Over recent weeks and months, this thought has begun to sow the seeds. Across the media there are numerous hyped, sensationalised, victim-painting articles about people who have one thought/philosophy/opinion coming up against another, with unpleasant results.
There is this passion, this drive, for everyone to be treated equally, that somehow all these differences when it comes to race, gender, sex, religion, politics, etc can gel alongside each other in some sort of bright white smiling, happy-clappy atmosphere of conviviality. Oh please, can no one see how utterly unrealistic this is? For every side there is another side that has had to compromise in some fashion.
To take a very very and I mean very specific example to illustrate. There have been many media articles about strongly christian practicing business persons not wanting to provide a service for a same-sex couple wishing to ‘marry’. This is a perfect example of how equality is now the bully, where neither side is right or wrong, but both suffer in some way. The media jump to the defence of the couple and villanise the business person. So whose beliefs, whose rights, whose lifestyle is going to run rough shod over the other? Both have a right to practice their beliefs, the Christian follower has the right to practice their religion free from persecution, the same-sex couple of the right to freedom of expression and not to be discriminated against on the ground of sexual preference. But as same-sex marriage is the hot topic, derigure at the present, the Christian follower is forced by threats of prosecution [is this not persecution spelt differently?] to capitulate their deep deep belief and either close up shop or provide the service. The media behaviour brands the same-sex couple of selfish, what is so wrong with saying to the business “I am sorry you feel that way, I will take my business elsewhere”, be thankful you are not in a rat infested prison being beaten, branded or mutilated.
What is the net result? Society becomes the petulant child. The tantrum pouting selfish toddler. If you want something and the other side says no you can scream ‘It’s because I am a woman-ethnic-gay-disabled-poor-vegetarian-religious-etc” and s/he who shouts the loudest wins the day.
So can we expect in our supermarket check-outs where you cannot buy alcohol, or non-halal goods because the checkout operator is Muslim. Maybe there will be beef-free tills where the hindu operator sits, or perhaps vegetarian and vegan tills. You think it sounds daft? I am counting down the days until there is a newspaper report where someone is fired from their job because they were asked to do something that was against their belief principals and you know what, the employee is right to behave that way. Why should the jewish person be forced to sell pork products? Why should they be admonished for refusing to?
There will be the circumstance where a business is genuinely unable to provide a service at a set date and time for a very genuine reason – someone will throw their equality tantrum and irrevocable damage will be done.
Equality is not about being equal, equality is about tolerance and compromise and understanding and some common sense, qualities that are so very lacking it seems these days.
Sadly there are areas of the globe where there is genuine, horrific, intolerable discrimination towards groups, we hear of young girls being forced into marriages, or where women are mutilated either for non-compliance or in the name of religion [I am hinting at female circumcision here]. There are places where ethnic genocide is a true true horror. Terrorism is rife and out of control.
The Globe will never be equal; someone somewhere wil exploit; advantages will be taken; rules, laws, principals mis-used – humanity will suffer.
There needs to be a change from equality to tolerance and compromise towards others beliefs. But that will never happen.