Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Driving in the wedge

Over the last few days I have been following the various opinions and debate on the sexual orientation bill that is supposed to end "discrimination" against gays in the provision of services. One thing I have noticed - apart from the usual liberal response of calling anyone who is opposed to this sort of thing "jack-booted nazis" - is the complete lack of understanding by the non-religious about what it is that Christians object to.

To put it simply, Christians are against the sin not the sinner. In other words, it is not the fact that they are homosexual that they don't like, it is the concern that, by providing a service of some sort, they may be assistng someone in performing homosexual acts and therefore helping them to commit sin in the eyes of Christianity.

That is what is unacceptable to Christians. The liberals try to interpret this as being a discrimination against homosexuals, but it is not. I don't know if liberals interpret it that way because they are unable to understand the difference or because they see it as a way to attack Christianity - as many of these people adopting this position appear to be reasonably intelligent people, I suspect it is the latter. After all, this is the normal way liberals advance their agenda - by making it appear as if any opposition against it must be due to some sort of inherent bigotry.

But the real bigotry is in those who refuse to understand - deliberately or otherwise - that some things are just not acceptable to some people. If you look at the subject of guesthouses - which seems to be the main area this is focussed on - why should a Christian, who firmly believes that acts of homosexuality are a sin against God, be forced to provide accommodation for a gay couple who may use that room to perform such acts? I suppose you could argue that if they don't like the idea they should stop running a guest house, but why should someone have to give up their livelihood just to satisfy a few people who deliberately look to stir up trouble? After all, it's not as if there are not plenty of guest houses who will happily accomodate gays - there are even a fair number of guest houses run by gays.

Another argument is that there is an inconsistency as there is no such olbigation or discrimintaion on heterosexuals - but there is. Mrs Stan and I regularly visit guest houses and small country hotels. Although Mrs Stan retains her maiden name, she has learned from experience to always signs is as Mrs Stan - it just saves having to try to explain. Less than two years ago we ended up having separate rooms as the owner just wasn't convinced. Instead of being offended, we found it rather funny.

I expect that most homosexual couples would respond the same way when faced with similar situations, but there is always the few with the large chip on their shoulders who spend their entire lives looking for some perceived slight against them with the intention of making a mountain out of a molehill. This is what this is about. A huge amount of Parliamentary time dedicated to resolving an issue that is not an issue for the vast majority of those that it may affect.

When it comes down to it, a guest house or hotel is a private establishment which the owner chooses to allow strangers to use in return for a fee. It should be entirely up to them who they allow to stay there and who to turn away. It is no business of the state and for the government to make it their business is state interference going too far. It does nothing to improve relations between two disparate groups and merely serves to drive them further apart. Is that really a good idea?


Northwing said...

Well put and this is really the crux of the argument for me too. The new law doesnt seem specified well enough to prevent it being applied against someone's faith conscience. A couple of my best friends are gay (non-Christians) and we stay at each others houses and so I struggle to make a judgement on this whole issue, because I wouldn't consider for a minute banning my friend and his partner from staying at my house under a religous pretext. If I was a business though, maybe a Christian retreat then surely I should have the right to say who comes to stay and under what circumstances if it contradicts my establishments ethos and rules. I wonder if I would have the right to prevent someone from performing black magic rituals in my guesthouse or some other non-illegal practice, because of my Christian morality?

The state, and its policing of the marketplace has gone too far in this respect. We're all different and we have the right to set the agenda on our own property.

xoggoth said...

Difficult. I am generally for gay rights, for the most part they are a group that does not really affect the rest of us, but people should have rights as to what goes on in their own houses too.

I would be inclined to set a lower limit on all these laws, whether gay/race/WHY where the common good cannot override personal freedom, say rooms in one's own house or very small companies of 3 or less.

Some small groups too. In some cases inclusiveness is being enforced where it should not be, the whole point of some groups is that they are for those of common views.