Wednesday, 20 June 2012

why do you need to wonder?

there's been a lot of coverage about the sky city worker who faced disciplinary action for carrying a bible around in her pocket.  bit of a silly decision by sky city to put her through the various meetings & create such a fuss.  surely it's not hard to figure out that a bible is not the same as a mobile phone or other bits & bobs a person has in their pocket.  as long as she wasn't preaching to anyone or reading during times she was supposed to be working, i really can't see what the problem is.

possibly because a bible might remind people of moral issues, which for some people might make them reconsider their decision to be gambling?  who knows.

but one thing i do want to point out is yet another gratuitous use of muslims.  this is not a story about muslims.  if you asked muslims in nz, i'd bet the majority of them would side would the worker in this case, and her right to carry her holy book with her.  and yet we still get dragged into the issue by one pastor mark nicholas:

A pastor to the casino worker facing disciplinary action for carrying a pocket Bible at work has questioned whether she would have met the same fate if she had been caught with a Koran....

Her pastor at Faith City Church, Mark Nicholas, said the Christian message was one of love and because of this, Parata may have been seen as a "soft target"

"I wonder what the response would have been if she was carrying another religious symbol - a Koran or something."

why do you need to wonder?  why is it even an issue?  let's put aside from the fact that a muslim who felt the need to carry a qur'an with them would not be working in a casino.  to say that the christian message one of love, and then to put out a very unloving implication in your next comment?  yeah i can think of a few words to describe that.  and i can also think of many christians who practice this love and who would never dream of implying what this particular pastor is implying.

the implication is that those who might carry a qur'an ( with an "or something" thrown in an attempt to sound a little less bigoted?) get some kind of special treatment.  we're oh so special, and nobody is allowed to complain about us, right?  except for regular letters to the editor in various papers - one of my favourites implying that what happened in norway is to be expected if you let muslims into your country.  except for any number of websites and books.  except for any number of comments on talkback radio.

[ETA: there is also the implication that the christian message is one of love, while other religions aren't.  again, why?  why do you need to say that, and to bring it in up when talking about this particular case of discrimination?  it's not relevant, it's not helpful, and from my own perspective, it's certainly not true.]

it makes me so very angry when some christians who face discrimination turn around and immediately discriminate against another religious group.  the fact is that if they took the trouble to ask, they'd find strong allies within that very group.  these issues of religious discrimination could be solved much more positively and quickly if we worked together, instead of playing oppression olympics, and trying to prove that somehow my discrimination is way worse than your discrimination.

and yes, i know that people who don't subscribe to any faith also face discrimination, and that too is wrong.  i'd be happy to support anyone in that situation as well.  there's no need for us to be pitted against each other.

moderating note:  i've turned comments off because i don't have the time or energy right now to deal with the kind of comments this post is likely to attract.  if you don't like what i've written, feel free to vent about it on your own blog.