A landmark Employment case is beginning at the European Court of Human Rights. A group of four Christians are claiming discrimination against their beliefs in UK Employment Law. Two are air stewardesses, one is a registrar and another is a relationship counsellor. The British Humanist Association thinks these cases should be dismissed, see: http://www.humanism.org.uk/news/view/1106 I wonder if they’d be take the same line against an atheist in a religious American institution who was sacked for refusing to cater to the specific needs of religious people. I doubt very much if they would.
This is what scares me about modern atheism: It has all the symptoms of being an embryonic tyranny. The thing is, atheists have had to focus on fighting so much for their own civil rights, especially in the past and in theocratic countries like the USA, that they’ve never had to be on their guard against upholding double-standards. See here for more details: http://hpanwo.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/what-if-skeptics-had-their-way.html Also here is an excellent documentary that should hopefully give you food for thought: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7760032578363901913
We see the same problem with feminism and the campaign of rights for black people etc etc. In South Africa today it is white people who are being oppressed and disenfranchised in society in every way. But where are the marchers and placards? Where are the concerts at Wembley? It’s so frighteningly easy to fall into the destructive frame of mind which is the eagerness to stop injustice against your own group making you blind to the equivalent injustices you commit against another group. And in the case of the group being those who previously oppressed you it even can be relished, consciously or subconsciously, as a legitimate act of indiscriminate revenge! When will people learn that they cannot heal an injustice by trying to cancel it out with another injustice? All you get is a double dose of injustice. Governments encourage this falsehood in an attempt to deflect our hostility away from them and towards each other; divide-and-rule. Works every time!... Unless we get wise to it.
In the case of the air stewardesses it’s pretty clear cut. The registrar and the counsellor’s claims are more tricky and I’ve had to think hard about it. Are they not depriving same sex couples of their civil rights by refusing to deal with them? Firstly we have to consider if there’s a practical problem with that. What proportion of registrars and counsellors hold this viewpoint? Enough to prevent homosexual couples receiving the service they’re entitled to? Same sex couples are perfectly acceptable institutionally today, and so if it’s only a handful who don’t want to get involved what’s the difference from the customer’s perspective? It all depends on what proportion of the professionals involved opt out; and from what I’ve gathered it would be a tiny proportion. So I can’t help feeling the suspicion that the dismissal of these people is about punishing them for holding those viewpoints. This bothers me immensely, even though I’m not a Christian and personally support the rights of gay couples to all the civil rights straight couples enjoy. Also a court order on this issue would be a statement that the objectors’ own feelings are irrelevant, or even unacceptable and immoral; a thoughtcrime!