Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Boot on the Other Foot

From the Telegraph:

Colin Hart, chief executive of the Christian Institute, said: “This is a sign of things to come exactly as we predicted.

“The Government repeatedly failed to listen to members of the public, lawyers, constitutional experts even its own MPs when they called for safeguards to protect those who back traditional marriage, especially those who work in the public sector.

“Now this nonsense, more usually associated with the public sector, is being applied to the private sector."

I don't remember Christians protesting when the state intervened in the private sector when it came to Sunday opening or cinemas showing Life of Brian. Oh, that's right, the whole reason that those laws existed was because of Christians. Or if you want to go back further, the persecution of Jews, the stoning of adulterers and the burning of heretics.

And maybe, just maybe, if Christians hadn't been at the forefront of the persecution of homosexuals for 400 years and had just said that if men are adults and do it in private then that's their business, we wouldn't now have the pendulum swinging a little way back in the other direction and trampling on the rights of Christian businesses.


Bayard said...

Yes, but this is that hotbed of fundamentalism, Noren Iren. Anywhere else in the UK they probably would have had the sense simply to say they couldn't do it in time or something like that.

The Stigler said...


I'd have asked him to produce the documentation that showed he had the rights to use the images of Bert and Ernie. Then again, I'm much more scared of lawyers than deities and will take almost anyone's business.

Personally, I think businesses should be able to discriminate in any way they please. Including things like race, gender, whatever else. I won't work with gambling companies for personal reasons and once refused someone just on "doesn't sound like my sort of thing" grounds, and I'd be pretty angry if the government forced me to work for a gambling company, because how would I be able to commit to doing something that I was morally opposed to?

On the other hand, I don't have a problem with gambling companies existing and people supplying them (I even recommended a couple of people to them), I just don't want to do it.

And this is the problem with people just not getting along and the bigger problem of big government that gets involved in morals. It typically swings rapidly from one moral order (allowing gays to sleep in your hotel makes you an accessory) to another (you'll be fined for not allowing gays to sleep together) with little breathing room in between.

mombers said...

It's a tricky one but I suppose it comes down to discrimination against someone based on what they are, not what they do. Gambling is an activity whereas being gay can't seriously be described as a choice...

Ian Hills said...

Haven't noticed Christians actually persecuting gays, but when it comes to moslems.....

The Stigler said...

Maybe you're right.

Ian Hills,
Well, not at the moment, but until the 1950s in this country you could be locked up for it. Until the late 80s, you could go to prison for doing your wife up the backdoor. And those are both laws that are based on biblical texts.

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, I would support any baker's right to turn down a customer for whatever reason.

But apart from that, completely agreed. The boot is now on the other foot.

And just because e.g. I agree with gay marriage doesn't mean that I don't also support traditional marriage. His logic is fucked.

The Stigler said...


I've got to say the "gays damaging proper marriage" is about the stupidest argument put forward.

Ian B said...

There were riots in Hyde Park in 18-something or other when the evangelicals got their Sunday trading law (still with us in modified form) through parliament; because it was the only day poor people had to shop.

Which is why we should always be suspicious of somebody saying something is "traditional". Sunday being a retail wasteland was a Victorian innovation, not a tradition, which the Sabbath nutters had been pushing for since the Restoration and finally got during the Great Rechristianisation of the 19th century.

The gross indecency law that started the great Poofter Persecution, by the way, was also a late 19th century innovation, introduced to parliament by Liberal MP Henry Labouchere who came from my own constituency, Northampton, at the behest of the Social Purity movement. Which today we call "Progressives" and "Feminists". Their revival is why we're now throwing octagenarian celebrities in jail for possibly touching a bottom 40 years ago. Yay, progress.

Sorry, bit off topic there.