Time was when a man could be praised for having discriminating tastes. It was a mark of being able to make fine differentiations. Discernment, judgment and careful evaluation also used to be regarded as virtues. But today of course the word discrimination has almost only bad connotations.
We are told we are not allowed to discriminate. Well, it all depends. There are plenty of things that we should discriminate against. We should discriminate against Nazis, paedophiles and arsonists. We should be discriminating when it comes to right and wrong. We should in fact discriminate all the time, in appropriate circumstances.
When I look both ways before crossing a busy intersecting, I am discerning, evaluating, discriminating. This is one clear understanding of the term. But the word discrimination also can mean a difference in treatment. I discriminate in favour of my children for example when I buy them ice creams but not all the other kids on the block.
We discriminate against rogue states – by means of economic sanctions for example – when they are not being responsible members of the world community. And all sorts of clubs, groups and institutions discriminate by allowing who they want in.
This is normally quite sensible and rational, and we do it all the time. We have normal Olympics, and we have para-Olympics. We have men’s events in the Olympics, and we have women’s events. We have spelling contests for those under a certain age, and for those over a certain age. For the most part no one has any trouble with this.
At least until recently. Now, because of various anti-discrimination laws and equal opportunity legislation, we are getting into all sorts of strife. And when you add religious vilification laws into the mix, then you really do have trouble.
Therefore all sorts of absurd cases of “discrimination” are being brought up when they never should have arisen in the first place. The classic case is marriage. Marriage has always been a social institution regulating sexuality between one man and one woman, and securing the wellbeing of the next generation from that union.
Thus up until recently no one even dreamed of yelling “discrimination” when a man and a horse wanted to get married, or three women, or a football team, and they were all denied. This was just plain common sense. But we have lost that big time in today’s age.
Now everyone is demanding rights to all sorts of things. They are being pulled out of the hat on a daily basis. I might as well argue that I have a right to always look like Brad Pitt, always sound like Guy Sebastian, always play golf like Tiger Woods, and always make wise decisions like Solomon.
And as I mentioned, this whole nonsense about discrimination especially gets bizarre when applied to religious situations. Consider this latest case of PC bedlam. A group of pagans in the UK are claiming the Catholic Church has discriminated against them for not allowing them to have a ‘Witches’ Ball’.
As one press account put it: “A Pagan group in Britain has accused a Catholic social club of religious discrimination for refusing to host a Pagan group’s Annual Witches’ Ball on the grounds it was ‘not compatible with the Catholic ethos’.” Sandra Davis, 61, a High Priestess of the Pagan group, asked, “Does the church check everyone’s beliefs before allowing them in the club?”
Well actually most do. Indeed, almost all religious groups discriminate. I am not sure of too many Pagan groups that would allow a devout Christian to be part of their leadership team. I am not sure of too many atheist groups that would look kindly on having to employ a theist as their publicity manager.
I am not sure of too many Muslim groups who would be happy with an orthodox Jew regularly presenting religious lessons at the local mosque. I am not sure of too many Catholics who would be happy with a Protestant shouting “discrimination” when not allowed to become the next Pope.
I am not sure too many Jewish groups would want some neo-Nazis conducting their Bar Mitzvahs. I am not sure too many secular humanist organisations would want me as their public advocate. I think you get my drift. Religious groups discriminate all the time, and rightly so.
But our increasingly anti-religious governments are meddling in religious affairs when they should not be. They are trying to dumb all religions down, reducing them to the lowest common denominator. Or they are using the old ‘divide and conquer’ tactic: pitting one religion against another.
But the truth is, governments should butt out of religion altogether, except for obvious extreme cases, such as when a religious cult is practising child sacrifice or some such thing. This case of witches crying foul is just the latest in a long line of loopy lawsuits based on loopy laws.
Where it will all end is anyone’s guess. But expect things to get worse before they get better.