TheKrikkitWars wrote:The way this was put to me by a french friend (who is an english/french/outdoor ed teacher) of mine is thus... "In france, as a citizen you're FRENCH first, and everything else second... Your responsibility to france and your fellow frenchmen is the most important one; Religion can take up whatever space you have left if you like." (I'm not sure if he's as blunt in his mother tongue, he did learn English in glasgow)
By way of comparison: Americans seem to think of themselves as American after they've thought of everything else... Being a citizen of the US, figures somewhere behind say, being a Brooklyn Dodgers fan or the owner of a classic muscle car... From a European perspective it's a brave new world on the other side of the Atlantic.
Gonna have to disagree with that. Every major sports event is started with the National Anthem, and it is expected that you remove your hat and stand during it, regardless of which sports team you're rooting for. Every school in the nation starts their morning with the Pledge of Allegiance as well. Its more that "Being American" means accepting the melting pot of cultures. America is what it is because we're one of the few countries in the world that accepts other cultures. We technically have no national language, we have no national religion. This is so that you are free to speak your own language, and practice your own religion.
Our culture is the melting pot. Your responsibility as an American is to accept other cultures as they melt into our own. We call ourselves the "Country of Immigrants"... because cultural diversity is itself an American trait.
philsov wrote:It's a case where being "free to practice your religion" and being "not free to push your religion on others" are mutually exclusive. If there's a christian sect whose tenets include witnessing and preaching, it's a similar situation; they cannot be members of that sect, logically, if they aren't legally permitted to bother others about their worldview.
In this case, yes, it's unfortunate that it has to occur, but it's better to err on the side of people not messing with each. I'm free to flail my arms around wildly, but if I hit someone in the process it's a bad thing. If I'm stuck in a crowded room, I lose the right to flail because I will hit someone. Welcome to society.
Welcome to America.
Jehovah's Witnesses are annoying, but it is their legal right to preach in public. If you're a tourist, just accept their bible / papers, say "thank you" and move on. Hold onto it till you get to your hotel, so that other members of that church don't bother you.