Thursday, December 10, 2009

Why won't they get it? Part 2

"No discrimination" means ... well ... no discrimination.

So many people signed onto the idea of non-discrimination as a matter of public policy and then are shocked -- shocked! -- when it finally becomes clear to them that their flavor of discrimination (a Webster's definition of discriminate: "to make a difference in treatment or favor on a basis other than individual merit") is no longer allowed. They really don't think -- they have never really thought -- that the discriminationistas mean what they say.

Case #513: the British Catholic Church.
The Catholic bishops of England and Wales said they could be at risk of prosecution under a proposed law unless they accept women, sexually active gays and transsexuals as candidates to the priesthood. ...

The bishops said the bill defines priests as employees rather than officeholders. Under the terms of the bill, the church would be immune from prosecution only if priests spend more than 51 percent of their time in worship or explaining doctrine.

According to the briefing, a copy of which was obtained by Catholic News Service Dec. 8, the government definition will, in effect, make it "unlawful to require a Catholic priest to be male, unmarried or not in a civil partnership, etc., since no priest would be able to demonstrate that their time was wholly or mainly spent either leading liturgy or promoting and explaining doctrine."
The bishops were originally assured that this type of outcome was they stuff of dystopian fantasy. And, to be fair, the definition in the article is the bishops' worried (and certainly biased) reading. But the House of Commons has already thrown the gauntlet down on homosexuals adopting children, revoking the exception Catholic agencies had enjoyed in that area. The trend in this area is increasingly clear: "no discrimination" means "no discrimination". (Except against Conservatives, but that's another story.)

But the bishops' main objections demonstrate that they really haven't grasped this point.
"The bill fails to reflect the time priests spend in pastoral work, private prayer and study, administration, building maintenance, etc."
Really? The problem is that the bill doesn't exempt your particular group, not that the law itself is totalitarian and immoral?

Apparently so. We're left with the clear implication that, were the UK Church still exempted from the requirements of the Equality Act (if priests were defined as "office holders" instead of "employees"), they would be fine with it.

As the saying goes, "There are none so blind as those who will not see."

No comments: