September 4, 2012

Today four Christians take their case for discrimination to the European Court of Human Rights. Unfortunately the best they can hope to gain is a new or amended employment law. The opportunity to create equality in religion or faith will be lost in the rules and regulations of employment.

While these four may have valid cases for taking their former employers to court, this will have no benefit in the long term for determining how issues of faith are handled fairly and equally.

Employment lawyers are guaranteed to make significant sums of money from this case, from both sides of the argument, as they wrangle for supremacy. The Christians themselves will undoubtedly hope to receive some form of compensation. But sadly none of the arguments will truly resolve (or likely address) the deep seated issues of equality of faiths.

The former employers will only seek to prove that there was no discrimination. It is likely that their stance will be based on matters more pertinent to the four’s employment and performance rather than those of any moral or religious beliefs.

It is also unlikely that faith of these four can be truly challenged or demonstrated in a court of law. However, if it were possible, it could prove more contentious than any employment case. Having to prove that you are good, kind, honest, fair and dedicated to your faith would make for an interesting case that would do history’s greatest philosophers proud. How do you prove you are loyal and disciplined to your faith? If you’ve ever had an argument at work or been intolerant in any way, does that undermine your faith?

Despite the realities of life, the idealist view is that all religious beliefs should be based on equality and tolerance so, it is ironic that judgment of discrimination on religious grounds should be determined through law.

There are no winners in this case and it is sad that morality or faith should be fought over in this way and potentially be the only losers. It’s time for the world to become more tolerant not for the courts to create new laws.

Last updated: September 4, 2012 at 10:21 am