Discrimination is bad, unless it’s part of my religion

I hail from one of the religious hotspots of the UK. When a new shopping centre was built to encourage tourism and income and one of the stores to open there was revealed to be an Ann Summers (!!1!!!1!1one!!1eleven!), the bible bashers came out in force. Fortunately it opened anyway so now everyone is free to buy whatever lacey/fluffy/shiny/sqeaky/slippery/buzzy/chocolatey stuff they like. Those who would rather not, as before, can steer clear.

Got a bit carried away there. Today I read that the ever sense-talking Archbish of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has decided that firing people who aren’t doing their jobs (because their religious leanings make aspects of it uncomfortable for them and rather than getting a job that doesn’t conflict with that, they’d rather just do it half-arsed then sue when they get sacked) is going to cause civil unrest.

Recent decisions of the Courts have illuminated insensitivity to the interests and needs of the Christian community and represent disturbing Judgments. The effect of these decisions is to undermine the religious liberties that have existed in the United Kingdom for centuries. If there is to be a limitation of Christian liberties in Britain, this should be a matter for Parliament.

So, basically, religious privilege that’s been here because… it was here, should remain. Don’t take it away from us! We like being special for no good reason! Waah.

I wish to dispute that the manifestation of the Christian faith in relation to same sex unions is ‘discriminatory’ and contrary to the legitimate objectives of a public body. Further, I wish to dispute that such religious views are equivalent to a person who is, genuinely, a homophobe and disreputable.

Religious bigot =/= bigot. Sorry, but ‘religious’ here is an adjective. That means it describes a noun. The noun is what it is, regardless of whether that adjective is present or not. I believe we call this polishing a turd.

The description of religious faith in relation to sexual ethics as ‘discriminatory’ is crude; and illuminates a lack of sensitivity to religious belief… it is regrettable that senior members of the Judiciary feel able to make such disparaging comments.

You should be more sensitive to us when we’re being insensitive about other people!!

the desire of the Christian is to limit self destructive conduct by those of any sexual orientation and ensure the eternal future of an individual with the Lord.

1. Who the hell are you to decide what is or isn’t self-destructive for other people, especially when that has nothing to do with your job.

2. Again, ensuring people have an ‘eternal future’ with the god you believe in is generally not part of your job description.

The vast majority of the more than 2 billion Christians would support the views held by Ms. Ladele.

Amg, argumentum ad populum!

In my view, the highest development of human spirituality is acceptance of Christ as saviour and adherence to Christian values.

This is world’s smallest violin, playing just for you.

So, as long as you believe in Jebus our lord you can do whatever you like because you’re clearly a brilliant person. Well, I suppose the Pope would agree with that at least.

My heart is in anguish at the spiritual state of this country.

I don’t really know what to say about that.

If Christian views on sexual ethics can be described as ‘discriminatory’, such views cannot be ‘worthy of respect in a democratic society’.

Apparently identifying discrimination is undemocratic. Eh?

An employer could dismiss a Christian, refuse to employ a Christian and actively undermine Christian beliefs

Surely it’s irrelevant what your religion is if you’re not doing your job. Not being able to fire someone because “hey, I’m a Christian!!” – not good. Refuse to employ someone because they’re a Christian? Well that, again, is discrimination. Then you would have a case.

And the worst bit:

I appeal to the Lord Chief Justice to establish a specialist Panel of Judges designated to hear cases engaging religious rights. Such Judges should have a proven sensitivity and understanding of religious issues and I would be supportive of Judges of all faiths and denominations being allocated to such a Panel. The Judges engaged in the cases listed above should recuse themselves from further adjudication on such matters as they have made clear their lack of knowledge about the Christian faith.

So, cases based around religious issues need a special panel of judges, because the rest of them don’t understand enough about it to make decisions acceptable to those wishing to hold on to religious privilege. That is a dangerous idea indeed and whilst he reckons he’d be ‘supportive of Judges of all faiths and denominations’, such a move would seriously undermine the separation of church and state as we currently have it and open the door for separate laws for various religions. Sharia, anyone? Just to jump on a bandwagon, but the danger is surely obvious.

Apparently, the ‘established religion’ of the country is under threat. Oh dear god! Ehem, I mean, what percentage of the population identifies as Christian nowadays? And what percentage of that percentage has actually read the bible/attends church regularly? Whenever census data comes out, it tends to boil down to a minute fraction of people who actually are ‘Christian’ in the “I believe Jesus was the son of god and died for our sins only to reanimate as zombie-jeezus a few days later” sense. The rest mostly just put it because they were baptised, or the family is, or they went to a CofE school or something like that.

The UK has a lot of people in it, for its size. Those people come from all over the world and are of all faiths and indeed none. The law is not about christianity in the UK, nor should it be. If people are shocked by the US government’s infestation of religion when the church is supposed to be separate from the state, sometimes you don’t have to look to far to see similar here.

Tony Blair set up The Faith Foundation. He converted to Catholicism and shook hands with our favourite Cardinal, Cormac Murphy O’Connor. Look up that guy for a barrel of laughs. It’s also quite disturbing how many people in influential positions are or have been part of Opus Dei and similar organisations cults. This is, or should be, a secular state – that does not mean one where people cannot be religious, but where all worldviews are permitted and none given special treatment over another, where discrimination is not tolerated, where no trump cards are awarded based on which sky-fairy club you belong to and no get-out-of-jail-free cards are given for citing passages from the only book you’ve ever read.

“I should be able to discriminate against whomever I deem suitable based on the way I’ve interpreted the religious teachings of the faith I subscribe to” should not be an acceptable, legal excuse for not doing your job.

Whether it’s refusing to:

– drive a bus because the advert on the side is distasteful to you

– marry people who come into your registry office because you think they’ll go to hell when they die

– wear your religious symbols discreetly for safety or company policy reasons because you feel the world needs to know how you label yourself

– let homosexual couples use a business you are running according to the laws of the land because you don’t like the idea of what they’re doing

– provide services you are employed to provide because the people requesting them are of questionable moral fibre, in your view.

And so on.

Yeah, some guy in a big car annoyed me this morning thinking that indicators are just Xmas decorations or something. Archbish, get it together man.


  • The BHA have a far more mature, concise and constructive article here.
  • Also a nice piece today from Afua Hirsh in the grauniad.
  • New statement on the fantastic remarks of Lord Justice Laws on this matter.

4 thoughts on “Discrimination is bad, unless it’s part of my religion

  1. Wonderful post.

    Isn’t it telling how this very strange notion of faith-inspired bigotry and discrimination is seen by religious leaders as ‘liberty’? Well, not political liberty so much as liberty of a religious kind… you know, the kind that grants us the freedom we need to take away yours. Lovely stuff, that religious liberty.

    The irony for those who understand the proper definition of the term seems to entirely elude the selfish devout.

    If it only remained irony, that linguistic abuse by so many religious leaders would be tolerable even if inaccurate… many people who have a guanocephalic uncle or aunt can understand not to take the ramblings too seriously; but when the religious leaders call on the devout to abuse their secular authority to insert this peculiar kind of liberty into law is just another example how religion pushed into the public domain impedes universal human rights and detracts from establishing the dignity of personhood. That’s what religious liberty looks like in action and it’s not the kind of liberty that can be tolerated.

    The pushback must be strong and unwavering if we hope to maintain the supremacy of enlightenment values in our liberal secular democracies. Your post is helpful. Thanks, noodlemaz.

  2. Richard Williams (Sx, UK)

    “The Judges engaged in the cases listed above should recuse themselves from further adjudication on such matters as they have made clear their lack of knowledge about the Christian faith.”

    I cannot believe Lord Carey said/wrote that. Some meter in my head just popped when I read it.

    Really, really shocking.

  3. Thanks for the support again, guys.

    I swear every week the big churches come out with something more shocking, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse.

    Getting optimistic in my old(er) age, I am!

  4. Pingback: Atheism flux | Purely a figment of your imagination

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