A registrar who claimed she was discriminated against for her Christian beliefs because she wouldn’t officiate in civil partnerships has won an employment tribunal case.
The ruling appears to place the religious “conscience” of registrars above their legal duty to carry out parliament’s legislation. If it is not overturned on appeal, and it sets a precedent, where could it lead? (Terry Sanderson in the Guardian)
Indeed. The implications are disturbing. Could a Jain vegetarian doctor refuse to deal with your food poisoning case because you’d eaten meat? Might an orthodox Jewish nurse’s aide refuse to make beds if the sheets are made of mixed fibres? Could a barista who believes in Russell’s flying teapot refuse to collude in the serving of coffee?
The idea that playing the “religious conscience” card can somehow get you out of doing work you are paid to do – and even get you compensation at the same time – is so enticing. I am sorely tempted to form a religion that directly proscribes any unenjoyable part of my daily work. That’s my work day sorted out. And a sweet little compensation claim on the way, without the usual trouble of having to fake a whiplash injury
I am bit confused here, anyway. I have only a cursory knowledge of the bible, but I would be truly amazed to find that the New Testament mentioned civil partnerships, let alone forbade believers from officiating at them.
Naturally, the Christian Institute, which bankrolled this case, is cock-a-hoop. This is a result that they and other Christian activists have been trying to achieve for some time now. It will provide the platform they’ve needed to build their dream of a theocratic Britain. (from the Guardian)
Well, blow me down with a feather. How surprised am I to find that the good old Christian Institute is behind this? They put up the money. Again. (It’s not as if there were anything better they could so with their seemingly bottomless resource pit. I dunno, like feed the hungry and that sort of unchristian stuff. I think it’s called “charity” or something.)
The Christian Institute have a gloating list of references to the media coverage. For example the Daily Mail called it “A victory for Britain’s quiet majority”
I could only assume this is a new and counter-intuitive use of the words “quiet” and “majority.” I think it’s pretty clear that the Christian fundamentalists and the Daily Mail are neither humbly self-effacing nor a majority. I would probably have a lot of trouble sleeping at night if I thought these extremist bigots people had become a majority.
The Mail editorial managed to express its trademark depths of hypocrisy by phrasing the article in such a way as to imply “She’s black and she’s a bigot just like us. Did we mention she’s black? Well here’s a picture. This proves we aren’t bigots ourselves here at the Mail because we are agreeing with the multicultural society. See. We like black people when they hate gays.”
Two small points:
- If not performing civil partnerships is really a crucial part of Christian belief, why haven’t the mainstream Christians made it into some sort of sin? In fact, why haven’t they made wearing a crucifix and/or or a promise bracelet an obligation?These are the topics of the pro-Christian court cases that these zealots are happy to fund. So where are the Christian rules about them? I’m all for thinking for yourself and challenging authority and that, but I thought these fundy sects were all against it.
And now, here they are, redefining Christianity, not just in the face of those tiresome old sermon-on-the-mount beliefs, but in the face of pretty well all the established church hierarchies.
I can be a moralistic bitch. Can I get some association of non-believers to fund my own personal morality campaigns?
Lots of things offend me. I would quite appreciate being compensated for a whole range of things – from newspapers promoting being a footballer’s famous wife as the only reasonable life goal to young girls, to the increasing acceptance of torture. (Passing through almost any major social evil or minor irritation you can think of)
- The guy who sued the BBC for Jerry Springer the Opera and lost then whined that the BBC should pay his costs for suing them (!!!) may have set a precedent for the litigation-hungry Christians. Surely – in a spirit of fairness and decency similar to that demanded from the BBC by Green – Lilian Adele can just offer to let Islington council off with the compensation they are going to have to pay her…… Now how likely isn’t that?