A new report by The Equality and Human Rights Commission says that ‘Religious employees feel under pressure to keep their beliefs and faith symbols hidden at work.’ I am assuming this doesn’t include vicars, priests, imams and those of other religious ‘faiths’, but, the report goes on, ‘those who were openly Christian complained of being mocked as bigots, sometimes because of their stance on same-sex relationships.’ Now, I am not normally regarded as the sharpest tool in the box, but even I can see a certain contradiction here. If you take a religious ‘stance on same-sex relationships’, I am pretty sure that it will not be entirely supportive.
On the first part of the report, I do not know who is exerting pressure on the devout ‘to keep their beliefs and faith symbols hidden at work’ and, quite frankly, I don’t think there is anyone. When I worked for the government, I did not feel the need to keep my atheism hidden, but then again I wasn’t told to keep my atheism hidden. This could be because I was there to work, not to spread the word that God probably doesn’t exist. I did not need to have special days off to celebrate my lack of belief or to go to a special room to give thanks to no one at all for the existence of Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss and Sam Harris. I did not ask to wear Dawkins T shirts to work as a non religious symbol. Nor could I allow my lack of ‘faith’ to affect my work. I could not refuse to work with those for whom God has little time, like homosexuals or, in the case of many religions, women.
What is it with homosexuals that so concerns theists throughout the world? A religious guest – a magistrate, believe it or not – on BBC Radio Five Live this morning referred to straight people as ‘normal’ and was ‘forced’ to attend a course on equality. Well, quite right too. If he – it was a he, I am not generalising – wanted to carry out his job as a magistrate but did not want to deal with cases that – God forbid (and doubtless he did forbid) – involved non ‘normal’ people, then perhaps he should look for alternative employment? How about applying to be a vicar? I know that hardly anyone goes to church these days, apart from weddings and funerals, but that needn’t be an obstacle. He could talk to himself because that’s what most religious people do anyway. It’s called praying.
In an ideal world, people will leave their religion at the office or factory entrance and pick it up on the way home. Or better still, leave it at home.
My view about same-sex relationships is simple: I couldn’t care less what kind of relationship someone has, you are what you are and anyway it’s none of my business.
If some people feel they are ‘being mocked as bigots…for their stance on same-sex relationships’ then that’s because they are bigots and deserve all the mocking they get.
And one thing is certain: homosexuality is real, it exists, and that’s more than you can say about God.