Monday, April 18, 2011

In a way, it’s gratifying

Ah, the disingenuous language of the Daily Mail.  I keep meaning to write a little script that deletes all unnecessarily pejorative words in Mail articles.  It should be a standard Firefox plugin.  In the meantime, I’ll have to resort to comic sans for phrases the Mail uses.

This time, they are once again banging on about people being banned from displaying crosses.

BANNED!

We don’t know the ins and outs of this story because if there’s one thing the Mail isn’t concerned with, it’s telling the actual story.  But apparently some guy was told not to have an 8 inch cross on his company van dashboard, despite the fact that his boss had a picture of a young Che Guevara on his office wall.

They even have a picture of it:

Look, a picture of Che Guevara.

George Cary, as he’s very much wont to do, has been quick to defend the banned guy who is facing the sack, in the most dishonest way he possibly can:

Lord Carey said last night: ‘It’s outrageous that anyone cannot display a small palm cross. This is political correctness gone mad once more.

‘If Muslims and Sikhs can display symbols of their faiths, such as wearing headscarves and turbans, then surely Christians should be allowed to display a cross.

Well put like that, the complaint sounds reasonable.  And needless to say, Ann Widdecombe has chimed in with similar sentiments:

It’s one rule for Christians and another rule for followers of any other religion.

But it isn’t, of course.  As the Mail itself reports:

However on Christmas Eve last year WDH changed company policy, banning all personal effects in company vehicles.

As silly as such a rule probably is, it isn’t discriminatory.  Turbans and headscarves don’t seem to fall into the same category as a bloody great cross on the dashboard because they are part of a person’s dress.  If a person were banned from wearing a cross around their neck when turbans were OK – and assuming there was no outright ban on jewellery – then there would certainly be cause for complaint. 

But this didn’t happen.  As is almost always found to be the case in these instances, some rule which does not discriminate in the least against any or all religion has been enforced (often pointlessly) with the result that someone can’t display some gewgaw or other in the way they subsequently decide they want to.  It seems as though Mr Atkinson could wear a cross around his neck if he wanted to.  He just can’t display it on his dashboard any more than he could display a football scarf.  This is not religious prejudice or even prejudice against religion.

The employer clarifies:

It is permissible for WDH employees to display, within the spirit of the Act, religious artefacts and other personal possessions on their desks and themselves.

Could that be any more clear? 

Carey doesn’t care.  He doesn’t want rules to apply to everyone, he wants Christians to get special rules that nobody else has.  And he’s prepared to be as dishonest as he needs to be to bring that goal about.

In a way, it’s gratifying.  The top (and ex-top) brass of the CoE seem to have resigned themselves to the fact that nobody really cares what they say any more, so they’ve got into bed with the likes of the Daily Mail and spout knowingly lying quotes, which they lend to deliberately misleading articles.  You don’t hear from them very much otherwise.

Their days are numbered and they know it.

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