Sunday, February 27, 2011

WhereIn NoApologies Shows Us Why Church And State Must Be Kept Apart

If you ever needed more concrete reasons why Canadians should be diligent about ensuring that radical religiosity needs to be kept as far from the reins of state as possible, consider the oh-so-rational thinking of the erstwhile Tim Bloedow in his post Thinking rightly about homosexuality and Christian B&B owners.

That being said, human rights is hostile to Christianity and justice. And we see that born out again in this case. Human rights is the law order for socialism – for affirmative action, group rights, “substantive equality,” which has nothing to do with genuine equality. We see this in human rights legislation: It protects people not as individuals, but based on their participation in groups, and not any group, only politically protected groups, such as people defined by ethnicity, sex/gender, “sexual orientation” and marital status. Human rights law doesn’t protect firemen, those with eyebrow piercings or dairy farmers.

Of course, what Mr. Bloedow is asserting here is actually quite ludicrous. Essentially, he is arguing that because human rights laws typically specifically address common grounds on which discrimination takes place. Whether that is race, religion, sexual orientation is irrelevant - these are all common grounds which have been used historically to limit the full participation of an individual in society.

Apparently, Mr. Bloedow doesn't understand the notion of individual rights as they are expressed in law. I will point to Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms as an example of how flawed his logic is:

Equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law

15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

I don't know how this could be more abundantly clear about the fact that these rights apply to individuals.

What Mr. Bloedow seems to want is some kind of hierarchy of rights, which would put his "Christian Rights" ahead of all other rights - in particular his right to discriminate against others based on the projection of his faith onto others.

But the question is more fundamental than that. Christian activists should be asking: “How can businessmen live out their faith if they are legally required to support with their time, their labor, their goods, and their services behaviors that are offensive to them?”

Yes, we’re concerned about freedom of religion and conscience. Yes, we are concerned about Christian businessmen. But the real ba is far more fundamental.

Really? So, you want to make it legal for businesses to practice "we don't serve your kind" discrimination? We've seen that before - it used to take place in the US before segregation was outlawed. Sadly, there are still those who would practice such vile forms of discrimination. Whether you apply on the basis of someone's ethnic characteristics, or on the basis of that person's sexuality is irrelevant - the consequences to the individual are still the same. You end up restricting their ability to participate fully in society on the basis of values that you are projecting outwards and insisting that they abide by.

These two views are incompatible. The erosion of Christianity and the rise of Humanism has been moving us from an environment of liberty – self-government under God – to state-ism. Many of us have only personally experienced state-ism so we don’t know what liberty feels or looks like. But that is ultimately what we’re arguing for when we say that businesses, such as these Christian B&B owners, should be free to operate their businesses as they see fit.

I always find this line of reasoning to be just a little too convenient. It always seems to crop up when we are talking about situations where so-calTo argue that operating a business should not be bounded by law is more than a little ridiculous. Businesses have always been subject to the law of the land, and rightly so.

What Bloedow is really arguing for here is either a form of extreme libertarianism, or if you read the rest of his writing he's really talking about rewriting Canada's laws to his particular interpretation of the Bible.

We posted a story about a Montreal-area trucking company that was ordered by Quebec’s human rights tribunal to pay $10,000 to a female truck driver who was not considered for a job because she is a woman. The business owner was apparently quite upfront about refusing to consider her for employment because she was a woman. We titled the post, “QC human rights trump business owner’s prerogative.”

Apparently, Mr. Bloedow wants to dial rights back to the late 17th Century. He obviously fails to understand that there is a fairly serious problem with refusing someone a job on the basis of the fact they are female - especially when they hold all of the requisite qualifications otherwise. Of course, I've seen other commentary on No Apologies where they've whined about how we should mourn a woman's "loss of purity" as a result of a sexual assault. The underlying misogyny of such a strategy is pretty offensive as it supposes that the only thing a woman brings to a relationship is her "purity" - and it is ironic that they never seem to talk about the same notion of "purity" for males, isn't it?

This has become a much longer commentary than I intended, but 1) it is absolutely necessary to drive home the importance to Christians of embracing Christianity as a worldview and not simply as a religion that provides a moral code to justify our antipathy to sexual perversion. 2) We need to champion morality at a foundational level that embraces justice for all Canadians, not simply for Christians, and 3) we need to understand where the true antithesis lies between Christianity and Humanism so that we don’t waste our time with losing battles, championing human rights and other anti-Christian concepts when we should, instead, be advancing the law of God and the lordship of Christ as relevant and applicable for 21st Century Canada.

Here is where Bloedow's obsession with all things to do with "homosexuals". He wants his right to discriminate against GLBT people - and women - enshrined in law. In effect, creating a hierarchy of rights.

The reality is that Mr. Bloedow's rights are already well established. What he has is a problem with comprehending the idea that individual rights exist with respect to the individual, and do not provide for the individual to project their beliefs onto others - especially in a way that limits their right to live a full life in society.

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