The False Cry of Discrimination

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http://www.edmontonsun.com/2015/04/06/100gs-raised-for-florist-who-refused-to-serve-gay-wedding

There has been a lot of media hype lately since laws in the U.S. were passed protecting individuals rights to refused service that go against their religious belief. This seems like the prime time to present my thoughts on the issue.

Discrimination based on ones gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnic background, abilities etc… is in no way a good or a positive thing in any society. That being said however freedom of association and religion is also of paramount importance. This seems to be an issues that is in a great amount of dispute as of late. Where does our religious convictions end and the rights of other start?

There are many good christian people whose livelihoods are being destroyed through court actions and lawsuits because they do not wish to provide a service for certain events. The cry of discrimination runs rampant. You can’t refuse service to any minority, most especially a gay person or gay couple. There are numerous cases of christian florist, photographers, wedding planners and even some churches that have been sued for not providing services for gay weddings. This act has been labelled as discriminatory practice and should not be permitted by any business. I would argue however that this act is not discrimination any more than a church open to the public won’t perform gay marriage within its halls or anywhere on their property is.

Essentially 100% of the cases I have read about the owner of said business did not refuse to provide services all together. Only the one service. In every case they were willing to do any other service or provide any other product other than catering a gay wedding. This act of so-called discrimination had nothing to do with them personally. It had nothing to do with the personal sexual orientation of the person asking. Every refusal was about not doing something that they felt was not in harmony with their personal beliefs. These business owners did not feel they could provide service for that event because of their beliefs. Not one case has been made public where the business owner refused to serve someone because they were gay. Not one. Every refusal was the event and services not them personally. Every case the ones refused were told we will sell you anything you want, and even referred in many cases to a business that would perform the service asked. (please someone explain to me how that is discrimination) No one has been prevented from getting married or even having the product or service they were asking for. Every case there were other businesses willing to provide said service nearby. No one has been denied because they were gay. How can anyone say that they are refused over sexual orientation when providing them with any product in store or any other service not related to a gay wedding was made available to them? At no point has it ever been implied or stated “I won’t serve you because your gay.” If anyone know’s of any cases and can provide the links or information of a case where someone has been refused a product or service where it was beyond doubt that it was refused because of their sexual orientation, as in all service was refused and they were kicked out of the business and told explicitly that they will not be served because of their sexual orientation, or any other clear and obvious actions or words, then I will happily support your stance that person was in fact wrong. In fact I will even join you in publicly condemning such a business, and Boycotting it as well.

The hypothetical situation that has been used to argue this insanity that I have heard most often is what if that was the only shop in a small town and no one within several hundred miles could provide said service as they are the only business that does? My response is how does that change anything? How does that give you the right to force a business owner to not only do business with you but to do so in a specific way and service? It does not.

Under the Canadian charter of rights and freedoms and the US is very similar it states

Fundamental freedoms

 Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

  • (a) freedom of conscience and religion;

  • (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

  • (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

  • (d) freedom of association.

Is refusing service not freedom of association? Every one of these freedoms listed effectively gives everyone the right to discriminate. If I don’t want to attend the gay pride parade or provide services for the gay pride parade that is not discrimination. If I speak out against it that is my freedom of expression and belief. If I organize a protest against the gay pride parade that is my freedom of peaceful assembly. If I refuse to provide service to a gay person at my business which I own that is freedom of association. All of these freedoms hinge on my freedom of conscience and religion. Yet despite this in Canada and the US where there are similar freedoms guaranteed you can still be prosecuted and sued for refusing to provide the service and found guilty. Essentially we have these rights, but it would seem that is only so long as our exercising them fall in line with current public opinion and state ideology.

Why are only Christians being targeted. Muslims won’t bake you a gay wedding cake either but there is no out cry for that. Is it because he has his religious freedom. If that is the reason, do Christians not deserve their religious freedom as well? or is Christians refusing service some how worse? or is it because Muslim are a protected special interest group?

watch this video hear of a Muslim baker refusing to cater a gay wedding.

http://louderwithcrowder.com/hidden-camera-gay-wedding-cake-at-muslim-bakery/

The right to discriminate is essential to a free society. We discriminate every day in everything that we do. Every action is choosing one thing over another. One person over another for one reason or another. Discrimination is a healthy part of any civilized society. The only thing that changes is our reason for doing so. The only thing that seems to define what is right and wrong is what is socially acceptable. For example it is not consider OK for a christian baker to refuse a gay wedding, but it is acceptable for a gay baker to refuse a straight christian wedding. Or a Muslim baker to refuse a gay wedding. Why is this acceptable. Many will say well it’s not. But would there be a public outcry over the straight wedding refused. Or a gay wedding refused by a Muslim baker? How may Muslims have been sued for discrimination against LGBTQ  successfully. Taking an educated guess I would say 0. Why is this? It is because only Christians refusing is not consider socially acceptable. Is this not also discrimination where one religion can refuse and the other cannot? They would likely be told to just suck it up and go to another bakery. The only reason is one is socially acceptable and the other is not.

When all is said and done, cases like this situation have become so rampant that it is not longer about real discrimination but public spectacle and get rich quick all in an effort to eliminates ones ability to express their religious convictions in favor of the LGBTQ community. It’s the flavor of the week. And these prosecution even if not successful still serve to punish those who refuse to comply with the LGBTQ communities wishes and whims. The ones who brought the case forward face no consequences for their actions and are considered perfectly innocent in the whole matter. Their motives are never questions by the courts. What these LGBTQ people seem to forget so quickly is that the rights you take from someone else can be just as easily taken from them. It is short-sighted with no forethought. It is worse than discrimination to vindictively target good people for your personal gain. The courts and human rights commissions of North American cannot be trusted to use reason and logic to effectively judge such cases.  When such a case is brought before the courts the victim (meaning the one who refused service and is being prosecuted) has already effectively been judged as guilty and the courts are just a formality. With near perfect prosecution rates it has become a system designed to serve the interests of special interest groups rather than the public it was meant to serve. To voice an opinion contrary to socially acceptable flavors of the day has essentially become a crime. And this travesty of justice must stop.

And that is the gospel according to Andrew

The S*** word

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Recently we have decided as a family to home school our kids. Our relocation and move to Victoria, BC, Canada seems to be the perfect time to start as our kids would be changing their schooling anyway. This decision was not made lightly but after much consideration and thought behind what is truly the best choice for our kids and our family. We have explored all the options and at this point see no alternative for the benefit of our kids. There are many reason we have opted to home school. This post however will focus on one of the many reason. The S word, socialization.

My wife put it best when joining a BC home school group.

“We are moving to Victoria in May from Alberta where our oldest who has some behavioral challenges has been switched from school to school trying to find one that will work for her and we’ve considered home school in the past but in Alberta home school is very invasive but we have still considered it. We would like to start homeschooling at least our oldest when we come to BC and we think it’s the best if parents teach children what they need to learn every day every moment can be a learning moment. Parents teach children the most important things in life how to walk and talk and go to the bathroom on a toilet, but somehow we think after they turn 5 we need to send them away to learn things that we can teach them and some of the most important learning is not done in a classroom. When we begin this journey it would be helpful to have a group that has experience that we can learn from and be able to help other members from the experiences we have.”

While not surprising yet quite frustrating is the response that we get from others regarding this decision. Both within the church and outside the church.  A blog I once read put it quite well when it comes to the S Word

“Socialization is a term in homeschooling we loathe. It’s always asked and poorly understood. I socialize my two Boston Terriers at the local dog park, but my children are not socialized – they are social. Interaction with others happens naturally every day, but forced association in the confines of a traditional educational system does not create social awareness or relationships”  –Home School Diaries

What is socialization anyway. What make schools so much better at it that other everyday activities and social events that happen in our daily lives. Why do people think that kids can’t or won’t be socialized unless they are shipped off to a place of social conformity and their behaviors dictated by others? What makes the school environment so essential to children’s welfare that we immediately write off home school as detrimental to a child’s social development? Why is that we assume that the government knows best how to socialize our kids effectively? Why is it that when kids are bullies and mean spirited we blame the parents for failing to teach them properly but when kids are not socialized the parents are not responsible it’s the fact that they were home schooled? If public school is so important for socialization then who is to blame for socially awkward kids that attend public school? did the school fail to socialize or the parents? If public schools are so good at socializing kids why is bullying online and at school such a big problem in the modern day?

watch this video from a school yard and tell me were these kids socialized properly? and How has public school socialized them effectively?

Since it has been pointed out to me that children who are home-schooled won’t be able to socialize effectively then our only conclusion is that the school is responsible for the behavior of this kid. After all schools teach kids how to behave properly and the parents clearly cannot be responsible for teaching correct behavior and principles to children . That is why we have public schools right? Only public schools can teach kids how to get along in society. We as adults (largely educated by public schools) can’t possibly teach them ourselves. They must be socialized in a public school setting. The evidence is clear, the school is solely responsible for this behavior and parents have no responsibility in raising their kids.

some stats on socialization in our schools from stop bullying.ca

  • 64 per cent of kids had been bullied at school.
  • » 12 per cent were bullied regularly (once or more a week).
  • » 13 per cent bullied other students regularly (once or more a week).
  • » 64 per cent considered bullying a normal part of school life.
  • » 20-50 per cent said bullying can be a good thing (makes people tougher, is a good way to solve problems, etc.).
  • » 25-33 per cent said bullying is sometimes OK and/or that it is OK to pick on losers.
  • » 61-80 per cent said bullies are often popular and enjoy high status among their peers.

This is the kind of socialization that kids have in the public schools. This, based on the feedback I have received is acceptable (as home school puts them at risk for being antisocial) and even a good thing. After all how will my children learn to get along in society unless we put them in public school where they can learn the details of how to harass and bully, oh I mean get along with others.

It would seem that these bullies, I mean socialized kids learn that being cruel, or I mean nice and respectful gets them to the top of the popular chain it seems. I can’t imagine a world where my kids fail to learn this vital lesson.

All sarcasm aside, the truth is, if that is what socialization is all about then I don’t want my kids to be socialized. I send them to school to learn not to make friends though that may be a side benefit. What so many people seem to forget is that school is not about socializing. It is about learning. period. Socializing happens in all areas of life. It does not happen in schools. Schools are 2 busy teaching conformity and who is better at bullying. Schools are about peer pressures. My daughter has already experienced this. A group of girls tells her she is ugly because she does not wear make up and teases her about not wearing make up. This is in elementary school. That is what school socialization is all about. It’s about conforming to state and crowd morals and ideals and conforming to different social groups at the expense of ones spiritual and mental health. What kind of “socialization” will our kids be exposed to in JR high or high school.

It would seem that even those within the church forget about just how much of a social scene our church has. Within the church and our weekly church meetings there are classes for kids from 3-18. bi-weekly kids activities for girls 8-12, and weekly activities for boys 8-18, weekly activities for girls age 12-18 on a regular basis. Add to that list regular church functions, potlucks, dinners, weekly youth dances, youth camps etc ….. The opportunity for kids to socialize within the church alone is much more than any other organization I know of. Bullying at church and church functions is almost un-heard of and people learn to respect each other of all ages. Now compare that to the school environment where kids are shuffled off to a class room surround by kids with no social skills that bully, harass, ignore, tease, ridicule, peer pressure and tear down ones emotional and spiritual self-image on a daily basis.

Our kids will learn by imitating others. When they see kids acting childish and bullying others they learn that this is the way to behave with others. This is what they see at school. Public schools do not help kids learn to get along. Often kids are bullied and when they choose to fight back and protect themselves they are punished while the bullies go on with their lives. What does this teach kids? If you stand up for yourself you get punished. We have seen this not just in schools but in real world as well.

This is not the kind of socialization I want for my kids. I want my kids to learn how to respect and love each other. I want them to learn how to embrace those things which make us different and not give into the crowd mentality just to fit in. I want my kids to understand that who they are and who they are becoming is more important that what ever the cool trend is today. I want my kids to understand that they need not fear protecting themselves from those that would harm them. This is a lesson that has not been, nor ever will be effectively taught in a school setting.

Beyond that however is that kids don’t learn anything. They learn how to memorize and never question authority. They are graded and evaluated. Their self-worth based on the grades received. This is the worst type of bullying. The worst type of socialization. So no I don’t want my kids to be socialized. I want them to be healthy productive members of society that respect others. Not socialized by a public school system that is detrimental to the development of my children.

Ultimately we have to ask, if parents are responsible for teaching their kids proper social skills so that they can get along in society why then do we put so much weight on the public school system to do this for us when clearly it is failing in this vital part of our children’s education?

From a talk by Vaughn J. Featherstone

“There is no greater responsibility in the world than the training of a human soul.” A great part of the personal stewardship of every parent and teacher in the Church is to teach and train. How well we fill this divinely commissioned task may well have eternal implications for many.”

What miracles an impact teacher can achieve by giving honest appreciation and a sense of self-worth! The parent or teacher who honestly satisfies this heart hunger will hold a child or a class in the palm of his hand.”

As parents our responsibility to teach our kids is not just about spiritual and doctrinal matters. We have a responsibility to teach our kids in all aspects of life and secular things as well so that they may be able to navigate this world and life effectively.

Do you really believe that when it comes to the education of our children God would have us leave it in the hands of a secular state approved curriculum that serves no real world benefit?

And that is the gospel according to Andrew