Diversity Matters 1
Reported in The Soaraway Current Bun (where else?) was an article describing how an Orthodox Jewish police recruit has been given Friday afternoons off as it's the Jewish Sabbath (if it's not deemed too damaging or demeaning to call them "recruits" these days - it's probably something soft and fluffy like "trainee officer", "student officer", "constable in training", "student", "person who happens to be learning policing and the law but no bloody discipline or anything that might be considered disciplined, uniform or militaristic" or something like that)(we are also not encouraged to call them "squibs", "bloody probationers" or "gobby probbies" either [Boo!]).
Some people have been disparaging about this but "Splendid!", say I!
The Anglican church is the official religion of the UK (like it or not) and observes many of the rites of the Roman Church. As such, these include Holy Days of Obligation and there are [excuse the pun] MASSES of them! Including most Sundays! Far be it for me to go against the precepts of the Vatican and the edifice of the Anglican Communion and NOT go to Church on Sundays now, even the Sundays I work, and of these there are many. I shall ensure I am shriven on Shrove Tuesday and receive the ashes on Ash Wednesday, all with a happy smile and jaunty step!
Of course nobody knows quite how orthodox this reportedly Orthodox Jew is - my Jewish friends, though at the time of writing this is unconfirmed, inform me that in Israel there is universal National Service for men and women, except the Orthodox community, and that this is due to issues such as the one above - there are too many rules of the Talmud and particularly around "Shabbat" that it would be impractical to have Hassidic and similar communities in the armed forces. They are therefore exempt. [here, I have to pause and consider my sources - word of mouth from people who are very "right-on" and as a result, have no support for anything they consider to be in any way fundamentalist - but these are my friends! I am open to correction and education on any points that are inaccurate or misleading]
There is not necessarily a parallel to the policing situation here, but there may be.
If one's faith - any faith - precludes one's ability to do a 24hours a day job like policing, is one in the right job? Can we be "of faith" and still police effectively and without being a burden to our colleagues?
Incidentally, looking up some references on-line to illustrate today's 'blog, I came upon some horrendously anti-Semitic sites, especially some US ones. This certainly highlights the need for diversity but surely, SURELY there is some common, central ground: not being fascists with minorities but not being unrealistically and impractically accommodating either? These questions and issues, I suspect, will run and run......