Think about your favourite shirt.
Saskatchewan Roughriders fans get set for the start of the 97th Grey Cup game against the Montreal Alouettes in Calgary, Sunday November 29, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Maybe it's a Roughriders hoodie, or the shirt you wore on the first date with your spouse.
Let's take it one step further: imagine that shirt represented the beliefs you hold at your very core. Maybe you're a diehard Riders fan, or madly in love with the one you're with.
Now think about how you'd feel if you were told by your government, and without good reason, that you couldn't wear that shirt in public places anymore.
This is the situation in Quebec — on a far grander scale — that had thousands of people rising up to protest the proposed Charter of Quebec Values — a document which aims to limit an individual's freedom of expression by banning religious clothing and symbols in the public sector.
The objective is to ban religious clothing, such as hijabs and turbans, from public spaces.
It's a contentious piece of policy, according to the Montreal Gazette.
A Léger Marketing poll found 72 per cent of anglophones and 66 per cent of allophones (people who speak neither English nor French) are opposed, while 49 per cent of francophones support it.
The policy makers who are pushing for the Charter insist it is about secularism. By removing objects that represent faith from public spaces, one effectively distances that faith from society.
The goal is to mirror France, which has observed laïcité for more than a century. But if Quebec were truly concerned about secularism, clothing would likely be last on the agenda.
There are plenty of ways to encourage secularism without enacting a law which will force bureaucrats — as Jason Kenney, Canada's multicultural minister pointed out — to measure the size of the crucifix an individual wears around his or her neck.
"This gets to a point of almost Monty Python-esque absurdity," Kenney told CTV news.
The editorial staff of the Times-Herald couldn't have put it any better ourselves.
It isn't the business of governments to dictate a person's choice in clothing.
That isn't up for debate. In fact, this country's Constitution explicitly ensures all citizens of their right to freedom of expression.
An individual's own common sense and taste, balanced with compassion and respect for others, should be the only determinant in what a person wears.
All editorials are written by the Times-Herald editorial staff.