Personally, I feel that businesses, regardless of the goods or services provided, should be able to make decisions about whom to serve/service based on their own religious beliefs. I think that this couple chose to elevate this issue way beyond what was necessary, if you don’t like a business owner and their beliefs – why do you even want to give them your business? Perhaps I am looking at this situation from too much of a simplified point of view, but I think that it’s as simple as the signs you see on businesses everyday: “No shirt, no shoes, no service.” If business can turn people away because of what they are wearing, why should they not be able to refuse service to someone based on their strongly held religious beliefs?
As this has been a huge topic of discussion lately and I just wanted to see what others thought about it. Do you agree with the ruling? Why or why not?
According to today’s digital version of The Telegraph newspaper in Great Britain, British doctors and gynecologists are being urged to by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to warn pregnant women of the potential complications and risks of pregnancy, and frankly discussing the relative safety of abortion.
This is an interesting development in women’s health policy, as the media has nearly always emphasized the potential psychological influence an abortion may have on a woman, though many women report that they experience little or no psychological repercussions from the procedure. Predictably, religious and political conservatives are in an uproar (check the comments section for an example), but it will be interesting to see if the United States follows Great Britain’s lead.
The conservatives in Canada are proposing a bill to ban veils in polling stations, because they think it will increases security and that it will allow the elections to be more transparent. Critics of the bill state that it discriminates against veiled Muslims, and that it is a reaction to Islamaphobia.
I found a pretty cool article about Protestant congregations and homosexuality that I thought I’d share with you guys: Cage and Wildman (2008). “Facilitators and Advocates: How Mainline Protestant Clergy Respond to Homosexuality.” Sociological Perspectives, Vol. 51, No. 3, pp. 587-603.
Cage and Wildman collected the perspectives of some “mainline Protestant” ministers (as well as some members of their congregations), which helped to shed some light on some pervading feelings of homo-anxiety among the Protestant camp. For the most part, any fear of homosexuals seemed to come from either widespread (false) generalizations, or from a fear of the change that could potentially be brought about through the implications of homosexual acceptance.
For example, one minister reported that the general sentiment circulating through his church community was that homosexuals were more “predatory” than heterosexuals. As he explained, the notion of homosexuality and child molestation were very thinly separated concepts in the minds of his congregants.
These respondents also suggested that homosexuality in some way might initiate a change in historical practice and/or institutions, and as such, caused an exceeding level of anxiety. For example, one minister noted that if homosexuality is something that will become considered natural and approved of by God, several millennia of theological teaching would be undermined, and such a thing is simply a “big deal” (p. 594).
So, for the most part, it would appear that a lot of the anxiety surrounding homosexuality in churches (at least, if we are to generalize from this article) stems from a lack of experience with the gay community, and/or from the shifting paradigm that its acceptance might incite. While the former might be “cured” through educating the church community, the latter poses a more interesting problem for LGBT acceptance; I imagine change will be slow if half of the present fear surrounds the notion of change itself.