Saturday, December 10, 2005

Dossing Times Poll.

No employer can discriminate against someone on grounds of sexual orientation or gender. However priests and brothers can only be straight men and nuns can only be straight women. Is this wrong? Should the church be forced to adhere to the employment laws considering that priest get paid? Should men be allowed to be nuns and women to be priests? That is the question in the dossing times poll. Should Religious orders be forced by the state to adhere to employment rules and not discriminate on bases of gender or sexual orientation? Poll in the right side bar.

11 comments:

Kevin Breathnach said...

It's an interesting question which has been in the back of my mind for a while now. I suppose the Church is a private entity, and as such, it should be allowed to choose and maintain recruiting policies. However, this could entail that any business should be allowed have recruitment signs reading "No Women" or "No Gays".

Obviously, religion by its very nature is quite different. Whether that merits its outside-the-law status is another thing - one I haven't quite made my mind up on yet. As such, I'll abstain for now.

Simon said...

Are many buissness not private companys. Can they discriminate?

sure when you come to a conclusion feel free to vote.

Kevin Breathnach said...

Are many buissness not private companys. Can they discriminate?

That's what I mean. Most businesses are private, they cannot discriminate. To suggest that the Church should be allowed to discriminate would be to suggest that businesses should also. You know?

Kevin Breathnach said...

I'll have a think about it over the next few days Simon, then I'll vote. By the way, how did the election poll turn out in the end?

Tuathal said...

I voted no as it's a crazy notion. If you take this proposal to it's logical conclusion then religious groups couldn't 'discriminate' against potential candidates on the basis of their religious beliefs and practices either.

Religious groups are a special set in Irelands employment laws. The relevant law in Ireland on the matter is set out in section 37 of the Employment Equality Act of 1998 found here

Give it a quick read, it's entirely logical in my opinion

Frank said...

Given that priests and nuns are meant to be chaste, the application of notions of homsexuality and heterosexuality to them seems as redundant as theri genitalia. The sexuality debate is polarised by the homo/hetero classification anyway, because it doesn't recognise other rational choices such as not having a sexual life. People are sexual or they are not. All else is prurient detail. I used to be trisexual — I'd try anything. Now I'm bisexual — if I want sex, I'll have to buy it.

Simon said...

couldn't 'discriminate' against potential candidates on the basis of their religious beliefs and practices either.

that is the same as saying companies can't discriminate against people who don't want the job. It is not the issue.

Why are religious orders treated differently.?

Simon said...

oh ya the result of the election poll will be up soon just righting about it

Tuathal said...

'that is the same as saying companies can't discriminate against people who don't want the job. It is not the issue.'

And what if they do want the job? What if you have some athetist who can't get a job anywhere else and sees becoming a vicar in the Church of Ireland, for example, as a handy gig . The poll asks if the same equality employment laws should apply to religions as other companies. Well, companies are not allowed to discriminate against potential candidates on the basis of religious practices and beliefs. If this were applied to religion, you could ,theoretically, be left with a scenario where the religious order he chooses to apply to would not be entitled to disregard his application solely on the basis of his athethism. In fact he wouldn't even have to hide his belief.

Now I accept that this example is a bit far fetched but it could happen, at least in theory. It's ludicrous and yet in an effort to be completely politically correct, entirely possible. You could also make the case that the Catholic Church is discriminating against married men and women by imposing a vow of celibacy on priests and nuns.

The reason religion is a seperate group is that religions aren't just about making money. They are about faith, or at least they are supposed to be. There are tenets of belief that form fundamental components of this faith. Whehter you like it or not that's the way it is. I believe it entirely illogical to force religious institutions to recruit candidates that undermine or are at odds with that faith. If such a scenario arose then religion becomes no more than a profit making vehicle as the message is worthless.

Simon said...

The reason religion is a seperate group is that religions aren't just about making money. They are about faith, or at least they are supposed to be. There are tenets of belief that form fundamental components of this faith. Whehter you like it or not that's the way it is.
Same could be said about football fan clubs. Yet they have to go by rules set down for companies not religions. They have there gods (wayne rooney beckham etc) and they spend more time at worship then people do in church.

wulfbeorn said...

As someone who doesn't think that equality legislation should exist in the first place, of course I'd support the right of the Catholic Church to set its own policies, regardless of my personal views of such policies. This is an excellent discussion though. Basically, I'd support the Church's right to set their policies for the same reasons that I support any other private organisation's right to do so. The law should provide for the right to free association - that is, the right to enter into mutually voluntary relationships of any kind, while forbidding the coercion of anyone into relationships. Our equality legislation as it stands has more or less done away with the right to free association. Indeed, my post on this subject predicted that these kinds of laws would threaten other kinds of freedom, and so it is that religious freedom may soon come under attack.

In this case, the only arguments I can think of which would support the enfocement by the state of certain employment rules on the Church would be based on the fact that in many ways, the church is not a fully private body. It has been subsidised and supported heavily by the state for many years, most noticably recently with the huge payments by the govt in respect of abuse compensation. However, the answer to this I think would be a clean separation of church and state, not further entanglement. We should choose more freedom, not less.