RELIGION PROMOTES DISCRIMINATION

Discrimination happens when you want to and think you need to treat another as less than equal or even as a mere thing. It is  aiming to protect yourself and others in your group by denying rights and privileges to certain persons or people.

 

It is argued that just discrimination laws discriminate against behaviours or what people do not the people. Catholics plotting to force their religion on you are discriminated against. Business people are not allowed to promise you a wage and pay nothing. Marriage laws discriminate against gay sex acts, polygamist sex acts, and incestuous acts. Adulterous sex is not honoured the same as that between man and wife not even by the law. None of this is said to be discrimination against people as such but against how they act.

Suffering in empathy with your people can cause you to try to harm and kill those who you perceive as persecuting them.  If you can try to put yourself in the victim – be the victims mind - it is hard to be cruel to them. But because you cannot do this with everybody you will not do it with those perceived as enemies or oppressors. Religion is us and not them in some form or another so it is intrinsically inconsistent with treating all people the same.

 

Discrimination is based on fear.  Those who enable discrimination or act as if you cannot be given equal rights to them may see  you as a threat to them or their family.  They may say it is about keeping jobs free for their children and their friend's children.  It may be a fear that the stranger is going to threaten society's freedoms.  They can be blind to the discrimination for they see it as based on good intention.  But the good intention comes from fear not fact so it does not alter the fact that it is as much discrimination as outright hate would lead to.

 

Discrimination, treating somebody as an inferior or a group as inferior, cannot happen unless some form of exclusion takes place first.  Exclusion is the sea that discrimination swims in.


Exclusion takes a number of forms.


One is driving the other away by abuse or violence.

 

Two is letting the other be in your community but given an inferior status.  The other is in but not really of your community.

 

Three is by ignoring and abandoning them.

 

Four is very subtle – it is trying to swallow the other up so that there are no differences left. Catholic ecumenism takes that form for it hopes to get the Protectant Churches to join the Catholic Church.

 

Religion is about superior beings such as gods or God or angels or whatever.  The human person no matter how good is seen as inferior and less worthy of rights as the god etc.  The person is degraded by being seen as a sub-god.  It is really another way of degrading people.  Calling them sub-human is another.  Is it any wonder when able a religion does start treating some people as less human than others??

 

Religion gives us something extra to discriminate over. It gives us excuses. We have language, race, country and all those things to get an excuse for discriminating over and religion gives us an extra one. Evidently their God likes us having this extra excuse and so must be pro-discrimination!

 

As Mill told us, if a majority of people in a nation who think much the same way in big matters are too powerful then minorities are left with fewer means of doing something about it. The oppression can take the form of a religion having too much control over schools and the media and hospitals like what happened in Ireland. Or it may take the form of outright hate and attempts to liquidate the minorities. A social oppressor is worse than a state one. It as Mill says “leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life.”  The hate and the intrusions can be subtle.

 

The religious label is applied to people by society without much regard to whether it is appropriate or not.  If religion is good then nobody should be given a religious label unless they willingly earn it.  But that is not what happens.  Mafia hitmen are considered devout Catholics for using the Catholic trappings and being raised Catholic.  The label is the major element in discrimination and exclusion for it refuses to see a person as an individual and some label with social and religious and political trappings is imposed on them.  The label is discrimination in itself!  And it leads to other forms of discrimination.
 
A Church may hate and boycott Jews and base it on the gospel of John chapter 5. A Church may reject black members because of Genesis 4:14. Some say they have a right to their beliefs as long as they are not forcing them on anybody else. They would say that this right should be legally permitted and accepted. If the state interferes, they may get rebellious and more entrenched in their bigotry. It is even argued that they are not discriminating against Jews or black people for no Jew or black person would want to have anything to do with them anyway. This argument is weak. Women wanted to be Catholics and Muslims despite the treatment meted out to them by those religions. You do not argue, "The shop down the road will not employ black people. This is not discrimination because what black person would want to work there?"
 
Would you be a decent person and be a member or leader of those Churches? To say yes is really to say ,"If you discriminate in any non-religious capacity you are not decent. But as long as you do it for religion you are". That would be foolishness. You would not be considered decent if you had the option of working for a good employer and a racist one and you go and work for the racist one. Being the shop assistant would be bad enough but you are deeper in the mess if you are a supervisor or manager.


Catholic priests expect all Catholics to take their faith as seriously as possible. They don't respect a couple - one Protestant and one Catholic - who say religion won't be a problem in their household if they wed for they don't bother with going to Church. That couple, in the arrogance of the clergy, will be treated as if they do take their faith seriously.
 
The law can in theory make a law forbidding anything that is wrong. Different countries have different rules about what is forbidden. Religion claims the right to discriminate in marriage. If it has that right, what is to stop any country from concluding that it has the right to permit discrimination in anything on religious grounds? Should a country forbid you to reject an application from somebody who is not of your faith when it lets religion encourage discrimination on marriage grounds?
 
A religion cannot agree with its members employing people of other religions when they could employ members of their own instead. It is giving another religion money to do harm to its faith and strength in return. If they are too well treated they will not look into God’s ways and see the seriousness of being wrong. Since faith is the supreme quality in a religion, the rights of a person who has faith must come before a person who has not got it unless one has to die and it can’t be the latter for he or she will go to Hell.
 
Jesus said that the greatest commandment of the Law of God was to love God entirely and first of all. He said then that you must love your neighbour as yourself and that this is the second greatest commandment. So looking after yourself and others is not as important as looking after God. He said religion comes first. It follows that a Christian should avoid giving a job to an atheist when there is a Christian candidate A Catholic must not employ a Hindu when he could employ a Catholic who is as good as the Hindu at the job or nearly as good. And so on. Such discrimination then must be lawful.
 
If you are forced to employ say an Atheist for there are no members of your own religion that you can find that are able to do the job, then you must fire the Atheist if you find one.
 
Jesus said that if somebody gives you a cup of water because you serve him that person will not lose his reward. He said nothing about rewarding a person who helps those who do not serve Jesus. You may say that Jesus said that if you don't clothe the naked and feed the hungry and do good works for them you don't do it for him. Read the Bible. He said that if you neglected to do these things for his brethren you failed to do them for him. So the teaching is only applicable to Christians. Jesus never taught that you must treat a non-believer the same as a Christian - when you could choose one person or the other give the benefit to the believer. That was his thinking.
 
However, if Jesus and the Church were logical they would teach that you never ever employ a Hindu or Atheist for example. If you can't get a banker but a Jewish banker, then do without the banker if your religion and God come first and to support a member of another religion is to support a campaigner or at least a worker against your faith. Jesus said that whoever was not for him was against him.
 
Roman Catholicism requires that gay people be barred from certain vocations such as teaching. It forbids pharmacists to dispense the morning after pill to rape victims. Catholics who run pharmacies are expected to reject employees they cannot trust to conform to Church teaching.