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Pred and breakfast - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
Pred and breakfast
I don't blog about the news, but this baffles me:
The Sexual Orientation Regulations have been criticised by some religious groups who say people will not be allowed to act according to faith.
I can see how (to take an example that's already becoming extremely irksome, so thanks to vinaigrettegirl for a nice variation) the anti-discrimination laws might mean that running a B&B would not allow you to guarantee being able to act according to your faith, if your faith were to dictate that, for example, you may not offer shelter even unto the least and most helpless of gay people, brown people, etc. But how do you get from that position to the idea that you have a God-given right to run a B&B in the first place, and that the state must therefore defend that right? I look forward to hearing Zoroastrian librarians insisting that the Bodleian has no right to prohibit them from kindling therein any fire or flame.

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caramel_betty From: caramel_betty Date: January 10th, 2007 10:58 am (UTC) (Link)
When I think about some of this, it makes me wonder if they'd be arguing that the Bible says that they must keep blacks away from, you know, real people, and that they shouldn't have to give a room to mixed-race couples.

Sadly, I know what the answer to that might be for some people. Colon dash open bracket.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 10th, 2007 11:13 am (UTC) (Link)
The question I'm wondering about is not "is teh ghey contagious?" or "no but yeah but what if it was NAZIS?" but "Does God say you should be able to do any job you like?" and "If so, how do you recommend that (for example) the laws should be changed to allow Christians to work as prostitutes without being expected to do anything that goes against their faith?"
nja From: nja Date: January 10th, 2007 11:18 am (UTC) (Link)
My line is "if God wants you to wear a turban all the time, God doesn't want you to ride a motorbike in twentieth-century Britain".
j4 From: j4 Date: January 10th, 2007 11:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I figure that's up to them: if the turban's more important than the safety or the law (obviously they'd have to take the consequences of breaking the law if caught) then they're unlikely to increase their chance of injuring anybody else in a crash by not wearing a helmet.

I do like your turn of phrase though. I will have to think of something equivalent which the PATHOLOGICALLY ARGUMENTATIVE part of my brain can accept. :)
beingjdc From: beingjdc Date: January 10th, 2007 11:14 am (UTC) (Link)
Presumably an Orthodox Jewish B&B couldn't in conscience admit mixed couples.

You shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughter to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son, for he will cause your child to turn away from after Me and they will worship the gods of others then the L–rd’s wrath will burn against you, and He will destroy you
j4 From: j4 Date: January 10th, 2007 12:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure there are millions of "ah but what if" examples which are morally equivalent. But I'd be interested to take this in the other direction: what would the consequences be if you said that B&Bs were people's private houses and therefore they were allowed to have whatever batshit rules the internet cared to invent -- banning people who have iPods, banning redheads, whatever? (I'm thinking of direct consequences rather than "Well, it's the thin end of the whatnot, innit, next thing you know they'll be banning Christmas".)
cartesiandaemon From: cartesiandaemon Date: January 10th, 2007 12:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think people *did* argue that.
caramel_betty From: caramel_betty Date: January 10th, 2007 12:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was thinking rather more if that body law were passed now, as a statement of society's values over certain specific religious values, with the consequent quashing of religious freedom and the inability to teach children that all niggers are thieves and rapists, and such.
triskellian From: triskellian Date: January 10th, 2007 12:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
What baffles me about this is someone saying "OMG it might be illegal for a teacher to teach children that homosexuality is wrong", as if this is a reductio ad absurdum that obviously nobody intends. Sounds fine to me. I dont want teachers to teach their religious beliefs as fact.
From: kjaneway Date: January 10th, 2007 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay! Dead Like Me icon!
cartesiandaemon From: cartesiandaemon Date: January 10th, 2007 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear, I have a headache. Of course, I support the anti-discrimination laws.

My normal thought experiment is to imagine that a large minority of people practice that *I* find abhorant. Which is difficult, because if it doesn't harm anyone else I normally don't have a problem, and if it does it's hopefully illegal anyway. Possible examples would be (voluntary) cannibalism, non-vegetarianism, etc.

Would I not give someone a job based on that? Normally not, as it would be simply impractical, though for something I disapproved of enough and could be changed, I might be tempted to coercion.

Would I not facilitate that? Very probably, though there seems a larger grey area than not -- printing leaflets for the cause isn't directly helping it, but is helping it more than just treating adherents as people.

I don't know.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 10th, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
If there were things which a large minority of people did which I found so abhorrent that I couldn't stand to be around them (and I can't think of any such things offhand but I'm sure there are plenty), then I would take measures to avoid being forced into situations where I have to interact with those people. If they're not breaking any laws, then I don't think it's the state's responsibility to help me avoid them. (IOW, it's my problem, so the solution has to come from me too.)

From the thought-experiment point of view, though, I'm trying to think of an example where my existing job could be changed in such a way that in order to carry on doing it I had to run the risk of doing something that I couldn't in all conscience agree to. If you can think of a good example, please throw it at me!
caramel_betty From: caramel_betty Date: January 10th, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Possible example off the top of my head:

As a web-mistress and information-guru, you become involved with providing web-based marketing services to various members of society. Picking your clients, you work for charities you like, friends, schools, companies you have no huge ethical problems with (e.g. you might not like Nestle).

A law is passed saying that you cannot exclude people from purchasing your services based on their political views. You now have to design, set-up, write copy for, maintain, and promote the BNP's online presence.
juggzy From: juggzy Date: January 10th, 2007 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
If J4 was not the owner of the web design business, then she could resign.

I reckon the best solution is not to legislate behaviour, rather information. Therefore, any B&B businesses that would like to refuse customers on the basis of religious or other beliefs should only be allowed to present those beliefs as the basis for refusal of business so long as these criteria for refusal were advertised openly and availably by them in advance.

Thus giving the rest of us the right to boycott them.

Of course, that leads to the "No dogs, Irishmen or Blacks" type of sign in the window, so maybe not a solution.
cartesiandaemon From: cartesiandaemon Date: January 10th, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry, I'm a bit wittering -- I mostly just agree with you, and am thinking aloud. However, thoughts...

From the thought-experiment point of view, though, I'm trying to think of an example where my existing job could be changed in such a way that in order to carry on doing it I had to run the risk of doing something that I couldn't in all conscience agree to. If you can think of a good example, please throw it at me!

Yeah. It is difficult, there is no one good example because all examples are emotionally loaded one way or the other.

And I'm afraid I have no idea of a good example for you personally, because I can remember neither your job nor your philosophical positions :)

Ooh, ooh, I thought of one! Gay=smoker. According to anti-smokers (and true by any rational standard) smoking is dangerous to the smoker's body and can be unpleasant or dangerous to people's bodies if they spend time with smokers. According to (some) anti-gays (and not true in my opinion), practising homosexuality is dangerous to the gay person's soul, and may be unpleasant or dangerous to the soul of someone supporting the behaviour.

Most anti-people would still hire, sell food to, etc the gay/smoker. (And IMHO should be legally compelled to if there's a chance the gay/smoker will unreasonably suffer otherwise.) However, they may or may not be willing to sell cigarettes or B&B beds, to the gay/smoker. Should they be legally compelled to? I feel it is arguable.

As a matter of fact, a large number of non-smokers did get together and severely restrict smoking in various public places for a combination of reasons. Anti-gay people have done so in the past, for their benefit and maybe or maybe not gay people's too.

OTOH consider the analogy:

Apartheid country = gay person
Anti-apartheid country = anti-gay person
Sporting relations = being friends with
Trade = hiring, selling things to, etc

Here, the number of non-apartheid countries was sufficiently great that they did choose to deny non-apartheid-related goods and services to the apartheid country, imho justifiedly.

I guess where I'm going is:

90% thing, 10% anti-thing: anti-thingers can't pass any laws, and can deny services to thingers, but probably only to their own detriment.
50% thing, 50% anti-thing: delicate balance
10% thing, 10% anti-thing: neither can do anything, anti-thingers can deny services to thingers or vice-versa, but the free market will probably take care of it.
10% thing, 40% anti-thing: Anti-thing action may be a problem, the other 60% may choose to prevent anti-thing discrimination.
10% thing, 90% anti-thing: Thing may be banned.
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