Monday, February 12, 2007

Instant gratification for me, but not for thee.

It seems so long ago (although it was just over a week) when, in the course of yet another discussion of same-sex marriage, commenter "Anonymous" opined thusly:

What this means, I believe, is that the government is required to perform same-sex marriages, individual government workers may not be, if they can show that these beliefs have a religious basis...

So long as the citizen reqesting service from the government is able to obtain the service, there is no discrimination I can see.

Note carefully what is being suggested here: the idea is that a government employee is allowed to discriminate as long as the person requesting the service can have their request satisfied elsewhere. That's the critical issue here -- the "elsewhere" part. And you'll note that that idea doesn't stop with SSM.

As I've written before, Canada is starting to suffer from its own infestation of religiously-inspired "pro-life" pharmacists, who use their religious beliefs as justification to refuse service based on the customer or the prescription to be filled. And, once again, their justification is that they have the right to refuse as long as the customer can have that prescription filled (you guessed it) elsewhere. Are you starting to see a pattern here? And that's not the end of it.

The religious wingnuts will suggest that they have the right to refer the client elsewhere, even if it means serious inconvenience. According to them, if a same-sex couple shows up for a civil ceremony, they can be told to find another marriage commissioner, apparently even if that entails a sudden and aggravating rescheduling, and possibly extra travel. More annoyingly, someone who shows up late at night at a pharmacy with a prescription for an emergency contraceptive can be told smugly and condescendingly that, oh, sorry, I don't do that sort of thing, but there's another pharmacy across town and if you hurry, they might still be open when you get there and, gosh, I'm sorry you have to pay another $20 for a cab ride but, hey, I have my religious convictions, know what I mean?

So the logic is that as long as you can be served elsewhere, there's no problem here. But it doesn't take long to notice that it doesn't quite work that way when the shoe's on the other foot.

Anyone who's followed the batshit craziness of the Religious Right knows that, among other things, they dearly love to inflict their Ten Commandments on the rest of us. Who can forget Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who (under cover of darkness and in blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution) installed a massive granite carving of the Ten Commandments in the state Supreme Court building.

Apparently, Judge Moore just couldn't imagine how anyone could get their fix of Scriptural dogma without his precious monument, but why shouldn't the same logic apply here?

Was that monument really necessary? Was it not at all possible that, if someone desperately needed to review the Ten Commandments, they couldn't get them "elsewhere?" Let's think about it -- if someone has a sudden and overwhelming urge to read the Commandments, where else could they get them from? Think hard now. What about -- oh, I don't know -- from a Bible they have on them? I mean, if you genuinely think you're going to have an occasional and insatiable Commandments craving, why not just tuck a Bible in your purse or pocket? In short, using wingnut logic, there's no defensible reason to drop five tons of rock in the state courthouse since anyone who needs them can certainly find their Commandments elsewhere, no? And it doesn't end there.

The same religious wingnuts are adamant that the teaching of biological evolution in the public school system be "balanced" by the inclusion of the scientific idiocy known as "intelligent design." But why? Certainly, if those folks want their children to be exposed to the stupidity that is ID, they can surely find it "elsewhere."

Those folks are welcome to buy ID books for their kids, or point them at the Discovery Institute online, or introduce ID in their Sunday school classes, or even invite the leading lights of the ID movement to town to give seminars. Trust me, there's no shortage of ID references anywhere you look, so it's easy to see that the religious whackjobs will never be at a loss to find what they want elsewhere, and leave the public school system alone. But it never works that way, does it?

While we have to be content with being sent "elsewhere," the God-fearing loons are never satisfied with anything less than instant gratification. They want their Ten Commandments and they want them right fucking now! Here! On this public property! And they similarly want their "Intelligent Design" now! In the public school system.

We have to be content with being prepared to be sent "elsewhere" by public, taxpayer-funded employees (regardless of the inconvenience), while they reserve the right to demand whatever they want, where they want and when they want it.

But that shouldn't surprise you. After all, they're special. And you're not. And that's just the way it works.

And if those Christofascists have their way, you better get used to it.

HERE'S HOW COMMENTS ARE GOING TO WORK: Quite simply, I don't have the inclination to refute the same argument over and over again, so I'm going to delete any new comments that have been refuted before. There's just so many times that I'm prepared to read yet another wingnut whining, "You can't force people to do something that's against their religious beliefs," or something equally moronic.

If that's truly the best you can do, then just take it to the Blogging Tories. They love that kind of stupidity.


Anonymous said...

Comparing a monument sitting in a public space (since removed) to forcing an individual to act against his religious convictions is nonsense. Surely someone of your self-proclaimed wit and intelligence can find better examples to get your panties in a twist over. Give it a try.

CC said...

Dear goombah:

I'm going to explain this one more time, and here's hoping you can absorb the lesson therein.

No one is forcing any of these people to act against their religious beliefs. No one.

If they have a religious objection to marrying same-sex couples, there's a simple solution -- they shouldn't be marriage commissioners. What part of that gives you such intellectual heartburn?

If they don't like dispensing contraceptives, here's another simple solution -- don't be a pharmacist.

No one is forcing these people to be either marriage commissioners or pharmacists. If they don't like the job, then they shouldn't go out of their way to apply for it. If, however, they accept the job, then they should be prepared to do it.

Now ... what part of all of that do you need re-explained?

Anonymous said...

"If they don't like the job, then they shouldn't go out of their way to apply for it."...

Fair enough, except for the painfully obvious fact that they had these jobs BEFORE the laws were altered to allow homosexuals to marry.

rabbit said...

One must be specific here.

If someone owns a pharmacy, they have the right to not sell anything they like. On the other hand, if an employee of that pharmacy refuses to sell something, the pharmacist should have the right to sack that employee.

M@ said...

Okay, Goombah, we'll grandfather in bigotry then? When slavery was outlawed, did that mean all blacks were free except the ones who were currently owned?

You're right, protecting the prejudices of religious zealots is a lot more important than protecting the rights of citizens. Good point.

CC said...

Dear goombah:

Please go and read this recent post of mine on the subject. Then just go away.

Seriously, just go away. You're making me ashamed of my species.

Ti-Guy said...

Fair enough, except for the painfully obvious fact that they had these jobs BEFORE the laws were altered to allow homosexuals to marry.

And their job was to solemnise a civil marriage as defined by the laws of Canada. So what changed, exactly?

Lindsay Stewart said...

sorry. i started to comment and it got really bloated. so i dragged it out front. just couldn't help myself.

MgS said...

to forcing an individual to act his religious convictions

Excuse me, goomba, but are you arguing that someone's religious beliefs take precedent when they are acting as an agent of the government?

How fascinating. So, if I belong to a religion that decides that any interactions with the apostate are banned, I'm not obliged to deal with someone I believe is apostate, even when I am acting as an agent of the government - which is BOUND BY LAW not to act in a hostile and discriminatory manner towards law abiding citizens?