(hopefully a harmless distraction from the more serious stuff – so if you are always serious don’t read any further)
I had a student who wore a baseball cap to all my classes. At first I had an emotional response – who does this guy think he is wearing a baseball cap in my class. Then I got used to it and realized – it does not matter if he wears a cap or not. As long as he does the work and acts civilly in class - who cares?
Next thing you know I was a convert. So much so that I wore a hat and got tossed out of a dinner party. My experience is that most people ignore you when you do not remove your hat at a hockey game when the national anthem is being played. But, a few get downright venomous.
Is there some evolutionary advantage of requiring a hat to be removed at certain times or in some venues?
After visiting Hair Club for Men a few years ago and realizing it was way too expensive to buy a new wig every few months and getting locked into an expensive styling plan even more frequently, I decided to go with the immensely cheaper option of wearing stylish hats for my bald spot.
Nobody expects someone to remove their wig when the national anthem is being played – so why should they have to remove their hat which is being used for the same purpose. Removal of a hat for the anthem can be done by the most morally depraved person who has no respect at all for his countries laws. What is wrong with me substituting hat removal with my hand over my heart instead?
What is wrong with me wearing my hat at dinner?
I suspect the majority of people get enraged with people not removing their hat. I am curious as to what a group of freethinkers will say.
The only problem with this whole business is that I barely wear hats any more.
I wear a beaten baseball cap when I mow the lawn, and I'll break out one of multiple Indians ball caps when I watch a game at Progressive Field. On occasion the concept has struck that I might look good in a Stetson, a la Indiana Jones ... though I haven't purchased one yet. The fact is not only that I barely wear a hat at all, but very few if any other men I see around do either!
So the issue of wearing a hat to dinner may not be quite moot, but it's within shooting range of it!
Us humans, we just get so attached to traditions and inane social courtesies. For some, hats are better left on anyway.....
Good for you joining the rebellion!!
<does not fit in with societies rules and niceties>
"...when the national anthem is being played..."
Well, if it's the Pledge of Allegiance, anthem or Flag Ceremony as happened at Reason Rally and Rock Beyond belief. I take off any head gear I happen to be wearing out of respect, …not duty (being that I'm Canadian). Those from the military whom I was with would have probably said something to any who didn't, even though they were atheists.
That is the point. Would you or your friends be offended if I showed my respect with my hand over my heart and left my hat on. At the Reason Rally, for the first request I removed my hat. For the second one I left my hat on and put my hand over my heart because I respect the United States and its military. Some people will get enraged over that. Should they?
Should people get enraged if someone refuses to swear on the bible. A hat and a bible are both just symbols.
"Should people get enraged if someone refuses to swear on the bible. A hat and a bible are both just symbols."
Not even remotely similar. Unless you buy into the myth that the US Constitution the military swear an oath to defend, often at the cost of their own lives, …is not a secular document?
"For the second one I left my hat on and put my hand over my heart because I respect the United States and its military."
As for, "hand over my heart"; this I would never do, nor would I recite the pledge, it isn't mine to recite. Had you left your hat on for the pledge in front of my atheist Irag war vet friend, he would have asked you politely to take it off out of respect. Would he have been enraged if you didn't, no, …but he would likely not feel that you deserved respect, respect being a reciprocal thing.
"At the Reason Rally, for the first request I removed my hat. For the second one I left my hat on and put my hand over my heart because I respect the United States and its military."
No, it was raining after all. That's a logical use for a hat.
I certainly don't get enraged over it. Sometimes, a little miffed, but I keep it to myself. Miffed if I'm in a place like a very nice restaurant (business casual or suit and tie), but I don't say anything. Like Richard, if I'm wearing a hat in a foreign country, I make damn sure to take it off for the national anthem. It's a sign of respect as a guest in their land. Although, to be honest, I do wear hats in the summer or in a tropical country. I have the hair style of billiard ball, and getting a sunburn on the top of your head hurts like hell :)
"Like Richard, if I'm wearing a hat in a foreign country, I make damn sure to take it off for the national anthem. It's a sign of respect as a guest in their land."
I would at home as well if there was a issue of solemnity, November 11 for example.
I should have added I do it here at home also. Not only out of respect for my country, but also those men and women of the US Armed Forces I served with. And, for everyone who has ever put their life on the line, and died, for human freedom - Civil Rights Workers, Union Members, people who fight for gender equality, and others whom I have humbly failed to mention.
If you walk into the Memorial Student Center here at Texas A&M with a hat on, you will be asked to take it off and or have it taken off for you and maybe worse. I find it silly. But I am pretty hard to offend, especially when it comes to symbols and things that are customary. Well, that and when I was in college, the only reason I would be sporting a cap was because I was taking 21 hours and I didn't have time to mess with my hair. I ain't taking it off, dude.
Agree that compulsory hat removal (or other gesture) is still more theist tradition/symbolism/theatre. Bodily attending the event is the gesture of agreement. Sorting who among the crowd is sincere and who isn't is absurd: inquisition theatre. Same for indignance/outrage/etc. Traditional false equation: gesture = sincerity.