Sunday, November 07, 2010

Religion and the inequality of rights.

My view tends to go along the lines that all people should have the same legal rights as everyone else unless there is a damn good reason otherwise.

But I keep running into religious exemptions to this rule. If you don't show up for work when scheduled you can be fired, unless you claim that a deity has ordered you to do something else that day. In those cases the employer has to accommodate your claim to divine revelation. Now my view is that employers ought to have the right to NOT hire individuals who will inflict higher costs on them by demanding special considerations due to their beliefs. I would honor a religious employer's right to not hire gay people just as I would honor the right of a gay establishment to refuse to hire born-again Christians.

I ran across another very interesting legal right to discriminate which is granted to religious people only.

According to the Federal Communication Commission any radio or television station is strictly banned from discriminating "in employment... because of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex." Plain and simple, if you are an atheist and don't want to hire a fundamentalist then you are forbidden from indulging your own preferences. You may NOT discriminate against the Christian.

But, if the shoe were on the other foot, and you were an atheist seeking employment, a Christian station is explicitly granted permission to discriminate against you. "Religious radio broadcasters may establish religious belief and affiliation as a job qualification for all station employees."

So, the same law that forbids secular stations from refusing to hire Christian employees grants Christian stations the right to refuse to hire secular employees. Next time some Right-wing religious nut whines to you about how they are being persecuted by the nasty secularists ask them about this federal law which grants them legal rights denied to non-religious people.

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