Gay Rights, Religious Rights, and the Political Landscape
In my last post (where I recounted my conversation the girl representing the ACLU) I had mentioned that under state law an employer could fire any one for any reason. I got a little push-back in the comments (which I don’t mind) and thought about it a little more.
First, I think I overstated that a little. The commenter is partially right. It is illegal for someone to be fired for race or sex. Religion was also mentioned, but it’s not true that a person cannot be fired for religion. Specifically, in the cases of churches and this was the context of my conversation with the girl. Can a person be fired for being a Muslim? Yes, if this person was hired into, or converted while working, a Christian or Jewish church or organization. And a Christian could be fired for the same reason in other religious contexts.
The question is, do religious organizations have a right to hire and retain only those people who hold to those worldviews/ideologies?
I think the they should. But this highlights one of the challenges with rights of this type. The different groups represented fall along a continuum ranging from non-moral to moral/ideological.
And one end of the spectrum we have Race. Race does not have a moral component. Race is expressed through appearance and physical characteristics. Sex is the similar, though one could argue that the differences between the sexes moves it slightly down the continuum.
As we move further, we come to two categories that differ from race and sex. Religion and sexual practice. Sexuality by nature is expressed through behaviors, and behaviors have a moral component. Religions deal with the nature of reality, inform our worldviews, and influence our behaviors and ideologies.
But sexuality also brings its own ideologies. Especially in a cultural climate where homosexuality is such a politicized area. If you disagree in regard to legal rights they feel should accompany this aspect of their lives, then you are branded as hate-filled. In essence, the accusation is that your views are immoral.
This moves sexual orientation and practice to the ideological end of the spectrum. The problem is that there are competing ideologies at that end, all fighting for what they see as their rights. To offer one group a right to say, never be fired for being a member of that group is to threaten other groups. In a sense saying to the other group “your ideology takes a backseat, you must embrace theirs.”
My point here is not to say what the neat and tidy answer is. The point is that this is the nature of the political and cultural landscape. So when I talk to someone on the street, taking money in order to promote rights at the idological end of the spectrum, I expect them to know the challenges. I expect them to have at least heard the other view. Unfortunately, the young lady I spoke with seems to have not been familiar with it at all.