Spain: the Govt wants to forbid religious images in taxis

This verges on obsession… if in the end is true (something that is possible and probable):

Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Rubens)

Image via Wikipedia

It is not uncommon to see in taxis religious images, especially of the Virgin Mary, among the self-employed taxi sector. This tradition continues especially in Andalusia, where the image of a local virgin, as well as of St. Christopher, patron saint of drivers, have become iconic symbols for these workers. Industry representatives have complained that, with the Religious Freedom Act, will be forced to remove religious symbols from their cars. The Government contends that, under the principle of secularism, possession of symbols or clothing that express a religious affiliation in public services be prohibited.
This law prohibits carrying “overt” symbols (ie visible and taken with the intent to be seen) of belonging to a religion. “Instead of banning things that do not harm anyone, the Govt should worry about those who search through Spanish dumpsters for food“,complains Alvaro Sevilla, a taxi driver that has no problem in displaying an image of the Virgen del Rocío over the glove compartment of his vehicle. Like him, his colleagues do not understand a measure that would end a practice of many taxi drivers, so they require “greater flexibility in this regard
“There is no secular symbol that comfors me more than a picture of the Virgen del Carmen”, says Alberto Ibáñez, a businessperson from Cordoba. He remembers excited a serious accident at the entrance of Lucena and in which he was miraculously saved by that image. At least he feels that and hasn’t found any standard secular value that makes he think otherwise. Another partner of the province of Montilla  (Cordoba) recalled that on one occasion, a temporary worker from the Maghreb complained about the presence of a small crucifix with the wheel and for that reason, refused to travel on board in the “blasphemous” vehicle.

More here.

4 comments on “Spain: the Govt wants to forbid religious images in taxis

  1. Well, a couple of years ago, I read that Zapatero wanted to ban La Romería del Rocío. Obviously, someone dissuaded him, hope he gets dissuaded again.

    • Claudia says:

      Hope so. But I think Spain has much more problems to be dealt with than taxicabs having Virgins displayed (I don’t see that as a problem at all: it’s just an example of freedom of religion, I wouldn’t mind someone who believed in something else carrying a prayer or something).

      And no, I don’t think a burqa is the same….

  2. This law prohibits carrying “overt” symbols (ie visible and taken with the intent to be seen) of belonging to a religion.Does this include the veil and burka as well?

    • Claudia says:

      I don’t know. We will see what it says when it gets approved in Parliament…

      In any case, I don’t think that an image of the Virgin in a taxicab is the same as burqa or the niqab…

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