You may not have noticed, but there has been a lot of talk in the news lately about gay rights. I know, it’s weird isn’t it. I mean seriously, what is there to talk about? One person expecting to be treated just like any other person … why is that newsworthy?
Ok, it would be different if we lived in an age where inequality was rampant … women not being allowed to vote … blacks being expected to work for free … people being forced to sail around the world or traipse on foot from one side of America to the other just so they could practice their religion ……. religion … did someone just say religion?
I have always found the term ‘religious freedom’ to be a sort of oxymoron, a noun which in this case is ironically apt as it is taken from the Greek word oxus, meaning sharp, and moros, meaning dull. So depending on how you look at it, an oxymoron is not just a term to describe another term which is a contradiction in terms, but a term to describe a person who has a profound ability to make stupidity a talent… more on this in a future blog post.
Anyway, enough pondering on the magnificent beauty of the English language, where was I? Oh yes, equality among humans…
Right now in the US state of Arizona, attempts are being made to pass a law that allows businesses to refuse service to gay people. The controversial bill has already passed the House of Representatives at a vote of 33 to 27. Does this make Arizona a state populated by bigoted red-necks? I have no idea, I don’t live there, but I like to think that just like the majority of people here in Australia who support gay equality, the people of America probably often wonder – who are these people in government who are supposed to be representing our views??? And – why don’t we just change the name of the House of Representative’s to the House of the Personal Opinion of Those Among Us Who Have Enough Money and Clout to Get Into Government?
So what about freedom to practice religion then Sarah?
Ok, well another little known fact is that religious affiliation has been the cause of many confrontations; wars, murders, genocide … even the refusal of service! But, that a person should have the right to practice religion, is in my book a given (though I question the line at which a religion becomes a political theory or promotes hatred and inequality … cue Islam and the Westboro Baptists).
But, to give someone the legal right to discriminate by simply citing a constitutional right to freely practice religion???? That is opening one major can of very scary worms. Is that not obvious?
If there are business owners among us who want to refuse service to anyone who doesn’t live according to a set of religious morals and who really believe that is their way of honouring their beliefs, then they’d have to refuse service to a whole bunch of other people too.
Sign on shop front door …
This establishment has the right to refuse service to anyone who is gay, and seeing as we are a god-fearing business we also refuse service to anyone who has sex outside of wedlock, uses the words fuck, shit, christ, hell or damn in their vocabulary, doesn’t go to church, uses contraception, masturbates or looks at other peoples wives and wonders what they look like naked.
Sign on shop front door 1 month later …
Shop for Lease
And there-in lies the hypocrisy and contradiction of religious freedom expressed through the mistreatment of other human beings. Discrimination can never be legal. We can never allow religious beliefs to creep into our secular governments. We can’t say it’s okay to let people express their devotion by ostracising gays any more than we can say it’s okay to express your devotion through honour killings.
…. There has been a lot of talk in the news lately about gay rights. I know, it’s weird isn’t it. I mean seriously, what is there to talk about? When will we stop having to define people by their sexuality … Black, white or female, red-head or grey, a person’s a person no matter how gay!…okay, that was a bit of a cheesy finish wasn’t it, lol.