08 December 2013

Secularism strong

Two recent news items from Britain illustrate how, in that country at least, the battle to roll back the bigotry and thuggery of the alien Abrahamic religions may be just about won.

In what has become Britain's equivalent of our own country's struggle over segregated lunch counters half a century ago, the case of Peter and Hazelmary Bull has been working its way through the British court system for some time now.  The Bulls are Christians and owners of a bed-and-breakfast guesthouse in the southwestern county of Cornwall.  In 2008, they refused to allow a gay couple to rent a double room in their establishment, citing their religion's taboo on homosexuality.  In defending against the resulting lawsuit, they argued that because their prejudice was based on religion, they should be exempt from the laws against discrimination which apply to other businesses.  Bizarrely, they even argued that they were the victims of discrimination because the law denied their right to discriminate.

This Orwellian argument has now been rejected by the highest court in the country.  Discrimination based on religious taboos is no more legitimate than discrimination based on anything else -- and is no more exempt from the law.

Let there be no confusion about what was at stake.  Just like those segregated lunch counters, the mentality at work here seeks to stigmatize a category of people as inferior and unfit to be dealt with on an equal basis, even in mundane business transactions.  It's a cruel and ugly mentality, the mentality of the bully, and it explicitly justifies itself by religion.  British blogger Rosa Rubicondior has an excellent commentary on the decision.

The other news item comes from London, where three Muslim men formed a self-designated "Muslim patrol" and roved through districts in the eastern part of the city harassing people they deemed out of compliance with Islamic taboos.  These included a couple holding hands, men who were drinking alcohol, and a woman whose clothing did not meet SharĂ®'ah standards.  Their actions against these innocent people included yelling abuse at them through a megaphone, blocking their path with a car, and in the case of the men drinking alcohol, violently assualting them (one man was knocked unconscious).

In the past, the British establishment has been accused of treating Islamist thugs with kid gloves in deference to "diversity" or political correctness.  No longer.  Two days ago the three were given jail sentences ranging from 24 to 68 weeks.  It's a warning that religion is no excuse for harassment and that a secular society will no longer tolerate it.

The message to the Abrahamic faiths is clear -- your jackboot is off our neck.  Your centuries-long brutal and destructive rule over our civilizations is finished.  You can't impose your ugly and insane taboos on us any more.  We are the boss now.


Blogger uzza said...

That's awesome for the UK. Here in the third world, let's hope for similar results when the Supreme Court hears the abortion exemption to the ACA.

08 December, 2013 10:02  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Excellent news. I'm optimistic that the US will soon follow the Brits' lead in keeping this secular country what it was intended to be --secular.

08 December, 2013 12:45  
Blogger P J said...

The difference is that in GB, there is no 1st Amendment right to freedom of religion which has been co-opted by the Xianists and their allies in the US to mean freedom to do anything in the name of religion.

In addition, most Xianists believe that the US was founded on so-called Judeo-Xian traditions whatever that means.

09 December, 2013 09:18  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Uzza: Yes, I'm concerned about that case too. Abortion seems shakier than gay rights these days.

Shaw: I'm sure we will, in the long run -- the short term is more of a concern.

PJ: True -- on the other hand, Britain still has an official religion, which we got rid of when the Constitution was adopted. In reality, interpretation of the law follows culture. Merchants have been fined in the US for denying service to gays, and the "Muslim patrol" antics certainly wouldn't be tolerated.

09 December, 2013 11:18  
Anonymous NickM said...

The Bull case is interesting. They claimed their B&B was their home. Right OK, so far... But if you are hiring out rooms then... Well, you're trade and that is way different.

Also they took the booking in good faith and that is a contract and seeing as I see nothing in English law that says homosexuality is illegal then... Well, the Bulls were purely grand-standing.

Moreover watch Dr Who. That has gay, lesbian and bi characters on prime-time TV and is aimed (partially) at kids.

I find the "debate" about gay marriage in the UK bizarre. Everyone knows it will happen sooner rather than later. It just has that air of inevitability about it. And it will hit all 50 US states soon enough.

Not soon enough for specific individuals but the wheels grind slow. But it will happen. fighting against it is like fighting a glacier.

12 December, 2013 01:51  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Nick: My view is that discrimination that wouldn't be tolerated against racial minorities shouldn't be tolerated against gays either.

Interesting that Dr. Who has gay characters. I don't recall that from when I used to watch it years ago, but I suppose it's moved with the times. I always thought the presence of those successive "companions" suggested something a bit more than companionship, and a few of them were guys.

12 December, 2013 07:26  
Anonymous emily said...

One of the many reasons why I'm excited to be moving to England. I think it's kinda funny that I'll have more religious freedom in a country that has an officially recognized religion or whatever (of which I am not) than in a country that supposedly has separation between church and state.

14 December, 2013 06:01  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Emily: You'll like it. Besides being more secular than here, Britain is full of history and fascinating places to visit.

15 December, 2013 07:14  

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