Monday, March 06, 2006

Holy Bible, Holy Crap!

So I am officially a full-time civil servant. A permanant employee of the Ontario Provincial Government, with all the bells and whistles that go along with that vaunted position. I can look forward to full benefits, a pension, union dues, and a life chained behind a desk - all in anticipation of the blessed day of my retirement 35 years in the future. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

At the induction interview, it took all of my willpower not to run out of the room, screaming and beating my chest. The permanence of this whole thing is rather daunting. Who wants to think about a day 35 years into the future? I am just starting my life for godsakes! Contemplating the endless days of red tape drudgery, makes me go a little crazy in my head.

Fortunately, I realize that since things are only as fixed as you make them, I can quit whenever I need to, and I must admit, that the stability is comforting in it's own bureaucratic way.

No. In all honesty, what really made me uncomfortable was the black book sitting on the corner of the table. Big gold letters stared back at me, proclaiming "Holy Bible." Would you believe I had to swear an oath on the Holy Bible before I could be inducted into the civil service? It didn't really mean anything to me...I am essentially a-religious - as in I'm neither for or against it - so I put my hand right on God's book and took the oath. What difference did it make to me? None whatsoever.

But what of those individuals who believe strongly in the Koran or some other religious text? What if the Bible completely contradicts what you believe? Should you be forced to swear on the Bible to retain your job? There are real consequences to not taking the oath. If you are fired or let go, and you didn't take the oath, weeeelllll...no severance package for you, even if you gave 35 years of your life in service to the government!

Section 2 of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms constitutionally guarantees fundamental freedoms, like freedom of expression, thought, association and religion. The last time I checked, Ontario was still a part of Canada. If that's the case, how can this oath swearing business be legal? As far as I'm concerned, this is in direct contradiction to your fundamental rights as a Canadian citizen.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I am so in agreement here, especially because our President has made religion such a polarizing part of his administration. I don't know what it's like in Canada but I feel for you in this situation...