear a turban, and that's forbidden.

The problem, it seems to me, is with the notion that such a space would be a "neutral" space. There's nothing neutral about a space -- whether created by law or by social norms -- from which some religious people are deliberately excluded, precisely because we somehow want to mute the expression of religious views. Nor do I see much that's tolerant about it, even though tolerance seems to be the core of Mr. Carol's post.