I can understand why many followers of belief systems like to wear symbols of their belief. It seems harmless to wear a a small gold cross on a chain or a Star of David to tell others that they are a believer but I find it offensive. I know I shouldn't but I do.
I do not believe in any of the current belief systems and yet daily I am subjected to a barrage of symbols that erect a barrier between the person wearing the symbol and me. I have to respect their right to confront me with maybe a symbol that I find unpleasant and offer no criticism or comment. It is their right but I really wish they wouldn't.
I can't help it but most of these symbols scare me stiff. I am especially frightened by the Islamic head scarf as I know if Islam had its way I should be in a burka. To me that headscarf means imprisonment and slavery for life for women and yet I am not allowed to say so or show any displeasure.
I know if I see a Sikh turban that somewhere on that person is a hidden dagger that could kill me. I find this offensive that because of the belief system this person feels s/he has a right to kill me.
A cross appears harmless but I was raised in a school that had symbols of a tortured man nailed to one of these in every classroom. Instead of concentrating on my school work I was wondering what it felt to have nails hammered through ones hands and feet. To me a simple cross means torture.
When I see a Star of David or a male skull cap I know that this person knows s/he is far superior to me and looks down on me as I am not a member of the Chosen Race. At school in Golders Green I had to put up with the taunts of 'Goy' as I left the station by young men in skull caps.
I am expected to put up with all this and I do but I feel it puts up a barrier between them and me that ought not to be there. I felt this last week when buying some hi tech equipment. The lovely young shop assistant wore an Islamic headdress which it is her right to do but I found it difficult to treat her as a normal person because I consider this a badge of feminine discrimination that should not be allowed today! I felt very uncomfortable indeed.
I think all belief system symbols would be better kept out of the public arena. Everyone would be happier. Well I would.