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French Socialists Get Something Right?

Drudge linked to a news item during the pope's funeral coverage stating that French Socialists were protesting the French flag being lowered to half staff. Here's the twist, under French law, they are right.

Last year, French schools banned all religious articles. This includes yammikas, cross necklaces, and Muslims head scarves. The French government has pursued policies of extreme separation of any church and the state. In terms of the French government, there is freedom from religion.

Having those legal precedents, the socialists are right to protest the government's acknowledgement of the pope's passing. Fair is fair. If the government mandates little Muslim girls can't wear their headscarves and little Jewish boys can't cover their heads in public schools, then it is wrong to lower the flag in honor of the pope.

I should qualify this with my belief that every country should honor the passing of such a great man. He had a tremendous impact on the world and did great things for all mankind. In terms of legality and fairness, the French and Jacques Chirac are once again wrong. Governments must be made of laws, not men, for men are subject to whims, laws are not. Such is the problem the French face, all the government knows are whims, and thus get into trouble.

Posted by · 10 April 2005 06:44 PM


What about the idea that the Pope is a head of state and head of government? That's why it's permissible under the U.S. Flag Code. I would guess that French law is similar.

Compare: The Queen of England is also a (titular) religious leader (the Chruch of England). Would anyone bemoan half-staffing for her when that time comes, either in the U.S. or France?

Posted by: KipEsquire at April 11, 2005 06:15 AM

So, How was the Queen? .......
Really though, I think the Pope deserves a bit of half staffing! He was a great man for our world and our world is a better place because he was in it...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 11, 2005 07:25 PM