The Mt. Athos Orthodox monastery in Greece (see it in context here) does not allow females to enter and hasn't for centuries. But, as Ann Coulter reports, the European Parliament is not happy with this state of affairs.
Who could object to such an arrangement? The European Parliament, that’s who. You see Mt. Athos is all male. Only males who are monks can reside there. Only males can visit.
That violates today’s extremist ideology. That ideology demands that there never be separation between the sexes. No all-boy schools. Not even boys’ choirs. Even in athletics there is a challenge to the male domination of some sports.
What makes this ideology capable of being exercised in the first place? We need to look at what basic right is at stake. What is violated here is not just freedom of religion. The violation of freedom of religion is a side-effect of a more fundamental violation of the basic right of freedom of association. This is a right that is rarely defended in the current era.
This followed the Strasbourg Parliament’s adoption of its annual report on human rights in the EU, which called on Greece to abolish legislation that imposes 2 to 12-month jail terms on women caught entering the easternmost leg of the Halkidiki peninsula, from which all women have been banned for over 1,000 years.
The report also urged Athens to allow the construction of mosques and Muslim cemeteries, to legalize proselytism and to ease draft terms for conscientious objectors.
The Greek Orthodox Church, in its latest Ecclesia Report, announced that "the plenary session of the Euro-Parliament passed a proposal-report prepared by French Euro-deputy Fode Sylla concerning the EU Fundamental Rights situation for 2002, which includes, among others, a reference to the special status enjoyed by the monastic community of Mount Athos, in northern Greece."
According to the Euro-deputies, the controversial point is that the isles of Athos do not allow entry to women. The Euro-deputies see this prohibition as an infringement on women's human rights, so they asked the Greek government to revise the prohibition.
· In the Greek monastery of Mount Athos, nothing female is allowed. Men can enter but not women; roosters but no hens; horses but no mares; bulls but no cows. The border is patrolled by armed guards to ensure that nothing feminine passes the gates. It has been this way for more than 700 years.
To repeat myself, why is there so little recognition today of a right to free association? Granted, it was not mentioned as a fundamental right in the US Bill Of Rights. But I suspect if James Madison had been able to see the future he would have written one in. Imagine that you wanted to give a dinner party and you sent out a guest list and the government found out about it and insisted that you couldn't restrict who could come to your house for the party. Wouldn't you think that was a moral outrage? Why is this any different? Why can't a church choir be able to be all boys if that is what the church wanted? Why shouldn't a country club be able to be all males or all South Carolinians or all people with green eyes, or all people with double joints if that is their preference? Why shouldn't we have total control over who we associate with outside of the corridors of government?
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 September 25 03:06 PM Cultural Wars Western|