Choice & Discrimation, or “Kansas & Marion Barry”

Earlier in the week, Fox News reporter Todd Starnes reported that Hutchinson, Kansas, is looking to pass an ordinance that will require churches to host weddings and parties for LGBT groups—something which, predictably and understandably—got many on the right upset. Then, not too long after, former DC mayor and current Council member Marion Barry made yet another stupid move by criticizing hospitals for hiring Filipina nurses.

My oh my. Looks like discrimination is back in the media again.

First, what Starnes reported from Kansas:

 

The Hutchinson City Council will consider adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected classes in the city’s human relations code. They are expected to vote on the changes next month.

According to the Hutchinson Human Relations Commission, churches that rent out their buildings to the general public would not be allowed to discriminate “against a gay couple who want to rent the building for a party.”

Meryl Dye, a spokesperson for the Human Relations Commission confirmed to Fox News that churches would be subjected to portions of the proposed law.

[…]

 

Matthew Staver, chairman of the Liberty Counsel Action, told Fox News the proposed law is “un-American.”

“It is a collision course between religious freedom and the LGBT agenda,” Staver said. “This proposed legislation will ultimately override the religious freedom that is protected under the First Amendment.”

He argued that churches cannot be forced by the government to set aside their religious convictions and their mission. And, he warned, some churches could even be forced to rent their buildings for drag parties.

 

 

As much as I am a pro-LGBT person, believing they have equal rights and are equally human, and even though I’m an atheist, I’m with Staver on this one. It sort of defeats the point of having a religion if you’re not allowed to follow its tenets (other than, you know, murdering people and taking their stuff.)

Forcing the church to lend its property to groups or people that it is diametrically opposed to both doesn’t make sense and is an egregious violation of liberty. It’s similar to saying that Alcoholics Anonymous would have to give time to Annheuser-Busch, or that the Human Rights Campaign (a major LGBT group) will have to lend its conference room to the National Organization for Marriage. It’s ludicrous and destructive.

You really can’t ban discrimination. People discriminate every day of the week, every hour of the day. You hang out with people who share your interests. You make fun of those who don’t. (If you’re targeting people with different political alignments, you’ll get really ugly indeed.) You discriminate by choosing what food to eat, what clothes to wear, and yes, what lifestyles you choose for yourself or disparage in others.

As odious as it is, this includes the churches in Hutchinson, Kansas being free to say “No, we won’t rent out our rooms to gay parties.” I don’t like it either, but they should definitely have that right—and look like the bigoted morons that they are. That’s right: I am saying that discrimination is incredibly stupid and self-destructive.

Think about it in the context of running a business. Say I have a restaurant, and I put up a sign saying “No blacks.” I don’t want their business. But I live in a community that’s 55/45 white; I’m effectively shrinking my income base by 45%. Meanwhile, a competitor across the street has no such ban in place, and gets 100% of the pie. I’m also probably ticking off some whites who think what I’m doing is disgusting, so I don’t even get the 55% of the population, I get instead maybe 30% at best. My profits are low, I have a bad reputation, and soon, I go out of business because I can’t pay my bills; while my competitor, who never did such a silly thing, is raking in all the money and doing quite well for himself.

It’s a bit different when it comes to churches, since they’re not in it for profit, but they still have to compete, in a way, for followers. As opinions about gay marriage and homosexuality become more favorable (and rightly so), fewer and fewer people will attend those anti-gay churches, and they’ll die off from a lack of followers.

Now, let’s take a look at what Mr. Barry said about Filipinas in hospitals:

 

Ward 8 Councilman Marion Barry made comments Monday about Filipina nurses who work in District hospitals, just weeks after Barry told his supporters that Asian businesses “ought to go.”

At a hearing, Barry told the president and board members of the University of the District of Columbia that the school should be supplying D.C. residents to serve in the “lucrative” posts of nurses and teachers.

But that was not the case, Barry said.

“In fact, it’s so bad, that if you go to the hospital now, you find a number of immigrants who are nurses, particularly from the Philippines,” Barry said. “And no offense, but let’s grow our own teachers, let’s grow our own nurses — and so that we don’t have to be scrounging around in our community clinics and other kinds of places — having to hire people from somewhere else.”

You might want to ask yourself: why are there so many nurses from the Phillipines in DC hospitals? As it turns out, in the Phillipines, a nursing degree is a bachelor’s; in America, it’s an associate. That means that Fillipina nurses are twice as educated as their American counterparts, and have twice the training to deal with life-threatening problems that emerge in a hospital. Wouldn’t you want that in a nurse?

The hospitals are discriminating, in this case, not based on race or anything like that, but on education. They are deliberately finding people with more training and expertise and that can do the job better. Is this wrong?

No, but some might think it is. Yet it is the very act of being human and making choices. If we were to completely get rid of discrimination, as the Hutchinson Human Relations Commission desires, we wouldn’t be able to make any choices at all. And quite frankly, I think that’s a far greater danger to society than gay couples not being able to have marriages in a conservative church, or hospitals not hiring certain people that a politician might prefer.

 


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