In the past year a furore erupted in N.Ireland over a cake – Ascher’s bakery refused to bake a cake for a gay man in support of gay marriage on the basis it went against their conscience or perhaps more accurately their beliefs. Following on from this, N. Ireland politician Paul Givan has tabled a ‘conscience clause’, which if it was successful would give people the right to refuse admission to gay people in hotels, restaurants or to refuse to provide any form of service to gay people on the basis that it went against the ‘conscience’ or ‘beliefs’ of those providing the service. Any service provision that was deemed to be promoting, endorsing or celebrating same sex relationships could be refused if such a law was passed.
It is shocking in this day and age that people actually think this is ok and can boldly stand in public and make such suggestions. It is rampant homophobia dressed up as ‘going against ones conscience’. Well if one’s conscience is in any way supporting such discrimination then we need to go up against it and call it out for what it is – blatant discrimination. Imagine if instead of gay it said black people? Or Jewish people? Or dare I say catholic or protestant? It doesn’t matter what the label is – all of it is bigoted discrimination that has no place in a modern day society where the equality of all should be first and foremost.
Givan asks the question if gay rights are more important than religious rights – showing that he misses the point altogether. This is about equality of all – not one group or faction above another. People believe all kinds of things in the name of religion that are not founded upon equality – and so yes, when that occurs equality legisaltion trumps religious beliefs that endorse discrimination and rightly so.
Givan argues that Christians are being denied their rights and are not being treated equally as they have to provide services that offend their beliefs. Well, any beliefs that support discrimination against another human being for any reason need to be offended, challenged and called out. Equality is not about giving people the right to discriminate against others based on beliefs that are man-made – because for sure no such beliefs emanate from God.
How far away from the Christ can you get? It is a complete misappropriation to claim to be acting in God’s name or Christ’s name when tabling such proposals – as if the source of omnipotent love is really looking down saying, “Yes Mr Givan, that’s right I love everyone equally – except gay people”. It’s ridiculous and if it wasn’t so serious it would be laughable. It is a clear example of some ‘Christians’ using beliefs in the name of Christ, but which actually are the anti-thesis of the true Christ and his Love, which is for all equally so.
Yet apathy can end up with such motions being passed – apathy by all the people who disagree and know this is just another fundamentalist attack on the equality of all. We can shake our heads and disagree in coffee shops and restaurants or at work – but do we actually do anything about it? Do we let it be known that this motion is offensive to any human being who knows the equality of all?
When good people stand back and do nothing, evil (the forces that promote separatism, them and us, amongst humanity in whatever form that takes) gets a free reign – for there is no doubt it is evil to suggest that a group of people are somehow lesser or offensive to us just because they have a different sexuality and thus cannot be treated with the same respect and service as everyone else.
The conscious clause is nothing more than the human desire to have a law that gives people the right to discriminate – it has absolutely nothing to do with the true love of God. Givan and those who agree with him, might as well say they are complaining that they are being discriminated against because of their ‘right’ to discriminate! Just because people have been fed beliefs that to be gay is an abomination, an affront to God, ‘wrong’, ‘unnatural’, not Godly, or absolutely any of the other derogatory remarks used against people who are homosexual, does not make those beliefs true! It does not make it a fact, there is no evidence for them – confirming that they are only beliefs – unproven and unsubstantiated. When the true nature of the human being is known and felt – then it is also known that these beliefs are in fact not innocent beliefs but deeply harming lies.
Of course they argue that “the Bible says….” . The Bible is a book written approximately 2000 years ago by people who were not living the truth that the Christ lived. Whilst it contains wisdom it also contains falsities and it requires discernment to know what is true and what is not. The purity of our inner hearts, unimpeded by imposed outer beliefs is the best arbiter of what is true and what is not.
By reconnecting to the inner heart and essence of our being, we come to know that we are love, that we are all Sons of God – with no one lesser or higher. This can be felt and known to be true as an energetic fact as well as being consistent philosophically and religiously. If we have this foundational truth and principle as our guide and compass then it is clear that there is no need for a ‘conscience clause’, for any form of discrimination is offensive, and goes against our very nature of love, care and acceptance of all in the absolute knowing that all are equal.