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Thursday, 22 May 2008

Christians continue to want a law for themselves

In the United Kingdom we have the Equality Act, which gives gays and lesbians – among others – the right to equal treatment in the provision of services. We have the Civil Partnerships Act, which allows them to take advantage of those services when it comes to wanting to get spliced.

So why, when the legislation is there – voted for by, among others, Christians – do Christians want a law for themselves, and demand to be let off certain duties, as the civil registrar Lillian Ladele is doing (see "Two sexes good, one sex bad", and you can hear Ladele discussing the case here)?

If this fundamentalist doesn't want to marry same-sex couples, why doesn't she just piss off? Instead, she's taking Islington Council through a tribunal, at which another Christian has said some of these religionists are "terrified" of being found out to be so bigoted, lest they be booted out of their jobs.

Elizabeth Thatcher has been giving evidence at Ladele's tribunal (which is continuing). Faith "creates a problem for any Christian" if they're expected to do or condone something "they see as sinful", she's said.

Seems your "faith" is creating a problem for everyone else, too. Is this what your "faith" is for: to bugger people about? Well, if you think it's sinful, you know where the door is, just as do others who refuse to carry out their duties out of a deference to unproven, unprovable deities.

Thatcher has worked as a registrar for eight years. She told the tribunal, "I have heard of one Christian who has had to resign, but I know of others who have been accommodated. She [the woman who resigned] told me that she was terrified about herself or her authority being identified because she could be vilified or the authority put under pressure to remove her."

Well, that's the way of the world, sweetheart. We live in a democracy, of sorts. Laws are passed and you public servants are paid to work for us. How many things would you expect to be exempted from on the grounds of some religious "conscience" before you were satisfied that you were being treated fairly?

It's one thing not taking part in, say, ritual slaughter because that's cruel to an animal. It's quite another doing something that's purely on the grounds of irrational belief that there is a god somewhere who's so small-minded that he, she or it can't stand the thought of a couple of guys or a couple of gals getting it together.

Just go and have a nice cup of tea and a lie-down, and, when you've recovered from this folly, perhaps you can start treating people equally.

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