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Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Three Out Of Four Ain't Bad

You may recall (but probably won't) that I wrote a blog back in September about the four "persecution" cases that went to the European Court of Human Rights. It turns out that judgement has now been passed.

British Airways christian employee Nadia Eweida wins case

The headline is the BBC's, not my own. Personally? I would make a bigger deal about the three cases that were lost.

It's sad enough that the individuals in question thought that their human rights were being violated, while two of them were violating other people's human rights and another one was disobeying the strict rules of a hospital environment. And of course, me being me, I have something to say on each of these.

The first two cases - as I mentioned in my previous blog - are basically bigotry wrapped in a religious "don't persecute me" ribbon. However, when entering the European Court of Human Rights, one must remember that the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Denying people services they are legally entitled to because you disagree with their sexuality isn't a spirit of brotherhood.  It's the opposite. Ironicaly, if you had treated people with that same spirit of brotherhood as called for by the Universal Declaration, then you wouldn't have been sacked, and you wouldn't have been claiming that your Human Rights were violated. It's almost like a big karmic circle, isn't it?

Then we have the case about the nurse. The rules are there for a reason - that reason should be obvious - you accept those rules when you take on a position as a nurse. And I will be blunt: if you feel your need to express your faith in a visible way is more important than the rules that regulate your behaviour and standards in a hospital, you really need to not be working in a hospital.

But well done Nadia Eweida. Your insistence that needing to visually identify yourself as a Christian as an article of faith has won through, and now you can do it to your heart's content. Those who fly British Airways will be delighted to see that you are a Christian, I am sure.

I doubt you would be fighting so hard to willingly display your cross during the Lebanese Civil War, that my father fled Beirut to get away from. Wherein militants would stop buses, and pull everyone off the bus that was either a Christian (if they were Hezbollah) or a Muslim (if they were the Christian Phalangist militia), and that was the last you ever heard of them. I daresay you wouldn't declare your faith quite so loudly then. The wider world has undoubtedly heard of Hezbollah; if you arent sure who the Phalangists are, you might want to read up about the massacre at Sabra and Shatila.

But hey, what do I know about persecution?

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