Two related stories

Canada:

A Nova Scotia teenager who made international headlines for getting suspended from school after wearing a T-shirt with a Christian message didn’t attend classes on Monday and may be leaving the school for good.

William Swinimer, a Grade 12 student at Forest Heights Community School in Chester Basin, N.S., was suspended last Monday after repeatedly wearing to class a bright yellow T-shirt with the slogan “Life is wasted without Jesus” despite a request from the principal not to.

On Friday, the suspension was reversed and he was expected to resume classes on Monday, wearing the shirt. The school had planned to hold a special talk about religious freedoms.

But instead, he arrived on campus early Monday morning with his father, who abruptly pulled him out of the school, saying he doesn’t want anything to do with the school’s planned discussions about the balance between religious freedom and students’ rights to not have their beliefs criticized. [emphasis added]

India:

CR 61/2012, Juhu Police Station, has been filed against miracle-buster Sanal Edamaruku, who is also founder-president of the Rationalist International, which has scientists such as Richard Dawkins in it.

The FIR [apparently a First Information Report -EV] has been filed under IPC Sec 295A: Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs….

The whole story began on March 5, when during a TV programme in Delhi, Sanal dismissed reports that the “dripping cross” outside Vile Parle’s Velankanni church was a miracle….

Later on March 10, Sanal attributed the water dripping from the Jesus statue to capillary action of underground water near the cross. His photographs, displayed on TV-9, showed seepage on the wall behind the cross and on the ground near its base. “I removed one of the stones covering a canal for dirty water nearby, and found that water had been blocked there. Once water is blocked, it will find an outlet, if not downwards, then upwards. Every student knows that trees get water through capillary action.” [emphasis added]

There is a right to freedom of expression, or a right to not be offended. Pick one.

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About Damian P.

Lawyer with Bedford Law, Bedford, Nova Scotia.
This entry was posted in Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Religion, Nova Scotia. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Two related stories

  1. Gordon Dundas says:

    I’m beginning to think the the T-shirt is only a small part of the story and while I think the actions of the school were wrong . I also suspect the kid is a major league jerk and from what little I’ve seen of the father it may very well run in the family.

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