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Jay G's Avatar Comment 1 by Jay G

Maybe they ought to take that time and use it to do work instead.

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 17:17:35 UTC | #910215

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 2 by Schrodinger's Cat

The headlong rush towards ever greater 'equality' is in danger of making a complete dog's dinner of the law......especially with regard to an oft disregarded liberal concept called freedom of association.

To a considerable extent, freedom of association can and should be over-ridden wherever it can willfully be used to negatively discriminate on irrational grounds. Thus, laws against racism, sexism, ageism, etc are in themselves no bad thing.

However...I fear that we are in serious danger of legislating freedom of association totally out of existence. That won't be a triumph for liberalism.....it will be a disaster in which one of the most fundamental tennets of liberalism becomes illegal.

Are there any thinking people still left at the controls of this runaway train of 'equality' ?

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 17:36:08 UTC | #910222

danconquer's Avatar Comment 3 by danconquer

Comment 2 by Schrodinger's Cat :

However...I fear that we are in serious danger of legislating freedom of association totally out of existence.

It's unclear whether you are actually for or against the 'right' of employers to refuse to hire or sack atheists.The relationship between employer and employee is - and should be - a principally economic relationship. I am selling my labour. Someone else is buying it. Positions are publicly advertised. The government is right to prohibit businesses from enshrining arbitrary prejudices in their employment practices. There is no way that such ground rules can be described as restricting "freedom of association". You can associate with whoever the hell you want in your private life, and there is no sign whatsoever of this being curtailed. But The Workplace does not constitute part of your "private life"! Employing and Associating are legally distinct concepts.

Are there any thinking people still left at the controls of this runaway train of 'equality' ?

"Runaway"? Anyone would think that new categories of people were being added to the Employment Protection regulations on a daily basis. They are not. The list is more or less the same now as it was in the late 1970's, with the exception of the prohibition of discrimination on religious grounds which was added just a couple of years ago, and sexuality a few years before that. How can that possibly be "runaway"!

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 17:46:42 UTC | #910228

Sample's Avatar Comment 4 by Sample

This is a job description for the position of PA/Marketing/Administrator.

This could work, if by job, one means uncompensated volunteer.

The successful candidate would be involved in this aspect too.

This could work, if by involvement one means not and by successful candidate, one means not a hired employee.

What? This murky job posting is merely evidence of Theology 101 is it not? Truth in advertising. Good for them. :-j

Mike

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 18:09:49 UTC | #910240

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 5 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 3 by danconquer

It's unclear whether you are actually for or against the 'right' of employers to refuse to hire or sack atheists

I think it is just as preposterous that a Christian business be required by law to hire an atheist as it would be for RDF site to be required by law to hire a Christian as a moderator.

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 19:03:48 UTC | #910276

danconquer's Avatar Comment 6 by danconquer

Comment 5 by Schrodinger's Cat :

I think it is just as preposterous that a Christian business be required by law to hire an atheist as it would be for RDF site to be required by law to hire a Christian as a moderator.

Perhaps you misunderstand the law. It does not require a business to hire anyone; what it does is prevent a business from discriminating against an atheist solely on the basis of their atheism.

The former - if it were happening - would be an example of Positive Discrimination, which is a qualitatively and legally seperate concept which you surely must have heard of. There is no PD element to the law being discussed.

You are intelligent enough to know that there is a real difference between on the one hand not being allowed to treat someone less favourably or, on the other hand, being compelled to treat someone more favourably.

[edit: And looking back at comment 2 I see you already used the phrase 'negatively discriminate', so you clearly are aware that there is a worthwhile distinction to be made]

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 21:03:53 UTC | #910318

MattGeo's Avatar Comment 7 by MattGeo

Comment 5 by Schrodinger's Cat :

I think it is just as preposterous that a Christian business be required by law to hire an atheist as it would be for RDF site to be required by law to hire a Christian as a moderator.

They are not required to hire an atheist. They are only required not discriminate against a qualified applicant because they are an atheist.

The job description is for "PA/Marketing/Administrator". If an applicant has the qualifications needed to perform that job then that is all that should be required. This is not a "Christian business" it's a business with a Christian owner.

In response to your example - I would wager that if a moderator was hired by RDF and proved to be a stellar employee with a track record of defending scientific inquiry and rational thought and in no way let their personal religious commitments hinder job performance, they would not be fired for those religious beliefs. I don't think someone with a religious background would want to work for RDF, but that's beside the point - I do, however, think that there are plenty of non-religous people that would want to be a PA/Marketing/Administrator for a camper company.

Cheers

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 21:20:44 UTC | #910327

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 8 by Mr DArcy

I believe there is some leeway to discriminate legally. Such as the case of say, an Italian restaurant wanting only Italian speaking waiters, or a women's gym requiring only female attendants.

If a Christian moderator was employed here, I don't think that person would be a Christian for much longer!

How many atheist stone masons helped build the great gothic cathedrals of Europe will never be known. But they did the job!

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 21:26:34 UTC | #910329

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 9 by Carl Sai Baba

Comment 7 by MattGeo :

They are not required to hire an atheist. They are only required not discriminate against a qualified applicant because they are an atheist.

No, that kind of sounds like a load of fascist bs. You aren't forced to do anything, you are just not allowed to do the opposite!

So does that mean that you do not have the right to "discriminate" against a store owned by a creationist by walking past it and shopping at a secular shoe store a block away? I'm not saying you have to buy shoes from a creationist, you just aren't allowed not to.

And what kind of moron atheist wants to work in an office where they pray to Jesus every day?

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 22:25:37 UTC | #910349

alaskansee's Avatar Comment 10 by alaskansee

@ 9 by Carl Sai Baba

One that needs a job.

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 23:49:49 UTC | #910364

Red Dog's Avatar Comment 11 by Red Dog

Comment 9 by Carl Sai Baba :

Comment 7 by MattGeo :

They are not required to hire an atheist. They are only required not discriminate against a qualified applicant because they are an atheist.

No, that kind of sounds like a load of fascist bs. You aren't forced to do anything, you are just not allowed to do the opposite!

You are sorely in need of a history lesson if you equate discussions about discriminating a job applicant based on their religion/atheism to fascism. Do you have any idea of the kind of crimes that fascists committed?

So does that mean that you do not have the right to "discriminate" against a store owned by a creationist by walking past it and shopping at a secular shoe store a block away? I'm not saying you have to buy shoes from a creationist, you just aren't allowed not to.

You need another history lesson if you don't understand the difference between choosing to not spend money at a store vs. being prohibited from finding work. it was MLK day recently, I suggest reading up a bit about how blacks were treated in the south.

And what kind of moron atheist wants to work in an office where they pray to Jesus every day?

Who knows. Perhaps the kind of moron who thinks he can engage people in rational discussion? Perhaps the kind of moron who doesn't automatically judge someone just because they happen to disagree with him about religious issues?

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 00:03:15 UTC | #910366

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 12 by QuestioningKat

I assume the salary converts to about $22K in US dollars, correct? Let me ask you Brits something. Is this an honest wage? If there is one thing that irks me more than discrimination, it's offering an unfair, cheap wage and covering your motives by saying "may well suit a recent graduate."

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 00:08:05 UTC | #910367

MattGeo's Avatar Comment 13 by MattGeo

Comment 11 by Red Dog :

Comment 9 by Carl Sai Baba :

Comment 7 by MattGeo :

They are not required to hire an atheist. They are only required not discriminate against a qualified applicant because they are an atheist.

No, that kind of sounds like a load of fascist bs. You aren't forced to do anything, you are just not allowed to do the opposite!

You are sorely in need of a history lesson if you equate discussions about discriminating a job applicant based on their religion/atheism to fascism. Do you have any idea of the kind of crimes that fascists committed?

So does that mean that you do not have the right to "discriminate" against a store owned by a creationist by walking past it and shopping at a secular shoe store a block away? I'm not saying you have to buy shoes from a creationist, you just aren't allowed not to.

You need another history lesson if you don't understand the difference between choosing to not spend money at a store vs. being prohibited from finding work. it was MLK day recently, I suggest reading up a bit about how blacks were treated in the south.

And what kind of moron atheist wants to work in an office where they pray to Jesus every day?

Who knows. Perhaps the kind of moron who thinks he can engage people in rational discussion? Perhaps the kind of moron who doesn't automatically judge someone just because they happen to disagree with him about religious issues?

@Red Dog - Great response. Was going to respond when I got home, but you beat me to it and expressed my view exactly.

Cheers

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 01:00:44 UTC | #910377

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 14 by God fearing Atheist

Comment 12 by QuestioningKat :

I assume the salary converts to about $22K in US dollars, correct? Let me ask you Brits something. Is this an honest wage? If there is one thing that irks me more than discrimination, it's offering an unfair, cheap wage and covering your motives by saying "may well suit a recent graduate."

The "salary" is about 1.4 times minimum wage (£6.08 per hour for over 21s). It is in an expensive part of the country (just South of London). As a "recent graduate" job, it is taking the piss ... but then we are still in recession/depression and there are lots of unemployed graduates.

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 01:40:05 UTC | #910384

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 15 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 6 by danconquer

Perhaps you misunderstand the law. It does not require a business to hire anyone; what it does is prevent a business from discriminating against an atheist solely on the basis of their atheism.

Perhaps you misunderstand logic. A law that prevents a business from discriminating against person X for having religion Y is....ipso facto.....a law requiring the business to exclude religion Y from consideration and thus to hire person X. The law might not specifically say 'hire person X'.......but if sufficient people like person X with religion Y were not hired because of religion Y then that would be precisely the discrimination described by the law !

Comment 9 by Carl Sai Baba

No, that kind of sounds like a load of fascist bs. You aren't forced to do anything, you are just not allowed to do the opposite!

Ah...it's good to see someone else has taken the red pill. There aren't enough of us in the real world.

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 04:14:26 UTC | #910400

danconquer's Avatar Comment 16 by danconquer

Okay, Scat, sure thing. Whatever you say pal. Negative and positive forms of discrimination amount to the same thing, right?... Which is why you expressed your support for some prohibitions against ND in comment 2, but presumably, do not support any laws instituting PD!

Anyway... Well done to QuestioningKat for pointing out the wage. Would suit a recent graduate?! My arse! Is a depressing sign of the market conditions which currently prevail, I fear.

The advert itself made me feel nauseous. All exclamation marks and silly words better suited to describing a funfair rather than humdrum, low-paid, office-based tedium. The company makes campervans, interestingly. Reminds me of a spoof advert I once saw...

Nazi Caravan

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 05:22:01 UTC | #910411

mmurray's Avatar Comment 17 by mmurray

Working in a Christian business could be quite interesting. Think of the variety of jobs you could be involved in. Wedding catering, feeding large gatherings, raising from the dead, leprosy cures, clearing out temples, turning water into wine. Downsides I guess would be the crucifixions if you don't make your sales quota and I've heard be that competition with other Christian business' can be a bit brutal, burnings and that sort of thing.

On a more serious note I hope someone takes these people to court.

Michael

EDIT: Oh I see they make camper vans. I guess they are handing for travelling around with a bunch of disciples.

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 05:43:29 UTC | #910414

justinesaracen's Avatar Comment 18 by justinesaracen

Yeah, the ad is disgusting, but I think there is nothing new here. There are lots of Christian businesses in the US and I suspect they do a pretty good job of weeding out non-believing job candidates. All they have to do is ask what church the candidate goes to. There are also Jewish businesses, particularly in New York City and in cities with high Jewish populations. Go to the diamond district in Manhattan and see if you will find a store with a Black or Hispanic or Muslim employee, or one wearing a crucifix. It is very easy to get around the issue by hiring friends, relatives, or other members of your own church/temple.

As for Scat's assertion that 'freedom of association' is threatened by anti-discrimination laws, I'm guessing that he is not looking for a job.

And I wonder how he would react to an employment advert that said "Whites only need apply."

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 09:41:00 UTC | #910460

delToro87's Avatar Comment 19 by delToro87

I've had a look at the job description, don't know if its recently been altered or not, but it actually says that the person would be 'welcome' to take part in the prayer sessions, rather than the wording in the original post, which implied it was a requirement. Whilst that is not as bad, there are I suppose issues about possible alienation if everyone else is in a prayer session and one person is left out, but I suppose all the other staff are entitled to do that if they wish, so long as anyone who doesn't take part isn't ostracised.

I think its odd describing themselves as a 'Christian business', I think its more likely the owner is Christian, but I don't really see how the business can be Christian in any way, there's nothing inherently Christian about making campervans!

As I said, it may have been altered or that may always have been the wording, but the use of the word 'welcome' does certainly change the tone.

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 12:49:29 UTC | #910492

Tony d's Avatar Comment 20 by Tony d

I find the above "direct quote from the 4th paragraph:" misleading, the word, "welcome" has been cut from the original sentence. I think this subtly changes the implied meaning from an invitation to join in, if you want, to an expectation that you will join in.

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 13:16:09 UTC | #910496

jel's Avatar Comment 21 by jel

The ad has been changed from when it was first posted. Maybe they realised (or someone pointed out to them) that under UK law it was discriminatory.

As for the salary, it's derisory. I know we're having a tough time in the economy right now but what incentive is there for anyone to go to all the effort and expense of getting a degree if this is all they're going to be offered.

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 13:55:42 UTC | #910503

danconquer's Avatar Comment 22 by danconquer

Just to back Jel up on this for the benefit of anyone who is only reading the discussion now...

I can confirm too that the advert has definitely been altered to include the less-obligatory-sounding "would be welcome to". Someone must have alerted them to the presence of this discussion on RDF!

I would still argue however that, even with the revised wording, the advert is on legally thin ice. Why mention in the job description something that is genuinely going to be irrelevant in the recruitment process?

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 14:15:12 UTC | #910508

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 23 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 16 by danconquer

Okay, Scat, sure thing. Whatever you say pal. Negative and positive forms of discrimination amount to the same thing, right?... Which is why you expressed your support for some prohibitions against ND in comment 2, but presumably, do not support any laws instituting PD!

In what sense is it any more fair that person X, who is perfectly qualified for the job but does not have attribute Y, fails to get a job through not having attribute Y.......than it is unfair that person Z, who is perfectly qualified for the job, but has attribute Y, fails to get the job through having attribute Y ?

Anyway... Well done to QuestioningKat for pointing out the wage. Would suit a recent graduate?! My arse! Is a depressing sign of the market conditions which currently prevail, I fear.

Actually it's the classic advert verbiage for ageist adverts. They know that a 'recent graduate' is more likely to be a younger person. So rather than saying ' we don't want some old fart.....we want a young person we can pay a lot less', they say 'recent graduate'. It effectively means the same thing.

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 14:25:43 UTC | #910511

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 24 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 18 by esuther

As for Scat's assertion that 'freedom of association' is threatened by anti-discrimination laws, I'm guessing that he is not looking for a job.

And I wonder how he would react to an employment advert that said "Whites only need apply."

That herring looks more red than white.

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 14:33:21 UTC | #910512

Tony d's Avatar Comment 25 by Tony d

Oh so they changed their original advert.Damn those slippery theists.

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 14:49:46 UTC | #910517

danconquer's Avatar Comment 26 by danconquer

Comment 23 by Schrodinger's Cat :

In what sense is it any more fair that person X, who is perfectly qualified for the job but does not have attribute Y, fails to get a job through not having attribute Y.......than it is unfair that person Z, who is perfectly qualified for the job, but has attribute Y, fails to get the job through having attribute Y ?

But that is not a comparison between positive and negative discrimination! Both person X and person Z fail to get the job, and thus in both cases they are victims of negative discrimination; negative because being refused employment which you desire is clearly a negative effect. Whether someone is refused employment because they do or don't have a certain attribute, it remains ND either way, and thus to answer your question, it is no more or less fair. Both are equally unacceptable.

Positive discrimination, which is the comparison we are trying to make, would be a situation where somebody is given the job (perhaps even in spite of a lack of qualification) principally on the basis of having (or not having!) attribute Y. It is positive because being given employment you otherwise would not have gained is clearly a favourable form of discrimination.

I trust we are completely clear now on the difference between PD and ND!

I don't know whether your attempt to muddy the waters was deliberate, but this debate is wholly needless. Positive and negative discrimination are not the same thing and I don't know why you are trying to insist they are. You've already said (in comment 2) that you accept the need for some prohibition against negative discrimination. Well I'm pretty certain that you are dead against any positive discrimination (even I am opposed, so I'd be bloody amazed if you favour it!) So how can you possibly believe that they amount to the same thing when - presumably - you accept the need for some laws against negative discrimination whilst opposing any move towards positive discrimination? It is a logical necessity of holding such a view that you must recognise that PD and restricting ND are different concepts, otherwise how can you possibly oppose one whilst accepting the other!?

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 15:33:06 UTC | #910527

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 27 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 26 by danconquer

I trust we are completely clear now on the difference between PD and ND!

No....because you don't seem to grasp that your own first paragraph describes positive discrimination as being negative.

Look.....let's say we have 10 applicants for a job.....all equally qualified. Five are Christian and five are Muslim.

Negative discrimination is where the 5 Muslims don't get the job...because they are Muslims.

So what is positive discrimination towards the Muslims.....well....

Positve discrimination is where the 5 Christians don't get the job...because they are Christians.

So the 5 Christians are now being negatively discriminated against.

You can dress this up in whatever post-modernistic psychobabble you like. Discrimination is discrimination is discrimination. You even concede so in your first paragraph...

and thus in both cases they are victims of negative discrimination; negative because being refused employment which you desire is clearly a negative effect. Whether someone is refused employment because they do or don't have a certain attribute, it remains ND either way

You don't seem to grasp that it is precisely because I see PD as being no different to ND, that I reject it. I see positive discrimination as being well intended......but ultimately the effect is still one of negative discrimination. Two wrongs don't make a right.

The best person for the job, regardless of extraneous factors, should get the job. However I am mindful of the fact that the best person for a job at a company run by Christians and having a Christian outlook.......might actually be a Christian !

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 17:09:01 UTC | #910544

danconquer's Avatar Comment 28 by danconquer

Comment 27 by Schrodinger's Cat :

You don't seem to grasp that it is precisely because I see PD as being no different to ND, that I reject it.

But in comment 2, you say: "To a considerable extent, freedom of association can and should be over-ridden wherever it can willfully be used to negatively discriminate on irrational grounds." That sounds like a clear endorsement of at least some forms of prohibition against ND! If you think PD is the same as restricting ND, then why do you support some restrictions against ND?!

You can dress this up in whatever post-modernistic psychobabble you like.

No, it's not post-modernistic psychobabble. There are widely understood and, crucially, legal definitions to distinguish between positive and negative discrimination. Opponents of 'positive discrimination' usually label it "reverse discrimination".

Even the strongest critics of such legislation make the effort to acknowledge and distinguish between them. This is the first time I've ever seen someone argue that there is no worthwhile distinction to be made between the two. Which might be tolerable... Were it not for the truly absurd fact that the person doing so has apparently already stated their support for at least some restrictions against ND!

If you want to retract your remarks from comment 2 then just say so now.

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 18:06:55 UTC | #910559

tboulay's Avatar Comment 29 by tboulay

There is however discrimination that is allowd, because we have entire industry's based solely on how people look. If Kate Moss applied for a plus sized model job, she'd be discriminated against based solely on what she looks like, if Maurice Moss applied for Kate's job; so would he.

What if Dan Barker applied for a pastors job, he would certinly qualify, have much more experience than a lot of the applicants; He could assure them that each sermon would be delivered as if he actually believed; but he wouldn't be hired; because of what he thinks, and because of what he's said publically in the past.

Things someone has said or written in the past is often a huge factor.

Not hiring someone because of which supernatural entity they don't believe in seems really crazy.

"Well you're honor, they seem to be perfectly fine with my unbelief in faries, pixies, goblins, vampires and zombies .. well zombies in general, of course when I mentioned a particular zombie by name they asked me to leave.

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 18:15:37 UTC | #910561

jel's Avatar Comment 30 by jel

Discrimination is certainly allowed, the most obvious type of discrimination is based upon an applicants qualifications for the position, ie: you don't allow someone to become a brain surgeon who has no medical qualifications. The Equality Act 2010 specifies that no discrimination is allowed based upon "protected characteristics", which are listed as:

age

disability

gender reassignment

marriage and civil partnership

pregnancy and maternity

race

religion or belief

sex

sexual orientation

Sat, 21 Jan 2012 20:25:59 UTC | #910584