Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Right to Discriminate

I actually can understand the frustration of religious groups after the defeat of Arizona SB 1062. They feel their religious freedom is impeded by being forced to do business with people who they feel violate their religious beliefs. But that's the price you pay for being in a free society. Everybody gets treated equally. Gosh darn it all.

I can come up with many examples of why the Arizona bill and others like it are a bad idea, but there's one that always sticks with me. In the Christian Bible, Timothy 2:11-15, it says in part: I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

Wouldn't that mean that a any business that claims to be a good Christian business can deny promoting a woman into a management position because it would violate their religious beliefs? I mean its right there in the bible so if the Christian CEO is going to true to his faith he is forbidden to promote a woman even if she were the most qualified candidate. And what if she had an MBA and the type of innovative ideas that increase his business tenfold? Sorry, sweetie. The bible won't allow him to let you speak to any male employees with authority. But anti-discrimination laws forbid the CEO from doing that. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen on certain levels, but companies aren't allowed to do it blatantly. 

Which brings me to another point. What are all these Christian women doing speaking for the church or for political parties ? Shouldn't they be at home remaining quiet and being submissive to their men? Sarah Palin, get back in kitchen and make Todd a sandwich. 

Anti-discrimination laws force all of us to deal with people we don't care for whether for religious or personal reasons. Using religion as an excuse is really a disservice to religion. I get so tired of religious leaders claiming that their religion is all about love your neighbor, but somehow that's kicked to the curb when it comes to wedding cake for a gay couple. 

My grandparents ran a grocery store a long time ago. They were Jewish, but at the time they had the store only my grandmother was observant. Saturday was the store's busiest day. It was full of Gentiles needing groceries. My grandfather could have stayed closed that day because it was the Sabbath. He could have said selling to Gentiles on the Sabbath was against his religious beliefs. But he worked. My grandmother sat in the back room and watched him work on the Sabbath. One Saturday, she got up and started helping. He asked her why she would work on the Sabbath? She said he needed the help and they needed the money from the Gentiles to survive. Sometimes religious discrimination is a luxury you can't afford.