Purity rings and hats of meat: what’s God got to do with it?

The Silver Ring Thing case has been thrown out of court on the entirely reasonable grounds that wearing a purity ring is as much a part of mainstream Christianity as wearing a hat made of meat. The only downside is that my plans to send my own child to school dressed as either a ninja or a pirate to honour the Flying Spaghetti Monster have been ruined by the judgement.

As ever, online comments prove that people never let the article get in the way of their opinions. From the Daily Mail’s article on the case:

Last year, Muslim Shabina Begum, 15, fought to wear a jilbab – a long loose gown – in class, and earlier this year a 12-year-old who cannot be named battled a Buckinghamshire girls’ school for the right to wear a full-face veil. Both were granted legal aid, and both lost their cases.

Presumably that was too far down the article for the commenters to read. Here’s genius number one.

Would not dare ban the ring if it was any other relgion than christrianity. What a country that denies its own culture and promotes others.

Our own culture? The Silver Ring Thing is American, and was created by a youth minister in 1995. It arrived in the UK in 2004.

Come in number two!

Another case of religious freedom for anyone but Christians…

This is not a religious thing. It’s a business thing. Irrespective of its intentions, The Silver Ring Thing is a business that sells costume jewellery, clothing, DVDs and training courses – and the girl at the centre of this case is the daughter of two key figures in the UK franchise for that business. That SRT claims to be non-profit is irrelevant: it’s not a registered charity, and therefore its status is identical to any other limited company. It’s no different to a McDonalds.

Actually, that’s a thought – a marketing opportunity for your local burger bar. Jesus was a fisher of men, yeah? Well, that means preventing kids from eating Filet-O-Fish in class is a breach of their right to religious expression! Yeah!

Let’s backtrack. School has uniform policy, kid breaks uniform policy by wearing costume jewellery, kid gets away with it until she recruits a bunch of other kids to buy the same jewellery from her parents’ business, kid claims religious persecution and nearly costs the school £12,000 in legal fees. What a nice, heartwarming story. Maybe the Beeb should rewrite its intro:

A 16-year-old girl was not discriminated against when she was banned from modelling her parents’ jewellery range in class, the High Court has ruled.

Jon from London, you’re a breath of fresh air:

The school isn’t banning the universally accepted symbol of Christianity – pupils can wear a crucifix if they so choose. It is banning, under its existing rules, a piece of jewellery – the purpose of which was almost unknown in this country until all the free publicity generated by this court action. A court action started by Lydia’s parents (who also just happen to be the UK agents for the movement’s founders in the US – from whose webshop the ring can be exclusively purchased along with a range of other expensively priced ‘merchandise’).

Update, 18 July.

As Simon Pickstock points out over at the PC Answers blog, Ministry Of Truth uncovered key information that changes the story completely, and it’s appalling that MOT’s information hasn’t been reflected in any of the subsequent coverage:

It’s a shame that traditional news sources can’t be so thorough in their reporting, especially when it makes the front page of so many papers.