A lovely music video with a modern twist to an ancient hymn to the Sun Goddess Saule:
In days of yore I was an undergraduate at York University, here in lovely Toronto Canada. I have to admit that I found it odd that my university would cancel classes for 3 days out of the year that were not considered statutory holidays (Bank Holidays to you Brits) – Yom Kippur & Rosh Hashana (sp?). But it was 3 days off from school, and what self-respecting student wouldn’t love to not having to go into class at an ungodly 8am.
Most recently there was a complaint lodged that this practice is discriminatory. The Ontario Human Rights Commission agreed and York University is to stop this discriminatory practice. Now, it appears that it was not a student complained – god forbid that some pimple faced self-centred 18 year old would actually think of religious rights.. that doesn’t happen until the 3rd or 4th year of university. It was a professor who lodged the complaint.
Officially, yes, the practice is discriminatory as it tends to favour those of Jewish Faith. But I ask now, if it is unfair to favour the Jewish students, why are we still favouring Christian students? — Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday. These three days the university is closed, as is any other educational institution in this country.
I went in to St. Joseph’s Health Centre here in Toronto to have some staples removed. Early last week I went in for a very minor procedure – to remove a rather large cyst on my head (near the hairline). I had an appointment today to have the staples removed.
I went in to the registration office of the “Ambulatory Care Centre” – a fancy way of saying out-patient clinic – to register and let them know that I had shown up for my appointment. I dutifully gave them my hospital card and my health card, so that they could then in turn update my patient file and charge OHIP for the visit.
During the registration I got the strangest question which just shocked me… “what is the name of your church?”. I was flabbergasted, to say the least. What does my religious affiliation have to do with my requiring a medical professional to pull some staples from me? It’s a publicly funded hospital, therefore it doesn’t matter what the patient’s religion is, the hospital still has to treat them. My answer was “I prefer not to say”. The response I got was a long stare, as if she was daring me to give in and tell her.
For me this goes to the heart of the separation of Church & State. It’s a Catholic hospital which got grandfathered into the public health system. As a Catholic hospital it does not recognise same-sex relationships (so if your partner is in the ER or ICU you are not considered a family member) nor does it perform abortions; though, as per a Supreme Court ruling abortions are no longer illegal, but a doctor cannot be forced to perform one. I personally do not like the idea that an institution that receives public funding can inflict, yes inflict, it’s religious mores on the general public. I had no say in the matter as to which hospital was the site of my minor surgical procedure – that’s where the plastic surgeon has surgical priviledges. So if I have no say in where my treatment will occur, therefore being forced to go to a catholic hospital, I am in a sense being forced to abide by religious tenents which do not fit in with my outlook on life and spirituality.
I personally hold to the idea that institutions with religious affiliations should not received public funding unless they are prepared to abide by the general rules – i.e., don’t ask me my religion when I go in for an outpatient appointment, don’t ask me who my spiritual advisor is, and don’t assume that I will want to be receiving the eucharist while recovering from surgery.