Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Human Rights: Commonsense Lost?

I have to admit that I am struggling a great deal regarding the issue of human rights in that everyone appears to believe that their rights trump those of everyone else around them and to not endorse something is to be 'phobic' (a word meaning 'not agreeing that my rights are supreme and the way I live is the only way').

The Secularists witter on about the wicked, oppressive and awful Christians.

The Homosexuals witter on about those oppressive and cruel Christians.

The Humanists witter on about how you don't need to be a person of faith to be kind and show love and bemoan the fact that the naughty Christians think they have the monopoly on being 'Christian' (which I would have to say that, of course, they do - the hint being in the name rather than the corruption that refers to an act).

The Christians  witter on about how Secularists and Humanists are blinkered and irrational and how Homosexuals run back to 'homophobia' as a defence for what has been for a goodly few years (want to start counting from Jewish roots or merely from the 'Christian' bit) a firm part of their faith. Of course in doing so they also drone endlessly on about 'persecution' and 'anti-Christian bias' and (like the other three groups - do themselves no real good in the process).

Why can't we see some balance, respect and commonsense?

Over the next few days I will be attempting to bring my views to the fore as I tinker internally with some of the issues that others are challenging me with (and it's funny that so many people are applauding one BA worker for wearing a cross up here in the Midlands) and hopefully might find some commonsense and dialogue from others too.

I have also posted this as a thread here: in the hope it will attract and start something worthwhile. If you're not a member, then sigh un (proper names please - contact details are not available unless you opt to have such).


1 comment:

DrJ said...

I've been rather uncomfortable about these ECHR cases.
Of those who lost their cases, I have some sympathy with the nurse. This might, however, be because, as a doctor, I spend a lot of time at present dealing with people from organisations like the Care Quality Commission who seem to think that in the name of hygiene my consulting room should be turned into something like a sterile operating theatre, so I get rather fed up with the dogmatic insistence on petty rules in the name of infection control.
But also as a doctor I am employed by the NHS to care for my patients, whatever their medical needs. I am not employed to police narrow subsections of their morality. With one or two very narrow exceptions, I quite reasonably do not have the right to pick and choose which of my patients problems I will attempt to help. If you were to consult a doctor suffering from Clergyman's Knee, you would be entitled to be unhappy if they refused to treat you on the basis of their atheism or adherence to some other belief system.
As far as I can tell (and there is far more heat than light in all of the coverage of these cases) it was only in the case of the BA staff member where there was a claim that those of different faiths were treated more favourably, and I would agree that this is unreasonable. Even then I would suggest that, if that is the sort of persecution we are expected to face as Christians, then rather than going to court, the most appropriate response is prayers of thanksgiving!
There are, I believe, times when we as Christians are called to avoid or to leave certain career paths, and invoking secular human rights legislation may sometimes be a way of trying to bypass that call. In medicine I would never have considered a career in gynaecology because of the issues involved with abortion, even though there are at least in theory grounds for issues of conscience. As a teenager, I chose my subjects and followed the medical route partly because, rather naively, I did not want to face future ethical dilemmas concerning nuclear arms that might come with a career in physics.

I do, though wholeheartedly agree with your desire for balance, respect and commonsense, so I was please to see these comments a few weeks ago from Peter Tatchell about another case involving a Christian expressing his views:

I disagree with Peter Tatchell on many things, but if more people on both sides expressed their views in his calm, thoughtful and (usually) non-confrontational manner, I suspect that we would all find rather more that we share than we would otherwise ever have discovered.
Just my two-penn'orth, first time I have commented here.