Thursday, December 29, 2016

NYPD Allowing Turbans: Not Good!

In what is being called a "gesture of goodwill," NYPD's Commissioner James O'Neill who took over in September after Commissioner Bratton retire has made a big change. He is allowing the display of religion on police uniforms. Sikhs who join the force will now be allowed to wear turbans and one inch beards.  This change was made to accommodate the religious beliefs of Sikhs.  Sikhs wear turbans as a sign of identity and to promote equality as well as care of the hair.

A few of my atheist friends in NYC are having issue with it and I can see why.  I too am not liking the idea. A police officer represents his or her city or community, not a religion. Wearing a turban as part of the uniform is an endorsement of religion, in this case, Sikhism. This goes against separation of Church and State. While I am all for religious freedom, I am not for the imposition of religion in a government run institution such as the military or police. What is next?  Will there be navy blue yalmuke with NYPD logos allowed for Jewish officers? Hopefully the policy will be overturned.  I invite other Catholics and my brothers and sister in the atheism ideology to protest this decision.

A friend of mine who is a priest was assigned to work as a chaplain in the NYPD years ago.  He was not allowed to wear his roman collar and was forced to wear the police uniform of the chaplain. This uniform is similar to the dress uniform of officers, but has a differ badge and religious pips.

Those who join the police must accept the uniform as is or just not join it.

Voice your concerns to the commissioner here:


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