Monday, 14 July 2008

Atheists Have Consciences As Well But The Law Doesn't Recognise That

This nice lady refused to carry out a lawful part of her job description, but because she is religious (ie can produce written precedent for her discriminatory practices), she is allowed to pick and choose what parts of her caseload she wishes to do. I have noted that all religious texts are crammed full of ambiguity and contradiction, not merely because of the oversight of the editor, but because it enables followers to do what they wish according to their prejudices while maintaining an air of moral authority. If you hate gays, pick Leviticus to back you up but if you don't mind them "render unto Caesar" ,"Love they neighbour"etc. Any religion that doesn't offer at least two options for any set of circumstances isn't woth the salt.

Imagine if a pair of staunch BNP members had objected to being married by anyone other than a white British person because of their firmly held views on racial purity derived from the many books that had been written on the subject. They would still be wrong and, hopefully, thrown out of the Register Office without more ado.

I had a moment of conscience when I discovered the effect of serving Notices to Treat and Enter as part of the compulsory purchase of land and property for road schemes. People who had lived in their homes for thirty or forty years could be forced to move out as a result of a government minister's decision following a public inquiry. It was always ordinary people who bore the brunt of road schemes; large concerns would be negotiated with to minimise the impact. I suddenly realised that what I was doing was morally wrong to me. However, the actions of the department were lawful. I could not say to my line manager that I would do every part of my job except serve the notices because that was simply another stage in the road-building process. Consequently, I asked for a transfer to another part of the department that did not deal with compulsory purchase. I was fortunate that a vacancy arose.

The moral of this story is that if you live by your sincerely held conscience then you should be prepared to accept the consequences.

5 comments:

Harry Hook said...

This reminds me of a situation that my father told me about, which concerned the aftermath of the Second World War. Many isolated country homes, farms etc. had lost their menfolk in the fighting, so the widows were having an increasingly hard time.The ordinary workmen working for the Electricity Board refused to cut their power supply off, but the company found a devout Christian with enough moral superiority and indignation to relished doing the job.

Good post G&C, I agree with you entirely. The only thing that seems to justify her position, is the appalling treatment she received from the PC Lobby.

Gallimaufry said...

Many thanks. Glad you mentioned the chap at the Electricity Board. When I worked at the Jobcentre, the office expert on sanctions and stopping claims was an evangelical preacher who hummed hymns. Funny how his deeply held faith didn't affect his equally deeply held dislike of africans. Bless him. He cycled to work and one day his front wheel fell off - loose nuts. Naturally his first response was to blame the atheist after I suggested it might have been an act of god. Funny thing was, he got on really well with the fundamentalist muslims, because they also put faith above reason.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping this is evidence the equality industry is starting to implode and destroy its constituent client groups. What is needed is a case involving a disabled person to give the PC version of scissors, paper,stone.

William Gruff said...

'Imagine if a pair of staunch BNP members had objected to being married by anyone other than a white British person because of their firmly held views on racial purity derived from the many books that had been written on the subject. They would still be wrong and, hopefully, thrown out of the Register Office without more ado.'

I disagree; I think anyone has the right to object to any other, on any grounds, performing services on their behalf, particularly such emotionally important services as weddings, funerals &c and they are not 'wrong' for doing so, although their preferences may be considered inappropriate or unacceptable by others.

That notwithstanding, I agree with you: As a public official the registrar has no right to object to assisting others to enjoy their legal rights and should have been sacked. This is not, in the words of the tribunal, a matter of 'gay rights ... be[ing] allowed to “trump” the rights of those with religious beliefs' but of public officials serving the public who pay them without discrimination. It's worrying that those who sit on tribunals are unable to make that distinction. It is also interesting to speculate on the outcome of the hearing had the 'victim' been 'white', or whether the case would have been heard at all.

Harry Hook said...

A Christian... with loose nuts... LOL