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Politicole: Religion, Royalty And Ridiculous Bank Policies

By NICOLE BURROWS

Human beings, through their religious and resulting social institutions, have set themselves up for eternal failure, particularly via penalty inflicted for disagreement over religious doctrines.

Where do you get the right to harm me because I don’t agree with you?

How can you judge the entire rest of the world with something as subjective and personal as your (religious) belief system? And not just judgment by voicing opinion, but by taking extreme physical measures?

If I grew up in (real?) Islam, how can a (real?) Christian tell me I’m wrong for what I believe, when it’s all I know? Or vice versa? How can a person raised as Hindu tell another person of Jewish faith/ancestry that they’re wrong for their beliefs? How can the person who has never had exposure to any religion or religious faith tell the Buddhist that what they believe is wrong?

‘Belief’ in something is subjective, and that’s why you ‘believe’ it. And, outside physical wellbeing, why does it matter anyway?

Why do I have to believe what you believe for you to respect me? And if I don’t believe what you believe, how does that give you any right to harm me, particularly when I am not harming you or anyone else?

I swear, the longer you live in this world the more apparent the hypocrisy of its systems become.

I’m not going to sit down and make a cartoon or a laughing stock of your faith, because personally, I don’t care about your faith, and to spend my time – sorry, waste my time – poking fun as it is not my style. A person who is preoccupied with poking fun at your faith clearly has issues. But as long as they do not cause bodily harm to anyone, what gives you the right to cause bodily harm to them? Especially when you cause this harm just because 1) you’re angry, or 2) you think whatever you believe is more right than what they believe?

We – men and women – create injustices in our world by getting wholly submerged in things which, by themselves, matter less than human wellbeing. We create the problems that exist in the world when/because we create reasons to be unjust, unfair, and unloving. And even when we think we’re being just, fair or loving, it’s all rooted in belief systems, which are most often tied to one or more religions, which keep us separated and which we use to slam the entire world with.

In reality, there is no uniformity of justice and fairness and lovingness, only versions and perceptions. That’s why there is too often no justice served in our courts, no fairness of opportunity amongst our people and no real love for fellow woman and man exhibited by the very people who claim love as the central feature of their various religious beliefs.

Religion is a choice; being human is not. To put religion before humanity is profoundly conflicting.

Relevance of royalty

Somewhere in history, someone first became a king or a queen, primarily based on their existing social class or, subsequently, their inherited social class. People with money became the nobility. People with money became elite. People who subscribed to prevailing religious faith, particularly the elite, automatically became honourable and revered.

Anyone with the misfortune – which is all it really amounts to – of not having money, or education (bought with money) or religious association, had no hope in hell of surviving very long in their miserable lives. Possessions have always dictated opportunity. Possessions have always separated people of the ruling class and the working class. The best opportunity the working class had in bygone years was to join religious movement – once it was established, of course, by the ruling class which religious movement was preferable.

The separatist practices of many hundreds of years ago have left us with the existence of royals. And most ironically, though not surprisingly, the very people who are disadvantaged by this historic and ongoing separation are the ones who venerate the royals. They glorify the elite and their rituals and lifestyles, yet they are the ones who are poor or working class.

The relevance of royals (and monarchies), when you have a designated governing system, is nil, and for no other reason but to perpetuate classicism. Waiting to see what colour the queen will wear, waiting to see the duchess’ new dress, waiting to know the baby’s name, watching to see who will marry next and whether they’ll marry aristocracy, or, if not, whether they’ll fit into the aristocracy. It’s a veritable circus. And the commoners suck it up like water in a desert.

Discrimination by banks

Nearly two years ago, I walked into (CIBC) First Caribbean International Bank on Paradise Island, a bank I had an account with at the time, and the security guard asked me to remove my shades. I, dumbfounded, looked at him blankly and asked “why?” He told me it was bank policy not to allow customers in if they were wearing shades.

I told him that it was a stupid policy and I would not remove my shades. This exchange happened at that bank several more times before it closed down and relocated.

Some months later, I found it necessary to stop into the mall branch of that bank, again to conduct personal business, which, notably, is always more to their benefit than my own. The line was very long and I contemplated waiting, until the security guard came over and bullied me and my mother to remove our sunglasses.

Again, I asked why. Again I got the same trite response that this was bank policy. And believe it or not, this time the bank actually had a pretty metal sign out front which identified the “no shades” policy and all the other things that weren’t allowed in the bank.

Needless to say, I did not remove my shades, and my mother and I left the bank to find another to transact our business.

Not long thereafter, I went into the Sandyport branch of the same bank and was asked to remove my shades.

Now, the security guard there was always so nice to me, and rather than get into a debate with him, I ignored him and carried on with my business. I mean, what was he supposed to do? Hold me down and take off my shades?

I’ve been back in that bank several times, each time ignoring the security guard’s request.

Fast forward to two weeks ago when I entered the JFK branch of this same annoying bank, and the security guard there tried hard to get my attention. Of course, knowing the reason, I ignored him.

I am now infuriated, because, not only am I hearing this nonsense again, but I am only going to the ATM. I am ready to spit venom.

He shouts at me “Miss!” and I turn around to see why he’s so panicked and he tells me I have to remove my shades. Having been through this drill at least a dozen times before, though no less patient about it, I look at him and ask him why. He tells me that it’s the bank’s policy, that you can’t come in without taking off your shades.

I told this young man, who was only doing his job I’m sure he believed, that I would not remove my shades. Further, I asked him where the sign was to detail this foolishness, and he told me I would have to take it up with management. So I asked the manager’s name, and confirmed that I would follow up.

And during that same week, I visited Scotiabank on Thompson Boulevard where, would you believe it, I was asked to remove my shades? I ignored the security guard and walked by him and onto the teller line. He waved from a distance, several times, to get me to remove my shades and I ignored him every time, conducted my business and then left the bank.

The same thing happened at Scotiabank on Paradise Island.

What is this insanity going on in local banks? Why are they profiling their customers? Do criminals/thieves wear shades? And if they do, does that make everyone wearing shades a potential criminal/thief? Do I look like a criminal/thief? What’s coming next? I’ll not be able to enter if I have jeans on? I’ll have to leave my handbag at the door? I can’t wear slippers? My hair has to be pulled back off my face?

What is the legitimate, acceptable purpose for this asinine “policy” these banks claim to have enforced?

I can only guess that they want their security cameras to see our eyes when we walk in, ie this ridiculous requirement of making you remove your shades is meant to be a security measure. What other reason could they possibly dream up to justify this new “policy”?

But, as a customer of or visitor to any of these banks, I expect the banks to be fully able to secure their businesses with little or no impact upon me. How is a bank’s inability to properly secure its premises the customers’ problem?

Dear Bank, the customer is not responsible for your failure to employ effective security measures which ensure your safety as well as the safety of your customers, be they clients of or visitors to your bank. So, how, in the name of all that is sane, is the burden of security being placed on the customer/consumer?

In short, this “policy” of local commercial banks is discriminatory against the people who patronise them.

To the banks: it is not your business to dictate to clients what they should and shouldn’t wear to come in and give you their money. How do you know that client does not have vision problems, or a legitimate eye disease that requires them to wear protective lenses, sunshine or no sunshine? And, if that is the case, are they meant to walk around with a doctor’s note to show the bank in order to be allowed to enter? And if one person can do this, what is to stop everyone from doing this? That is the stupidity of this policy.

Who thought up this new level of bias being inflicted upon Bahamian consumers, which seems to be growing slowly and insidiously, with no one making comment about it or challenging it? Are Bahamians to be subjected to yet another layer of mistreatment by foreign commercial banking institutions?

Thus far, and to my knowledge, RBC is the only foreign bank which hasn’t inflicted this ignorance on its local patrons – yet. Bear in mind, this is just an observation. In truth, I am no supporter of any bank because, in my estimation, they all exist to plunder. Another necessary evil.

Of note, too, Commonwealth Bank has not (yet) jumped on the “no shades” bandwagon.

I hope, before any of them dare to implement this “policy”, these last banks standing (and the ones already fallen) will consider that if all sunglass-wearing patrons decided not to bank with them and withdrew all funds from their banks on the grounds of discriminatory practices, then said banks would have a whole lot less money in their respective vaults – ironically, the very thing they are, presumably, trying to protect with this ridiculous “policy”.

Comments

moncurcool 5 years, 4 months ago

This is one time I cannot agree with your position on religion or banks. To seek to refer to religious beliefs as subjective is exactly what post modernism wants us to fall into the trap of. It leads to relativism where we each believe what we want and we all right. However, in this life there are some things that are right and some wrong. That view will ultimately be settled at the end of the world and whet you believe will tell the tale of your eternal destiny. .

In reference to the bank, institutions have the right to set their policies. If we don't like it we do business elsewhere. Because I do not like a policy does not give me the right to call it stupid, if you use your logic from the religion argument. Nor does it give me right to ignore it, if you use your religion argument again. It just disturbs me people who want to ignore policies to do their own thing I guess they why we have criminals now ignoring the law of the land to do their own thing.

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Romrok 5 years, 4 months ago

So, charging a dollar a month service charge on a savings account is ok, but having to take off your shades is causing you issue? I was taught to remove your hat and shades indoors, respect for others n all that. My fight is with banks over footwear, but I comply to save stress. If you cant walk around without shades, maybe you should have an arrangement for someone else to do your banking for you.

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DonAnthony 5 years, 4 months ago

Good luck with this one, with our hypocritical and ignorant so called "Christian nation." Of course religious beliefs are subjective, it is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of God, therefore it is pure speculation and personal belief. It is a matter of faith, which means by definition that we do not know, as the great Cistercian monk Thomas Merton wrote " a man of faith without doubt is not a man of faith." The problem with religion is that they all to various degrees believe they have a monopoly on truth and want in various degrees to impose it on others. Worship as you wish but please let me worship as I wish and that means leave me alone. Very few people are truly educated in their faiths and many times want to impose their ignorance on others. Mahatma Gandhi was once asked if he liked Christians, he replied " oh yes, the problem is that I have yet to meet one". If these religious zealots spent more time examining their lives and truly followed Christ we would live in a far different and better country.

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avidreader 5 years, 4 months ago

As far as the institution of royalty is concerned you have opened a can of worms. Many of your opinions are shared by many people around the world. Royalty is an endangered institution which has provided a few interesting scenarios. When King Farouk of Egypt was exiled by the army colonels in 1952 he is reported to have said that soon there will remain only five kings in the world, the king of England and the four in the pack of cards. Some defend it as a unifying institution as seen by the King of Norway riding horseback in Oslo and rallying the population against the occupying Germans toward the end of World War 2. Of course, I had a bit of fun when I asked a British friend if his country is classed as democratic. He responded that it certainly was democratic in reply to which I asked if that was the case how was it that they had one family that was better than everyone else.

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DonAnthony 5 years, 4 months ago

The dirtiest four letter word I know is B-A-N-K, especially the foreign banks. Recently they have introduced fees for everything under the sun. They have made many poor loans that are in arrear and not collecting interest so they have introduced onerous fees to tax their good customers to make up for this shortfall. They all have an attitude that says they are in charge and we have to agree with whatever rule they make ( sunglasses just one example). I doubt these rules and fees exist in Canada, as the regulators nor the customers would accept it. Our central bank has failed us and we accept anything. The writer is a very intelligent woman, first of all I suggest paying all bills online as I do, and cancel all accounts with these foregin banks and give your business to those banks that give you better service. A canadian bank I banked with for 20 years introduced these fees and had an attitude that they could tell me what to do with my funds. I promptly cancelled three accounts with them and cancelled my credit card and moved to a bank that gave me the service I expected. Stop accepting inferior service, stop being lemmings who follow every command issued by these foreign banks. So I expect this writer will move her account, otherwise she should accept whatever she is dictated to do. We are only victims if we allow ourselves to be! Also, try to avoid using a bank as much as possible, all this consumer debt is toxic - realize that the sole purpose for these banks is to separate you from your money and leave you in debt forever. I built a home and retired at the age of 43 never having borrowed $1 from a bank or anyone else for that matter. It requires great sacrifice and a bit of luck but it can be done.

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